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Who’s Liable? How Fault Is Established After A Car Accident

By: Fred Moore | Nov 13, 2017

From fender benders to head-on collisions, thousands of automotive accidents occur each day. And in nearly every instance, fault must be determined to decide how each party will be compensated by insurers, penalized by police and more. But the process of establishing fault after a car or truck accident isn’t always straightforward. To better understand liability after a car accident, keep reading.

Accident Liability: How Does It Work?

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you might already know that it can be difficult to determine who’s really at fault. Furthermore, depending on your state, fault can be applied differently. Alabama is an at-fault state – also known as a tort state – which means that the party responsible for causing the damage in an accident is also required to pay for that damage.

Another element that complicates things further is Alabama’s contributory negligence rule, which bars drivers from receiving any compensation from the faulty party if they contributed even slightly to circumstances that caused an accident. For example, imagine a vehicle pulling into your lane from an intersecting street despite your right of way. Then, imagine that you’re traveling faster than the posted speed limit, which leads to you rear-ending the other driver. The other driver may be largely accountable for the accident, but since you were still exceeding the speed limit, there’s a good chance that you’ll be denied compensation in court per Alabama’s contributory negligence doctrine.

The establishment of liability in Alabama is a nuanced process. Basic traffic laws always apply, and if any were clearly violated, the driver will usually be held responsible for acting negligently. In most circumstances, fault will ultimately be determined by a police report. These reports are delivered by officers that investigate the scene at length to examine evidence and determine how the accident unfolded.

Choose Moore Law Firm

High-quality legal representation is a must after a car accident, no matter who is at fault. If you need a skilled attorney to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, contact Moore Law Firm today.