October 3 2019

Definite Signs You Need an Accident Attorney


If you were involved in an auto accident, you're probably confused about how to proceed. Minor accidents are relatively uncomplicated, but a larger crash is less so. Major vehicle damage and injuries caused by someone else are upsetting incidents that must be addressed.

You want to ensure the best possible outcome for your family and your damaged car. Can an attorney help? Here are some definite signs you should seek counsel from an experienced accident attorney.

Liability Won't Pay Out for Your Injuries

Alabama is not an at-fault state, which means PIP, or personal injury protection, is an optional auto insurance coverage. PIP pays medical expenses and lost wages for you and your passengers in an accident.

Instead, involved parties must be responsible for any injury they cause in an accident through their liability coverage. In Alabama, all drivers must have a minimum liability limit of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for injuries, and $25,000 for property damage. Unfortunately, you must show the other insurance company their insured is liable for your injuries in order to collect compensation.

Proving liability can be difficult. You have to show that the driver that hit you directly caused your injuries, or was otherwise negligent in some way. Insurance companies tend to apply the rule of pure contributory negligence to avoid a payout. This rule allows them to deny a claim even if you are as little as 1% to blame.

An insurance company may refuse liability payout for your injuries. As a result, you are left responsible for all your car repair and medical bills, as well as rental car expenses and lost wages because you could not work.

When liability won't pay out, contact an attorney who can help you better establish a guilty driver's liability. A trained attorney can even seek additional compensation from the other party outside of their insurance scope. There may be assets or other sources to help pay your expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

An Uninsured Motorist Hits You

Being struck by another car is unnerving enough, but a driver without insurance compounds your problem. An uninsured motorist is someone who lacks liability coverage at all. Many drivers fail to purchase liability coverage because they cannot afford to do so. According to the Insurance Information Institute, roughly 18% of drivers in Alabama are uninsured, an unfortunate statistic that may increase your likelihood of becoming a victim.

Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to cover your expenses in case someone without insurance hits you. However, this coverage is not required in Alabama. If you don't have the right coverage to reimburse you for your injuries and damages, you could be in trouble. You must pay your own medical expenses and car repairs.

An attorney knows how to evaluate your uninsured claim and look for ways to find compensation. If a guilty driver is financially able to pay, your attorney may find a way for the other party to admit responsibility.

Insurance Company is Ready to Settle

During the course of your accident claim, you may find the insurance company is ready to settle. Depending on which coverage will pay out in the claim, either your own company or the opposing insurance company may settle. Nearly all of the time, both companies want to pay out as little money as possible. Most initial settlement offers are very low on purpose in the hopes you won't counter for more.

How do you know a settlement offer is right? An attorney is helpful in several ways once a settlement is on the table. Your attorney is able to negotiate a higher amount relative to what you truly deserve. He or she can advise you of your rights if you accept a settlement. For example, a car repair settlement means you cannot make a claim for additional damage previously hidden or unnoticed.

Wolfe, Jones, Wolfe, Hancock, Daniel & South, L.L.C. is ready to assist you with legal advice and representation. Call us and tell us what's going wrong in the aftermath of your car accident.

Definite Signs You Need an Accident Attorney