Cross & Smith LLC


Tuscaloosa Car Accidents: Answers to Your Common Questions

Dec 29, 2023 - Car Accidents by

After an automobile accident, it is not uncommon for those involved to have many questions and concerns about what to do next and the steps that need to be followed. Below, our Tuscaloosa car accident attorney answers some common questions that are asked after an accident. If you have specific questions, please contact us directly to ensure you have the latest information possible regarding your legal rights and options.

1. What should I do immediately after a car accident in Tuscaloosa?

After a car accident in Tuscaloosa or elsewhere in Alabama, you should definitely prioritize your safety and the safety of others. Ensure everyone involved is safe and call for medical assistance if necessary. You should also contact the police to report the accident, exchange information with the other parties involved, and document the scene by taking pictures.  

2. Is Alabama a no-fault state for car insurance?

No, Alabama is not a no-fault state. It follows a traditional fault-based system, meaning the at-fault driver and their insurance company are responsible for covering the damages resulting from an accident.

3. What is the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit in Alabama?

In Alabama, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit resulting from a car accident is generally two years from the date of the accident. It’s crucial to file within this timeframe to preserve your right to seek compensation.

4. How is fault determined in Alabama car accidents?

Alabama follows the “contributory negligence” rule, which means if you are found even partially at fault for the accident, you may be barred from recovering any damages. The determination of fault is typically based on evidence such as witness statements, police reports, and other relevant documentation.

5. What damages can I recover after a car accident in Alabama?

If you are not at fault, you may be eligible to recover various damages, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs. Consult with a Tuscaloosa car accident attorney to discuss the specific details of your case.

6. Do I need to report the accident to the police in Alabama?

Yes, you should report any car accident in Alabama to the police if there are injuries, fatalities, or property damage exceeding $250. The police report can be crucial when determining fault and filing insurance claims.

7. How does Alabama’s pure contributory negligence rule affect my claim?

Alabama’s pure contributory negligence rule means that if you are found even 1% at fault for the accident, you may be unable to recover any damages. Insurance adjusters often use this rule to minimize payouts, making it essential to seek legal advice to navigate potential challenges.

8. What if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured?

If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may still have options. Your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can help cover your damages. Consult with your insurance provider to understand the specific terms and conditions of your policy.

9. Should I see a doctor after a car accident even if I don’t feel any pain?

Yes, you are encouraged to see a doctor promptly after a car accident, even if you don’t immediately feel injured. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately, and prompt medical attention can help identify and address potential issues.

10. Can I negotiate with the insurance company on my own?

While it’s possible to negotiate with the insurance company on your own, it’s often beneficial to consult with an experienced Tuscaloosa car accident attorney. Insurance companies may attempt to minimize payouts, and having legal representation can help ensure you receive fair compensation.

11. How long does it take to settle a car accident claim in Alabama?

The time it takes to settle a car accident claim in Alabama can vary depending on the complexity of the case, the extent of injuries, and other factors. Some cases may be resolved relatively quickly, while others may require more time, especially if litigation becomes necessary.

12. Can I file a lawsuit if the insurance company denies my claim?

Yes, if your insurance claim is denied, you have the right to file a lawsuit to seek compensation. Consult with an attorney to understand the reasons for the denial and explore your legal options.

13. What role does evidence play in a car accident case in Alabama?

Evidence is crucial in establishing fault and supporting your claim. Collect evidence at the accident scene, such as photographs, witness statements, and the police report. Medical records and documentation of expenses also play a vital role in proving damages.

14. Are there specific laws regarding distracted driving in Alabama?

Yes, Alabama has laws prohibiting texting while driving. Additionally, local ordinances may further regulate the use of mobile devices while operating a vehicle. Violations can contribute to determining fault in a car accident case.

15. How is property damage handled in Alabama car accidents?

Property damage claims are typically handled through the at-fault driver’s property damage liability insurance. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, your own insurance policy may cover property damage, depending on the coverage you have.

16. Can I file a claim if I was a passenger in a car involved in an accident?

Yes, passengers in a car involved in an accident can file a claim for compensation. As a passenger, you are typically not at fault for the accident, and you can seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance.

17. Is there a cap on damages in Alabama car accident cases?

Currently, Alabama does not have a specific cap on damages in car accident cases. However, it’s essential to speak with a knowledgeable accident attorney for the latest information, as laws may have changed recently.

18. What if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured?

If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can provide protection. This coverage is designed to compensate you for damages when the at-fault party lacks adequate insurance.

19. Can I use my health insurance to cover medical expenses after a car accident?

Yes, you can use your health insurance to cover medical expenses after a car accident. Your health insurance provider may pay for your medical bills initially, and if you receive compensation from the at-fault party or their insurance, your health insurance provider may seek reimbursement.

20. How much does it cost to hire a Tuscaloosa car accident attorney?

Many car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. Typically, the attorney will receive a percentage of the settlement or court award. When you contact our office, we will fully discuss our fees and payment arrangements.

Speak to a Tuscaloosa Car Accident Attorney Today

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident in Alabama involves understanding the state’s laws and procedures. Always stay informed about your rights and options to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages. Contact us today to discuss the specifics of your situation.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"This law firm is a joy to work with. They are responsive and caring. If you have a personal injury or accident case, contact Cross and Smith, LLC. I highly recommend these attorneys."
Posted By: Eddie Briseño

Read More Reviews