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Alabama Auto Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Alabama and need to speak to a lawyer, call us today for a free consultation. If someone else was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation.

In 2020, Drive Safe Alabama reported that a traffic collision took place somewhere in the state about once every four minutes. 932 victims were also killed in car accidents in that same year. The Alabama personal injury law firm of Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey, LLP, has recovered millions of dollars in financial compensation for injured victims as well as for families who have lost someone in Alabama traffic collisions. Our motor vehicle accident attorneys know how devastating the effects of car accident injuries can be. We are committed to protecting our client’s rights and helping them collect the maximum amount of financial compensation possible for their damages.

If you have been injured in an Alabama car accident, you are not alone. Someone is injured in an Alabama car accident every 11 minutes. In fact, the rate of fatal car accidents is higher in Alabama than in most other parts of the country. 

If you have ever been involved in a car accident, no matter how minor, then you understand how frightening it can be. Most accident victims are forced to deal with hospitalizations, doctor appointments, medical expenses, insurance companies, vehicle repairs, law enforcement, and lots of other things as well. Car accidents are an exhausting, expensive, and stressful experience.

You should be aware that if your car accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to be compensated for your damages. A reputable car accident lawyer is invaluable when it comes to getting what you are rightfully owed. 

After your car accident, the insurance company may make a quick settlement offer, but before you accept, you need to make sure that you understand your rights. For example, if you feel that the settlement offer is unfair, you have the right to ask for more. An experienced Alabama car accident lawyer will fight to ensure that you collect the financial compensation you are entitled to for the injuries and other damages you sustained in the auto accident.

Alabama Car Accident Statistics

  • Based on statistics recorded in 2019, the odds of an Alabama driver being involved in an injury-causing or fatal car accident are slightly more than one in three. The odds of an Alabama driver being involved in a car accident of any magnitude during the course of their life are more than 90%.

  • In that same year, 47 fatalities were officially related to distracted driving.

  • A total of 851 fatal car accidents resulted in the deaths of 930 victims.

  • One car accident took place every three minutes and 18 seconds.

  • One person sustained some degree of injury in a car accident every 11 minutes and 19 seconds.

  • One person died in a car accident every nine hours and 26 minutes.

  • In fatal collisions where a seat belt was available, about 57% of those who were killed were not buckled up.

  • 77% of all Alabama car accidents took place in metropolitan areas, but 59% of all crash-related deaths happened in rural areas. 

  • Out of all fatal car accidents in 2019, 8% were caused by drivers younger than 20 years old, and 18% were caused by drivers between the ages of 20 and 25 years old. 

  • For each collision-related death, about 50 other victims were injured.

  • Roughly 51% of all fatal Alabama car accidents took place between dusk and dawn.

  • 114 pedestrians, 90 motorcyclists, and six cyclists were killed in vehicle-related accidents.

  • Six fatalities involved a train and a passenger vehicle.

  • In a car accident, those in the front seat are 55 times more likely to die if they are not buckled up compared to those who are. 

All of these statistics and more can be found at Drive Safe Alabama. If you were injured in an auto accident, it is in your best interests to speak with an Alabama car accident lawyer right away.

Common Causes of Alabama Car Accidents

There are many different factors that can ultimately lead to a car accident. The three factors that most often contribute to car accidents in Alabama are driver errors, product malfunctions and mechanical errors, and environmental factors.

If your car accident was due to a mechanical error, then the vehicle’s manufacturer or retailer is likely liable for damages. If your car accident was due to an environmental factor, then it is possible that a government agency is liable.

Finally, if your car accident was due to driver error, then the driver and their insurance company will be held responsible. This is generally the most common cause of car accidents.

The five main types of driver error that lead to Alabama car accidents are: 

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a blanket phrase that encompasses all types of driver distractions. Without question, the number one distraction among modern drivers is the smart phone. Distractions associated with phone use include making phone calls, sending text messages, watching and posting videos, using GPS, playing music, and engaging on social media platforms. 

Even though cell phones are unsettling in their capacity to distract drivers and cause them to take their minds, hands, and eyes off the roadway in order to use them, there are numerous other distractions that are equally dangerous, such as drinking, eating, personal grooming, engaging with something or someone in the back seat, and adjusting vehicle controls. Essentially, anything that takes your eyes and mental focus off of the roadway for even a fraction of a second dramatically increases your odds of being involved in a car accident, which in turn increases your odds of being seriously injured. 


