Foley Alabama Attorneys
(251) 444-7000

toll free 855.390.5566

When a car accident happens, there’s a lot of chaos, confusion, and stress in the first few minutes. This is especially true if someone is injured. But hours later, you may be wondering, “How do you determine who is at fault in a car accident?” That’s a good question because it may determine whether you can sue for financial damages after the wreck.

Finding out who was at fault in a car accident takes some research and will rely, in part, on the following items:

  • Police report
  • Physical evidence at the scene of the accident
  • Witness testimony
  • Any surveillance video that shows the accident happening.

Alabama is a fault (rather than no-fault) state, which means you must show that the other driver was entirely responsible for causing the crash if you want to recover financial compensation. There is no shared-fault rule in Alabama. That means you need a really tough and aggressive car accident lawyer who can compile a legal case that tilts in your favor.

Why Choose Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana?

The car accident attorneys at Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana stand head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to aggressively negotiating and litigating personal injury claims. Attorneys Dee Asthana, C. Randall Caldwell, Jr., and Drew Wenzel have decades of experience successfully representing clients to get the largest payouts possible. We have outstanding client victories and proven case results. When you hire us, you receive our full attention, compassion, and commitment to see the case through to a successful conclusion. We come highly recommended by many satisfied clients.

Alabama is a Fault (Rather Than No-Fault) State


Alabama has a plaintiff-unfriendly “contributory negligence” law, which means you cannot be awarded financial damages in a civil personal injury lawsuit if you were partially at fault for the accident. Plaintiff’s negligence is a bar to recovery. (ARCP, Rule 8(c)) Jackson v. Waller, 410 So.2d 98 (1982) (This relates to a lawsuit filed in court. You may still be able to receive reimbursement from a car insurance company for property damage or medical costs resulting from the accident, though you can expect them to play hardball if you were partially at fault.)

Contributory negligence in a motor vehicle accident case means that both drivers were partially at fault for causing the collision. For example, one driver may have been speeding 10 miles over the speed limit, while the other driver rolled through a stop sign. In this case, both drivers did something wrong.

You can, however, file a personal injury lawsuit in Alabama and recover damages if you were hurt in a car wreck that was entirely the other driver’s fault. Consulting with an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer is crucial in such cases. Your car accident attorney can review the facts in your case to determine whether your claim has the potential for success.

Proving Negligence

To win a personal injury lawsuit, your car accident lawyer will have to prove the other driver was “negligent.” Proving negligence requires that you show 4 elements. These include:

  • Duty This means the other driver owed everyone a “duty of care” to drive safely and responsibly.
  • Breach This means the other driver did something, or failed to do something, to meet his duty of care to ensure the safety of other motorists on the road.
  • Causation This means the other driver’s actions, or inaction, caused your injuries.
  • Damages This means you suffered financial losses as the direct result of the other driver’s reckless disregard for safety.

A skilled and experienced Alabama car accident lawyer will gather evidence to decisively prove that the other driver was negligent.

Alabama Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Lawsuits

Keep in mind that if you want to file a personal injury claim in court after a crash, you must do it within two years of the date of the accident. (Alabama Code Section 6-2-38) The same two-year time limit applies for wrongful death claims when someone is killed in a car accident. You have longer if you’re filing a lawsuit only for property damage to your car – that has a six-year statute of limitations. (Alabama Code Section 6-2-34).

Insurance Companies Want to Avoid Paying Claims


Auto insurance companies are notoriously reluctant to provide payouts in car accident claims. If they’re willing to negotiate in good faith, your attorney may be able to get a good settlement for you. If they don’t negotiate in good faith, you need a lawyer who is willing to take your case to trial. Our attorneys are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with an insurance company’s team of lawyers inside a courtroom, if necessary.

Also, some insurance companies will offer you a check right away– sometimes coming directly to your home – before you’ve had a chance to hire an attorney to represent you. These are almost always low-ball offers and are an attempt to get you to settle for less than you deserve. Be wary and speak to a lawyer first before accepting any check from an insurance company.

Our Law Firm Will Fight for the Compensation You Deserve

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’ve got your hands full meeting with doctors, undergoing medical tests, and deciding how to make up for the wages you have lost. It can be enormously stressful in the days and weeks after a crash, especially if you’re faced with mounting medical bills and dwindling earnings. This is where we can help. Let us do the legal heavy lifting while you focus on getting better. The skilled and experienced car accident lawyers at Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana will fight aggressively for the justice you deserve. We will not rest until we’ve achieved the best possible financial compensation for you and your family. To find out more about how we can help, call us at (251) 444-7000. The initial consultation is free and there is no obligation.