June 6, 2022
Auto Accident

If you are a car accident victim, you will likely incur several expenses related to the crash. These costs can include medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation expenses. You may also need to pay for mental health services to help you deal with the emotional fallout from the accident.

To help you pay these expenses, you can pursue compensation through a personal injury claim with The Vance Law Firm. After a crash, the amount you can receive depends on how your lawyer calculates your expenses and any caps the state sets for personal injury damages. Explore how to determine what you’re owed after a crash and how The Vance Law Firm can maximize your settlement.

Alabama Settlements

Alabama is an at-fault state, meaning the person responsible for the accident is liable for all damages as long as the claim is filed within two years of the accident. The state requires drivers to purchase a liability insurance policy that meets the following minimum coverage:

  • $25,000 for death or bodily injury to one person
  • $50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or persons
  • $25,000 for damage or destruction of property

If you need to take a car accident case to court, you must prove that the other driver acted negligently and that your injuries occurred due to their negligence. You must also prove the extent of your physical and mental injuries if seeking compensatory damages.

Alabama’s comparative fault law may affect your compensation. Under comparative fault, if the other party can prove your actions contributed to the accident, it can prevent you from receiving compensation.

Alabama doesn’t cap economic or non-economic damages but places a cap on punitive damages. If you were injured, punitive damages can’t exceed three times the compensatory damages or $1.5 million, whichever is greater. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand the limits on punitive damages if they apply to your case.

Types of Damages

There are two main categories of damages: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages include economic, or calculable, expenses and non-economic damages like emotional distress.

Understanding these damages is important to determine the settlement amount you can receive. Your lawyer will gather proof of economic and non-economic damages to help you calculate what to ask for in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Economic damages:

  • Property damage includes the destruction of your vehicle and its contents.
  • Loss of income includes current and future loss of income due to medical treatment, future medical appointments, and inability to return to work at pre-accident pay.
  • Medical expenses include everything from the ambulance ride to future appointments and physical therapy related to the accident injury.
  • Modifications to your home or vehicle can include a wheelchair ramp, widened doorways, grab bars, or any other modification.

Non-economic damages:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life covers the loss of ability to perform regular activities for work, recreation, or household duties. It includes hobbies, sports, volunteerism, and social functions.
  • Loss of consortium is a legal term covering the impact of your injuries on your family relationship. It includes loss of love and companionship, inability to have children, and inability to perform household tasks.
  • Pain and suffering mean the at-fault driver should compensate you for physical and emotional pain and suffering. These can have a severe impact on your quality of life and relationships.

Punitive damages:

Punitive damages are separate damages meant to punish a negligent party for wanton disregard or wilful negligence. Punitive damages only apply in a small percentage of cases, but they offer victims of especially malicious behavior a way to seek compensation and make an example out of the defendant.

Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer

Personal injury lawyers know how to calculate a fair settlement. An experienced attorney can demonstrate the total impact of the accident on your life to the insurance company or jury in your case.

Hiring an attorney removes the burden of negotiating with the insurance company so you can focus on your recovery. Your lawyer begins seeking a fair settlement by sending the insurance company a demand letter requesting a specified compensation amount for your injuries. The demand letter is the beginning of the negotiation process.

If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement during negotiations, your lawyer can take them to trial. At The Vance Law Firm, our car accident attorneys have networks of experts, including medical and economic experts, who can make the jury understand the damage the accident has inflicted on your life.

Contact The Vance Law Firm Today

Someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident every 11 minutes in Alabama. An insurance company might offer a quick settlement, but it will rarely be fair.

At The Vance Law Firm, we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of dedication, respect, service, and compassion to car accident victims. We will carefully determine a fair settlement amount by assessing damages in your case and fight to get you the maximum compensation possible.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact a Montgomery car accident lawyer with The Vance Law Firm today for a free consultation to learn how much compensation you are owed and your next steps.

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