The effects of a car accident injury are far-reaching. Treating them can be a huge financial burden on you, but these injuries can also affect your ability to work and even perform the daily tasks of life that are required of you here in Selma, Alabama. No injury is too small to dismiss—they all impact your life.
Many people choose to not seek medical care after they have been involved in a car accident. Some are concerned about their ability to pay for the medical bills, even if they forego treatment, and they think that they will save money by “toughing it out.” Others simply don’t think that they have any reason to see a doctor; they don’t see any signs of injury on the surface and they feel relatively fine, just a bit shaken up, so they play doctor and diagnose themselves.
Both of these are the wrong approaches, and we will explain why.
Oftentimes, you cannot see the full extent of an accident’s effects. While some injuries are easy to see, others are internal and therefore invisible to the naked eye, and some don’t show up until days, weeks, or even months down the road. For instance, bruising and swelling often take hours or days to appear. Signs of whiplash, back injuries, soft tissue injuries, concussions, and other head injuries may take even longer.
The point is, you might think that you are fine, when in reality, you are not. A doctor can see things that you cannot, and on the chance that there are underlying symptoms that you cannot see, these need to be documented and tied back to the car accident. No matter how small the symptom, it needs to be documented. If you end up pursuing legal action to recover compensation, there must be documentation of your symptoms. Otherwise, you will not be able to receive compensation for any medical bills tied to your injuries and will therefore end up losing money that is rightfully yours.
If you have been in a car accident, it is critical that you go see a doctor and begin documenting any change in your life since the accident. For instance, if you have to miss work because of an injury, record it. You should also contact an attorney as soon as possible to explain the facts and to see if you have a chance at recovering compensation. At Martinson & Beason, P.C., we serve the residents of Selma and Dallas County, as well as all of Alabama. Our personal injury attorneys are here for you.
Selma is the site of hundreds of unnecessary, devastating accidents.
Every year, too many Selma residents are injured in accidents caused by careless people. Drunk and distracted drivers, for example, cause car, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents. Irresponsible business owners fail to maintain their property, causing slips and falls. Mistakes made by negligent doctors injure their patients. Defective products harm unsuspecting people.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you should know that you have rights and options. If your accident was caused by another person’s carelessness or negligence, you can file a personal injury claim holding him or her responsible.
But how do you know if filing a personal injury claim is the best route for you? Do you have a case? Is it even worth it to file a claim? During this difficult time, you have questions that need answered—as soon as possible.
In Alabama, an injured person can’t collect any money from a personal injury claim if he or she is at all responsible for the accident. This harsh law—known as “contributory negligence”—means that the person at fault regarding your accident is one of the most important assets of your case. The question of who is at fault is sometimes difficult to answer, however, which is why an attorney’s advice is needed. (For more information about this, please visit our What Is Contributory Negligence? page.)
If your accident was caused by another person, the next important question to ask is whether it is worth it to file a claim. If your accident caused only minor injuries and minor damage to your car, it may not be worth the time and expense to file a personal injury claim. However, if your injuries are serious or life-changing, it may be time to talk to an attorney.
An attorney can help you determine if it is a good idea to file a claim and what your case may be worth. (To learn more about liability and fault, visit our What Is My Claim Worth? page.)
If you decide to file a claim, you may be able to recover the expenses of your injuries. These expenses include your medical costs, such as:
- Emergency room visit
- Doctors visits
- Therapy and rehabilitation
A personal injury claim may cover not only your current medical expenses but your future expenses as well.
For example, if the accident caused a life-changing injury or permanent disability, you may make a claim for those costs.
In addition to your medical expenses, a personal injury lawsuit may compensate you for lost income. If you had to miss work to because of a hospitalization or visits to the doctor, you may have lost out on that income. And if you’ve suffered a disability and can’t work, you may be unable to make a living in the future. Both current and future income can be covered by a personal injury claim.
Finally, a personal injury claim may compensate you for the loss of your property (such as the damage done to your car in a car crash) and your pain and suffering.
This type of claim is designed to help you get justice for the monetary and non-monetary losses you suffered because of the accident.
When you’re thinking about filing a personal injury claim, it’s important not to wait. Alabama law has strict laws about the time limits for filing a claim. If you wait too long, you may not be able to collect the compensation you need and deserve. In general, Alabama has a two-year statute of limitations, and, while this may seem like a long time, it takes time to gather evidence and build your case. This means the sooner you talk to an attorney, the better.
