Reckless and negligent behaviors, whether at a place of business or behind a motor vehicle's wheel, can have severe consequences. When injuries occur due to an accident, victims may have a long and arduous road ahead in terms of physical, mental, and financial recovery, especially when they're unable to resume work and are faced with staggering medical expenses.
Were you hurt in an accident in Birmingham, AL? Did another person's careless, intentional, reckless, or negligent actions or inaction cause you to suffer life-altering injuries? If so, you may be wondering where to turn for reliable legal help.
The Birmingham personal injury lawyers at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers have provided winning legal representation to injury victims and their loved ones in Birmingham and throughout Alabama. We understand how severe the consequences of a single negligent action can be. We also know how essential skilled and professional legal representation is when dealing with personal injury claims. We're proud to offer this support to injury victims throughout Alabama, which allows our personal injury attorneys to pursue full financial compensation.
Call us at 205-666-6000 or get in touch with us online to book your free consultation.
What Should I Do After an Injury?
If you've suffered a personal injury, regardless of the setting, your daily life can change dramatically – and very quickly. You may find yourself confused and worrying over many issues, such as:
- How severe are your injuries? Will you suffer disfigurement or permanent damage?
- How will you cover the resulting medical expenses?
- Where should you report the incident, and what should you do?
Personal injury claims and workers' compensation provide several types of financial compensation to injured victims, provided they adhere to Alabama rules and regulations. However, seeking compensation after an injury in Alabama is tricky business, so having an accident checklist for future reference can help ensure your safety, both physically and legally.
Take the following steps to protect your legal rights after suffering an injury in Alabama:
Get Medical Treatment
For accidents resulting in severe injuries that require immediate or emergency medical attention, your priority is to get medical treatment. You can go or have someone take you to the nearest emergency medical facility. After the emergency medical care is over, you must choose a follow-up doctor and keep a detailed record of your injuries and treatment. If your injury happened at work, seek medical attention in a medical facility that satisfies your employer's workers' comp classifications.
Take Photos/Video If You Can
Use your camera or phone to document the scene and your injuries to protect yourself. Take pictures of all visible injuries and damaged property, including your clothes and your car.
Report The Incident
If you've been hurt in a car crash, even if you didn't suffer severe injuries, call the police. If you've suffered an injury at work or on another's premises, report the incident to your employer and building manager/owner. You should be aware that Alabama requires notification to relevant bodies within a specified period if an accident resulted in injuries.
Exchange Info With All Parties Involved
Before the police respond to the accident scene, obtain the names, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance info of all parties involved in the accident, including other passengers and eyewitnesses.
Never Discuss/Admit Fault
Let insurance companies and law enforcement officers figure out who was at fault based on facts and the evidence. When exchanging info or reporting the incident, be truthful and respectful but do not discuss or admit fault.
Call A Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyer!
Working through a personal injury claim can get stressful and confusing. Unfortunately, insurance companies are privy to tricking victims into giving recorded statements to use against them in their claims. Avoid risking losing your right to pursue compensation by working closely with a Birmingham personal injury lawyer so they can assist you with your claim.
Why Do I Need A Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyer?
From car accident lawsuits to medical malpractice, personal injury claims involve complex matters of state and federal law and technicalities that can be difficult to navigate. Moreover, filing an injury claim in Alabama means negotiating with insurance adjusters. Our Birmingham personal injury lawyers can take care of your claim's legal aspects and help you focus solely on recovery. Some of the many benefits of working with our experienced lawyers are listed below:
Case Preparation / Filing a Lawsuit
Preserving and gathering crucial evidence can make a world of difference in your personal injury claim. Our lawyers can work with forensic experts and expert private investigators to help you investigate your accident in a way that might be impossible for a novice. Also, when you work with us, you have a legal team of Birmingham personal injury attorneys familiar with the process and know what it takes to get results.
Insurance companies are probably not offering a settlement that is in your best interest. Besides, they may also try other tactics that hurt your claim. In some instances, insurance companies may try to contact you all the time to get you to say things that undermine your personal injury claim. When you work with our Birmingham personal injury lawyers, we take care of negotiations with insurance companies. We handle all correspondence with insurers and make sure to look after your interests throughout the process. That way, you recover the full value of your personal injury claim.
