Huntsville Car Accident Lawyer
Helping Residents Throughout Alabama
Do You Need Legal Help?
Huntsville Car Accident Lawyer
Do You Need Legal Help?
Huntsville Car Accident Lawyer
Helping Residents Throughout Alabama
Do You Need Legal Help?
How Can Huntsville Car Accident Attorney Help Me Get Results?Unfortunately, some people decide they will save money by taking on their claim without a lawyer. In truth, most people who go it alone end up with far less than those who hire attorneys because their claims fall prey to the tactics insurance companies use to save money—the most common of which is to drop a claim’s value if they can’t deny it entirely. Retaining a lawyer helps protect the value of your claim at every turn:
- Your attorney can conduct a thorough accident investigation to identify responsible parties. The lawyer will also investigate to find evidence of causation, which means proving:
- The negligence of the at-fault parties caused the accident
- The accident caused your injuries
- Your injuries led to your damages
- An experienced lawyer will know how to properly value your claim. Your Huntsville car accident attorney knows how to combine the information from the accident investigation with a detailed assessment of your damages to arrive at an accurate claim value. This ensures you don’t leave money on the table when negotiating a settlement.
- A personal injury trial lawyer can recognize and avoid the insurance company’s many manipulations. A skilled attorney will see the insurance company’s attempts to drop your claim’s value and avoid them. One of the ways they do this is by taking on all communications with the insurance company to prevent them from twisting your words against you when providing statements about the accident.
- Hiring a trial attorney puts the insurance company on notice. When your attorney steps in to handle your claim for you, the insurance company will know they can’t delay and deny your claim, hoping you’ll give up. They’ll also know refusing to offer a fair settlement will put them at risk of being sued.
- Your Huntsville car accident attorney can guide settlement offers, so you can be comfortable passing up offers that are too low to waste your time and attention on. This is difficult to do without an attorney because you won’t know what a solid offer looks like. It all starts with the proper valuation of your claim, and then honest input about the offers that are received. The right attorney is not going to decide for you—it is ultimately going to be up to you to accept or refuse a settlement offer. The right attorney can ease the process of evaluating a settlement at a time when you are injured and vulnerable. Take advantage of the guidance the right attorney can offer.
- A trial attorney can fight for your right to compensation in front of a jury, if necessary. This protects you from lowball settlement offers. Some attorneys will always settle, with no intention of going to trial over your claim. These firms thrive on volume, turning over as many cases as possible by accepting low settlement offers that don’t serve the client. Don’t hire an attorney from a settlement mill. An experienced trial attorney will fight to bring you maximum compensation, whether they achieve it at the negotiating table or make your case to a jury.
Protect Your Claim’s Value Even Before You Find a Car Accident Attorney IN HuntsvillePlease check out the most common mistakes listed below. Help protect the value of your claim by avoiding these from the very start.
See a DoctorYou may not feel the depth of your injuries right after the accident. The fight or flight response you’ll likely experience after a traumatic experience can take hours to wear off. In the meantime, the stress hormones surging through your body hinder pain reception and provide extra strength and energy. They may cause you to feel “fine” when you are anything but. Making sure you don’t have life-threatening internal injuries is crucial after a car accident. In addition, getting a record that you sought medical treatment right after the accident will provide valuable proof to support your claim. The sooner you get an exam after the crash, the better.
Don’t Ignore Your Treatment PlanWhen you’re released from the hospital or clinic, you’ll be given a treatment plan — a set of instructions for how you can support your recovery. Your plan may include medications, appointments with a physical therapist, icing your injury, doing stretches, or another type of treatment. Treatment plans vary. What matters is following whatever plan you are given. This includes getting the rest you need and refraining from restricted activities. Too often, people ignore their treatment plan when they get home. Life gets in the way, and they get busy dealing with the demands of everyday life while still injured — like taking their kids to school or soccer practice. They may forget about their treatment plan or let it go, assuming it doesn’t matter anyway. But in addition to helping you heal, your treatment plan is critical in protecting the value of your claim. Don’t forget, that insurance companies still employ investigators. Those investigators still take surveillance video. The period after you leave the hospital to recover as an outpatient is when you are most vulnerable to being caught on video. When this happens, it usually reveals the injured party doing something they shouldn’t, such as jogging with a knee injury. If the insurance company can show you doing more than you are supposed to, they can make the argument that you mustn’t be injured as badly as you claim. And if you hit a snag and are unable to recover completely, they can claim it’s not their fault, it’s yours, because you didn’t follow your treatment plan. It may be untrue and unfair, but if you allow them to go there, they will. So, instead of thinking of your treatment plan as a pointless hassle, think of it for what it is—an opportunity. It’s either going to protect your claim or help the insurance company destroy it. Take it very seriously.
