In order to make a valid motor vehicle accident claim, you must first establish liability. If you cannot establish who is liable, or responsible, for your injuries or damage to your property then you cannot sue for damages. Most insurance companies will offer a settlement after liability is established and you can show that you are likely to win a lawsuit, but you are unlikely to get any kind of offer otherwise.
Liability can be very easy to establish in some cases. Certain types of accidents have liability built in; rear-end collisions and left turn collisions, for example. Other types of accidents are not so simple, especially when no witnesses are present. A thoroughly investigated accident scene is your best tool for establishing liability. If the other driver broke a traffic law or was under the influence of alcohol or any other substance, then you have a better chance of bringing a case.
Damages and Compensation
With liability established, your next step is to assess your damages. You will want an experienced attorney to help you with this so you can be sure you are accounting for everything. Damages are not limited to physical injury. Many non-physical damages can be claimed as well. Here are a few things that make up a typical damage claim:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical and rehabilitation cost – includes any costs related to medical treatment and physical therapy or other services necessary to allow you to return to your previous physical condition. If your injury prohibits you from working in your previous job, then you may include the costs of training for a new job.
- Lost wages – includes any wages and earnings which you would have earned had you not been in the accident.
- Punitive damages – Alabama is a punitive damages state. This means you can collect monetary damages from the liable party or parties in order to deter them or others from acting similarly in the future.
Establishing liability and calculating damages can be a very complex task. You will need the help of an experienced auto accident attorney in order to get the maximum compensation from insurance companies. If you live in the Mobile, Alabama area and have suffered a personal injury or property damage as a result of an automobile accident, please contact Long & Long today through our online form, or by calling (251) 432-2277 to arrange a consultation.