If you have been injured in a car accident in Alabama, several crucial state laws could significantly impact your claim if you decide to make one.
If you were injured, you might even be entitled to seek compensation for your medical expenses and other bills through a car accident claim. However, it is essential to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to help you file your claim, deal with insurance companies and gather critical evidence to build a strong case.
We want to ensure that you understand Alabama’s auto accident laws, the statute of limitations, and contributory negligence. In addition, if you are entitled to financial compensation, hiring an attorney will ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Alabama Car Accident Laws
The laws in Alabama that could impact your car accident lawsuit include the following:
- There is a 2-year deadline to file a lawsuit on a car injury accident in Alabama’s civil court system, Alabama Code section 6-2-38.
- The doctrine of contributory negligence is considered unfriendly to plaintiffs. It prevents the plaintiff from any financial compensation if they are even partially responsible for the cause of the car accident.
However, if the only lawsuit you want to file is over vehicle damage, you have six years to file against the driver at-fault, Alabama Code section 6-2-34.
The Statue of Limitation for Car Accidents in Alabama
Alabama has a “Statute of Limitations,” which limits the plaintiff’s time to file a lawsuit or complaint. The deadlines change depending on the harm you suffered and the type of lawsuit you want to file. It encourages information to be gathered promptly. For example, traffic video footage must be gathered to ensure you get evidence for your case.
If you fail to meet Alabama’s statute of limitations for car accidents, it could result in the following:
- Your case will be dismissed should you file after the allotted two-year period expires
- Filing your lawsuit again wouldn’t be allowed even if new evidence is found
- The insurance company most likely would have no incentive to approve your claim should too much time pass between your car accident and your lawsuit claim
The exception to the statute of limitation is that if you suffered injuries in a car accident as a minor, you may have additional time beginning on your 18th birthday to file a lawsuit against the liable party.
Understanding Alabama’s Fault Laws and System
In Alabama, there is a legal concept called contributory negligence. It states that if you are involved in an accident and contribute to it, you can’t recover financial compensation in court, even if the car accident is only slightly your fault.
The pure contributory negligence doctrine prevents Alabama juries and judges from awarding any victim compensation when there is a partial fault, and it can also influence auto insurance claims. Insurance claims adjusters use their experience and knowledge to determine settlement offers based on what they think could happen in court.
Contributory negligence seems like a harsh rule to most people; don’t let it stop you from filing a car accident lawsuit. Talk to an experienced Alabama personal injury attorney instead.
Alabama Compensation Limits in Car Accidents
Generally, Alabama doesn’t limit compensation for those injured in a car accident. However, there are some crucial exceptions to this rule, including:
- Punitive damages are awarded to an at-fault party who has acted with extreme recklessness or intentional malice. For this type of compensation is limited by a ratio to compensatory damages in most cases.
- Small business claims have a maximum amount of compensation of $50,000 or up to 10% of the organization’s net worth, whichever is greater
- Government claims happen when someone files a lawsuit against a local government agency. Compensation amounts are limited to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident
Car Accidents and Insurance Claims
In Alabama, car accidents and auto insurance follow a fault system. When there’s a car accident, and someone is injured, the victims can hold the liable party responsible for their losses unless both parties are at fault. Alabama mandates liability insurance and requires car owners and drivers to carry a minimum of at least:
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
This basic car insurance liability coverage will pay property damage and medical expenses for other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians involved in an accident that is your fault. However, the liability coverage will not cover your medical injuries or property damage. If you are injured in a car accident, hire an experienced personal injury attorney to help you with your claim.
For Help With A Car Accident Claim In Alabama, Hire Brackin Law Firm
Getting injured in a car accident can dramatically alter your life and take a physical, emotional, and mental toll on you. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, it is time to consult with a qualified Alabama accident attorney.
At Brackin Law Firm, we are here to help. Our firm has over 35 years of representing Baldwin County families in auto accident cases, divorce and family law, Criminal Defense and DUIs, and Estate Planning. We want to put our skills and experience to work for you to protect your rights. Contact us today for a consultation, and we will get to work fighting for you!