Auto Accident FAQJuly 31, 2014
- 1. What information do I need after I have been involved in an Alabama auto accident?
- 2. Should I go to the doctor after my car accident if I’m only “a little sore?”
- 3. How is fault determined in a collision?
- 4. What is negligence?
- 5. How are damages defined in a car accident lawsuit?
- 6. What if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or has inadequate coverage to reimburse me for all my damages?
- 7. When should I contact an Alabama auto accident attorney?
- 8. When should I settle my car accident injury claim?
- 9. Is there anything that I should NOT do after being involved in a crash?
What information do I need after I have been involved in an Alabama auto accident?
After being involved in an Alabama auto accident, regardless of who you believe was at-fault for the crash, it is important to collect the following information:
- Contact information, including names, addresses, telephone numbers, license numbers, makes and models of all vehicles involved, and the names, policy numbers and contact information of the insurance companies of all parties involved in the collision.
- The names and badge numbers of any police officers who arrive at the scene of the crash.
- Contact information for any witnesses.
- Photographs of the accident scene. Be sure to include all property damage and any visible signs of injury.
Should I go to the doctor after my car accident if I’m only “a little sore?”
It’s a good idea to seek medical attention right away after being involved in a car accident, even if you do not believe that you have been seriously injured. Sometimes, the symptoms of severe injuries are not always immediately apparent and can take a few days to become visible.
In order for an injury victim to recover fair compensation, they must be able to show that their condition was caused by the wreck. By seeing a doctor right away, a victim will be able to provide documentation which proves that their injuries were a result of the accident. By having medical records to support an injury claim, the victim is much more likely to recover fair compensation.
How is fault determined in a collision?
Fault refers to who or what was responsible for causing an accident and who is liable for any injuries or property damage. Insurance companies are usually the ones who determine fault. An adjuster will evaluate the circumstances surrounding the crash, including weather conditions, road conditions, traffic laws and other influencing factors when determining fault.
When there are multiple vehicles involved in a crash, it is possible for more than one person to be at fault. The insurance company will assign percentages or degrees of fault in the crash.
Alabama is a pure contributory negligence state. This means that if your actions contributed at all to the accident, even if the other party is found to be 99 percent responsible for the crash, you are not able to collect damages.
What is negligence?
When a driver is fails to follow a reasonable standard of care for the safety of other motorists sharing the road, this is considered negligence. In order to be eligible to file a car accident lawsuit, the injury victim must be able to prove that the accident was caused through the negligence of another.
How are damages defined in a car accident lawsuit?
There are two different types of damages that Alabama auto accident victims may be able to pursue after being involved in a crash. “Damages” is the term used to define the monetary compensation awarded for losses. Victims may be able to seek either economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages are easily quantifiable, including current and future medical expenses, property damage and lost wages. Non-economic damages are much more difficult to place a monetary value on. Common non-economic damages awarded to car accident victims include pain and suffering, emotional trauma, mental anguish, loss of consortium and loss of quality of life.
What if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or has inadequate coverage to reimburse me for all my damages?
You may be able to recover damages from your own insurance provider if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or has inadequate coverage to completely compensate you for your damages, but only if your auto insurance policy includes uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage is also used in hit-and-run accidents to help injury victims recover their losses.
When should I contact an Alabama auto accident attorney?
We urge you to contact an experienced car accident lawyer soon after being involved in a collision. Contacting a lawyer right away allows you to begin the legal process as soon as possible, which could make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim.
It’s important to hire an attorney right away, while the facts and evidence necessary to support your claim are still fresh and easy to come by. Not to mention, Alabama has a strict statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit and failing to do so within a reasonable amount of time could significantly affect your ability to recover fair compensation for your losses.
When should I settle my car accident injury claim?
NEVER accept a settlement before you have finished all medical treatments for your injuries and have been released by your doctor. Many car accident victims fail to realize the extent of their injuries and financial losses. Accepting a settlement before you know exactly what your expenses are could leave you with the burden of paying for your treatment yourself.
It is important, however, to keep in mind the statute of limitations for your claim. An experienced auto accident lawyer will be able to determine the statute of limitations period for your claim as well as any other deadlines that may affect your case, as these issues can vary based on the specific circumstances of the accident.
Is there anything that I should NOT do after being involved in a crash?
After being involved in a crash, it is important to follow these guidelines, as failure to do so might limit your ability to recover fair compensation:
- Never leave the scene of the accident without notifying the police if it is clear that you were not at fault. Proper documentation of the wreck will only benefit you in your pursuit for justice.
- Never admit responsibility for the crash to anyone at the site, including police officers, paramedics and witnesses.
- Never give a statement to an insurance provider, whether it is the other driver’s insurance company or your own, before seeking legal counsel.
For more information on the legal rights which may be available to Mobile and Baldwin County accident victims and their families or to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with an attorney at the Citrin Law Firm to explore your legal options, we encourage you to please complete the Free Case Review form on this page.
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