Car accidents are not only dangerous, but they are also expensive. Because of this, the driver who causes an accident must compensate the other driver for their damages. The insurer of the driver at fault may offer the victim a settlement after they make their claim. However, taking a settlement offer has its risks, and victims of car crashes must know about them to prevent the insurer from taking advantage of them.
Alabama’s car accident laws
The driver who caused the accident must compensate the other for their medical expenses, lost wages, car repairs, and pain and suffering. To obtain this, the victim must file a claim with the insurer of the driver at fault, who will evaluate the case and compensate the victim. To determine the amount of compensation, the insurance company will evaluate the victim’s damages and offer them a settlement for those damages. However, this settlement may not be fair or convenient for the victim to accept.
The insurer will evaluate the actual cash value of the victim’s car, and then offer the victim a determined amount of money for its damages. However, the Alabama Department of insurance does not have regulatory authority over the monetary valuation of vehicles. Because of this, the insurer may offer the driver an unfair or insufficient settlement for their car’s repairs. Also, insurance companies do not award much for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. In general, victims of car accidents can take their case to court to ensure they get more compensation for their damages to their car, as well as for other intangible damages.
A settlement is permanent, and after accepting it, a person cannot ask for more compensation if their injuries worsen or if they discover new injuries in the future. A settlement can be particularly risky if the victim accepts it right after the accident, as injuries and car defects can add up over time. If a victim takes the settlement without knowing the true extent of the damages of the accident, they will have to pay for the future damages themselves.
Your lawful compensation
If you were a car crash victim, you could increase the possibility of receiving fair compensation by filing a lawsuit against the driver at fault. In Alabama, you must file a legal claim no later than 2 years after the accident. Otherwise, you may lose your right to ask for compensation. A lawsuit may not be as fast as a settlement offer. Still, it will ensure that you get the compensation you need. Insurers may not want to pay you what you deserve, but you can fight back by taking your case to court.