Drivers and pedestrians alike must follow the same safety rules and laws in Alabama. However, not every driver adheres to those laws. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents can occur in the blink of an eye.
What can you expect from a pedestrian accident claim in Alabama, and what right do you have to compensation? As a pedestrian injured in a car accident, you have the same right to compensation that a driver or passenger in a vehicle might have. However, Alabama law might not prove as simple as you might hope.
The Basics of Pedestrian Accident Laws
Under Alabama law, pedestrians have the right to file for compensation when they suffer injuries in a car accident due to the negligence of the driver. Car insurance policies provide the same compensation for pedestrians that they might offer to drivers and passengers involved in an accident. In general, in order to recover compensation through a pedestrian accident claim, as in other types of claims, you will need to show that:
- The liable driver violated their duty of care on the road, including engaging in dangerous actions or behaviors that put you at higher risk for an accident or injury.
- The driver’s negligence caused an accident.
- You suffered injuries or damages as a result of the driver’s negligent actions.
If you emerged from a pedestrian accident without injury, you may not have the right to recover compensation, despite the clear danger presented by the driver that caused the accident.
Alabama’s Contributory Negligence Policy
Under Alabama’s contributory negligence policy, if you contribute at all to a pedestrian accident – that is, if even 1% of the fault for the accident rests with you – you cannot legally pursue compensation for your injuries.
Insurance companies, as a result, may fight hard to establish that you contributed at least some small degree to the accident, whether you ignored the rules of the road, engaged in unsafe or reckless behavior in public while walking by the road, or were drunk at the time of the accident. Even minor evidence that you may have contributed to the accident could result in you bearing partial liability for the accident, which could make it impossible for you to recover compensation.
Because of Alabama’s strict contributory negligence policy, it is essential that you have an experienced Alabama car accident lawyer on your side as you file a claim and move forward in your quest for compensation.
Alabama’s Statute of Limitations
Under Alabama law, pedestrians have two years after the date of a car accident to file a claim for compensation for that accident. After two years, the court system may refuse to hear your case, which can make it very difficult for you to recover any damages at all.
Insurance and Pedestrian Accidents
Under Alabama law, drivers must carry at least minimum liability insurance, which, in Alabama, means at least $25,000 in bodily injury protection for each individual injured in an accident, or at least $50,000 in compensation for multiple individuals injured in the accident. In a pedestrian accident, injured parties can expect to recover compensation through that bodily injury protection coverage.
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What Happens After a Pedestrian Accident in Alabama?
You suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident in Alabama. Now what? What steps should you take next, and how should you protect yourself?
Report the Accident Immediately
First, report the accident to the police. Pedestrian accidents often involve severe injuries, since you have no protection from either the car that hits you or any obstacles around you. You may need to call 911 and summon an ambulance as well as the police, depending on the severity of your injuries.
However, always make sure you report pedestrian accidents. Do not leave the scene of the accident before you have a chance to talk to the police and notify them about the accident.
If the driver who hits you tries to leave the scene of the accident, give the police as much information as possible about the vehicle and driver so the police can find that individual, if possible.
Get Medical Attention
Pedestrian accident injuries can prove incredibly severe. Often, you may find yourself dealing with broken bones, road rash, and a host of other challenges related to the accident.
Always get medical attention. Even if you think you avoided serious injuries in the accident, try to see a doctor within 24 hours to rule out more serious injuries, including brain injury, whiplash, or broken bones. A medical report can help serve as vital evidence that you suffered serious injuries during your pedestrian accident.
You may want to use your phone to take pictures of:
- The accident scene
- The vehicle that hit you
- Your injuries
- Any features of the accident scene that you think may have worsened your injuries
Collect contact information from witnesses, if you can.
Call a Lawyer
Any time you suffer injuries in a pedestrian accident, having a lawyer on your side can prove essential. A lawyer can help prove that the other party caused your accident and that you did not contribute in any way. Remember, with Alabama’s contributory negligence law, even 1% liability could prevent you from obtaining compensation for your injuries.
Do not talk to the driver’s insurance company before you talk to a lawyer. The insurance company could use that interaction to try to establish that you contributed to the accident, which could ultimately prevent you from obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Contact an Alabama Pedestrian Accident Lawyer After Your Accident
If you suffered injuries in an Alabama pedestrian accident, you may need an attorney to help fight. Contact a lawyer as soon after your accident as possible so that your lawyer can start gathering evidence, providing you with information about your rights, and supporting you as you deal with the complexity of a pedestrian accident claim. Contact us to learn more about your rights after a pedestrian accident.
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