Car Accidents

Car and truck accidents are the leading cause of personal injuries in Alabama. Accidents involving 18-wheelers and passenger vehicles are particularly dangerous. We at the Sellers Law Firm understand that dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be a daunting experience.

We know that high speeds and distracted drivers can make the roadways dangerous. If you are involved in a car accident in Central or South Alabama, it is important contact an experienced lawyer quickly. The insurance companies start working to minimize their liability immediately. Shouldn't you have the Sellers Law Firm working to maximize your settlement? Below is some helpful information to familiarize you with the recovery process.

If you have been involved in a car, truck, motorcycle, or semi-truck accident anywhere in Central and South Alabama, including Butler, Dallas, Montgomery, Monroe, Lowndes, Crenshaw, Conecuh, Covington, Wilcox, and Pike counties, please contact the Sellers Law Firm. We are committed to helping people recover the compensation they need to recover physically and financially form an automobile accident.

An Overview

Cases arising out of automobile accidents are by far the most common type of personal injury case in our court system today. This is not surprising, given that every 10 seconds, someone in the United States is involved in a car accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Except in those states where "no-fault" legislation has been passed, these cases are typically governed by the law of negligence. Generally, people who operate automobiles must exercise "reasonable care under the circumstances." A failure to use reasonable care is considered negligence. A person who negligently operates a vehicle may be required to pay for harm to a person or property, caused by his or her negligence. The injured party, known as the plaintiff, is required to prove that the defendant was negligent, that the negligence caused the accident, and that the accident caused the plaintiff's injuries. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel from a personal injury attorney experienced in automobile accident cases in order to best protect your interests.

Injuries and Compensation

Generally, an individual injured in an automobile accident may bring a claim or lawsuit to recover the actual expenses associated with property damage and medical costs, economic damages, and emotional and physical pain and suffering. Litigation involving motor vehicle accidents can be extremely complicated. Retaining an experienced lawyer familiar with motor vehicle accident damages will place you in the best position to receive the recovery that you deserve.

Insurance Claims Dos & Don'ts

Do call your agent as soon as a covered event takes place. As soon as you get home from the car accident, or even before you go to the doctor, call your agent.

Do review and understand your coverage before talking to your insurer or your agent. Read the "Coverage" and "Exclusion" sections of your policy in particular.

Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists

Many drivers ignore motor vehicle insurance requirements, cannot afford to purchase insurance, or carry insufficient insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage is a form of insurance that pays compensation for bodily injury that results from an accident with a driver who is legally responsible for the injuries, but has no liability coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage pays compensation for bodily injury that results from an accident with a driver who has liability insurance with limits that are lower than the injured party's underinsured motorist coverage limits. If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, it is important that you contact an attorney at an experienced personal injury law firm immediately so you do not waive valuable legal rights.

No-Fault Insurance

The laws of the state in which the accident occurs determine who pays for the damages from an automobile accident. Basically, in a "no-fault" insurance state, fault is not placed on either party, and each driver generally submits a claim to his or her own insurance company instead of establishing blame. Many states, including Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and others, have some form of no-fault insurance laws. No-fault auto insurance law is widely misunderstood, and is applied differently in every state that offers it. If you are in an automobile accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury firm to discuss how the relevant state law views fault and to determine how fault or no-fault laws may affect your right to recover damages for injuries.

Truck Accidents

A traffic accident involving a commercial truck, such as an eighteen-wheeler or other large freight carrier, can be much more catastrophic than an ordinary car accident. A typical fully-loaded large commercial truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, while an average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3000 pounds. Because of this size disparity, and due to the basic laws of physics, any collision between a commercial truck and another vehicle is likely to result in serious, even fatal, injuries. While statistics show that truck drivers are generally much more careful on the road than automobile drivers, and thankfully the incidence of fatal crashes involving trucks and other large vehicles has declined in recent years, large truck crashes still accounted for 5350 fatalities and 133,000 injuries in 2001.

Truck Safety

Commercial trucking presents dangers that the drivers of passenger cars may never face. Although most truckers make every effort to be safe in their operations, there are a number of things that make commercial trucking hazardous. If you are injured in a commercial trucking accident, you need to consult an attorney with experience in handling truck accident cases.

What to do if you are in an accident:

A motor vehicle accident is a serious matter, particularly when it involves a commercial truck. You or someone else may have been seriously injured and even if you have not been injured, you may be wondering what you should do next.

What follows is a general guide to what you should do immediately after an automobile accident. Your insurance policy may set out instructions. You need to follow those instructions or your claim for coverage may be denied. It is a good idea to review your policy before getting in an accident, so you know what the process will be.

Say Nothing

Say as little as possible about the accident, including statements to the police or highway patrol. Limit yourself to asking if anyone was hurt. You should especially not:

  • Apologize
  • Admit it was your fault
  • Tell the other driver that your employer will take care of everything
  • Say "I didn't see you" or anything of the kind

Comments like these could be taken as your admission of fault. Even if you feel you are to blame for the accident, it is too early to make a final decision on who is to blame. Remember though, you must always tell the truth when you do talk.

Report the Accident

Call 911 to report the accident even if you are afraid you will be blamed for the accident. Many state laws require that you report an accident right away. Leaving the scene of an accident without waiting for the police to come is a crime in most states. Reporting the accident is also important if someone has been injured and needs immediate medical attention.

See a Doctor

It is best to seek attention quickly, even if you are not sure that you need it. You may be dazed or confused from the accident and not notice your own injuries. Follow up later with your own doctor or the doctor selected by your employer for workers' compensation purposes.

Notify your Insurance Company

Notify either your insurance agent or your insurance company's claims office of the accident and of the possibility of a claim. Instructions on how to report a claim, including the person or office to which it must be reported, will be found in your insurance policy. You should also review your policy to find out how much and what kind of coverage you have.

Contact an Attorney

You should seek legal advice to find out about your rights. An attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in trucking law can give you advice about how to handle your case.

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