What Forms Must People Fill Out After An Automobile Wreck?

In Alabama, there is a form that can be obtained from the Alabama Department of Public Safety called an SR-13, which must be filled out and forwarded to their office within 30 days following a wreck,provided that the resulting property damage is more than $2,500.00. If the person who caused the wreckdid not have liability insurance, they likely will lose their driver’s license until they pay for all the damage caused by the wreck.

How Can Someone Obtain a Copy of an Alabama Uniform Traffic Crash Report?

There are two ways: 1) you can go to the office of the law enforcement agency that filled out thereport, which couldbe the local police department, the sheriff’s department,or the state trooper’s office; or 2) you can go online (https://www.alabamainteractive.org/dps_crash_report/welcome.action)and download it. You just need the name of one of the parties involved in the wreck, the date, and general location of where it occurred. There is a charge of $17.00 to get a copy.

What does Contributory Negligence Mean in Alabama?

Contributory negligence is a defense to someone else’s negligence. For instance, assume that you have been involved in a car wreck.If you were even 1% responsible for the wreck,that likely would be contributory negligence. Say the other person ran a stop sign, but youwere speeding and,had you not been speeding, you would have been able to avoid the wreck. In that case, bothparties may benegligent and that can serve as an absolute bar to any recovery.

Alabama is one of only a few states in the country wherecontributory negligence still applies. Most states have what is referred to ascomparative negligence. This means that, if the jury concludes that the plaintiff was partially responsible, they have a dutyto apportionliability. Thus, if the jury determines that the plaintiff was30% at fault, the judge will reduce the verdict by 30%. This does not apply in Alabama.

When Should I Contact an Attorney in Relation to an Automobile Wreck?

If you have been involved in a wreck, it is probably best not to contact an attorney from the scene of the wreck. Instead, you should focus on making sure that everyone is okay, exchanging insurance and contact information, and cooperating with law enforcement and other emergencypersonnel. I would encourage you to talk to an attorney before you speak with an insurance adjuster, which can be detrimental to your case. Please keep in mind that most telephone conversations with insurance adjusters are recorded.

Signing any documents provided to you by an insurance carrier is also a bad idea. Doing so may give them access to all of your medical records (dating back to when you were born)or permit them to obtain documents from all of your employers, both past and present. They also may be able to communicate with your health insurance carrier.  If you sign the wrong document, you might even release the other driver (and his insurance company) from liability.

For more information on What To Do Afteran Automobile Wreck, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (256) 534-3288 today.