Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Huntsville Accident & Injury Lawyers at Blackwell Law FirmWhy am I being asked to provide my tax returns in my injury case? I saw this question recently in a legal forum. In personal injury and workers’ compensation cases, the defense lawyers often ask for your tax returns. Over our 25+ years of practicing Alabama personal injury law, we’ve seen this question repeatedly. So, I thought I would discuss the issue.

Why Are They Requesting My Tax Returns?

If you have an Alabama personal injury or workers compensation case, tax return requests are routine. Many insurance defense lawyers make this request in every case. Why are they asking for your returns?

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Building-personal-injury-cases-for-maximum-compensation-300x300Earlier this week, I took the deposition of a local orthopedic surgeon in a client’s car accident case. I take several medical depositions each month. So, it’s not unusual to be in a deposition. It’s part of our process to help clients by building their cases. The case involved a car accident. The crash actually happened pretty close to my office in Huntsville. An uninsured driver crashed into my client at a busy intersection along University Drive. Because an uninsured driver caused the Huntsville accident, we made a claim against my client’s own auto insurer for uninsured coverage. The carrier — Allstate! Yes, I have a pretty negative opinion about how that company treats its own insureds. Are you really in good hands? Any Alabama lawyer who regularly handles car accident and injury cases likely agrees with me.

As is so often the case, Allstate offered practically nothing to my client after her wreck. But, then we took the ortho’s deposition. We obtained his testimony for use at trial. After his testimony, the adjuster suddenly started calling and wanting to pay. Developing the medical evidence increases case value significantly! That’s an obvious no-brainer. Yet, so many lawyers simply refuse to prepare their cases! I know lawyers who claim to handle car accident cases but have never taken key testimony from medical providers. It’s shocking to think how little value they add to cases.

How Settlement Mill Law Firms Fail Clients By Failing To Build Case Value!

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Huntsville Car Accident LawyerDo you have a referral arrangement with a specific chiropractor or doctor? It’s a question some callers ask. The answer is, NO. If you suffered a serious car accident injury, the worst thing you can do is hire a lawyer who has a secret referral relationship with a specific chiropractor or doctor. In a recent video, Virginia lawyer Ben Glass says these secret relationships are “the kiss of death for your case.”

We’ve all heard the television commercials! We’ve all seen the billboards! Please call, the lawyer begs. These are settlement mill lawyers. They are operating an assembly line process. Sign the client. Refer the client to a special chiropractor. Inflate the medical charges. Make a settlement demand on the insurance company. Take what you can get. (Take what “little” you can get.). That assembly line process fails clients who are truly injured. It benefits only the lawyer and his chosen clinic. That’s wrong.

The settlement mill lawyers all over television and billboards do not want you to know the truth. They are running a sham that hurts already injured people a second time.

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Alabama Accident & Injury LawyersI recently read an article which indicated almost 2/3 of all injured plaintiffs in mass tort cases were unhappy. That’s no surprise! Many of these individuals suffered very serious injuries only to be lost in a system that treats them like numbers rather than people. The article discusses a study by Georgia Law Professor Elizabeth Burch and Federal Judicial Center visiting scholar Margaret Williams.

What is a mass tort? I’ll use the ongoing Zantac injury claims as an example. Zantac was a drug distributed across the United States for many, many years. You could even buy Zantac without a prescription for many years. The claim is that Zantac is defective and causes cancer. You have a common product used by everyone. But, the injuries (cancer in this case) are unique. Every person suffers uniquely and individually. Our office has filed several Zantac personal injury claims. Each of our clients is unique and deserves individual attention.

How are these mass tort claims handled? Our Federal Courts will typically assign the cases to a single judge for pre-trial purposes like discovery. The idea is that it saves time and resources for a single judge to oversee all pre-trial issues. Once your individual claim is ready for trial, it will be transferred back to the Federal Court where you filed the case. You get a trial on your unique injuries and damages. At least, in theory, that’s how it is supposed to work. The process is called Multi-District Litigation (MDL).

