If you have been involved in an auto accident in Huntsville, Morris, King & Hodge P.C., is ready to help you with all the related legal matters, including seeking appropriate compensation from the auto insurance company for the at-fault driver.
The immediate aftermath of a car crash is overwhelming. Between getting medical treatment, missing work, and dealing with damage to your car, the last thing you want to think about is insurance claims. It may seem tempting to accept whatever the insurance company initially offers you and get the process over with. But this is almost always a mistake. Their first offer is probably a lowball figure that is far less than what you deserve. You need a lawyer’s help to calculate and pursue compensation for all your losses.
Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., has been widely recognized as one of the leading full-service law firms in Alabama. We have been helping Huntsville residents seek the compensation they deserve after car crashes since 1966. We are ready to do the same for you.
To learn more about how we can help you file a proper insurance claim and fight back if your claim is denied or the settlement offer is too low, schedule a free consultation today by calling us or contacting us online.
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Types of Car Insurance Coverage in Alabama
Whether you can recover compensation and how much compensation you can recover will depend on what kinds of insurance both you and the other person involved in the accident have. The most common types of auto insurance include:
- Bodily injury liability coverage – If you are involved in an accident, and the other driver was at fault, you will make a claim against that driver’s bodily injury liability coverage to seek compensation for your medical expenses. There is also another type of liability coverage to pay for property damage. If you are at fault in an accident, you cannot make a claim against your own liability policy.
- Collision insurance – Collision insurance could pay for the damage to your vehicle. The insurance company will evaluate your vehicle to decide whether your car can be repaired or needs to be replaced, meaning it is a total loss or has been “totaled.”
- Medical payments coverage – This “med pay” coverage can pay for your medical payments and those of your passengers regardless of who was at fault for the accident. It will also cover you if you are injured as a pedestrian.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage (UM/UIM) – If you are involved in an accident with a driver who has no insurance or inadequate insurance, this coverage can pay for your expenses. This type of coverage can pay off if the other driver has the minimum liability limits that are not enough to pay all of your damages. This also applies if you are in a hit-and-run accident and the at-fault driver cannot be identified.
- Comprehensive coverage – Comprehensive coverage covers your vehicle if it is lost or damaged for a reason other than a car accident, such as severe weather, vandalism or theft.
Check your policy to see what your limits are and what kinds of coverage you have. A lawyer can help you understand what your policy means and how it will come into play after an accident.
Types of Car Insurance Claims in Alabama
Depending on the nature of your accident, you may file different kinds of claims with different insurance companies, such as:
- Total loss claims – Total loss claims are the claims you make when your vehicle is unsalvageable, such as if it is stolen or if it is so severely damaged that it is not worth repairing (totaled). In the case of an accident, an insurance adjuster will evaluate the damage to your car to determine if it is a total loss. With total loss claims, you will receive money equal to the cash value of your vehicle.
- Medical payments claims – If you have medical payments coverage, you can make a claim against your insurance policy to pay for your medical expenses regardless of who was at fault.
- Not-at-fault accidents – If someone else is at fault for a crash, you can file a claim directly with their insurance company, or in some cases, you can go through your own insurance company. In any event, it is best to work with a car accident lawyer when pursuing a claim against another driver.
- Liability claims – Even if you were not at fault for the accident, it is possible that the other driver will make a liability claim against your policy. If this happens, your insurer will investigate the crash to determine who was at fault. In Alabama, if you are found to be at all at fault for the accident, you will be prevented from recovering any compensation.
If you are unsure of what kind of claim to file or which insurance company to file it with, a lawyer can help you navigate the process.
What to Do Next
After you file your initial insurance claim with your insurer or the other driver’s, you may receive a settlement offer. In many cases, this offer will be laughably small. In others, it may seem generous, but in reality, will probably not come close to covering the full amount of expenses you have incurred and will incur in the future.
Receiving such a small offer can be discouraging, especially if the insurance company makes it seem like you cannot receive any more. They may also discourage you from hiring a lawyer.
Do not be fooled. You may be able to get more money, and a lawyer can help you pursue it. Insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing claims and pressuring people into accepting them. This is how they make money.
Your lawyer can conduct an independent investigation of your accident and consult with experts to determine the actual amount of compensation you deserve. They can then negotiate with insurance companies to fight for this higher amount. If the insurance company still refuses to budge, your lawyer can help you pursue a lawsuit.
Need Help? Call Us Now for Free Advice About Car Insurance Compensation
We have been assisting Huntsville residents for over 50 years. To learn more about what we can do for you after a car accident in Alabama, contact us today by phone or online to schedule a free consultation.