In nearly every aspect of life, good communication is important. Whether in relationships or on the road, effectively communicating with others is essential in reducing issues. To make communication between drivers possible, turn signals and horns have been developed – but these must be used appropriately to be effective.
The truth is that many drivers do not properly or safely use the tools available. When changing lanes or turning, they may not always use their turn signals as they should, which can easily lead to a collision. If you or a loved one has been involved in a Birmingham, AL, car accident because another driver failed to use the turn signal, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses.
At Norris Injury Lawyers, we are ready and eager to put our years of knowledge and experience at work for you and your family. As a family firm, we understand how important it is to have a team on your side that sees you as a person, not a case number. We believe that everyone should have access to experienced legal representation, and that is why we offer our No Fee Guarantee®. Call (800) 477-7510 to speak to one of our Birmingham, Alabama, attorneys and get the help you need today.
Alabama Laws Concerning Turning Signals
Every driver who operates a vehicle on Alabama roads is responsible for knowing and understanding the local driving laws and regulations. When it comes to the use of turn signals, the law is clear.
Alabama State Code Section 32-5A-133 states: “No person shall turn a vehicle or move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided.” It continues to clarify how far in advance a turn signal should be used: “A signal of intention to turn right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.”
The fact that these laws relate to the mandatory use of turn signals was made clear in a judgment filed in April 2014. In this judgment, the “plain and unambiguous language” of the State Code was highlighted, reinforcing that this was mandatory rather than a suggestion.
However, even if the laws on the subject are clear, the truth of the matter is that many drivers do not know or care to follow these laws. In addition, those who are aware that the use of turn signals is mandatory may not realize that they must be used for at least 100 feet before turning – much less will most be able to accurately measure out a distance of 100 feet while driving.
The Importance of Proving Liability After an Accident
Determining liability, or fault, is important after an accident. This is especially true in “at-fault” states such as Alabama, where it is the person or party who is deemed at fault for the accident that is responsible for paying damages to the injured party.
Alabama follows a pure contributory negligence system for determining compensation after an accident. That means that a person can only recover compensation for damages if he or she is not at fault at all for the accident. Even 1 percent of fault can make an injured party unable to recover any damages.
Clearly, in order to receive needed compensation for the various financial and emotional damages suffered after an accident, proving liability is very important. Thankfully, the team at Norris Injury Lawyers has extensive experience handling Birmingham, Alabama, personal injury cases.
In order to effectively prove liability after your accident, your personal injury lawyer may:
- Review video footage of the accident. Your lawyer may be able to locate and examine any existing video evidence, such as dashcam or security camera footage of the accident and the events leading up to it that can help determine fault.
- Conduct interviews with eyewitnesses. In addition to any video footage, there may be eyewitnesses to the accident who can provide additional information about what led to the crash.
- Consult with an accident reconstruction professional. Your lawyer can have at his or her disposal numerous experts, such as accident reconstruction professionals who can help piece together factors that could have contributed to the accident.
- Examine documents including police reports and maintenance logs. Official documents such as police reports about the accident and maintenance logs can shed additional light on the details of the accident, as well as what could have led to it.
Due to the strict pure contributory negligence system in Alabama, insurance companies often try to look for ways to cast the blame on the injured party in an attempt to deny the claim and refuse to pay needed compensation. However, when you work with an experienced attorney at Norris Injury Lawyers, you can be sure that you have a dedicated legal team on your side that can fight the insurance company in your interests and maximize your chances of recovering compensation for your losses.
Types of Turn Signal Accidents
Our lawyers understand that no two car accidents are the same. Even if seemingly caused by the same negligent action, each accident is unique and the details must be thoroughly investigated. That being said, there are generally two main reasons for a turn signal accident: neglecting to properly use a turn signal, and vehicle defect.
When a driver neglected to use a turn signal
Whether a driver is changing lanes or turning, using a turn signal is not only important but – as mentioned earlier – it is the law. When a motorist fails to signal a lane change, he or she can take another driver by surprise when merging into the next lane and cause a collision. Or, if a turn signal is used but for an insufficient amount of time, the other motorists may not have enough time to respond appropriately, causing an accident.
When a mechanical or electrical defect is to blame
In most cases, it is negligence on the part of the driver who attempts to change lanes or turn without using a turn signal appropriately. On the other hand, there are other factors that could play a role in the accident as well. For example, the driver may have used the turn signal as required, but a mechanical or electrical defect caused the signal to not be visible.
If you believe that a mechanical or electrical defect played a role in your turn signal accident, contact the team at Norris Injury Lawyers today. Our personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation so you can learn more about the legal options available to you after an accident.
Compensation Available After a Birmingham Car Accident
After being injured in a Birmingham car accident, you may be able to recover full compensation for your losses. Since each case has different circumstances, a consultation with a lawyer on our team can enlighten you as to the compensation you may be able to receive.
After an injury-causing accident, it is easy for medical bills to start to pile up. Even so-called “minor” injuries can require expensive medical care and treatment. Your lawyer can ensure that all of the medical expenses related to your accident are included in your compensation.
This can include expenses such as:
- Ambulatory fees
- Surgical expenses
- Medical devices/aids
- Prescription medicine
- Home modifications
- Home care and rehabilitation
Your ideal compensation should cover all current medical expenses and estimated future medical bills as well. Thus, it is important that the full scope of your injuries is understood before accepting any settlement from the insurance company.
In most cases, any accident that causes an injury also results in lost wages. Whether it be days, weeks, or months of time off work during the healing process, or a long-term or permanent disability that limits your ability to work, your compensation should also cover the lost wages connected to the accident.
Your lawyer can use documentation such as tax filings, employer letters, and medical records to make a claim for the wages lost due to the accident. He or she will fight for you to recover the maximum amount of compensation you are owed.
Of course, while an accident causes many quantifiable financial impacts, it also often takes a large emotional and psychological toll. You may also be able to recover compensation for the emotional damages you suffered as a result of your accident.
Your lawyer can work with you to help identify the full amount of compensation you are eligible to receive depending on the specific details of your case, including:
- Increased anxiety
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Contact Norris Injury Lawyers Today for Legal Help
We understand that after a car accident, you have plenty on your mind. The stress of fighting for fair compensation from the insurance company or proving the extent of your losses should not need to fall on your shoulders in the aftermath of an accident.
For over 40 years, the team at Norris Injury Lawyers has provided injured victims in Alabama and across the United States with the skilled legal representation they need. We are proud to offer our clients personalized, professional legal help during some of the most difficult times in their lives.
When you work with one of the lawyers at our firm, you can focus on what is most important – your recovery and your family – while we take on the rest. For more information about your legal rights and answers to your legal questions, contact us today at (800) 477-7510 to schedule a free consultation.