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What damage awards are possible after an MVA?

| Feb 24, 2021 | Car Accidents

A motor vehicle accident could prove devastating. Even a minor mishap could lead to significant physical injuries. Alabama drivers or passengers harmed due to another driver’s negligence may seek compensation through a lawsuit or insurance settlement. Questions understandably arise regarding what damages the injured party may feasibly seek.

Damages and recovering compensation after an accident

Property damage and bodily injury represent two of the categories auto liability insurance covers. If another driver inflicts damage onto the vehicle, he or she may become responsible for paying the costs. If the person totals the vehicle, the auto liability insurance might cover the total loss.

Bodily injury refers to physical harm suffered by someone. Whiplash, broken bones and other trauma represent bodily injury. Be aware that “medical payments” coverage pays for medical bills up to the coverage’s limits regardless of fault. However, seeking compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of future income, and other damages requires making a claim against the negligent party’s liability insurance or suing the driver. In some instances, it may be necessary to sue the negligent driver beyond the policy limits.

Statutes in Alabama regarding car accidents

A critical point to mention centers on Alabama’s status as a contributory negligence state. If the injured party was at fault in any way, even a minor way, he or she cannot seek damages. Someone might commit a moving violation right before getting hit by a drunk driver who goes through a red light. The moving violation could point fault in the injured person’s direction. The injured party’s attorney might make a compelling case as to whether a client indeed was at fault. Although the defendant may attempt to deflect blame, the court may not agree.

Punitive damages come with a cap in Alabama, the greater of $1.5 million or three times the awarded compensatory damages. If compensatory damages are $100,000, then the plaintiff might seek an award of $1.5 million in punitive damages.

A motor vehicle accident (MVA) could leave victims with significant debts and losses. A lawsuit or insurance settlement may provide a path for recovering damages.