Huntsville Personal Injury Lawyer
Helping Residents Throughout Alabama
Do You Need Legal Help?
Huntsville Personal Injury Lawyer
Do You Need Legal Help?
Huntsville Personal Injury Lawyer
Helping Residents Throughout Alabama
Do You Need Legal Help?
Accidents happen. We’ve all probably heard the phrase at one time or another. When we become complacent and don’t pay attention as well as we should, we sometimes end up injured. But when your injury is caused by the carelessness of another person, you deserve to find out if you are owed compensation.
If you’re reading this, you are likely suffering from an injury caused by someone else’s negligence. You may be worried about your finances because you’ve been unable to work. You are probably stressed and searching for someone to give you answers about a personal injury claim.
Our firm is here to help with free legal advice. Call Huntsville personal injury lawyer Jacob Maples today.
Don’t let concern over having money to pay for answers stop you from reaching out. Just give us a call as soon as you’re able and schedule your free legal consultation.
Standing Up for the Injured
Jacob Maples is a civil litigation lawyer focused on personal injury and disputes with insurance carriers. He holds an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a distinction held by only approximately 10% of all attorneys.
After beginning his career in Birmingham, Jacob handled lawsuits in trial court across the state of Alabama. He is passionate about standing up for the rights of those who have been injured by the negligence of others and focuses on representing accident victims and insurance company abuses.
Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
It’s not uncommon for people to wonder if they can save money by handling their own claims. Statistics show, however, that the majority of those who take on their claims without a lawyer receive many times less in compensation than those with experienced legal representation.
There are several reasons for this. Most of them point to a lawyer’s ability to protect the value of your personal injury claim. Your Huntsville personal injury lawyer can:
- Determine whether you have a personal injury claim worth pursuing
- Accurately arrive at the value of your claim to ensure that your request for compensation is high enough to account for your damages now and in the future
- Communicate with the insurance company on your behalf
- Help you weigh settlement offers, providing you with guidance as to which offers to consider and which are not worth your time
- Take the burden of your claim off your shoulders, allowing you the luxury of time to rest and recover
Ways You Can Help Protect the Value of Your Claim
The sooner you can find and retain an experienced personal injury lawyer, the stronger your claim will be. Until you do hand your claim off to that attorney, there are steps you can take to protect your claim. Please check them out below.
Get to the Doctor
Seeing the doctor after your personal injury will protect your claim and your health. People sometimes fail to get checked out right away because they don’t feel all that injured. The problem is that the adrenaline surging through your system right after a traumatic event is going to make it tough to tell how severe your injuries are. When this stress hormone hits, you’re likely to experience temporarily elevated levels of energy and strength, while at the same time feeling less pain you otherwise would for the injuries you’ve sustained.
It’s best to always assume you need treatment and get examined. This way, you can get internal injuries you may be unaware of treated. If you wait until the adrenaline dissipates and you feel pain, the damage may be far worse.
Getting early treatment is especially important regarding head injuries. Traumatic brain injuries require early intervention to help prevent permanent challenges down the road.
Getting examined by medical professionals will also protect your personal injury claim by providing a dated medical record of your injuries. The closer the date of this record is to the accident, the stronger your proof that the accident caused your injuries.
Don’t give the insurance company any leeway to suggest you weren’t injured in the accident or that you couldn’t have been injured all that seriously. They can and likely will make either of these claims if you never get an exam or wait before seeking an exam.
Follow the Treatment Plan Your Doctor Gives You
When you get a medical exam, your doctors will give you a treatment plan to follow that will help you continue to heal as efficiently as possible. Your plan may involve any number of activities you should do—and some you should avoid until you’ve recovered.
For example, you may be instructed to take medication according to a schedule. You may be given a stretching routine or advised to complete a series of physical therapy appointments. On the flip side, you may be instructed to refrain from activities you formerly enjoyed that you are not yet ready to resume. Making sure you don’t overdo your activities is just as important as sticking to treatments and medications.
If you stray from or slack off on your treatment plan, you are jeopardizing your claim. Insurance companies employ investigators to find out whether claimants are adhering to their treatment plans. Catching them on video doing things they should not be doing is one of the tactics insurance companies use to deflect responsibility for compensating you. Don’t give them ammunition against you. Stick to your treatment plan.
Prioritize Hiring an Attorney
It’s understandable to want to put “Find a lawyer” at the bottom of your to-do list when recovering from a serious injury. Unfortunately, time is of the essence in recovering maximum compensation for your claim. Long before the statute of limitations runs out for filing, you need to be concerned with the availability of evidence.
Evidence may be overlooked or misplaced. Witnesses forget details over time, or relocate, becoming impossible to find. The sooner your attorney can visit the scene of the accident, gather evidence, and speak to witnesses, the better chance they’ll have to build you a strong personal injury claim.
