If you are involved in a serious accident with an uninsured driver, it may seem like you have no recourse. Accidents like these often result in serious injuries and major medical expenses. In some cases, they are even fatal. From a legal standpoint, victims usually have a variety of paths that they can pursue to receive compensation for their injuries and damages. Working with a Birmingham uninsured motorist accident lawyer is the best way to get a successful outcome in your case.
The Alabama Mandatory Liability Insurance Act set minimum insurance requirements that all drivers must meet. These limits include $25,000 for property damage, $25,000 for bodily injury or death in accidents involving a single person, and $50,000 for bodily injury or death in accidents involving two or more people. Even though car insurance coverage is required by law, many drivers choose not to insure their vehicles. In some cases, drivers may inadvertently allow their coverage to lapse if they don't pay their premiums on time.
When you work with Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, our attorneys will carefully evaluate your situation to determine which parties are liable for your expenses. With our help, you can receive as much compensation as possible in your case.
The experts at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers take the worry and stress out of the equation, helping to ensure that your uninsured motorist case is handled in the best way possible. Set up a free consultation today by calling 205-666-6000 or submitting the form on our website. During this consultation, we will outline your legal options so that you can decide which course to take.
Alabama Underinsured and Uninsured Motorists
Every state in the country has specific requirements regarding the amount of insurance that drivers are required to carry. Even though insurance is legally mandated, only a fraction of all drivers on the road comply. Throughout the country, nearly 14% of drivers are uninsured. In Alabama, that number increases to almost 20% of all drivers. Considering that there are about 3.7 million licensed drivers in Alabama, each of whom drives an average of 13,516 miles each year, a staggering number of accidents can occur.
All of the states have passed laws stipulating how accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers are handled. The term “underinsured” is used to describe drivers who have insurance coverage but whose policy limits are not high enough to cover the cost of the injuries or damage sustained in the accident. The lawyers at the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers in Birmingham specialize in underinsured (UIM) and uninsured (UM) motorist cases. With the help of their experience and expertise, they can assist you with your Alabama uninsured motorist case.
Are Drivers Required to Carry Car Insurance in Alabama?
According to Alabama code § 32-7-6, drivers are required to carry $25,000 of bodily injury coverage for accidents where a single person is injured and $50,000 of coverage for accidents where two or more people are injured. Personal vehicles including cars, trucks, and SUVs must have at least this much coverage to legally operate in the state of Alabama. Unfortunately, not all drivers follow the law. If you get into an accident that was caused by an uninsured driver, getting any type of financial compensation could be difficult or impossible.
Although you can sue the other driver or file a claim against them to recoup money for your medical expenses, emotional suffering, pain, lost income, and property damage, your chances of getting any money are relatively slim. Most people don't have enough money available to cover all of these expenses. Even if you get into an accident with a driver who is insured, their insurance policy may not offer enough coverage to pay for all of your expenses. In situations like these, uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist insurance coverage can help.
Insurance companies have made UIM and uninsured motorist coverage available (UIM/UM). When you buy insurance for your vehicle in the state of Alabama, the insurer has to provide you with UM/UIM coverage that meets the state's minimum levels of $25,000/$50,000. If you sign a consent form, however, you can choose not to accept this coverage. We strongly advise against waiving this coverage. It doesn't cost very much but provides extra coverage if you get into an accident with a driver who is uninsured or underinsured.
Having this extra coverage can make a big difference if you are injured in an accident that is caused by a driver who either doesn't have insurance or who has inadequate insurance. In situations like these, your UM/UIM coverage will kick in, providing additional money to pay for your damages. If you opt-out of this coverage, you may wind up regretting it if you ever get into a serious accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
If you were in an accident that was caused by a driver who didn't have insurance or whose insurance coverage was inadequate to cover your expenses, reach out to the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers today at 205-666-6000. Claims like these can be complicated, especially when it comes to determining how much UM/UIM coverage is available. With years' worth of experience dealing with car and truck accident liability cases, our attorneys are more than qualified to determine whether our clients can receive UM/UIM coverage.
Are the Benefits Paid Automatically in Uninsured Motorist Cases?
People often mistakenly assume that they will automatically get UM/UIM benefits if they have coverage. As it turns out, however, there are no guarantees that your insurance provider will pay either a portion or all of these benefits. When claiming UM/UIM benefits, you need to prove that the accident was caused by the other driver. You also need to show how severe your injuries were and must prove that the other driver was either uninsured or underinsured. In essence, you and your Birmingham uninsured motorist accident lawyer have to put together compelling evidence that supports your claim, just like you would if you were filing the claim directly against the driver who caused the accident in the first place.
Since cases like these are so complicated, working with the team at the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers in Birmingham is important anytime you are dealing with an uninsured or underinsured accident. Our attorneys will start by carefully reviewing any available insurance policies to find out whether or not UM/UIM coverage is available and whether you qualify for that coverage based on the details of your case.
Contact Our Birmingham Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyers to Review Your Claim
Few things are as terrifying or life-altering as getting into a car accident. In the state of Alabama, one out of every three drivers will be involved in an accident that results in injuries or death over the course of their life. If you get into an accident with a driver who doesn't have insurance or who is inadequately insured, your chances of getting compensated are slim if your policy doesn't include UM/UIM coverage.
If you get into a car wreck, reach out to the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers in Birmingham to discuss your uninsured or underinsured accident case at 205-666-6000. Alternatively, you can also submit the form on our website. We offer a free consultation. We also work on a contingency basis, which means that you only need to pay us if we successfully help you recover money in your case.