One side effect of contemporary living is that most of us are pretty busy. We need to be somewhere and we needed to be there five minutes ago. Besides drivers who speed for the fun of it, many drivers speed to get somewhere on time due to poor time management. The safest and most obvious option to avoid this is to give yourself extra time to get where you are going. Regardless of the situation, speeding is never a great idea. It poses a threat to you and those around you and, as if that weren’t enough, it’s against the law. Speeding accounts for about 34% of all traffic collisions in the United States every year. 

Driving Under the Influence

Despite numerous aggressive campaigns that have spanned decades, drunk drivers are still a major problem in Alabama and throughout the country. According to an estimate by the non-profit organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 300,000 instances of drinking and driving occur every single day in America. In Alabama specifically, drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol contribute to thousands of car accidents every month. 

Failure to Yield

Anytime a driver needs to make a left-hand turn, a failure to yield accident is possible. When a driver makes a left-hand turn, they are required to yield to oncoming vehicles. Drivers making left-hand turns have to pay attention to multiple things at one time, such as oncoming cars, bicycle riders, pedestrians, and traffic lights if any are present. Each of these variables is important and could change at a moment’s notice, making left-hand turns uniquely hazardous. 

Third Parties

Traffic collisions can also be caused by a third party, such as:

  • A vehicle manufacturer if a vehicle defect caused the crash 

  • A parts manufacturer if a mechanical issue caused the crash 

  • A government entity if a roadway hazard such as a pothole or missing stop sign caused the crash

In some cases, it might be reasonable to bring a product liability claim against a retailer or manufacturer in place of or in addition to a standard car accident claim.

No matter what kind of collision you were in, if it was through no fault of your own, then the law entitles you to seek financial compensation for your damages. The Alabama personal injury law firm of Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey, LLP is here to help. Get in touch with our Alabama personal injury attorneys so we can examine your car accident lawsuit options during a free case evaluation.

Most Common Types of Alabama Car Accidents

If you need the services of an experienced Alabama auto accident attorney, Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey, LLP, has a knowledgeable and aggressive legal team that knows the law inside and out, and has extensive experience in dealing with all kinds of Alabama car accident claims. Understanding exactly what kind of car accident you have been involved in will help your lawyer prepare for their investigation.

The types of car accidents that occur the most frequently in the state of Alabama are:

Head-on Car Accident

Head-on crashes tend to be the most catastrophic and, based on the circumstances under which they occur, often result in higher medical expenses and higher fatality rates. The reason that head-on collisions are so dangerous is that the combined mass and acceleration of two moving vehicles colliding dramatically increases the amount of force generated, and therefore increases the severity of the crash.

The majority of head-on accidents take place on rural roadways. Rural streets generally have higher speed limits, tend to be unmaintained, and lack any sort of physical barrier between lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions. The most common cause of head-on collisions are drunk drivers and distracted drivers. 

Side-Impact Accidents

Side-impact accidents, also referred to as T-bone accidents, are another extremely dangerous kind of car accident. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has stated that T-bone accidents make up roughly 25% of all vehicular fatalities. Side-impact collisions involve more instances of head trauma because the car’s airbags don’t inflate, and if they do, they fail to provide an ample amount of protection. These accidents have higher instances of spinal cord damage as well.  These kinds of accidents are most frequently caused by drivers making unlawful turns and running red lights. 

Rear-End Accidents

When a driver misjudges the distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them or is distracted, a rear-end collision is often the outcome. Rear-end collisions can vary from insignificant to catastrophic and are capable of producing injuries in that same range. 

Vehicle Rollovers

Vehicles with a high center of gravity, such as trucks and SUVs, can easily flip or overturn during a car accident, especially one that occurs at a high rate of speed. A vehicle’s weight and height are the main determiners of the severity of any injuries.


Hydroplaning happens when a vehicle encounters standing water while at an elevated rate of speed. Hydroplane accidents are especially terrifying because the driver temporarily loses complete control of their vehicle. Braking and steering are completely ineffective when a vehicle hydroplanes because its tires are not making contact with the asphalt. If a hydroplane accident caused another driver to crash into you, then they are liable for your damages. The driver of the hydroplaning vehicle may, however, have a case against the agency or entity responsible for the design and upkeep of the roadway.  

What is Negligence and How is it Defined in Alabama?

If you were injured in an Alabama car accident and would like to file a car accident lawsuit, it is important for you to know who was at fault, and whether or not you contributed to the incident. Understanding who caused the crash will ultimately determine who is financially liable for your damages, such as your medical expenses, arising from the accident.

