Experienced Birmingham Car Accident Lawyer
Call Wettermark Keith For a Birmingham Car Accident Attorney Who Cares About Your Recovery.
The towering smokestacks and ringing hammers of Birmingham's iron and steel industry set the foundations for the cultural and economic hotspot it is today. Our city's exponential growth - from 3,000 residents in 1880 to 856,000 in 2022 - has led to mostly positive results. The traffic is not one of them. Between highway 280 and "malfunction junction," car accidents in Birmingham have a fatality rate of 21.3 deaths per 100,000 people - double the national average. Every day, someone in our city is left to struggle with the repercussions of an accident, whether a fender bender or traumatic wreck.
If you're one of those people, please let us help you. The after effects of a car accident and injury can be unexpected and disorienting. Birmingham survivors report overwhelming feelings of anxiety, shock, anger, denial, and even guilt. The physical toll a wreck and injury can take is another matter. You may have whiplash, bruises, broken bones, nerve damage, a concussion, or all of the above. Dealing with law enforcement and insurance companies while using up your dwindling PTO for expensive doctors' visits can push you past the limit of what you can bear.
Without representation, predatory insurers can take advantage of your physical, psychological and financial vulnerability. Wettermark Keith’s car accident attorneys will not let this happen. Our Birmingham based firm has recovered countless settlements for our clients since 2003, and we’re ready to take on your car wreck case. Call Wettermark Keith now, or sign up for a free consultation at the bottom of this page.
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Who Pays the Settlement in a Car Accident Case?
Alabama is a “fault state,” meaning the law does not require drivers to carry no-fault insurance. After a collision, law enforcement and insurance companies will evaluate the evidence at the scene and decide who is at fault for damages. If another driver’s carelessness caused your crash, they may owe you compensation. As the victim of negligence, you can seek financial recovery from the insurance provider of the at-fault party. Their insurance must pay for all injuries, wage losses, and vehicle damages that resulted from the collision.
Sometimes, the payout from the negligent individual's insurance company is not enough to meet your needs and ensure your full recovery. In this case, it is necessary to sue the at-fault party for additional losses or damages, including lost wages, emotional distress, and any medical bills that may exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage. Our firm can help you pursue this claim, with no upfront costs.
What Defines "At-Fault” in an Alabama Auto Accident?
The state of Alabama adopts a policy of “pure contributory negligence,” meaning that you cannot sue the other person for damages if you are even 1% at fault for an accident. Your level of contribution determines whether your insurance will cover your losses - this is why it is absolutely vital to have one of our Birmingham attorneys evaluate the evidence and stand up for your rights.
If someone was driving drunk, drowsy, recklessly, negligently or distracted they are likely at fault for the collision, and that driver’s insurance would most likely cover your damages. In some cases, it is possible something else may have caused your wreck.
The city of Birmingham may be liable if a preventable road defect, such as a pothole or obscured sign, led to your accident and injury. If a vehicle malfunction or a defective car part - particularly faulty brakes or tires - led to your crash, the manufacturer of your vehicle may be the at-fault party.
Car accident lawyers can review your claim for free to make sure the right defendant is held accountable for your losses.
What if the Negligent Driver Has No Insurance?
If the other driver is (illegally) driving uninsured, your own insurance company should compensate you for your damages, losses and injury, provided your plan includes uninsured motorist coverage. In this case, your insurance company acts as the at-fault driver. If you have not purchased uninsured motorist coverage, you must either pay for your damages alone or file a lawsuit against the negligent Birmingham driver.
Should I Get a Birmingham Car Accident Attorney if I Was At Fault For My Accident?
Regardless of fault, you should always hire a car accident attorney to represent you after a collision. Wettermark Keith attorneys specialize in car accident claims. A lawyer can help you decipher evidence and guide you in how to proceed with your car accident case. Consider also that there may have been factors other than driver error that contributed to the crash. A car accident lawyer is trained to see the legal implications of every aspect of an accident in order to obtain the compensation you deserve for your case.
Common Car Accident Injuries and Treatments
Accidents are terrifying, disorienting experiences. After a wreck, the adrenaline rush you feel can mask the extent of your injuries, dulling your pain and pushing your heart to its limits. Whether or not you think you might be injured, call 911 immediately for medical evaluation. When the adrenaline wears off, internal or external injuries may soon begin to make themselves known. First responders are best equipped to address car accident injuries, which typically include the following:
Accident survivors often arrive in Birmingham emergency rooms with lacerations from a broken windshield. Broken glass is not the only danger - unsecured items like phones, sunglasses, your half-full water bottle, and the soda can in your cup holder can be your worst enemies in an accident. At 55+ miles an hour, these ordinary items become deadly projectiles, causing deep wounds. If you are ejected from your car or motorcycle, the lacerations from road rash can lead to infection and scarring. Treatment for these injuries can vary, but stopping the bleeding is paramount. Do not remove anything stuck in the laceration - it could cause further damage and increase blood loss.
