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Category: Car Accidents

Why car accidents happen

Car accidents happen every day and for every conceivable reason; but there are certain driving behaviors are common to most car accidents, forming the underlying reasons that accidents occur. It may be that you or someone close to you was injured in an Alabama car accident, or perhaps a member of your family died because of someone else’s incautious or negligent driving. Any person who has suffered injuries or the survivors of a person killed in a car wreck that was caused by someone else is entitled to make a claim for compensation against the person who caused it to recover money for their economic and non-economic losses. For success in a serious injury or wrongful death case, you’ll want to find an experienced personal injury attorney, like those at the Huntsville, Alabama, law firm of Wettermark & Keith, LLC. We know the questions to ask, and we have the resources and experts working with us to determine what was going on in the moments before the accident. Below are some of the most common behaviors that cause car accidents:

Driver Distraction
We are always on the go, and many Americans spend hours every day driving. It is not surprising that drivers often use driving time for other activities: grooming, eating, listening to music, disciplining the kids, talking on the phone, or perhaps worst of all, sending or reading text messages. These activities take the driver’s attention away from the road and dramatically increase the likelihood of a crash. Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents in the United States today.

A driver using a phone or other hand-held electronic device quadruples the chance of a wreck. Texting makes it 23 times more likely that a crash will occur.

These are some of the possible consequences when a driver fails to focus on the road:

  • Drifting out of the correct lane into the path of an oncoming car
  • Sideswiping a car traveling in the next lane in the same direction
  • Failing to observe a red light or stop sign
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Failing to notice a motorcycle when turning or changing lanes
  • Failing to see a pedestrian or bicycle rider
  • Turning the wrong way onto a one way street or highway access ramp
  • Hitting another car in the rear when traffic slows and the distracted driver fails to slow down

Reckless or Aggressive Driving at High Speeds
Speeding is a factor in one of every three traffic accidents in the United States. The greater the speed at which a car is moving, the harder it is to control, and the longer it takes to stop. Aggressive driving and speeding go hand in hand. Weaving, cutting drivers off, and ignoring traffic rules at a high speed is recipe for disaster and the cause of many injuries and fatalities.

Drunk Driving
Across the nation, drunk driving crashes kill one person every 51 minutes, according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); in 2012, 10,322 people were killed and approximately 345,000 injured in accidents involving alcohol, according to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). The yearly cost of alcohol-related crashes is more than $132 billion in the United States. Alabama saw 261 alcohol related fatalities in 2012.

Equipment Failure
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that in roughly one out of every five U.S. car accidents, mechanical failure is to blame. In many cases, a manufacturing defect is the cause. In 2012, U.S. car manufacturers recalled almost as many cars as they sold. When a defective part is discovered and the car is recalled, it is usually after a number of accidents have resulted injuries and fatalities. You don’t have to prove negligence if a defect in manufacturing was the cause of your accident. Manufacturers are held strictly liable for damages resulting from defective products.

Experienced Advocacy Makes All the Difference
When you need a highly qualified and experienced personal injury attorney following a car accident, you’ll find the help you need at the Huntsville, Alabama, law firm of Wettermark & Keith, LLC. We have years of experience helping accident victims obtain fair compensation for car accident injuries, and a 95 percent rate of success.

We offer a complimentary legal consultation in which we’ll provide honest answers to your accident-related questions and advise you on the steps we’ll take on your behalf. We take cases on contingency, so there is no risk to you. We do all the work and cover all the expenses of putting together your case; you only pay us when your case is resolved, and only if we’ve obtained money for you. Call us today!

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Auto accident types

Car crashes vary in type and severity. The point of impact and the speed at which the car is traveling have a great deal to do with the injuries that an accident victim is likely to sustain.

The personal injury attorneys at the Huntsville, Alabama, law offices of Wettermark & Keith, LLC, have experience with nearly every type of car accident imaginable, and we are able to prove liability in nearly all the cases we accept when the accident is caused by another driver who was negligent, reckless, or careless. The accident types that we see most frequently in our car accident practice include, head-ons, t-bones, sideswipes, rear-impact, and rollover crashes.

Head-on Crashes
We are happy to report that head-ons don’t occur very often. They make up only two percent of all car accidents. Unfortunately though, when they do happen, they are the most deadly of all accident types, causing ten percent of all traffic fatalities.

Head-on collisions usually happen on a two-lane road when a driver—who is usually either substance impaired, distracted, or overly fatigued—drives into the other lane and collides with an oncoming vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. The force of the impact is essentially doubled (assuming both vehicles are traveling at the same speed) and the resulting front-end impact is often deadly.

Head-on crashes also occur when a drive turns the wrong way onto a one-way street or enters a highway from the wrong direction after getting on the wrong ramp.

T-Bone Side Impact Accidents
A T-bone accident is one where one car strikes another on its side at a right 90 angle. T-bone accidents occur most commonly at intersections when one car runs a stop sign or red light and ploughs into the side of a car properly traveling through the intersection, or when a car attempts to turn left without yielding to oncoming traffic.

T-bones are the cause of a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities: they comprise 13 percent of all car crashes and produce 18 percent of the deaths, killing around 9000 people every year.

