Negotiating a Full and Fair Settlement in an Injury Case

You are driving to work one morning, and it looks like it’s going to be a great day.  Then, out of nowhere, a pickup truck runs a red light and t-bones you. In the blink of an eye, your whole world is turned upside down. Suddenly, you are looking at mounting bills for medical treatment, weeks missed from work to recover from your injury, untold physical pain, and the uncertainty of not knowing when (if ever) your life will return to normal again.

This is a typical scenario for someone who is injured in an automobile wreck. And one of the most common concerns for injury victims is getting reimbursed for their losses. Unfortunately, it is very rare for the party responsible for the accident to freely admit fault and write a check to cover these losses. In the vast majority of cases, you will be dealing with their insurance company.

Obtaining full and fair compensation from an insurance company typically involves a series of back and forth negotiations. Insurance companies may publicly promote themselves as “good neighbors” or “good hands people”, but, oftentimes, that is just a television commercial slogan and, when it comes to paying an injury claim, they are anything but that.  In fact, they are often adversaries. Their goal, after all, is to maximize their bottom line, which is accomplished by paying out as little as possible when a claim is filed. As such, their interests are not aligned with yours.

Another thing that it is important to know about insurance companies is that they are good at negotiating. Their adjusters handle injury claims week in and week out, and they know all of the tricks of the trade. This puts an injured party at a serious disadvantage when trying to negotiate a full and fair settlement.  This may be the main reason why it is always a good idea to retain the services of an experienced auto wreck attorney to represent you.

What Can I Expect during the Negotiation Process?

If you choose to deal directly with the insurance company during the injury claims process, obtaining a settlement may take as little as a few days or as long as several months or more. Early on in the process, it is not uncommon for the insurer to present a quick settlement offer. Insurance companies know that injury victims are usually out of work and that their finances are tight, and they often look to take advantage of that situation.

In general, it is not a good idea to accept the first offer that the insurer gives you. Usually, this offer is for far lower than your claim is worth. And in many cases, it is impossible to know how much your claim is really worth this early in the process, because you may not even know the full extent of your injuries yet.

If you decide to turn down the insurer’s lowball settlement offer, your next step is usually to prepare a demand letter with a counteroffer. Your counteroffer should factor in not only economic losses such as medical costs, lost wages, and lost earning capacity, but also non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life. Again, it may be a while before you can come up with an accurate figure (for all of your losses) to put into the demand letter.

Once your demand letter is sent, the insurance company might accept your offer, or decline it and give you a counteroffer of their own. The insurer may try to devalue your claim by saying your injuries are not as serious as you allege, or they might even try to pin some of the blame for the accident on you, which, in a state like Alabama, could cost you your right to recover any compensation at all.

After a series of back and forth negotiations, you will hopefully arrive at a figure that both you and the insurance company can accept. Throughout the process, however, be mindful of the statute of limitations – the amount of time after the accident that you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Alabama, the statute of limitations for most cases is two years. 

Insurance companies know that if you miss this deadline, you lose your opportunity to take legal action against them.  If you delay long enough and get to close to this deadline, it may take away their incentive to offer or agree to a fair settlement. While it is always better to have an experienced lawyer advising you throughout the process, if you are approaching the expiration of the statute of limitations and it does not look like you are close to settling, get a hold of an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

How an Accident Injury Lawyer Can Help with Negotiations

Negotiating a full and fair settlement in an injury case can be a complex and confusing process, particularly if you have never been involved in a case like this before. There are numerous pitfalls that can potentially trip you up and cause you to end up with far less money, or in some cases, no compensation at all.

A seasoned personal injury lawyer can often help get you a fairer deal from the insurance company than you can get on your own.  Here are just a few of the ways an attorney can assist you with the negotiation process:

  • Your attorney can help you properly value your claim based on a thorough investigation of the facts and evidence of the case, their extensive legal knowledge, and the opinions of expert witnesses (when necessary);
  • Your attorney can locate and preserve important evidence and witness testimony;
  • Your attorney can deal directly with the insurance company, handle all the complexities of the negotiation process for you, and aggressively advocate for full and fair compensation;
  • If the insurance company chooses not to negotiate in good faith, your attorney will have the proven ability to pursue full damages through litigation.