The physical, emotional, and financial stress of an injury can be life-changing: with medical bills piling up and time off work causing money troubles, it can seem like there’s nowhere to turn.
At Martinson & Beason, P.C., we’re here to help you. We understand how difficult this time is for you, which is why we’ll take care of the legal side of things. That way, you can get back to the most important thing: getting better.
Our firm has been helping people in Selma and Alabama for more than 75 years. We are dedicated to making sure that people like you don’t suffer because of the carelessness of others. We’ve successfully represented many individuals who have been injured in all kinds of accidents, including the ones below:
- Car accidents (including those caused by drunk drivers, distracted drivers, improperly maintained roadways, and defective parts)
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Defective products (including appliances, medical devices, and tools)
- Medical malpractice (including failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, and surgical errors)
- Wrongful death
At Martinson & Beason, P.C., we want to help you get the compensation you need and deserve. We will do everything we can to help you get back on your feet.
Contact us for a free, confidential consultation with an experienced, skilled Selma, AL personal injury lawyer. During your consultation, you can find out your rights and options as well as what we can do for you. Call us today.
Helping You after Devastating Truck Accidents
Selma, Alabama, located in Dallas County, has held its place in this great nation’s history as a place where history has not only occurred, but a place that has helped turn the wheel to the next chapter. In helping to define history, whether during the Civil War or Civil Rights Movement, the lightning that occurs when the past meets the future can completely define a place and even eclipse any further relevance. Luckily, the residents and the long traditions of Southern hospitality, community spirit, and family values have kept Selma an inviting place to raise a family and create new stories.
The value of living in such a richly historic community means that it continues to attract residents dedicated to improving the longstanding value and principles of the area. The city government website states about its draw and attractiveness to both new and staid residents, “Selma offers outstanding public and private schools, Selma University, Concordia College and Wallace Community College, low taxes, a safe community, job opportunities, churches, civic clubs, cultural organizations, recreational outlets, Vaughan Regional Medical Center and many other amenities.” It’s no wonder that the city boasts a quality of life that allows for growth.
One of the many ways that the city maintains its vitality is with its major thoroughfares and highways. SR-14 shares a route with several highways that allow for great mobility and growth. One potential downside to this ease of access to commerce, schools, and culture roadways can be an increase in traffic, including semi-trucks hauling goods across the state. While most people handle everyday traffic with ease, driving alongside tractor-trailer or semi-trucks can be a harrowing experience for many drivers, even seasoned ones. The potential for truck accidents in Selma, Alabama can leave someone in a passenger vehicle feeling vulnerable.
When there has been a truck accident in Selma, Alabama, the first course of action is receiving appropriate medical care and attention. Beyond the first issues of survival, how can a person who has encountered a devastating accident find reprieve?
First, it’s important to recognize how far the trucking industry has gone to educate and improve driver performance. The Alabama Trucking Association has dedicated many of its considerable resources to creating educational materials for drivers, such as training courses and books on CD so that its members can learn while on the move. The association’s motto is, “We’re working for a safer trucking industry through education, training and advocacy.” By no means are truckers as a group generally or intentionally injuring drivers. But, as the saying goes, accidents do happen.
So what happens when a truck accident in Selma, Alabama happens to you?
Statute of Limitations: Don’t Lose Sight of Time
A semi-truck accident requires filing an action in court within two years. This rule is called the “statute of limitations” and it is regulated by the state. The statute of limitations means that after an injury, even if the symptoms of the crash aren’t immediately obvious, a lawsuit may still be filed if it falls within the timeline. Waiting the full two years can create obstacles to recovering damages.
In some cases, someone chooses not to file a truck accident case immediately because the injury is minor, or at least it appears so. If the original injury perpetuates further physical injuries, the further injuries may not be compensable by the lawsuit. This may sound unfair, but there is a second legal concept at work here. That legal idea is “contributory negligence.” The way contributory negligence works in a truck accident case is that it attempts to shift the blame or assign a certain percentage of fault to the other party. By doing so, the defendant can avoid paying damages altogether (more about contributory negligence below.)
So even if the original injury does not start out seriously, a delay in seeking legal or medical advice can compound the injury and even completely ruin the possibility of recovering money damages.
