Articles Tagged with car accident

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Huntsville Personal Injury Attorneys / Blackwell Law FirmHit-and-run crash? The other driver fled the scene? You think it won’t happen to you. But, it does happen. In recent years, we’ve seen a rising number of hit and run crashes.

You are driving down University Drive in Huntsville. You stop at the intersection with Memorial Parkway. Suddenly, a speeding car runs the red light and slams into the side of your vehicle. You are shaken and hurt. Before you fully realize what is happening, the other driver speeds away. Police later identified the at-fault driver. Why did he flee the scene? He had no car insurance.

You are driving down Pulaski Pike on the way home after work. You stop at a light. Suddenly, a car crashes into the rear of your car. But, the car does not stop. Instead, the at-fault driver backs up and then speeds from the crash scene. Why did he flee the scene? He had warrants for his arrest and did not want to be caught. Fortunately, an off duty police officer saw the crash and followed the fleeing driver. And, he was caught.

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Alabama Accident & Injury LawyersIt’s the day after a serious car accident. The events of yesterday are a blur. You are hurting. You are stiff. For many people, the first few hours and days after a serious car accident are a time of increasing pain. Hopefully, you’ve never experienced this. Those who have will understand.

You are hurting. You start to worry about your health. You start to worry about work. You are probably worried about your car. You may have lots of concerns and questions. That’s when you receive the call. An adjuster calls. Often, the adjuster calls with a friendly voice. She wants you to think you are in good hands. She sounds helpful. She may even tell you to send your medical bills and sign paperwork so they can get your records. She hints they will pay the bills if you send them. Don’t believe it. I talk to accident victims weekly. So many of them are misled by adjusters into believing the insurance company wants their actual bills to pay each of them.

If the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays anything for your injuries, they are going to want you to sign a release giving up your claims. So, why is the adjuster calling? Why is she acting friendly at first? The truth — The insurance company is investigating the accident and you. The insurance company is gathering information. And, it will use the information to defend the claim or to pay as little as possible.

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Alabama Accident & Injury Lawyers At Blackwell Law FirmThe United States has a much higher rate of car accident deaths than other highly developed countries. Recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) research paints a difficult and disturbing picture of our nation’s highway fatality rates compared to other similar countries.

In fact, the CDC data shows the rate of highway deaths in the United States is the very highest among all high-income countries studied. That’s not all. The data gets even worse. Unlike many other countries which saw declining rates of fatal highway accidents, the rate of deaths in the United States actually increased in the years studied. From a safety standpoint, we are headed in the wrong direction!

I’ve seen a couple other posts quoting this troubling road data. The data is disturbing. But, I don’t want simply to quote statistics. Instead of simply quoting research, we should use the data to discuss safety. Here are two key questions I have from this recent research:

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Untitled-design-3-copy-300x300Are hit-and-run accidents increasing? In recent months, local news outlets have reported numerous hit-and-run fatalities. In the most recent accident just a few days ago, an Athens man struck a pedestrian and fled the scene leaving him fatally injured. Initially, law enforcement arrested the fleeing driver for a felony charge related to leaving the scene of an accident. When the pedestrian victim later died at the hospital, those charges were upgraded to manslaughter.

This recent hit-and-run death is not an isolated event. Our office is currently helping a number of people hurt in hit-and-run accidents. In one, a driver traveled down the wrong side of Highway 72 in Scottsboro, struck a truck, fled the scene, and was later found by local police officers hiding in a nearby neighborhood. In another, a Huntsville driver fled the scene to avoid outstanding warrants, leaving our client severely injured. In a third case, the negligent driver fled but was caught when a witness followed and called police. These are just a few of our recent cases. Later in this blog, I’ll discuss how you can protect yourself financially from the risk of a hit-and-run driver.

What Are The Facts About Hit And Run Accidents?

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Personal Injury CaseI recently saw a law firm post that asked — What trauma do children experience from accidents? Interesting question. Unfortunately, that law firm’s post simply listed a number of specific physical injuries. The post simply listed injuries that could be suffered by children as well as adults. They were not providing useful information. Instead, they were writing for Google search. A list of physical injuries might help that law firm with Google search but it does very little to answer important questions. It provides no real answers.

