Aside from the mere inconvenience, and sometimes pain, of a car accident, one of the biggest hassles is dealing with the insurance company. They count on you accepting whatever they offer in damages, and then just going away.
If you file a claim with your insurance company, an adjuster will look at the damages and make you an offer as to what the company will pay to repair your vehicle.
But know this – you do not have to accept what an insurance company’s adjuster first offers you for damages to your vehicle. In fact, you should take your vehicle to at least two other reputable companies for estimates on what repairs will cost. You can fight the insurance company.
In Alabama, for instance, most claims are settled through insurance companies or during a civil lawsuit mediation process. You will be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of wages.
Alabama also applies the contributory negligence standard, which means that you won’t be able to recover any money damages if you contributed to the accident.
If you are in an accident, call 911 and exchange information with the other driver. Do not apologize or discuss who may have been at fault in the accident. To recover damages from an accident in which you are not at fault, you have the following options:
- file a claim under your own insurance policy
- file a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy
- file a lawsuit
In the state of Alabama, you have two years in which to file a claim for property damage and personal injury. If you miss the deadline, most courts will deny you the right to sue a party for damages.
If you have legal questions about recovering damages from a car accident, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.