Alabama is one of only four states that adhere to the archaic doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that if you contributed to your own car accident and injuries by even 1%, you are not eligible to recover a single penny in damages from the at-fault party.

Is is very important to seek help from an attorney for this reason. Insurance companies know if they can attribute even 1% of the fault to you, they can get out of having to pay your claim. Having legal representation can help in preventing them from being able to do this.

What Steps Should I Take After an Alabama Car Accident?

Our attorneys have years of experience handling Alabama car accident cases, and we recommend taking the following actions after a motor vehicle accident:

Notify Emergency Services and/or Law Enforcement

The first thing you should do after being involved in any car accident is to call 911 and report it. If the car accident is not an emergency, then you should contact the local police department by calling their non-emergency number.  Usually, if the crash is not an emergency and there is very little damage to the vehicles involved, the police will advise you on what to do instead of actually reporting to the scene. Either way, by reporting the incident, you have ensured that a formal record was created. This record will be an important piece of evidence if you decide to pursue recovery for your damages. Your Alabama auto accident lawyer will also want the report as they begin their investigation into your accident to build a solid case for compensation.

In the event that the accident resulted in injuries, fatalities, or property damage valued at more than $1,000, you will also need to turn in an SR-31 form to the Alabama Department of Revenue: Motor Vehicles Division.

Write Down Important Information

Make sure you get the contact details of the other party, including their full name, street address, phone number, license plate number, and their insurance information. If any bystanders witnessed the crash, be sure to write down their contact details as well. If you can safely do so, you should also take videos or pictures of the vehicles, the scene, and any visible injuries. 

Seek Prompt Medical Care

If someone was seriously injured, paramedics will be dispatched to the scene and those in need will be transported to a local hospital for further care. However, it is not uncommon for accident victims to think they are unharmed until several days have gone by, at which point they begin experiencing headaches, neck pain, confusion, memory loss, and other potentially serious symptoms.  After a car accident, even a minor one, you should always seek immediate medical care just to be sure you have not sustained any seemingly invisible injuries.

Common Alabama Car Accident Injuries

While motor vehicles are being designed with more safety features than ever, people are still being injured in traffic accidents on Alabama’s roadways every day. The Alabama car accident lawyers at the personal injury law firm of Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey, LLP, have seen first-hand the devastating economic, emotional, and physical effects that the injuries they cause can have on victims as well as their families. Injuries and their symptoms do not always manifest immediately after an accident, but seeking prompt medical care and being mindful of how you feel can ensure you get the medical attention you need.

Based on statistical data, the most common injuries resulting from car accidents in the state of Alabama are:

Back And Neck Injuries

Injuries to the neck and back can range from inconsequential to life-threatening and can also cause chronic pain and lifelong handicaps that will negatively impact your ability to work as well as your quality of life. Injuries such as whiplash happen when your neck snaps back and forth. When your vehicle comes to a sudden stop or is struck, your body continues to move forward but is then restrained by your seat belt. Unexpected acceleration or deceleration can also cause strains, sprains, and numerous other types of soft tissue damage, as well as damage to the delicate structures of your vertebrae and spinal cord.

Some common injuries to the back and neck include:

  • Whiplash: Whiplash victims typically experience muscle stiffness, neck pain, persistent headaches, decreased range of motion in the neck and shoulders, arm numbness, chronic fatigue, vertigo, and blurred vision. Without prompt and appropriate medical care, these and other symptoms can worsen or become chronic.

  • Herniated Disc: A herniated disc is a form of spinal injury capable of causing extreme pain. These injuries often go undetected until the victim receives an X-ray or other form of diagnostic testing. Your spinal discs are essentially flexible cushions that can be found between your vertebrae. They are filled with a gelatinous substance that acts as a shock absorber and is what makes your spine flexible. When these discs shift or rupture, the gel can seep out, causing the discs to make contact with the spinal column and damage or aggravate the surrounding nerves. Symptoms of a herniated disc include pain that radiates across the body, muscle weakness, and tingling or numbness in the legs and/or arms.

  • Fractured Vertebrae: Spinal fractures usually occur in the lower and middle sections of the back. While some fractures can be healed by wearing a back brace, more serious cases will require surgery. Symptoms of a broken back include sudden and intense back pain, pain that increases when you move, restricted mobility, weakness, tingling, or numbness in the arms or legs, and even loss of bladder or bowel control.

