Ferguson & Ferguson
Attorneys at Law
What to do After a Car Accident and How we Can Help You
Have you been in a car accident, but you are not sure what to do next? Every traffic accident in Huntsville and Decatur, Alabama is different. Time deadlines can be very short in some Alabama automobile accident cases. Evidence should be preserved as soon as possible after an motor vehicle accident. The traffic accident scene and vehicle should be inspected and photographed. Witnesses should be identified and interviewed. If you have been injured in a motorcycle, car or truck accident in Alabama, call Huntsville and Decatur, Alabama automobile accident Law Firm of Ferguson & Ferguson now. Call now for your no obligation FREE CONSULTATION. Call 256-534-3435.
First and foremost we will meet with you for an initial consultation at no cost to discuss your accident and injury. We can discuss with you whether the facts of your car accident are the type of facts that will make for a good auto cliam. We can never make predictions or guarantees in auto accidents, but the Ferguson Law Firm has been in the business of automobile accident law for over forty combined years, and once you’ve had your free consultation, you should have some idea of how we would expect things to proceed in a case like yours.
CONTINGENCY FEE (IF YOU DON’T RECOVER, WE DON’T GET PAID)
We take nearly all of our cases in Huntsville, Alabama on a contingency fee, which means that our fees are paid out of your recovery, at the end of your case. In other words, you don’t have to pay our fee up front, on an hourly basis. (How many people can afford to do that?) Also, we agree to advance the costs of litigation in most of our cases. Gathering medical records, long distance calls, filing fees, depositions, and other costs of litigation can add up quickly. Paying these costs along the way and out of pocket is difficult for many people, the Ferguson & Ferguson Law Firm advances these litigation costs as the case goes along. These costs are reimbursed to the Ferguson & Ferguson Law Firm when the case is settled or otherwise resolved.
PEACE OF MIND IN ALABAMA IN DIFFICULT TIMES
One of the things most clients tell us is so difficult after being involved in a car accident is that the other driver’s insurance adjuster calls often, putting pressure on them to settle quickly. Dealing with injuries, property damage, missed work, doctor visits and then an adjuster calling and asking how much you want to settle is overwhelming for most people. Once you have hired our law firm to handle your case, the insurance adjusters are not allowed to call you directly; they have to go through us. You can concentrate on getting physically better, getting your life in order, and let us deal with evaluating your case and handling the adjusters and many other details. That is what we do.
The Decatur, Alabama attorneys and staff at the Ferguson & Ferguson Law Firm have extensive skill and experience in handing cases involving car accidents. We can never make any guarantees about the value of your case or the final outcome. However, we settle cases (many times even prior to filing a lawsuit), we mediate or arbitrate cases, and we try cases when settlement isn’t possible. We have experience in all of these areas. Resolution is important to everyone, and we can see that you get some closure, some finality, to your situation, and we do most of the work.
The first two concerns of a motor vehicle accident victim who is out of work are medical bills and lost wages. That’s why immediate attention must be paid to getting these bills paid and supplemental insurance payments made to you while you are disabled from employment. Of course, these claims require a thorough understanding of your Alabama insurance policy. We possess that knowledge and will process these payments, while we work on advancing your lawsuit.
Our knowledge of insurance in Alabama is of particular value to passengers who are injured in others’ vehicles. Often your insurance policy may be applicable in an accident which did not even involve your vehicle. A proper insurance analysis for your case will involve consideration of several policies, covering not only medical bills and lost wages, but ultimate coverage for residual damages, disability, past and future lost earnings, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life. Usually, some combination of insurance benefits is employed to best suit your case.
It is critical that Alabama accident victims understand that the Defendant’s insurance company, as well as your company may have interests adverse to your own. You should not speak to any representative from any company without first consulting with an attorney. Furthermore, there are written notice requirements which need to be completed within short periods of time and should also not be done without a competent Alabama attorney.
Once the case has been accepted and these initial steps taken, we will proceed to take measures which will help you to prove liability and maximize your results. First, we “freeze” the evidence, securing evidence which may disappear in time. Such evidence may include photographs of damage to the vehicles, roadway conditions and skid marks, as well as witness statements, perhaps the most important evidence to secure early on.
As the case proceeds, our lawyers conduct “discovery” in order to compel information from the opposition. During this time, we assist in making sure that you have the best medical treatment possible and properly document your injuries and their effect on your life. Just winning the case is only half the battle. After all, a victory is more like a loss when the recovery is small. Many don’t realize that in a personal injury lawsuit, you have a right to recover for damages that have taken place, as well as those which will affect you in five, ten, or even twenty years. We believe that our experience and extensive work with doctors will assist you in demonstrating these damages, even if not yet realized, and convince an adverse insurance company, a Mediator, a Judge, or a jury that these damages are significant.
