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Financial Strain After an Alabama Personal Injury

How to Manage Financial Strain After an Alabama Personal Injury

Suffering a personal injury in Alabama can be a life-altering experience, not just physically and emotionally, but financially as well. The aftermath of an accident often brings a wave of unexpected expenses, from mounting medical bills to lost income due to time away from work. This financial strain can compound the stress and emotional burden of the injury itself, leaving many feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. 

It is important to know that you are not alone in this struggle. There are strategies and resources available to help you manage these financial challenges and navigate the road to recovery. And if your injury resulted from someone else’s negligence or reckless actions, and experienced personal injury lawyer can help you recover the compensation that you are entitled to under the law.

Prioritizing Your Financial Needs

In the wake of a personal injury, gaining a clear understanding of your financial situation is crucial. This starts with creating a detailed budget that accounts for all of your income sources and expenses.

  • List your monthly income, including any disability benefits or financial assistance.
  • Itemize your expenses, from essential needs to discretionary spending.
  • Identify areas where you can cut costs and allocate resources more effectively.

Cutting Costs 

When finances are tight, it is important to distinguish between necessary expenses and those that can be reduced or eliminated:

  • Look for non-essential spending to trim, such as subscriptions, dining out, or premium cable packages.
  • Consider cheaper alternatives or temporary sacrifices to free up funds for pressing needs.
  • Remember that these adjustments don’t have to be permanent.

Prioritizing Bills

When faced with a stack of bills, focus on prioritizing the most critical expenses first, such as:

  • Housing costs (rent/mortgage)
  • Utilities (electricity, water, gas)
  • Essential medical expenses

If you’re having trouble making ends meet, reach out to your landlord, mortgage lender, or utility providers to discuss hardship arrangements or payment plans.

Seeking Financial Assistance

If your injury has left you unable to work, you may be eligible for disability benefits with your Alabama employer:

  • Short-Term Disability (STD): Provides a portion of your income for a limited period (usually 3-6 months) while you recover.
  • Long-Term Disability (LTD): Kicks in for more severe or permanent disabilities that keep you out of work for an extended time.

To apply, provide medical documentation of your injury and work with your employer’s HR department or insurance provider.

Government Assistance

Beyond disability benefits, various government assistance programs may provide financial relief:

  • Alabama Medicaid: Helps cover medical expenses for those with limited income and resources.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Provides food assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families.
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Assists with utility payments for those who qualify.

Charities & Non-Profits

Many charities and non-profit organizations in Alabama are dedicated to helping individuals and families in crisis. These may include:

  • The American Red Cross, United Way, and Salvation Army offer various forms of assistance.
  • Injury-specific organizations, such as the Brain Injury Association of America or the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, provide resources and grants.

Understanding Your Legal Options

If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. Damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

To pursue a claim, you’ll need to prove that the other party was totally at fault and that their actions directly led to your injuries. Consult with an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer to evaluate your case and guide you through the legal process.

Settlement vs. Lawsuit

When pursuing a personal injury claim in Alabama, you generally have two options: reaching a settlement or taking the case to trial:

  • Settlements often mean receiving compensation more quickly and avoiding the uncertainty and expense of a trial but may be lower than what you could win in court.
  • Lawsuits can lead to higher payouts but involve more risk, time, and legal fees.

Your attorney can help you weigh these factors and decide on the best course of action.

Dealing with Medical Debt

If you are facing large medical bills that were not covered by insurance, don’t assume you have to pay the full amount right away. Here are some important steps to take:

  • Request an itemized bill and review it for any errors or overcharges.
  • Contact the billing department to discuss your financial situation and see what options they can offer.
  • Many hospitals and healthcare providers are willing to negotiate costs or set up payment plans.

Setting up a payment plan can make medical debt more manageable by breaking the total amount owed into smaller, more affordable monthly installments. Some things to keep in mind with regard to payment plans include:

  • Be realistic about what you can afford each month when negotiating a plan.
  • Commit to an amount you can pay consistently to avoid defaulting on the agreement.
  • Get the payment plan in writing and understand any interest or fees that may apply.

In rare cases, hospitals or healthcare providers may offer medical debt forgiveness for patients experiencing extreme financial hardship. Eligibility is typically based on factors like income, assets, and the size of the medical debt in relation to your overall financial situation. While not common, it’s worth inquiring about with your provider, especially if you have a low income and limited resources.

