Author Archive for Hodges Trial Lawyers

Automobile insurance is not a suggestion, it is a requirement!

Automobile insurance is not a suggestion, it is a requirement enforced by Alabama law.  Alabama ranks as the 6th worst state in uninsured motorists.  At a minimum, you must maintain liability insurance in accordance with the minimum liability requirements.

According to the Code of Alabama (1975), §32-7-6, the minimum liability requirements are outlined as follows:

“…every policy or bond is subject, if the accident has resulted in bodily injury or death, to a limit, exclusive of interest and costs, of not less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of bodily injury to or death to one person in any one accident and subject to the limit for one person, to a limit of not less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and, if the accident has resulted in injury to or destruction of property, to a limit of not less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.”

It is a requirement to have the minimum coverage, but highly recommended to have higher limits as damages can add up quickly in an accident.  Not having insurance on a vehicle you are driving is not only illegal, it can be cause for a lawsuit against you if you are in an accident.  If you are hit by someone who is not insured, it is important that you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your existing policy. This protects you from possibly not being able to recover damages you suffered as a result of the accident.

Underinsured Motorists Are Spooky!

Most of our readers know that our work often involves helping people injured in auto wrecks.  We often get a puzzled face as a response when we ask, “How much UM coverage do you have?”  Often, clients do not even know that UM/UIM is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage.  These are benefits on your auto policy that serve to protect you when a driver hits you and either doesn’t have enough insurance or has none at all. Once you have been hit, there is nothing we can do after the fact to add coverage.  Here are steps to take to protect your family:

  1. Get a copy of your automobile insurance declarations page.
  2. Talk to your insurance agent about your coverage and ask tough questions about what happens if someone hurts you and has no insurance. 
  3. Call us.  We will review your declarations page free of charge to make sure you are protected.

As always, it is our privilege and pleasure to serve you.  

Who is at Fault in a “Blind Spot Accident”

               Blind spot car wrecks occur when a driver merges over and hits another car that is traveling in a blind spot. There are many ways to eliminate blind spots and avoid these wrecks. The most effective way is to simply turn and look for a car before merging. Another way is to position your side-view mirrors to eliminate the blind spot.  Proper use and positioning of your mirrors can help prevent a car wreck.  Some cars and trucks now come equipped with technology to alert the driver to a car being in the blind spot.  However, people sometimes just forget to check or are distracted while changing lanes. In the event of an accident where the other party is negligent, they are liable for your injuries and damages from the car wreck. They have the responsibility or duty to not hit your car while they are traveling on the road. Even if they were well intentioned or simply did not see you doesn’t mean that they cannot be held liable for that damages. They were still negligent in not checking their “blind spot” and running into your car. The law protects you from drivers who run into you whether you are in their blind spot or not. If you find yourself personally injured in a car wreck contact the lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, they would be happy to talk with you about your rights.

Dangers of texting while driving

Despite all the warnings and illegality, people are still using their phones while driving.  Adults and teens have formed a habit of reading and sending emails and text messages while driving their cars.  Warnings and statics about the dangers of distracted driving have been published over and over again.  Laws have been passed to make the use of cell phones while operating a car illegal.  However, people continue to ignore the warnings, statics, and laws.

     The dangers of using your cell phone while operating a car are due to the fact that your attention is on your phone instead of the road.  In order to use your phone you must look down at the phone which takes your eyes from the road.  You might as well be driving blind. You are not paying attention to your driving much less the driving of the other drivers on the road.  A distracted driver is more dangerous than a drunk driver.