Fighting For Injured Victims Since 1937
To the outside observer, a city like Athens, Alabama may seem very similar to other small to mid-size towns, but the pride of the town runs deep. As one of the oldest incorporated cities in the state, Athens, Alabama has seen its economy depend on one stalwart industry after another, such as cotton, railroad, and aerospace, only to see those financial cornerstones fade in prominence. Today, the production and distribution of electricity supply both employment for Athens residents as well as electricity to surrounding areas. Contact our Athens office location.
According to the city’s government page, Athens continues to be a thriving city despite over 60% of the landscape being undeveloped or agricultural. “The city’s proximity to transportation, recreational opportunities and educational centers make it a vibrant spot today,” boasts the city government page. Living in Athens, Alabama may include more opportunity than ever before. With such an optimistic outlook, it’s no wonder that the city’s economic development plans have never looked better!
But the possibility of car accidents still exist.
Car accidents in Athens, Alabama, or anywhere in Limestone County, can occur between agricultural and farming machinery versus passenger vehicles. The fact that the city holds many transportation options makes it a high traffic spot for tractor-trailers or 18-wheeler trucks hauling goods to market. A small passenger car holds very little chance of defense against a semi-truck with a tight delivery schedule. Although truckers would tell you their schedule depends on driving safely, the sheer size and weight difference between their trucks and a passenger vehicle make it an unfair fight from the start.
That’s why understanding your rights in an Alabama car accident makes sense, even if you live in a small city like Athens.
FAQ: I was just in a car accident. What do I do now?
First, make sure your vehicle and the other vehicle(s) involved have cleared the road. Find a safe space away from traffic to speak with them. Then, contact the police. Even in a “minor” crash or fender-bender, you will need the authorities there to document any damages and wrongdoing on behalf of the involved parties.
While you wait for an officer to arrive, write down the license plate number of all involved vehicles. Start exchanging information with the other driver(s), including your full name, insurance, address, and phone number. By this time, a responding officer should be there to print out an accident report for you. You should also take pictures of the damage and surrounding environment with a cell phone. Next, contact an experience car accident attorney.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, receiving proper medical attention is the first priority. After attending to the obvious critical healthcare needs, consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you focus your time and energy on getting your life back to normal.
What does a personal injury claim from a car crash cover?
Many consumers believe that dramatizations on fiction television shows are accurate depictions of the legal process. A “bad guy” admits guilt and the “good guy” wins – all in under one hour’s time. But life and the law rarely work out this smoothly, and the good guy is still stuck with high medical bills, loss of work, pain and suffering, and even ongoing mental anguish from the trauma of the injury. So what does the real-life process look like? What can someone expect from the legal process after filing a lawsuit for personal injury from a car crash?
Putting a dollar amount on physical and emotional pain
A personal injury claim attempts to recompense the financial damages that a car crash creates. A personal injury claim seeks to recover the lost income and wages from missing time away from work. A personal injury claim attempts to place a dollar value on the pain and suffering, both emotional and mental, which very often accompanies a car crash or other injury. In short, the purpose of the personal injury lawsuit is to place a total dollar amount on the total effects of a car crash.
The way that an injured person recovers money damages from the court is through presenting evidence. The police crash report is admitted to show fault, but this is by no means the end of the story. Defense from the other driver’s insurance will attempt to show less fault by introducing elements of the road conditions. For example, “Was the road wet? Were there visibility conditions that could’ve affected the drivers? Was there an underlying defect in manufacturing?” These are the types of questions that could minimize liability for the insurance company, but the money is out of the pocket of the injured parties as well.
Assigning Fault: Contributory Negligence
These types of defenses fall in line with the legal concept of “contributory negligence.” For every piece of evidence introduced, plaintiffs in a car crash should expect the defense to show how and why the fault should be shared. The main question being asked by the parties here is, “How did each party contribute to the crash, and thereby, how can each side lessen the financial responsibility?” These may seem devoid of caring, but the court’s only remedies are the ones that can be quantified in this manner. That’s why working with an experienced Athens car crash attorney can help, as they tell your side of the story with empathy and understanding of the emotional toll a car crash creates.
FAQ: What is contributory negligence?
Alabama law states that if you are even 1% at fault in the accident, you may not recover damages. This is one of the reasons it is so important to fully document your accident, including photos, witness contact information, drawings of the area, etc.
Medical bills, including psychiatric therapy, may also be introduced as evidence to show the extent of damages. Again, the concept of contributory negligence will come up as each side attempts to show how the plaintiff worsened the effects of the crash, and so the defense should not be held responsible. Pain and suffering from the crash can include psychiatric and mental anguish such as recurring nightmares, loss of sleep, and panic attacks. These are just a few examples of manifestations of the types of legally recognized conditions.