Protecting Yourself in Extreme Financial Hardship

If your medical debt or other bills are sent to collections, know your rights and how to protect yourself from harassment:

  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices to collect a debt.
  • Debt collectors cannot call at unreasonable hours, use threatening language, or disclose your debt to others.

If you feel your rights are being violated, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.

In extreme cases where the financial burden of a personal injury becomes overwhelming and unmanageable, bankruptcy may be a potential option to consider.

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge many types of unsecured debt, including medical bills.
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to restructure your debts into a more affordable repayment plan.

Bankruptcy is a serious decision with long-lasting consequences for your credit and financial future. It should only be considered as a last resort after exploring all other options.

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

Navigating the financial aftermath of a personal injury is a challenging and often overwhelming process. It is important to remember that recovery takes time, both physically and financially. By prioritizing your needs, seeking out available resources, and advocating for yourself, you can begin to regain control of your financial situation. 

If you believe you have a valid personal injury claim for damages, it is important to speak with a reputable attorney as soon as possible. Insurance companies spend a lot of money fighting these claims, and they are probably already hard at work on their defense. In a situation like this, it makes sense to have an experienced legal advocate working on your behalf as well.

For strong legal guidance with personal injury claims in Alabama, contact M. Adam Jones & Associates. We will meet with you to review your case and advise you of your legal rights and options. And if we end up working together, you will not have to pay any upfront attorney fees – you only pay attorney fees if we win your case.

  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 

Personal injury claims

The Impact of Personal Injuries on Family Members and Caregivers

When a personal injury occurs, the victim bears the brunt of the suffering. However, families and caregivers also deal with substantial emotional, financial, and practical challenges in the aftermath. At M. Adam Jones & Associates, we have seen these complex ripple effects on accident injury victims and their families time and again. Supporting loved ones through recovery while processing your own grief and life disruption can be overwhelmingly difficult, and we are here to help you with the legal aspects of your case. 

Emotional Toll of Personal Injuries on Families

Coping with a family member’s devastating injury takes immense emotional strength. Upon first learning of a serious accident or health crisis, shock and denial often occur, followed by anger, grief, fear, anxiety, and even guilt or blame. The severity of the injury impacts the intensity of these feelings. For example, a traumatic brain injury that drastically alters personality or mobility can be harder to accept than physical wounds that heal more predictably.

Additionally, the waiting game compounds the distress. The days following an incident are filled with uncertainty as doctors assess the damage. Emotional anguish peaks while hoping and praying that your loved one will survive and/or avoid permanent disability. Even once the initial danger passes, you may cycle through good days filled with hope and bad days riddled with sorrow and exhaustion. Healing is rarely a linear process.

Over the long term, anxiety over medical complications arising or another accident occurring is common. Witnessing a previously vibrant, independent person struggle with profound disability for months or years takes continual adjustment. Grief over altered futures that once seemed bright is normal. At times, strains on marital relationships or family dynamics occur, especially if relatives disagree on medical decisions or levels of caregiving involvement.

Financial Strain on the Household

Serious injuries frequently prevent victims from working for extended periods, resulting in lost wages that destabilize family finances. Even individuals blessed with substantial savings or disability coverage struggle when paychecks abruptly cease. A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that more than four in ten say they or a household member have used up all or most of their savings due to their healthcare debt.

Additionally, medical bills and costs associated with altered living needs pile up rapidly. Uninsured or underinsured patients face six-figure sums for initial emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, specialists, equipment, therapy services, and more. Long rehabilitation stints or lifelong disability care are astronomically expensive. 

Caregivers often must take partially or fully unpaid leave from jobs due to exhaustion or time spent driving and assisting at medical appointments. A large percentage of caregivers leave employment altogether eventually, causing loss of health insurance benefits in many cases. Stretching household budgets to cover injury-related costs plus daily living essentials takes relentless creativity and prioritization. Discussing money anxieties openly as a family and identifying resources like legal advocacy, public assistance funds, and advocacy groups can provide much-needed relief.

Physical and Practical Challenges for Caregivers

Hands-on injury caregiving elicits unforeseen physical difficulties and practical life disruptions. For a patient released from the hospital who requires in-home assistance, relatives usually fill the gaps between therapy sessions and medical needs. Understanding doctors’ treatment instructions thoroughly is difficult with complex injuries involving multiple specialties like neurology and orthopedics. Tracking prescribed exercises, medication dosages, wound care, equipment usage, and follow-ups takes meticulous organization.