Injured in an Accident? Contact the Law Offices of Troy King for Strong Legal Guidance

When someone is injured in an accident, the last thing they should have to worry about is having to negotiate with a trained adversary just to recover the full and fair compensation they deserve.  At the Law Offices of Troy King, we understand this, and we are there to fight for every dollar of compensation you are entitled to. 

To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at (334) 215-4440 or message us through our online contact form. You may also visit our Montgomery location in person at your convenience, or we will come to you.

5 Things to Do if You are in an Accident with a Commercial Vehicle

Being involved in a wreck with a large semi-truck can result in disastrous consequences.  Colliding with a tractor-trailer that weighs several tons can leave you at least seriously shaken up and, in many cases, with moderate to severe, even catastrophic injuries.

Your first reaction after the wreck may be shock. You might be wondering if you have been hurt and if so, how bad your injuries are. Next, your mind starts racing in all different directions as you try to figure out what all this means and how to deal with the situation. At this point, it is important to take a deep breath, relax, and gather your thoughts.

The actions you take immediately after an accident with a commercial vehicle will have a major bearing on the safety and health of you and everyone else involved, and on your ability to successfully file a legal claim to recover full and fair compensation for your injuries.

You may be reading this article from your phone just after an accident, or you may be doing research to be fully prepared for an event like this in the future. Either way, you are going to learn the most important things you should do if you are in a wreck with a commercial truck:

Safety First

The top priority after a trucking wreck (or any other type of motor vehicle wreck) is to ensure that anyone who has been injured (including yourself) receives immediate medical attention. With that in mind, the first call you should make is to 911 to bring an ambulance to the scene. The elevated heart rate and adrenaline rush you experience during the aftermath of an wreck can sometimes mask an injury until later on, even one that is serious or in some cases life-threatening. For this reason, it is best to be on the safe side and get medical help – even if you do not feel hurt.

Call the Police

In many cases, the 911 operator will call the police for you and summon them to the scene.  If not, make sure to call them on your own. It is important to bring the police so there will be an official report filed, and so they can help secure the crash site and regulate traffic. As a general rule, it is best not to move your vehicle until the police arrive, unless you need to in order to get it out of the way of oncoming traffic.

Document the Accident

While you are waiting for the police and ambulance to arrive, take multiple photographs of the wreck scene from as many angles as possible. If you are not physically able to take pictures, ask someone else to do so for you. Visual documentation is one of the best forms of evidence in the event that you end up filing an injury claim. And although the police will create an official report, you should have your own report as well. Write down, in as much detail as possible, what happened in the accident while everything is fresh in your mind. If you do not have paper and a writing utensil, use the voice recorder on your smartphone to record an audio report that you can transcribe later. Finally, obtain information from the truck driver, such as their name and phone number, commercial driver’s license number, license plate number, U.S. DOT serial number (if it is available), employer contact information (if applicable), and insurance information.

Obtain Witness Statements and Contact Information

If there are any individuals who witnessed the accident, speak with them and obtain their contact information. Also, ask these witnesses if they are willing to give a recorded statement. In many cases, a witness will allow you to record an oral statement using the video camera or audio recorder on your smartphone. This statement may end up being another critical piece of evidence to help substantiate a legal claim.  Remember, this may be the only chance you have to get the names and addresses of witnesses and, if they disappear without you learning who they are and how to contact them, they will not be available to give testimony about what they saw.  In a case where the insurance company disputes your side of the story, a witness’s testimony could be the difference I whether you are able to recover or not.

Do NOT Admit Fault

As you speak with individuals at the scene, such as the police, truck driver, witnesses, and medical personnel, never apologize or say anything that may imply an admission of wrongdoing on your part. This is especially important if the commercial truck accident occurs in a state like Alabama, where they apply the “contributory negligence” legal doctrine. Under contributory negligence, if you are found to be even 1% at fault for the accident you were involved in, you can be barred from recovering damages for your injuries. Be polite with everyone and provide the facts of the case as you saw them; but avoid any speculation as to who was at fault. 

