Tag Archive for: car accident

Tips for Avoiding Sun Glare Accidents

When the fall arrives, daylight savings time ends and the days start getting shorter. One of the challenges for drivers (with the shorter days) is dealing with sun glare during peak driving hours. While driving to work in the morning, for example, it is not uncommon to get hit with a blast of bright sunlight after making a turn and driving east. The glare of the sun can seem blinding, and it can make it extremely difficult for drivers to see what is in front of them.

It is hard to quantify the extent to which sun glare contributes to auto accidents. Drivers are naturally very reluctant to admit that their view was inhibited by bright sunlight after a crash, and this does not always show up as a cause on a police report.

The most comprehensive data that we know of (with regards to sun glare accidents) is a study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study looked at more than 11,000 life-threatening vehicle crashes over a 20-year period, and they examined the reasons for hospitalizations resulting from these accidents.

The NIH found that bright sunlight/sun glare was present in approximately one third of all accidents that happened during the daylight hours. This shows that, although there could be other contributing factors, sun glare is definitely a hazard that drivers need to be prepared for, particularly during the autumn and winter months when the sun rises later and sets earlier.

Is Sun Glare Considered an “Act of God”?

Some may argue that they are not liable for a sun glare accident because bright sunlight is an “act of God”. While it may be true that sunlight is part of nature and out of a driver’s control, this does not absolve the driver of responsibility if the glare of the sun were to cause them to crash the vehicle.

Events that are typically referred to as “acts of God” are those that are unpredictable and thus more difficult to prepare for. Examples would include floods, mudslides, earthquakes, or an animal that dashes out in front of an oncoming vehicle.

A driver is responsible to exercise reasonable care while operating their vehicle, and this includes preparing for events that are predictable and known to happen each day. It is not difficult to know the daily forecast and what time the sun is expected to rise and set, and therefore, a driver should be ready to deal with bright sunlight, especially if it is present on their daily drive to or from work or school.

Protecting Yourself from Sun Glare Accidents

The best way to avoid being held liable for a sun glare accident is to take steps to prevent getting into one in the first place. Here are some precautions drivers should take to avoid collisions caused by bright sunlight:

  • Wear Polarized Sunglasses: While nothing can totally eliminate the glare of the sun, polarized sunglasses do the best job of minimizing the effects of bright sunlight.
  • Clear your Windshield and Dashboard: Keep your dashboard free of clutter, especially reflective objects that can worsen the sun glare. Also, make sure to keep your windshield clean and free of streaks and marks. Have an adequate supply of window washer fluid available before you begin driving and be sure your windshield wipers are in good repair.
  • Reduce your Speed: When you get hit with bright sunlight, one of the best defenses is to slow down. By driving more slowly, you will have more time to identify other vehicles and objects that are more difficult to see because of the glare.
  • Keep your Headlights On: When there is bright sunlight present, drive with your headlights on to help other drivers see your vehicle in case they are battling sun glare.
  • Avoid Distracted Driving: It is always good practice to avoid distractions while driving, and in fact, certain distractions like texting while driving are unlawful. Do your best to eliminate other distractions, especially when you are trying to deal with sun glare.
  • Adjust your Route If Possible: While not always practical, one good way to avoid sun glare is to minimize the amount of eastbound travel in the morning and westbound travel in the evening. This might mean a simple route adjustment that allows you to spend more time traveling north or south, or it might be just a matter of leaving to or from work a little earlier or later. Take a look at your driving route and schedule to see if there are any helpful changes you could make.

Injured in a Sun Glare Accident in Alabama? Contact a Seasoned Car Accident Lawyer

Even if you employ all the best safety practices, you cannot control the actions of other motorists. If you or a loved one got hurt in an auto accident that was someone else’s fault, contact M. Adam Jones and Associates for experienced legal help. Alabama is a defendant-friendly state when it comes to personal injury claims, and it is always wise to work with an attorney with the proven ability to recover maximum compensation on behalf of their clients.

To get started, call our office today or send us a message through our online contact form. We look forward to serving you!

Determining Liability when a Third Party Causes a Car Accident

There are approximately 6 million auto accidents in the United States each year. These accidents result in tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of serious injuries. A common assumption with car accidents is that one or more of the drivers involved is at fault, but this is not always the case. There are instances when a party that is not directly involved in the accident is the one to blame, also known as a third party.

When a third party was at fault for a car accident, it is naturally going to be a more complicated case, and it will require an extensive investigation to establish a causal link between the outside party and the accident. In cases like these, it is extremely important to work with an attorney who has in-depth experience with vehicle accidents and the proven ability to hold responsible parties fully accountable. It is also important to get an attorney involved as early as possible in the case before critical pieces of evidence become more difficult to recover.