Physically assisting with daily tasks also strains caregivers enormously if an injury causes impairment. Transfers between beds, wheelchairs, and vehicles require proper body mechanics to avoid back strains. Patients sometimes express frustration or mood changes from disability or chronic pain, heightening tensions that caregivers must defuse with compassion. 

Practical impacts on work and family routines are sizeable too. Juggling shift coverage to drive to appointments disrupts caregiver jobs, as does resolving health insurance issues. Childcare needs skyrocket if parents alternate hospital visits or must perform medical tasks at home. Forms and paperwork accumulate rapidly. Determining reasonable accommodations for home access, case managers, social integration, and altered transportation requires a lot of leg work and navigation. 

Legal Protections and Rights for Families and Caregivers

Various legal protections exist to support families and caregivers responding to catastrophic injury scenarios. By consulting Alabama personal injury attorneys specializing in serious accidents, you can learn about options such as liability claims against responsible parties. For complex medical malpractice incidents, attorneys can facilitate independent reviews of negligence contributing to harm through errors, delays, protocol breaches, insufficient informed consent, or poor follow-up.

Rights related to medical privacy allow caregivers and relatives authorized access to health records and direct communication with clinicians. Understanding prognoses, planned interventions, medication purposes, and reasonable expectations accurately is imperative. 

Without legal guidance, obtaining maximum compensation for damages often proves extremely difficult for grieving families overwhelmed with care duties. By consulting attorneys committed to reducing life disruption after devastating personal injuries, you gain empowered navigation of this challenging landscape. We help identify all viable options so you can focus your energy on healing.

Support Resources and Coping Mechanisms

Thankfully, various nonprofit groups and government agencies exist to provide counseling, respite care, home health assistance, specialized medical equipment, workplace protections, stress management, and more for families coping with catastrophic injury recovery. Seeking solutions through these support resources makes enduring the process less solitary. Some options may include:

  • Mental Health Grief Counseling
  • Church Groups
  • Meal Trains & Childcare Co-ops
  • Disability Benefits Advocacy
  • Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Support Groups
  • Wounded Warrior Project for Veterans
  • Caregiver Sitter & Respite Services
  • Employee Medical Leave Protection
  • Social Security & Healthcare Navigation
  • Special Needs Financial Planning
  • Elder Care Protection Laws

Building a team of supportive allies you can call upon during especially draining times can alleviate negative impacts on caregiver mental health when energy reserves run low. Be proactive about asking for specific help, whether someone to walk the dog so you can nap, a fellow parent to accompany your child to sports practices while you handle wound care, meal deliveries after tiring therapy days, or simply a text buddy who checks in emotionally.

Contact M. Adam Jones & Associates for Legal Guidance with Personal Injuries in Alabama

When a personal injury affects a loved one, ripple effects deeply impact relatives and caregivers navigating the complex path back to wellness. Seeking informed legal and community support provides empowerment for everyone involved. At M. Adam Jones & Associates, we aim to reduce life disruption for Alabama families who are responding to catastrophic accidents. Get in touch with us today to set up a free consultation and case assessment.

  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  

Ways to Strengthen Your Personal Injury Claim in Alabama

Suffering a personal injury can be a life-altering experience that can leave you with physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Depending on the circumstances that led to your injury, you may have the legal right to seek compensation from the responsible party.  There is no guarantee that you will receive fair compensation for your losses, however.

You must prove your damages to an insurer that wants to pay you as little as possible. And if the insurance company does not act in good faith, must be prepared to seek full damages through litigation.

To increase your chances of a successful outcome with your personal injury claim, you need to be proactive and take the necessary steps to build a strong case.

Gathering Evidence

Gathering evidence is crucial to building a strong personal injury claim in Alabama. The more facts and pieces of evidence you have to support your claim, the stronger your case will be. It is important to collect evidence as soon as possible after the accident or incident that caused your injuries.

