It is not uncommon to wonder about what rights you have as a passenger after a car accident. If you were hurt in a crash anywhere in Alabama, the state’s laws allow you to build a case against the at-fault party to hold them legally responsible for your expenses and losses.
This will apply if you were the passenger in a car hit by a careless or reckless driver. If the driver of your vehicle caused the crash, you may need to meet additional criteria to file a claim. Keep reading to learn more, or you can speak to an attorney from our personal injury law firm to discuss the specific details of your case in a free legal consultation.
You May Be Able to Recover Compensation for Your Related Damages in a Birmingham Car Accident
Like other victims of Birmingham car accidents, passengers hurt in collisions may be able to recover compensation for the expenses, injuries, and losses they incurred because of the negligent party. The recoverable damages in these cases can vary widely since they depend on the facts of the case and the losses the claimant suffered. Some common examples include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost income and other losses related to time away from work
- Reduced earning ability
- Property damages, if you had any broken personal property
- Pain and suffering
- Other non-economic losses
Wrongful death lawsuits are also possible if the victim was a passenger in a vehicle. Alabama law (Ala. Code § 6-5-410) only allows victims’ survivors to recover punitive damages in these cases, so your attorney will need to discuss how this could affect the outcome of your case.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Lawsuits and Insurance Claims May Allow Victims to Hold At-Fault Parties Accountable in Birmingham Car Accidents
As a passenger hurt in a crash in Alabama, you may have options for pursuing a case against the party who caused the crash. These options generally include seeking a payout from that party’s insurance company or filing a car accident lawsuit in civil court and asking the jury to grant you compensation.
Most of these cases end with an insurance settlement. Getting a fair payout will require you to show:
- The at-fault party acted negligently, causing the accident
- You suffered injuries as a result
- The amount you demand is fair based on your expenses and losses
Some cases may require a lawsuit. A car accident attorney from our Birmingham team can handle your insurance claim or lawsuit for you with no upfront expenses.
Alabama Has Laws That Could Affect Your Case
Your rights may be different if the accident occurred because of the driver of your vehicle. Alabama has a guest passenger rule, a common statute in the 1920s and 1930s that only exists in Alabama today. Under Ala. Code § 32-1-2, a driver is not liable for passengers’ injuries in most accidents.
There are a few exceptions, such as:
- Paying for the ride (this law does not apply in rideshare accident cases)
- Paying for gas or otherwise compensating the driver for the ride
- Showing the ride served a mutual interest for both parties, creating a “joint business relationship”
- Proving the accident occurred because of the driver’s “willful or wanton misconduct”
If you were riding in a vehicle with the at-fault driver, you should consider discussing your legal options with a personal injury attorney in Birmingham as soon as possible. They may be able to help you find options for getting a payout from the driver’s insurer or exploring other options for covering your medical bills and other losses.
Seeking Compensation for Your Birmingham Crash Injuries
From the day your accident occurs, begin building a file of all your paperwork, pictures, and other documentation related to the accident. Save every bill and receipt. As soon as your injuries are stable, consider your next steps. Our team offers free case reviews. You can learn more about how to file a claim or other actions you can take based on the facts of your case.
It is important to act quickly. If you need to sue the at-fault driver or another party, you likely only have up to two years under Ala. Code § 6-2-38. Some people have even less time to file their complaints in the appropriate civil courts.
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Talk to a Birmingham Traffic Accident Lawyer from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC
You can speak with an attorney from our Birmingham team who can assess your case for free. We provide these consultations for anyone who suffered injuries in a crash in Alabama and represent victims based on contingency fees. We may be able to help you recover compensation based on the facts of your case.
Reach out to our team in Birmingham today to get started.
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