Consult with a Seasoned Truck Accident Lawyer

Commercial trucking wreck cases are far more complex than standard auto accidents. There are numerous laws and regulations that govern the industry, and there are multiple parties that could potentially be responsible for the crash. These wrecks can also result in serious injuries and substantial property damage, which means insurance companies will fight much harder to reduce what they have to pay if they don’t try to avoid responsibility altogether. For these reasons, it is absolutely essential to get an experienced personal injury attorney involved as early as possible in the process, so your right to recover compensation can be protected and preserved.  Chances are that the trucking company’s insurance company will have people on the scene working to protect them before you even leave the emergency room.  It is also critical that someone put the trucking company on notice to preserve any and all evidence so that key evidence is not lost or destroyed.

At the Law Offices of Troy King, we have years of experience successfully representing clients injured in truck accidents and those who suffered all other types of personal injuries in Alabama. We routinely go up against well-funded adversaries such as large trucking companies and their insurers, and we are not intimidated by their resources or the common tactics they use to try to bully injury victims into settling a case for far less than they deserve.  We will fight hard to secure a settlement that fully and fairly compensates you for your losses, and we will prepare from the outset to file a lawsuit against those responsible for your injuries if they are not willing to negotiate in good faith.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at (334) 215-4440 or message us through our online contact form. You may also visit our Montgomery location in person at your convenience, or we will come to you. At the Law Offices of Troy King, we do not believe that justice should only be for the rich and powerful.  That is why our clients never pay for anything unless we recover for them.

Are Senior Motorcycle Riders at Greater Risk for Injury?

As spring comes into full bloom, motorcycle enthusiasts throughout Alabama will be hitting the roadways to enjoy the beautiful weather and take in our state’s scenic natural beauty. There are few activities that are more exhilarating and give you a greater sense of freedom than riding your bike on the open roads. Although motorcycle riding is usually a highly enjoyable activity, it can be dangerous and deadly. This is one of the reasons May has been designated as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

It stands to reason (and it is true) that motorcyclists are at a higher risk of severe injuries and fatalities when they get into a wreck with another vehicle. Obviously, motorcycle riders have far less protection and fewer barriers to protect them from injury when they get into a collision than motorists in aa car or truck. In fact, motorcyclists are approximately 28 times more likely to be killed in a wreck than the occupants of other vehicles.

Riders of all ages are susceptible to injury when they get into a crash, but research shows that age can be a major factor in determining the severity of the injuries a rider will sustain in a wreck.  During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, we want to spotlight a group that makes up a growing percentage of motorcycle riders – seniors.

Since 2001, the percentage of motorcycle riders over the age of 60 has more than doubled. This is largely due to aging demographics and the Baby Boomer generation entering their golden years. The generation that embraced the “Easy Rider” counterculture of the 1960s still loves to ride, and now that they are entering full retirement, they have a lot more free time available to indulge their passion.

Injury Risks for Senior Motorcycle Riders

Aging takes a toll on our bodies. As we get older, our vision starts to fade and our reaction times, inevitably, become slower. In fact, in 2013, Consumer Reports published a study showing that older motorcycle riders are at greater risk of serious injury when they are involved in an crash. The study found that riders over the age of 60 (who are involved in a wreck) are 2.5 times more likely to require emergency room treatment and three times more likely to require hospitalization than younger riders (those between the ages of 20 and 39). Middle-aged riders between the ages of 40 and 60 fare some better, but they are still 66% more likely to need medical treatment than their younger counterparts.

Among riders of all ages, fractures are among the most common types of motorcycle injuries.  However, the study found that younger riders are more likely to sustain broken arms, while older riders often end up with fractures in their chest, shoulder, and backs. The authors of the study attribute this to the decrease in bone strength as we age. In other words, the older we get, the more brittle our bones become.

