What to do after a car accident - Contact McPhillips Shinbaum

Car Accident Attorneys in Montgomery, AL

Even the safest of drivers are sometimes involved in car accidents, usually because of the negligence of the operator of another motor vehicle. When an accident occurs and damages result, it is important that the affected party understand Alabama’s laws regarding car insurance, the process of filing a claim, fault and negligence, and car accident lawsuits. At the law offices of McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP, our team is here to explain each of the above, and to represent you as you seek damages for any losses you have experienced.

Recovering Compensation after a Car Crash

The state of Alabama requires all of its drivers to carry car insurance in the form of property damage liability and bodily injury liability coverage. This is because Alabama is an at-fault car insurance state, which means that if an accident happens, the at-fault driver will be responsible for paying for damages sustained by the not-at-fault driver, such as property damage and medical bills. In order to handle these costs, the at-fault driver turns to their car insurance policy.

However, just because all drivers in the state are required to carry liability coverage that pays for damages they cause to others in a crash does not mean that the process is always this simple. Indeed, in order to recover compensation from the insurance company of another driver, you will need to prove fault, and prove damages. Further, the other driver must actually carry liability insurance.

Proving Fault and Damages

There are two parts to recovering your full compensation amount following a motor vehicle accident: proving that the accident would not have occurred but for the actions of the other driver (or other at-fault party, if applicable) and proving that you suffered actual damages as a result of the crash.

In order to prove fault, you will need to gather and present multiple sources of evidence. Our attorneys can help you to gather necessary evidence, organize it, and present it in a compelling fashion. Evidence that may bolster your claim includes:

  • Eyewitness testimony;
  • Police reports;
  • Proof of skid marks, debris, angle of vehicle impact, etc.;
  • Testimony from accident reconstruction experts or vehicle design experts; and
  • Statements from the other driver or evidence from the other driver (such as test results from a blood or breath alcohol test).

While working to prove fault of the other party, our attorneys will also be working to determine the value of your claim, which means calculating the extent of your losses. We believe that you should be fully compensated for your losses, and will assist you in seeking damages for:

  • Medical expenses;
  • Vehicle repairs or replacement;
  • Future medical costs;
  • Lost wages or loss of earning capacity;
  • Disability; and
  • Pain and suffering.

To prove these damages, we will submit evidence of your inability to work, bills detailing your expenses, statements from medical professionals and psychiatrists, testimony from family and friends, and statements from you about the losses you have suffered and how your life has changed post-crash.

Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit

After all information has been presented to an insurance company and a demand for damages has been issued, the insurance company will likely offer a settlement. If you accept a settlement, you are releasing your right to claim, which means you are agreeing to the settlement and to not pursue further damages. As such, you should always have a settlement reviewed by an attorney first to ensure that it is fair and entirely compensates you. If an initial settlement is not fair, you have the right to reject it, and your attorney can negotiate with an insurance adjuster on your behalf until a fair settlement is reached.

While most car crash cases are settled in negotiations and never make their way to a courtroom, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, you retain the right to file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault party. If you do this, the process of preparing for litigation will follow.

What You Need to Know About Alabama Fault Laws

It is very important that you understand Alabama’s laws regarding shared fault, as this can have a huge effect on whether you’re able to recover any compensation for your losses. The state of Alabama is one of only a handful of states in the nation that maintains a pure contributory negligence rule. This rule holds that if a plaintiff in a personal injury suit of any type, including a car accident suit, has contributed to their injuries in the slightest way, they are barred from recovering damages. In other words, if the defendant can prove that you were even one percent to blame for the crash or your related injuries, they are protected from liability for your injuries. This rule is one of the strongest reasons to hire a car accident lawyer if you have been in a crash.

Why Work with Our Car Accident Lawyers

Car accidents are common, and suffering serious injuries and damages is a reason to call an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney. When you work with the firm of McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP, you can take comfort in the fact that:

  • Our law firm has been practicing for more than 39 years;
  • We have been representing real peoplein battles against big insurance companies, businesses, and government agencies;
  • We prioritize protecting your rights;
  • We have recovered millions of dollarson the behalf of our clients;
  • We have trial experience; and
  • We have earned a reputation of success and trust in the community.

Perhaps more than anything, we are compassionate, and truly care about the people that we work for. When you call our law firm, we will do everything possible to get you the money you deserve.

Request Your Free Consultation Today

To start the process of filing a car accident claim and recovering the money you deserve, please call our experienced car accident lawyers today. You can request your free personal injury consultation with the lawyers at McPhillips Shinbaum by visiting us in person, sending us a brief message using the form found on our website, or calling us at 334-262-1911.