There are several different types of evidence that can strengthen your claim:

  • Witness Statements: If there were witnesses to the injury, be sure to collect their contact information and ask them to provide a statement about what they saw. These statements can provide valuable information about how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
  • Police Reports: If law enforcement responded to the accident, they will likely create a report that details what happened. Request a copy of the police report as soon as it becomes available; and review the report to correct any inaccuracies within it.
  • Medical Records: Medical records are essential in building a strong personal injury claim. Your medical records can provide documentation of your injuries and the treatment you received. Be sure to keep all records of medical treatment, including doctor’s notes, test results, and bills.
  • Photos and Videos: Photographs and videos can also be valuable pieces of evidence in a personal injury claim. Take pictures of the accident scene, any damage to vehicles or property, and your injuries. If there are surveillance cameras in the area, request copies of any footage that may have captured the accident.
  • Personal Injury Journal: It is a good idea to keep a daily journal as you deal with and attempt to recover from your injuries. Journaling is not only therapeutic and a way to help you document your progress, but your daily entries can also be used to demonstrate some of your noneconomic losses, such as physical pain and suffering and emotional distress.

Seeking Medical Attention

Seeking medical treatment is not only important for your health and recovery but also for your personal injury claim in Alabama. If you have been injured, it is crucial to get prompt medical attention so you can receive appropriate treatment as soon as possible. Not seeking medical attention promptly can give the insurance company a reason to dispute your claim, arguing that your injuries are not severe enough to warrant compensation.

Once you have sought medical treatment, it is also important to keep all of your medical appointments and follow your doctor’s orders. Failing to do so can negatively impact your claim. For example, if you return to work too soon or go grocery shopping when you are supposed to stay at home, you may re-aggravate your injury, giving the insurance company a reason to dispute the claim.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Dealing with the insurance carrier that represents the responsible party can be challenging, especially when you are trying to handle the claim on your own. As we talked about earlier, insurance adjusters want to minimize payouts, and they may use various tactics to try to undermine your claim or get you to settle for less than you deserve.

If you are handling your claim on your own, it is important to be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters. Do not admit fault, do not provide a recorded statement, do not provide more information than necessary, and do not accept a settlement offer without first consulting with an attorney.

One of the benefits of working with an experienced personal injury attorney is that they can handle negotiations directly with the insurance company on your behalf. Your attorney can communicate with the insurer, negotiate a fair settlement, and help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

A seasoned attorney will have a thorough understanding of the legal system and the tactics that insurance adjusters typically use to undermine claims. They can also help you calculate the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Understanding Alabama’s Contributory Negligence Statutes

Alabama is one of just a handful of states that follows the doctrine of contributory negligence. Under this doctrine, an injured person can be denied compensation if they are found to be in any way at fault for the underlying accident or event that caused their injury. This means that if the insurance company or a court determines that you contributed to the accident in any way, you may be denied compensation.

The contributory negligence rule can make personal injury claims in Alabama far more challenging as insurance companies may try to use it to avoid paying out claims. This is another reason why it is best to retain strong legal counsel to represent you, especially if your injuries are moderate to severe and/or there are any complicating factors in your case.

It is also important to retain an attorney as soon as possible after your injury before any crucial mistakes are made that could impact your claim. Your attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and can advise you on the best course of action to maximize your chances of receiving full and fair compensation.

Contact Our Experienced Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one suffered an injury in Alabama that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Before too much time elapses, get in touch with M. Adam Jones & Associates to get started on your legal claim. We are ready to go to work for you!

  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

 

 

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

5 Most Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually results from a sudden or rapid blow, jolt, or bump to the head that disrupts the functionality of the brain. This condition can also be caused by an object that penetrates the skull, such as a bullet. Not everyone who is struck in the head suffers from TBI, but this condition is far more widespread than most people believe.

According to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 2.5 million individuals who are brought to the emergency room and more than 250,000 individuals who are hospitalized in the United States are diagnosed with TBI each year. Here are some additional statistics from the CDC:

  • TBI contributes to about 30% of all injury related deaths;
  • TBI contributes to the deaths of nearly 50,000 individuals each year, and approximately 153 individuals die each day from this condition;
  • Approximately 80,000 to 90,000 individuals experience the onset of a TBI-related disability each year.

TBI ranges in severity from milder forms (commonly known as concussions) that last just a few hours or a few days, to the more serious types that can last a lifetime. Each individual case is unique, which can make it difficult to properly diagnose and treat the condition.

There are numerous symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury, some of the most common include:

  • Severe and lasting headaches;
  • Dizziness;
  • Loss of consciousness;   
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Problems with memory;
  • Problems with focus and concentration;
  • Difficulty with speech;
  • Mood changes or mood swings;
  • Fatigue;
  • Depression and anxiety;
  • Agitation an irritation;
  • Impulsive and risky behavior;
  • Seizures;
  • Dementia.

