dog bites

Dog Bites in Alabama: What Are the Most Dangerous Dog Breeds?

In recent decades, researchers have studied the underlying causes behind aggressive or even deadly interactions between human beings and dogs, and whether certain dog breeds are more prone to attacking humans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study in the mid-1990s regarding dog breeds that caused fatal attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1996. The Pit Bull was identified as being involved in 60 fatal attacks, Rottweiler was responsible for 29, and German Shepherds had 19 attacks.

Dog attacks make headlines on a regular basis even today. As per a national victims’ group, the canine breeds responsible for these attacks largely remain the same. These are the top dog breeds identified by DogsBite.org after compiling a 13-year fatality report involving attacks between 2005 and 2017.

Most Dangerous Dog Breeds

Pit Bull

Pit Bull attacks account for the most deaths in the United States. This breed is also responsible for the highest percentage of unprovoked attacks. Pit Bulls were responsible for 64% dog-bite related fatalities last year in the United States.

Rottweiler

Rottweilers are a close second when it comes to fatal and unprovoked attacks. The bite of this breed is extremely powerful. In fact, it measures 1,180 to 1,460 newtons on the force scale. Rottweilers were the top cause (almost 50%) behind deaths between 1993 and 1996 as per the CDC study.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are beautiful dogs with a bite force of 1,060 newtons. This is enough to easily break your shin bone in two. There have been studies that found that this dog is also responsible for attacking smaller breeds.

Doberman Pinscher

The sheer strength and size of Doberman Pinschers make them a dangerous dog breed. The last reported Doberman-caused death in the United States was in 2011. This was when a Doberman Pinscher attacked and killed an elderly woman. She was the dog’s owner.

Bullmastiff

These large and intimidating dogs can easily weigh as much as 130 pounds. The Bullmastiff was responsible for the death of a Texas teenage boy. The boy was protecting another young girl that was being attacked and dragged by the canine.

Husky

Huskies are energetic and athletic dogs. They are also a current Instagram favorite. However, these are working dogs – not social ones. Siberian Huskies caused 15 deaths in the United States between 1979 and 1998.

Malamute

Malamutes are often known to attack other smaller breeds and animals. They caused 5 fatal dog bites between the years 1966 and 1980.

Wolf Hybrid

These are dogs that are the result of direct crossbreeding with wolves. Although all dogs are descendants of wolves, the bloodline has been diluted to a less aggressive degree in most dog breeds.

Wolf hybrids are unpredictable and skittish. In fact, it is illegal to own a wolf hybrid in most states. This dog breed was responsible for 14 deaths in the United States between 1979 and 1998 as per the CDC.

Boxers

Boxers are descendants of hunting dogs. They have powerful bites and strong jaws. They are a highly protective breed. This can be a good thing if you want a guard dog, but it also means that the breed has the propensity to be highly dangerous. The last known fatality caused by Boxers in the United States occurred in 2013.

Great Dane

Great Danes are the giants of dogs, often known as gentle giants. However, they can be very dangerous. Full-grown male Danes can easily weigh 200 pounds. In 2003, a Great Dane was responsible for killing a 2-year-old girl in the US.

Dog Bites are not just Painful but also Expensive

An estimated 1,000 people need emergency care in the United States each day because of dog bite injuries. These injuries, in some tragic cases, result in the death of the victim. There were 42 dog-bite-related deaths in the US in 2014. 20 of these deaths occurred in children while 16 were in individuals older than 50.

Most of the dog’s individual aggressiveness is determined by how it has been trained by its owner. But that said, there are certain dog breeds that are simply more aggressive and dangerous as compared to others. This is usually because of their massive strength and size. Since 2003, the average claim for dog attacks has increased by 90%.

This is driven by higher settlements and increasing medical costs. Injuries inflicted by canines accounted for more than 35% of homeowners’ liability in 2017. This was to the tune of nearly $700 million.

Dog attacks required 28,000 people to undergo reconstructive surgery in 2015. The cost of a dog-injury-related hospital stay is estimated to be $18,200. This is without rehabilitative care and lost wages.

Committed Dog Bite Attorneys in Alabama are Ready to Fight for You

The personal injury attorneys at M. Adam Jones & Associates have helped many victims obtain the compensation they deserve following a dog injury. We understand how to deal with animal attack cases and will help you take the right steps to maximize recovery.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team.

  1. Adam Jones,

Managing Partner

  1. Adam Jones & Associates, LLC

206 N. Lena St.

Dothan, AL 36303

Tel: 334-699-5599

Fax: 334-699-5588

 

car accident reconstruction

The Importance of an Accident Reconstruction Specialist for Your Case

When someone gets injured in an auto accident, it is very important to have as much evidence and documentation as possible in order to successfully pursue a legal claim. Photos of the accident scene are always helpful, and it is even better if there is video footage available. In addition to these, accident reconstruction often plays a vital role not only in determining what caused the crash but also in who was at fault.