Hire an Attorney Who’s the Best Fit for Your Claim
When you select an Huntsville personal injury lawyer, it’s vital to make sure you choose someone with the experience to bring you the best possible results. Just as there are numerous specializations available to doctors, lawyers have many practice areas within which they may focus. You wouldn’t go to an orthopedist for a breathing problem. Don’t hire your best friend’s patent attorney to handle your personal injury claim.
In addition, make sure you hire a trial attorney. While it’s true that most cases are resolved via settlement, some must go to trial to succeed. If your claim is one of these, you’re going to need someone who can win in front of a jury. The best person for your claim is going to be a personal injury trial lawyer.
Alabama Personal Injury Client Story
We are sharing the following personal injury client story to give you an overview of a personal injury claim. The names and details have been changed to protect the privacy of our client, but the information remains valuable. Please read it through to the end and then contact us to schedule your free legal consultation.
On a warm evening in May not so long ago, Melanie Greene was at work in Huntsville, Alabama, banging away on her keyboard when her coworker Angela came by and leaned into her cubicle.
“Geez, Mel, what’d that keyboard ever do to you?”
Melanie sat back with a sigh, smiling at herself for getting so caught up in her thoughts. Angela always had a way of lightening her mood.
“It’s Bryce, right? Is it Bryce?” Angela teased. “I thought you two were making progress.”
“We were— we are,” said Melanie. “I think.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Angela with an appraising glance, one eyebrow artfully hitched. How did she do that?
Melanie sighed. “It means I thought we were making progress. I mean. I really like him. And I thought he liked me when we ran into each other last Friday. He came right out and asked for my number and mentioned taking me out ‘sometime soon.’ I mean, I know it’s only been five days, but we’ve known each other—”
The eyebrow hitched again. Melanie sighed.
“Okay, we’ve known of each other since the Christmas party last year.”
“Yeah, but you were going out with Sam until only a month ago. Bryce probably didn’t realize you were available until…” Angela counted dramatically on her fingers. “Five days ago?”
“Give the man a break,” she added sagely. “He’s probably working up his nerve. Bryce is shy.”
“Maybe,” said Melanie skeptically. “But then last Saturday, everybody started doing shots and Bryce asked if I was going to. I told him I don’t drink. Maybe he thinks I’m a ‘fuddy-duddy.’”
“I don’t even know what that means,” said Angela. “Besides, he asked for your number after you told him that, right?” Angela asked in full eyebrow wiggle.
“That’s true.” Melanie sighed.
“‘Patience, Grasshopper,’” Angela said in mock solemnity, quoting an old T.V. show. “Rome wasn’t built in five days.”
“I think you’re mixing your metaphors!” Melanie called after her friend as Angela ambled off toward the copier.
Melanie sighed again. Why couldn’t Rome be built in five days? She grabbed her phone.
“Hey, Siri. How long did it really take to build Rome?”
When the AI’s chipper voice informed her that Rome was built in 1,229 days, she threw her phone into her bottomless purse and went in search of the stale donuts in the break room.
Returning fifteen minutes later, still wiping powder from her mouth, she sat down to the sound of her phone’s message alert.
Bryce! Could it be?
She pulled the amorphous bag into her lap and began swimming through it, searching for her device.
Why did I get such an enormous bag? Fingers finally closing around the familiar shape, she ripped her phone into the light, a smile breaking over her face as she read the text.
How’s your day going? Hope you’re still open to getting together. There’s this coffee place in town with a dragon theme…
Melanie suddenly felt as though 50 lbs had been lifted from her shoulders. Amazing how good news could do that. She typed back and they agreed to meet after work.
The rest of the afternoon passed at a snail’s pace as Melanie glanced at the time often enough that she didn’t need Angela teasing her; she was laughing at herself.
When at last it was time to drive down to the coffee shop, Angela headed southwest on Clinton Avenue and then south on Seminole Drive.
She had always prided herself on being a reliable, logical, and rational human being. No gushy drama or “woo-woo” theatrics. But she couldn’t deny the feeling this guy might really be important in her life.
In past experience when she’d told dates she did not drink, most of the reactions she received involved an awkward pause followed by, “So… are you okay if I drink?” — Which wasn’t awful in and of itself, but she had yet to meet a man who was interested in knowing why. She’d begun to wonder if her radar was hopelessly broken, and if she’d ever meet someone interested in actually knowing something about her as a person.
Now Bryce had planned a date around a coffee house. He really sounded excited about the dragon theme. Either he remembered her mentioning going to the Renaissance Faire in costume every year, or—could it be he too was a fan? She didn’t know, but she couldn’t wait to find out.
Traffic was heavy but moving quickly as Melanie approached Governors Drive. Catching the light, she smiled, anticipating seeing Bryce again. She sailed into the intersection just as a bright red BMW ran the light, slamming into the driver’s side of her car.
