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How to Recover Lost Wages After a Car Accident in Alabama

After a car crash, you could be left with a variety of damages that you need help recovering.  While the cost of repairing or replacing your car will be important, the medical expenses you face could be even more important.  Nonetheless, all of these expenses become a bigger problem if you cannot work and need to recover lost wages.

Recovering lost wages after an injury typically requires an insurance claim or a lawsuit.  With an insurance claim, you might be beholden to the insurance company, and if they undervalue your claim, you could lose out on damages.  Going to court with a lawsuit might increase your damages.

For a free review of your potential car accident case, call our Alabama car accident attorneys today.  Contact Howe Law by calling (844) 876-4357.

Getting Lost Wages Through a Car Insurance Claim in Alabama

Alabama drivers are each required to carry insurance that can cover the damages that they cause during an accident.  In this “at-fault” or” tort” system, you need to prove that the accident was the other driver’s fault before their insurance company will be willing to pay damages.  Once you do, damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering could be available.

Complications can arise with a claim for lost wages based on a few different issues in the process:

Proving Fault

First, you need to be able to prove to the insurance company that the accident was their driver’s fault.  Insurance companies are often unwilling to accept blame for their driver because it means spending more money.  As such, it might be difficult to get damages paid, and you might need to turn to the courts to get a jury to decide who was at fault.

Proving Lost Wages

Second, you will need to be able to prove the lost wages that you suffered to the insurance company.  Often, they will be able to accept financial records and pay stubs that help support your claim for lost wages.  They might also need letters from your employer and other evidence about your attendance to prove that you actually work at a particular job and that you have actually missed work.  If your wages fluctuate based on which shift you work or you missed out on overtime that you would have taken, you will need sufficient evidence of these varying wage values to convince the insurance company to pay you the appropriate rate.

Insurance companies are often unwilling to look beyond the lost wages you have already suffered, and it might be harder to convince them to cover ongoing lost wages or future lost earning capacity.  However, these damages should be available, so our Alabama personal injury attorneys may need to step in and work to convince the insurance company to pay these damages as well.

Policy Limits

Third, your claim for lost wages could go beyond the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.  The base required insurance in Alabama only requires up to $25,000 per person for injuries after an accident.  If the at-fault driver only had this state minimum insurance, then their insurance might be too low to cover your injuries in a serious injury case.

Fortunately, drivers can have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance that can help them if the other driver’s insurance coverage was too low.  This insurance is optional in Alabama, but it can help cover up to an additional $25,000 damages for you if the other driver’s insurance was not enough.  Talk to your lawyers about whether you have this type of coverage on your policy and how much it could cover.  Your policy might also have other policies that cover additional areas of damages for you.

If there is no insurance to cover your damages beyond these limits, then you might need to file a lawsuit to recover additional damages.  However, settling first could mean giving up your right to sue, so you should work with a lawyer from the beginning and avoid settling without your lawyer’s advice.

Suing for Lost Wages in an Alabama Car Accident Case

If any of these problems listed above prevent you from getting a fair settling for lost wages after a car crash, Alabama law gives you the option of going to court instead.  When your case goes to court, a judge and jury can decide your case from a neutral position.  Instead of relying on the insurance company to decide fault – since they have a vested interest in winning the case – the judge and jury might be more willing to decide in your favor.

Most of the issues discussed above can be resolved in a lawsuit.  First, the insurance company does not need to admit fault for you to get paid; the court can find their driver at fault and order them to pay damages even if they object.  Second, the court could be willing to accept a broader range of evidence to support your claim for lost wages.  Proving future lost wages could be difficult because you might need an expert to project these costs and testify in court – something that courts should allow but insurance companies might ignore.  Third, you can claim higher damages than the insurance policy allows when you go to court, and it is up to the at-fault driver to pay these damages out of pocket.

While insurance might be faster than a lawsuit, it is not always the best way to get your damages paid in full.  Especially since lost earnings can be difficult to prove and might require what essentially amounts to its own mini-trial to adequately prove these damages, you should consider taking your car accident case to court with our Birmingham car accident lawyers instead of relying on an insurance claim.

Call Our Alabama Car Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Review

If you suffered serious injuries in an Alabama car crash and cannot work, call our Birmingham personal injury attorneys today.  Contact Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 as soon as you can.

We've Recovered Hundreds of Millions of Dollars for Victims

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Howe Law achieved a recovery of $1,750,000 for our client, who sustained injuries after being T-Boned by a Commercial Vehicle on a neighborhood roadway.

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Howe Law achieved a recovery of $1,750,000 for our client, who sustained injuries after being T-Boned by a Commercial Vehicle on a neighborhood roadway.

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Our client sustained knee and back injuries after he was struck by a drunk driver. The Legal Team at Howe Law was retained to obtain a recovery against the at-fault driver.

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The Legal Team at Howe Law successfully obtained a judgment in a long fought lawsuit in the amount of $1,188,000.

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Lawsuit

The Legal Team at Howe Law successfully obtained a judgment in a long fought lawsuit in the amount of $1,188,000.

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