Motorcycle Safety Tips for Senior Riders

To help prevent serious injuries, it is important for senior motorcyclists to take some extra precautions before they hit the road. Some recommendations from the study include:

  • Take a Motorcycle Safety Course: Many seniors are taking up riding for the first time, pursuing a hobby that they did not have time for when they were busy raising a family. Others are returning to riding after a break from it for several years or decades. In either case, it is very helpful to take a motorcycle safety course that will educate you (or refresh your recollection) on the rules and best safety practices of the open road.
  • Use DOT-Approved Helmets: Alabama requires riders of all ages to wear a helmet that has a hard exterior shell and is made of non-shattering materials. Be sure to wear a state-approved helmet whenever you are out riding.
  • Wear Chest Protection: It is highly recommended that middle-aged and senior motorcycle riders wear extra protection around the chest to help protect vulnerable areas of the body from serious injuries.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Call Our Experienced Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or someone close to you has been involved in a motorcycle crash, you may have severe injuries . . . especially if you are a senior rider. If the wreck was someone else’s fault, you have the right to be fully compensated. Insurance companies will do everything they can to diminish the value of your injury claim or even to deny the claim altogether!  You need a strong legal advocate in your corner working hard to protect your rights and interests.  Someone who is not intimidated by the resources of the insurance company

At The Law Offices of Troy King, we have years of experience successfully representing individuals injured in all kinds of wrecks in Alabama, including motorcyclists. Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of this area of the law, and we fight hard to secure the full and fair compensation you need, deserve, and to which you are entitled.

To schedule your free consultation with our legal team, call our office today us at (334) 215-4440 or message us through our web contact form. You can also visit our Montgomery location to speak to our lawyers, or we will come to you.

Does Drowsy Driving Cause Truck Wrecks?

Drowsy driving happens far more often than most people want to believe. Falling asleep at the wheel is the most disastrous consequence of driving while drowsy or fatigued, but drowsiness can also cause drivers to be less attentive, to have slower reaction times when they encounter adverse road conditions, and to make poor driving decisions.  How common is it?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drowsy driving-related crashes claimed 795 lives in 2017 alone. And tens of thousands more suffer serious injuries as a result of these types of crashes.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that drowsy driving is responsible for approximately 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths annually. The CDC goes on to say that these are conservative estimates, and driving while drowsy or fatigued may actually be responsible for as many as 6,000 fatal crashes each year.

Approximately one out of every 25 drivers over the age of 18 admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel at least once during the past 30 days.

Drowsy driving usually occurs when a motorist has not had enough sleep before they get behind the wheel, but there are other factors that can contribute to this practice as well, things like alcohol, medications, driving for long periods of time, and untreated sleep disorders.  Experts report that individuals who snore or get less than 6 hours of sleep on a daily basis are more likely to fall asleep while driving.  The group most susceptible to the risks of drowsy driving though commercial truck drivers.

Drowsy Driving in the Trucking Industry

Driving a big rig truck is a very stressful job. Truckers typically put in long hours and spend several consecutive days driving over-the-road, and much of that time is spent driving during evening and overnight hours. This problem is made worse by trucking companies that put undue pressure on drivers to exceed Hours of Service regulations to deliver their loads on time. Under these conditions, it comes as little surprise that truckers are highly susceptible to becoming tired and fatigued when they are behind the wheel.

Sleep disorders are common in the trucking industry. According to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) study, almost one-third of commercial truck drivers have mild to severe sleep apnea. When this condition is left untreated, it negatively impacts the quantity and quality of your sleep, making you less alert and focused while you are awake.

FMCSA regulations do not directly address sleep apnea, but they do prescribe that any individual with a medical condition that is likely to interfere with their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle should not be medically qualified to drive a commercial truck. However, as it stands today, truck drivers are not required to be tested specifically for sleep apnea, which means trucking companies may still be hiring drivers who have this condition and may not even know it.

Drowsy Driving and Trucking Accidents

When a large commercial truck is involved in a wreck, the consequences can be disastrous.  A fully-loaded semi-truck typically carries in excess of 80,000 pounds and, because of their weight and presence, they can do widespread damage when they collide with another vehicle, object, or pedestrian.

Injuries from big rig trucking accidents are among the most serious and catastrophic.  In fact, occupants of other vehicles are 28 times more likely to be severely injured or killed (than occupants of large commercial trucks) when these vehicles are involved in a collision. In the vast majority of cases, these wrecks are the fault of the truck driver . . . and drowsy driving is often a major contributing factor.

