How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident in Alabama?

Your legal rights after a car accident are only established when you are able to prove that someone else was to blame for what happened. The driver who was negligent is the one who has to pay for the injuries that they cost to the other. If both drivers were negligent, neither would be able to receive financial compensation. You need an experienced Anniston car accident attorney to establish and protect your legal rights after a car accident. Call Steve Morris Law today to discuss your case.

You Must Prove Negligence to Win

The fact that a car accident happened is not evidence in itself that someone was to blame. You need to show that there was some type of wrongful conduct that caused the accident. In legal terms, you must demonstrate that the other driver was negligent. To carry your own burden of proof, you need to show each of the following:

  • The other driver owed you a duty of care
  • They breached the duty of care by doing something considered unreasonable under the circumstances
  • You suffered an injury
  • You would not have been injured had it not been for the actions of the other driver

The second element is usually the most important. Everything comes down to the facts of your case and what the other driver did and showing that it was wrongful. If you fail to prove any one of these elements, you do not qualify for a settlement check.

You Need Evidence of Negligence

In a car accident case, what you say about what happened does not really matter. The only thing that is important is the physical evidence and proof that shows what both you and the other driver did. The insurance company is never going to believe you otherwise. If you are coming for their money, you will never get the benefit of the doubt from them.

It is very difficult for you to investigate your own accident and gather evidence that you need to submit with your claim. First, you are not an experienced investigator who knows how to obtain this evidence. Second, you are dealing with physical injuries, and you do not have the bandwidth to deal with anything else.

Make sure to hire an attorney right after the accident. They will perform a complete investigation and gather the necessary proof. If you wait too long, you could lose the physical evidence that is crucial to your case and come away with nothing.

Does the Police Report Help Me Prove My Claim?

The police report can be helpful to your claim in several ways. If the insurance companies are determining liability, they may give a great deal of weight to what a police officer says. However, there are limits to how much you can use the police report to prove your case.

The police officer may have seen certain things when they showed up, but they did not see the accident itself. Thus, if your case goes to court, the police report cannot be introduced as evidence because it is considered hearsay. Nonetheless, you would still need a copy of the police report to submit with your insurance claim because it may still be considered. Make sure to obtain a copy of the report as soon as it is available.

What if I was Partially to Blame for the Accident?

Unfortunately, Alabama does not have a law that is very favorable to drivers. Alabama uses the doctrine of contributory negligence. If you were even 1% to blame for the car accident, you could not obtain any financial compensation whatsoever. You are completely barred from any type of recovery if you share in the blame.

If this law seems very unfair to drivers, that is the reality. Insurance companies try to take full advantage of the doctrine of contributory negligence by pointing a finger at the injured driver in any way that they can. It is crucial that you have an attorney because your lawyer would need to defend you from any wrongful allegations that you were partially to blame. The success of your case depends on it.

Once you are able to prove negligence, an Anniston car accident lawyer would estimate the value of your claim by reviewing your documentation. They would then fight for you to get every dollar possible from the insurance company. Without an attorney, you are vulnerable to the tactics of the insurance company, which are designed to be as unfavorable to you as humanly possible.

Call an Anniston Car Accident Lawyer Today

One of the first things that you need to do after a car accident is secure the legal help that you need to fight for full and fair financial compensation. Steve Morris Law is standing by and ready to assist you in your battle with the insurance company that you can expect is coming. You can begin the legal process by calling us today at 256-357-9211 or sending us a message through our website. We will never charge anything for our time until you win your case.

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