BIRMINGHAM, AL, January 10, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Nearly 1 in 4 Alabama motorists do not currently carry any auto liability insurance. To put Alabama's uninsured motorist problem in context, the state ranks 6th in the nation for the highest number of uninsured drivers and 5th for most fatal traffic accidents per capita. When those two statistics are combined, Alabama becomes one of the most dangerous states for drivers.
As with many public safety laws, Alabama's growing dilemma with uninsured motorists
stems from a lack of enforcement of its mandatory auto liability insurance law. Although state law requires a motorist to carry a liability policy with at least $25,000 in bodily injury/$50,000 per occurrence, many drivers learned to beat the system.
The state has traditionally "enforced" its auto liability law by requiring motorists to show proof of insurance upon the renewal of their vehicle's tag and/or during a traffic stop. However, the process stopped as a driver showing "proof" of insurance; state officials were not equipped to actually verify that such insurance was valid at the time of presentation. Thus, many drivers simply enrolled into an auto policy, obtained an insurance card showing 6 months to 12 months in coverage, and immediately cancelled their policy. Meanwhile, these drivers still had "proof of insurance" to show to law enforcement agents.
As of January 1, 2013, Alabama has finally implemented an instant verification system to keep motorists from "gaming the system." A new statewide database now allows state officials and patrol officers to disregard a drivers "proof" of insurance and check the policy's validity at any time--including during a traffic stop. Since the state's liability law requires any registered motor vehicle to carry a minimum level of insurance at all times, the new verification system also allows officials to randomly scan the database for offenders and issue citations through the mail.
"I am glad to learn that Alabama has taken action to enforce its mandatory auto liability law," stated attorney Whit Drake. Mr. Drake, who has been an Alabama car accident lawyer
for over two decades, added that the new enforcement scheme may actually provide victims an avenue for recovering damages that they are entitled to under state law. "When an uninsured motorist causes an accident, the victim is often required to assume responsibility for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other out-of-pocket bills. If the new system is effective, the number of uninsured drivers will drop and directly reduce the number of Alabama car accident victims stuck with uncompensated damages caused by someone else," noted Drake.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The Alabama personal injury lawyers at Drake Law Firm provide statewide representation to injured individuals for claims stemming from motor vehicle collisions, tractor trailer accidents, premises liability, products liability, and accidents resulting in wrongful death. For more information on the firm, visit their website at www.drakelawal.com
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