A person dies on Alabama roads every nine hours and 20 seconds, according to Drive Safe Alabama. That’s 932 deaths in 853 fatal car accidents in our state. For each of those deaths, 40 people were injured
As the state’s fastest-growing city, Huntsville has its share of auto accidents along U.S. 431, I-65, and Memorial Parkway. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident in Huntsville, call on the Huntsville car accident lawyers at McCutcheon & Hamner.
Call us at (256)448-8523 today to schedule an appointment with our Huntsville car accident attorney.
Why Choose Us?
For over three decades, the Huntsville personal injury lawyers at McCutcheon & Hamner have successfully secured substantial compensation for accident victims in Athens and across northern Alabama.
We are here to assist with your case and offer our assistance. We understand the profound consequences of accidents on individuals and their loved ones.
If your injury results from someone else’s negligence, you deserve comprehensive and just compensation. Contact us today and hear how we can help you.
Filing a Car Accident Claim in Alabama
Each state has laws governing how to process car accident claims. Alabama is an at-fault insurance state, also known as a tort state, which means the at-fault driver and their insurance company must cover the cost of the other driver’s accident-related damages in the event of a car accident.
Alabama requires all drivers to purchase at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per person, $50,000 per accident (if more than one person was injured), and $25,000 for property damage per accident.
So, if the other driver caused your accident, you would file a claim against that driver’s liability insurance for compensation for any medical expenses related to your injuries. For this reason, you must get the other driver’s name and insurance information to file a claim.
You are also required to report the accident to your own insurance company. Depending on the severity of your accident and the terms of your policy, you may be able to receive additional compensation through your own insurance company. Most insurers let policyholders file claims by phone, through a mobile app, or online.
Insurance companies like to settle claims quickly and will likely make you a settlement offer before you have had an opportunity to contact a lawyer.
Only accept an offer from an insurance company after consulting a car accident attorney. The money the insurance company offers may only cover some of your damages. If you accept their settlement, you cannot ask for more if your injuries require more treatment or you are out of work longer than expected.
What Insurance Coverage May Compensate You for a Car Accident?
Various types of insurance cover most drivers under state-mandated laws requiring auto insurance. Therefore, when car accidents occur, claims are made against insurance carriers.
Clients often ask our firm questions about the different types of auto insurance because many people need clarification about what their insurance covers and what triggers that coverage.
Here is an overview of the coverage that may come into play in a car accident case:
- Liability insurance covers another person’s medical bills or auto damage because of your negligence. Alabama requires this insurance, which covers a specific car.
- Collision insurance will repair your vehicle if you collide with another object, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive insurance is similar to collision coverage. It pays for your car after 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 the medical bills and other losses. It also generally covers any coverage of damages in the event your damages exceed the at-fault driver’s coverage.
- Medical payment insurance is part of an auto policy. It helps cover the medical bills of you and other occupants within the insured vehicle, regardless of fault.Negligence on the part of a driver causes most car accidents, such as speeding, through stop signs, running red lights, driving while texting or using a cell phone, or driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. These behaviors place liability for damages on the negligent driver and, thus, their insurance carrier.
The Car Accident Claims Process in Alabama
Once you make a report with the insurance company, they will investigate the accident, which will likely involve a review of the police report and your medical records. They will calculate a value for your damages and make you a settlement offer based on this amount.
Their offer might include compensation for medical bills and possibly lost income if you were out of work during your recovery. They may also offer a small amount of pain and suffering. But insurers base this compensation on an investigation that merely skims the surface.
When you retain a car accident lawyer from McCutcheon & Hamner, we will take the time to understand just how much the accident has affected your life.
We will review your medical records and learn whether future treatment is needed, how your injuries affect your ability to work and earn income, what equipment or services you may need at your home to perform daily activities, and the impact your injuries have on your family. This gives us a better idea of the damages you can claim.
How Our Car Accidents Lawyers Handle Injury Claims
When you retain the legal services of McCutcheon & Hamner, our lawyers will start immediately on your car accident claim.