Melanie woke up in the hospital with her mother beside her. Her neck was in a brace and every breath felt like shards of glass raking her chest. She had three cracked ribs, a neck sprain, and her left arm and leg were broken. Her mother didn’t have to tell her she was lucky to be alive, but she did anyway.
The doctors told her she could probably go home to continue her recovery in a week, so long as she continued to show improvement. Given her inability to move around on crutches, she arranged to go home to her mom’s home in nearby Brownsboro for at least a few weeks when she was discharged.
Angela showed up on the third day, behind an enormous bouquet of daisies.
“My favorite.” Melanie smiled. “Thanks, Angie.”
Her friend gave her an appraising look. “You don’t look too bad,” she said, tipping her head to the right and squinting.
“Thanks, I think,” Melanie said, trying not to take any deep breaths. They talked for an hour. No, she had not spoken to Bryce, nor had she heard any word from him. She assumed he thought she’d stood him up but was in no position to worry about it for at least the next week.
Seeing the conflict in her eyes, Angela offered, “You want me to call and tell him—”
“No! I mean, thanks, Angie… I don’t know. I need to think about it. After all, it was just coffee. I don’t want to make a big deal about it, in case he didn’t think it was a big deal. Sounds a little dramatic to say, ‘Sorry I missed our coffee date, I got T-boned.’”
Angela cocked her head. “It is dramatic. I mean, when’s the next time you get to use that excuse?” She shrugged. “Never, if you’re lucky.”
Melanie tried not to laugh. She wasn’t entirely successful, and her ribs screamed in protest before she reined herself in. “Okay. Just give me a little time to think about it. It just sounds so pathetic to me.”
Eye roll. “Whatever, Mel. So, speaking of dragging your feet, have you called a lawyer yet?” Angela asked.
“Ugh, you’re killing me, Angie. Yeah, I got that done yesterday right after I jumped out of bed and ran up and down the halls.”
“Come on, Mel, I’m serious. This accident is going to keep you out of work for at least a month. You planning to move in with your mom permanently? Cause you’re not likely to keep up with your bills and rent on a two-bedroom apartment in two casts and a neck brace.”
Despite Melanie’s frustration, she knew her friend had a point. She agreed to let Angela look online and make some calls.
Attorney Jacob A. Maples met with Melanie and her mother Gloria the following Monday in the hospital. With luck, she’d be discharged by noon the next day.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney?
“I hope you don’t think I’m rude,” said Melanie as Attorney Maples sat down, “but before we get into my questions, I’ve got to know how much you charge.”
“Completely understandable,” said Attorney Maples. “Our firm works on a contingency-fee model, so we front all costs for your case from start to finish. In the end, you only pay us if we resolve your claim successfully.”
“Really?” asked Melanie.
“Really. There is no up-front cost to you. And, this consultation is truly free, so ask away,” said Attorney Maples.
How much is my claim worth?
“Okay.” Melanie proceeded to give Attorney Maples a rundown of what had occurred. She had the green light. The other driver had a few beers. When she wrapped up, she asked, “So, how much is a claim like this worth?”
“Well, the thing about your claim is, yes, it’s a personal injury claim. It falls into the category of ‘car accident claim,’ specifically, but beyond that, your claim is unique. It’s unique to the circumstances of your accident, your injuries, and how well you are going to be able to recover back to the level of health you enjoyed before the accident,” said Attorney Maples.
“All of this means that if I said I could quote you a case value right now without any information about your accident or your injuries, I’d be lying. And if I then gave you an actual dollar amount estimate, I’d be irresponsible.
“I will be able to tell you an estimate of the value of your claim, but not right now,” said Maples. “It’s going to be a process. We start with the accident investigation to nail down exactly what happened, who did what, and to identify all at-fault parties.
“The investigation is critical in connecting the parties to the accident, and the accident to your injuries. Establishing this causation is essential.”
“Hold up,” said Melanie’s mom, Gloria, disbelief glaring in her eyes. “‘All at-fault parties?’ Tell me you aren’t suggesting my daughter was in some way to blame here. She had the light, and she was sober.”
Attorney Maples smiled and nodded. “Yes, and I have no doubt the investigation will prove Melanie was in the right, which is only going to make her case stronger.
“What I mean is, because the driver who hit you was drinking, it is possible that the restaurant or bar—known in legal parlance as the ‘dram shop’ who served him may also be at-fault. If so, we will want to include them in your case as well.”
“Oh…that makes sense,” Gloria admitted sheepishly. “Sorry.”
“That’s okay,” said Attorney Maples with a smile. “It’s an understandable question.
“This is one of the things we always look into in the investigation, and not everyone knows about the dram shop law and that it may result in additional liable parties. And if they do know, they don’t know how to prove the connection, which admittedly can be tricky.
