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. In 2018, the New York Times reported that there had been at least 28 deaths and numerous other injuries to individuals who had inadvertently left their keyless cars running in their garage.

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 rollaways 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

discovery process in personal injury law

Understanding the Discovery Process During a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal injury claims often result from auto accidents and similar types of accidents in which another party is responsible for the claimant’s losses. When this occurs, the first step is usually to try to obtain a settlement with the other party and/or their insurer. But if the other side is not willing to make a reasonable settlement offer, the claimant has the option of filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations in the state where the injury occurred expires.

Once a personal injury lawsuit is filed, the case moves to the jurisdiction of the courts, and this initiates a very important phase called “discovery.” Discovery is a process in which the parties to a lawsuit exchange information that is pertinent to the case. This might include important facts and pieces of evidence, eyewitness testimony, and the opinion/testimony of expert witnesses. Discovery may take several weeks or even months to complete, depending on how complicated the case is and other specific factors.

Forms of Discovery

Discovery begins with some initial disclosures that are required from each side; such as a list of eyewitnesses to the accident or event that caused the injury, a list of doctors and other medical professionals who have examined and/or given treatment to the claimant, a list of expert witnesses who will be used in the case, the amount of damages the plaintiff is seeking (along with documentation to show how this figure was calculated), and any other items, documents, or bits of information that either side intends to introduce.

Aside from the initial disclosures, there may be additional information that either side wants to obtain. There are several different ways that this information can be sought during discovery, some of the most common include:

Interrogatories

An interrogatory is a series of written questions that one party to a lawsuit sends to the other. The questions are answered in written form under oath, and they are supposed be answered honestly and to the best of the respondent’s recollection. Interrogatories are often used in a personal injury lawsuit, and they can be very helpful in clarifying important information and/or obtaining additional details about the case.

Request for Document Production

Parties to a lawsuit may request the production of documents that are pertinent to the case but were not turned over to the other side during the initial disclosure phase. Examples of documents that are commonly requested in a personal injury lawsuit include medical records, photos of the accident scene, repair receipts, and records of lost earnings. Document production requests are often made in conjunction with interrogatories.

Request for Admission

A request for admission is a request made by one party for the other party to admit, deny, or object to a statement of fact. These requests are useful in helping to establish certain facts before a court trial begins. This saves them the time and expense of having to introduce evidence and/or call witnesses during the trial to prove these facts.

Depositions

Depositions are oral sessions in which one of the parties to a lawsuit is required to answer a series of questions under oath. The answers provided are recorded and transcribed by a court reporter for later use. The answers that are given during a deposition are often used to develop a trial strategy and/or to help with negotiating a settlement before the case goes to trial. Deposition transcripts and recordings might also be used later on at trial to help corroborate or dispute certain testimony.

Suffered a Personal Injury in Alabama? Contact M. Adam Jones and Associates for Legal Help

Discovery is a very critical phase during a personal injury lawsuit. This is the time when each side builds their case, and the quality of information that is obtained can often make the difference between the success and failure of a case.

If you or someone close to you suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence, it is very important to have strong legal representation so you can obtain the best possible settlement or file a personal injury lawsuit when necessary. If your injury happened in Alabama, M. Adam Jones and Associates is ready to go to work for you! To get started, message us online or call our office today to schedule a free initial consultation and case assessment.

M. Adam Jones,

Managing Partner

M. Adam Jones & Associates, LLC

206 N. Lena St.

Dothan, AL 36303

Tel: 334-699-5599

Fax: 334-699-5588

insurance companies don't want you to know

Things Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know After a Car Accident

When someone gets injured in an auto accident, one of the first people who normally contacts them is an insurance company representative. They will usually be very friendly and reassuring. They might start by asking how you are doing, and they will insist that everything is going to be just fine and that you will be “taken care of.”

It is important to understand that no matter how courteous and accommodating an insurance adjuster may seem, their interests are not aligned with yours. The goal of the insurance company is to mitigate their losses, which means paying you as little as possible for your injuries.

During your interaction with the insurance company, there are several things that they will not tell you and don’t want you to know:

They are Not on Your Side

The insurance company wants a different outcome than you, and as such, you should view them through an adversarial lens. This is true even if you are dealing with your own insurer; for example, if the driver who caused the accident was uninsured or underinsured. Throughout the process, remember to view everything that the insurance company does with skepticism.

Their First Settlement Offer Will Probably be Too Low

Whenever an insurance company provides an initial settlement offer, it is usually for a significantly lower amount than your case is worth. Insurers know that accident injury victims are often in a bind financially from being out of work and incurring large medical bills, and they will try to take advantage of this situation by giving claimants a lowball offer.

