A driver who gets into an accident that causes injury, death, or a significant amount of property damage must report the accident to the Alabama Department of Public Safety or they must report the accident to the police shortly after the collision.
Since a person is eligible to claim both economical and noneconomical damages the settlement amount can vary significantly. A person may get $20,000 or $200,000 depending on the specifics of their case. Getting in touch with an attorney who specializes in dealing with car accident cases is a very good way to gauge how much a person is entitled to. If a person attempts to make an insurance claim without a legal professional by their side, they greatly risk the chance of getting a low offer and going home with much less compensation then what they deserved.
It is important to keep in mind that Alabama follows the contributory negligence standard. This means that a person is unable to demand damages if they contributed to the accident. For instance, if a person was going above the speed limit when the collision occurred, they will be partially at fault for the accident and they won’t be able to request damages. However, there are always exceptions to the rules and if someone believes they truly deserve compensation even though they contributed to the accident they should get in touch with an attorney to explore their options.
In Alabama, individuals can recover damages by either filing a claim with their own insurance company, by filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company or they have the third option of filing a lawsuit against the guilty party. When one files a claim with an insurance company the insurance adjusters will evaluate the damage themselves and give their first offer of settlement. Individuals need to keep in mind that they are not obligated to accept the initial offer. A person can have their attorney negotiate with the insurer until a fair amount is agreed upon.
Without a doubt, the smartest choice for a person who has gotten into an accident is to get the help of a car accident attorney directly from the beginning of the case. Individuals who try to communicate with their insurer on their own or who try and litigate themselves often end up with the short end of the stick and get a very small amount of compensation compared to what they are entitled to.
A lawyer can help a person collect relevant evidence directly after the collision occurs and guide a person on what they should say to the other drivers involved in the accident. Many times, something as simple as an apology to the other driver can end up costing a person their position in the case. A lawyer can also help a person with gathering witnesses and filling out all the required paperwork promptly to ensure the process goes through as easily as possible without unnecessary complications arising.