Determining fault with certainty is especially important in states like Alabama where they apply the contributory negligence legal standard to personal injury cases. Under contributory negligence, an injury victim can be barred from recovering compensation if they are even 1% at fault for the underlying accident. This is why it is absolutely critical to work with an experienced auto accident attorney who has the ability to call on key experts such as accident reconstructionists in order to help substantiate your injury claim.

If you or someone close to you suffered an injury in a car crash in Alabama, M. Adam Jones & Associates is ready to go to work for you! Get in touch with us today at 334-699-5599 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation and case assessment.

What Does an Accident Reconstructionist Do?

Accident reconstructionists are experts who are often contracted by plaintiff’s attorneys and insurers to conduct an in-depth analysis and reconstruction of a vehicle crash to identify the primary cause and contributing factors. Factors that may be looked at include the role of the drivers involved, the vehicles involved, the condition of the roads at the scene where the accident occurred, and many others.

Typically, accident reconstruction experts thoroughly examine the scene of the accident and collect various pieces of evidence, which may include debris, tire skid marks, and the specific location where impact was made. If there was a large truck involved in the collision, the reconstructionist will also examine the “black box” data from the truck if it is available.

Faulty maintenance and/or vehicle defects are important factors that an accident reconstructionist might look at. For example, the crash may have occurred because of a tire blowout, in which case the root cause could be that the tire was not replaced when it was supposed to be, or it could be that there was an inherent flaw in the design or manufacture of the tire that caused it to blow.

The Findings of an Accident Reconstruction Expert

Vehicle accident reconstructionists have extensive knowledge and training in their field, and they also have advanced forms of analysis that allow them to produce a more accurate assessment of the specific causes of an accident. Examples include forensic mapping, 3D animation, and crash simulation.

Using these processes, accident reconstruction experts can produce a number of various findings, such as:

  • The speed and the direction that the vehicles were traveling at the time of the crash.
  • The negligent actions of the at-fault driver that may have caused or contributed to the crash (e.g., speeding, texting while driving, running a red light, etc.).
  • The role that a mechanical problem and/or a defective vehicle part may have played in causing the collision.
  • The role that dangerous road conditions may have played in causing the crash.
  • The most likely cause(s) of the accident and what damage occurred.
  • The most likely cause(s) of injuries to individuals who were involved in the crash.

As we talked about earlier, the findings of an accident reconstructionist can help protect an injury victim’s right to compensation, especially if the at-fault driver claims that the victim was partially responsible for the crash. And if the case ever goes to court, the accident reconstruction expert may have an animated re-creation of the crash available, which would provide the jury with an accurate visual illustration of what took place.

Contact M. Adam Jones and Associates to Get Started on Your Alabama Car Accident Claim

If you or a loved one got injured in an auto accident, you need strong legal counsel in your corner advocating forcefully for your rights and interests. At M. Adam Jones & Associates, we have the experience, knowledge, skills, and resources to ensure that our clients are in the best possible position to recover maximum compensation. Contact our office today to speak with a member of our legal team.

  1. Adam Jones,

Managing Partner

  1. Adam Jones & Associates, LLC

206 N. Lena St.

Dothan, AL 36303

Tel: 334-699-5599

Fax: 334-699-5588

 

 

bicycle accident attorneys in Dothan, Alabama

Bicycle Accidents: Who is Responsible?

According to the CDC, nearly 1,000 bicyclists are killed in traffic crashes on US roadways each year, and more than 130,000 are severely injured. Bicycle accidents cost the economy more than $23 billion annually, which includes healthcare expenses, lost work productivity, diminished quality of life for those who are seriously injured, and wrongful death. Most bicycle crashes are preventable.

Like motorcyclists and pedestrians, bicyclists are at greater risk for serious injury during a traffic crash, because they have very little protection compared to occupants of motor vehicles. For this reason, bicyclists account for a disproportionately higher percentage of traffic deaths on the roadways. Bicyclists between the ages of 55 and 69 are at the highest risk for fatalities.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a bicycle accident in Alabama, M. Adam Jones & Associates is here to help! Call our office today at 334-699-5599 or message us online to set up a free consultation and case assessment with one of our attorneys.

Who is Liable for a Bicycle Accident?

In most cases in which there is a collision between a bike and a motor vehicle, the motor vehicle driver is likely to be the one who is held liable. As we talked about earlier, vehicle occupants have far greater protection than bicyclists, and they can move much faster. For this reason, a car driver has an inherent responsibility to be extra careful around bicycles, just as they would be if there was a motorcycle or pedestrian nearby.

To establish that the car driver was liable, you would typically need to show the following elements:

  • The driver owed a duty of care to ensure the safety of the bicyclist.
  • The driver breached that duty by operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner.
  • The collision with the bicycle would not have occurred but for the unsafe/negligent actions of the driver.
  • The collision that the driver caused resulted in compensable losses to the bicyclist (e.g., serious physical injuries, damage to the bike, etc.).