Most Common Causes of TBI

There are countless incidents that may cause a traumatic brain injury, here are some of the most common:

Falling

Nearly half of all TBI-related injuries occur because of falling. People fall down all the time, and most of the time, they get back up and think nothing more of it. However, when someone falls head first and/or slams their head hard against the ground, there is a greater risk of suffering from this condition. Children ages 14 years and under and the elderly are more susceptible to TBI due to falling.

Being Struck by or Struck against an Object or Surface

Struck by/struck against events are the second leading cause of TBI in the United States. This could mean being struck in the head by a loose or falling object, or having your head slammed into a hard surface. TBI from this type of event is more common at certain workplaces in which individuals work with heavy equipment and machinery in a fast-paced environment. Examples include construction sites, manufacturing facilities, and warehouses.

Traffic-Related Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents and related events are the third leading cause of TBI in the United States. This may include car accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents, motorcycle accidents, boating accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. The force of a collision at impact can swiftly and severely jolt the head, resulting in head trauma. Symptoms of TBI among vehicle accident victims are not always noticeable right away. Sometimes, it can take a few days before they show up. This is why it is always best to seek medical attention immediately after a vehicle accident, even if you do not feel hurt.

Violent Events

Violence is the fourth leading cause of traumatic brain injury in the US. The various types of violence that may result in a TBI-related injury include gunshot wounds, domestic violence, and intentional self-harm. Domestic violence/assault disproportionately affects children ages 4 and under, who sometimes suffer TBI from being shaken back and forth (this is commonly known as “shaken baby syndrome”).

Other Causes

There are several other events that can cause TBI, these may include fires and explosions (this is especially common among soldiers in combat and in some workplaces), head injuries from high impact sports (e.g., football, hockey, boxing), and head injuries from extreme sports (e.g., skiing, cliff diving, or skydiving).

Suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury? Seek Experienced Legal Guidance

If you or someone close to you has TBI and it was caused by the negligence or reckless actions of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. If this is the case, it is important to protect your legal rights. Failure to take prompt action can make it more difficult to preserve important evidence to prove a legal claim. And if you are in Alabama, the standard of proof is very high, and there is only a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury cases. For this reason, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as it is convenient.

At M. Adam Jones and Associates, we understand that traumatic brain injuries can take a major physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families. Our goal is to make the legal process as smooth and seamless as possible. We have extensive experience successfully pursuing compensation for personal injury victims in Alabama, and we can sit down with you to review your case and go over your legal rights and options. For a free consultation with one of our skilled Alabama personal injury attorneys, call our office today at 334-581-9238 or send us a message through our online contact form.

Should I Seek Medical Attention after a Rear-End Collision?

Rear-end accidents are some of the most common that occur on the roadways. While some of these collisions occur at high speeds and result in severe and even catastrophic accidents, many of them are minor and are often referred to as “fender benders”. Being involved in a minor accident can seem like just an annoyance and a waste of time, and some people often wonder whether it is even worthwhile to seek medical attention.

We all lead busy lives, and when we are involved in a “fender bender” the temptation is to just exchange information with the other party and move on. After all, if I don’t feel hurt, or I just have a few minor aches and pains, why should I bother getting checked out?

Not seeking medical attention after a rear end collision could be a very big mistake, however, and here are some reasons why:

Some Auto Accident Injuries are not Discovered Right Away

There are times when those injured in a car accident do not notice that they are hurt when they are at the scene. This is largely due to the adrenaline rush that occurs when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident. Your heart is racing, and your mind starts moving in a million directions.  Your main focus is to resolve the situation, and this can sometimes mask the pain. This is particularly common with soft tissue injuries such as whiplash. You may not feel anything at the scene of the accident, but the next day, you might wake up with neck, shoulder, and back pain. These aches and pains are most likely related to the accident.

Some Unknown and/or Delayed Injuries can be Serious

There are some injuries that, although not noticed right away, can be far more serious than most people believe. For example, a rear-end collision can throw your body back and forth in a rapid motion, which can cause damage to the neck, back, shoulders, and even internal organs. Some of these injuries are not only serious, they can be life threatening if not treated right away.  If you have swelling, tightness, or pain in your abdomen or any other type of internal pain, you need to get help right away.

