AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS

Overview

Automobile accidents happen every day, and the injuries range from property damage to the automobile to fatalities. Automobile accidents can carry civil and/or criminal liability depending on the events that transpired before and after the accident. We are here to help whether you were injured in a car accident, you caused the accident or you have incurred a criminal charge due to an automobile accident. In any case it is important to know the rules and procedures mandated by the State of Alabama regarding automobiles and accidents associated therewith.

At the law firm of Fortune & Beard our attorney’s are well versed in the Alabama law surrounding automobile accidents, and can help ease the litigation or settlement process regardless of what side of the accident you are on.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW

Alabama has a two (2) year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. This means that you have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim or two (2) years from the time in which you discover the injury. Once this two (2) years has elapsed you will be barred from making a claim for your injury.

Alabama requires all Alabama licensed motorist to carry liability insurance. The statute requiring liability insurance is contained in The Code of Alabama 1975, Section 32-7A-4, which states in part:

  • (a) No person shall operate, register, or maintain registration of, and no owner shall permit another person to operate, register, or maintain registration of, a motor vehicle designed to be used on a public highway unless the motor vehicle is covered by a liability insurance policy, motor vehicle liability bond, or deposit of cash.

Alabama law also requires an accident report when there is any damage and/or injury. The statute requiring a report to be filed is contained in The Code of Alabama 1975, Section 32-7-5, which states in part:

  • The operator of every motor vehicle which is in any manner involved in an accident within this state, in which any person is killed or injured or in which damage to the property of any one person, including himself or herself, in excess of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) is sustained, shall within 30 days after the accident report the matter in writing to the director…If the operator is physically incapable of making the report, the owner of the motor vehicle involved in the accident shall, within 10 days after learning of the accident, make the report.

Alabama has a guest statute. A guest statute bars recovery from the passenger that is riding in the car that causes an accident, unless there has been some type of payment by you for the ride. In short, unless you and the driver are sharing traveling expenses, (i.e. paying for gas), you will be unable to recover for your injuries.

If you are in an automobile accident here are a few things you should know:

  1.  Do not leave the scene of the accident. Leaving the scene of the accident if damage is involved could result in criminal penalties.
  2. Call the police and make a report. The report is needed to acquire statements from all parties involved and map out the accident. Reports are also needed for insurance purposes, as well a state mandated.
  3. Provide the police officer with your insurance. If you are responsible for the accident then it is important to provide the other party with your insurance information.

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