Motor vehicle accidents can be life-altering events that often come with a myriad of legal implications. In Alabama, specific laws and regulations govern how these incidents are handled. In this blog post, we’ll break down the intricacies of the legal landscape for auto accidents in Alabama, provide real-world examples, and offer tips on how to protect yourself legally after a car accident.
A Brief Overview of Alabama Auto Accident Laws
When it comes to motor vehicle accidents in Alabama, there are some crucial legal requirements that drivers must adhere to:
Mandatory Reporting: If an accident results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500, drivers must report the incident to the appropriate state authorities within 30 days.
Minimum Liability Insurance Coverage: All drivers in Alabama are required to carry minimum liability insurance coverage, which includes $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person, $50,000 for bodily injury or death per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
Understanding these laws is essential when navigating the aftermath of an auto accident in Alabama.
Real-World Scenarios: How Alabama’s Laws Apply to Different Types of Crashes
Let’s explore some examples of how these rules apply to various types of auto accidents:
Rear-end Collision: Suppose you’re stopped at a traffic light, and another driver rear-ends your vehicle. In this case, the other driver is typically considered at fault for the accident. Their liability insurance should cover any damages related to injuries or property damage.
Hit-and-Run: If you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident where the at-fault driver flees the scene, you may need to rely on your own uninsured motorist coverage (if you have it) to cover the costs of medical treatment and property damage.
Multi-Vehicle Accident: In a multi-vehicle collision, determining fault can be more complicated. Alabama follows the contributory negligence rule, which means that if you’re found to be even partially at fault for the accident, you may not be able to recover any damages from the other parties involved.
Basic Court Proceedings in Alabama
If you decide to file a lawsuit after an auto accident in Alabama, there are several steps involved. Firstly, you’ll need to have your Birmingham injury attorney file a complaint with the court, explaining your case and seeking compensation for damages resulting from the accident.
The defendant (the at-fault driver) will then have a chance to respond to the complaint, either by admitting fault or denying it. If they admit fault, the court will move to the damages phase, where both parties will negotiate a fair settlement.
However, if the defendant denies fault, the case will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine fault and the appropriate damages to award.
Should you talk to an Birmingham car accident attorney?
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney after a car accident if any of the following are true:
- You suffered a physical injury in the crash
- Your insurance company denied your claim
- Your insurance company offered to settle your claim for less than you think you deserve
Even if you don’t think you need to hire a local injury attorney, you have very little to lose by meeting with a personal injury attorney, as most initial consultations are free. An experienced attorney can fight for your rights and the justice you deserve.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!