  • Spinal Cord Damage: The force generated by a motor vehicle collision can result in the dislocation, crushing, or breaking of the vertebrae. In extremely severe cases, it can sever the spinal cord, often leading to paralysis. Common symptoms of damage to the spinal cord include being unable to move part or all of your body below the point of injury, a loss of sensation, loss of control of bowel control, bladder control, and sexual function, pain, spasms, difficulty breathing, numbness, and tingling.

A qualified car accident lawyer will have years of experience in handling personal injury cases that involve these kinds of serious injuries. Recovering from neck and back injuries oftentimes requires surgery, ongoing physical rehabilitation, chiropractic treatments, prescription drugs, and, in some cases, continued care for the rest of the victim’s life. At Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey, LLP, we know how to properly value your injury claim to make sure that you collect the full amount of financial compensation you need to heal while protecting your family’s financial future.

Brain And Head Injuries

Brain and head injuries can have permanent consequences that impact your ability to function on a daily basis and adversely affect your quality of life. They generally require extensive and costly medical procedures and often result in lifelong disabilities, major personality changes, chronic pain, and serious psychological problems. Some common brain and head injuries include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury: Traumatic brain injury is a medical term that encompasses everything from a mild concussion that will heal in a few days to a severe, permanent injury that will affect your sensory, motor, and cognitive functions for the rest of your life. If you sustained an injury to your head during a car accident, it is crucial that you seek medical attention right away. While some brain injury symptoms make themselves known immediately, others could take days or even weeks to fully develop and become noticeable. Diagnostic imaging tests like CT scans and MRIs help doctors detect the injury and make it possible for them to treat the injury quickly and appropriately, mitigating the damage that a traumatic brain injury can cause. TBI symptoms include severe, persistent headaches, blurry vision, slurred speech, vomiting and/or nausea, difficulty focusing and collecting your thoughts, difficulty retaining new information, sensitivity to sound and light, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, irritability, seizures, and changes in sleeping patterns, including an inability to sleep.

  • Skull Fractures: Skull fractures are most often the result of a violent impact or an object penetrating the skull. Symptoms can include localized swelling, tenderness, bleeding from the ears and nose, and bruising. Some skull fractures are severe enough to require surgical intervention.

  • Facial Lacerations: Lacerations to the face as well as other parts of the body due to sharp metal fragments and shattered glass are common in traffic accidents. Facial lacerations can lead to disfigurement or permanent scarring, which can harm both the mental and physical health of a victim. These injuries might necessitate repeated plastic surgery, damage your self-esteem, and impede your ability to engage socially or earn a living.

Broken Bones

In addition to spine and skull fractures, broken ribs, arms, and legs are incredibly common in motor vehicle accidents due to the large amount of force created by the impact. Motorcyclists, bicycle riders, and pedestrians who are hit by cars or trucks can also experience broken or crushed bones, and even traumatic amputations. Badly damaged bones and compound fractures could require numerous surgeries before they mend, and even then they might never recover their full strength and mobility. Pelvis and hip fractures usually demand extensive physical therapy and a full recovery could take several years. Broken ribs are very painful at the best of times, and the pain level increases when you laugh, cough, move, or even inhale.

Emotional Trauma

Not all auto accident injuries are visible. Even if a victim manages to escape physical injury, the trauma caused by the crash could have a major impact on their mental health. Conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, night terrors, and other sleep-related issues can make it almost impossible for a victim to function normally and do all of the things they once enjoyed. Prescription medications, long-term therapy, support groups, and other treatments can add up quickly. Our Alabama personal injury attorneys are proficient at proving emotional trauma and other psychological conditions caused by a traumatic collision. Our Alabama car accident attorneys regularly work with qualified medical professionals who are capable of evaluating your symptoms and illustrating the multiple ways they influence your day-to-day life.

How Can An Alabama Car Accident Lawyer Help?

Haggling with an insurance company in an attempt to recover the financial compensation you are rightfully owed can be an uphill battle without the help of an experienced car accident lawyer. A denied claim or a lowball settlement could put you and those who depend on you in a shaky economic situation. The compassionate legal team at Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey, LLP, is here to walk you through the legal process, defend your rights, and offer support where it is needed so you can focus on your family and your recovery. Our Alabama car accident attorneys operate on a contingency fee, meaning you don’t pay anything out of pocket and we only collect our attorney’s fees if we are successful in recovering financial compensation on your behalf.

What Forms of Damages Am I Entitled To?

In Alabama, car accident victims can recover economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include current and projected medical expenses, lost income, loss of or diminished earning capacity, damage to personal property, and other costs related to the accident. 

More challenging to calculate are a victim’s non-economic damages such as mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of fellowship. Our Alabama personal injury attorneys know how to accurately appraise auto accident claims and seek the maximum amount of damages to which the law entitles you.