If the bike crash happened because the vehicle driver broke the law, then they might be presumed liable for the accident under the legal principle known as “negligence per se”. Some examples may include:

  • Exceeding the speed limit.
  • Texting while driving.
  • Drunk driving.
  • Illegal lane changes.
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way.

Although automobile drivers have a responsibility to look out for the safety of bicyclists who share the roads with them, bikers are not totally off the hook for their own actions. When a bike crash happens because of the negligence of a bicyclist, they could be the ones held liable.

Some instances in which a bicyclist could be responsible for a collision with a car include:

  • When a bicyclist rolls through a red light or stop sign and does not stop.
  • When a bicyclist ignores a designated biking lane.
  • When a bicyclist rides on the wrong side of the street.
  • When a bicyclist rides in the opposite direction of the traffic.
  • When a bicyclist makes a sharp turn without signaling.
  • When a bicyclist refuses to yield to oncoming traffic.
  • Legal violations such as chemical impairment and texting while riding.

Although the law tends to favor bicyclists over vehicle drivers when a bike and a car are involved in a collision, if the biker’s actions at the time of the crash were clearly negligent or illegal, then they are likely to be held responsible for the accident.

There are some instances in which an outside party could be responsible for a bicycle accident. Here are some examples:

  • Crashes that are caused by a defective vehicle or bicycle parts.
  • Accidents that occur when a vehicle driver or bicyclist is acting within the terms of his or her employment.
  • Bike accidents caused by teen drivers whose parents negligently entrusted the vehicle to their child.
  • Alcohol-related bike crashes in which the party that supplied the alcohol could be held partially liable for the accident.

Whatever the specific circumstances, there are two important things that you should do immediately after a bike crash:

  • Get medical attention and get prompt treatment for any injuries that you sustained.
  • Speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney.

You must not put off getting medical help, because, without a diagnosis, it may be difficult to know how serious your injuries may be. The sooner you get treated, the better your chances of making a full recovery.

You should not put off speaking with an attorney either. The insurance company for the responsible party wants to pay you as little as possible for your injuries, and those without legal representation typically receive significantly lower settlement offers for their injury claim.

Contact M. Adam Jones and Associates for Legal Help with Your Bicycle Crash

For skilled legal guidance after a bike accident, call M. Adam Jones & Associates or send us an online message. We will meet with you to thoroughly assess your case and advise you of your legal rights and options, so you can make the most informed decision on how you wish to proceed. Contact us today to get started.

  1. Adam Jones,

Managing Partner

  1. Adam Jones & Associates, LLC

206 N. Lena St.

Dothan, AL 36303

Tel: 334-699-5599

Fax: 334-699-5588

apps for accidents

Apps You Should Have on Your Phone in Case of an Accident

Although no one ever expects to be involved in a car accident, this fate happens to thousands of individuals in Alabama each year. Most often, auto accidents are caused by some type of human error usually on the part of one of the drivers. There are also a good number of crashes that are the fault of third parties, such as employers, auto part manufacturers, and those who are responsible for maintaining the roadways.

While some crashes result in minimal vehicle damage and only minor injuries, others can result in severe and even catastrophic injuries, including wrongful death. If you have been injured in an auto accident in Alabama, it is important to get an experienced attorney involved in your case as early as you can.

As soon as possible after your accident, call M. Adam Jones & Associates at 334-699-5599 for a free consultation and case assessment. We will meet with you to go over the details of your case and advise you of your legal rights and options, so you can make the most informed decision on how you wish to proceed.

Smartphone Apps that Can Help in Case of an Auto Accident

Driving while distracted is the primary cause of numerous car accidents today, and it can be strongly argued that smartphones have turned distracted driving into a national epidemic. But the smartphone technology itself is not the problem, it is the way people use it.

There are apps that can be added to your mobile phone that can help save lives, collect accident data, and organize this data into a comprehensive accident report. Having these apps at your fingertips can be invaluable if you should end up in a crash.

Here are 9 of the top smartphone apps for drivers to consider:

iWrecked

This is a fairly simple app that is easy to use and comes in handy when someone is disoriented after a crash. The iWrecked app allows you to preload vehicle information and emergency contacts that can be notified if you get into an accident. You can also take photos and notes within the app and use them to generate a vehicle accident report in the form of a PDF file.

Help I Crashed My Car

This app allows you to do everything that iWrecked does along with some added features. The app provides you with an ordered checklist of things to do if you get into a crash, which can really come in handy. And if you have your GPS turned on, the app will pull up a list of mechanics and vehicle rental agencies that are nearby.

SOSmart

This app is similar to the first two but with some different features as well. The SOSmart app will automatically detect a crash, notify emergency contacts, and request aid from first responders. In addition, it will pull up a list of nearby hospitals and the fastest routes to get to them based on current traffic.

