Alabama Car Insurance Claim Lawyers

Assisting victims of auto accidents with insurance matters

Every day, drivers all over the state sign up for new car insurance, from different companies, considering various types of coverage with all sorts of limits and deductibles to choose from. The majority of drivers understand the need to protect themselves from liability in the event of an accident. However, many choose to bypass additional coverage and skip important coverage like uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) and Medical Payments (MedPay).

Unfortunately, insurance policies are confusing to read. Even the most educated person may be unaware of the finer details of their policy until they’re involved in an accident and then discover the true limits of their policy. Worse, they may find out that the at-fault driver had little or no insurance.

If you suffered injuries in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you might be concerned you’ll be unable to recover compensation. However, you do have rights. The insurance attorneys at Martin & Helms can help. Call us in Huntsville or Decatur to get started.

What would you like to know?

How much car insurance am I required to purchase in Alabama?

The State of Alabama has a 25/50/25 minimum. That means that as a driver, you must have the following amount of insurance at a minimum to legally drive a car:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability limit per person.
  • $50,000 maximum for all bodily injuries to be paid for any one accident.
  • $25,000 maximum for property damage per accident.

That said, this is just the legal minimum requirement, not the recommended minimum.

What types of insurance coverage are used in vehicle accident cases?

In car accident cases, several types of insurance coverage may come into play depending on the specific circumstances. They can include:

  • Liability insurance. Liability insurance is mandatory in Alabama. It covers damages caused by the insured driver to others involved in an accident. It typically includes bodily injury liability (covering medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering) and property damage liability (covering damage to vehicles and other property).
  • Medical payments coverage (MedPay). MedPay coverage is optional coverage. This pays for the insured person’s and passengers’ medical bills after a car accident. MedPay covers these expenses no matter who was at fault for the accident. It can be used to cover medical bills and expenses, including co-pays, deductibles, and medication costs not covered by your health insurance.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). Here in Alabama, auto insurance laws require insurance companies to offer UM/UIM coverage to all drivers – but this is coverage that drivers may opt out of. Drivers who don’t want this coverage must sign an agreement that they’re rejecting the coverage, and this rejection continues until the driver opts-in again.
  • Collision coverage. Collision coverage pays for repairs or replacement of your vehicle if it's damaged in a collision, regardless of fault. This coverage is optional but may be required if you have a car loan or lease.
  • Comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage protects against non-collision incidents, such as theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters, and falling objects. Like collision coverage, it is typically optional.

It's important to note that insurance coverage varies depending on your insurance policy. It's advisable to review your specific policy or consult with your insurance professional to understand the coverage options available to you.

What are the insurance issues in vehicle accident cases in Alabama?

Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents come with different insurance issues, and our attorneys are well-versed in all of them.

In a car accident case, there is typically only one primary liability carrier – the insurance company of the owner of the vehicle that hit you. We typically negotiate directly with the insurance company once your medical treatment is complete, which allows us to fully assess the extent of your injuries.

In a truck accident claim, the insurance issues are more complex and damages are usually larger because injuries from a truck accident are usually catastrophic or fatal. Our attorneys will file wrongful death claims when a loved one is killed in a truck accident. Further, there may be more than one party involved in your truck accident claim, including the driver, the trucking company, vehicle or parts manufacturers, and more. Our attorneys file claims and negotiate with every insurance company on your behalf.

A motorcycle accident case is like a truck accident claim in that injuries are typically catastrophic and often deadly. A motorcyclist will need to show fault on the part of another driver or prove that a motorcycle part was defective to recover damages from an insurance policy. Motorcycle passengers can also file claims against the motorcyclist if the operator’s actions caused the accident and resulting injuries.

What if the driver who caused my accident in Alabama is uninsured?

In 2019 (the most recent year for which data is available), about 19% of Alabama drivers were uninsured. And the state minimums are pretty low, especially if you sustain life-altering injuries like brain trauma or paralysis; a $25,000/$50,000 policy just isn’t going to cover those costs.

However, if the at-fault party lacks insurance coverage (or has insufficient coverage), we will negotiate with your UM/UIM carrier. There may also be times, depending on the circumstances of the accident, when we may negotiate with other parties beyond the primary insurance company. These parties can include vehicle or parts manufacturers, roadbuilding contractors, or others who may share responsibility for the accident.

Do I submit my medical bills to my health insurance or auto insurance?

Our clients often ask us, after a Huntsville car or truck accident, if they should use their health insurance or auto insurance to pay their medical bills. This is a great question.

Most motor vehicle accident victims use their health or MedPay insurance to pay their bills while their case is pending. We can explain when and how you can use this part of your or your family member’s policy.

Often, when you’re being treated at the emergency room, medical staff will ask for your car insurance information. We advise providing your health insurance information only, and here’s why.

Car insurance companies don’t pay medical bills directly to hospitals or doctors, no matter who is found responsible for your accident. They pay you, as the claimant, directly, when and if there’s a settlement. Sometimes this process can take months or even years, and in the meantime, your medical bills could go into collections and affect your credit. And, if too much time passes or your claim is denied, you may be responsible for paying the entire amount of your medical bills. Submitting your bills to your health insurance directly and promptly can avoid these issues.

Using health insurance can maximize the amount of compensation you receive from the car insurance company upon settling your claim. If you use your auto insurance to pay for your medical bills, you receive the rate the hospital charges the car insurance company. However, health insurance companies get huge discounts from medical providers. Using your health insurance after a car accident gives you the benefit of your health insurance company’s discount.

Do you have a car insurance claim lawyer near me?

Martin & Helms has two office locations: one at 2317 Market Place SW (Suite A) in Huntsville, and another in Decatur at 255 Grant St. (Suite 305). We proudly serve all of North Alabama. If you are ill or injured and unable to come to Huntsville, we can travel to visit you in the hospital or rehabilitation center. We also offer virtual conferences and telephone consultations.

Skilled Huntsville UM/UIM car accident lawyers helping victims in Alabama

At Martin & Helms, our attorneys have a deep understanding of the auto insurance industry. If you were injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, talk to us as soon as possible. We’ll provide knowledgeable guidance and work with you to secure maximum compensation for your claim. Call us today at 256-858-7102 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We also serve clients in Decatur, Athens, and Madison, and throughout Alabama.

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