Injured in a Drowsy Driving Accident in Alabama? Call Our Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys

Truck accident cases are typically far more complex than a standard auto accident. There are often multiple parties that may share responsibility (such as the driver, trucking company, the owner or lessor of the truck, the shipping company that may have overloaded the truck, a vehicle or vehicle part manufacturer just to list a few).  As a result, a thorough investigation is required to determine the root cause. Trucking companies also tend to be very uncooperative, and in a state like Alabama where they apply the “contributory negligence” legal doctrine that says that, if they can place even 1% of the blame on the other driver, they will not have to pay anything, these companies will take aggressive actions to try to pin at least some of the blame on you, so they can avoid paying out damages.  In fact, in serious cases, the trucking company will often have investigators at the scene, gathering evidence, before those they hurt even leave the hospital.

At The Law Offices of Troy King, we have extensive experience successfully representing clients injured in trucking accidents in Alabama. From the moment we take the case, we go to work immediately to preserve important pieces of evidence and help you recover the maximum damages to which the law makes you entitled. Because of the complexities involved with these types of cases, it is best to get in contact with us as soon as possible, so we can take the steps necessary to gather and preserve evidence and to fully protect your legal right to compensation.

Call our office today at 334-215-4440 to schedule your free consultation with our legal team. You may also stop by our Montgomery office in person at your convenience, or if you are unable to come to our office, we will come to you.  

The Importance of an Expert Witness in an Injury Case

When you or someone you care about has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it would be nice if the person or business at fault took full responsibility, but this generally isn’t what happens. Instead, in a personal injury case like that, the injured party has the “burden of proof.” That means that it is their responsibility to show that they suffered damages due to the defendant’s negligence.  To make matters worse, Alabama has an outdated and unfair rule called “contributory negligence” that says that if a person is even 1% at fault in a wreck, they are treated by the law like they are 100% at fault and cannot recover.

Personal injury attorneys often turn to expert witnesses to help overcome these unfair laws by using them to explain more nuanced and complex elements of a case. The input and interpretation from an expert regarding complicated issues can be the difference between whether a person can recover or not.

What Qualifies a Witness as an “Expert”?

In personal injury cases, witnesses are generally put into two categories: lay and expert. By default, anyone who isn’t an “expert” is considered a lay witness. So, what makes a person an “expert”?

While there is no universal definition for this, there are certain factors that are used to qualify a person to testify or to serve in a consulting role in an injury case. These include that person’s skill, experience, knowledge, education, and training. Some of the things that might help qualify an expert witness include:

  • Reputation,
  • Credentials,
  • Educational and professional experience,
  • Publication in peer-reviewed journals, and
  • Prior expert witness experience.

How Expert Witnesses Differ from Other Witnesses

An expert is considered a specialist in their particular field. For example, medical professionals such as neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, psychiatrists, and pharmacists have specialized experience and training that allows them to offer unique insights and explanations of a case’s more technical aspects.

Lay witnesses, on the other hand, can only offer testimony about their personal knowledge and perception of events. These are often people who witnessed the accident but who have no technical or expert knowledge. In disputed liability cases, lay witness testimony can be incredibly valuable, but it may need to be supplemented by expert testimony.

Experts are considered impartial to the outcome of the case and are granted more leeway in testimony than a lay witness. While lay witnesses can’t offer their opinions, an expert is asked to provide their opinion as long as:

  • The opinion is based on data and facts,
  • The expert’s specialized knowledge will be helpful to determine a fact or better understand evidence,
  • Reliable methods were used to generate the opinion, and
  • The expert reliably applied methods to the evidence and facts of the case.

How Expert Witnesses Help in Personal Injury Cases

Since experts have special knowledge or experience, they are considered a trusted source of information by many judges and juries. Some of the ways that these experts are used in personal injury cases include:

  • Proving Negligence. The theory of negligence drives most personal injury lawsuits. This requires that you, as the plaintiff, show that the responsible party breached a specific responsibility or duty. In some cases, this is clear, and, in others, it becomes more complex. Expert witness testimony can help clarify such things as whether the defendant had a duty, what their responsibility to you was, and if their behavior breached that duty.
  • Explain Complex Evidence. An expert can convey complex data that jurors might otherwise ignore in layman’s terms, so that is more valuable to your case.
  • Clarify Damages. Since one of our goals is also to maximize your award for damages, experts such as physicians, vocational experts, and economists can testify about the severity and long-term financial impact of your injuries.