Seeking Medical Attention helps Establish a Legal Connection between the Accident and your Injuries

If you end up with a moderate to severe injury that results from a rear-end collision, you will need to get your injuries treated in order to get on the road to recovery. During this process, you are likely to incur h medical bills, missed time from work, and various types of pain and suffering. If the collision was caused by another party’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. However, if you cannot connect your injuries to the rear-end accident you were involved in, you will have a much more difficult time recovering damages.  By getting medical help right after the accident, you will be better able to establish the legal connection you need if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.

You have an Obligation to Mitigate the Damages from your Injuries

Related to the last point, you have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to avoid further losses from the accident, even if it was not your fault. This means doing everything possible to minimize the extent of any injuries that you may have suffered. If you are involved in a rear-end accident, you waited several days or longer to seek medical attention, and your injuries became worse because you waited, an insurer may argue that you did not fulfill your obligation to mitigate your losses.

Injured in a Rear-End Collision in Alabama? Contact a Seasoned Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone close to you has been involved in a rear-end accident and it was the fault of another party, get medical help right away, then get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer. In Alabama an injured party can be barred from recovering compensation even if they are found to be 1% responsible for the underlying accident. This is a high standard of proof, and it is important to get an attorney involved as soon as possible in order to preserve your legal right to compensation. 

At M. Adam Jones & Associates, we have extensive experience and a proven track record of successfully recovering damages for clients who have suffered all types of personal injuries in Alabama. We know what it takes to overcome the state’s defendant-friendly legal standard, and we work closely with our clients, exploring every potential legal avenue to recover the full and fair compensation they need and deserve. For a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys, call our office today at 334-581-9238, or send us a message through our online contact form.

Time limit for Filing an Injury Claim in Alabama: Statute of Limitations

When an individual is injured because of the negligent actions or omissions of another party, they deserve to be compensated. This typically involves negotiating a settlement with the responsible party’s insurance company or filing a personal injury lawsuit. In Alabama, there is a strict time limit for filing an injury claim. This is known as the “statute of limitations.” An injured party must initiate a legal claim within the designated statute of limitations in order to recover damages for their injury.

Damages in Alabama Personal Injury Cases

Compensatory damages that may be available in a personal injury lawsuit can be broken down into two general categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those which can be quantified, such as damage to personal property, hospitalization costs, cost for surgeries and other types of medical treatment, rehabilitation, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages are intangibles that are more difficult to assign a dollar value to. Examples may include physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life. In order to recover compensation for a personal injury in Alabama, you must prove that the other party was 100% responsible. In Alabama, if you are found to be even 1% at fault for the underlying incident that caused the injury, you may be barred from recovering damages.

Alabama Two-Year Rule for Personal Injury Lawsuits

Alabama Code Section 6-2-38 sets a two-year deadline for filing a civil lawsuit for “injury to the person” based on another party’s negligence. This includes incidents such as auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, and numerous other types of personal injuries. In general, the two-year clock starts running on the date when the event that resulted in the injury occurs. In cases in which a plaintiff could not reasonably have known about the injury within the two-year time frame, they generally have six months from the date of the discovery of the injury to initiate a legal action.

Exceptions to Alabama’s Two-Year Statute of Limitations

There are a few exceptions to the two-year filing deadline in Alabama. For example, if an injured party was a minor or mentally incapacitated at the time of the injury, they generally have two years from the date the injured party turns 19 or is declared sane. This exception does not always apply, however; and in any case, there is an overall filing deadline of 20 years from the date of the underlying incident. There are also exceptions for injured parties who want to initiate a legal action against a government entity. If the claim is being filed against a city or town in Alabama, you must file a written notice of claim within six months of the date of injury. If the claim is against a county, you must file a written notice within one year of the injury date. There are some cases in which you may not be initially aware that a municipality or county is one of the parties responsible. For example, if you are injured in a car accident and the driver was a government employee who was “on the clock” at the time of the accident, you may have a claim against both the individual and their employer. This is one of the reasons it is extremely important to have your case reviewed by a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you become aware of your injury.

What Happens if I Miss the Filing Deadline?

Missing the filing deadline for a personal injury claim can be a fatal blow to your case. If you are past the deadline and you try to bring a legal action, the responsible party will almost certainly bring this up and move to have your case dismissed. The motion for dismissal will most likely be granted unless your case falls into one of the exception categories. Allowing the filing deadline to pass can also be a problem if you are trying to negotiate an out-of-court settlement. This is often the case with accidents in which the injured party is dealing with the other party’s insurance carrier. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement during the two-year window, the injured party loses their negotiating leverage. Insurance companies know this, and one of their common tactics is to delay communications and even “go dark” for several months in hopes of running out the clock.

