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Single Vehicle Accidents

The experienced attorneys with McCutcheon and Hamner are always interested in speaking with clients regarding single vehicle accidents. We want to work on as many single vehicle accidents where substantial injury occurred as we can. Some of these cases, if they involve paralysis or death, involve hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. Obviously, a life care plan that provides money for someone who is badly injured due to a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury has to anticipate for extensive medical care, extraordinary transportation costs, and all of the costs that go into taking care of a person badly injured. The team with McCutcheon and Hamner Accident and Injury Attorneys use life care planning experts to value these plans individually.

Automobiles and trucks are engineered to provide safety for the occupant in the event of a crash. If the vehicle is negligently designed and an injury occurs it really does not matter whose fault it was if the personal injury was caused by negligent design of the vehicle.

Accident and Injury Lawyers with McCutcheon and Hamner will look for roof crush cases, airbag failures, inflexible fuel filter line fire cases, as well as seatbelt failure cases.

An example of negligent vehicle design is best illustrated by the Ford Pinto. In that case, Ford estimated the cost of making the vehicle safer at $11.00 per vehicle. The benefits of a safer vehicle are lives saved. These figures are used to calculate costs. Ford valued a life at $200,000, an injury at $67,000 (this was 1971) and they projected 360 preventable deaths. Ford’s figures showed they would save 49.5 million dollars by not making the car safer. This trade of safety for profit resulted in a car that would occasionally burst instantly into flames and burn its occupants to death if rear ended. The American jury system put a stop to the particular vehicle.

We still have sidesaddle gas tanks and other unsafe designs on the market. Tractor trailer truck accidents often result in severe personal injury to the truck driver because their truck cabs are not designed with occupant safety in mind. In a single vehicle accident injury case we look at, we have to preserve the vehicle for our engineers to look at and for the manufacturer's expert to look at.

In our Accident and Injury law firm, McCutcheon and Hamner we are always interested in reviewing your single vehicle accident situation.

Distracted Driving

Many people die each day because of distracted driving. We have almost 1,200 people killed or injured every day because of distracted driving. Twelve states have banned the use of hand held phones while driving. We are beginning to see criminal prosecutions of those who text and kill and it happens every day. Around 11% of drivers involved in a fatal crash were on the phone or texting. There are survivor groups for families who have lost a loved one due to a distracted-driving fatality.

The distracted driving law is difficult for the officers on the road to enforce. They have to see the driver in the act of using their handheld device. But when you drive at night how many times do you see people look down at a glowing light? You know what they are doing and you know they are not looking at the road.

Diminished Value

Been in a Car Wreck? Brand New Car? Get Reimbursed for Lost Value.

Here's something I wish I had known about when another driver plowed into my new car, a car that was only five months old: diminished value.

The other at fault driver’s insurance company paid to fix my vehicle, but just the fact that it had been in an accident diminished its value. It was no longer as sound. One former automobile dealership general manager says his dealership used to automatically offer 30 percent less for a wrecked trade-in if it had frame damage.

But the car accident wasn’t my fault. When I went to sell the accident involved car, the professionals easily could tell that the car had been wrecked and rebuilt. That other at fault driver -- or their insurance company -- should have paid me for that lost value. I couldn’t get as much for the wreck involved car, so I didn’t have as much to put toward my next car. Many people don’t think about the new, lower value of their vehicle after an accident. Instead, we just worry about how long it’s going to take for the body shop to fix the car so we can get back to our lives. If you have a newer vehicle or an expensive one, you must ask to be compensated for diminished value of the vehicle.

The insurance company won’t offer. Insurance companies try to avoid paying for diminished value of a wrecked vehicle.

It’s important to pursue a diminished value claim right away, because most states have a statute of limitations on property damage claims, often three years. Most automobile insurance contracts prevent you from making a diminished value claim against your own insurance company. Where you may succeed is by going after the other driver’s auto insurance company because you don’t have a contract with them. Plus, the whole point is that the accident wasn’t your fault.

Why Diminished Value Matters

Let’s say your car is worth $14,990. If you succeed with your diminished value claim, that 33 percent difference becomes your savings. Take a look:

Ford Taurus value before accident: $14,990
Ford Taurus value after accident: $9,893
BIG SAVINGS = $5,097

$5,097 is a meaningful amount of money that you deserve to put toward your next car.

Accident Property Damage

Property damages are for damages to property not people. Damages to people are know as personal injury. Property damage includes the repair of an automobile.

Contrary to the assertion of many insurance companies, money for the diminution in the value in value of vehicles in a car wreck is also recoverable. Diminution in value is monetary recognition of the fact that a wrecked and repaired car is worth less than a car that has never been damaged. An owner is entitled to be paid for the costs of the repair of the vehicle and the difference between what it was worth in its un-wrecked state and what it is worth after it has been wrecked and repaired.

Like all claims in court, you must have competent proof. If you want your car repaired, you have to have proof of who was at fault in the wreck and you need someone who regularly repairs cars to testify about the cost to repair the car. An owner of a car can testify about its value in their opinion if it is totaled.

Accident Involving Livestock

Alabama has some pretty old fashioned laws regarding wrecks with livestock involved. These laws come from the days when Alabama was what was known as a "range" state. Since that time, it has been made unlawful for the owner of livestock to voluntarily, negligently or willfully permit such livestock or animal to go upon the premises of another or the roads, highways or streets in the State of Alabama.

Because of that you would think that the owner of the livestock would be responsible for accidents or injuries since he broke the law. However, the Alabama State Legislature has never seen fit to make the owner of livestock truly responsible for damages caused by livestock running at large. Now if livestock eats your crops,fruit trees,ornamental shrubs or flowers the owners of the livestock are absolutely responsible. So if a cow eats your garden the owner of the cow has to pay for the value of your garden.

Livestock owners are not responsible for accident damages to a motor vehicle or an occupant of a motor vehicles injuries resulting from a collision with such livestock unless you can prove that the livestock owner knowingly put the animal on the road or highway where the damage or injury occurred.

So under the Alabama State Code the owner of the cow or animal you hit is not responsible to repair your car or for your medical bills in most cases.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident or suffered injuries in a situation involving livestock,always consult an experienced attorney such as Accident and Injury Lawyers McCutcheon and Hamner to review your case and learn your rights under the law.

Our Locations

Florence, AL

Huntsville, AL

Athens, AL