Collision Call

This is another app that automatically detects a crash, notifies emergency contacts, and requests medical aid. The main difference with Collision Call is that it can be used not only by motorists, but also by motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians that are involved in a crash.

Auto Accident App

This app is good for compiling an accident report after a crash. Users upload their driver’s license, vehicle registration details, and insurance information and the app does the rest. You can compile photos, statements from eyewitnesses, and injury reports and the app will turn it into a comprehensive report.

Axikit

This app is similar to Auto Accident in that it allows you to produce a comprehensive report of the accident. Axikit walks you through the process of collecting data such as photos and eyewitness accounts. The app includes a voice recording feature for collecting eyewitness testimony, and it also includes smart tools that show a list of images to take photographs of after the crash, as well as what statements to make (and not make) while you are at the scene.

CamOnRoad

When it comes to proving what happened after an auto accident, nothing beats video evidence. This is why an app like CamOnRoad is something no motorist should be without. CamOnRoad turns your smartphone into a dashboard camera that records video while you drive. These video recordings could prove invaluable after an accident, especially if the other driver is trying to falsely claim that the crash is your fault.

American Red Cross First Aid App

This is a popular app that provides helpful guidance on how to administer first aid after someone suffers an injury. This app could be a lifesaver if someone at the scene of the crash needs first aid before help arrives. Be sure to also have a first aid kit in your car so you can make use of the information in this app when needed.

AAA and Honk

For those who have AAA, their mobile app will allow you to request a tow truck or other roadside assistance within seconds after a crash, and the app will notify loved ones of your location. The app will also provide other valuable information, such as the locations of nearby hotels, gas prices, and more.

For those who do not have AAA and want something a little better than the roadside assistance that insurance companies typically offer, Honk is a good alternative. There are thousands of tow trucks throughout the country that are registered with Honk, which provides users with 24/7 coverage just about anywhere they go.

Clearly you do not need every one of these apps as some of them are redundant or may not apply to you. Do your own research and choose the ones that will work best for you. Having smartphone apps that will notify loved ones, document the accident as it unfolds, help you find medical help, and compile a report of what happened will allow you to drive with peace of mind knowing that you have done everything possible to protect yourself in the event of a crash.

Obtain Experienced Legal Help After the Accident

After your crash and after you have received medical care, M. Adam Jones & Associates is here to help you with your legal claim. Get in touch with us at your earliest convenience to set up your free, no obligation consultation with one of our attorneys.

Adam Jones,

Managing Partner

Adam Jones & Associates, LLC

206 N. Lena St.

Dothan, AL 36303

Tel: 334-699-5599

Fax: 334-699-5588

 

roundabout accidents in Dothan

Common Causes of Roundabout Auto Accidents

Roundabout intersections have been commonplace in Europe and many other parts of the world for several decades, but the first one to be constructed in the United States was in Summerlin, Nevada in 1990. Since then, thousands of roundabouts have popped up all across North America, with many more being built every year.

The reason that government planners are installing so many roundabouts is that they believe these types of intersections can help reduce the number of auto accidents. In fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that roundabout intersections can reduce the number of serious accidents by as much as 80%. But unfortunately, these statistics may not be telling us the whole story.

Although certain dangers are reduced by using a roundabout intersection (e.g., lower speeds, eased congestion, increased visibility, reduced blind spots, etc.), roundabouts pose other hazards that can make it more likely for a negligent driver to cause a crash. Add to this the fact that motorists in many parts of North America are not very familiar with this type of intersection, and they may not fully understand how to safely navigate them.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a roundabout accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, it is important to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney to discuss your legal rights and options. If the accident occurred in Alabama, M. Adam Jones & Associates is here to help! Call us today at 334-699-5599 to speak with a member of our legal team.

Common Causes of Roundabout Crashes

Accidents inside roundabouts happen mainly because of either confusion about the rules or aggressive/reckless driving. The second reason is often related to frustration over the unfamiliarity with this type of intersection and/or the general feeling that they should not have to adapt their driving habits to navigate through a roundabout.

Here are some of the common reasons that roundabout crashes occur:

  • Failure to yield: One of the primary sources of confusion in roundabouts is over which car is supposed to go first. When a vehicle enters a roundabout, they are supposed to yield to vehicles coming from their left. When a car does not yield as it should, it could collide with an oncoming car.
  • Speeding: As we talked about earlier, roundabouts are designed so that traffic will slow down. But not all motorists respect the need to go through these intersections at a lower speed – especially if they are in a hurry.
  • Stopping abruptly: Motorists need to understand that roundabouts are circular roadways with no stop signs. This is supposed to create a smooth traffic flow, but that flow can be severely disrupted if a vehicle comes to a full stop. When this happens, rear-end crashes are more likely to occur.
  • Unsafe lane changes: In multi-lane roundabouts, drivers often become confused about which lane they are supposed to be in. Oftentimes, they realize at the last minute that they need to switch lanes in order to exit the circle. But making an abrupt lane change can easily result in a sideswipe collision. The right thing to do in this situation is to go around the circle again so there is enough time to safely change lanes before exiting.