“Identifying all liable parties is one of the great benefits to retaining an experienced personal injury attorney. All of this gets sorted out in the accident investigation.
“Now, the investigation is something we can begin right away, but the second element your claim value depends on, Melanie, is you,” said Maples.
“We will need you to reach what is called ‘maximum medical improvement.’ This is the point at which you will have recovered back to your pre-accident level of health.”
“And if that’s not possible?” asked Melanie. “I mean, I can probably get back my mobility, thankfully, but I’ve got pins in my leg. So what about things like that? ‘Healing,’ yes, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to run again.” Melanie’s eyes welled up. “Does that factor in here anywhere? I mean, yes, I’m elated I’m alive. But you ask any runner who just qualified for Boston if this injury isn’t a big deal. Even if I can run again, I don’t know that I’ll ever qualify for Boston again. That took me four years. I know it’s too soon to tell, but the likelihood that my leg could handle a marathon now?” She didn’t bother to hide the tears that spilled down her cheeks.
“I get it,” said Attorney Maples. “This is a reason it’s critical to have the help of an attorney. I’m going to be working closely with your doctors as you heal to determine your damages.
“These aren’t just, ‘can you walk again?’ We’ll be looking at all the ways you’ve been impacted by this accident, mentally, physically, emotionally. We’ll be looking at the things you’ve lost,” he said gently as he moved a tissue box that was on the windowsill to the tray table over Melanie’s bed.
“Thank you,” she said quietly. She pulled two tissues and dried her eyes as he continued.
“My brother ran Boston. It’s a big deal— ‘the Holy Grail’ for many runners. Congratulations, by the way,” Attorney Maples said sincerely with a sad smile. “I know it doesn’t take the pain away, should you not be able to run Boston, but don’t forget that no one can take your achievement from you. No matter what happens down the road, you qualified.”
Melanie closed her eyes. “I did,” she whispered, with a tiny smile of acknowledgement as Gloria began to tear up, too.
“To truly understand your damages,” Attorney Maples continued, we need to wait until your doctors tell us you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. It’s going to mean you’re done with surgeries and the doctors have a solid idea of how your injuries will impact you in the future. When you get to this point, we’ll know your damages. And those combined with the facts from the investigation will tell us the value of your claim.
“Your job in the meantime is to rest and recover. Follow doctors’ orders, do your physical therapy,” said Attorney Maples. “And don’t go running until the doctor says you can.”
Melanie smiled. “You are a tough one. Okay, I promise. My mom is going to be there to hound me into slowing down.” Her mom smiled back at her and nodded, drying her own tears.
“Good,” said Attorney Maples with a smile.
How long will my claim take?
“So, how long will the claim take when all is said and done?” Gloria asked.
“Well, because we need Melanie to reach maximum medical improvement before we can know the value of her claim, it’s going to take at least until she gets there. When that happens, we’ll send a demand letter to the insurance companies. From that point on, it’s going to depend on how they respond to our letter.
“If they are open to negotiating full and fair compensation, we’re going to be able to wrap up your claim quickly at that point, Melanie. If they refuse to negotiate a fair settlement in good faith however, we’ll file a lawsuit and take them to trial.
“As you may imagine, a trial will extend the length of your claim. But if that’s what we need to do to get you the compensation you deserve, that’s where we’ll go,” said Maples. “Please try not to let the possibility of a trial worry you, though. I have extensive experience as a trial attorney and will be ready to fight for your right to compensation no matter where I have to do it.”
“Yes, my friend Angie gave me your information yesterday,” said Melanie. “I’m impressed.”
“Thank you. It’s my mission to stand up for the rights of my clients and get them the compensation they deserve,” Maples responded.
“And that’s why no matter whom you choose to retain, I suggest you go with a personal injury trial lawyer. Not only will this ensure you’re ready for any contingency but hiring a trial lawyer sometimes gets the insurance company to back away from forcing a trial. There are no guarantees, of course, but it happens,” said Attorney Maples.
Melanie and Gloria were satisfied with the information they received. They wrapped up the consultation and Melanie promised to call Attorney Maples with her decision when she went home with her mom the next day.
Melanie retained Attorney Maples the next day and he won her case, getting her six times more than the insurance company initially offered.
Call Our Huntsville Personal Injury Lawyer Today
We hope the information on this page has been helpful. Since no two claims are the same, we urge you to reach out to our Huntsville personal injury lawyer to schedule your free legal consultation as soon as possible. You deserve to be compensated for the injuries you’ve suffered because of someone else’s negligence. Let us stand up for your rights so you can focus on recovery.
My experience with Jacob Maples was great! I appreciate him and his paralegal Lisa! They are easy to talk too, explain detail for detail and will keep you updated on everything.. Hands down great experience!