Attorney Steven Floyd’s Top Tips:
When going about your normal day, the last thing you want is to be in a car accident. Unfortunately, statistics show that car crashes happen every 3 minutes and 27 seconds in Alabama. With these odds, how can you prepare yourself if you’re ever in this situation?
Attorney Steven Floyd joined ABC 32 host Ellis Eskew to discuss what Alabama drivers need to know.
What To Do After a Car Accident
- Stay calm
Being in a wreck is stressful, but taking a deep breath and remaining calm can help you make the best decisions immediately after an accident.
- Get organized
If you’re able to do so, get your license, registration, and insurance information ready. It’s good practice to keep these somewhere you can easily access when needed.
- Stay safe
Your safety is paramount after a wreck, so don’t do anything that will put you in further danger. If you need to exit your car before police arrive, make sure it is safe to do so.
What To Do If You’re Injured
- Call the Police: Always get a police report, no matter what. It will serve your claim later.
- Collect Evidence: Take pictures and note everything. Steven explains why this becomes even more important after an accident on private property as a police report may not be filed. Be sure to mention all injuries to the officer, even if they don’t seem life-threatening.
- Contact a Lawyer: Call an attorney right away, especially if you’re hurt.
Remember: The other side’s insurance company already has a lawyer. It’s important that you have one as well so you know you’re being treated fairly.
What Other Steps Should You Take?
The following steps, although not discussed in the video above, are equally important in handling the aftermath of your accident and ensuring your well-being going forward.
Safely Move Out of the Road
According to Alabama law (Ala. Code § 32-10-1), if your vehicle is involved in an accident, you are required to stop immediately at or as close to the scene as possible without obstructing traffic more than necessary.
If there’s no apparent injury or fatality and the driver isn’t impaired, the law allows for the vehicle to be moved off the roadway to a nearby location, provided it can be done safely. However, in cases involving injuries or fatalities, vehicles should not be moved until directed by a law enforcement officer.
Collect Information From Others Involved
Exchange contact information with the other driver, such as license plate numbers and insurance information. If the driver refuses to provide their information, the police can ask them for it.
The contact information of any witnesses can also become important later on if they are willing to testify to what they saw.
Use your phone to snap photos of the scene, any injuries, and the damage done to both vehicles. It can even be helpful to draw a diagram of what happened and take notes exactly as you remember the accident.
All of this information can serve as valuable evidence to build your case later on.
Get Emergency Medical Treatment
You may need to be taken to the emergency room, depending on your injuries.
If you do not go to the emergency room but are experiencing pain, you shouldn’t ignore this. You should see a doctor within 72 hours of an accident.
If you experience any of the following symptoms after an accident, it is even more imperative that a doctor evaluate your condition as these could be signs of serious injuries:
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
- Behavioral changes
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Inform your insurance company about the accident promptly. Provide all necessary details and stick to the facts. Ask about your coverage and cooperate with the insurance adjuster. Make sure you speak with a lawyer before agreeing to or signing anything.
Consult with an Attorney
Finally, get in touch with an experienced Alabama car accident attorney. A legal ally can help you recover every penny you’re entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, loss of comfort, emotional damages, pain and suffering, and more.
Keep in mind that the statute of limitations in Alabama following a car accident is 2 years. If it’s been more than 2 years since the accident, you cannot seek damages. Therefore, it is important to get a lawyer to learn about your legal options as soon as possible.
Mistakes To Avoid After a Collision That’s Not Your Fault in Alabama
Now that you know what to do after a car accident that’s not your fault, you should also be aware of the pitfalls to avoid. The mistakes listed below could make it harder for you to get the settlement you deserve in a car accident claim.
DON’T Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance
While it’s important to exchange insurance information at the scene, refrain from having detailed discussions with the other driver’s insurance company. They may try to minimize their client’s liability or trick you into accepting a lower settlement.
DON’T Place or Take Blame
Even though you know the accident was not your fault, never make assumptions or accusations at the scene. It’s best to remain calm, speak factually, and allow law enforcement and insurance adjusters to conduct their investigations based on solid evidence.
DON’T Post About the Wreck on Social Media
Avoid discussing the accident or posting photos on social media. These posts could be used against you later, potentially jeopardizing your claim or lowering your settlement amount.
Insurance companies or opposing attorneys may use these posts to argue that you’re not as injured as you claim to be or that you were at fault for the accident.
Call Floyd Hunter Injury Law—The Right Lawyers Make a Real Difference
If you’ve been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, the most important step you can take to ensure your rights are protected is to call Those Thumbs Up Guys® at Floyd Hunter Injury Law. Our team of local lawyers will work tirelessly to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
All you have to do is call or fill out our online form to get a free case evaluation today.