COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients.
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Alabama Accident & Injury Attorneys“He left a voice message yelling at me!” That’s how one injured worker’s story began. “He acted like a jerk.” The worker continued to describe how he suffered a bad lifting injury to his lower back at work. He required surgery. He now suffers chronic pain and limitations. He could not return to work.

Why did his lawyer leave a nasty voice message for him? It comes down to this — The lawyer wanted him to accept a quick settlement. The problem — That settlement was totally unfair and would have left the disabled worker in worse shape a year or two from now.

The guy needed a lawyer who would prepare his case. He needed a lawyer who would discuss how Alabama work comp benefits are calculated, who would develop the medical evidence, and who would prepare the case for the best possible trial. He needed a lawyer in his corner!

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Alabama Personal Injury AttorneysThe Claims Journal recently published an article titled Traffic Returning to Roadways, But Claims Patterns May Shift Permanently. I frequently read the articles on their website — You can learn some fascinating traffic and claim research straight from insurance sources.

The article raises some interesting issues. Will post-pandemic traffic return to pre-pandemic levels? Will the shutdowns from the coronavirus cause lasting changes in our driving habits? Will our roads be safer or more dangerous after the pandemic? We may not fully learn the answers to these questions for months or years.

Some insurance companies are already predicting Americans will drive less on a permanent basis. Other researchers are predicting rush-hour driving will permanently decrease with telework and drivers staggering their trips to different times.

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Untitled-design-2-300x300During the month of April, safety groups focus on the issue of Distracted Driving. Nationwide, April is commonly referred to as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. At our office, distracted driving is a year-round focus. Many of our accident and injury cases involve distracted driving. While most involve a cell phone, not all do.

Has the coronavirus pandemic impacted distracted driving?

During the COVID-19 shutdowns, our roads saw far fewer cars. With school closures and remote workers, morning traffic in Huntsville looked very different. Pre-COVID, traffic coming into Huntsville over Monte Sano was bumper-to-bumper during rush hour. Not so during the shutdowns!

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Alabama Accident & Injury AttorneysAnother driver crashed into you. You are hurt and need help. Maybe you tried to deal with the adjuster yourself but have become frustrated! Maybe the adjuster made promises but now won’t return your phone calls. Should you consult a car accident attorney? I’ve written about that issue previously. If your injuries are minor (nothing beyond the ER) and the other driver is clearly at-fault, you can often settle those claims without a lawyer and save yourself money. The billboard and television lawyers begging for you to call will never tell you that. But, then again, those lawyers leave many clients with nothing in the end. If your injuries are significant (more than just a visit to the emergency room) or liability is disputed, a good lawyer can often make a big difference.

I’ve written several articles on this blog providing tips to help you in choosing the right Alabama personal injury attorney for your case. I won’t rehash all of them in this post. If you want some tips, search my archives.

If you suffered serious injuries, a good car accident attorney may be able to significantly increase the value of your case. If you required treatment beyond the emergency room, missed time at work or suffered a lingering injury, you should definitely talk with a skilled attorney. By skilled, I mean a lawyer who regularly prepares these cases for trial — Not the attorneys you see on billboards or the attorneys who handle everything.

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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). Sometimes it is referred to as Chronic (or Complex) Regional Pain Syndrome. Either way, it can be a devastating pain condition for patients. I’ve written a couple articles discussing RSD and the disabling toll it has on people. You can read my prior posts here:

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Alabama Accident & Injury LawyersWhere can I file my workers’ compensation claim? For many people, the answer is easy. Many people work entirely within a single state.

For others, the question brings choices. Maybe you work primarily in one state. But, you were injured while performing job tasks in another state. Years ago, these issues mainly applied to truckers and traveling salesmen. But, now, it’s not unusual for people to work across several different states.

What happens if you work primarily in one state but are injured on-the-job in another? What happens if your office is in one state but you are hurt while present in another? What are the rules for work-related injuries? Where can you file a claim?

