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Types of Car Accidents in Alabama

Our Birmingham car accident lawyers list the types of car accidents.

The experienced attorneys at our firm handle cases for many types of car accidents. To learn more about a specific type, please see the additional pages we have below.

Rear-End Collision in Alabama

As Belt & Bruner, P.C., reviews your case, we will want to know what caused your rear-end collision. By determining the cause of the accident, we can establish whether the driver’s negligence led to your injuries and losses. The person responsible for the accident is responsible for compensating the victim for injuries.

Rear-end crashes occur when a driver hits the back bumper of the car in front. There are many reasons why this might occur, including:

reasons for rear end crashes

As you can see, in the majority of cases, someone is to blame for the accident and should be held liable for any losses that a victim suffers.

Side Swipe Accidents

Side Swipe AccidentsBecause these accidents so commonly occur when a car drifts out of its designated lane into another vehicle, these are also called “lane-drifting crashes.”  However, sideswipes can also occur as a result of a driver intentionally changing lanes rather than accidentally drifting into the wrong lane. Drivers who fail to see that there is a vehicle next to them and shift over into a different lane can hit the side of the other vehicle.Sideswipe accidents are likely to occur when lanes merge. A driver who does not move over to make room for another vehicle to enter traffic when a lane ends or when merging is necessary can cause a sideswipe crash. Drivers who try to merge without looking, who don’t yield the right-of-way or who force their way into another lane are also likely to swipe the side of another vehicle. Unfortunately, sideswipe crashes are entirely too common in Alabama. For instance, according to the state’s Department of Transportation, 2,736 crashes occurred in 2011 when one driver ran another off the road, while another 5,313 crashes happened because of improper lane changes.

Roll Over Accidents

Roll Over AccidentsA roll-over accident occurs when a car literally turns over and tips onto its side or roof. These accidents are incredibly dangerous. They account for about 33 percent of fatal traffic accidents. They can happen in any car. However, they are most likely to occur in top-heavy vehicles such as SUVs and trucks. Because permanent injury or death so often result from rollover accidents, it becomes especially important for the victims or their family members to understand who was to blame for the crash.

Two Types of Roll-Over Accidents:

  • Tripped rollovers These occur when an external force causes the car to tip. Collisions with other cars or a vehicle hitting a curb are examples of things that can cause tripped rollover accidents.
  • Untripped rollovers These accidents occur due to friction of the vehicle on the ground, speed or steering. Typically, the only car involved in causing the crash is the vehicle that rolled over. A car or truck that rolls over on its own can, however, cause a multi-vehicle accident if it rolls on top of other passing autos.

It makes sense that a car hit in the right way is going to tip over – especially a top-heavy truck or SUV. It is less clear why some SUVs or cars tip over when people are just driving along. This is especially puzzling because NHTSA research has found that merely going as fast as possible should not be enough to tip a car or truck.

Hydroplaning Car Accidents

Hydroplaning Car AccidentsHydroplaning, or aquaplaning, is a frightening experience. It occurs whenever the tires of a vehicle lose contact with the road’s surface. Hydroplaning can happen to any vehicle, including trucks, cars or motorcycles. It can result in a crash that causes injury or even death. Often, bad weather isn’t the only contributing factor in a hydroplaning incident. Negligence can also play a role in causing a vehicle to hydroplane. When this occurs, it’s important to contact a lawyer for help in protecting your rights to compensation. When the tire of a vehicle makes contact with too much water, the tire can’t push through or scatter the water. The water pressure that the car encounters as it goes over the excess water results in the water pushing its way underneath the tire. This means the car is essentially driving on a very thin layer of water instead of on the road.

When a car hydroplanes, therefore, the car tire is separated from the road surface. Traction is lost. The driver no longer has the ability to steer, brake or control the car.

T-Bone Accidents

T-Bone Accidents
T-bone accidents are among the most serious of all car crashes. This is because the sides of a car provide almost no protection to drivers or passengers.

How Do T-Bone Accidents Happen?

When two vehicles approach each other at a right angle at an intersection, or when one car is turning and the other going straight, the cars form a T pattern. Unfortunately, if one vehicle fails to stop or yield the right-of-way, a side-impact collision will result. The collision in this case is called a T-bone, side impact or right-angle collision because of  the angle at which the cars hit.

T-bone accidents typically occur at intersections. According to the 2011 Alabama Traffic Crash Facts, 7,112 car accidents occurred at intersections in that year. T-bone accidents can also occur when cars pull out of parking lots or driveways or when a car makes a turn in front of oncoming traffic. Belt & Bruner, P.C., will seek to determine whether your T-bone accident happened because the other driver:

  • Pulled into an intersection or made a turn without looking for oncoming traffic
  • Pulled out of a parking lot or driveway without noticing that another vehicle was going straight on the road
  • Failed to yield at an intersection or when making a turn
  • Ran a red light or a stop sign
  • Assumed that a car at a yellow light would stop and made a left turn in front of it.

Accidents Involving an Out of State Driver

Accidents Involving an Out of State Driver
Alabama is a popular site for tourists and a location that many trucks drive through from out-of-state while transporting materials. With more than 22 million visitors each year coming to Alabama for business or pleasure, it is not uncommon to encounter an out-of-state driver on our roads.

Courts cannot just haul anyone in that they want to and make them respond to lawsuits. In order for the court to make someone respond to a civil lawsuit or for the court to have any authority over a person, the court must have jurisdiction over that person. The court can obtain jurisdiction over a person if that person has sufficient connections to the local area where the court is located.

If a driver responsible for a crash doesn’t live in Alabama, then his connections to the state are limited. A special legal rule called Alabama’s long-arm statute will apply. This statute outlines exactly when and why a court can force an out-of-state defendant to appear for a trial and can impose its decisions on an out-of-state defendant.

Once the court has jurisdiction over a driver, and that person is required to appear in court, the court’s decisions are binding. A clause in the Constitution called the full faith and credit clause says that every state has to respect the decisions made by other state courts.

Therefore, if an Alabama court hears a case against a driver from New York and that driver is found liable and told to pay you $50,000 in damages, then New York must respect Alabama’s decision and hold the defendant driver responsible for actually paying you. For instance, if the other driver won’t pay, a New York court could order that his or her wages be garnished.

Drowsy Driving Crashes

Drowsy Driving CrashesIf a fatigued driver neglectfully drove while too tired and caused an accident that seriously injured you or someone you love, our Alabama drowsy driving accident lawyer can help.

Fatigued driving contributes to thousands of motor vehicle accidents in Alabama and across the country each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “Drowsy driving,” as it is also called, carries risks similar to drunk driving. Like alcohol (a depressant), sleep deprivation causes deficiencies in reaction time, attention and clear thinking. Driving while sleepy or sleep-deprived is a negligent and reckless act. It risks the drowsy driver’s life as well as the lives of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

In a report entitled “Drowsy Driving and Automobile Crashes,” the NHTSA says that fatigued driving impairs performance and can ultimately lead to the inability to resist falling asleep while operating a vehicle. Sleepiness is detrimental to a driver’s reaction time, vigilance, attention and information processing, the report says.

The NHTSA says crashes caused by fatigued driving have common characteristics:

  • The problem occurs during late night/early morning, or midafternoon
  • Crashes are likely to be serious
  • Crashes occur on high-speed roads
  • The driver is alone in the vehicle
  • The vehicle leaves the roadway
  • The driver does not attempt to avoid a crash