There are a number of third parties that may be held liable in an auto accident, these include:


A vehicle passenger could be at fault for a car accident if they do something that causes the driver to get into a crash. For example, a front seat passenger grabs the steering wheel and pulls it to the right while the car is traveling at a high speed. Passengers are also known for encouraging bad driving behaviors, especially among teenagers, although this would be more difficult to prove.

Vehicle Owners

Car owners are generally responsible for their vehicles, no matter who is driving. For example, if a car owner lends his/her vehicle out to someone who is inexperienced and/or irresponsible, the owner could be held responsible for negligent entrustment. The same holds true if they were to lend their car to someone who was intoxicated or did not have a valid driver’s license.

Liquor Establishments

Alabama and most other states have what are known as “dram shop” laws, which are laws that permit someone to go after a person or business that provides alcohol to an individual who was clearly intoxicated. This most often happens in a bar where the bartender continues to serve alcohol to someone who is visibly drunk. The law does not apply to every case of an intoxicated person being served drinks, however. There must be clear and convincing evidence that the person was drunk, which will usually include video footage and the testimony of witnesses.


Employers who allow employees to drive company vehicles are responsible for accidents that happened during working hours and while an employee is performing occupational duties. This may also apply when an employee is driving a personal vehicle but is acting within the course and scope of their employment.

Auto Repair/Maintenance Providers

When a mechanical failure causes a car accident, it could be the fault of a mechanic or auto repair shop. For example, negligent maintenance can occur when a mechanic installs incorrect parts, fails to identify a needed repair, or causes damage to the vehicle during the course of making a repair.

Product Makers

Some auto accidents happen because of faulty vehicle or vehicle parts. For example, newly installed brakes that failed to stop the vehicle or brand-new tires that blow out while traveling down the highway. When a vehicle defect causes a car accident, the manufacturer, distributor, or any other party within the product’s supply chain could be held responsible.

Holding a Third Party Liable for a Car Accident

As we talked about earlier, holding an outside party responsible for a vehicle accident is extremely difficult, and this type of case will be more complicated than a typical car crash where the question of liability is between two drivers. This is especially true in a state like Alabama, where the pure contributory negligence doctrine prevents an injured party (in most cases) from recovering damages if it is determined that they share any fault for the accident.

Your attorney will examine all of the relevant factors to get to the bottom of exactly what happened and attempt to create an unbreakable link between the accident and the party that caused it. To help substantiate the claim, various specialists might be brought in to serve as expert witnesses who can speak authoritatively to certain aspects of the case. Oftentimes, the role of an expert witness can be invaluable in solidifying the claim and ensuring that the injured party is able to recover maximum compensation.

Injured in an Auto Accident in Alabama? Contact an Experienced Vehicle Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one got hurt in a car accident in Alabama, you need a skilled attorney in your corner working hard to get you the full and fair compensation you deserve. As soon as possible after the accident, contact M. Adam Jones and Associates for a complimentary consultation. We will meet with you to discuss the specifics of your case to help determine who might be at fault and what your legal rights and options are.

5 Things to Do if You are in an Accident with a Commercial Vehicle

Getting into an accident with an 18-wheeler can be a devastating experience. Accidents between a commercial vehicle and a regular passenger vehicle typically do not go well for occupants of the passenger vehicle. Big rig trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds or more when they are fully loaded, and the sheer force of colliding with this type of vehicle at even medium speeds can result in serious injuries.

Immediately after the collision, you are most likely in a state of shock. Whenever we encounter a situation like this, our heart rate accelerates, and our mind starts to race in a million different directions trying to figure out what all this means. As you look out at the damage caused to your vehicle, you may be sitting there wondering whether or not you can even get out of your car.

The first thing you need to do is breathe deeply and collect your thoughts. Yes, this is a crisis situation, but you can get through it. And the actions you take right after the accident will be critical in securing everyone’s safety and protecting your right to take legal action against the party (or parties) responsible.

Whether you are reading this on your mobile phone immediately after a collision with a semi-truck or you are doing research to prepare for an event like this in the future, we are going to give you five important steps that you should take if you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle:

Safety First

The top priority before anything else is to make sure that anyone who may have been injured in the accident receives prompt medical attention, and this includes yourself. Symptoms for some injuries may not show up right after the accident, and this can be true of even more serious injuries such as internal bleeding. Call 911 immediately and get an ambulance to the accident scene before too much time passes.

