Car accidents — in Alabama and elsewhere — can be caused by a variety of factors, from negligent drivers to roadway defects. If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, then securing maximum compensation for the losses you suffered will require that you comprehensively evaluate the various avenues for recovery. In many car accident disputes, the individual or entity who controls the roadway (and adjacent property) may be significantly responsible for the harm caused. Contact a Tuscaloosa car accident attorney today to discuss your options.
As you explore the prospect of car accident litigation, let’s take a brief look at five common roadway hazards that can contribute to the occurrence of a car accident. Consider the following.
Poor visibility is among the most significant factors contributing to car accidents. There are a range of situations that can create poor visibility conditions: inadequate street lighting, objects that block the field-of-view of drivers (and have not been cleared by the defendant), or even sharp distinctions on the vertical or horizontal plane that interfere with the ability of drivers to spot incoming traffic.
Physical road hazards, such as construction barriers that have been misplaced, or large potholes, can create a significant risk of harm for drivers on the roadway. If a driver suddenly tracks their tires across a pothole, that tire-road contact can cause damage to one’s drivetrain and suspension systems and may even penetrate the tires. In extreme scenarios, a pothole can cause the driver to lose control over their vehicle.
Some roadways require signage to ensure that drivers are notified as to the inherent risks and hazards and can alter their behavior accordingly. If necessary signage is broken, misplaced, or simply not visible, then this can contribute to an accident. For example, a sign indicating that there is a pedestrian crossing ahead is extremely important for notifying incoming traffic to slow down — if the sign is covered by the hanging branch of a tree, this could lead to a serious pedestrian accident.
Traffic control issues are unfortunately common and are often the result of poor roadway design. For example, if a roadway is dominated by unprotected, fast-moving traffic that create an unreasonable risk of harm for drivers and pedestrians, then one could argue that there should be traffic and speed control mechanisms to slow down traffic to an appropriate level for the roadway. Perhaps the municipality could install traffic lights or even speed bumps to better control traffic.
Evidence of prior accidents may reveal hazards that are not immediately obvious to those using the roadway. For example, an unprotected left-turn into a school may not seem like a serious hazard for drivers upon first impression, but if there have been three serious accidents involving that left-turn over just a few years, then that may be sufficient to prove that the turn exposes drivers to an unreasonable risk of harm (and that the hazard should be corrected).
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Alabama, then you may be entitled to damages as compensation for your various losses: pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and mental anguish, among other damages. Successfully litigating an injury dispute can be quite a challenge, however. Contact an experienced car accident attorney for comprehensive legal guidance.
"We realize there are many options for representation out there, and we talked with several of the "big names" before finding Cross and Smith. With the others, it felt like we were being bullied, in a tank with hungry sharks. We are still receiving junk mail from some. We are SO thankful we were referred to Justin Smith (Cross and Smith) for our accident claim. He and his team were absolutely amazing."