What Should You Do After an Accident in Birmingham?
Prepare for Emergencies: Alabama Car Accident Checklist
You have just been injured by a negligent driver. In response to stress, your nervous system releases “fight or flight” hormones into your body. Your mind begins to cloud. Suddenly, that old mental “checklist” of things to do after a car accident has evaporated into thin air.
The Birmingham personal injury attorneys at Wininger Law Firm, LLC, know that it’s sometimes difficult to collect your thoughts in the minutes after a car crash. We recommend that you store a checklist in your glove compartment. The following list may help you after a collision:
Alabama Accident Checklist
- Do not leave the scene of the accident. If your car is driveable, move your car to the shoulder and park. Call 911 to summon police, even if no one is injured. Request EMS or an ambulance for all injured parties.
- Activate your emergency flashers. Keep your seat belts on until help arrives.
- Exchange information calmly and courteously without admitting fault. Do not make apologies or statements to the other driver. Reserve all statements for police. Under Alabama law, you must provide the police, the other driver, the owner of any damaged property, or injured persons with:
- Your name and address
- Your driver’s license number and vehicle registration number
- The name and current address of each passenger in your vehicle
- The police at the scene will hand you a Form, known as an SR-13, which must be completed and filed with the Drivers License Division, Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Unit, within 30 days of the accident. The form is required if property damage for you or the other driver exceeds $250.00, or if anyone suffered bodily injury or death due to the accident. Failure to file the form may result in the suspension of your license.
- Seek immediate medical attention. This should be your main priority! Follow through with doctor or therapy visits as directed. Take all medication prescribed. Keep a record of all your doctors and a list of medications.
- Obtain a copy of your Alabama Uniform Traffic Accident Report. It is available within 3 to 5 days from the police department in your municipality. You can take the Police Report, accident photos, insurance correspondence and a list of your medical providers to the Wininger Law Firm to receive a free accident or injury case evaluation.
Communicating with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company: Dos and Don’ts
What you say to the other driver’s auto insurer, can make or break an injury case. It is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney at Wininger Law Firm, LLC, to protect your rights and help you obtain just compensation for your injuries.
Although you have a duty to provide truthful information to your own auto insurance company, you are not obligated to provide any information the other driver’s insurer.
If you have not yet retained the services of an attorney at our firm, be careful in how you communicate with the other driver’s insurance company, namely:
- Do not give a recorded statement. This could jeopardize your case. If an adjuster calls, politely tell him or her that you are considering hiring a personal injury attorney, and they will get in touch with them.
- Do not sign a Medical Release. Signing a release can give them access to your past medical records. They can use information about your past injuries or existing health concerns against you.
- Do not let the adverse insurance company pressure you into signing a General Release. The other company wants you to accept a lesser settlement so they can avoid an expensive lawsuit. Once you sign a Release of Claims, the negligent party and his insurance company can no longer be held liable for your injuries.
Call 205.322.3663 or 888.808.INJURY, to talk to an experienced attorney after an accident. The trusted Alabama accident lawyers at Wininger Law Firm can explain the process of filing a claim for damages against the responsible party.