In a car accident case, it is important to get help from a lawyer. Insurance companies and at-fault drivers will do what they can to deny liability and avoid paying you a cent for the crash. Working with an attorney, you can better understand the rules that govern your case and your options to get compensation.
While most car accident cases do ultimately settle out of court, many victims need to go to trial to enforce their right to compensation. Our attorneys can help you both ways – by negotiating a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance and, if that fails, taking your case to court.
For a free case evaluation with Howe Law’s experienced car accident attorneys, call (844) 876-4357.
Getting Compensation from Insurance for a Montgomery, AL Car Accident
Most people rely on car insurance to protect them in a car accident. However, the minimum insurance in Alabama is only $25,000 for injury (per person), which means that you might not be able to even get your damages paid in full that way.
Is Alabama a No-Fault State?
Alabama is not a no-fault state and instead uses what’s called a fault or “tort” system. A tort is a civil lawsuit, and under a system like Alabama’s, you can usually file a negligence lawsuit if you were injured in a car crash. The at-fault party has to pay damages, and their insurance covers those damages for them.
This means that when you file a claim for a car accident, you file with the at-fault driver’s insurance. It is important to give them all of the information they need to determine fault, but at the same time, you should avoid telling them anything they might try to use against you. In fact, you should speak with a car accident attorney before giving the car insurance company any information at all as they are not on your side.
How Much Does Insurance Cover?
Insurance in Alabama has to cover at least $25,000 for injury per person and $50,000 per accident. It also needs $25,000 per accident for property damage. This is sometimes called a “25/50/25” requirement.
Insurance can go higher than this, and some drivers will pay for insurance that is high enough to cover the full sum of damages they might cause someone else in a crash. If the driver’s insurance is too low, then they will be personally liable for any damages beyond what their insurance covers – but many drivers simply do not have the money to pay these damages. However, if the accident involves a trucker or another commercial driver, the company they work for likely will have higher insurance coverage as well as other funds and insurance to cover full damages in a car accident case.
You might also be able to add on additional medical pay coverage and other “first-party benefits” that will protect you after your crash. These add-on policies can help protect you if someone else hits you, but talk to a lawyer about how these claims could affect your total compensation.
Fighting a Low Offer
Many insurance companies will provide low initial offers. Their goal is usually to offer a small payout in the hopes that an inexperienced victim will take the money and end their case quickly. Generally, if you accept an insurance payout from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, part of that settlement involves a release of any further claims, which prevents you from going to court or filing for additional compensation.
Knowing how much your case is actually worth and talking to a lawyer about any settlement offers can help protect you. Your lawyer can also go to the insurance companies and negotiate for a better settlement. Often, additional evidence can help show the insurance company how low their offer truly is and convince them to provide a better offer without ever having to take your case to court.
Suing for Car Accident Injuries in Montgomery, AL
If the other driver’s insurance company refuses to admit fault or refuses to pay a proper value for your case, then our lawyers can step in and file a lawsuit. This shows that you are serious about getting full compensation and that you are willing to take your claim before a judge and jury if necessary. It also opens access to discovery, mediation, and other processes.
In discovery, our lawyers can subpoena evidence from the other driver. This could include things like cell phone and text history to show they were texting at the time of the crash or hours-of-service logs from trucking companies to prove their driver was driving beyond break requirements. We can also take depositions from the driver, witnesses, and anyone else involved in the crash to unveil the full story.
Mediation is a process that many courts in Alabama use to try to get parties to settle their case before trial. During mediation, a neutral mediator will try to help parties reach a reasonable settlement that satisfies both parties and gets the victim the damages they need – but settlement is totally voluntary in mediation. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we can still proceed to trial.
Just because you file a lawsuit does not mean your case will definitely go to trial. Many cases do settle, sometimes even “on the courthouse steps,” as the saying goes. Our goal is to get you the damages you deserve, whether they come through a settlement or trial.
How Much is My Car Accident Worth in Montgomery, AL?
The damages in your case could involve compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover things like car repairs, medical bills, lost earnings, and household care needs caused by the accident and resulting injuries. Non-economic damages can be paid for pain and suffering, which includes things like emotional distress. It is difficult to assess the value of any car accident injury case without a full case review.
Call Our Montgomery Car Accident Attorneys Today
Call (844) 876-4357 for a free case review with Howe Law’s car accident attorneys.