In certain situations, a lawsuit must be filed as soon as possible. If it is likely that the plaintiff is about to die, a lawsuit needs to be filed promptly,because the available remediesare significantly different if a lawsuitis filed after his or her death. By waiting until the client has passed away, the claim will be limited to one under Alabama’s Wrongful Death Act. In that case, the only remedy available is punitive damages. The client’s family would not be able to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
Another example is a wreck involving a commercial vehicle. A lawsuit will probably need to be filed, even if it does not seem as though the plaintiff will pass away as a result of injuries sustained due to the wreck, because critical evidence must be preserved.If a lawsuit has not been filed, there is no good way to ensure that such evidence is not altered or destroyed.
If the other driver was intoxicated when the wreck occurred, you will want to file a lawsuit as soon as possible to preservethe results of any type of testing done by the Alabama Department of Forensic Science regarding what was in the other driver’s bloodstream or urine at the time of the wreck and all records relating to where he or she purchased the alcohol.
In many other instances, it is probably best not to file a lawsuit without first trying to resolve your claim. There are a variety of reasons for doing so. First, filing a lawsuit will take time. If you are able to resolve your case without having to file a lawsuit, it should be (but not always is) quicker than if you file the lawsuit and prepare for trial.
You have two years from the date on which the wreck occurred to file a lawsuit, so there is time to try to resolve it. I typically suggesttrying to settle your case without filing a lawsuit and then, if you reach an impasse and you know it will notsettle, file the lawsuit. To simply file a lawsuit without trying to negotiate some type of resolution is probably not in your best interest. However, you cannot let the statute of limitations run because, if it does, you will have no claim,even if there is clear liability and significant damages.
It may be an option to file a claim under your automobile insurance policy. This depends on the coverage that you have. If you have full coverage (comprehensive), you have the option of letting your insurance company pay to get your vehicle repaired. You might also have rental car coverage. If you have medical payments(med-pay) insurance coverage, you can make a claim for your medical expenses and have those paid. Basically,your insurance company lends you the money to pay your medical bills. If you later recover something from another insurance company, you will have to pay themback. If the other driver does not have liability insurance coverage or they do not have enough liability insurance coverage, you can make a claim for uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage benefits under your insurance policy.
Under Alabama law, you have UM/UIM coverage unless you sign a waiver indicating that you do not want it. This is true even if you have never paid a penny in premiums.
What is the Financial Responsibility Requirement in Alabama for Insurance?
Under Alabama law, in order to legally operate an automobile on a public road, you are required to have at least $25,000.00/$50,000.00 in liability/bodily injury coverage.Therefore, you must have a minimum of $25,000.00 in insurance coverage for each person / $50,000.00 total coverage for any one wreck. If two or more people were injured in a wreck in which you were the responsible party, then you would have a total of $50,000.00 in available insurance coverage, but each person injured could only receiveup to $25,000.00. You are also responsible for having an additional $25,000.00 in property damage coverage.
For more information on Options Available to A Plaintiff in an Automobile Wreck, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (256) 534-3288 today.