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Huntsville Personal Injury AttorneysWhen I settle an Alabama workers compensation case with continued medical benefits, I explain to my clients what they may expect in the future. Of course, that future depends on many facts. Are the injuries easily provable or highly disputed? Does the client suffer other health problems that complicate issues? Does the client have access to health coverage through other sources? Does the client have a good authorized physician?

Every situation is different. Each case should be approached with thoughtful advice and planning. Lawyers should help their clients prepare to navigate the work comp system. We do. We help our clients during the case and afterwards when issues arise.

The potential issues following a work comp settlement are too numerous for this short post. So, I will just mention three quick takeaways when you settle your work-related injury case with open medical benefits under Alabama law. If you are in this situation, you probably settled expecting and hoping you would receive continued medical care for your injuries. What immediate things should you know? Here are three:

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Huntsville Accident & Injury AttorneysA friend recently asked me about a pedestrian death in Huntsville. What happened in that accident? A pedestrian was crossing University Drive when struck and killed. Pedestrian accidents are increasingly common in busy areas, including University Drive and Governors Drive in Huntsville. These two busy Huntsville roads involve multiple lanes of traffic with few crosswalks.

Pedestrian injury cases are very, very difficult. Let me repeat that — Pedestrian cases in Alabama are very difficult. We routinely turndown cases involving pedestrian injuries. The difficulties are both legal and practical. Alabama law requires (with some limited exceptions) pedestrians to use the crosswalk and holds them negligent if they do not. In Alabama, if you are even partially negligent you cannot recover your damages. That’s a big legal hurdle.

Alabama law is much more car-friendly than pedestrian-friendly. From state-to-state pedestrian injury laws vary tremendously. Some states favor pedestrians. Some states favor cars. As you can imagine, the policy differences typically occur between states with large pedestrian urban centers versus those with more rural or suburban areas.

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Huntsville Personal Injury AttorneysHeartburn. Acid Reflux. For years, drug companies marketed Ranitidine (Zantac) as a miracle drug. Drug companies even advertised the drug as a lifestyle drug allowing patients to continue eating heartburn-causing foods. What was the cost of this miracle drug that produced blockbuster profits? The public is now learning how ranitidine breaks down into the chemical NDMA, a toxic cancer-causing chemical. How many innocent consumers may have suffered life-threatening cancer injuries from the drug? It’s a topic I’ve discussed in several articles.

For an overview of Ranitidine (Zantac) claims, you can read my article titled Zantac Cancer Injuries. I published the article on our law firm website. My article provides an overview of the drug Zantac, its history and its relationship to cancer-causing NDMA.

The drug Ranitidine (Zantac) reacts with acid in the stomach as well as enzymes in other organs to chemically create NDMA in the human body. For more in-depth discussion about Ranitidine and how the drug chemically produces carcinogenic NDMA, you can read my blog post titled Four Ways Zantac Causes Cancer. I’ve also written some other articles following the growing research and ongoing litigation involving Zantac and multiple cancer injuries. You can read those articles on this blog.

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Alabama Accident & Injury AttorneysI recently wrote a post titled How Settlement Mill Lawyers Harm Car Accident Victims:  You Hired A LAWYER But Did NOT Receive One. In that article I discussed a real problem with settlement mill law firms. At settlement mill law firms, all the work and attention is performed by staff members instead of lawyers. Injury victims think they are getting a lawyer but they are not.

After writing that article, I read a Florida case where this issue almost cost a client tremendously. What happened? A car accident victim hired a law firm. The firm gathered his medical records. The firm then sent a quick demand letter to the insurance company, State Farm. Because the injured client’s bills were substantial, the firm intended to demand the full policy limits of $100,000. Oops! Instead, the firm’s letter demanded only $10,000 to settle the case. Apparently, the lawyer never read the demand letter. In settlement mill law firms, a “legal assistant” or “case manager” often writes and communicates with the insurance company. Where is the lawyer? That’s a good question. Some settlement mill firms function like assembly lines handling a volume of cases. The work product is bad. If you are hurt, you deserve to have a lawyer working your case. When State Farm received the letter offering to accept $10,000 instead of $100,000, it quickly responded by accepting in writing.

What a potential disaster! What happened next? The parties had to litigate the issue through Florida’s courts. In the end, an appellate court in Florida saved the client by holding that no settlement contract existed because of the mistake. The injured person dodged a terrible result and salvaged his case. The law firm dodged a terrible result and a potential malpractice issue.

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Huntsville Accident & Injury LawyersMany car accident injury cases are fairly straightforward. Liability and damages. Did the other driver negligently cause the collision? If so, were you injured? What is the extent of your injuries?

In recent weeks, I’ve written several posts about settlement mill lawyers. These billboard and television lawyers want a volume of those straightforward car accident and injury cases that they can quickly settle. Even when the case is straightforward, these settlement mill lawyers often harm their clients by not working to prepare cases for their maximum value. That’s important — Even when straightforward, putting the time and skill into developing and building the case can make a huge difference in the amount of damages recovered for an injured client. When our friends and neighbors suffer an injury, they deserve a lawyer who will provide personal attention and work on their case.

When you take a car accident claim and add common issues such as vehicle defects, commercial vehicles, underinsured drivers or uninsured drivers, you really are well-beyond claims that can be handled by settlement mill lawyers. These cases require work, preparation and a willingness to go to court when needed.

