When an auto accident occurs, passengers can get injured just as easily as a driver. According to data from the Alabama Department of Transportation, front-seat drivers and riders are equally likely to suffer fatal injuries in car accidents. However, front-seat passengers are far more likely to be injured, even when wearing seatbelts.
If you were a passenger injured in an auto accident, the Morris Bart law firm could help you pursue financial relief to cover your losses in an insurance claim or lawsuit. Our Hoover passenger vehicle accident lawyers are dedicated to helping accident victims and their families fight for compensation for their injuries and accident-related expenses.
How a Passenger Vehicle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you work with a Hoover passenger vehicle accident attorney, they will manage your claim through the legal process. This includes clearly explaining and protecting your rights. In addition, your attorney will serve as a legal advocate and source of support while pursuing your financial recovery.
They will also handle the following tasks:
- Answering your questions and addressing concerns
- Keeping you informed of your case’s developments
- Investigating your accident and gathering evidence
- Talking to eyewitnesses and obtaining information
- Collaborating with accident reconstruction specialists, financial experts, health professionals, and other experts to support your case
- Determining all potentially liable parties
- Proving negligence and liability
- Navigating the claims process
- Identifying your losses and calculating your claim’s worth
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Taking your case to trial and representing you, if necessary
You shouldn’t have to bear the burden of legal action while you’re in the process of recovering. Our team wants to take the lead on your case, so you can focus on your priorities.
For a free legal consultation with a Passenger Vehicle Accident lawyer serving Hoover, call 800-537-8185
Gathering Evidence to Build a Case Against the At-Fault Motorist
One of the first critical steps when pursuing a personal injury claim is collecting evidence to establish who was responsible for your accident. This will demonstrate their financial liability for your losses. Examples of evidence we may gather include the following:
- Police reports and traffic citations
- Photos or video of the accident scene or collision, if possible
- Eyewitness statements
- Your medical records
- Proof of your financial losses, such as bills and receipts
When you work with our Hoover passenger vehicle accident attorneys, we will have the resources and experience necessary to navigate the ins and outs of your case.
Who Can Compensate You for Your Losses?
Alabama uses a fault-based system for auto accidents, meaning that crash victims will file claims against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, your options for pursuing compensation as an injured passenger entirely depend on which driver was responsible. For example, if a third-party motorist hit the car you were riding in, you can file a claim against that person’s insurer, just like the driver would. However, the process might be less clear-cut if you were a passenger in the at-fault driver’s vehicle.
If you pursue a claim with a third-party driver, their insurance should pay for your injuries up to policy limits. Alabama requires that drivers carry a minimum amount of liability coverage, which is $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
Sometimes insurance companies try to convince injured passengers to accept a low-ball settlement. However, we can negotiate on your behalf and fight for fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Alabama’s Guest Passenger Law
If you were riding with the driver at-fault for the accident, our Hoover passenger vehicle accident attorney could help you determine your next steps based on your individual circumstances. This is because Alabama is the only state that has a guest passenger law disallowing claims against the driver with whom you were riding—although there are exceptions to this rule.
For one, you can file a claim if your driver caused the accident through “willful or wanton misconduct,” including violations like excessive speeding or driving recklessly, per Ala.L Code § 32-1-2. Drinking and driving is another possible reason, but not necessarily if you rode with a driver you knew was intoxicated. Finally, the guest passenger law does not apply to at-fault drivers you hire. So, if you were riding in a taxi, Uber, Lyft driver, etc., the driver or their employer’s insurer would be liable for paying for your injuries.
We Can Determine Your Eligibility to File
Our attorneys can interpret your eligibility to file a case based on your circumstances. If you’re unsure about whether you qualify, we can discuss your situation during your free consultation.
Depending on your circumstances, as an injured passenger, you could be compensated for the following:
- Past, current, and future medical bills for short- and long-term injury-related care such as emergency services, hospitalization, surgeries, doctor’s visits, etc.
- Loss of wages due to missing work during your recovery
- Diminished earning capacity for long-lasting impairments
- Physical and mental pain and suffering due to injuries and related emotional anguish or trauma
- Long-term/permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disability
The statute of limitations in Alabama for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the accident. Therefore, you must file your personal injury lawsuit before this deadline expires, or you may lose the right to recover compensation unless you qualify for an exception.
What If the Third-Party Driver Is Uninsured?
If another driver responsible for the accident was uninsured or underinsured, your losses might be covered by uninsured or underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage. Alabama law requires all auto insurance carriers to offer UM/UIM coverage in their policies, with coverage limits to match the liability minimum requirements. However, motorists are allowed to decline UM/UIM coverage.
Consult With a Hoover Passenger Vehicle Lawyer Today
At Morris Bart law firm, our Hoover passenger vehicle attorneys will work to secure financial restitution for your injuries and hold the at-fault driver accountable for your losses. Contact us to schedule your free case review and learn more about your legal options.
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