Sideswipes Accidents
A sideswipe is a side impact collision that involves one car glancing off another. The two cars can be traveling in the same direction during a careless lane change, when attempting to merge into traffic from a ramp, or when a one car wanders sideways from its lane and swipes the side of a car in the lane next to it.

In some cases, a sideswipe occurs when contact occurs between the sides of two cars traveling in opposite directions.

Rear-Impact Collisions
These are the most frequent type of car accident. They are somewhat less likely than other types of crashes to cause fatalities. They can often cause neck and back injuries, which can be serious and occasionally fatal. In a rear impact, the lower neck vertebrae are hyperextended, while the upper neck vertebrae are hyperflexed. This is commonly known as whiplash and can result in sprains, strains, and herniated discs when a car is hit hard from the rear.

Rear impact accidents are generally caused by tailgating, when one car drives too close to the car in front of it, or when a driver who is not paying attention to the road ahead doesn’t brake when the flow of traffic stops. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 29.6 percent of car accidents in the U.S. are rear-end crashes.

Rollovers Accidents
A rollover accident is when a car flips onto its roof. This is an extremely deadly type of accident, especially when the occupants of the vehicle are not wearing seatbelts and are ejected as the car rolls. Older model sport utility vehicles, pick-up trucks, and vans are particularly prone to rolling over because of their high center of gravity, which causes them to be unstable, especially when taking curves at high speeds. Rollovers constitute only 2.3 percent of the nation’s accidents, but they often result in fatalities.

Getting Help after an Alabama Car Crash
When you’ve been involved in any kind of a car crash in Alabama that someone else caused, you are entitled to make a claim for monetary compensation for your damages. In Huntsville, the personal injury attorneys at Wettermark & Keith, LLC, have a long history of success in bringing in high value damage awards, with a 95 percent win rate and more than $250 million obtained for clients since 2003. Call us today to schedule a free review of your case.

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Should i talk to the insurance adjuster after a car accident?

You can bank on it: within a very short time following your injury accident, you will hear from the other driver’s insurance company. Although it may seem like the natural thing to do, getting involved with an insurance adjuster is rarely in your best interest.

If you want a fair settlement, never engage is any discussion with the insurance company’s representative.
Insurance companies are in a tremendous hurry to get to you when you’ve been in an accident with their insured. Some insurance companies even dispatch an adjuster to the accident scene! Don’t make the mistake of believing that they’re in a hurry to pay you the value of your claim, because they’re not. What they are in a hurry to do is get to you before you have a lawyer.

Your Interests vs. the Insurance Company’s Interests
Insurance adjusters are usually a friendly bunch, personable and helpful—or so it seems. But before you even think of exchanging pleasantries with the adjuster, consider the insurance company’s reason for existing.

The insurance company is not in business to help the injured. It is not in business to help anyone—except its stockholders, and maybe the CEO who expects a multi-million dollar annual bonus. The insurance company exists for the benefit of its investors. That’s not to say that insurance is not beneficial to you—it is. Not only that, it’s required by law. But the true interest of the insurance company is not its insured and it is not the accident victim. Its true interest is making money.

As in any major corporation, profits rule. And insurance companies make profits by taking in more (much more) in premiums than they pay out on claims. So they love to sell you policies, but they hate to pay on claims. So in the interest of their own profits, they work very hard to avoid paying claims. And the adjuster is well trained and has an impressive repertory of tricks up his sleeve to use on the unsuspecting.

The Adjuster’s Bag of Tricks
The adjuster will buddy up to you and promise to do his/her best to make things right for you, so you won’t need a lawyer. “Lawyer’ is the very last word the adjuster wants to hear. Remember what the adjuster’s goal is. The adjuster works for the insurance company and knows that once you have a lawyer, the company is going to have to pay you a lot more than if you could be persuaded to go it alone.

The adjuster will ask to record a statement from you about the accident . . . and will then try to lead you into making a statement that will damage your case.

Adjuster: Good morning. How are you today?

You: Fine thanks.

Adjuster: Glad to hear it!

You bet the adjuster is glad. You just said you’re fine. Fine means not injured. Not injured means no payout. Enough said?


The adjuster will give you medical authorizations and ask you to sign them, telling you that the law requires it. SIGN NOTHING! You haven’t even been treated yet, or your treatment is just beginning. Of course you will eventually provide medical records, but at this point it’s premature. All the insurance company wants to do is rummage around in your medical history in the hope that something will pop up they can use against you. Sign authorizations only when your attorney tells you to.

The adjuster will offer you a quick settlement. All you have to do is sign a full release. If you do this and next week you discover you have a herniated disc, a slow brain bleed, or complex regional pain syndrome, there will be nothing you can do to get any more compensation for the newly discovered injuries. You’ve signed that right away. And you can be certain the amount being offered won’t be close to fair.

So when the insurance adjuster comes to call, don’t engage. To protect your right to a fair settlement, all you need to tell the adjuster is, “I’ll be happy to take your card and get back to you with the name of my attorney.”

Call an Attorney Now!
Now call the offices of Huntsville attorneys Wettermark & Keith, LLC. We will throw the full force of our years of experience and success behind your claim, fighting for your right to a recovery that compensates you for all of your injuries. The consultation is free, and you never pay legal fees or expenses until the day you receive your settlement check. If we don’t win—a rare occurrence—you owe us absolutely nothing. Call Wettermark & Keith today.

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