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Blackwell Law Firm helps people with serious personal injury claimsOver the last year, we’ve all worried about COVID-19. The pandemic has affected every part of our lives. Family. Health. Work. Social Activities. Many families are struggling with the loss of a loved one. Many businesses and industries have also been devastated. But, one industry seems to be booming around Huntsville. That industry? Road construction.

A quick Google search produces numerous articles detailing the growth boom across northern Alabama. Many businesses and government agencies are planning moves to the Huntsville area. An al.com article in June 2020 notes how Huntsville started the last decade as the 4th largest city in Alabama but is expected to become the largest city within the next two years.

With growth comes increasing infrastructure demands. That means new construction. You can see new hotel and parking deck construction projects all around our office in downtown Huntsville. At its heart, infrastructure means roads. Throughout the Huntsville, Decatur and Athens area, you also see almost constant road construction. Road crews are working to build the additional infrastructure needed for expected growth. These crews have remained busy throughout the pandemic.

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Truck Accident LawyersI recently read a law firm article indicating nearly half of truck drivers are prone to sleep apnea. That article reaches this conclusion based on a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study using the STOP-BANG method of screening truck drivers. The Virginia Tech researchers interviewed 20,000 commercial drivers. So, the study has a broad base for reliability. The data is very interesting.

While the law firm’s article cites the study, it really only lists the scary statistics. Yes, it is scary to think up to half of the truck drivers around you may be sleep deprived. The article does a good job of scaring the reader into calling the law firm. Why not talk about potential solutions? The law firm’s article tells us the problem but offers no discussion into solutions. Of course, that’s like most law firm websites — short on real discussion. If it’s a problem (and it is), then the real discussion should surround potential solutions that make our highways safer. With that in mind, I’ll briefly discuss the study. Then, I’m going to talk about two areas where I think we can improve highway safety and trucker health.

What Does The Virginia Tech Research Tell Us?

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Alabama Accident & Injury LawyersLast week, Madison County re-started civil jury trials. After months of coronavirus shutdowns, it’s nice to be back at the courthouse. Now, I’m not writing to debate the wisdom of re-opening or not. I’m OK waiting longer for more vaccinations. Public health and safety should be our top priority. As a community, we should each take the steps needed to protect our neighbors. But, again, I’m not writing about the issue of shutdowns.

When the court did re-open this week in Huntsville, one of our car accident injury cases was number one on the docket. First up for trial! We prepare our personal injury cases. We’ve been prepared in this Huntsville accident case for months. Ready to go. It was good to finish the case for our client. Our client patiently waited through recent months as have so many other people.

Maybe you are asking — Why did the case not settle? While most cases eventually settle, some do not. Sometimes, cases should not settle. Maybe the insurance company adjuster ignored the extent of injuries or damages. Maybe the insurance company is taking advantage of courthouse closures to delay and deny justice.

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Blackwell Law Firm - Alabama Accident & Injury LawyersLawyer ads are everywhere. They are all very similar. Smiles. Confidence. Promises. What kind of promises? In all of them, the advertising lawyer promises he or she will handle your problem. As one local advertising lawyer says in his ads, “we got this.” Does he? Lots of companies advertise assurances about their products and services.

One local Huntsville law firm advertises for workers’ compensation cases by saying a settlement may be in your best interest. Their ad starts by noting “the uncertainty that surrounds” lots of comp cases. Then, it offers the hope of a settlement. Finally, the ad says you should call them for help. It’s a classic marketing ploy — Step one, highlight the need or fear. Step two, disclose a potential solution. Step three, offer yourself as guide to solve the need.

Is a settlement in your best interest? Maybe it is. Maybe it is not. I talk to injured workers every day. Most people are unfamiliar with the work comp process. For many callers, it is the first time they have ever suffered any significant personal injury at work. The whole process can be uncertain. Medical treatment. Continued employment. Vocational rehabilitation. Money Benefits. It’s a new, and very different, process. Some lawyers exploit that unknown by smiling and telling clients the results are good when they really are not.

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