When Expert Witnesses Should Be Used

Expert witness testimony can be essential to a positive outcome in a personal injury case. While they pose an extra expense, this must be weighed against the potential cost of a lengthy trial or a lower settlement offer. At the Law Office of Troy King, we make a careful determination about the use of experts in each case we handle. Some of the respected experts that could benefit your case include:

  • Appraisers
  • Accident reconstructionists
  • Physicians
  • Toxicologists
  • Medical examiners
  • Vocational experts
  • Forensic evidence specialists

Were you injured in a Montgomery accident? If you or someone you love has been hurt, through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. At the Law Office of Troy King, our focus is to hold the parties responsible for these injuries accountable while protecting the rights of accident victims like yourself.

Contact our office today at (334) 215-4440 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll thoroughly review your case, determine if expert witnesses would be appropriate, and outline a case strategy to help get you the full and fair compensation you need and deserve.

How to Avoid an Accident with a Big Rig

Every year in Alabama, there are thousands of large trucks involved in collisions. Tragically, many of these wrecks – more than 100 per year on average – are fatal. Those collisions that are not fatal often leave vehicle occupants with serious injuries, some of which are life-changing.

Unfortunately, you cannot depend on the truck drivers to keep you safe.  In fact, they are often overworked, pushed by their companies to drive further and longer and with heavier loads than the law even allows.  As you navigate Alabama’s roadways, here are some tips for avoiding an accident with a big rig and staying safe:

Keep Your Distance

Perhaps the best way to avoid an accident with a big rig is to not get too close to them to begin with.  You should keep as much distance between your vehicle and a large truck as possible.

If you do have to drive around large trucks (as will surely be inevitable at some point), remember that large trucks require much more room than smaller vehicles do when it comes to changing lanes, passing, and stopping. It’s especially important to remember that the required stopping distance for a large truck that is traveling at 65 miles per hour in good conditions is nearly two football fields’ worth of space.  Allow large trucks the room that they need to maneuver the road safely.

Drive Sober and Focused

Regardless of where you are driving or the type or number of other vehicles on the road, you should always make driving sober and distraction-free a priority. When you are fatigued, distracted, or impaired by alcohol or drugs (including over-the-counter and prescription medications), you increase your risk of an accident. In addition to staying focused, remember to always make sure to buckle up, as doing so could save your life in the event that you are in a crash.

Never Drive in a Truck’s Blind Spots

All vehicles have blind spots, but the blind spots on trucks are especially large. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reminds drivers that large truck drivers have a hard time seeing anything that is 20 feet directly in front of their vehicles, 30 feet directly behind their vehicles, one lane to the left of their vehicles, and two lanes to the right of their vehicles. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind when you share the road with big trucks:

  • Be alert to these zones and never drive in them. 
  • Never tailgate a large truck. 
  • Provide plenty of distance when lane-changing in front of a large truck. 
  • Always pass quickly.

Remember that Trucks Make Wide Turns

Drivers of passenger cars often get impatient when large trucks are turning in front of them, and may make the fatal error of attempting to pass a large truck while it is in the process of rounding a turn. Large trucks require more turning room than do smaller vehicles, and, as such, may turn from the middle or outside lane, and may swing wide in making the turn. While this can be frustrating for drivers of smaller vehicles who are in a hurry to get by, never attempt to pass a truck while it is turning. Attempting to pass a truck that is turning could result in a “squeeze-play” accident, which happens when a smaller vehicle becomes “squeezed” between the curb or another object and the body of the larger truck.

Exercise Basic Safe Driving Techniques

Driving around large trucks presents unique challenges and hazards, and passenger car drivers should be aware of the things like blind spots and the required stopping distance for larger vehicles. However, drivers should also exercise the basic safe driving techniques that are recommended every time a driver gets behind a wheel, such as always signaling before changing lanes and making your intentions clear, yielding when required, refraining from tailgating or cutting off another driver, maintaining a safe speed, and never driving aggressively.