Don’t Give in to Providing a Recorded Statement to the Insurance CompanySoon after the accident report is filed, you can expect the insurance company to call asking to record your statement about the accident. Do. Not. Do. This. This call may be presented as “just routine,” but it is anything but. The purpose of this call is to ask you the same questions in many ways until you think maybe you’re not giving them the information they need since they keep asking. You may expand on your answer or try to explain it differently. This is how they operate. What the insurance company is doing is looking for any variation in what you say that they can use to imply you are lying. They will also ask questions that elicit specific responses to help them devalue your claim. The best way to handle the insurance company’s request for your statement is to refuse until you’ve got the guidance of an attorney. Even better, delegate all communications about your claim to your attorney. Having your lawyer handle all conversations will ensure you aren’t taken advantage of by an insurance adjuster’s manipulations. Your Huntsville car accident attorney knows what to say and what not to say to the insurance company. You don’t have to take that call, nor should you.
Hire A Huntsville Car Accident Attorney as Soon as PossibleWhen it comes to filing a car accident claim, most people focus on the statute of limitations. They assume as long as they make that deadline, they don’t need to worry about the process because they look at it as paperwork. This is, unfortunately, a huge mistake. Your car accident claim bears a far closer resemblance to a chess match than an administrative chore. The insurance company is going to look for ways to devalue and deny your claim every step of the way. You should not go into this process without help. The sooner you retain an attorney, the sooner they can step in on your behalf to protect the value of your claim. In addition to handling all communications with the insurance company, your attorney will want to conduct an accident investigation. This will probably include viewing the scene of the accident in person, if possible, to look for any evidence that may have been overlooked. Your lawyer will also want to speak with witnesses directly. The sooner these things can happen, the more additional evidence and supporting information your attorney is likely to uncover, and the stronger your claim will be.
Make Sure You Hire a Huntsville Car Accident Lawyer Who is a Good Fit for Your ClaimFrom the information we’ve covered, you know about settlement mills and why it’s important to hire a trial lawyer. It’s also important to make sure the person you retain spends the majority of their time working in the practice area of personal injury, with a successful record in car accident claims. People choose doctors by area of focus. You wouldn’t go to a knee surgeon for eye surgery. Yet people are often far less discriminating when choosing an attorney. All personal injury attorneys are lawyers, but not all lawyers are personal injury attorneys. The attorney your mom hired to draft her trust is not the right lawyer for you if she doesn’t spend most of her time practicing in the area of personal injury. The best lawyer for your car accident claim is a personal injury trial attorney with a record of successfully resolving car accident cases through negotiation and at trial.
Verdicts & Settlements
$178,500 – Our client sustained facial trauma and knee injuries in an intersection collision in Marshall County, Alabama. With the insurance carriers refusing to pay her damages, she retained our car accident attorneys, and we aggressively represented her and obtained this significant six-figure recovery.
$50,000 – Jury verdict for client injured in a car crash in Moulton, Alabama. Our client sustained back injuries which took more than a year to heal. After a three-day trial, the jury awarded over 6 times the amount of our client’s medical bills.
