What To Expect During a Car Accident Lawsuit | Birmingham, AL

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What To Expect During a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Know the Bumps in the Legal Road

After a car accident, the immediate concern is often what steps to take next. Medical bills can pile up quickly, even before you start looking for Alabama personal injury attorneys. If you’re currently in need of legal assistance after a car accident, then you’ve landed on the right page.

Car crashes can happen when a car hits another car, a person walking, an animal, something on the road, or even a pole or building. These crashes can hurt people, cause deaths, and damage vehicles.  This is why it’s important to know what to do after a crash in Alabama.

Short Summary

  • In Alabama, drivers need car insurance covering at least $25,000 for one person’s injuries, $50,000 for multiple injuries, and $25,000 for property damage, with higher coverage options and protections for accidents with uninsured drivers.
  • You generally have two years to file a lawsuit after a car accident. Don’t wait to consult with an attorney.
  • Distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, and unsafe lane changes are some of the most frequent causes of car accidents in Alabama.
  • After a car accident, ensure everyone’s safety, call 911, file a police report, collect evidence and information, and see a doctor even if you don’t feel injured immediately.
  • Filing a car accident lawsuit involves dealing with insurance companies, investigating the accident, and sending a demand for compensation. It may also include filing a complaint, responding to the other party, going through discovery, filing motions, and possibly going to trial for a verdict.

Understanding Car Accident Laws in Alabama

In Alabama, the law requires all drivers to carry car insurance that meets a minimum amount of coverage. This means your insurance must pay for at least:

It’s important to note that many drivers choose insurance plans with higher coverage than this minimum. Additionally, if you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance, you might be able to get money from your own uninsured motorist coverage. However, the person who caused the accident is still responsible for paying you back, even if they don’t have insurance.

Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim in Alabama?

In Alabama, there’s a time limit for suing someone after a car accident. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. Generally, you have two years to file a lawsuit from the date of the crash. However, there are some exceptions that can extend this deadline. 

  • Disabled: If you’re too hurt to file a claim on time because of your injuries, the two-year clock doesn’t start ticking until you’re no longer disabled. For example, if you’re a minor injured in a crash, you can wait until you turn 18 to sue.
  • Missing Defendant: If the person who caused the accident leaves the state or can’t be found, the time they’re missing isn’t counted towards the two-year limit.

What Are Common Causes of Car Accidents in Alabama?

Car accidents can happen for many reasons, and sometimes it’s because someone wasn’t careful enough. Here are some common causes:

  • Using your phone while driving
  • Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions:
  • Driving angry or in a rush
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Making turns that are unsafe or illegal
  • Not letting someone else go first when they have the right of way
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Trying to change lanes or pass another car in a dangerous way
  • Being too tired to drive

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

If you’re in a car accident, the most important thing is to get yourself and everyone else safe. Once you’re out of danger, you can start taking care of next steps, like calling the police and getting help from your insurance company. Here are some important things to do after a car crash:

  1. Call 911 for help: This will get you an ambulance if anyone is hurt and the police to file a report.
  2. File a police report: The police will come to the scene of the accident and ask what happened. This report is important for your insurance claim.
  3. Collect evidence and information: Take pictures of the damage to your car and the other cars involved. Get the names and contact information of everyone involved in the accident, including any witnesses.
  4. See a doctor: Even if you don’t feel hurt right away, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries can take time to show symptoms.

I Want To File A Car Accident Lawsuit. What To Expect?

Filing a car accident lawsuit can be a complex process, but here’s a general idea of what to expect:

  1. Dealing with Insurance Companies: Dealing with Insurance Companies: After the accident, insurance adjusters will contact you. Their job is to find reasons to deny your claim. They might use anything you say against you. 
  2. Investigation: First, they will investigate the accident. You’ll gather details about what happened, your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and more. 
  3. Demand: Once they investigate, they’ll decide what your case is worth. Then, they’ll send a request for money (called a demand) to the other driver’s insurance company. This money will pay you back for your injuries. The other driver’s insurance company can accept the demand, offer a different amount, or reject it completely.
  4. Filing a Lawsuit: If they don’t settle, we can file a special legal document called a complaint. This explains how you (the person suing, called the plaintiff) got hurt and why the other driver (called the defendant) is responsible. It will also ask for compensation for your damages. These damages are the money you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses from the accident.
  5. Other Party Responds: After you file the complaint, the other driver will usually answer with a document called an answer. This answer will say whether they agree or disagree with what you said in the complaint. They can also use it to blame you or someone else for the accident. 
  6. Discovery: During this phase, both sides will ask each other and any witnesses questions under oath (meaning they have to swear to tell the truth). 
  7. Motions: Motions are like requests made to the judge during the lawsuit. Usually, they happen after the question-and-answer phase (discovery). If the answers show your case is weak, the other driver might ask the judge to throw it out. The judge might take some time to decide on this request, so be patient. 
  8. Trial: Getting ready for trial is very important in an Alabama car accident case. The court will choose a group of people to decide the case (called jurors). The judge will explain the law to the jurors, and they have to follow those rules when making their decision. Then, they will go to a private room to discuss the case and reach a verdict. 
  9. Verdict: The jury will decide who caused the accident and how much money you should get for your injuries. In some trickier cases, like accidents involving trucks, they might make two decisions: one for fault and another for how much money you deserve.

File Car Accident Claim Now!

A car accident in Alabama can be a confusing and stressful time. But knowing the law can help you get back on your feet. This includes things like common causes of accidents, typical injuries, and deadlines for filing a lawsuit. 

By understanding your rights, you can take care of medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Recovering from an accident can be tough, but with some planning and help from a lawyer, you can handle the challenges and get the money you deserve. Here’s where experienced Alabama car accident attorneys can come in.

At Petro Accident and Injury Attorneys, we fight whatever it takes for the compensation you rightfully deserve. Using our 30+ years of experience, we are certain that we can make a positive change in your situation. 

Other than car accidents, we can also help you with truck accidents and other types of personal injury cases. Speak with your Alabama car accident attorneys now! Let’s fight together to achieve justice! Get an initial consultation now!

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