Call Our Alabama Truck Accident Lawyers

Even when you act as safely as you possibly can when driving around a large truck, the actions of the truck driver or another driver, or unforeseeable circumstances, such as a tire blowout, can result in a devastating truck accident. If you are involved in a serious truck accident in Alabama, our truck accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Troy King can represent you in your claim for damages. Establishing liability and recovering your full damages award in a truck accident claim can be difficult; our lawyers help you to maximize your settlement and recover the damages you deserve.  The companies that own and insure these trucks will often send experts to the scene to gather and preserve evidence that they hope will keep them from having to pay a claim oftentimes before you even leave the hospital.  It is important that you have someone doing the same for you.  And the sooner, the better!

To schedule your free consultation with our legal team, please call us today at 334-215-4440 or send us a message using the contact form on our website. You can visit our Montgomery location to speak to our lawyers, or we will come to you.

Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Rear-End Collision?

Rear-end collisions are some of the most common types of car accidents. And, while some rear-end collisions happen while vehicles are traveling at high speeds, the majority of rear-end crashes occur in parking lots and intersections when vehicles are traveling slowly. As such, the damages to vehicles in rear-end collision accidents are typically minor – just scratches and dents to a bumper. Significant property damage costs are rare.

Because rear-end crashes often occur at low speeds and property damage is minor, insurance adjusters often try to minimize the damages they will offer by pointing out the lack of property damage. Even many people who are involved in rear-end crashes assume that they do not need to seek medical care after a rear-end crash. However, this is short-sighted; rear-end crashes can result in serious injuries, and failing to seek medical care can have an adverse effect on both one’s health and wellbeing and the outcome of an insurance claim. Here’s a look into why you should always seek medical attention after a rear-end accident–

Injuries May Not Be Immediately Obvious

One reason why it is smart to seek medical care immediately after a rear-end crash is that injuries are not always obvious. Sometimes, this is because the body’s adrenaline prevents one from feeling or recognizing common injury signs, such as pain. Other times, it is simply because the type of injury sustained does not have especially obvious or acute symptoms. Consider, for example, the effects of a mild traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion. A concussion can lead to confusion, fatigue, and nausea – all things that a person may think are “normal” after being involved in a crash, but which could actually be danger signs of a more serious injury requiring medical care.  Soft tissue injuries are also common as a result of a rear-end crash, particularly whiplash. Whiplash, like a traumatic brain injury, may also not be evident immediately but can be serious.

Seeking Medical Care Immediately after an Accident Establishes Causation

Not only should you seek medical care immediately after a car wreck because doing so helps to ensure that you get the treatment that you need for those injuries, but also because seeking medical care immediately after a wreck establishes causation, one of the most essential elements of a car accident claim. Establishing causation means offering proof that your injuries would not have occurred but for the car accident.  You must be able to prove causation to recover for your injuries and damages after a car wreck.  When you seek medical care immediately after a crash, you create indisputable evidence that your injuries are linked to the crash. However, if you wait too long to get medical care, there may be room to argue that your injuries, while legitimate, aren’t related to the crash, but instead to another event. And, if they can, you can expect an insurance adjuster to do just that to try to avoid compensating you for your injuries.

You Risk Forfeiting Compensation by Failing to See a Doctor

Not only do you put your health and well-being in jeopardy when you fail to see a doctor, but you also risk forfeiting your full compensation award. Again, an insurance adjuster could (and probably will) argue that the injuries aren’t related to the car accident – if they were, why would you delay so long in seeking medical care?

Another argument that an insurance adjuster may make that could be used to diminish your settlement is that you failed to do due diligence to mitigate damages. For example, if you suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident and then did not seek medical care for the injury, and, therefore, the injury was exacerbated, the insurance adjuster can claim that had you sought care, your injury wouldn’t be as severe, and, therefore, the insurance company should not be liable for the full extent of damages you have suffered.

Other Steps to Take After a Rear-End Collision

After a rear-end accident, or any motor vehicle accident type for that matter, you should seek medical care as soon as possible, but always within 24 hours of the collision . . . even if you do not believe you are hurt. In addition to seeking medical care, it is also important to report the accident to the police immediately, take pictures of the accident scene and any property damage or injuries, and to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.

