Seasoned & Proven Florence Car Accident Lawyers on Your Side
Auto accidents are far too common on the roads and highways of Alabama, and Florence is no exception. Car accidents are common along the roadways and intersections of main streets in Florence including Helton Drive, Cox Creek Parkway, Huntsville Road, and Florence Boulevard. Reach out to a Florence car accident lawyer.
According to Drive Safe Alabama, 851 fatal car accidents occurred in Alabama resulting in 930 fatalities in 2019. For each of these deaths, 50 people were injured that year. Most of these accidents are caused by human error ranging from inattention to speeding to driving while drunk. As a result, auto accidents are the most common cause of personal injury claims filed against at-fault drivers and/or their insurers.
At McCutcheon & Hamner, we have been dealing with personal injury claims for years, working aggressively on behalf of our clients to bring them the compensation they need and deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured or if your family has suffered a wrongful death due to the negligence of another driver, we strongly urge you to meet with us for a free case evaluation.
Proving your claim and defending it against accusations that you may have contributed to any accident can be a challenging task. Our Florence car accident attorneys are well-versed in Alabama law. We are experienced in building strong cases and know how to vigorously negotiate or litigate for fair compensation. These abilities are backed by proven results accumulated over many years of practice.
Filing a Car Accident Claim in Alabama
Alabama is an at-fault insurance state, also known as a tort state, which means the driver who caused an auto accident and their insurance provider is responsible for the other driver’s damages resulting from a car crash.
Alabama law requires drivers to purchase at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 per accident (when two or more persons are injured) to cover injured accident victims. So, if your accident was caused by another driver, you would file a claim with that driver’s liability insurance to obtain compensation for medical expenses related to your injuries.
Since you will have to contact the insurance company of the at-fault driver after a car accident, it is important that you get the driver’s name and contact information, the name of their insurance company, and their insurance policy number after an accident occurs
You will also need to contact your own insurance company to report the accident. Most insurance companies require this of their policyholders regardless of who was at fault. But, you may also have additional compensation available to you through your own policy.
The Car Accident Claims Process in Alabama
When you report your accident, the insurance company will conduct an investigation, which usually involves reviewing evidence such as the police report and your medical records. They will use this information to calculate a value for your damages and make you a settlement offer based on their calculations. The offer may include financial compensation for economic damages such as your medical bills, lost wages if you missed days of work due to your accident injuries, and damages to your car. They may also offer a small amount of compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Chances are, this initial offer will not fully cover your accident damages.
Insurance companies like to make fast settlement offers in hopes that accident victims will take them without obtaining legal representation. Experienced personal injury lawyers know that serious accidents often result in severe injuries that may require more medical treatment and long-term care than that initial settlement offer takes into account. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are also subjective and insurance companies often severely undervalue how these injuries impact your life and the lives of your family members now and in the future.
Our car accident lawyers urge car accident victims to never accept an offer from an insurance company without first consulting with an attorney. Our legal team offers free consultations and can tell if you are leaving money on the table by accepting a lowball offer.
How Our Car Accidents Lawyers Handle Injury Claims
When you retain our legal services, our lawyers will start right away on your car accident claim by taking actions such as:
Our Lawyers Will Investigate Your Accident
Our lawyers thoroughly investigate car accident cases to build a strong case on your behalf. Our investigation often includes a review of all evidence available, including photos of the scene of the accident, the police report, your medical bills and treatments, and eyewitness testimonies.
Our Lawyers Will Identify All Liable Parties
The evidence we collect can also help us identify all liable parties, such as other drivers, government entities, or trucking companies if you were involved in a truck accident. For example, a trucking company may be held liable for your car accident if they hired unqualified truckers or did not keep their trucks properly maintained.
Our Lawyers Will Value Your Claim
Our lawyers determine how much. your car accident claim is really worth by identifying all your damages. Damages are the losses you sustained as a result of your accident injuries. Damages are usually divided into one of two categories—economic and non-economic.
These damages represent monetary losses for which you can show an actual value, such as medical bills for treatments, surgeries and procedures, hospitalizations, medication, and rehabilitation. If your injuries are severe or disabling, your economic damages may also include future medical needs, modifications to your home, and equipment for mobility.
Your economic damages may also include lost wages or income if your injuries prevented you from working or loss of future income if you cannot return to work in the same capacity as before the accident.
Non-economic damages are non-monetary losses, often described as pain and suffering. Non-economic damages are more subjective and, thus, more difficult to place a monetary value on. Depending on your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium.
Our lawyers will determine the full extent of your damages and their value to create a demand for compensation from the insurance company. Since non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate, we usually rely on one of two methods to come up with a dollar amount—the multiplier method or the per diem method.
The multiplier method multiplies economic damages by a number between 1.5 and 5. The more severe the injuries, the higher the multiplier. The per diem method determines a value based on a daily rate, such as the injured person’s income. Once our lawyers calculate the value of your injury claim, we make a demand to the insurance company for compensation.