Trial Preparation & Representation
Insurance firms don't offer generous settlements because they want to help you recover. Their willingness to settle quickly is often associated with how concerned they are about litigation costs and your claim's severity. When you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, you send a clear message “I'm not messing around.” With our lawyers, your message becomes more than an “empty threat.” At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, our Birmingham personal injury lawyers prepare each claim as though it may go to trial. Our law firm is comprised of experienced trial attorneys, and insurance companies in Alabama know this.
Injured In Birmingham, AL? What Damages Can You Recover?
Obtaining financial compensation is the primary purpose of filing a personal injury claim. Alabama law gives injured persons the right to recover monetary compensation from the negligent person/party whose inaction or action caused you harm.
However, keep in mind that a personal injury lawsuit has many elements. If you can prove that negligence caused you harm and the resulting damages, you can recover compensation. Damages in personal injury claims in Alabama are often divided into three categories:
These consist of damages that compensate the victim for financial losses suffered due to the injury and are easier to prove, such as:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses, including future anticipated medical costs, expenses for rehabilitation, medical devices, and health-related care
- Burial expenses and loss of financial support in case of wrongful death
- Lost wages
- Cost of disability accommodations
- Lost earning capacity
This type compensates the sufferer for non-monetary losses. These damages can be challenging to value – since they don't have a monetary value – but an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you quantify your non-economic losses. They include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
Certain personal injury cases in Alabama allow for punitive damages. These are additional compensation awarded in cases where the party found liable acted in an incredibly negligent manner or with utter indifference to the plaintiff's rights.
How Is Liability Determined In Birmingham, AL?
Personal injury lawsuits such as motorcycle accidents, car accidents, and slip and fall injuries in Alabama are based on negligence. At the bottom, in cases based on negligence, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant failed to use or exercise reasonable care.
Although it may seem evident to you who was at fault, establishing liability is never quite as simple as it may seem.
A plaintiff who has suffered an injury and then sues under negligence must prove all the traditional elements of negligence in Alabama. These include:
- Duty Of Care Existed: There existed a duty of care from the defendant to you (the plaintiff).
- Breach Of Duty of Care: Breach or failure of that duty based upon a standard of reasonable care.
- Damages: The failure or breach of duty caused injury to you (the plaintiff).
- Causation: The breach or failure of duty of care was the proximate cause and cause-in-fact of your injuries.
Due to the myriad ways personal injuries can occur, the plaintiff bears the burden to prove the four elements of negligence.
Alabama's Pure Contributory Negligence Rule
But what if the defendant's failure or breach of duty wasn't the only cause? What if you or your loved one was also negligent, and your negligence was part of the reason you suffered the injury?
For example, suppose a drunk truck driver hits a motorcyclist. But the motorcyclist was speeding. If the motorcyclist was not speeding, the accident and injury might have been avoided. The drunk truck driver was negligent but, so was the injured motorcyclist. This situation isn't unusual; more than one decision, error, action, or oversight can contribute to an accident. Many people assume that they can recover compensation even if they were negligent or at fault themselves. This assumption sometimes leads injured victims to admit fault or their errors.
Unfortunately, for Alabama injury victims, Alabama courts apply the “Pure Contributory Negligence” rule. Under this rule, an injured person who is found to be even 1% responsible for his/her own injury cannot recover damages. In other words, as long as the victim has any degree or percentage of fault in the accident, they cannot recover damages.
Don't put your Birmingham personal injury compensation at risk by overlooking Alabama's liability laws. Contact the Birmingham personal injury attorneys at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers and protect your right to recover compensation.
How Much Time Do I Have To File A Personal Injury Claim In Birmingham, AL?
It's essential to be aware of time limits that may apply to your Birmingham personal injury case. After all, to recover compensation for damages, you must file your claim within the time frame allotted by Alabama's statutes of limitations for personal injury cases.
Generally, the deadline for filing a personal injury claim in Alabama is two years from the time you suffered the injury. While the time range can lengthen with a few exceptions, these deadlines are strict. Therefore, if you file your personal injury claim outside or after the designated statute of limitation, then your case will be thrown out for failure to adhere to the set time limits.