Alabama Car Accident Client StoryWe are sharing the following client story in hopes of giving you further insight into what to expect in your car accident claim. We’ve changed names and details to protect our client’s privacy, but the value of the story remains. Please read to the end, then give us a call to discuss your claim in a free legal consultation. On a Friday evening in Huntsville, Alabama not so long ago, Andrea Blake left the music school where she taught part-time and made the 20-minute drive west on Drake to meet her grandfather for their monthly “breakfast for dinner” date. As she drove, Andrea thought about how grateful she was to have Gabe Stewart in her life. Her parents’ divorce had impacted her life like a tsunami when she was in middle school. Her dad had “coincidentally” remarried almost immediately and moved to the west coast to live near his new wife’s parents. Andrea rolled her eyes as she drove, marveling at his selfishness. At the time, she’d been devastated. Looking back, she assumed her older brother Michael had been just as hurt, but she’d been too young and consumed by her grief to think about what he might have been going through. Andrea’s response had been to withdraw from life as much as possible, throwing herself into music. She often stayed after school to practice piano for hours until the music teacher sent her home and locked her up for the day. They’d had to move out of their house and into a tiny apartment as Andrea’s mom, Tricia, worked two jobs to keep Andrea and Michael fed, clothed, and housed. Her mom wouldn’t badmouth her dad, but she suspected his child support payments were spotty, at best. And then Tricia’s dad had stepped in, moving them into his house with him in October of Andrea’s sophomore year. Though still a solitary, private kid, the tension inside Andrea began to slowly unfurl as Grandpa rebuilt a foundation of security beneath her, inch by inch. He encouraged her music and stunned her in the summer before senior year by handing her a stack of college brochures. “You get in, I’ll worry about the tuition,” he’d said. Speechless didn’t even begin to describe what she felt, along with love and deep gratitude. What surprised Andrea was that despite all the pain and resentment she felt for her dad, she still seemed to be seeking his approval, even in his absence. Always a solid student, Andrea became a permanent fixture on the dean’s list, graduating magna cum laude. Her college goals were no less ambitious. She’d set her sights on a degree in aerospace engineering. What better way to impress your dad than by becoming a rocket scientist? The problem was, that Andrea was miserable. She could do that math, but it wasn’t her passion. She’d consoled herself through her first year of college by again turning to music, and taking a part-time job teaching children to play piano. As for school, she put her head down, pushing herself to keep moving forward. It was easier said than done, however. Now, more than halfway through her sophomore year, Andrea had just gotten her midterm exam results for her vector calculus class. At the rate she was going, she’d have to retake the course — even if she passed it — to achieve a grade that would count toward her degree. As she drove toward Cracker Barrel that evening, Andrea allowed herself to consider the possibility that she’d chosen her path only to impress her dad. Traffic was moving quickly by the time she approached the light at the Memorial Parkway overpass. Seeing it turn yellow, she pulled to a stop in the outside left turn lane. Unfortunately, the guy in the Toyota pickup behind her kept going, smashing into the back of her Honda. Andrea woke up in the hospital. Her grandfather was asleep in the chair beside her, his warm, dry hand over hers. She woke him with a gentle squeeze of her fingers. He startled, and then relief washed over his face at seeing her awake. “Grandpa, I can’t feel my legs,” she said shakily. Her grandfather explained that she’d been in a rear-end collision and had a spinal injury. “It’s too soon to worry, honey, really,” he said gently. “The doctors said you have a chance of recovering completely when the swelling goes down. Right now, all you —” “A chance?” Andrea cried, her voice rising in panic. “What they mean is, I might be stuck like this. Right?” Tears streamed down her face as Andrea went in the exact opposite direction of not panicking. A nurse bustled in, talking about medication to help Andrea relax as she reached for the IV bag, but Grandpa held up a hand for her to wait. He spoke to his granddaughter in calm tones and together they went through the breath-calming practice he’d taught her in high school, and she settled down. Grandpa then stepped into the hall for a few minutes and called Tricia. Andrea’s mom and brother arrived half an hour later. They would begin rotating visits to ensure Andrea had company as often as possible for what was expected to be at least a three-week hospital stay. During the long, quiet, nighttime hours, Andrea did a lot of thinking. She knew she was lucky to be alive, whether she recovered fully from her spine injury or not. And she wasn’t going to waste her life on someone else’s dream. She decided to start making changes, beginning with telling her grandfather what she wanted for her life. As determined as she was, the thought of speaking to Gabe twisted her stomach uneasily. It would be a full week before she screwed up the courage to tell him she didn’t want to be a rocket scientist. He’d watched with empathy as his granddaughter struggled with her “revelation.” He wanted to stop her and let her off the hook — after all, she was the only person for whom this was a surprise. Gabe, Andrea’s mom, and her brother always knew her heart was in her music. Her declaration of pursuing a science degree had baffled them. When the words were finally out, Andrea took a jagged breath and waited for his reaction. The room was quiet as she watched his face for any hint of anger, any sign that she’d failed. His broad smile completely confused her. “Took you long enough,” Gabe said. And then he began to laugh. Before she knew it, Andrea was laughing, too. Tricia arrived and joined in, happy just to see her daughter laughing. “What’s so funny?” she asked as she sat down beside her father. When Andrea shared her “news,” Tricia agreed her daughter had been the only one unaware of her wishes. Tricia then became serious, telling them about car accident attorney Jacob Maples. “I think you should seriously consider a claim, Andie,” Tricia said. “The guy who hit you never even slowed down. “Luckily, there was a cop checking speeds from the IHOP parking lot. He saw the whole thing. The driver was still raging when the cop pulled up. He was arrested for assault instead of getting a misdemeanor aggressive driving charge.” Tricia paused, rolling her eyes as she took a breath. “Believe me, Andie, you have a claim.” “And you know all this because…?” Andrea asked. “It was on Facebook!” said Gabe, holding up his phone. “Your mom is right, Andie. Let’s call this lawyer.”
