Who is Liable in a Rear-End Collision in Alabama?

If you have been rear-ended in a collision in Alabama, you often assume the party directly behind you is at fault. However, many times the at fault party may be another vehicle behind them or a third party that has left the scene. Some, but not all car collisions are caused by people whose cars are faulty. For example, if the braking system is not working as it should, you face the fear of colliding with the car that you are following, especially if they are braking to avoid what’s going on in front of them. It is important that at the first sign of damage, you should take your car in for brake repair in Bellevue, or somewhere that is local to you to make sure that you are able to avoid being the faulty party in accidents. Further, in some circumstances, you might be found liable for the accident, if you pulled in front of the other driver, failed to use a turn signal, or had no tail lights. If these end up being the issue then as soon as you realize these are happening with your car you should get some replacement parts, be it from Czok or from the manufacturer directly. Leaving this for too long is very dangerous, after all. The following are some examples of why and who may be liable in a rear-end collision.

Causes of Rear-End Collisions in Alabama

Most often, rear-end collisions are caused because the driver in back is following too close. Some people and other causes of rear-end collisions include the following:

  • Texting, eating, changing radio stations, looking in mirror, animals, or reaching into the backseat.
  • Tailgating, speeding, or following too close in wet weather.
  • Drunk driving.
  • Faulty brakes
  • Driving while tired or sleepy
  • No tail lights or blinkers
  • Slamming on brakes
  • Failing to yield
  • Pulling out in front of other drivers
  • Auto manufacturers
  • Acts of God
  • Government entities or road maintenance companies
  • Animals or children in the road
  • Stalled vehicles
  • Third party drivers
  • Trash in road
  • Bars who served intoxicated drivers
  • Truck with no or poor visibility markers

What is contributory negligence?

Contributory negligence refers to a legal concept that can impact car accident cases in Alabama. In this state, contributory negligence is taken very seriously and is considered one of the strictest legal standards in the country. Under this doctrine, if it is determined that you bear even the slightest portion of responsibility for the accident, no matter how minor, you may be barred from recovering any compensation.

Unlike comparative negligence, where damages are apportioned based on each party’s degree of fault, contributory negligence in Alabama operates on a binary principle. This means that if you are found to have contributed in any way to the accident, the law completely bars you from seeking any financial recovery from the other party involved, regardless of their level of fault.

Given the implications of contributory negligence, it is crucial to have the support of an experienced Alabama car accident lawyer. Insurance companies representing the other driver involved may attempt to shift the blame onto you, making it even more vital to have skilled legal representation to effectively argue that the other motorist bears full and absolute liability for the accident. Having a seasoned attorney on your side can help build a strong case and safeguard your rights, maximizing the chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.

What do insurance companies do to avoid paying claims?

Insurance adjusters employ various tactics to minimize payouts, with one prevalent approach being the offer of a quick, lump-sum payment. The appeal of this method is that it aims to expedite the claims process and put the accident in the past. However, it is advised against accepting such an offer without first consulting with a knowledgeable attorney. This caution is due to the likelihood that the initial settlement offer, in most cases, is intended to be ungenerous. By waiting to agree on a settlement agreement until after seeking legal advice, individuals can increase their chances of receiving a fair and adequate compensation. Patience is emphasized as a key factor that typically works to the advantage of the claimants in these situations. Insurance companies also often claim you are partially at fault to deny your claim.

How do you prove liability in a rear-end collision?

Proving fault in a car accident requires the demonstration of the negligent actions of the motorist who caused the accident. To establish liability, various types of evidence are commonly utilized. These include:

1. Accident Reconstruction Expert Testimony: Expert witnesses skilled in accident reconstruction can provide a professional analysis of the accident scene, damage to vehicles, and other factors to determine how the accident occurred and who was at fault.

2. Medical Records: Medical documentation is crucial in establishing the extent and nature of any injuries sustained in the accident. These records can help link the injuries to the accident and support the claim for compensation.

3. Eyewitness Statements: Statements from individuals who witnessed the accident can offer valuable firsthand accounts of the events leading up to the crash. Their testimonies can provide insight into who was at fault and how the accident unfolded.

4. Surveillance Videos: If available, video footage from traffic cameras, nearby businesses, or dashcams can provide objective evidence of the accident. This visual evidence can help recreate the sequence of events and support your claim.

5. Cell Phone Data: In cases involving distracted driving or cellphone use, obtaining cell phone records can reveal if the at-fault driver was using their phone at the time of the accident. This evidence can help establish negligence on their part.

6. Photos: Photographs taken at the accident scene are frequently used to document the position of vehicles, road conditions, skid marks, and other pertinent details. Such visual evidence can be instrumental in reconstructing the accident and determining fault.

7. Driver Testimony: Statements and testimonies from the drivers involved in the accident can provide insights into their actions, behavior, and any admission of fault they may make, supporting the claim of negligence.

By gathering and preserving these types of evidence, you can strengthen your case and provide the necessary proof of liability in a car accident. It is important to consult with a legal professional to ensure you have the appropriate evidence to support your claim.

Is Alabama a no-fault state?

Alabama is not a no-fault state; instead, it follows a fault-based system. Unlike the few states that have implemented no-fault laws, Alabama requires motorists to adhere to fault-based insurance regulations. In a no-fault state, drivers are obligated to purchase no-fault insurance coverage which allows them to rely on their own insurance policies in case of an accident. However, in Alabama’s fault-based system, individuals who suffer injuries due to an automobile accident have the option to file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. This claim can seek compensation not only for medical expenses, lost wages, and other accident-related costs, but also for non-financial damages such as pain and suffering. It is important to note that Alabama’s fault-based system prevails, meaning that fault must be established before a claim can be pursued, and the at-fault driver is generally held responsible for the damages caused in the accident.

How a Huntsville Car Accident Lawyer can Help

If you have been injured in a rear-end collision in Alabama, you probably have questions. An experienced auto accident attorney can help. Our Huntsville car accident attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience handling car accidents in Huntsville and Decatur, Alabama. The attorneys at Ferguson & Ferguson can help you sort through the facts of your case to determine who is liable for your damages. When you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you need to call the attorneys serious accident victims call when they have been injured. We offer no obligation, FREE CONSULTATIONS. We also have a LOWEST FEE GUARANTEE. Home and hospital visits are available if you are unable to come to our Huntsville or Decatur office. Call 256-534-3435 or 256-350-7200. We are here to help.