How Much Will A Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Victims injured in Birmingham or anywhere in Alabama can afford expert legal services. This is because Birmingham personal injury lawyers, including those at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, work on a contingency basis. This means they will only take a percentage of the eventual settlement, plus whatever litigation costs they incur along the way.
The initial meeting with our Birmingham personal injury lawyers is also free of charge. Call our law firm at 205-666-6000 to find out if you have a case.
Types Of Personal Injury Cases We Handle At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers
Accidents can take many forms, and so can personal injury cases. The Birmingham personal injury lawyers at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers cover a variety of personal injury claims. The cases include:
Lawsuits following a car crash are the most common type of personal injury case. People suffer injuries, and others lose their lives because of reckless and negligent drivers. Whether it's through distracted driving or speeding, those who hurt others through this kind of carelessness can be held accountable for resulting injuries. The Birmingham personal injury lawyers in our law firm have the skills and experience you need on your side when handling a car accident claim.
Slip And Fall Accident
A mere slip and fall accident can result in life-changing injuries. Victims should consider legal action if they suffer injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident caused by another's negligence. Whether it happened in a personal residence, business, or public facility, the compassionate attorneys at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you seek full compensation for your injuries, lost earnings, and medical expenses.
Premises liability stems from accidents resulting in injuries while on someone's property, usually caused by hazardous conditions or negligence. Examples of premises liability cases that our lawyers tackle include dog bite cases, slip and fall accidents and swimming pool injuries.
Dog owners in Alabama are responsible for the animals they keep. Alabama law spells out the responsibilities and liabilities of dog keepers and owners when a dog under their care or control injures a person. Our Birmingham personal injury lawyers can prove the dog owner's liability and help you recover compensation for damages.
Regardless of the industry, manufacturers of consumer products such as automotive parts, medications, medical devices, etc., are legally required to are safe when used by the public as intended or that any risks involved are adequately explained. Dangerous or defective products can cause catastrophic injuries. If you have been injured or suffered harm because of a defective product, we can help. Our product liability lawyers can identify all potentially liable parties and fight for maximum compensation for your injuries.
These types of personal injury cases occur when a health care provider causes harm or wrongful death to a patient by failing to exercise a reasonable standard of care. Our Birmingham personal injury lawyers handle all kinds of malpractice cases, including inadequate care, nursing home abuse, and surgical errors.
Because of the limited protection and the risk posed by reckless drivers, motorcycle accidents are more likely to cause debilitating injuries or death. They also birth complex personal injury claims with insurance companies working to reduce their liability. Our Birmingham personal injury attorneys have worked on a wide variety of motorcycle accident cases and has the experience to get you the full settlement you deserve.
18-wheelers and large goods vehicles often result in severe injuries due to their massive size. Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies in Alabama are held to a high standard of safety, resulting in legal complications in establishing liability and fault in truck accident cases. Our Birmingham personal injury lawyers can help with your truck accident claim and hold all liable parties accountable for resulting damages.
Involvement in a pedestrian accident can lead to life-threatening injuries or wrongful death. Tragically, children and senior citizens are the most likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents. At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we Birmingham personal injury attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of individuals severely impacted by pedestrian accidents.
When someone is injured or killed while on the job in Alabama, they generally are barred from filing a personal injury claim against their employers. Instead, injured employees must institute a claim for benefits under Alabama's Workers' Compensation Act. Our experienced workers' compensation attorneys will guide you through the claim process and ensure your interest are protected.
The death of a family member caused by negligent actions or inaction or another can turn the lives of surviving family members upside down. Our wrongful death lawyers understand that a wrongful death lawsuit can add stress during a time you need to prioritize your family. Let us help! We can handle all details of your wrongful death claim and fight to get the full compensation that will help protect your family's future.
Skilled And Compassionate Representation For Your Birmingham Personal Injury Case
In the tragic event of a personal injury due to recklessness or negligence, a Birmingham personal injury lawyer can help. At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, our Birmingham personal injury attorneys are committed to being compassionate and reliable advocates for you when you've suffered an injury or lost a loved one.
Call us at 205-666-6000 or contact us online for a free case review today. Let our Birmingham personal injury lawyers help during this challenging and sensitive time.