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    At my firm, you will work directly with me the entire duration of your case.

    One-on-One Attention
  • Commitment to
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    I strive to provide the best possible representation to each one of my clients.

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Car Wreck FAQ

Birmingham Car Accident Attorney

Q: What do I need to do first?
Q: What if a police report doesn't assign liability?
Q: How do I get a copy of my police report?
Q: How do I know if I have a claim?
Q: How do I know if the at-fault driver has liability insurance?
Q: Will my medical bills be covered?
Q: What can I recover in addition to medical expenses?
Q: What if the at-fault driver doesn't have insurance?
Q: What is mediation?
Q: What is a deposition?
Q: How much will it cost me to hire a lawyer?
Q: What if, for some reason, we do not recover anything; will I have to pay then?
Q: How long do I have to file a claim?

What do I need to do first?

The first thing that generally occurs after a car wreck on Alabama roadways is for someone to call the local police. If needed, the responding officer will arrange for an ambulance to treat your injuries, and complete a police report. Police reports themselves are considered hearsay, are not admitted as evidence in a trial. However, the responding law enforcement officer is allowed to reference his police report to refresh his memory when giving testimony. Despite its inadmissibility in trial, a police report is typically the best way to show that the accident was the other driver’s fault. Insurance companies will want to see one when you initiate a claim with them.

Even if you leave the scene of the accident in an ambulance to seek immediate medical attention, there should still be a police report generated by the responding law enforcement officer.

What if a police report doesn’t assign liability?

If possible, try and obtain the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Witnesses are your next best source to prove that an accident wasn’t your fault. Proving fault is something with which you will generally need a lawyer’s assistance.

How do I get a copy of my police report?

All police reports are filed with the State of Alabama within a few days of the accident. You can obtain a copy from the nearest branch of the Department of Motor Vehicles, or a State Trooper office. A lawyer can assist you in obtaining a copy of your report. They typically cost around $15.00

How do I know if I have a claim?

First, the accident needs to be the other driver’s fault. Second, you generally need for the at-fault driver to have liability insurance coverage.

How do I know if the at-fault driver has liability insurance?

It should be noted on your police report. The Alabama Mandatory Liability Insurance Act requires drivers in the State of Alabama to have a minimum policy of $25,000 coverage for individual injury, and $50,000 coverage for multiple injuries. However, many drivers obtain a policy for registration purposes, and then allow their policy to lapse. An Alabama lawyer can help you contact the insurance carrier and determine if there was insurance coverage at the time of your accident.

If your accident was caused by a commercial motor-vehicle, then there is a much higher chance that a policy was in effect. The minimum coverage for commercial vehicles and trucks are usually much higher than the minimum requirements for private vehicles.

Will my medical bills be covered?

It depends. Some policies provide medical coverage for injured victims of a car wreck, other policies don’t. This question is answered on a case-by-case basis. If the insurance policies involved do not provide for medical coverage, you may be required to seek medical attention through your own means. However, you will be reimbursed for your medical expenses. If you are having trouble obtaining medical treatment, you should contact a lawyer to discuss your options. Lawyers can even sometimes assist in getting you access to medical care.

What can I recover in addition to medical expenses?

An injury victim in a car wreck case can also be entitled to pain and suffering, mental anguish and lost wages. You should contact a lawyer to discuss what you are likely to recover.

What if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance?

All is not lost. Your policy for insurance coverage may carry an uninsured or underinsured policy to cover you in the event the at-fault driver does not have liability insurance. You should contact a lawyer for additional information.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a formal settlement meeting that is conducted by someone known as a mediator, who is a neutral third party that tries to facilitate a settlement agreement between the parties. It is typically a voluntary process, and is very common. Both sides have some power at mediation. The defendant controls how much money they are willing to offer to settle a claim, and the plaintiff controls whether they are willing to accept.

What is a deposition?

A deposition is typically conducted in a law office where the attorney for the employer gets to ask questions of the injured worker regarding the nature and extent of your injuries. It is sworn testimony and can be used in trial. Your lawyer should definitely be with you when a deposition is conducted. You can expect the facts of the car wreck, and the details of your injury and resulting medical treatment to be discussed.

How much will it cost me to hire a lawyer?

I operate on contingency fees when handling motor vehicle claims. You do not have to pay anything out-of-pocket upfront. I understand that you’re calling me because something bad has happened to you, and your financial situation has likely taken a hit as a result. I pay the majority of your case expenses for you, on the condition that you pay me back out of any proceeds that I recover. Additionally, I charge a percentage from the proceeds recovered. The percentage is determined on a case-by-case basis.

What if, for some reason, we do not recover anything; will I have to pay then?

No. By taking cases on a contingency fee, I am incurring a certain amount of risk. I only make money if you do.

How long do I have to file a claim?

The statute of limitations in Alabama for negligence regarding a car wreck is two years from the date of the accident. You should generally try to file as soon as possible, so that witness recollection is still fresh.
  • Dedicated to
    Personal Service

    At my firm, you will work directly with me the entire duration of your case.

    One-on-One Attention
  • Commitment to
    Excellence

    I strive to provide the best possible representation to each one of my clients.

    Meet Stephen F. Thompson
  • Free Initial
    Consultation

    You have nothing to lose. Contact my firm today and learn how we can help you.

    Get Started Now

Contact Us

Stephen F. Thompson, Jr., Attorney at Law
Birmingham Attorney
Located at: 205 20th St. N.,
Suite 319,

Birmingham, AL 35203
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Phone: (205) 386-3356
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Disclaimer

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.