Who is to blame for your auto accident? No amount of he said, she said is going to get you the money to pay your medical bills or fix your vehicle.
You need at least one of three things going for you …eyewitnesses, evidence you can hold or a violation of the rules of the road.
The best way is to prove the driver who hit you violated a rule of the road and that the violation lead to the cause of the accident. Here are some examples: ran a red light, drunk, failure to signal when changing lanes. Here is the sweet part. Alabama law almost always leans towards the concept that the violation of the rule is what lead to the accident. In my practice, I have had to go after surveillance video, track down patrons at a bar and even reconstruct the accident to prove this.
Here is one of the oddities of Alabama law. We are one of the few states that will not let you collect if you are even 1 percent at fault. It is called contributory negligence. In short, the law states that if you do anything at all to cause or contribute to the accident in the slightest degree –even as little as 1 percent you cannot recover any money damages from someone else. This is an extremely harsh and out of date law which insurance companies use to deny paying claims to repair your car or pay your injury claim.
One other oddity. Accident reports are not admissible. That means the jury cannot see them. Because of this, document everything. Take pictures if you can. Evidence has a mysterious way of disappearing and memories fade with time. A good attorney will investigate the accident and preserve any evidence.
So this takes us back to the beginning. You need eyewitnesses, evidence you can hold or a violation of the rules of the road.
If you are hurt in a traffic accident, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.
Also join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30 right after the news. We will take your calls live.