How much is my car accident claim worth?Attorney Jacob Maples sat down with Andrea, Gabe, and Tricia a few days later. “Before we get into all the reasons I should file a claim, I need to know if I can afford to,” said Andrea, warily. “How much do you charge?” “We don’t charge anything upfront,” said Attorney Maples. “Our firm works on a contingency-fee model, which means we front all case costs until your claim is resolved. At that point, we only collect compensation if we successfully resolve your claim.” Andrea looked at Maples skeptically. “You only get paid if you win,” she stated, the disbelief clear in her voice. “We only get paid if we win,” Attorney Maples repeated, nodding. “You must be pretty good!” chirped Gabe. “Our clients are happy and we’re happy,” said Attorney Maples.
What is my car accident claim worth?“Well then,” said Andrea, “what is a claim like mine worth?” “The value of your claim is going to depend on the information we get from two specific sources,” said Attorney Maples. “The first is the accident investigation, and the second is your damages. “We can jump into the investigation right away, going over all the police and medical reports and speaking to witnesses. I’ll also check out the scene of the accident. It never hurts to get eyes on the actual location and flow of traffic. “As to your damages, they will depend on how fully you can return to your pre-accident level of health. The highest level of recovery you can reach will be your ‘maximum medical improvement.’ This is what we need you to reach to know your damages,” Attorney Maples said. “And how do we know when I get there?” Andrea asked. “Great question,” said Maples. “We’ll stay in close communication with your doctors to monitor the progress of your recovery, and the doctors will let us know. It won’t be until they’re sure your injuries won’t require any further operations. They will also need to have a clear picture of how your life will be impacted by your injuries in the future, if at all.” “You mean whether I’ll walk again?” Andrea asked, meeting the attorney’s eyes. “Yes,” said Attorney Maples gently. “We need to know all the ways this accident has, and will, negatively impact your life. Whether you’ll be able to walk again is going to factor into that, for sure. “When you reach maximum medical improvement, we’ll know your damages. That’s when we’ll combine all the information we have and arrive at your claim’s value. Your job, Andrea, is to rest and heal. Hiring an attorney to handle your claim is the best way to ensure you get to do that, whether you choose us or another firm.”
Can I file a claim if the at-fault party is facing criminal charges?“This all sounds encouraging,” Andrea said, “but can we move forward with a case if the driver was arrested?” “You can,” said Attorney Maples. “And the fact that the driver is facing criminal charges for road rage will support your claim, connecting his actions to the accident to your injuries. The egregious nature of his actions makes him vulnerable to punitive damages on top of economic and non-economic damages.”
How long will my car accident claim take?Tricia asked, “How long does all of this take?” “The timeline of the claim is going to depend on more than one factor,” said Attorney Maples. “We’ve got to arrive at an accurate claim value before we can request compensation. That means reaching maximum medical improvement is the first factor determining Andrea’s timeline. “When you get there, Andrea, we’ll send a demand letter to the driver’s insurance company. From that point forward, the timeline of your claim will hinge on how cooperative the insurance company is. “If they are willing to work out a fair settlement in good faith, we’ll wrap up your claim without further delay. But if they fight us, we’ll file a lawsuit and drag them in front of a jury. If we end up at trial, you can expect your claim to take longer. “Please don’t worry too much about a trial, though,” Attorney Maples said. “It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to settle when the alternative is taking their chances with a jury. “There’s no way to be sure which way it will go, but either way, I’ll be ready. I have plenty of experience winning in the courtroom, in addition to successfully negotiating settlements. I’ll fight for your right to compensation wherever I need to. “That’s why I recommend you hire a personal injury trial lawyer with a record of winning car accident claims, whether you decide to retain our firm or another,” Attorney Maples said. Andrea, Tricia, and Gabe were satisfied with the answers they received during Andrea’s free legal consultation with Attorney Maples and retained his firm. The claim ended up in court, and a jury gave Andrea a sizable award that included punitive damages.
Call Our Huntsville Car Accident Attorney TodayWe hope this information has been helpful. No two car accident claims are the same, so we invite you to take us up on a free legal consultation to discuss your case. You don’t have to learn how to win a car accident claim against big insurance while recovering from serious injuries. Our Huntsville car accident attorney is here to fight for your rights and guide you through your claim. Call today and let us explain how we can bring you the best possible outcome for your claim.
My experience with Jacob Maples was great! I appreciate him and his paralegal Lisa! They are easy to talk to, explain detail for detail, and will keep you updated on everything.. Hands down great experience!