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Personal Injury Lawyer In HuntsvilleYou’ve seen and heard all the lawyer promises. From billboards to television, they ask you to call. Some of them even yell their requests. It’s really a terrible way to find a good personal injury lawyer. Instead, you should research your options. Talk to people you trust. Look for an attorney who will work hard to prepare your case.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been discussing several ways settlement mill law firms harm their clients. Settlement mills are those law firms that mass advertise for a volume of cases that can be quickly settled. For them, it’s not about the client relationship. It’s not about building a case for its maximum value and recovery. It’s all about volume.

In recent posts, I discussed the secret arrangements many advertising lawyers have with a specific chiropractor. Like an assembly line, clients are referred to a specific chiropractor who runs up medical bills. In the end, the client suffers. How? These clients do not get the real treatment needed. And, at the end of the case, they are left paying their settlement money to the chiropractor. I’m not attacking all chiropractors or lawyers – just the ones involved in this terrible practice.

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Huntsville Accident & Injury AttorneysI’ve written several articles discussing Ranitidine (brand name Zantac) and cancer injuries. For a longer discussion on the background and history of Zantac, you can click the link and read our report at Zantac Cancer Lawsuits. I’ve also written several other Zantac articles which you can read on the Blackwell Law Firm Blog. We will continue to follow the growing Zantac research linking the drug to cancer injuries.

In my prior articles, I provided an overview of NDMA — the cancer causing substance associated with Zantac. No safe level of NDMA exists. NDMA is highly toxic. Ranitidine (Zantac) breaks down to create toxic, cancer-causing NDMA. In recent years, our firm has handled Alabama injury cases involving several different cancer-causing medications. But, Zantac is especially dangerous. Why? What makes Zantac so dangerous is that it breaks down in more than one way to put consumers at risk of injury. In other words, Ranitidine reacts in multiple ways to produce cancer causing NDMA. Here, are four ways Ranitidine leads to cancer-causing NDMA that can harm you:

RANITIDINE LEADS TO CANCER-CAUSING NDMA FORMATION IN THE HUMAN STOMACH

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Huntsville Car Accident LawyersI know. You are probably asking why a lawyer would reject a good case. But, many settlement mill lawyers do reject good cases. Why? These settlement mill lawyers are NOT willing to go to court. Sometimes, good cases require you to file a lawsuit. Sometimes, good cases require a little work.

We believe in case preparation. And, we believe in going to court when needed for our clients. We believe hard work builds the best results for our injured clients.

In recent weeks, I’ve written several posts discussing ways billboard settlement mill lawyers harm their injured clients. During the over two decades I’ve practiced personal injury law, I’ve received countless phone calls from people who have been victimized by a settlement mill lawyer. We have many excellent lawyers in our community. They have also seen and heard many horror stories of the harm caused by the few settlement mill lawyers smiling from billboards and televisions.

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Alabama Accident & Injury LawyersIn a prior post, I discussed the secret arrangements where settlement mill lawyers funnel most of their clients to a favorite chiropractor who then runs-up the medical bills for settlement. The downside of this secret arrangement is that the injured person never receives proper care but is left paying the bulk of their settlement money to the lawyer and chiropractor. It’s a bad deal for the personal injury victim. It’s a shameful practice by settlement mill lawyers who neglect their clients.

What about injury victims who have health insurance or health coverage? Here’s a quick scenario. You suffered an injury in a car accident. After the wreck, you go to the local hospital and then follow-up with your doctors. You probably pay some co-pays. But, your health coverage pays many of the bills. If you have health coverage, you should use it to get the treatment you need. You then hire a lawyer to make a claim against the at-fault driver. Medical bills and personal injury claims can be a confusing topic. But, it’s a very important topic if you are facing a serious injury. If you would like more information about medical bills and personal injury cases, click the link below to my article discussing the topic.

The insurance company knows which lawyers go to court. Choose wisely. If you are seriously injured in a car accident, the choice of lawyer can make a huge difference in the insurance company’s offers to you. If you hire a settlement mill lawyer who is not willing to go to court, the insurance company is likely to pay less for your case. Why would the insurance company pay a fair settlement if the adjuster knows your lawyer will not go to court? Why would the insurance company pay a fair settlement if the adjuster knows your lawyer is simply advertising on billboards for volume cases that can be quickly settled? Why would the insurance company pay a fair settlement if the adjuster knows your lawyer is simply using a staff of non-lawyers to push claims through the system. But, getting a smaller settlement from the insurance company is not the only way you can lose with a settlement mill lawyer.

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Alabama Car Accident AttorneysIf you’ve read my prior articles, you know my opinion — Billboard lawyers often harm their personal injury clients. As lawyers, our job is to help our clients. We should put first our clients’ interests. Yet, many billboard lawyers help themselves at their clients’ expense.

How do settlement mill lawyers smiling from billboards harm their personal injury clients? Over the coming weeks, I’m going to write posts discussing several ways these advertising lawyers often harm their injured clients. Today, I’ll talk about the sweetheart arrangements many of these settlement mill lawyers have with a specific chiropractor to profit from your injuries.

Here’s how the sweetheart deal between the billboard lawyer and a specific chiropractor works. You suffer a car accident injury and call the billboard lawyer. You probably don’t meet with the actual billboard lawyer. That’s a different issue we’ll discuss in a later post. You probably meet with an “investigator,” “runner” or other staff member. Once you sign the contract, the billboard lawyer wants you to see a specific chiropractor. His chiropractor. That chiropractor will then run-up the charges for your visits. The billboard lawyer will use these exorbitant charges to try and negotiate a deal with the insurance company to settle your claim. It’s an assembly line process designed so the billboard lawyer spends as little time as possible working on your file. That billboard lawyer simply wants to make a few phone calls. And, in many volume law firms, a staff member is actually making the calls. You get zero service from the lawyer.

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