Bring the Police

In addition to medical personnel, the police should also be summoned to the scene of the accident, especially if there are any injuries, which is more likely when a large commercial vehicle is involved. Having the police there is not only important to help secure the accident scene and get the vehicles and their occupants away from oncoming traffic, but also to create an official accident report. This report will most likely be a critical piece of evidence to help determine how the accident happened and who was at fault.

Gather Information

While the police will create an official report, you should create your own accident report as well.  Start by exchanging information with the truck driver. Make sure you obtain their name, contact information, driver’s license number, insurance information, the name and contact number of their employer (if they are employed), and U.S. DOT serial number (if it is available).

If you are physically able, you will also want to take several photographs of the accident scene showing as many angles as possible. In addition, write your own report of what happened, so you can compare it to the police report later and ensure that their report has no inaccuracies. If you are unable to write at the moment, use the voice recorder in your smart phone to create an audio report that you can transcribe later.

Obtain Statements from Witnesses

The testimony of eyewitnesses is another important piece of evidence that you will want to obtain.  If there are any individuals who saw the accident, try to obtain statements and contact information from them right away. In many instances, a witness will allow you to record an audio or video statement on the spot, which helps ensure that their immediate recollection of events is preserved.

Be Careful What You Say

While interacting with the truck driver, police, witnesses, and anyone else, it is important to be very careful how you discuss the accident. Do NOT, under any circumstances, admit fault or apologize for it. In Alabama you can be barred from receiving compensation if you are found to have “contributed” in any way to the accident, even 1%. Be polite, courteous, and empathetic, but never admit any wrongdoing – leave the determination of fault for the experts to sort out.

Contact a Seasoned Alabama Truck Accident Lawyer

Commercial vehicle accident cases are complex and challenging to pursue. There are numerous governing laws and regulations that may apply, and there are several parties that could be responsible (for the accident). If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you need a lawyer who not only has personal injury experience, but who also has extensive experience with these types of cases and the proven ability to successfully recover full and fair compensation.

Call M. Adam Jones and Associates at 334-581-9238 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. You may also message us through our online contact form or stop by our Dothan, AL office in person at your convenience.

car accident

What Happens if I Miss the Statute of Limitations for my Car Accident Injury?

If you were injured in an auto accident, one of the most important things you need to be aware of is the statute of limitations. “Statute of limitations” refers to the deadline you have to file a lawsuit against the person or party that caused your injury. In Alabama, the personal injury statute of limitations for most cases is two years. 

When Does the Statute of Limitations Begin?

For most personal injury cases, the clock starts running on the statute of limitations from the date of the underlying accident or incident. There is a big exception to this rule, however, which would apply in cases in which an injury is not discovered immediately after the underlying event. This is commonly known as the “discovery rule” exception.

One common example of the discovery rule exception would be a workplace illness that occurs over time because of exposure to a toxic substance. When this type of situation occurs, a court may rule that the statute of limitations begins either on the date that the plaintiff discovered the illness, or on that date when the plaintiff should have reasonably known about it.

Unfortunately, the discovery rule exception is not likely to apply to a car accident case, so you should not plan on being able to use this rule to extend your deadline for an auto accident injury.  There is, however, another exception you should be aware of, which would apply to personal injury lawsuits against a government entity.

If your accident was caused (at least in part) by a government agency or entity, different deadlines will apply. If the claim is against a municipality, it must be filed within six months of the accident.  If the claim is against a county, it must be filed within one year of the accident. There is also a complicated administrative process that must be followed before filing a lawsuit against the government. If this process is not followed properly, you may not be allowed to file the suit later.

The Importance of Early Action in an Alabama Car Accident Case

If your accident just happened recently, like in the past week or two, you may think you have plenty of time to pursue an injury claim. But even though two years can seem like a long time, there are some very good reasons to act on your claim sooner rather than later:

Preservation of Critical Evidence

By organizing your claim immediately, you are better able to preserve evidence that may not be available if it is not obtained quickly. Examples may include photos of the accident scene, video footage from a stoplight camera, and records from the cell phone company of calls that were placed or texts that were sent (around the time of the accident). It is also very important to obtain statements from individuals who may have witnessed the accident. Memories tend to fade over time, and the sooner you can secure witness testimony, the better off you will be.

