Proving Negligence in Alabama: What to Know for Your Accident Cases

If you were hit by another driver in Alabama, you may have the right to compensation. But you’ll have to win your case before you can get compensation. To win, you’ll have to prove that the other driver was negligent. 

Negligence is an important concept in injury law. This article will explain the basics of negligence under Alabama law, including what negligence means and how to prove it. It will also answer some common questions about negligence.  

What is Negligence in Alabama? 

Generally, negligence occurs when a person’s failure to exercise reasonable care hurts another person. But negligence is far more complicated. To prove that the other driver was negligent, you’ll have to show that: 

  • The other driver had a duty to act reasonably and carefully, 
  • The other driver did not act reasonably or carefully, 
  • You suffered injuries, and 
  • The other driver’s failure to act reasonably and carefully was the cause of those injuries. 

Lawyers refer to these four concepts as duty, breach, causation, and damages. 

What Do I Need to Prove Negligence? 

What you’ll need to do to prove negligence depends on which of the four aspects of negligence is the focus. 


Duty is proven by pointing to laws or rules that impose a duty on someone to behave in a certain way. Proving duty in car accident cases is usually straightforward. Alabama law requires drivers to comply with all laws and signs while behind the wheel. Your Alabama accident lawyer will argue that these laws establish the duty.  


After proving that the other driver had a duty, you’ll need to show that they breached it. Again, Alabama drivers have a duty to comply with all laws and signs. Certain actions show that a driver ignored this duty, such as: 

  • Speeding 
  • Running red lights or stop signs  
  • Distracted driving (e.g., texting while driving) 
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Following too closely (tailgating)
  • Driving too fast for the weather or road conditions.
  • Driving without repairing a known defect (e.g., faulty brakes)
  • Making illegal maneuvers (e.g., illegal U-turns)
  • Driving while drowsy

During their investigation, your Birmingham car accident lawyer can look for support for your claims. Police reports and surveillance footage from nearby businesses can be useful. You can help your lawyer by giving them the names of any witnesses who saw what the driver did before and after they hit you. 


Causation is very important. To win your case, you’ll have to prove that the other driver was the factual cause of the accident and that it is fair to hold the driver responsible. Causation can be tricky, but your Alabama accident attorney can help. 


People injured in car accidents must prove two things for damages. First, you’ll have to show that you were hurt in the accident. Second, you may be eligible for many types of economic damages for your medical expenses and property damage. You may also be eligible for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, and emotional distress. 

You’ll have to prove the extent of your injuries to get all the compensation you deserve. To make sure that you don’t lose out on anything you deserve, document your injuries and diagnoses every step of the way. Some types of documents that might help include: 

  • Medical records
  • Medical bills from all providers, including hospitals and physical therapy
  • Photographs of your injuries 
  • Photographs of the accident scene 
  • Prescription records 
  • Pay stubs (to demonstrate lost wages)
  • Vehicle repair invoices and any rental car receipts 
  • Psychological evaluations, if applicable
  • A journal that shows your thoughts after the accident

Can I Win My Case if the Other Party Claims That They Weren’t Negligent?

Yes. Drivers often argue that they weren’t negligent. However, your Alabama personal injury lawyer can look for evidence that contradicts their claim.

What if I Was Also Partially Responsible for the Accident?

Alabama follows a rule called contributory negligence. This rule is very strict. If the jury finds that a person is even 1% responsible for their own injuries, they cannot get any compensation. 

However, all rules have exceptions. Alabama’s contributory negligence rule has several exceptions. Your Birmingham injury lawyer can tell you if any exceptions apply to your case. 

Can I Win My Case if There Were No Other Witnesses to the Accident? 

Yes. Witnesses can certainly make your case stronger, but they are not legally required. Your attorney can find other proof –  surveillance footage, police reports, photographs, and more –  to prove how the accident happened. 

How Can a Lawyer Help Me Prove Negligence? 

Negligence is a complex legal concept, so hiring a lawyer is essential. Your Alabama injury attorney can help your negligence claim by

  • Investigating your claim
  • Collecting evidence  
  • Interviewing witnesses 
  • Researching the legal rules 

A lawyer can also give you an honest evaluation of your case, negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf, and, if necessary, take your negligence case to trial. 
Proving negligence in an Alabama car accident case requires careful preparation, extensive knowledge of the law, and a solid case strategy. If you were hit by a negligent driver and need help proving it, please consider Collins Law, LLC. Our firm’s founder has been named one of the 10 Best personal injury lawyers in the area. We’ll work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Call 205-588-1411 or use our website’s online scheduling tool to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.