Every driver and vehicle owner in Alabama must uphold their legal responsibilities to carry the required insurance and follow all applicable traffic laws. When an uninsured driver crashes into you, it can be difficult to hold them responsible and recover compensation. Determining your options for civil litigation may be best left to a Birmingham uninsured car accident attorney from the Morris Bart law office.
Pursuing compensation for your injuries when the accident involved an uninsured motorist generally involves taking on your own insurance company. Our legal team knows the tactics insurance companies may use to avoid payment or underpay on claims. If your insurance company fails to honor your policy during this difficult time, we may be able to help. Learn more about your options during a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.
Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage
Alabama law requires liability policies to include uninsured and underinsured motorist protection, otherwise known as UM/UIM coverage. The minimum amount of coverage allowed is $25,000. Unless you signed paperwork to waive this coverage, you should have access to it after a crash.
In 2019, state laws reduced penalties for drivers who drive with no insurance. Drivers caught for a second time within four years previously faced a four-month registration suspension. The new law removes that suspension if the driver provides proof of insurance and pays any associated fines. This may have led to an increase in uninsured motorists in the state.
While state law requires that insurance companies offer UM/UIM coverage, motorists may opt-out of the coverage. The clause allowing the ability to opt-out may seem like a way to save money, but in fact, it can result in expensive bills. It can be extremely difficult to recover compensation after a crash caused by an uninsured motorist without this coverage.
Our legal team can dispel other misconceptions about uninsured motorist insurance. We understand the importance of this coverage and how to pursue damages based on your policy. You can learn more during one of our free case assessments for accident victims in Birmingham.
For a free legal consultation with a Uninsured Car Accident lawyer serving Birmingham, call (205) 380-4158
Harm Caused by Uninsured Motorists
Approximately one out of every eight drivers in the United States is uninsured. Research published by the Insurance Information Institute found that Alabama ranked seventh in the nation in the number of uninsured drivers as of 2019. Almost 20 percent of the drivers in our state lack the required insurance coverage.
Unfortunately, car accidents often leave victims with significant injuries, lost wages, and more. Serious injuries often involve:
- Extended hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Ongoing medical and personal care
If your loved one experienced a catastrophic injury, they may require 24-hour care for the rest of their life. A skilled nursing facility is very expensive, with an average cost of more than $6,600 per month in Alabama.
If you paid for extra coverage on your auto insurance policy and now find your claims denied, an uninsured car accident attorney in Birmingham may be able to help. We can also help you negotiate your settlement based on your uninsured or underinsured auto coverage or sue the at-fault driver.
Why You May Need an Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. The more claims they need to pay, the fewer profits are left for the company’s bottom line. While no business should place profits before people, it’s a tactic that some companies use to avoid honoring claims.
An insurance policy is a legally binding contract between an insurance company and a consumer. When the insurance company fails to return your calls, tries to deny your claim, or attempts to delay the process on purpose, you may consider hiring a lawyer. Of course, you can also hire an attorney to manage your claim from the beginning. This may prevent problems from occurring in the first place.
Our uninsured car accident lawyers in Birmingham have experience dealing with insurance companies. We understand the tactics they use to make a tough time even more challenging for accident victims. We fight for our clients and their right to the coverage included with their policy or while pursuing other options for compensation.
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Protect Your Best Interests With Legal Representation
A serious car accident can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. While you cannot count on other drivers to have the required insurance coverage, having UM/UIM coverage may not be enough to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages, either. You may need to consider other options for recovering damages following a crash caused by an uninsured driver.
Pursuing a civil lawsuit against the uninsured driver responsible for your injuries is something to consider. However, in most cases, a driver without insurance most likely does not have the funds to pay you compensation. Even if you win a verdict and compensation in court, you will only get paid if the liable party has assets to pay you.
