Car crashes are unpredictable events that can result in major consequences. There are thousands of collisions every year in Alabama. Those affected by a recent collision will probably have some questions about what they can expect in the future.
There are certain questions that people tend to ask more commonly than others after major collisions in Alabama. Knowing the answers to those frequently asked questions can empower people to respond appropriately after a crash.
Who covers the cost of a crash?
Personal fault largely influences financial responsibility after a collision. The insurance policy of the person determined to be responsible for the crash will usually cover the losses generated by the wreck. Someone who causes a crash with catastrophic consequences may also be subject to a lawsuit initiated by the affected parties.
What steps should someone take after a crash?
People are often unsure of what they should do following a collision, but there are basic steps that everyone should take. Exchanging information with the other party involved in the crash will be important. People also need to contact the local police department to report the crash. Finally, they may want to take pictures or video of the scene of the crash before they move their vehicles.
How much will insurance cover?
Every driver in Alabama decides for themselves how much insurance they need. As long as their policies meet state minimum standards, they can choose to add additional coverage to protect themselves. Alabama only mandates liability coverage. Drivers need to have at least $25,000 in property damage coverage. If they cause a crash where one person gets hurt, they should have at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage. The minimum coverage increases to $50,000 for crashes that cause injury to two or more people. Policy limits, rather than the actual cost of the crash, will determine the maximum amount of compensation that someone can receive through insurance.
Can small mistakes prevent someone from filing a lawsuit?
In most states, comparative fault rules allow someone who makes a small mistake to hold someone who made a bigger mistake accountable for their injuries. Someone who didn’t use their blinker at an intersection, for example, could file a personal injury lawsuit against someone who caused a crash due to distraction or drunk driving. That is generally not the case in Alabama. State law instead applies contributory negligence rules. Any degree of responsibility for an incident will strip someone of their right to pursue litigation. However, if a defendant in a lawsuit wants to blame the plaintiff for the incident, the burden of proof will fall to them.
People with more complicated questions may need to talk to someone familiar with the law in Alabama. Having accurate answers to questions after a car crash can help people more effectively respond to the aftermath of a wreck.