Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I sustained injuries from a car accident, and I have insurance coverage and the other driver’s insurance information. Why should I hire a car accident attorney?
Just like any other business, insurance companies are designed to make profits. As a result, all their efforts when dealing with cases and claims are always inclined towards giving you as little as possible, and if you are unlucky, your claim may be denied.
With a Dothan Law Group attorney at your side, you are guaranteed to get maximum compensation for your injuries, emotional trauma suffering, and more. We thoroughly investigate the car accident to assess all damage elements for your legal claims, evaluate your case value and deal directly with the insurance companies involved to make sure that you are not taken advantage of.
I just had an accident. Should I file for a lawsuit?
To determine whether it is in your best interest to file for a lawsuit, it is of the utmost importance for you to get a lawyer on board to review your case. The lawyer will help you determine the driver at fault, damages caused, and your case value before advising you on whether the lawsuit is worth pursuing based on the potential compensation you may receive.
If you go ahead with the case, the lawyer will work to ensure that you get fair compensation for the damages caused by the traffic collision.
I cannot afford an attorney, what do I do?
With Dothan Law Group, you do not have to worry about forking out attorney fees from your pocket. After every successful case, we deduct a small fraction of your case settlement amount as payment for our services when we represent you. This means that we will only receive a payment if you do, and thanks to our track record of successful cases, we will ensure that you get fair compensation.
Each case starts with a free consultation that addresses your legal rights, all the facts surrounding your car accident, and the best course of action, before agreeing on a contract that includes the percentage of your settlement for the attorney’s fees.
I have decided to file for a lawsuit. How does it work?
Here is a brief overview of what happens during car accident lawsuits:
- Getting an attorney on board
The first step is connecting with an attorney who will determine the cause of the crash, the party at fault, and the value of your case after consulting with experts.
- Filing your lawsuit
If pre-litigation settlement negotiations are not successful, your attorney will file a complaint for the accident in court after the initial investigation, naming all parties involved or responsible for the collision.
- Gathering information
The “discovery” phase begins, with all information surrounding your case including medical reports, affidavits, and dispositions being gathered.
- Negotiation phase
Your car accident attorney sends a demand letter requesting compensation for damages before both parties can start negotiations for a settlement. If both parties reach common ground, you will sign a document that releases the driver at fault from further legal action.
- Going to court
If both parties cannot come to a settlement out of court, they can go on a trial to present their evidence and get a court verdict for the damages caused.
- Post-verdict motions and appeals
If there are any post-trial motions or objections to the final verdict made, any of the parties involved in the car accident case may file for an appeal to settle the case.
After a verdict, you will receive a disbursement for your settlement as a lump sum or in parts over a reasonable timeframe. This is also the time where you can settle your attorney fees.
I cannot work because of my injuries and I cannot afford to pay my hospital bills. What should be the value of my car accident case?
Depending on the severity of your injuries and the damages caused, your car accident lawsuit compensation should be enough to bring you as close as possible to the way you were before the accident.
Our traffic collision attorneys will help you determine your car accident case value, taking several factors into account to ensure that you get fair compensation. These factors include all your past and future medical expenses, lost income, reduction in future earnings, emotional distress, pain, and suffering, and more.
You may also receive compensation in the form of punitive damages from the party at fault for causing the accident and wrongful death damages for the loss of a loved one because of the accident.
The settlement offered by the other driver’s insurer is too little to cover all expenses I have incurred because of the accident. What do I do?
Firstly, never sign any documents before consulting a car accident lawyer. Your settlement is supposed to cover all past and future medical expenses lost earnings, pain, and suffering, and more depending on the extent of the accident.
By working with a Dothan Law Group personal injury attorney, you are guaranteed to receive the compensation you deserve. We thoroughly review the insurance company’s offer and negotiate a better settlement that covers all expenses and losses you incurred.
If my car accident was caused by another driver, can I still claim money from my insurance company?
Typically, if the accident was caused by a motorist with a liability insurance policy, their insurance company should cover your settlement.
If your insurance policy includes liability coverage for collisions caused by an uninsured motorist, you should be able to claim money from your insurance company. You can also receive a payout from your insurance company if the other driver lacks adequate insurance, if your policy includes uninsured or underinsured coverage.
The amount of money you recover depends on several factors, and insurance companies do not always have your bests interests in mind. That is why your best course of action is getting a Dothan Law Group attorney on board your case to ensure that you get the highest payout possible for your claim.
How much time do I have to make a car accident claim?
In the state of Alabama, the period you can wait before making any legal claims after a car accident, also known as the statute of limitations, depends on the specific injuries sustained and damages caused.
- Personal Injury
If the accident results in personal injury or death, all claims must be made in two years starting at the moment of the accident.
- Vehicle Damage
Claims for damages to a vehicle as a result of the accident must be filed in six years from the moment of collision.
- Reckless Driving
If the accident occurs as a result of negligence, reckless driving, drunk driving, or any driver fault, you have six years to file a claim for the accident.
Once the statute of limitations elapses, any claims made will be dismissed from court. Moreover, not every traffic collision will result in a lawsuit. That is why it is important to have a traffic collision attorney to help you assess your situation and understand your options.
Part of the accident was my fault. Can I still file for a claim?
According to the contributory negligence law in Alabama, depending on the circumstances surrounding your traffic collision, you may lose the right to recover damages caused by the accident if you are partially at fault. This is highly likely if you do not have a strong case to prove that:
- The other driver owed a duty of care in the circumstances surrounding the accident.
- The other driver breached their duty of care.
- The other driver’s breach of duty caused measurable harm, damage, or injury.
- The other driver’s breach of the duty of care directly resulted in the damage, measurable harm, or injury.
While there may be exceptions in this law, it is wise to consult a Dothan Law Group car accident attorney before taking any legal action.
How long does it take for me to get a settlement?
On average, car accident lawsuits can take up to a year depending on the factors surrounding the case. Investigations on how the accident occurred, negotiations, trials, and post-trial motions may lengthen your car accident litigation process.
A Dothan Law Group attorney will make sure that you receive the necessary treatment for your injuries during the lawsuit, while working hard to ensure that you receive your settlement quickly.
The driver who caused my accident is not insured. Will I still receive compensation?
If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy, you can get compensation from your insurance company. You may also sue the driver at fault and receive direct compensation from them if their asset evaluation shows that they can afford to compensate you.
Which damages will my insurance company repair?
Typically, your insurer determines the total cost of repairs for your vehicle and where it will be repaired, depending on your coverage and their policies and requirements for filing a car accident claim.
It is thus important to contact an attorney to examine the extent of the damage before any evidence of the crash is lost so you can receive adequate compensation for repairs, or the actual cash value of your vehicle if it is totaled.