Regardless of the type of accident -- rear-ended at a red light, side impact collision or riding a bicycle and getting clipped by a car -- being involved in a car accident is never a nice experience and can often cause pain and suffering. Many victims of car accidents need immediate medical attention at the scene, or need to be transported by ambulance to the hospital for monitoring and treatment. While others, sometimes try to deal with the pain on their own before seeking treatment from a doctor for symptoms that have arisen as a result of the accident.
Automotive accident law in Alabama is important to understand, especially when you live in the state, as you could end up in the unfortunate event of a car accident at any point in time. Hiring an attorney to help you handle your case can be extremely beneficial, as often insurance companies try to get out of paying you what you are owed. By hiring a lawyer that specializes in personal injury and accidents, you have someone on your side that can help navigate you through the complex process and help you receive what you are entitled to.
What is Alabama’s Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims?
Alabama’s Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims is two years. This means you must either settle your injury claim or file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident. If your claim can’t be settled within two years, filing a lawsuit is your only other option.
What do I do if the insurance company is difficult to contact and they are delaying settlement of my claim?
Unfortunately, insurance companies are not your friend. You need to remain proactive and make sure your negotiations are being handled in a timely fashion. This is where a lawyer can be extremely helpful, as they are used to dealing with insurance companies and can fight your claim on your behalf while you focus on your health and well-being. The insurance company is under no legal obligation to settle your claim before the statute of limitations expires so this is why you need to remain vigilant and work with an attorney to ensure everything is settled within the required time frame.
Elements of Damages That May Apply to Your Case:
An accident is an expensive and upsetting experience. Medical treatments are costly which often means victims cannot afford unplanned expenses such as these. It can also create significant financial stress when the victim is unable to work for a period of time due to physical pain and/or injury. Your health and well-being is ultimately the main concern, but lack of transportation due to vehicle damage is another frustrating issue to have to deal with.
Property damage – If your vehicle was involved in an accident, your vehicle will be assessed and deemed repairable or total loss. If your car is deemed a total loss, you are entitled to a certain market value of your car. Other out of pocket expenses can often be recovered too such as rental car usage. In addition to this, compensation for items that were damaged in the accident can also be recovered, such as a broken computer that may have been in the car.
Medical bills – This is an obvious category of damages. If an accident causes you to suffer physical or emotional injuries, you may recover the cost of seeking medical treatment, within reason. Common forms of medical bills will include bills for ambulance, emergency room, physical therapy, primary care physician, and other treatment you may require.
Lost wages – After a car accident, injuries can sometimes affect your earning capacity. This could be an inability to work due to physical therapy sessions, time spent in a hospital, or other factors that prevent you from earning your usual wages. Often, you will be able to recover lost wages for the time the victim misses work as a result of injury.
Pain and suffering – This is a class of damages that can often be disputed. It refers to how the accident has affected you and your daily activities. According to FindLaw.com pain and suffering is legally defined as mental or physical distress for which one may seek damages in a lawsuit. These damages are based on the type of injury, the seriousness of the pain suffered, and the prognosis for future pain associated with the injury. Pain and suffering may also include mental and/or emotional damage stemming from the incident, such as anxiety or stress. Many factors are taken into consideration and it is often necessary for relatives or friends etc. to testify how the accident has impacted you.
If you are injured in an accident, then being familiar with Alabama auto accident laws will definitely be of help to you. Generally speaking, in personal injury cases, Alabama law states that you are entitled to medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages and property damage, to name a few. However, each case is assessed and treated differently. This is why hiring an attorney who is a specialist in the field is the best way forward. They will ensure you are well informed of your options and are guided correctly about the best way to proceed.
At Barfoot & Schoettker, we take the time to ensure that you are comforted and supported during every step of the legal process while also analyzing every aspect of your case, from the details of the scene to the specifics of your medical treatment. We are on your team, helping you get what you deserve. Contact us today via our form or call (334) 834-3444 to see how we can help you.