Some actions we may take include:
Investigate Your Accident
Our lawyers will investigate your car accident claim to build a strong case on your behalf. Our investigation usually includes a review of the police report, your medical records, and any other evidence. We will determine the strength of your case and advise you on the next steps.
Identify All Liable Parties
Sometimes you can hold multiple parties liable in a car accident case. For example, you can hold a trucking company liable for negligent hiring if one of their inexperienced drivers caused your accident. A bar could be held liable for knowingly serving a visibly drunk person who then got behind the wheel and collided with your car. Our lawyers will pursue compensation against all liable parties to maximize your compensation.
Value Your Claim
Our lawyers will take the time to understand how much your accident has affected your life and your family’s life. We will consider all forms of economic and non-economic losses you suffered to get a more accurate picture of what your claim is worth.
Economic damages represent the financial losses you suffered due to your accident.
- Current and future medical bills for treatments, hospitalization, medication, rehabilitation, etc.
- Durable medical equipment or prostheses
- Lost income and benefits
- Loss of future earnings
- Modifications to your home or vehicle
- Property damages
- Funeral and burial or cremation expenses if the accident resulted in wrongful death
Non-economic damages are non-financial losses, often described as pain and suffering damages.
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Loss of companionship
We can value your claim once we know all the damages you and your family suffered. Economic damages are more straightforward as they have a dollar value.
But non-economic damages are more subjective and thus more difficult to calculate. Our lawyers usually calculate non-economic damages using the multiplier or per diem methods.
The multiplier method multiplies your economic damages by a number. The more severe the injuries, the higher this multiplier. The per diem method sets a value based on a daily rate, such as your daily income. Once our lawyers calculate the value of your injury claim, we will present the insurance company with a demand for compensation.
Insurance Companies Calculate Damages Differently
Insurance companies generally use a software program to calculate damages in accident claims. These programs usually require the insurance adjuster to input information such as your injuries and other accident details. The program then calculates a monetary range, which the adjuster uses to make your settlement offer.
Unfortunately, there are numerous flaws in this system. The software doesn’t necessarily anticipate all the issues that may arise, such as whether you need additional medical treatments, ongoing care, or the emotional impact the accident had on your life.
Our lawyers know how to calculate the full value of your damages and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Negotiate with the Insurance Companies
We won’t accept a lowball offer from the insurance company. Our lawyers are skilled negotiators and know how to sift through the tactics insurers use to skirt their responsibility to make you whole again. We will negotiate until we reach a fair settlement. And if the insurance company refuses to make a fair offer, we will take them to court.
Represent You in Court
If you choose to pursue legal action, we will file your car accident case in civil court before Alabama’s statute of limitations. Sometimes just filing a lawsuit with the court prompts the insurance company to make a fair offer.
Trials are time-consuming and costly, so most personal injury cases settle before they reach the courtroom. If your case goes to trial, we can aggressively represent you in court and advocate for full and fair compensation.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Alabama?
Alabama has a two-year statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim based on negligence. The clock begins running on the date of your injury. You cannot pursue compensation through the court system if you miss the deadline.
Limited exceptions may shorten or lengthen this deadline, so talk with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident so you meet every critical deadline. The sooner you contact the car accident lawyers with McCutcheon & Hamner, the sooner we can build a strong case on your behalf.
Contact a Huntsville Car Accident Lawyer at McCutcheon & Hamner Today
The Huntsville car accident lawyers at McCutcheon & Hamner have been fighting for the rights of Alabamians since 1988. With more than 30 years of combined legal experience, they have the experience and dedication to see your case through the entire legal process, from the initial consultation until we obtain the compensation you deserve through a settlement or litigation.
Let us use our dedication, legal knowledge, and resources to help you and your family seek justice at this difficult time in your lives. Contact us online or at (256) 448-8523 today for your free consultation and case evaluation.
3rd Floor Fletcher Building
475 Providence Main St NW
Huntsville, AL 35806