Every state in America has different laws regarding car accidents. If you are in an accident in Alabama, it is important that you understand Alabama car accident laws. Not only do you need to know your responsibilities after an accident, you also need to know your rights.
If you do get into an accident in Alabama, make sure to contact an Alabama auto accident lawyer for help.
Reporting a Car Accident in Alabama
After an accident, you may be wondering whether it needs to be reported. According to the Alabama Department of Public Safety, the accident would need to be reported if the crash resulted in damage to property exceeding $250.
Also, if someone was injured or killed in the accident, it would need to be reported. Since it may be difficult to know if the people in the other vehicle will seek medical attention after leaving the scene of the accident, it is best to file a report of your own so that your side of the story is documented.
What Should I Do After An Accident?
Immediately after an accident, you should call 911 even if you think that the accident was minor. You should also exchange information with the driver, such as their license information, their registration, and their insurance.
To get all of the information correct, you should take a picture of the other driver’s documents on your phone. Also, you should never apologize or accept fault in the accident. If you are entitled to a settlement, statements like these can have a negative effect on your case.
Who Do I File a Claim With?
To recover damages from the accident from the other driver, you have a few options:
- File a claim with your own insurance company
- File a claim with the other driver’s’ insurance company
- Contact a lawyer and file a lawsuit
If you choose to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, an adjuster will evaluate the damages and the injuries sustained by you and the passengers in your vehicle. Next, the adjuster will offer you a settlement.
Since the adjuster is working for the other driver’s insurance, they will have their best interests in mind, not yours. Because of this, they will likely offer a settlement that is less than you deserve. Also, the settlement may be offered before you know the full extent of your injuries.
You are not required to accept the settlement. In this case, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will have the knowledge and experience to determine whether the settlement that you are being offered is fair.
How Long Do I Have To File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Alabama?
If you refuse the settlement from the other driver’s insurance company, you should hire a lawyer to get the compensation that you deserve. According to Alabama law, the time frame for filing a lawsuit is two years.
The clock starts right after the accident occurred. If you allow that time period to lapse, the court will likely deny your claim and you won’t have the opportunity to be compensated for your losses.
What Will I Be Compensated for After an Accident?
If it is determined that you did not cause the accident, you have the right to certain forms of compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. These include the following:
- Damage to your vehicle and your property
- Current and future medical bills related to the accident
- Lost wages if your injuries made you unable to work
- Pain and suffering
If you are in a car accident in Alabama, it is important that you understand your rights and responsibilities. This is especially true if you were injured and you plan to file a claim. If you have any questions regarding the process, a personal injury lawyer can help.