April 22, 2024
Auto Accident

It can be costly when you’re hurt in a car accident in Alabama. In 2022, the average hospital stay in the state cost $1,899 per day, which means just a few days can set you back thousands of dollars. Factor in other expenses, like property damage to your car and lost wages, and one collision can leave you financially vulnerable.

You can file a compensation claim against the person who caused the crash to recoup your losses, including non-economic damages like pain and suffering. But how do you calculate the amount you’re entitled to?

In this post, we share how car accident settlements are calculated and why having an Alabama car accident lawyer from The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers can maximize your compensation.

Types of Compensation

When you’re the victim in an auto collision, you can seek financial compensation for various damages. Your settlement helps pay for losses like medical bills, vehicle damage, and the emotional consequences of accidents. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Medical Expenses: This covers all medical-related costs incurred as a result of the auto collision, including hospital stays, surgeries, doctor consultations, physical therapy, medications, and ongoing medical treatments or equipment needed for rehabilitation and recovery.
  • Property Damage: This addresses the costs associated with repairing or replacing your vehicle damaged in the collision, and compensation for personal items inside the vehicle that were damaged or lost. It can also cover the costs of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired.
  • Lost Wages: This compensation helps you recover lost income due to the inability to work, covering the period from the accident to your return to work. It includes salary as well as lost opportunities such as bonuses, commissions, and benefits you missed due to your accident-induced injuries.
  • Pain and Suffering: This compensates for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident, which might include chronic pain, scarring, disfigurement, mental anguish, depression, and a reduced quality of life. It acknowledges the non-economic impact of the accident on your life and well-being.

How Damages Are Calculated

Calculating how much you’re owed after a crash requires evaluating several factors. These include the severity of the injuries, who was at fault, available insurance coverages, and contributory negligence laws. An attorney from The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers can help you consider these elements to ensure you get a fair settlement:

FactorDescriptionExample
Extent of InjuriesThe severity and type of injuries sustained in the accident.More severe injuries like spinal damage, head trauma (TBIs), or disfigurement can lead to higher compensation due to long-term care, potential disability, and impact on quality of life.
LiabilityIdentification of all parties potentially responsible for the accident, including drivers, trucking companies, municipalities, or vehicle manufacturers.If your attorney determines that another driver is responsible for the crash, you can pursue compensation through their liability insurance. Alternatively, if a trucking company caused your injuries, you could seek recompense through its commercial liability insurance policy.
Insurance CoverageInsurance coverage limits affect your potential compensation. These can include Alabama’s required minimums, federal limits for trucking companies, or optional coverages under your own policy.If you file against a negligent driver with Alabama’s minimum coverages, you might only receive $25,000 for your damages.   If you were hurt in a miss-and-run or hit-and-run, you could file with your own uninsured motorists’ insurance if you have these coverages.
Contributory NegligenceAlabama uses a strict contributory negligence doctrine to award damages, which affects compensation based on fault allocation.   Under the state’s contributory negligence law, you are ineligible for compensation if you’re even 1% at fault.You’re involved in a crash where the other driver was speeding, and you forgot to signal your turn. You may both be at fault, making you unable to receive compensation due to Alabama’s contributory negligence law.

Some Things to Consider

To ensure your recovery award reflects your damages accurately, it’s important to keep detailed records of your losses. Here are a few tips for maximizing your settlement after a crash:

  • Document All Medical Visits and Treatments: Maintain thorough documentation of all medical consultations, treatments, prescriptions, and additional healthcare costs to account for the medical attention needed as a result of the accident.
  • Retain Receipts for Repairs: Keep all receipts for repairs or replacement of your vehicle and any personal items damaged in the accident, to demonstrate the financial toll of the property damage.
  • Track Lost Wages and Job Opportunities: Keep a detailed record of any work missed, including lost wages, bonuses, or other earning opportunities, to support claims for compensation due to lost income.
  • Photograph Injuries and Damage: Capture detailed photographs of your injuries and the damage to your vehicle from various perspectives. These images are visual proof that can bolster your claim.
  • Keep a Personal Journal: Regularly record your physical and emotional recovery process, detailing the impact of your injuries on your daily life and well-being. This personal account can provide valuable evidence of pain and suffering.
  • Consult an Alabama Accident Attorney: Reach out to a knowledgeable attorney at The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers. Our team can guide you in documenting and evaluating your damages and maximizing your compensation under the contributory negligence laws. We’re also ready to negotiate with insurers and, if required, represent you in court to ensure you get a fair settlement for your losses.

Get the Damages You’re Owed After a Crash

After a car crash, you might find yourself facing large medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering because of your injuries. At The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers, we’re committed to protecting your rights and securing a fair compensation package that covers all your losses from the accident.

Our car accident verdicts include $785,000 for a rear-end crash and $775,000 for another collision. We can use our legal skills and experience to win you what you deserve. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.

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