Giving a Recorded Statement Could Hurt your Claim

When an insurance company representative calls you on the phone, they will usually want you to provide a recorded statement giving your version of events. They might imply that this is just a formality and part of their investigation, and that the statement is needed in order to process the claim.

If you are asked for a formal statement, you should not provide one with without first speaking with an attorney. These “investigations” are conducted primarily for the purpose of finding some reason to diminish or deny your claim, and your statement is likely to be used against you later on.

You Can Sue them if They Act in Bad Faith

Insurance companies are required to act in good faith when dealing with claimants, and they are not free from regulatory oversight and accountability. Many insurers push the boundaries of what they are legally allowed to do, and this is far more likely to happen if a claimant does not have legal representation. If you believe you are being treated unfairly by the insurance company, speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

Hiring an Attorney Will Often Result in a Better Settlement

If you suffered moderate to severe injuries from your accident, then you might be entitled to a significant amount of compensation. An insurance adjuster might tell you that your settlement will be the same whether you hire a lawyer or not, implying that doing so would be a waste of your money. But this is simply not the case.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “of course you’re going to say that, you’re a lawyer.” But don’t take our word for it, consider the results of a survey done by Nolo, the highly respected online legal encyclopedia. The survey found that three factors affect the outcome of a personal injury claim more than any other; hiring an attorney, negotiating a settlement rather than taking the initial offer, and taking steps toward involving the court. Furthermore, the survey showed that obtaining legal representation was the most important step.

91% of claimants who had a lawyer received a payout for their claim, while just 51% of those without a lawyer received a settlement. In addition, claimants who hired a lawyer received an average of $77,600 in compensation, while those who handled their own claims received an average of $17,600. Even after accounting for the lawyer’s contingency fee, those with legal representation ended up with net compensation amounts that were nearly three times higher than those who were unrepresented.

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

If you or someone close to you got hurt in a car accident in Alabama, M. Adam Jones and Associates is ready to go to work for you! Call our office today or message us online to get started.

M. Adam Jones,

Managing Partner

M. Adam Jones & Associates, LLC

206 N. Lena St.

Dothan, AL 36303

Tel: 334-699-5599

Fax: 334-699-5588

contributory negligence in Alabama

How Contributory Negligence Works in Alabama

When someone gets injured as a result of another party’s negligence, they are usually entitled to monetary damages to cover their losses. In states like Alabama, however, things can get more complicated for plaintiffs because the state applies the “contributory negligence” legal standard. Only a handful of states still use this doctrine, and it definitely gives defendants an advantage in personal injury cases.

Under contributory negligence, a plaintiff can be barred from recovering damages if they are found to have “contributed” in any way to the underlying accident or event that caused their injury, even 1%. This makes it an uphill battle for those who have been injured because another party was negligent.

In order to be eligible for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, a plaintiff needs to be able to prove the following four elements:

  • Duty: The defendant owed a duty of care during the situation in question. For example, all motorists have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe manner and to abide by all traffic laws.
  • Breach of Duty: The defendant breached their duty of care. For example, the motorist was looking down at his/her phone and sending a text at the time that the accident occurred, thus putting themselves and everyone else on the road at risk.
  • Damages: The defendant’s negligent actions resulted in some type of economic damage or other losses to the plaintiff. For example, the plaintiff suffered an injury as a result of the vehicle crash.
  • Causation: The plaintiff must show a causal link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the losses the plaintiff suffered. For example, if the plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), they would need to show that the injury was caused by the vehicle accident and not by something else.

In most states, if a plaintiff can prove these four elements, they are likely to recover damages. Most states apply some type of comparative negligence to personal injury claims, allowing plaintiffs to recover at least some level of compensation even if they share some of the fault. In Alabama, unfortunately, this is not the case. Even if the defendant was negligent, you can be sure that they will look for a way to pin at least some of the blame on the plaintiff so they can evade responsibility for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Consider the example of a driver who runs a red light and crashes into a vehicle that is crossing through the intersection while the light is green. In this situation, it might seem very clear that the driver who ran the red light is at fault and is responsible for damages. But phone records might show that the other driver was talking on their phone at the time of the crash.

This might compel the jury to assign a small amount of blame to the driver who was crossing with a green light, say 5%. And this could cause them to lose out on the compensation they should be entitled to.