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Accident-Investigations-1-300x300I recently read a post on the website of another local law firm that announced drones were being used more frequently in accident reconstruction. The post says drones are now being used by emergency personnel across the country. It then cites a Massachusetts state trooper and a Minnesota-based accident reconstruction expert. Are drones actually being used for car accident reconstruction in Alabama? The other post is silent on this key issue. The post was clearly written by a marketing person with no local information. I would like to dig a little deeper. Let’s look into drones and their impact on accidents right here in Alabama!

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Has Started A Drone Program.

A February 2020 story on channel WSFA notes that the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (our State Troopers) had recently started a new drone program for traffic and safety issues. At the time of the article, our state police had 16 drones plus a goal to expand the program. According to the article, State Troopers had begun using drones in September 2019.

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Distracted Driving Harms LivesDistracted Driving. Why do I write about this topic so frequently? It’s because I talk to people injured in Alabama car accidents on a daily basis. Far too many of them were hurt in crashes caused by a distracted driver.

I’ve reviewed crashes involving lots of different distractions. Drivers distracted by other passengers. Drivers distracted by searching for something in the car. Drivers distracted by social media while driving. I have even worked cases with drivers distracted by watching videos while driving. Many distractions are possible. But, the biggest factor for distracted driving is the cell phone. By far!

I’ve written several past articles about efforts in Alabama to pass a true hands-free law. You can read a couple of them here:

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A few months ago, I wrote an article discussing Huntsville, infrastructure growth, and the need to focus on work crew safety. With a growing population, comes a need for greater infrastructure. That means more roads and better roads. You can read my prior road crew safety post here:

In past articles I’ve also discussed specific roads that need safety improvements. These include Highway 431 which has been included in listings of the most dangerous roads in the world. Yes, you heard that correctly. Highway 431 has been included in listings containing roads on the edges of cliffs! Why? This highway is especially dangerous because it passes through so many cities and towns with different traffic conditions. Think about all the cities and towns on Highway 431 as you leave Huntsville heading south. I frequently drive Highway 431 from my house in Huntsville to courtrooms in Guntersville, Gadsden and Anniston. It’s a dangerous highway simply because of the traffic it carries and the towns it serves.

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What Is A Delayed Injury?

Blackwell Law Firm - Helping Personal Injury Victims Across AlabamaAlthough people use the phrase delayed injury, these are real and serious injuries people suffer at the time of a car accident. They are very real. Over the days and weeks following a serious wreck, these injuries begin to impact the victim. Delayed injuries are those that you don’t realize in the first few moments or hours after a wreck.

If you are an Alabama football fan, you may have heard the story of Coach Bryant playing against Tennessee with a broken leg. It’s a story which adds to Coach Bryant’s legendary toughness. Of course, it’s an added bonus the game involved one of Alabama’s biggest rivals. Beyond Coach Bryant, sports fans have seen many players somehow make it through a game or competition despite a serious injury.

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Huntsville Car Accident LawyersIn the days and weeks after a car accident, you may begin suffering pain and problems in your hands and wrists. Several different injuries can cause these symptoms. So, it is very important to see a doctor who can evaluate you.

Many people are surprised to learn that a car accident can cause carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Why? People often think of carpal tunnel syndrome as a problem only caused by repetitive use of the hands. In many cases, it is. But, a serious accident can also cause the condition.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

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Untitled-design-2-300x300One thing is sure — The legal market is saturated with big promises. From billboards to television to radio, they want you to call. They all have their catch phrase. But, I recently watched a lawyer advertising video that was truly insane. That advertising lawyer wants you to hire him simply because he may have had a family member in the past with the same legal problem!

Yes, it was a Huntsville law firm. I clicked on their website where they advertise for personal injury cases (as well as every other legal issue you can imagine). Somebody look at you wrong? These lawyers tell you they got it covered. From A to Z, “we got this” the lawyer says with a smile. They got it all covered, at least in their advertising.

Of course, their website has some really, really small fine print (as required by Alabama rules) telling you the truth — They really just want your personal injury case to refer it to another lawyer for a cut of the fee. The fine print discloses that they really send these cases to other firms for the heavy lifting. Do they really handle personal injury cases all the way through trial and appeal?

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