If you've had a car accident in Alabama, you're entitled to a car accident settlement. Indeed, Drive Safe Alabama reports show that the state witnessed traffic crashes every 3.18 minutes in 2019. Most traffic crashes happen due to negligence on the part of at least one driver. Overspeeding, DUI, and distracted driving are significant culprits in Alabama road crashes.
Automobile crashes are painful occurrences, especially when you were driving carefully. But it's no use crying over spilled milk. The moments just after an accident are crucial. Ensure that you exploit them to call for medical and legal help.
It would help if you also used them to gather as much evidence as possible to facilitate your car accident settlement. It's quite difficult to precisely ascertain how much your car accident claim is worth right at the scene.
But if you're curious, there are specific parameters you can use to arrive at a rough estimate. This article will guide you through Alabama's car insurance laws and help you determine your auto crash's settlement worth.
Alabama Car Insurance Laws
As an “At-fault” state, Alabama places liability for all the losses and damages in a car crash on the negligent driver. To this end, the state makes it compulsory for all drivers to purchase minimum insurance coverage as follows:
- $25,000 for a person's death or bodily injury.
- $25,000 for property damage in one accident.
- $50,000 for two or more individuals death or bodily injury per accident.
Failure to meet the requirements above attracts severe penalties. Alabama also bars car owners from driving in the state without auto insurance. As a first offender, you could get up to $500 fines and a $200 reinstatement fee. For second and subsequent violators, a penalty of $1000 and a $400 reinstatement fee. You could also get your license suspended for up to six months.
Factors That Determine a Car Accident Settlement
Car accidents in the United States cost about $250 billion every year. But there are no specific formulas for calculating a car accident settlement. Car crashes range from minor to major to fatal. Since damages aim to compensate for losses and injuries, the amount would depend on the injury's gravity.
However, insurance companies don't like to pay damages. Many of them are mischievous, and regardless of the severity of your injury, would like to evade payment. They'd try to explore other factors that will reduce their liability.
It would help if you didn't let them get away with paying you less than you deserve. Instead, understand the other factors that determine the car accident settlement amount, then exploit them to your advantage at the negotiating table. We've explained some of them below:
The Adjuster's Estimate
When you file a car accident claim with an insurance company, an insurance adjuster would evaluate the damages. They carry out their examinations by inspecting the vehicle and interviewing witnesses. They may also review the police report and conduct market analysis.
When they conclude their evaluation, they arrive at a settlement sum that they think is appropriate. However, adjusters usually come up with a sum that is less than what you deserve. You're not mandated to agree with their estimates. But they go a long way in giving you an idea of what to expect.
How much you spend on treatment for your injuries also significantly influences your car accident settlement. The higher your medical expenses, the greater your chances of getting large payments.
For this reason, it's essential to seek medical help once you've sustained any accident injuries. You should also keep evidence of your medical bills handy during negotiations. They form a chunk of special damages in a vehicle crash compensation.
Pain and Suffering (General Damages)
Apart from physical injuries, you can get compensated for pain and suffering. It covers mental, emotional, and psychological injuries. Pain and suffering fall under general damages, and it is subjective. The more ways you can prove that you suffered, the higher your chances of getting a large car accident settlement.
Loss of Income
Sometimes, the injuries from an accident can leave you temporarily incapacitated. As a result, you may have had to skip work pending full recovery. The wages you lost from the temporary job loss will get considered in your car accident settlement.
Do You Need A Car Crash Attorney? Contact One Now!
You could raise your chances of a generous settlement sum if you had an experienced attorney representing you. With our car accident lawyers at Mike Bell Injury Law, you can be sure that your claims are in safe hands.