Roundabout intersections also pose some unique hazards for pedestrians. In particular, the failure of drivers to yield to pedestrians could cause a crash that results in serious injuries.

Multi-lane roundabouts add another variable that pedestrians have to watch out for. When crossing two lanes of traffic, one vehicle might yield for them while the other vehicle does not. This could cause a pedestrian to become trapped in the middle of the road, which can be especially hazardous for children, the elderly, and disabled individuals who are trying to safely cross.

Contact Our Seasoned Alabama Auto Accident Attorneys

Roundabouts are supposed to make our roadways safer, but as more and more of them are constructed, many states are finding that there are other hazards associated with these types of intersections. If you or someone close to you got hurt in a roundabout crash that was someone else’s fault, contact M. Adam Jones & Associates for your free, no-obligation consultation and case assessment. We are ready to go to work for you!

dashcam footage in a car accident

How Dashcam Footage Can Impact a Car Accident Claim

Dashboard cameras (commonly known as “dashcams”) can have a significant impact on auto accident claims. Dashcams are mounted inside the car and provide ongoing footage of what is happening in front of the vehicle and sometimes the rear as well. Higher-end models can deliver better quality video, and some models can also record audio inside the vehicle.

There are a number of ways that dashcam footage can help a car accident claim:

  1. Prove Who Was at Fault

Dashcams can provide a great deal of clarity about how the auto accident occurred, what factors caused and contributed to it, and who was at fault. It is important to note, however, that dashboard cameras do not lie. If the other driver caused the crash, it might show more clearly how that happened. But if you were the one who caused the accident, it may show that as well.

  1. Show the Damage Done to your Vehicle

By being able to show footage of the accident, having a dashcam can assist in identifying the various ways in which your car was damaged by the crash. This can help ensure that you are fully reimbursed for all needed repairs.

  1. Prove that the Accident Actually Occurred

Having dashcam footage can be instrumental in proving that your car was involved in an accident in which the vehicle was damaged, and you potentially sustained injuries. This is important in hit-and-run cases in which the other driver fled the scene and there was no police report. Video footage from the dashboard camera may also be able to identify the other vehicle’s license plate number and help law enforcement can track them down.

  1. Protect Yourself from a False Liability Claim

Not only can dashboard camera footage help show who was at fault in an auto accident, but it can also protect a driver who is being falsely accused of causing the crash. Clear video footage can often exonerate the driver and show that they were not the one who caused the accident.

  1. Help Your Attorney to Secure the Best Outcome for Your Auto Accident Claim

Video footage that clearly shows how an accident occurred and what caused it is some of the best evidence for your attorney to use if you need to file a legal claim. This is especially important if you suffered moderate to severe injuries, in which case you may be entitled to a significant amount of compensation from the at-fault party.

Having dashcam footage strengthens your case and gives your attorney more negotiating leverage when dealing with the responsible driver’s insurance company. This increases the likelihood that the insurer will agree to a settlement that fully and fairly compensates you for your injuries. With this video evidence, the insurance company representative will know that they are likely to lose in court, which will motivate them to settle before the case ever gets that far.

Things to Keep in Mind about Dashboard Cameras

While dashcams can be very helpful in an auto accident case, there are some important things to remember when you use them. First of all, as we talked about earlier, dashcam footage favors no one, so always be sure to drive safely when you have the camera rolling.

Secondly, your dashcam may not always show clearly how an accident occurred. This depends largely on the location of the camera and the specific circumstances of the accident. For example, if you were sideswiped by another vehicle (or you sideswiped them), the camera might be able to provide a good idea about the impact of the collision, but it may not clearly show which car initiated the crash.

Finally, no matter how clear your dashcam footage is, it will not help you at all if you fail to capture it in time. Most low to moderately priced dashboard cameras save the footage for only a set amount of time before automatically deleting it to make room for new footage. It is up to you the driver (or someone else in your car) to capture the footage before it gets permanently deleted.

Work With an Experienced Alabama Auto Accident Lawyer

If you or someone close to you suffered an injury in a car crash, you need strong legal counsel in your corner fighting hard to recover maximum compensation on your behalf. Whether you have dashcam footage or not, a skilled and knowledgeable car accident attorney will be able to put you in the best possible position to secure a favorable outcome in your case.

If your auto accident occurred in Alabama, contact M. Adam Jones & Associates for assistance. Get in touch with us today to set up a free consultation and case assessment with a member of our legal team.

  1. Adam Jones,

Managing Partner

  1. Adam Jones & Associates, LLC

206 N. Lena St.

Dothan, AL 36303

Tel: 334-699-5599

Fax: 334-699-5588

 

 

can keyless cars cause accidents?

