Cross & Smith LLC


A Tuscaloosa Auto Accident Attorney Explains Your Options When You Are Injured as a Passenger in Alabama

Jan 17, 2022 - Car Accidents by

When we agree to ride with a friend or family member we automatically assume that we will arrive at our destination safe and sound. We rarely think about what will happen in the event of an accident. However, accidents do occur and passengers are injured. When this happens to you, you need the assistance of a Tuscaloosa auto accident attorney that understands Alabama law and will fight to help you gain the compensation you deserve.

Contributory Negligence

Alabama is a contributory negligence state, which means that even if you are only partially responsible for an accident, you are barred from recovery for your injuries. While this may sound like a harsh rule, as a passenger this should not affect you as passengers are rarely held responsible for accidents.  There have been cases, however, where passengers have been unable to recover compensatory damages because they knowingly accepted a ride with a driver that was intoxicated.

When the Other Driver Is At Fault

When the other driver is at fault for the accident, you have the ability to pursue compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. If they are uninsured or underinsured, you may have other options, which can be explained to you by a Tuscaloosa auto accident attorney.

When the Driver You Are Riding With Is At Fault

Matters become more complicated when the driver you are riding with is at fault in the accident. 

Alabama has a Guest Passenger Statute which holds that a passenger that is being transported without having to pay for that transport is not allowed to hold the driver liable for any losses or damages sustained in an accident, with one exception. That exception states that if the driver’s “willful or wanton misconduct” was the cause of the accident, then the driver may be held liable. Willful and wanton conduct is generally held to be more than “mere negligence.”

What You May Be Entitled To Receive for Damages

When you are injured as a passenger, you may be able to recover compensation for different losses you have suffered, including:

  • Medical Expenses: You may be able to recover for treatment you received immediately after the accident as well as any long-term treatment that is necessary. 
  • Lost Earnings: If the accident you were in caused you to miss any work, you may be able to recover those lost wages.
  • Pain & Suffering: Pain and suffering are typically not as easily documented as medical expenses and lost wages. To recover for pain and suffering, you will need to prove their existence to the court. 

Obtain Assistance From A Tuscaloosa Auto Accident Attorney

If you were injured while riding with someone else, you need a Tuscaloosa auto accident attorney that understands compensatory negligence and the Alabama Guest Passenger Statute. Contact Cross & Smith, LLC, by calling 877-791-0618 or via their contact page.  Our attorneys will provide you with representation that you can depend on.

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