If you are wondering if there are any exceptions to the harsh Alabama contributory negligence laws, there are a few:

  • Children under the age of 14 are generally presumed to be incapable of being contributorily negligent.
  • Children under the age of seven are deemed conclusively to be incapable of acting negligently because of their innocence and limited life experience.
  • Individuals who are incompetent or mentally challenged are considered incapable of being negligent.

The Importance of Strong Legal Counsel in Alabama Personal Injury Cases

With such a high bar to clear, it is strongly recommended for personal injury victims in Alabama to get a skilled and knowledgeable attorney involved in their case as soon as possible. The other side will be at work immediately putting together their defense, and the sooner you get an attorney working for you, the better your chances of a successful outcome.

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury in Alabama, M. Adam Jones and Associates is here to help. We will meet with you to thoroughly assess your case and advise you of your legal rights and options. And if we do end up taking your case, we will not charge you any attorney fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Message us online or call our office today to get started. We look forward to serving you!

internal injury attorney

Internal Injuries That Can Occur in Accidents

Thousands of people are injured in accidents every day. Some injuries are apparent right after the crash, but in many cases, the symptoms of an injury do not show up until later on. This is frequently the case with internal injuries.

Internal injuries are often not able to be detected by an external medical exam, but this does not mean they are not dangerous. In fact, some internal injuries can be severe and even life-threatening. This is why it is very important for individuals who are involved in accidents to get medical attention right away, even if they seem to be feeling okay.

Types of Internal Injuries that are Caused by Crashes

Crash injury victims typically suffer internal injuries because of the sudden and traumatic jolt to the body that happens after a crash. These injuries are more common in high-impact collisions, but they can definitely happen in low impact crashes as well. There are a number of different types of internal injuries that someone can suffer after an accident:

  • Broken Ribs: A vehicle collision can result in fractures to the ribs. A broken rib that goes untreated for a while can be especially dangerous, because it can lead to other problems inside the body, such as ruptured blood vessels or a pierced or collapsed lung.
  • Collapsed Lung (Pneumothorax): As we mentioned in the previous point, a frequent complication from broken ribs is a collapsed lung/ This occurs when the lung is pierced and deflated by the fractured rib, causing air to escape and fill the chest cavity. This condition is especially difficult to detect because it often does not cause any pain or difficulty breathing.
  • Organ Damage: The impact of a crash can cause damage to various internal organs, such as the kidneys and liver. This can result in internal bleeding that may cause the organ to shut down completely.
  • Internal Bleeding: Accidents can cause ruptured blood vessels within the body, which prevents the blood from clotting and being able to repair itself. This results in internal bleeding. Some signs and symptoms of internal bleeding include lightheadedness, fatigue, thirst, pale complexion, feeling cold, and abdominal pain.
  • Ruptured Spleen: A ruptured spleen is commonly associated with severe internal bleeding. In most cases, this condition will require surgery to remove the damaged spleen.
  • Abdominal Aorta Aneurysm: This is a severe and typically fatal internal injury that is commonly seen in accidents and is caused by a compressed stomach.

Symptoms of Internal Injuries after an Accident

Diagnosing an internal injury will usually require an x-ray, MRI, CT scan, or angiography in order to examine the patient’s tissues, bones, and blood vessels. There are also some symptoms to be on the lookout for after being involved in an accident that may indicate that someone has this type of injury:

  • Pain: Pay attention to signs of internal pain, particularly in the chest or abdomen. Tenderness in the chest could be a sign of fractured ribs, and as we talked about earlier, abdominal pain could be a sign of internal bleeding. Even if this pain is minor at first, it can still be a sign of a serious injury, in which case the pain will likely worsen as time goes on.
  • Bruising: Bruises of course can happen because of external injuries, but they can also be an indication of internal bleeding. In particular, watch for dark purple bruises as these may be signs of bleeding into your soft tissues and skin.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea, dizziness, and vomiting after an injury are possible signs of blood loss due to internal bleeding. If there is blood in the vomit, that is a sign that something is seriously wrong.
  • Signs of Shock: Injury victims that lose a lot of blood in a short period of time often go into a state of shock. Some signs and symptoms of shock include accelerated heart rate, lightheadedness, weakness, and fatigue.

Injured in an Accident in Alabama? Contact M. Adam Jones and Associates Today

If you have been injured because of someone else’s fault, get medical attention right away, then get in touch with an experienced vehicle accident lawyer. Contact M. Adam Jones & Associates for a free consultation and case assessment. We will meet with you to review your case and inform you of your legal rights and options. Call us or message us online today.

Adam Jones,

Managing Partner

Adam Jones & Associates, LLC

206 N. Lena St.

Dothan, AL 36303

Tel: 334-699-5599

Fax: 334-699-5588