How Keyless Vehicles Can Contribute to Auto Accidents

Today’s vehicles come with numerous features that help automate the driving process and make our lives easier. Some of these features have made driving safer. Examples include blind-spot monitors and rearview cameras. There are other features, however, that though they may be more convenient, they come with some downsides as well. Vehicles with keyless starters are a good example of this.

Keyless cars were first introduced by Mercedes-Benz in the late 1990s, and at that time their product was called “Keyless Go”. These days, most vehicles are equipped with remote smart keys to lock and unlock the doors, and a lot of new vehicles come with keyless ignitions, also known as keyless “fobs”.

Most consumers like the convenience of having keyless ignition systems in their vehicles. This allows them to start the car with the push of a button and without having to dig around in their pocket or purse to find their keys. Keyless ignitions definitely save time and make driving more convenient, but they have also given rise to some potential hazards.

The Dangers of Keyless Ignition Cars

One of the most serious unintended consequences of having a keyless ignition vehicle is the increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. This occurs when people park their cars in the garage, close the garage door, and forget to shut off the vehicle. Because there is no key that needs to be removed from the ignition, it is easier to assume that the vehicle is already turned off when the person exits the vehicle.

Why does this happen? For one thing, newer vehicles tend to idle more quietly than older ones, so it is not always easy to tell if the car is turned on or off. In addition, most people in our society have a lot going on, and distractions are everywhere. When someone is focused heavily on other things, they might not remember to push the button and turn off their car.

The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from keyless vehicles seems to be higher among the elderly. For most of their adult lives, aging drivers have used keys to start and turn off their vehicles. So, when they switch to a keyless car, it can be harder to form a new habit of turning the car off with the push of a button.

Several years ago, the Society of Automotive Engineers proposed a solution to this problem; to install some type of alert system on the vehicle that would beep if the car was still running without the key fob in or near the car, and even shut off the engine if the car was running for a certain amount of time in that status. This would essentially involve a software change that many experts believe could be accomplished for pennies per vehicle.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed a federal regulation that would mandate a software change to create an alert system like this on keyless vehicles. But the automotive industry opposed the idea, and the proposed rule change was left to languish. Hopefully, the rule will be revived, and in the meantime, the hope is that manufacturers will voluntarily install these systems into their new vehicles.

Another potential hazard that keyless ignition vehicles are more susceptible to is rollaway accidents. A rollaway accident usually occurs when a vehicle is turned off, but it is not in park. With a traditional keyed ignition, the driver cannot remove the key from the ignition if it is in drive or reverse; but with keyless ignitions, a driver could push the button and turn off the car even if it is in one of these two settings.

Automakers are supposed to install warning systems in their keyless vehicles to prevent roll-aways from happening. But unfortunately, these systems do not always work properly. Manufacturers need to devote more effort to making sure their keyless ignition cars are safe for consumers, and they need to take reasonable steps to ensure that the chances of serious and fatal accidents are minimized.

Injured in an Auto Accident in Alabama? Contact M. Adam Jones & Associates for Assistance

If you or someone close to you got hurt in a keyless vehicle accident or suffered any other type of personal injury in Alabama, you need experienced legal guidance to help guide you through the complexities of a vehicle accident claim, and to put you in a position to recover maximum compensation.

Get started on your claim today by calling M. Adam Jones & Associates for a free, no-obligation consultation and case assessment. We are ready to go to work for you!

Adam Jones,

Managing Partner

Adam Jones & Associates, LLC

206 N. Lena St.

Dothan, AL 36303

Tel: 334-699-5599

Fax: 334-699-5588

mediation in personal injury

The Role of Mediation in Personal Injury Claims

There are several hundred thousand personal injury claims filed in the US each year, but less than 5% of these cases end up going to trial. The vast majority of claims are settled sometime in the pre-trial stage, and there are some instances when a settlement is reached almost literally “on the steps of the courthouse”.

There is a very good reason why most personal injury claims settle. Litigation is costly, time-consuming, and unpredictable, and it is generally in everyone’s best interests to avoid it.

A lot of claims are settled through negotiation between the parties, and this is where the strong negotiating skills of a reputable personal injury attorney can prove vital. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney can often help the plaintiff secure a settlement that fully compensates them for their injuries – without the need for a long, drawn-out trial. But that said, it is important that the plaintiff’s attorney is fully prepared to litigate the case if the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith.

If negotiations between the parties fail, mediation could be tried before taking the case to litigation. If successful, personal injury mediation could bring the two sides toward a reasonable settlement without having to go to court.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that is used to try to resolve various types of legal disputes, including personal injury claims. The process is facilitated by a third-party mediator who meets with the participants and attempts to bring them to a mutually agreeable resolution. The mediation process is informal, and the sessions usually take place in a neutral location, such as the mediator’s office, although virtual mediation has also been used in a growing number of cases since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Mediation may or may not be required depending on the specific circumstances of your case. If a lawsuit has been filed, then the parties might be ordered to go to mediation before a trial would begin. If a lawsuit has not yet been filed, then the process is entirely voluntary. In either case, the mediator has no authority to impose a settlement. For any settlement to become legally binding, all participants must agree to it.

