April 4, 2022
Auto Accident

Alabama follows a contributory negligence doctrine for personal injury claims. This negligence rule means that if an individual is liable for even 1% of an auto accident, they cannot receive any compensation.

If you suffered injuries in a crash, work with a Montgomery car accident lawyer to minimize the liability of your actions in the accident. The lawyer can investigate the accident and review the evidence to understand the extent of your contribution.

How Alabama’s Contributory Negligence Doctrine Affects Your Car Accident Case

With Alabama’s pure contributory negligence law, a defendant in an automobile accident case may attempt to show that the victim caused their injuries. For example, if a speeding car hits you while you’re making a left turn, you may be at fault for not yielding to oncoming traffic.

Since you contributed to the accident, the speeding car’s driver is not liable for damages, although they were also at fault for driving over the posted speed limit. Police reports can help determine fault. Other pieces of evidence may also help prove the extent of liability in an accident.

How Your Lawyer Can Reduce Your Level of Liability in an Accident

Your lawyer can safeguard your rights by investigating your accident. The lawyer’s investigation may result in a different conclusion about who was at fault in your accident than the police report. The lawyer may also work with an accident reconstruction team to help determine who is at fault.

Photos and videos

Photos and videos of the crash scene can help your lawyer understand the liability involved in your accident. Take pictures of the following while at the accident scene:

  • Vehicle model and license plate of the other driver
  • Damage to your vehicle
  • Your injuries
  • Debris from the accident, such as damaged car parts and shattered glass
  • Skid marks on the road
  • Traffic signals or stop signs
  • Weather conditions contributing to dangerous road conditions

If you take pictures with your smartphone, the location services note every picture’s time, date, and location. Time-stamped photos and videos of a speed limit sign and skid marks can prove liability since they show the driver failed to obey the speed limit and caused an accident. Photos of your injuries can demonstrate the extent of your suffering and prevent the other party from claiming your injuries did not result from the accident.

Witness statements

The lawyer can interview witnesses since their answers can help create a more accurate account of the accident. They may have observed the other driver running a red light or driving aggressively before the crash occurred. Their statements may back up your version of events and help establish the other driver’s liability.

The responding officer may have also taken statements and contact information from witnesses to include in a police report. Your attorney can review the report and determine the liability resulting from the statements.

Police report

The police report includes information such as who the officers believe was at fault for the accident. It also consists of traffic tickets, witness statements, and the accident’s date, time, location, and cause.

The police report may show that someone responsible for causing an accident was drunk or high at the time. Any information from a blood alcohol content (BAC) test or field sobriety test taken at the accident scene must be included in the police report.

Surveillance footage

Video footage from a nearby surveillance camera or a government-owned speed camera can show a neutral point of view of the accident to prove liability. Your lawyer may request footage by visiting these businesses. They can also subpoena government agencies for access to camera footage.

Accident reconstruction

Your attorney may request the assistance of an accident reconstruction team if liability is more complex. The team uses all the evidence from your accident to recreate the accident scene. Their findings are put into a report for the lawyer to review and determine liability for the crash.

Protect Your Right to Fair Compensation

In an Alabama vehicle accident, determining fault is critical because any level of liability in a collision disqualified you from receiving compensation. You can consult with an experienced auto accident lawyer from The Vance Law Firm.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you gather evidence to reduce your liability and help you receive maximum compensation.

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