Another serious issue in waiting to file a lawsuit occurs because of the potential for a loss of evidence. Where treating physicians may have their treatment and written notes, the ability to retrieve those notes may be delayed due to timing issues. Where a second physician may have been able to examine the injury, the passage of time will alter what that examination can reveal. The filing of a lawsuit within two years is meant to preserve the evidence in order to present the facts as accurately to the court as possible.
How does “contributory negligence” really affect my case?
Filing a truck accident case in Selma, Alabama requires that the plaintiff show that he or she did not contribute to the injury. The bar is set very high in Alabama. If the defendant can provide substantial proof that the plaintiff contributed even a modicum of fault to the injury, then the plaintiff will not recover at all. The zero-recovery rule is not the national standard. In fact, Alabama is one of only five states that observe a pure contributory negligence standard, including the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. The need for a competent and experienced truck accident attorney is vital to the case being presented, keeping all aspects of the evidence and burden of proof in mind.
Burden of Proof is on the Plaintiff
In any truck accident case, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff, or the person bringing the cause of action. Any photographs from any party, testimony from the parties and from witnesses at the time of the truck accident (including examining doctors and police officers), the police report, the doctor’s examination, and any other notes taken at the time of the event are all admissible into evidence.
Many plaintiffs believe that evidence alone is sufficient to win the argument. But unless the evidence fits the legal definition of negligence per se (translated roughly as “the thing speaks for itself”) then the facts must be argued to fit the elements of negligence. The elements amount to: (1) the duty of the defendant must be proven; (2) the breach of the duty was the defendant’s actions; (3) the negligence was the causation of harm; and (4) proven damages.
Speaking to a truck accident attorney
An experienced and knowledgeable truck accident attorney can help in analyzing the facts of a situation affecting you or a loved one. Please do not hesitate to call our office for more information and help in figuring out the statute of limitations and evidence in your claim.
Motorcycle Crashes in Selma
All drivers have the right to use our state and our nation’s roadways, no matter whether they are driving a car, truck, or motorcycle. Unfortunately, however, not all drivers of cars and trucks share the roads well with motorcycles. Often, drivers of cars and trucks fail to watch out for motorcycles around them, causing accidents with tragic results. With the recent increase in distracted distracting, motorcyclists are even more endangered on Alabama roadways. In 2011, nearly 2,000 crashes with motorcycles occurred in our state.1
If you are a motorcyclist, take the following steps to reduce your chances of being involved in an accident:
- Wear a helmet. Serious head injuries are very common in motorcycle accidents. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, wearing a helmet is 37% effective in preventing death and 67% effective in preventing injuries to the brain.1
- Make sure that you are seen by other drivers. Wearing bright or reflective clothing.
- Wear protective gear, such as jackets, pants, and boots, to protect yourself from road rash and other injuries.
- Drive defensively. Don’t tailgate and maintain a safe speed for road and weather conditions.
- Never drink and drive.
If you are involved in an accident caused by another person’s recklessness, the Selma, AL motorcycle accident attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C. are here to help you get compensation for your injuries.
To learn how we can help you, email us or call (256) 533-1667. The consultation is free, with no fine print and no strings attached. We represent individuals in Selma, Dallas County, and Alabama.
Wrongful Death Caused by Accident
Selma, Alabama, despite having only approximately 20,000 residents, is not safe from wrongful injuries and deaths. Anyone can be the victim of someone else’s reckless and careless actions. Accidents can happen anywhere and can encompass a wide variety of situations, from motor vehicle accidents to slip and fall accidents. Motor vehicle accidents are an insidious killer in rural areas like Selma and Dallas County. While it’s true that more car accidents happen in urban areas, more deaths occur in crashes that happen on rural roads.1
When someone’s negligence causes your loved one to be ripped away from you, your family suffers both emotionally and financially. The emotional pain comes immediately. The financial consequences, however, may not be immediately apparent. Do you know how you will get your family member’s last affairs in order, pay any remaining bills, and cover the costs of the funeral? Unfortunately, your family must deal with these issues on top of dealing with grief.
Having the assistance of a Selma, AL wrongful death attorney can be beneficial for you and your family. The attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C. have extensive experience supporting families who have lost loved ones and working to obtain just compensation for them.
Let us help you get the justice and fair recovery that you deserve and need. Contact us to discuss your wrongful death claim at your free consultation.