If you were injured in a car accident someone else caused in Alabama, the responsible party might be evident to you but proving their negligence could be another story altogether. Determining fault in a car accident is not always a straightforward process. Parties such as insurance adjusters, police officers, and accident investigators will decide who they believe was at fault. However, the courts have the final word on the matter.
Below, we will briefly discuss how to prove fault after a car accident in Alabama and how contributory negligence plays a role in liability.
Is Alabama a No-Fault State?
No, like most U.S. states, Alabama is a fault-based state. There are only a handful of no-fault states in the country. In a no-fault state, motorists must purchase no-fault insurance. If they are injured in an accident, they typically turn to their own coverage to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs.
In a fault-based state like Alabama, a car accident victim can file a claim with the at-fault motorist’s auto insurance company. In addition to compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and other costs associated with the accident, car accident victims in fault-based states, including Alabama, can also pursue compensation for non-financial damages like pain and suffering.
How Do You Prove Fault in a Car Accident Claim in Alabama?
To successfully prove fault in a car accident, you must show that the motorist who hit you was negligent. You will need to gather and preserve evidence to support your claim. Some of the most common types of evidence used to prove liability for a car accident include:
- Accident reconstruction expert testimony
- Medical records
- Eyewitness statements
- Surveillance videos
- Cell phone data
- Driver testimony
After filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, a claims adjuster will likely contact you. The insurance adjuster‘s role is to review your claim and discuss a potential settlement while keeping the best interests of their employer in mind.
Their chief goal will be to limit the insurance company’s losses, and adjusters are notorious for using numerous tactics. One of the most common ways claims adjusters minimizes payouts is to offer you a quick, lump-sum payment.
Although it can be tempting to accept the offer to shorten the claims process and put the accident behind you, patience usually works to your advantage. It’s better to wait to agree on a settlement agreement until after you’ve consulted with a knowledgeable attorney, as the initial settlement offer likely won’t be generous. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance claims adjuster on your behalf, significantly improving your chances of recovering a fair amount.
Contributory Negligence in Alabama Car Accident Cases
Alabama is a contributory negligence state. The contributory negligence statute is one of the strictest in the country. If you are found to be even 1 percent liable for the accident, you cannot recover any compensation. Even if the other driver is 99 percent at fault for the crash, you are barred from recovering anything from them.
That’s why it’s crucial to have a seasoned Alabama car accident lawyer in your corner. The other driver’s insurance company might try to shift the blame to you. If your case goes to trial, you need aggressive legal representation to help you prove that the other motorist was 100 percent liable for the accident.
Contact Our Alabama Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence in Alabama, you need the guidance of a dedicated and qualified accident lawyer. At Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., our goal is to seek the best possible outcome with maximum compensation. Contact us today for an honest and free consultation.