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Head Injury

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.

Rear-End Accident

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. Alabama uses the “contributory negligence” legal doctrine, meaning that 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.

Statute of limitations on personal injury claim in Alabama

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. Under the state’s “contributory negligence” legal doctrine, 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 personal injury

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.