If you were hurt in a motor vehicle accident in Alabama, you are entitled to pursue monetary compensation for your losses. However, it won’t be easy. Personal injury laws in the state are known to be unfair to victims. To help you prepare for what you may face in your case, familiarize yourself with the five laws/rules below.
Rule #1: Contributory Negligence
Alabama is one of a handful of states to follow the contributory negligence doctrine when assigning fault in an accident. This harsh principle bars you from recovering compensation if you are partially at fault for the accident — even 1%.
Rule #2: Guest Passenger Statute
Alabama’s guest passenger statute prohibits a passenger from making a claim against the driver of the car they were in, even if the driver was negligent. There are exceptions to this rule however, such as if you were compensating the driver for a ride (Uber, Lyft, etc) or if the driver’s behavior was willfully reckless or wanton.
Rule #3: Collateral Source
An at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to argue that a victim’s medical bills were not “incurred” because they were paid by a collateral source (private health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, workers’ compensation, etc.) As a consequence, the insurer may attempt to reduce compensatory damages.
Rule #4: Survival Statute
If a loved one is injured in an accident through no fault of their own and dies before filing suit against the person who is responsible, the claim is lost. In other words, the victim’s survivors are unable to be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, and other injury-related costs.
Rule #5: Wrongful Death
Alabama is the only state that does not compensate a deceased victim’s family for monetary losses in a wrongful death case. The only damages that can be awarded are punitive which is based on the severity of wrongful conduct by the at-fault party.
Contact Alabama Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in Alabama, call the Black Belt Law Group, LLC for a consultation at (866) JTLAW-66.