What If the At-Fault Driver is Underinsured or Uninsured?

Sadly, there are several thousand drivers with absolutely no insurance traveling up and down Alabama’s roadways. That is why it is vital to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your car insurance policy. Although Alabama law does not require any driver to carry these forms of insurance, they are both worth having, especially in the event of an accident. If you have these forms of insurance coverage and you are injured during a traffic accident involving a hit-and-run, underinsured, or uninsured driver, your insurance provider will still cover your hospital bills and personal property damage. Keep in mind though that these types of insurance do not cover things like pain and suffering. Our Alabama car accident attorneys thoroughly examine our client's auto insurance policies and identify all potential sources of recovering compensation before filing their auto accident claims.

Dealing With the Insurance Company

If you were seriously injured or lost a member of your family in a car accident, attempting to deal with a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim by yourself is going to be stressful and is highly unlikely to give you the outcome you are looking for. The insurance company does not have your best interests in mind and they will seek to take advantage of any plaintiff who does not have legal representation. They are a business, which means their primary concern is turning a profit. One of the ways they achieve this is by denying legitimate claims or by paying injured victims as little financial compensation as they possibly can. Even your own insurance carrier is likely to offer you an impossibly small payout that does not even begin to cover your basic losses.

Without the aid of a personal injury attorney who is dedicated to protecting your best interests, any settlement offer that you receive is going to be the bare minimum. Our lawyers will always act in your interest and fight to protect your rights to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Our Alabama car accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate the events leading up to your auto accident, accurately asses your damages and losses, and handle the contentious negotiation process with the at-fault driver’s attorneys and insurance adjusters.

Will My Case Go to Trial?

Generally speaking, it’s not very likely. The majority of motor vehicle injury claims are settled before they get that far.

When you are injured, in pain, unable to earn a living, and you see your medical bills begin to pile up, it might be tempting to quickly accept the very first settlement offer you receive from the insurance company. Keep in mind though that you do not have to accept the initial offer, and most likely it will not be enough to even cover your current medical expenses, let alone your future medical treatment.

You can however make a counter offer and eventually negotiate a settlement that will take care of all your financial woes relating to the accident. Working with our Alabama car accident attorneys who have years of experience in dealing with car accident cases will give you the best shot at recovering full and fair financial compensation for your injuries and other damages, without havin to go to trial. In the event that the insurance company won’t settle for a fair amount, our attorneys will not hesitate to proceed to trial.

How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Alabama Car Accident Case?

There are numerous factors that will impact how long it will take to resolve your car accident case. The nature and scope of your damages and whether or not the insurance company is amenable to offering a fair settlement within a reasonable time frame will all have an impact on how long it will take to resolve your claim.

There are some auto accident cases that only take a few months to resolve, while those that end up going to trial can take a few years. Our personal injury attorneys will work hard to help you collect financial compensation in a timely fashion.

What If I Lost a Family Member in an Alabama Car Accident?

Losing a member of your family in an auto accident is utterly devastating. If you suspect that the car accident that caused your family member’s death was the result of another person’s negligence, you might be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. In most cases, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is eligible to file a claim of wrongful death in Alabama, but every case is different, so check with your attorney. Those that involved the death of a child or a government agency can be wildly complicated, so it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as you are able to do so. 

Speak With an Alabama Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you were injured or a family member was killed in an Alabama car accident, you should meet with a reputable Alabama car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The personal injury attorneys at Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey, LLP have years of experience in achieving successful resolutions to motor vehicle accident cases on behalf of their clients. Contact our Alabama auto accident law firm today by calling us at (205) 349-2009 to schedule your free consultation. 

The force generated by a motor vehicle collision can result in the dislocation, crushing, or breaking of the vertebrae. In extremely severe cases, it can sever the spinal cord, often leading to paralysis. Common symptoms of damage to the spinal cord include being unable to move part or all of your body below the point of injury, a loss of sensation, loss of control of bowel control, bladder control, and sexual function, pain, spasms, difficulty breathing, numbness, and tingling.

A qualified car accident lawyer will have years of experience in handling personal injury cases that involve these kinds of serious injuries. Recovering from neck and back injuries oftentimes requires surgery, ongoing physical rehabilitation, chiropractic treatments, prescription drugs, and, in some cases, continued care for the rest of the victim’s life. At Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey, LLP, we know how to properly value your injury claim to make sure that you collect the full amount of financial compensation you need to heal while protecting your family’s financial future.



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