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 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!
- Adam Jones,
- Adam Jones & Associates, LLC
206 N. Lena St.
Dothan, AL 36303