Even if you are 1% to blame for a traffic accident, you cannot collect under Alabama law. This may sound harsh … and it is … since Alabama is only one of a handful of states that treat accidents like this.
The legal term is Contributory Negligence. This law states that if victims of a car crash are in any way to blame, they cannot receive any compensation—for example, repairing their damaged car, medical expenses, lost income or pain and suffering.
Here is how it could work. A driver in the left lane is pulling over into your lane. You push on the gas to get ahead of him. He clips you. The argument is that you should have let him come into your lane; so, you are partially at fault. If this is the case and the judge or jury agrees, you will not receive any money for your injuries or damage to your car.
Insurance companies in Alabama have been known to use this law as an excuse to refuse to pay claims. It has been my experience that they will look for even the most minor situation to be able to save the insurance company money and, of course, leave you without any money to pay for your repairs or compensate you for your injuries.
Therefore, I advise clients to not talk to an insurance claims adjustor without first talking to an attorney. The insurance adjusters are trained and experienced on the type of questions to ask an unrepresented person. Many of these conversations are recorded, and what you say can come back to hurt your case.
Remember, you rarely, if ever, have to pay out of your pocket to talk to a personal injury attorney.
If you are injured – from a medical procedure, traffic accident, slip & fall or any action by someone else — 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.
Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer