At Fob James Law Firm, we understand the ripple-effects that even the most seemingly minor car accident can have on your life.
A car accident’s costs can grow exponentially between paying for vehicle repair, paying for medical bills, and recovering from injuries.
Fob James Law Firm’s Alabama car accident lawyers are on standby to help you pick up the pieces after the chaos and uncertainty of a car wreck.
Our attorneys know Alabama’s auto accident laws from top to bottom and are here to help guide you through them.
Alabama Car Accident Statistics
Car accidents happen every day.
To help better understand their prevalence, consider the following Alabama car accident stats:
- In 2018, Alabama police recorded over 160,000 traffic accidents;
- That’s an accident every 197 seconds, or roughly one every three minutes;
- At this rate, there would be 438 car accidents in Alabama today;
- Of Alabama’s recorded crashes in 2018, there were 953 deaths in 876 fatal accidents;
- In terms of population, Alabama’s fatal accident rate was relatively high compared to other states at 19.5 per 100,000;
- The only other states to surpass Alabama’s 2018 fatality rate were Mississippi (22.2) and South Carolina (20.4);
- More than half of the individuals killed in 2018 car crashes in Alabama were not using their seatbelt at the time of the accident; and
- 49% of Alabama’s 2018 fatal car wrecks happened at night (between dusk and dawn).
All of us need to keep these statistics in mind as we get in our cars every day. This will help us keep ourselves and our fellow Alabamans safer on the road.
Safe Driving Habits
The Alabama Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Drive Safe Alabama initiative offers helpful tips on safe driving.
They recommend the following “Top 10 Safe Driver Habits” to all of Alabama’s drivers:
- Obey traffic signals;
- Always wear your seatbelt;
- Drive the speed limit;
- Wait for trains before crossing the tracks;
- Use properly installed child restraints when driving small children;
- Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Don’t text and drive;
- Don’t talk and drive;
- Obey work zone speed limits; and
- Share the road with bicycles and motorcycles.
By always following these ten safe driving habits, together, we can work toward Alabama DOT’s ultimate goal of zero deaths in a 25-year period.
Compensable Damages in Alabama
Alabama law classifies damages into one of three categories: past damages, future damages, and punitive damages.
Past damages compensate an injured party for any economic and noneconomic damage at the time of the settlement. This includes tangible costs like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage and intangible costs like mental anguish or loss of a loved one.
Future damages also encompass economic and noneconomic damage. However, as the name suggests, future damages are costs that have not yet been borne by an injured party. For example, an injured party could include loss of future wages or the continuing cost of losing a bodily function in their claim for future damages. Time is the delineator between future and past damages.
Less common, punitive damages differ from future and past damages in that they are not compensatory. Instead of compensating an injured party for their loss, punitive damages are meant to punish the party who caused damage and dissuade them from acting in a certain way in the future. Under Alabama auto accident laws, punitive damages are awarded to a claimant if there is “clear and convincing” evidence that the defendant deliberately engaged in oppression, fraud, malice, or wantonness in the process of causing damage to the claimant. For example, someone would not be required to pay punitive damages if they negligently but accidentally rear-end a vehicle. However, if it is proven that they struck the claimant’s vehicle intentionally to threaten them, punitive damages could be awarded.
Call Fob James Law Firm Today
If you have been in a car accident in Tuscaloosa, contact Fob James Law Firm for a free consultation today. Whatever questions you have, and whichever direction you want to take your claim, Fob James Law Firm is here to help you get where you want to go. It’s simple: if you suffer damage, you deserve compensation, and our experienced car accident attorneys will help you get just that. If you’re not sure, check out our testimonials and case results pages to see how we work with our clients. Stay local. Call Fob!