Usually a violation of the "rules of the road" causes a motor vehicle accident that can lead to serious injury and/or death. We and our team of technical experts work early in the process to secure the accident scene, the vehicles and physical roadway evidence.
Often a defendant driver may be distracted by electronic devices, eating/drinking while driving or general inattention. We work to focus on obtaining records to establish cell phone or electronic devices records to establish driver distraction which may have led to the motor vehicle incident. Moving fast to obtain records and secure evidence is paramount to successful litigation of the motor vehicle lawsuit. Delay is not your friend.
We also obtain all medical records and work closely with medical consultants and illustrators to visually depict your injuries to better inform the jury of the seriousness of your pain, suffering and prospects for recovery.
Our firm aggressively advocates for the motor vehicle accident client to stay ahead of the defendants in the pursuit of your legal remedies.
Call us today, and we will start working TODAY!
THE PROCESS OF FILING A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT CLAIM
PROVING A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT CLAIM
Car accidents don’t just happen; they are the result of negligence and error, and are almost always preventable as such. Some of the top causes of car accidents in Alabama include:
- Distracted driving – Driving while distracted is practically ubiquitous these days, especially with the rise in hand-held technology.
- Drunk driving – Another top killer on Alabama’s roadways is that of drunk driving. Drunk drivers take numerous lives every year, and cause injuries to many more. Drivers can also cause collisions when they operate a motor vehicle after using drugs, including illegal drugs, over-the-counter medications, and prescription drugs.
- Speeding – When drivers speed or drive at a speed that is unsafe for conditions (even if at or below the actual speed limit), the risk of being involved in an accident is increased. Not only does speed increase the risk of an actual collision, but it also increases the severity of damages should an accident occur.
- Driving aggressively – Drivers may commit other acts of negligence when behind the wheel, most of which can be classified as aggressive driving. These acts include tailgating, illegally changing lanes, running red lights or stop signs, cutting off another driver, and more.
- Drowsy driving is another increasingly dangerous possibility on the road these days. However, in some cases, car accidents are caused by factors outside of the realm of driver negligence. These factors include defective roads or dangerous road conditions, defective automobiles or auto parts, and adverse weather conditions.
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS AFTER A CAR WRECK
1. Never leave the scene.
As a general rule, you should never leave the scene of an accident. In some cases, this could be treated as a hit-and-run, and you’ll face charges. The only time you are justified in leaving the scene of an accident is when you require emergency medical treatment. And even in cases like this, you should only leave in an ambulance and not with another bystander, family member, or friend.
2. Call the police.
Your safest bet is to call 911 immediately after an accident and request that the police come to the scene. If the police do show up, getting a police report filed is the best way to have an official record of the accident, which is something generally used by insurance companies to determine fault.
3. Get medical treatment.
If anyone is injured in the accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even a minor fender bender can lead to serious and life-changing injuries. The sooner you seek medical treatment, the better it will be for your case since you will have reliable documentation of your injuries.
4. Collect important information.
Even though the police will collect information at the scene of the accident, you should do this as well if you are physically able. In addition to taking pictures of the scene and damages with your phone, be sure to get the names and contact information of the other drivers, any witnesses, driver’s license and license plate numbers of vehicles involved, and insurance company information.
5. Call your insurance company.
You are required to report motor vehicle accidents to your insurance company as soon as possible, generally within 24 hours. What you don’t have to do is sign any release forms, give a recorded statement, or make any statements regarding fault. Make sure that you report the accident as required, but don’t go any further until you speak with an attorney.
EVIDENCE USED IN MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT CLAIMS
Statements from Involved Parties
Both parties will give statements to the police and to their own insurance providers. Don’t give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company—this is likely to backfire on you. If there are discrepancies in the statements, the insurance companies may use those inconsistencies against you.
A third party who witnesses the accident can be extremely helpful in a car accident case. As long as they don’t have any connection to either driver, their statements can clear up any inconsistencies in the drivers’ statements. However, their statements may be a little bit less trustworthy if they were with either driver at the time of the accident.
While expert witnesses are not used in every car accident case, they are often called upon in complex cases. These experts are helpful both in determining fault in an accident and explaining the ramifications of a victim’s injuries.
Photographs and Video Footage
The more physical evidence you have of the accident, the stronger your case may be. If you take photos and video footage of a crash scene, make sure that you make backups as soon as possible and send copies to your attorney. You don’t want a tech glitch to cause you to lose your most valuable evidence.
This is just one reason that it’s important to call the police when you are involved in an accident—the police report is a crucial piece of evidence for your insurance company and attorney. The police will take statements from both parties, look at the vehicles in question, and try to determine whether or not any laws were broken.
Part of building your car accident case is proving the severity of your injuries and showing how they have affected your life. Medical records are an essential part of this. Provide copies of all of your medical bills and reports to your attorney. You may also want your doctor to include information on how your injuries limit you or affect your daily life.
UNDERSTANDING THE TRUE COST OF AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT
Even if you know just how expensive medical care can be, it’s difficult to get a full overview of just how much your crash will cost you. You’ll need a prompt medical checkup, and if you’re severely injured you may need to be transported via ambulance. That’s thousands of dollars right away. From there, add on the cost of diagnostic testing, pain management, medication to treat your injuries, surgical care, follow-up appointments, physical therapy, and follow-up testing to check your progress.
And the expenses extend beyond your medical treatment. Even after a minor collision, it’s likely you’ll need at least one day off of work. For more severe injuries, you could be out of work for days or weeks. Those with catastrophic injuries may find that their ability to work is permanently compromised. This adds to the cost of your accident through lost income, lost earning potential, and lost career advancement opportunities.
Don’t forget the cost of property damage. A totaled car can leave you tens of thousands of dollars poorer, and even if your vehicle is not worth much, you still have to replace it. This can be prohibitively expensive for many people, especially while out of work and without an income.
There are also accident-related costs that are harder to calculate. Your pain and suffering have value, even though it’s hard to put a precise number on them. You may also be owed money for your mental trauma, your family’s loss of consortium, and other immeasurable losses.
Kandace Jackson, Personal Injury Client
"Just settled my case. Thankful it’s over. Thank you to Mann & Potter for helping me getting me what I deserved."...from Google Reviews
Justin Huckabee, Personal Injury Client
"Mr Steven Cole took my wife's case after I had been denied by other law firms. Very professional and kept us in the loop every step of the way. I would highly recommend this law firm for your personal injury or insurance case. I can't thank Mr Cole enough."...from Google Reviews
Wesley McClain, Personal Injury Client
"Steven Cole and Ted Mann are outstanding attorneys. I'm am very satisfied with the outcome of my case. I would definitely use them again."...from Google Reviews