Take for example the situation where a person is involved in a car crash, and that person happens to be a recovering alcoholic. If the injured party experiences a relapse into alcoholism from the physical and mental pain of the crash, which in turn affects job performance or the loss of income, the defendant may be held responsible for the lost income, as well as the psychiatric and medical bills ensuing from the injuries. The defendant, on the other hand, will attempt to show that the relapse was not the direct result of the car crash, and thus, the loss of income was not a foreseeable consequence of the crash but instead from the plaintiff’s behavior.
This is where a car crash attorney shows their worth. An experienced car crash attorney will connect the dots by advocating how the defendant must take responsibility for any pre-existing condition of the plaintiff’s at the time of the crash. Since there is substantial and recognized medical evidence that alcoholism is considered a physiological and chemical dependency, a solid argument may be made that the car crash created the circumstance to trigger a relapse.
Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations in Alabama of two years to file a claim against another person for injuries following a car crash.
The above examples serve to illustrate what a person can expect in a personal injury or car crash lawsuit. Every situation differs according to the facts and the parties involved. Reaching out to a competent, highly compassionate, and effective car crash attorney in Athens, Alabama can help you find your way through the legal process.
Wrongful Death Car Accident in Athens, Alabama
There is nothing worse than losing someone close to you. Sadly, the pain is magnified when the loss was needless, or caused by another person’s negligence and recklessness. Too many individuals in Athens, Limestone County, and Alabama die each year as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing. Over 3,000 people died from an injury in the state of Alabama in 2010.
Though nothing can replace your loved one, it can help you and your family to see justice served. As the administrator of the decedent’s estate, you can make a wrongful death claim against the negligent person. Your claim can seek punitive damages, which are damages that punish the individual for their negligence. It’s important that, if you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you talk with an attorney as soon as possible after your loved one’s death. Alabama law only allows so much time for you to make your claim. After two years, that door will be permanently closed to you. In this case of a claim against the city or county, you only have six months or one year.
FAQ: What is the process for resolving a wrongful death lawsuit?
To bring a wrongful death lawsuit under Alabama law, an estate has to be opened. The proper person to bring a wrongful death lawsuit is the administrator of the estate, that’s the vehicle or the mechanism in which a wrongful death claim is filed in Alabama. The administrator of the estate is the person that helps assist the lawyer in prosecuting the claim.
The time frame or the statute of limitations within which to file a claim is two years from at which the person passed. You have two years from the date of death to file a claim before it will be barred under Alabama law.
At Martinson & Beason, P.C., we understand the suffering that you are going through, and we will do everything we can to help. Our experienced, understanding Athens, AL wrongful death lawyers will guide you through the process every step of the way and tirelessly work to make sure that you receive just compensation for your loss. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Athens, Alabama
Millions of Americans enjoy riding motorcycles. Unfortunately, many of these individuals will be injured or even killed on the road this year. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one million riders were admitted to an emergency room to be treated for a motorcycle injury from 2001 to 2008. In the same years, more than 34,000 were fatally injured. The types of injuries that can be sustained during a motorcycle wreck range from minor to extremely serious, with the most affected parts of the body being the feet, legs, head, and neck.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you know first-hand how devastating it can be. An injury can be expensive to treat, and the healing process can be lengthy and painful. On top of that, it can prevent you from returning to your job and resuming normal activities. As a result, such an injury can be life-changing.
FAQ: Someone else caused the accident and I was hurt, but I can’t afford an attorney. What should I do?
Most attorneys offer a free consultation and many injury attorneys will accept cases on a contingency basis. This means that they will handle your case without up-front charges. You will pay the attorney a portion of the proceeds only if they recover on your behalf. This means that if you were truly injured as the result of another persons’ negligence, you should speak to an attorney and learn your rights. It doesn’t cost you anything to explain your situation and ask if you have a case.
At Martinson & Beason, P.C., we’ve seen the tremendous difficulties that motorcycle riders and their families face when dealing with an accident-related injury. We have helped numerous riders just like you overcome these challenges by helping them get the compensation they deserved. And we would be glad to do the same for you.
Athens, AL Truck Accident Attorney
It is an unfortunate fact that thousands of Americans are killed on our nation’s highways every year. Many of these fatalities could have been avoided if only the drivers responsible had taken greater care behind the wheel.
Often, this is the case in accidents involving 18-wheelers and large trucks. Commercial drivers who operate semi-trucks are subject to a number of negative influences that can contribute to crashes. In order to meet tight delivery deadlines, they may be pressured to drive longer distances, resulting in driver fatigue. The truck may be overloaded with cargo or may not be loaded properly, which can make it harder to maneuver. And trucks, because of their weight, require a longer stopping distance, which makes tailgating extremely risky.
When a truck driver makes a mistake, the resulting accident is devastating. Often, the other vehicle involved sustains costly damaged or is totaled. Worse still, the injuries caused by the accident are frequently very serious.
If you have been injured in an accident with a semi or large truck, you have options. With the help of an Athens, AL truck accident lawyer at Martinson & Beason, P.C., you can pursue the compensation necessary to pay your bills and get back on your feet.