Paying for the extra coverage on your Alabama liability policy is a smart idea for added protection if you encounter an uninsured motorist. If you have coverage and experience serious injuries in an accident caused by a motorist with no insurance, your insurance company must honor your policy. This will ensure you can access at least some cash following an uninsured motorist crash.
What an Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
Your injuries may require hospitalization, surgery, ongoing check-ups, therapy, and more. Your treatment leaves you no time to try and handle the details of your claim. Focusing on your medical treatment is your priority – and representing your best interests is our priority. Our uninsured car accident attorneys at the Morris Bart law office in Birmingham can:
- Investigate the cause of your collision
- Calculate your losses
- Communicate with the insurance company on your behalf
- Handle settlement negotiations
We also understand that this is a very trying time for you and your family. That is why we strive to maintain an open door of communication so that you never have to wonder about your case’s status. We provide regular updates, ensure you have the necessary information to make important decisions about your case, and are available to answer your questions via phone, email, or other methods.
Can You Sue an Uninsured Motorist?
An uninsured driver can crash into you due to being drunk, distracted, or drowsy. They may also make a careless mistake behind the wheel and cause a collision. The same causes of other traffic accidents are also common among uninsured drivers. However, the next steps may be more complicated when an at-fault driver is uninsured.
Even if they face criminal charges for their actions, as you might expect if they were drunk, it has no bearing on your auto policy and whether your insurance company must honor it. If your insurer refuses to cover the crash or there is not enough coverage, you can sue an uninsured driver who causes an accident and injures you.
Your lawyer will advise you on whether or not you should pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If pursuing civil litigation against the uninsured or underinsured driver is not a viable option, and you do not have UI//UIM coverage, your health insurance policy may be your only chance to cover some of your damages.
What Makes a Lawsuit Viable in an Uninsured Motorist Crash?
Even if you’re likely to win your lawsuit, the other party needs to have the assets necessary to pay for damages. The high costs of paying for a car crash are why we’re all required to carry a certain amount of insurance. Most people do not have enough cash or other assets outside of their home or vehicle to cover serious injuries out of pocket.
While the court has many ways to compel payment over time from someone who injured you, it may not be nearly enough to cover your costs. Garnishing their wages for years is cold satisfaction when what you get isn’t enough to keep the creditors away.
That said, if we discover the other party does have significant assets during our investigation, suing them directly may be an option. They chose not to carry insurance, and now they can pay the price for their choice.
When to Hire an Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer
Though you may be left with lifelong disabilities after an accident, you have legal deadlines to keep in mind. Alabama’s statute of limitations for car crash lawsuits is two years, per Ala. Code § 6-2-38. This deadline may be even shorter in some circumstances. If you wait too long to start your case, you may be barred from recovering compensation. The court is unlikely to allow your case to move forward if you miss this deadline by even one day.
Reach out to a Birmingham uninsured car accident attorney as soon as possible. Researching your case takes time and involves investigating the crash, looking into the at-fault driver, and pursuing your insurance company representatives until we get answers. While we can settle most cases out of court, we are prepared to go to trial if necessary.
How do I Pay My Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer?
Nearly all personal injury law firms, including ours, are paid on a contingency basis. This means that if you do not win your case, you do not owe us any attorney’s fees. If you do win, you will pay us an agreed-upon percentage of your total compensation.
This system makes it possible for anyone to hire a car accident lawyer when they need one, and it incentivizes lawyers to do the best job possible to win compensation for their clients.
Contact an Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer in Birmingham
You purchase uninsured or underinsured policy coverage to protect you and your family. When a tragic accident occurs, you expect your insurance company to come through for you. If they don’t, our Birmingham uninsured car accident lawyers can step in to protect your interests.
If you experienced serious injuries due to an uninsured driver, contact the Morris Bart law office now for a free case evaluation. You owe us nothing upfront. We only collect our fee if we secure compensation for you. Protect your future medical and financial needs by reaching out to us today.
Questions?Call (205) 380-4158
to find a Morris Bart office near you.