Here’s What To Do When You Get in a Car Accident in Alabama

You’re driving to or from some errand when another vehicle rear-ends or T-bones your car. Now what? Do you have to call the police? Will you need an Alabama car accident lawyer?

The first minutes and hours after an accident can be extremely confusing. Knowing what to do when you get in a car accident will help protect your rights and improve your chances of claiming compensation for your damages. 

Steps To Take After an Accident

Even careful drivers who follow all car safety regulations can end up in an accident. If an unexpected collision disrupts your trip, here’s what you should do. 

Call the Police

If you or someone else needs urgent help after an accident, call 911. Even in non-emergencies, you should call the police to make a report. 

The Alabama Uniform Traffic Accident Report will play an important role in your claim process. Insurance companies look into police reports to investigate claims, confirm that an accident happened, and establish fault. Ensure you request a copy of the accident report and check it for accuracy. You may be able to request amendments to the report if it includes any incorrect information.

Exchange Information With the Other Driver

Write down the other motorist’s license plate number and exchange insurance and contact information. Try to stay calm and avoid confrontation. Also, avoid saying anything that could compromise your interests, like “I think this was partly my fault.”

Take Photos

If you can, take pictures before the area is cleaned up and important evidence disappears. Focus on important details like both vehicles’ position, damage to your vehicle, skid marks on the road, road conditions, and visible injuries. 

Talk to Witnesses

Did someone else witness your accident? Ask them for their information, including their full name, phone number, and address. Your lawyer or the insurance company may contact the witnesses later to confirm details about the accident.

Seek Medical Treatment

If you’re wondering what to do when you get in a car accident, seeking medical care should be a high priority if you’re injured. You must see a doctor for two reasons. First, you can’t rule out any serious or life-threatening injuries, even if you’re not in a lot of pain after an accident. You need a full check-up to determine your medical condition.

Second, post-accident medical records are crucial evidence for building a whiplash claim. This documentation will help establish a link between the accident and your injuries and help you get the treatment that you need.

Write Down an Account of the Accident

Memories that seem clear now may become fuzzy in a couple of days. Write down all you can remember about the accident, preferably with diagrams. Cover details like road conditions, weather conditions, and what happened in the moments leading to the accident. 

Call Your Insurance Company

You must contact your insurance company and let them know you suffered an accident. You’ll need to do this within the timeframe your policy requires, or you might be unable to use your coverage. 

When talking to your insurance agent, supply basic facts about the accident, like the time, date, place, and a brief summary of what happened. 

Be even more careful if the other driver’s insurer calls you to “verify details” or comes up with a compensation offer. The liable insurance company may try to trick you into saying something that could undermine your claim or pressure you to accept a settlement far below your claim’s worth. It’s better to delegate any communication with insurers to your car accident lawyer.

Call a Lawyer

Call an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as you can. When working with a competent lawyer shortly after your accident, you may have a better chance of settling your claim successfully and within a reasonable time. 

A skilled lawyer can source valuable evidence, establish liability, and give you an estimate of the damages you may claim. They will handle the entire personal injury claim process and help you avoid mistakes that could damage your case. Finally, working with a lawyer could save you stress and hassle at a time when you need to focus on recovery.

What If You’re Partly at Fault?

Often, vehicle accidents aren’t cut-and-dry events, with one side 100% responsible for the collision. You can still claim damages in many states if you’re partly at fault. However, Alabama practices pure contributory negligence, which means you usually lose your right to compensation if you carry even a small part of the fault for the accident.

There are some potential exceptions to the contributory negligence rule, such as:

  • Victims who are children under seven and people with mental incapacity
  • Wanton or reckless behavior on the part of the other driver

Alabama’s pure contributory negligence principle makes working with a skilled lawyer even more important. If you carry some of the fault for the accident, your attorney could see whether any of the exceptions apply to your case. For instance, if you violated a minor traffic rule, but the other driver was speeding with an extremely high blood alcohol content, you may still claim compensation based on wanton behavior.

Jackson & Foster: Trusted Representation for Car Accident Cases in Mobile, AL

Now you know what to do when you get in a car accident: report the collision, seek medical care, collect evidence, and call a lawyer. Whether you suffered an accident on one of the most dangerous roads in Mobile, AL, or anywhere else in the area, we at Jackson & Foster are here to advocate for your rights and fight for suitable compensation on your behalf.

Call 251-433-6699 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.

Contact us for an evaluation of your case today.