What are the Advantages of Personal Injury Mediation?

As we have talked about earlier, the greatest potential benefit of mediation is the possibility that it could help break an impasse between the plaintiff and the defendant without having to go through a costly and protracted court trial. At times, the outside perspective of a neutral mediator can be helpful in identifying more creative resolutions that the two sides may not have previously considered.

Another potential benefit with mediation is that it can jumpstart an injury claim that has been lying dormant and the insurer has paid very little attention to. At any given time, insurers typically have very large caseloads, but when a personal injury claim goes to mediation, the insurance company representative (or their legal counsel) is forced to give the claim the attention that it deserves.

Some other advantages of personal injury mediation include:

  • Private and confidential process.
  • Easier to schedule because sessions do not have to be worked into the court calendar.
  • Parties retain control over the outcome rather than rolling the dice on a jury verdict.

What are the Disadvantages of Personal Injury Mediation?

Although the mediation process can be beneficial in personal injury cases, it is not without its drawbacks. Some of the disadvantages of mediation include:

  • A professional mediation service can be expensive, even if the process takes only a few hours.
  • It can be difficult to get insurers to agree to mediation because of the extra time and work it requires.
  • Since the participants are in control of the outcome, there is no guarantee that mediation will ultimately produce an agreeable settlement.

Work with a Seasoned Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer

Whether your personal injury claim ends up in mediation or not depends on the specific circumstances of your case; but whichever way your case goes, one thing you should make certain of is that you retain an experienced attorney as early as possible in the process. Insurance companies are known for employing a number of different tricks and tactics designed to diminish the value of your claim, and with so much at stake, you need strong legal counsel in your corner advocating forcefully for your rights and interests.

If your injury occurred in Alabama, M. Adam Jones & Associates is ready to go to work for you! Get in touch with our office today to schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our attorneys.

Adam Jones

206 N. Lena St.

Dothan, AL 36303

Tel: 334-699-5599

Fax: 334-699-5588

insurance adjuster won't return calls

What to Do When the Adjuster Won’t Return Your Calls After an Accident?

Having been involved in a car accident, one of the things you need to do is to file a claim with the insurance company of the negligent driver. Under the Alabama personal injury laws, the individual or entity responsible for the accident is held liable to pay for any injuries and damages resulting from it.

If you are the victim and you initiate a claim with the insurer for the at-fault party, an insurance adjuster is usually assigned to your case. The adjuster is the contact that you would rely on to move the claims process forward. But problems arise with this process when the insurance adjuster stops taking or returning your calls.

The Insurance Adjuster Not Returning Calls Is a Common Issue

Insurance company adjusters going silent is a common complaint. And injured accident victims already going through a stressful time do not need the additional hassle of dealing with an unresponsive adjuster.

All they are looking for is to be updated about their claim, and the assurance that their claim being handled in a professional and fair manner. However, the situation rarely pans out that way. Insurance company adjusters, besides being up to their necks with claims, are a part of a system that is inherently designed to cut the insurer’s losses by slowing down the entire process and reducing the number of claims that are paid out.

Reasons Why Your Adjuster Might Not Return Your Calls

Insurance Company Profit is the Prime Mover

Insurance companies are businesses that are out there to generate profits for their stakeholders. And while there might be nothing wrong with that in general, the problem here is that the interests of the insurer are not aligned with those of the injury claimant. This makes the adjuster an adversary who is definitely not looking out for what is best for the injured party.

While slowing down and/or rejecting claims creates more profit for the insurance company, it also incentivizes adjusters to deny or devalue your claim because the lesser the payout, the more the company gets to keep.

Your Desperation Helps Drive Down the Claim Value 

The most common way an adjuster does this is by stretching out the claims process. They deal with injured victims of accidents day in and day out. And they are fully aware of the desperate situation most claimants are in – with your medical bills piling up, car damages to be paid, and financial constraints due to loss of earnings – while you are trying to recover from your injuries.

The adjuster is fully aware that the longer they drag out your case, the more pressure will build on you. And the more desperate you become, the more likely you are to accept any settlement offer that finally comes your way. Even if it might be much lower than you deserve for your injuries, damages, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

The Insurance Company Is Not Liable Until Forced

Another reason that the adjuster is not calling you or returning your calls is simply because they do not have to. They usually get away with their delaying tactics because they are not legally bound by a fixed timeline, and they are not technically breaking any law by delaying or even rejecting your claim.

The onus is on you to either accept their settlement offer, however meager or unfair it might be, or take them to trial where a jury could force them to pay you the full and fair compensation you deserve for your injuries.

This is why it is vital that you consult with a reputable personal injury attorney who can skillfully negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf or take the insurance company to trial if the need arises.

What Should I Do When the Insurance Company Adjuster Does Not Call Back?

