The average Alabama driver has a 90% chance of getting into a car accident in their lifetime, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ADOT).
Although you may not be able to avoid a crash, there are steps you can take afterward to improve your chances of recovering damages.
In this guide, we'll take a look at Alabama car accidents, including the laws you should know and the steps you should take after a collision.
Motor vehicle accidents have consistently trended upward across the United States (there was a dip in 2020, although fatal crashes increased). Unfortunately, Alabama has not been able to escape this troubling trend.
Alabama car accident data (2014-2019)
|Year||Total crashes||Total injuries||Total fatalities|
Based on 2019 statistics, the average driver in Alabama has a greater than a 1 in 3 chance of being involved in a serious crash that causes injury or death during their lifetime.
Here are some other alarming Alabama car accident statistics:
Most laws that impact Alabama drivers can be found in Title 32 of the Alabama Code. These laws cover everything from the rules of the road to licensing and insurance requirements.
It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with all the laws found in Title 32. But when it comes to Alabama car accident claims, there are 3 particularly important laws to keep in mind:
All motorists in Alabama are required to maintain the state's minimum amount of liability insurance coverage, which is:
Keep in mind that liability insurance only covers damages sustained by the other people involved in an accident that's your fault—not your damages. To ensure that your own damages are covered, you'll need to purchase additional optional coverage.
If you're caught driving a motor vehicle or motorcycle without insurance in Alabama, you can receive a $500 fine for the first conviction. For subsequent convictions, you can be fined $1,000 and/or have your license suspended.
More importantly, if you cause an accident as an uninsured driver, you'll be personally liable for any damages that you cause.
If you're involved in a car accident in Alabama, there are 3 things you need to do after the crash to avoid a hit-and-run charge:
The penalties for failing to take the required post-accident steps range from a fine of $6,000 and/or up to 1 year in prison (for an accident that results in property damage only) to 1-10 years in prison (for an accident that results in injury or death).
To prove fault in an Alabama car accident, you need to establish that someone else was responsible for causing your accident. The legal theory typically used to prove that someone else was responsible is called negligence.
In Alabama, you need to establish 3 elements to prove negligence:
Of course, not all car accidents are caused by other drivers. Other potentially liable parties include:
We hope that if you're involved in a car accident, it's a minor fender bender. Unfortunately, even accidents that don't result in injury can be costly.
Obviously, the cost of a car accident goes up significantly when injuries are involved. Fortunately, Alabama allows motor vehicle accident victims to recover 3 types of damages:
Alabama has a 2-year statute of limitations for car accident claims. This means you generally have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this period, you will (with very few exceptions) be forever barred from filing a lawsuit based on the accident.
If you aren't sure what to do after a car accident, these 7 steps will get you headed in the right direction.
Generally speaking, it's a good idea to hire an attorney after a car accident if any of the following are true:
Even if you don't think you need to hire an attorney, you have very little to lose by meeting with a personal injury attorney, as most initial consultations are free.
A personal injury lawyer helps individuals who have sustained injuries in accidents to recover financial compensation. These funds are often needed to pay for medical treatment, make up for lost wages and provide compensation for injuries suffered. Sometimes a case that seems simple at first may become more complicated. In these cases, consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Read more