Some accidents are caused by drunk drivers. When that driver has consumed intoxicating beverages at a commercial establishment, an additional claim known as a “dram shop” case, may be added to your case. The “dram shop” claim may be especially helpful when the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, and may add significant coverage in the case of serious and extensive injuries.
Our services do not end at the conclusion of a settlement or successful verdict. As most motor vehicle cases often involve significant liens placed on the recovery either by an insurance company or medical provider, we will negotiate these liens, and in most cases, reduce your monetary “payback” significantly. Such services increase your actual recovery and are performed free, as a courtesy to our clients.
Though accidents can occur virtually anywhere and under any circumstances, some of the more serious and costly accidents occur while people are involved in transportation-related activities. It should be stressed that tort litigation involving transportation-related activities can be extremely complicated. Retaining an inexperienced lawyer may result in a plaintiff losing a lawsuit or not receiving the recovery that he or she deserves. It is important that plaintiffs choose attorneys with appropriate levels of experience and familiarity with the subject matter of the lawsuit. Like any state, Alabama has its share of serious automobile accidents. Alabama requires its residents to carry minimum vehicle liability insurance for their vehicles, although many still have no coverage, and enforcement is less than stellar.
A claim for an automobile or motorcycle collision in Alabama requires proving fault. The amount of the damages to which you may be entitled, depends on the nature of your injury, the reasonable amount of your medical expenses taken together with any loss of earning or loss of earning capacity. There may be additional damages to which you are also entitled, which we would be happy to discuss with you. If you are in an accident, particularly if someone is injured or there is a great deal of property damage, try to collect as much of the information under our What To Do Section or our site.
Physical evidence and the recollections of witnesses and involved parties are crucial both for establishing the liability of the negligent parties as well as for proving the nature, extent and causation of injuries. In resolving personal injury claims, those in which this critical evidence has been preserved are almost invariably easier to settle and to settle at full value. If the claim proceeds on to litigation, this evidence becomes even more critical as the basis of proof of liability and damages.
Once an experienced attorney takes on a personal injury claim, the attorney will promptly assign staff members and/or professional investigators to collect all the evidence that may be relevant to the claim. The earlier this is done, the better off the case will be. And if the injured person has already begun on his/her own to put this information together, this will get them an even earlier jump on the process.
Since the nature of many pieces of evidence may not be immediately obvious to the non-attorney (and since even an experienced attorney will use checklists to avoid forgetting important items), we’ve provided the following forms to help you protect yourself from having crucial evidence lost or destroyed. Since every case is unique, these lists can’t include every type of evidence possible. Rather, these are intended to describe the most common pieces of evidence needed for successful resolution of a personal injury claim. Collecting as much of this evidence as early on as you can will give both you and any attorney whom you may retain a significant head start on resolving your claim promptly and at full value.
After doing the following, there are certain things that should be done in order to assist the victim document his/her case. In an accident involving serious personal injury, the insurance company for the person or company that caused the accident will usually have an insurance investigator taking witness statements and preparing their legal defense as early as an hour after the accident. The accident victim would be best advised to seek out legal advice as soon possible. With this in mind, there are certain preliminary actions that you should take. What you do at the scene of the accident will affect the outcome of your injury claim. You are not alone, personal injury or wrongful death claims involving automobile collisions is one of the most common types of accidents. We have helped many people through this difficult time. We know what to do and what to avoid.
If you or a loved one has the unfortunate experience of being injured in an automobile collision, what you do at the scene of the accident can make a difference in winning or losing your case. If you did not complete each of these tasks at the accident scene, contact us immediately and we can help you with your case.
Their purpose is to help their insurance company, and to keep you from hiring an attorney.
You may be surprised at how soon after you are involved in an automobile collision that you are contacted by an investigator or a claims representative from an adverse insurance company. Do not be fooled! These people are not there to help you, despite what they may say. Years ago, as an insurance adjuster, we were trained on how important it was to be nice as well as sympathetic to an injured claimant. The purpose of course was to “control” the claimant and keep the claimant from hiring an attorney, which of course usually meant settling the claim cheaper, sometimes a whole lot cheaper.
These investigators or claims representatives for an adverse party will often try to create the appearance that they are not your adversary, by telling you that it was all their fault or that they will “take care of everything” for you. When push comes to shove, these statements will not bind the insurance company in court. They are designed to lull you into believing that these people have your best interests at heart, and to keep you from seeking legal representation.