Avoiding Costly Mistakes

Just as important as preserving evidence is making sure you do not do anything that will damage your claim. This is especially important in a state like Alabama, where  you may be barred from recovering damages if you are found to be even 1% at fault for the accident. You can be sure that the other side will try to use the state’s defendant-friendly legal standard against you, and this is why it is absolutely essential to get an experienced attorney involved as early as possible in the process. Otherwise, an honest mistake could cost you your right to the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Maintaining Leverage during Settlement Negotiations

While you can still settle an injury claim even after the statute of limitations expires, your chances of recovering a decent amount of compensation are seriously diminished once you pass that deadline. Insurance companies are well aware of the fact that letting the statute of limitations expire means you forfeit their right to file a personal injury lawsuit, and they will have very little motivation to present you a fair offer at that point. The sooner you retain an attorney, the sooner settlement negotiations will begin, and the sooner your claim will be paid. And if the other side is not willing to be reasonable, your attorney always has the option to take the case to trial if necessary.

Injured in an Auto Accident in Alabama? Contact M. Adam Jones and Associates for Assistance

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a car accident, contact M. Adam Jones and Associates as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation and case assessment. Call our office today at 334-581-9238 or message us through our online contact form. You may also stop by our Dothan, AL office in person at your convenience.

 The Five Things to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

Being involved in an auto accident is one of the most unsettling experiences drivers go through. As soon as the other vehicle makes impact with yours, you experience an extreme state change. Your heart rate increases, and your mind begins to race in all kinds of different directions. At this point, it is important to take a deep breath, calm down, and collect your thoughts. Next, go over your mental (or better yet paper) checklist of what to do after a car accident.

After a motor vehicle accident occurs, there are five things you should do right away:

  1. Remain at the Scene

Never leave the scene of an accident, even a minor fender-bender. If you leave the scene, you could face severe criminal charges, particularly if there are injuries or fatalities. If your car is drivable and you are not seriously injured, keep your hazard lights on and move it over to the shoulder or side of the road. If you have flares, set them up around the vehicles involved to further protect the scene.

  1. Call 911

Before you assess the damage to the vehicles, check to make sure everyone is okay. If anyone appears to have even minor injuries (including yourself), call 911 right away so those who are hurt can get immediate medical attention. Internal bleeding and other internal injuries are not always readily apparent, but they can be life-threatening. Your call to 911 will also summon the police. The police should be notified even if there are no serious injuries, so there will be an official accident report on record.

  1. Document the Incident

Assuming again that you are not seriously injured, you should obtain as much documentation as possible to verify what happened. Write down important facts such as the time of day, the directions and speeds each vehicle was moving, what caused the vehicles to crash into each other, etc. Take multiple photos of the scene from as many angles as possible, and if you have a dash cam or similar device (highly recommended), make sure you retain the footage going back to at least a couple minutes before the accident occurred. You will also want to speak with witnesses, document what they saw, and get their contact information if possible.

  1. Exchange Information

Calmly and courteously exchange information with the other driver. Do NOT make any apologies or other statements about what happened to the other driver. Provide the other driver with the required information and ask the same from them, then move on to the next step.

  1. Contact your Insurer

If you are able, it is best to report the incident to your insurance company while you are still at the scene. Your insurer should be able to tell you what to do next. From here, file the necessary police reports, continue to seek medical care as needed, and document everything that occurs throughout the process.

What NOT to do After a Car Accident

The five things to do immediately after an auto accident are all vitally important, but just as important is what NOT to do. Here are three things you should NOT do after a car accident in Alabama:

  1. Do Not Admit Fault

Whenever discussing the accident with the other driver, the police, the insurance adjuster for the other driver, or anyone else involved, NEVER admit liability of any kind. Remember, in Alabama if you are found to even be slightly at fault for the accident, you will not be eligible to collect damages.

  1. Do Not Give a Recorded Statement to the Other Party’s Insurer

The insurance company for the other driver may contact you looking for a statement about the accident. Do not let them pressure you into giving any type of recorded statement, signing a medical release, or signing a general release. Politely inform them that you are considering hiring an attorney, and when that happens, your attorney will be in touch with them.

  1. Do Not Accept a Low Settlement Offer

Insurance companies are notorious for giving accident victims lowball settlement offers in an attempt to wrap the case up quickly and make it go away. Do NOT accept any type of settlement offer without first having it reviewed by an experienced Alabama personal injury attorney.

Injured in a Car Accident?

If you or someone close to you has been injured in an auto accident in Alabama, you may have the right to compensation for your injuries. Make sure to follow the guidelines in this article, then get in touch with our office right away. At Jones and Associates, our Alabama car accident attorneys have extensive experience with even the most complex personal injury cases, and we have a strong track record of success going up against the large insurers and their expensive attorneys. For your free, no-obligation case evaluation, contact us today at (334) 699-5599.