CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN GUNTERSVILLE, ALABAMA
Every 11 minutes and 19 seconds, someone was injured in a car accident in Alabama in 2019. Every nine hours and 26 minutes, someone died from injuries sustained in a car accident. A typical Alabama driver has a one in three chance of being injured or killed in an auto crash over their lifetime.
If you or someone you love has become one of these sobering statistics, you may be in desperate need of help, both emotionally and financially. The good news is, you may be eligible to pursue compensation that can cover your medical expenses, lost income, and any other pain and suffering you’ve been forced to endure. If pursuing a personal injury claim is something you are interested in, you’ll need an Alabama personal injury attorney who can explore all of your legal options and guide you through the process of obtaining a settlement or judgment.
Attorney Paul Seckel helps clients in Guntersville, Alabama who have been injured in car accidents, as well as the families of those who have been killed or incapacitated, seek compensation for their pain and suffering. Guntersville Law, LLC provides experienced and compassionate legal representation for those seeking to hold a negligent driver responsible for their actions.
HOW ALABAMA DEFINES LIABILITY
Alabama is considered a fault state for car accidents and insurance coverage. This means that if a driver is found negligent, they are responsible for all losses, including property damage, personal injury, and wrongful death.
If you are in a crash, you can file a claim with your insurance company if you have medical payment benefits or underinsured or uninsured driver coverage. You can also file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance liability coverage to seek a settlement of your claim. This can be done in addition to filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to seek a judgment.
INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS IN ALABAMA
Alabama drivers are required to carry liability insurance coverage with at least:
$25,000 for death or injury to one person
$50,000 for death or injury to two or more people
$25,000 for property damage.
These are the minimum amounts required by state law against which you can file a claim; however, the at-fault driver’s liability policy might have higher coverages.
STATE LAWS ADDRESSING CLAIMS
Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are subject to Alabama’s tort law. There is a two-year statute of limitations, meaning you must settle your claim with the negligent party’s insurer or file a lawsuit within two years of the date of injury or death. Of course, you should file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance policy and against any applicable coverage on your own policy as soon as possible after the crash.
Alabama is also a contributory negligence state. This means that if you are found to be at fault in any way for the crash, you cannot pursue damages against the other driver.
PURSUING A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM
Wrongful death is defined by Alabama law as any death caused by the wrongful act, omission, or negligent actions of another person. To bring a wrongful death claim, one would need to have been eligible to file a personal injury claim against the other party had the decedent lived. If the decedent would have been held to the contributory negligence standard, a wrongful death claim would not be allowed.
In most states, families can recover special damages, such as medical and funeral expenses, and pain and suffering. In Alabama, wrongful death claims are eligible for punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault driver and to discourage negligent behavior.
In Alabama, a wrongful death claim must be made by a personal representative of the decedent’s estate rather than by a spouse, parent, or child. However, any recovery will be distributed among the decedent’s heirs rather than paid into the estate itself. The heirs are those family members who would inherit any assets from the estate if there is no will, subject to the laws of intestate succession. This means that any heir, even if they have not been named in the decedent’s will, would receive a portion of any wrongful death recovery.
WORK WITH EXPERIENCED CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN GUNTERSVILLE, ALABAMA
The first thing you need to remember when you have been injured by a negligent driver in a car accident is that their insurer will not want to compensate you for your damages. The insurer will attempt to prove contributory negligence on your part in an effort to discount your injuries and other damages. When you file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, it will be their insurance company’s attorneys who defend the case.
This is why it is so crucial that you have a personal injury attorney on your side who has the experience and tenacity to fight for you and your rights. You need an attorney who can investigate the circumstances of the crash, seek documentation of all of your injuries and medical treatment, keep an accurate record of all financial losses and other damages, and help you navigate the legal process of filing a claim.
KNOWLEDGEABLE CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS SERVING GUNTERSVILLE, ALABAMA
Attorney Paul Seckel has helped countless car accident victims in Guntersville, Alabama file personal injury claims to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and any other pain and suffering. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car crash, call Guntersville Law, LLC today to schedule a free case consultation.