If your child suffers an injury from a car accident, you need to talk to the doctor. You need to talk with your child’s pediatrician or an appropriate specialist. In Huntsville and Birmingham, we even have orthopedics who sub-specialize in spine and bone injuries to children. It’s essential that potential injuries be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Proper treatment is key to the best recovery.

While that other firm’s post provided little or no useful information, I did start thinking — What is unique about car accident injuries to minors that you might need to know? How do personal injury claims for children differ from those to adults? What key information is important to know? If a parent were looking for information about their child’s accident, what might be important? Here are four key areas where Alabama personal injury claims for children differ from those to adults:

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Car Accident LawyersIn the current gig-economy, some companies have constructed huge enterprises based on business models that classify their entire workforce as independent contractors. By classifying their workers as independent contractors rather than employees, these companies shift their costs onto the workers and communities they serve.

Traditionally, companies paid payroll taxes on employees. And, companies provided benefits (such as workers’ compensation) for employees. Neither is true with independent contractors. The costs and taxes are shifted to the worker. Work-related injury and disability costs are shifted first to the worker. But, when the worker is unable to pay, these costs are borne by the entire community. In past years, I’ve written several articles discussing why basic workers compensation benefits are important to our entire community.

Employee classification matters for several reasons. Today, I’ll stick to a topic I frequently discuss — Workers’ Compensation In Alabama.

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BLackwell-Law-Firm-300x300Last week, I read a page on another law firm’s website asking, What You Should Know About Car Accidents And Brain Trauma. The title peaked my interest! But, the article really disappointed. Like so many other lawyer pages, it was mostly a long list of different types of accidents and different medical conditions. Short on substance! Stuffed with key words to capture search traffic! It worked – I stopped and clicked. The article provided no real information and suggested the reader call the lawyers. I’d rather have a real discussion with some real answers.

I’ve written several past articles discussing specific traumatic brain injury (TBI) topics, including the evaluation, treatment and presentation of these injuries. You can find many of my prior articles on this blog. My goal is to provide helpful information. So, I thought I would write today about a specific type of brain injury:  Coup-Contrecoup Injuries. Many people have never heard those terms. But, these injuries are common in serious accidents.

What Are Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries?

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Huntsville, AlabamaEarlier this week, I saw a strange lawyer video. It was published by a settlement mill lawyer outside Alabama. In the video, this personal injury lawyer suggested injured people should hire her because she would “pester” the insurance adjuster with repeated calls for a settlement. This lawyer repeated over-and-over that she would pepper the adjuster with repeated phone calls to pester them into negotiating a settlement. I guess it was easy to make a quick TikTok video. But, what a terrible idea. If you want to get the most compensation possible for your clients, being a needy or desperate pest is a terrible idea.

I understand the frustration of hurt people after dealing with an insurance adjuster. Your calls are often ignored. I hear from people hurt in car accidents who are ghosted by an adjuster. I hear from people hurt in work-related accidents who cannot get the adjuster to respond and approve medical care. I’ve written multiple times on the topic. I’ve offered advice in some of my prior posts.

But, a lawyer pestering the adjuster is not the answer! Yet, it’s a practice of many settlement mill lawyers. Why? Their goal is a quick settlement. Their goal is not to get you the best settlement. It’s to get you the quickest settlement so they can move to the next claim. Settlement mill lawyers put quantity of settlements over quality of settlements. If you suffered a serious personal injury, you want the opposite. You want quality.

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Huntsville Accident & Injury LawyersLast week, I was working through the final details of a work comp settlement with a local defense lawyer in Huntsville. As we discussed settlement terms, the defense lawyer made an interesting observation. That observation is the reason for this post.

Before I get to that observation, I’ll give you a little helpful background on the case. My client suffered a bad back injury. He required spinal surgery. He now suffers chronic pain and permanent restrictions. He could not return to his long-term employment. I believe he is totally disabled. We were preparing for trial.

Now that you have a little background, I’ll get to my topic. While discussing the settlement paperwork, I added a couple sentences dealing with vested employee benefits. You know, rights employees have to pensions and 401(k) plans with some employers. When I addressed the phrase with the defense lawyer, he immediately stated that most personal injury lawyers just skim over the paperwork. He laughed and said most lawyers just want to know when they can expect the settlement check. That’s my topic — Good lawyering means you help the client through the entire process!

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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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