Soft Tissue Damage
Damages to the body’s soft connective tissue, including muscles, ligaments and tendons, are the most common type of car accident injury. Auto collisions frequently damage the soft tissues of the back, leading to muscle sprains. “Whiplash” injuries most often occur during rear-end collisions, when occupants’ heads lurch suddenly back and forth with the vehicle. The sudden impact stretches the muscles and ligaments of the neck and upper back beyond their normal range of motion, causing considerable pain and swelling. Mild to moderate whiplash is ordinarily treated with ice and over-the-counter pain relievers.
Bruising during car accidents most often results from deployed airbags or the force of your body against the seatbelt. These injuries are common, and far less severe than they would be without these safety measures. Unsecured items like groceries or even unrestrained passengers can increase your chances of contusions during a wreck. Depending on the force of impact, contusions can be painful and limit mobility - they can last between several days to several weeks. Birmingham medical professionals recommend alternating heat and cold compresses to reduce the swelling of the injury.
Car accidents make up an annual 17.3 percent of TBIs, or traumatic brain injuries. Sudden jolts or blows to the skull during a wreck can disrupt the normal function of the brain, hitting it forcefully against the skull. This sudden injury can result in immediate loss of consciousness, physical impairment or memory loss. A concussion, or even permanent brain damage can follow serious car accidents, leaving survivors with hearing, vision and memory issues, as well as steep financial repercussions. Treatment for head injuries can fluctuate - if you suspect you have a head injury after a car accident, seek emergency medical care immediately.
Neck and Back Injuries
The neck is made up of vertebrae that provide stability to the spine, a support structure vital to our balance and mobility. During a wreck, the jarring movements of the vehicle can damage the ligaments and soft tissues of the neck and back, as well as the vertebrae of the spinal cord. Whiplash is the most frequent neck injury, and can occur regardless of speed. Neck pain can be debilitating; symptoms of neck injury typically include muscle spasms, dizziness, numbness, headache, light sensitivity, and shooting pain in arms and legs.
Similarly, sudden collisions frequently damage the bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles of the upper and lower back, leading to sharp or burning pain, stiffness, muscle spasms, tingling, or mobility issues. Injuries to the back are common. These might include sprains, herniated discs, or fractured vertebrae. Painful degenerative spinal disorders can show up years down the road, requiring long-term treatment. For non-vertebral injuries, over-the-counter or prescription painkillers, a neck brace, physical therapy, cold packs and elevation are the most common treatments recommended by Birmingham medical experts for this type of injury.
Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Failure to Yield the Right of Way
When a driver fails to heed a yield sign, speeds through a flashing yellow or red light, ignores oncoming traffic during a left turn, or merges aggressively onto the freeway, the victim of their reckless driving can suffer severe injuries. If you have suffered an injury from another driver’s failure to yield, call Wettermark Keith lawyers to seek the compensation you need to cover the damages to your property and the injury to your person.
One-third of all car wrecks occur as a result of tailgating. We’re not talking about an outdoor party with beer and barbecue. In the driving world, tailgating is the act of following another vehicle so closely you are literally “on their tail.” This action severely reduces a driver’s reaction time if the vehicle in front of them makes a sudden stop. Tailgating is a habit of aggressive drivers prone either to road rage or to an intense desire to force the vehicle in front of them to speed up. This behavior can easily lead to injury. Tailgating often occurs in tandem with “brake checking,” where the vehicle in front taps their brakes to force the tailgater to follow at a safer distance. This is similarly dangerous and causes thousands of rear-endings each year in Alabama.
Improper Lane Changing
When a driver changes lanes before ensuring it is safe to do so, they put themselves and everyone around them at risk. Not using a turn signal, not checking your mirrors, or suddenly cutting off another driver can lead to a catastrophic crash, particularly on a high-speed freeway. Improper lane changes can be a result of reckless, fatigued, or distracted driving, poor weather conditions, or the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Speeding accounts for nearly 30 percent of traffic fatalities each year. Higher driving speeds reduce reaction time and braking distance while increasing force of impact, leading to more severe injuries. Statistics show that the risk of serious injury from a collision increases from 1 percent when driving under 40 MPH, to a staggering 52 percent when driving at 50 MPH. At speeds greater than 70 MPH, chances of survival in the event of a crash are incredibly low.
In Alabama - and in every other state - people kill entire families by choosing to text and drive. 1.6 million car accidents per year can be attributed to this unsafe pattern of distracted driving. However, phones aren’t entirely to blame for distracted driving. Eating, “rubbernecking,” adjusting audio and climate controls, moving objects in the vehicle, or talking to passengers can distract a driver just long enough to hit a family of four. If you or a loved one have been injured by a distracted driver in Birmingham, contact Wettermark Keith lawyers to obtain compensation.
Next Steps After a Car Accident
A car crash is a traumatic event. It is common to feel scared, confused or overwhelmed in the aftermath of an accident. Many people are first-time crash victims, with no prior knowledge or experience on what to do next. It is critical to protect your rights as much as possible in the aftermath of a car wreck. When in doubt, call a Wettermark Keith car accident attorney.
Follow the steps below to help ensure your full physical and financial recovery.