Insurance Companies Calculate Damages Differently
Insurance companies use several types of claims software to calculate damages in car accident claims. These programs work similarly. Essentially, the adjuster enters data about the accident and the injuries you suffered into the program, and the software calculates a dollar range.
The insurance adjuster will usually make an offer based on this range. However, the computer programs insurance companies use to calculate damages are notorious for not compensating you for the full amount of damages you suffered. These programs often overlook details such as any additional medical treatments, ongoing care, or the emotional impact the accident had.
Our lawyers understand how to calculate the full value of your damages and fight for the maximum compensation you and your family deserve.
Our lawyers Will Negotiate with the Insurance Company for a Fair Settlement
Instead of accepting the insurance company’s lowball offer, our lawyers will seek compensation that more accurately reflects the full value of your losses based on our own research. The insurance company will likely make a counteroffer. Our lawyers will continue to negotiate with the insurance adjuster until a fair settlement is reached. If the insurance company refuses to play fair, we may recommend that you file a car accident lawsuit.
Our Lawyers Will Represent You in Court
If you choose to move forward with a car accident lawsuit, our lawyers will file your case in civil court before the statute of limitations runs out. Alabama’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of your injury. If you miss this deadline, you will be unable to pursue compensation through the court system.
Insurance companies prefer to avoid going to court. Trials are time-consuming and costly. Our car accident lawyers will continue negotiating with the insurance company. Chances are, we can get a good settlement before the case goes to trial. In fact, the vast majority of personal injury cases settle before they reach the courtroom.
However, if your case goes to trial, our car accident lawyers will represent you in court and throughout the legal process, and will never stop advocating on your behalf.
Car Accident Claims & Lawsuits in Florence, Alabama
McCutcheon & Hamner has developed a personal injury law practice that consists almost exclusively of suing insurance companies for personal injury. Most drivers are covered by various types of insurance under state-mandated laws requiring auto insurance. Therefore, when car accidents occur, claims are made against insurance carriers. Our firm is often asked questions about the different types of automobile insurance because many people are uncertain about what their insurance covers and what triggers that coverage.
The following are the basics of insurance coverage that may come into play in any car accident case:
Liability insurance for another person or auto damage as a result of your carelessness. This type of coverage is purchased for a specific car and is mandatory in our state.
Collision insurance is insurance to repair your car if you collide with another object whether or not you are at fault.
Comprehensive insurance is similar to collision and covers your car in the event of fire, theft, or glass breakage regardless of fault.
Uninsured motorist insurance follows both the car and driver for personal injury. If an uninsured driver injures you or someone in your car, this coverage pays for your damages. It also generally covers under-insured motorists.
Medical payment insurance is coverage for your medical bills arising out of the use of the insured automobile without regard to fault for occupants of the insured vehicle. This is typically purchased in increments of $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000. If you have health insurance coverage, it is best not to tell a hospital about this coverage so that you can use your medical payment insurance for deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Most car accidents are caused by a negligent action or omission on the part of a driver. Common causes include speeding, failing to obey other traffic laws, such as rolling through stop signs, running red lights, or swerving between lanes, as well as driving while texting or using a cell phone, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or mere inattention to the task at hand. These types of behaviors place liability for damages on the careless driver and thus his or her insurance carrier.
Single-Vehicle Accidents and Manufacturer Liability
Most accidents involve more than one vehicle. However, in some cases, an accident can occur involving just one vehicle. Examples of this type of accident can include losing control of your vehicle and spinning out of control or hitting a guardrail, tree, or other object, hitting an animal, and rollovers. In these cases, it is generally the driver who is deemed to be at fault. However, exceptions do occur where a third party, such as a vehicle manufacturer or auto parts manufacturer may be at fault.
When a vehicle is negligently designed and an injury occurs, the manufacturer of the poorly-designed part or vehicle may be held liable. This falls under the legal concept of product liability caused by a vehicle defect or failure of its equipment.
Examples of negligently designed/defective autos or their parts can include but are not limited to:
- Roof crushes
- Airbag failures
- Inflexible fuel filter lines
- Seatbelt failures
In a single-vehicle accident injury case, we have to preserve the vehicle for our engineers to look at and for the manufacturer’s experts to inspect. Where vehicle defects can be shown, you may be entitled to all of the injury-related damages that could be available in any other personal injury case.
Contact a Florence Car Accident Lawyer at McCutcheon & Hamner Today
Our firm has been dealing with car accident injury cases for decades leading to many positive results. Taking on your car accident insurance claim on your own when you are facing serious injuries is not advised. Proving the fault of the other party or parties as well as dealing with insurance companies whose main objective is to reduce or deny your compensation calls for an experienced professional.
The Florence personal injury lawyers at McCutcheon & Hamner law firm have been fighting for the legal rights of Alabamans since 1988. With more than 30 years of combined legal experience, we bring a wealth of experience to your car accident case. We urge you to take advantage of the dedication, legal knowledge, and resources we can provide in fighting for fair compensation for you and your family at this difficult time.
2210 Helton Drive
Florence, AL 35630