Lawyers Helping Gulf Coast Crash Victims
Florida and Alabama roads see hundreds of accidents every day. Every driver must operate his or her vehicle in a way that avoids posing needless risks to other drivers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Unfortunately, many motorists are distracted, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or making other poor decisions behind the wheel. The medical bills and out-of-pocket costs after a car crash can be significant, and an accident victim may miss days, weeks, or months of work recovering from the injuries. The person or people responsible for your injuries should pay for the costs associated with them. At Milam & Milam, our Gulf Coast car accident attorneys can evaluate your case and help you hold a careless driver accountable.
File a Negligence Lawsuit to Seek Compensation
If you are hurt in a car crash, you often can bring a lawsuit for negligence. While the laws governing these cases are often similar across jurisdictions, it is important to be aware of the specific legal requirements in your state if you are considering legal action. For example, in Florida, as in many states, you will need to establish that:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care;
- He or she breached that duty with some reckless or careless action;
- The breach was the actual and proximate cause of the accident in which you were hurt; and
- You incurred actual damages because of your injuries.
Duty is typically a question of law. All drivers owe a duty of reasonable care to everyone else using the road. There are many ways that the duty can be breached, such as texting while driving, drunk driving, or breaking a traffic rule, such as running a red light.
Actual and proximate cause can be particularly difficult to prove, partly because the drivers involved may not know what caused the accident. Actual cause means that the victim would not have been hurt if the defendant had not breached the duty of care. Proximate cause means that the accident was a reasonably foreseeable result of the other driver’s carelessness.
Similarly, if there are multiple prospective defendants, it may be hard to determine the percentage to which each defendant contributed or caused the accident. For example, in a congested construction zone with no stoplights, multiple distracted drivers may contribute to an injury. Typically, a jury will apportion fault to each defendant. When there is a complicated fact pattern, a knowledgeable accident reconstruction expert may be needed to determine what caused a crash and testify about his or her findings.
Many collisions involve fault on the part of all parties. If you were partly at fault in a Florida car accident, a defendant may assert "comparative negligence." Under this rule, your compensation award will be reduced by the percentage for which you are at fault. Alabama follows the traditional doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that any finding of fault by the victim will prevent that person from recovering any damages.
Compensation typically available in a negligence lawsuit based on a car accident may extend to medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, mental anguish, vocational rehabilitation, lost income or lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Contact A Trustworthy Car Accident Attorney in Alabama or Florida
Whether your injuries are minor or catastrophic, car crashes can be very stressful. It is important not to try to negotiate a settlement with another driver's insurer by yourself because that insurer does not owe you a duty of good faith and fair dealing. A representative of the insurer may try to get you to make admissions that could hurt you later or try to convince you that you were more at fault than you were so that you take a low settlement offer. Instead, you should consult a skilled injury attorney before talking to the other party's insurer. Milam & Milam represents victims of car crashes throughout Alabama and Florida. We are located in Fairhope in Baldwin County, Alabama on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. We use our 25 years of combined experience to serve clients in Birmingham, Montgomery, Pensacola, and other cities across the Southeast. Contact us by calling 251-928-0191, or request a consultation through our online form.