In Birmingham, Alabama, auto accidents that cause deaths, injuries or serious property damage require you to call the police at the scene. This law benefits car accident victims. The police report of your Birmingham car accident can be one of the most vital pieces of evidence in your case. Aside from a general write up of the incident, a police report can contain eyewitness statements, witness contact information, names of involved drivers, road conditions, and other critical information that shouldn’t fall through the cracks.
How Can Wettermark Keith Attorneys Help Me With My Claim?
Dealing with insurance companies can be stressful, time-consuming, and unsuccessful if done improperly. Your Birmingham lawyer will work with your insurance company to get the largest payout possible, to ensure you can pay your medical bills and make a full physical and financial recovery.
If you’re injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence or recklessness, you may not know how to get compensated for your medical bills, lost work, and suffering. Wettermark Keith's car accident lawyers have the drive and expertise to take on any type of auto accident.Your Birmingham car accident lawyer will fight for every penny that you deserve – and we won’t hesitate to take your case to an Alabama courthouse.
Compensation for Alabama Car Accident Claims
At Wettermark Keith, we have seen firsthand how a serious car accident can change a person’s life. From suffering disabling injuries, to being out of work, to losing a loved one, a car accident can rob you of your peace and sense of safety. We know money can’t make up for everything, but we hope it can grant you greater peace and stability in this challenging time. The awards we fight to obtain for our clients could pay for a variety of damages, including:
All health care expenses connected to your car accident. This includes hospital stays, surgeries, medical equipment, medications, and nursing care.
The percentage of income you’ve already lost from having to miss time at work, in addition to the future wages lost as a result of serious injury.
Compensation to help repair your damaged vehicle or replace a totaled vehicle.
Pain and Suffering
Your pain matters. A jury may decide to award compensation based on the personal impact the car accident had on your life, including emotional suffering and physical injuries. This amount can vary drastically. You may have suffered a traumatic brain injury that now keeps you from participating in activities you once enjoyed. You may have been left with disfiguring burns or injuries that have scarred. You may struggle to obtain a good night's sleep due to PTSD flashbacks. These long-term physical and psychological injuries can be difficult to quantify, but need to be taken under consideration.
Other types of damages you could recover include out-of-pocket expenses, punitive damages, or compensation for the death of a loved one. Your lawyer can review your case for free and determine based on evidence and precedent what we think it may be worth. Your Birmingham car accident attorney may then be able to negotiate for maximum compensation on your family’s behalf.
What Determines the Value of My Car Accident Settlement?
The value of your case is impossible to quantify immediately after an accident. Your lawyer will gather evidence from your employer, insurance company and health provider to determine the extent of your injuries, the value of your case, and the amount of compensation the law demands and you deserve. Factors your lawyer might take into consideration include:
- Current Medical Care and Treatment
- Future Medical Treatment
- Current Lost Income and Benefits
- Future Lost Income
- Pain and Suffering
Why Choose Us Over Other Birmingham Car Accident Lawyers?
With a large variety of options for Birmingham car accident lawyers, why choose us?
- We Aren’t Afraid to Go to Court – Our experienced trial lawyers don’t shy away from a legal battle in Alabama. We’ll do whatever it takes to get you the compensation you deserve, in or out of the courtroom.
- We Care About You - We treat our clients like family, because to us, they are. Our attorneys listen, communicate and care.
- Experienced Attorneys – The most important part of any case is the client. Our attorneys are ready to fight for justice on your behalf and hold the offending party accountable for their negligence – every case, every time.
- We have a track record of success – We have secured settlements and verdicts for over 35k cases across all our practice areas - it’s safe to say our attorneys are experts at handling a wide variety of cases involving negligence or recklessness. Your case could be our next big win.
- No Recovery? No Fee! Guarantee – If your attorney fails to win your case, you don’t pay us anything. No fees, no commissions, no expense reimbursements. With our attorneys, you have nothing to lose and potentially millions to gain.
Win Your Recovery - Call Our Alabama Car Accident Attorneys Now
If you’ve suffered an injury in an auto crash or lost a loved one to wrongful death in Alabama, fill out the form below for a free consultation with our accident claims experts, so we can put you in touch with one of our seasoned attorneys.
OUR 3-STEP PROCESS:
STEP 1: CONTACT OUR OFFICE
To schedule a consultation today with one of the best car wreck attorneys in Alabama, call our Birmingham office number now at 877-715-9300, or email us through the Free Consultation form on our website.
STEP 2: WE REVIEW YOUR CASE
During our free case reviews, we’ll examine the details of your accident. If you qualify for compensation after we view your case, then our firm will assign you an attorney dedicated to obtaining justice for you or your loved one.
STEP 3: WE FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS
As one of Birmingham’s top personal injury firms, Wettermark Keith is committed to protecting your rights as a client and ensuring your maximum compensation.
Frequently asked questions
While it is legal to pursue a claim without an attorney, this is a difficult and complicated process that can leave you with unjust compensation for your injuries. Our personal injury lawyers will ease this process.
Schedule Your Free Car Accident Consultation Today
Contact our law firm via phone, email, or online form. We will be in touch to schedule a no-obligation consultation where we will go over the details of your case. We look forward to helping you with storm damage recovery.