If you sustained injuries and damages in a car crash because of someone else’s fault, you will have many pressing issues that need to be handled promptly; such as medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repair, and arranging alternative transportation. While waiting for the adjuster to return your calls, you could utilize the following options:

If You Have Full Coverage Insurance for Your Vehicle

If you decide to cover the damage using your own insurance, the deductible that you are likely to have will be refunded by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Also, your insurance company might waive the deductible on your request, which is a fairly common practice. Since you are using your own insurance carrier to cover the property damages, you can expect a better service without having to wait for the other insurance company to call you back.

If You Do Not Have Full Coverage Insurance for Your Vehicle

In this scenario, you will have no choice but to work with the other insurance company to take care of your property damage and alternative transportation. The choices you are left with are either to call frequently in an effort to force the adjuster to give you priority or request intervention by a supervisor to help force your claim through.

Contact a Skilled and Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney in Dothan, AL

For the victim of an accident, the best outcome is that the at-fault party’s insurance company offers a fair settlement. But unfortunately, this does not usually happen unless the insurer knows that you are serious about taking them to trial if they refuse to negotiate in good faith. At M. Adam Jones & Associates, we routinely deal with insurance adjusters as part of our job, and we have a successful track record obtaining maximum compensation on behalf of our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation and case assessment with a member of our legal team.

Adam Jones,

Managing Partner

Adam Jones & Associates, LLC

206 N. Lena St.

Dothan, AL 36303

Tel: 334-699-5599

Fax: 334-699-5588

trial experience in your personal injury lawyer

Why Your Personal Injury Lawyer Should Have Trial Experience

When you are evaluating possible attorneys to hire for your personal injury claim, you might be wondering how important it is that the attorney has trial experience. There are a lot of lawyers and firms out there that never take their cases to trial or only have minimal experience in the courtroom. So, how might it impact your case if you retain a lawyer or firm that never litigates?

The first thing to point out is that very few personal injury cases ever see the inside of a courtroom. In fact, statistically, approximately 95% of such cases are settled during the pretrial phase. The main reason that most cases settle is because avoiding a trial is generally in everyone’s best interests.

Litigation is costly, time-consuming, and unpredictable. For a personal injury plaintiff, going to trial could mean a much higher damage award, or it could mean walking away with very little or nothing. The defendant (usually an insurance company) is also rolling the dice when a case goes to trial, and if they lose, it could end up costing them a lot more in damages and legal fees.

All of that said, you should still look for a lawyer who not only has trial experience, but also someone who has a successful track record in cases that they have litigated. Here are some of the reasons why your personal injury attorney should have trial experience:

Trial Preparation Creates a Stronger Case

If your lawyer has a good amount of trial experience, they will approach the case much differently than an attorney or firm that never goes to trial. The one with litigation experience will begin preparing for that possibility as soon as they take the case. This means conducting a full investigation to gather all of the important facts and evidence to show that the defendant is liable, and it might also mean calling on various experts whose testimony can lend additional credence to your claim.

A firm that does not litigate cases will not put in as much effort to build a strong claim. A good example of this is the firms that put up the billboards all over town. These firms are commonly known as “settlement mills” because their whole business model is based on bringing in a high number of cases and churning them out as quickly as possible. This is how they continue to pay for all that expensive advertising.

A Proven Trial Attorney Has Much More Negotiating Leverage

This is a very important point to emphasize – if your attorney has ample trial experience, this puts them in a much better position to negotiate a good settlement for their clients. Insurance companies know the attorneys and law firms in each area, and they know the ones that have been known to take a case to trial and the ones that always settle. Which one would you rather have in your corner?

Clearly, you would want the lawyer who is willing to go to trial, because this alone is often enough to bring the other side to the negotiating table. If, on the other hand, you decide to go with an attorney or firm that the insurance company knows will never go to trial, what incentive does the insurer have to make you a reasonable offer?

There is Still a Chance that you Might Have to Litigate

Although the chances of going to trial are pretty slim statistically, there are still some cases in which it makes sense to litigate. There are times when insurance companies utterly refuse to negotiate in good faith, and although it is more time-consuming, filing a lawsuit might be the best move in a case like this. If your case ever gets to this point, you will definitely want a lawyer who has trial experience.

Contact M. Adam Jones and Associates for Help with Your Alabama Personal Injury

Retaining a lawyer with trial experience is very important when you have an injury claim. And because almost all personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, you will not have to pay upfront attorney fees regardless of who you hire. This being the case, why not retain the best attorney you can find?

For personal injury claims in Alabama, M. Adam Jones and Associates is ready to go to work for you! We have the proven litigation experience you are looking for, and we have the knowledge, skills, resources, and commitment to help ensure that you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact us today to set up a free consultation and case evaluation.

 

M. Adam Jones & Associates, LLC

206 N. Lena St.

Dothan, AL 36303

Tel: 334-699-5599

Fax: 334-699-5588