When you have been involved in a car accident, it’s natural to feel stress and anxiety afterward. These feelings may be further heightened if you have suffered any type of injury. At first, it might appear that the other driver is entirely at fault. While it may be true that his or her negligence could have contributed to the crash, there may be other parties that could potentially be found liable.
An experienced Alabama car accident attorney would know how to gather facts to identify and pursue all potentially liable parties. This is extremely important if you are seeking to be fully compensated for any losses or damages that you have suffered from being involved in a car accident.
The car accident attorneys at Norris Injury Lawyers have years of experience in handling personal injury cases. Our lawyers know how to assist you in pursuing the maximum amount possible of compensation for your injuries. Call 800-477-7510 for a free consultation with an Alabama personal injury lawyer. Our legal team can fight for you so that you are never left on your own.
Potentially Liable Claims in a Car Accident
Most victims of car accidents realize that the law in Alabama entitles them to seek compensation for damages. But there are two different types of insurance claims from which they may receive compensation: first party and third party. How are the claims different?
FIRST-PARTY AND THIRD-PARTY CLAIMS
A “first-party claim” refers to one submitted by the policyholder with his or her own insurance company. As an example, if a driver has an accident by hitting a tree, for instance, then the driver may submit a claim to his or her own insurance company to cover the damages. Another example would be if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, then a first-party claim may be submitted to cover damages.
A “third-party claim” refers to a claim filed against the insurance of another party who was the cause of the accident. The other liable party could be another driver or a business. Most car accidents fall under third-party claims. This is the typical incident of someone else hitting your car while driving and you seeking compensation from the other driver’s insurance.
Whether a claim would be first party or third party, the assistance of a lawyer would be absolutely necessary to get the maximum amount of compensation. The following list highlights some of the more common first-party and third-party liability claims that could potentially be filed after a car accident.
- Against the other driver: This is the most common claim filed in car accident cases. Frequently, a car accident is the result of driver error or negligence. Common types of driver negligence include speeding, using the phone, drowsy driving, engaging with passengers, failing to yield, and daydreaming.
- Against the at-fault driver’s employer: If the accident occurred while the at-fault driver was within the “scope of employment,” meaning while he or she was actively working for a company, then a claim may be filed against the employer. For example, if the driver of a bus was negligent and caused an accident, then a claim may be filed against the bus company.
- Against a government or municipality: County and state governments have a legal obligation to maintain roads in a reasonably safe condition. When they fail to do so, potholes and cracks in the road can result. In order to avoid these hazards, a driver may weave out of the lane, causing an accident. In such cases, a claim of negligence may be filed against the county or state.
- Dram shop liability: Alabama has adopted a law known as “dram shop law.” This means that if a person or an establishment such as a bar or restaurant, serves alcohol to someone who is under the age of 21, or visibly intoxicated, and that person causes injury to another, a liability claim may be filed against the establishment.
- Product liability: Product liability law covers all types of products including automobiles and their parts. When a consumer purchases a product, he or she expects that it would be not only effective but also safe for use. When a car accident occurs and it is discovered that the cause was a faulty auto part, then a claim of liability may be filed against the manufacturer or designer of the car or part.
- Wrongful death: Sadly, far too often with car accidents, sometimes negligence results in the death of an innocent victim. Any pain and suffering felt by the family may be further compounded by the realization that the horrible accident could have been prevented. In such cases, the family may pursue a wrongful death claim against all negligent parties.
This list highlights why it’s especially important for you to have the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney with Norris Injury Lawyers. We know how to gather evidence, examine the facts, and pursue compensation for losses from all responsible parties.
If your case must be argued in court, Norris Injury Lawyers has access to various experts who can highlight crucial details before the court to show the other party’s negligence.
Common Types of Injuries From Car Accidents
In car accidents, injuries can be mild, severe, or even fatal. In some cases, victims may not feel any pain until weeks later. This could lead to a diagnosis of a more serious injury, perhaps requiring long-term medical attention. Some common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Since a brain injury can be fatal, a TBI is a severe injury. Immediate medical attention is required for victims of traumatic brain injuries. Some examples of TBIs include concussions and contusions.
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI): The spinal cord is the means by which the brain controls the body. As such, any SCI tends to be quite serious. Injuries can result in permanent nerve damage, including paralysis.
- Loss of limbs: A car accident can leave a victim with crushed or shattered limbs. This may result in amputation. As a result, the person must learn how to get through the rest of his or her life with fewer extremities or by using a prosthetic.
- Broken bones: Sometimes, the force of impact from a car accident can cause broken bones to drivers and passengers. Fractures of the face, arms, wrists, legs, and ankles are common.
- Fatal injuries: On occasion, an auto accident results in the untimely death of an innocent victim. Fatal injuries are common in accidents that involve commercial trucks.
Types of Compensation You May Legally Be Entitled to Receive
In cases involving first-party claims, it only makes sense for victims who have been paying for coverage to be compensated for damages. In cases involving third-party claims, then the negligent party or his or her insurance should provide compensation to victims for losses incurred.
Compensation may be in the form of economic and non-economic damages. Some of these include:
- Present and long-term expenses for medical treatment
- Present and long-term lost wages
- Household renovation for disability
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Compensation for wrongful death
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys Serving Alabama
In addition to being injured, a personal injury victim must deal with increasing medical bills coupled with an inability to return to work. All of this can result in a great deal of frustration.
If you have been dealing with a similar scenario due to recently experiencing an auto accident, or have lost a loved one, you do not have to suffer alone. Alabama law states that you are entitled to seek fair compensation for your losses. However, there are several reasons why you would need the assistance of an experienced Alabama car accident attorney to help with your claim.
First, a thorough investigation would be needed in order to file a claim against all parties who are liable for damages. Some of these third parties have teams of experienced lawyers whose purpose is to try to minimize or deny any claims of negligence against their clients. Also, insurance adjusters are very skilled at using tactics to try to minimize the amount of your claim or try to get you to quickly agree to a lower settlement.
For all these reasons, it is simply not wise to pursue compensation on your own after suffering injuries from a car accident. A car accident lawyer at the law firm of Norris Injury Lawyers will fight to get you fair compensation. The law firm you hire will have a direct impact on your claim.
That’s why you should work with us. Our lawyers have years of experience and the know-how to investigate and aggressively pursue compensation for any car crash.
Call Norris Injury Lawyers at 800-477-7510 for a free consultation with an Alabama car accident lawyer. Our firm will fight for you so you can focus on healing.