Accidents do happen. If you have been in a vehicle collision there are a lot of things you need to take care of to make a full recovery as quickly as possible. If the damage is light it’s between you and your insurance company to get you back on the road safely as soon as possible.
But sometimes it’s more severe. If one or more people was injured the costs can add up quickly. If the damage to your car or truck was heavy your insurance company may not give you the benefits you deserve. Those are times when a lawyer is needed, and if you aren’t sure it’s always best to give an attorney a call.
Who is at fault?
Alabama is a “fault” based state, which means insurance will not pay out until the cause of any accident is blamed on one of the drivers involved. If you are even partially at fault, you can be denied a payout as well. If you have been cited after an accident you may need to fight it.
If the other driver is at fault you definitely have a claim. But that may not stop the other insurance company from trying to claim that you had some role in the accident. That’s called “contributory negligence” and it is important for determining if you can be reimbursed for your damages.
Amount of damage is important
Generally, if the amount of damage is under $1,000 it’s a matter of “small claims.” In those cases, it is probably not worth the expense of an attorney. With the cost of cars and trucks rising all the time that means that anything more than a fender-bender may hit the point where you might need an attorney.
If there are any injuries, the cost is very likely to exceed that amount, however. If you have been injured in a vehicle collision it is advised to call an attorney right away. That also holds true if the other driver was hurt, even if it is their fault. Their insurance company has a big reason to come after you, so it is good to at least have a conversation in case a lawyer is needed.
Some injuries develop slowly
If you have been in an accident, you may not realize you were injured until days after. If you experience any soreness or headaches or have any symptoms, see a doctor right away and explain that you were in a vehicle collision.
If they believe you were injured in your accident, call an attorney specializing in personal injury (PI) right away. You need to have it on record that you were injured, and that won’t be in the initial police report. It’s important to make sure that your costs are indeed covered.
Talk to your lawyer first
If your collision meets these conditions it’s important that you talk to your lawyer before you talk to the insurance company. A good lawyer knows their tactics and can help you avoid making mistakes that can cost you the compensation you deserve.