Speak with a Seasoned Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident, you need to be mindful of the time limits for bringing an injury claim. As soon as possible after the incident, contact a personal injury attorney to have your case thoroughly assessed and discuss your rights and legal options. At M. Adam Jones and Associates, we have extensive experience and a successful track record with even the most complex accident injury cases, and we work closely with our clients to provide the strong personalized representation they need and deserve. For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, contact us today at 334-699-5599, or send us a message through our online contact form.

Dealing with Insurance after a Personal Injury

When an individual is injured because of the negligence or reckless actions of another party, they should receive damages for their injuries. Unfortunately, it is almost never as simple as asking the responsible party to compensate you for your losses. In the vast majority of cases, the negligent party will deny fault or, at the very least, try to downplay or minimize what they’ve done or even argue that the injured party was partly to blame.

In most types of personal injury cases, there is an insurance company involved. This is especially common with incidents such as automobile accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, product liability, and premises liability cases. When there is an insurer involved, you generally no longer deal with the responsible party directly. Instead, you are now dealing with an insurance adjuster.

Most of the time, this adjuster will be for the other party’s insurer. One notable exception to this is when the other party does not have insurance or is underinsured, in which case you may be dealing with the adjuster for your own insurer, or possibly the adjusters for both companies.

Who is the Insurance Company Working For?

When dealing with an insurer after a personal injury, it is very important to understand that they are not looking out for your best interests. Insurance companies are for-profit entities, and what is most important to them is their bottom line. This means that, at the end of the day, the primary concern of the insurer is the company’s bottom line, not your financial well-being. With this in mind, you need to be very careful how you deal with insurance carriers after an auto accident or any other type of personal injury.

Here are some guidelines for how to handle your insurer and the insurer for the other party:

Dealing with Your Own Insurer

In many cases, such as with motor vehicle accidents, you will need to report the incident to your own insurance provider. Carriers want you to contact them within a reasonable period of time after the accident. This usually means within about 72 hours. When you call your insurer, be ready to present all the basic facts of the case and nothing more. If they ask about your injuries, do not give them any details. Instead, tell them you want to wait until you have an extensive medical report, so you have a more accurate assessment to provide.

The most important thing to keep in mind when talking to your insurer or anyone else about the accident is do NOT admit any fault whatsoever for the incident. In Alabama, it is very difficult to pursue a personal injury claim because our state uses a legal doctrine known as “contributory negligence”. Under this doctrine, negligent parties are barred from recovering compensation, even if they are only 1% at-fault for the accident.

Your words can be used against you, even by your own insurance company. Do not engage in any casual conversation about the accident; and, in particular, refrain from speculating about who did what. Hopefully, you have already collected multiple photos (and perhaps video footage) from the accident, there is a police report on file, and you have some eyewitnesses that saw what happened and have already provided statements to the police. There is no need to say anything further than what is already documented.

Dealing with the Insurance Company for the Other Party

Within a few days or so after a personal injury occurs, you will most likely be contacted by the adjuster for the other party’s insurer. Keep in mind again that this is the person representing the party that injured you, and their ultimate goal is to pay nothing or as little as possible in damages.

In many cases, one of the first things the adjuster will do is ask to record your conversation and/or for you to make a recorded statement. They may even try to imply that this is required and that the case cannot proceed without it. This is not true and, in fact, you are under no obligation to say anything to the other party’s insurance adjuster. When they call, let them know that you have nothing to say, and that your attorney will be in touch with them.

Contact a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer ASAP

When you are injured due to someone else’s negligence or reckless acts, you should not go through this alone. Even before the insurance adjuster for the other party calls, it is best to speak with a seasoned personal injury attorney. Once you retain an attorney, they can deal directly with insurance, putting their experience to work to ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected.

At M. Adam Jones and Associates, we have seen the ways insurance companies try to evade responsibility for their clients’ actions. We know their tricks, and we are not intimidated by the games they play. We work closely with our clients to put together a rock-solid case that will stand up at trial and, in most cases, compel the other side to negotiate a reasonable settlement.

For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 334-699-5599 or send us a secure and confidential message through our online contact form.