Call Our Alabama Car Accident Lawyers Today

If you have suffered injuries as a result of a rear-end crash, our Alabama car accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Troy King want to meet with you. We can help you to file your claim and negotiate for a fair settlement, and we always work on a contingency fee basis which means that we never charge upfront fees to talk with you or to handle your case. Call us today at 334-215-4440 or send us a message directly to schedule your free consultation and get someone on your side who will fight as hard for you as the adjusters and their experts and lawyers will be fighting for the insurance company.

Burn Injuries – What You Need to Know

If you or someone you love has suffered a serious burn injury, you already know that this can be a devastating time.  The injuries are painful and the recovery is long and, often, incomplete.  If another party caused your injury through a deliberate, negligent, or careless act, you may have a right to compensation.

According to the American Burn Association, close to 500,000 burn accidents occur each year that are severe enough to require medical attention. Because burn injuries have a high survival rate, the victims of these accidents are often forced to endure ongoing physical pain, expensive medical care, and sometimes lasting disfigurations and limitations.

Different Types of Burn Injuries

Burns can come from a variety of sources, all of which have the potential to cause severe injury and even lead to death. The Cleveland Clinic outlines some of the different agents that can cause a burn injury:

  • Wet heat. A wet heat burn can happen when the body comes into contact with a hot liquid or steam. Scalding injuries typically occur when cooking and in some industrial situations.
  • Dry heat. The most common cause of a dry heat injury is fire. People who suffer from these injuries also might have to deal with smoke inhalation issues.
  • Electricity. When the body is exposed to an electrical current, the injuries can be so severe that they are fatal.
  • Friction. A friction burn injury happens when the body is rubbed or dragged against a surface or object. These are common with motor vehicle, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents.
  • Chemicals. Chemical burns can occur after exposure to alkaline or acidic substances. These burns can occur on the skin or happen internally if a chemical was ingested or inhaled.

The Severity of a Burn Injury

Burn injuries are categorized based on how severe they are, and this can also dictate what type of treatment you might require. These categories include:

  • First degree burns. These are considered minor burns that affect only the skin’s (epidermis) outer layer. Common symptoms of these burns include mild to moderate pain, swelling, and redness. With minor treatment, such as cool water and over the counter pain relievers, these burns generally heal in about a week.
  • Second degree These burns are considered more serious because they affect both the epidermis and the dermis, which is the next layer of skin. Common symptoms are more severe pain, blistering, redness, and the possibility of infection. Treatment includes covering the burn as well as cooling and sterilizing it by a medical professional. It could take several months for this type of burn to heal.
  • Third degree This is the most serious and severe type of burn, which goes through all layers of skin and often damages the muscle and soft tissue underneath. There could be a loss of sensation, and there is also charred or blackened areas of skin. These burns require immediate medical attention, could result in permanent damage or even death and may require many years of follow-up medical care.

Typical Causes of Burn Injuries

Burns caused by scalding, fire, chemicals, and electricity happen daily and impact people of all ages and backgrounds. These accidents can occur in a variety of settings, and sometimes another person or party is to blame. Some of the common accidents known to cause burn injuries include:

  • Car accidents. When a car crash occurs, gas from the engine can lead to an explosion and fire. The United States Fire Administration reports that these types of fires account for roughly 17% of this nation’s fire emergency calls.
  • Defective products. Any consumer product that uses a battery or electricity has the potential to overheat and cause injury if it has some sort of defect.  All too often, products like space heaters and electric blankets malfunction and start fires or cause burns that have devastating (and, often, deadly) results.
  • Workplace accidents. Thousands of accidents happen in the workplace each year, and many involve explosions and electrocution injuries.
  • Gas explosions. Anyplace where there is a gas furnace, propane tank, or water heater has a risk of an explosion.

Speak with a Qualified Montgomery Burn Injury Attorney

Burn injuries are painful and can change your life in numerous ways. If you need representation and advice about pursuing your rights in a severe burn injury case, contact our office now for a free initial consultation.

At the Law Office of Troy King, our personal injury attorneys are strong legal advocates for victims who were injured because of the careless or negligent acts of other individuals or organizations. Our goal is to represent those who place their trust and their cases in us with purpose and passion, and to help ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries. That is what I mean when I tell you that we are still protecting you.

Call us now at (334) 215-4440.  The call and the initial advice are always free.