Personal Injury Lawyers in Mobile, Alabama
Regardless of how it happens or who’s to blame, being involved in an accident and suffering an injury can be a scary experience, and one that uproots your life and shifts the trajectory of your future. When another person is to blame for that accident, you may have feelings of anger, frustration, and distrust, as well as anxiety and questions about what happens next.
At the law office of Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, P.C., our Alabama personal injury lawyers have been representing clients in our state for over 35 years. We understand the feelings you’re experiencing and are empathetic to your situation. We also strongly believe that when injuries are caused by another party, the injured party deserves to be compensated for the full extent of their harm. When you choose our personal injury law firm, we will work hard to get you a fair settlement and the compensation you need to move forward.
Our Personal Injury Practice Areas
With nearly four decades of experience behind our name, our personal injury lawyers have represented clients involved in nearly every imaginable type of accident. We are well-versed in the myriad aspects of personal injury law, and we are confident in our ability to competently handle your claim, no matter the type of accident or injury you have suffered. Our personal injury practice areas include, but are not limited to:
- Automobile accidents;
- Commercial vehicle crashes;
- Wrongful death claims;
- Catastrophic injury claims;
- Boating accident injuries;
- Workplace injuries;
- Premises liability claims;
- Nursing home abuse;
- Injuries to Children
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Railroad Crossing Accident
- Injuries to children;
- Bicycle and scooter accidents;
- Industrial accidents;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Bus accidents;
- amputations; and
- Pedestrian accidents.
Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you have, free of charge. We are more than happy to help you however we can.
Damages Recoverable in a Personal Injury Claim
When you file a personal injury claim in Alabama, you have the right to seek compensation for all of the losses that you have incurred, both economic and noneconomic in nature. Our lawyers will help you to understand the various damage types in an Alabama personal injury claim, how the value of damages is determined, and how to make a claim for damage recovery. Types of damages that are recoverable in a personal injury claim include:
- Economic losses. Those losses that you have suffered that are economic in nature and can be precisely calculated, such as the value of your medical bills, property damage, or lost wages and last future earning capacity suffered as a result of your accident and injuries are called economic damages. You are entitled to 100% of your economic losses.
- Noneconomic losses. Not all damages are easy to quantify. For example, you cannot assign a dollar figure to someone’s physical pain and suffering and/or diminished quality of life. Nonetheless, you deserve compensation for your economic losses as well as your noneconomic losses. Our lawyers can assist you in properly calculating these damages and making a claim for compensation.
- Punitive damages. Both economic and noneconomic damages are compensatory in nature, which means that they are designed to compensate the victim for losses suffered. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are much more rare in a personal injury claim, as they are meant to punish the defendant rather than compensate the victim, and are only available when the defendant caused the victim’s injuries as a result of deliberate malice, fraud, wantonness, or oppression (Alabama Code Section 6-11-20).
Follow the Right Steps from the Very Beginning
Taking the right steps after your accident can help you look credible to insurance companies and attorneys. We recommend:
- Calling the police at the scene of the incident. A police report creates a paper trail of your accident and injuries, making it much harder for the other party to deny that the incident ever happened.
- Seeking medical attention right away. Many people put off medical care out of fear of how much it costs, but this is a crucial part of your personal injury claim. The longer you wait to see a doctor, the easier it is for the insurance company to claim that your injuries actually occurred after the accident.
Before you talk to the other party’s insurance company, call a personal injury attorney. They can help you preserve evidence and begin working on your claim, and on top of that, they can save you from saying something unintentionally damaging to the insurance company.
What to Expect from Our Personal Injury Attorneys
Choosing an attorney to represent you during your personal injury claim is a significant undertaking; you want an attorney who is experienced, who is looking out for your best interests, and who will make your case a priority. When you choose our law firm, you are choosing lawyers who have:
- Recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our personal injury clients;
- More than three decades of experience in and out of the courtroom and lawyers with more than 100 years of combined legal experience; and
- A strong reputation, a proven track record of successful results, and the resources necessary to build your case.
Our lawyers will fully investigate your claim, hire experts to add clout and clarity to your case, represent you in all interactions with the defendant and insurance adjusters, perform a valuation of your damages, manage all legal elements of your claim, review and negotiate your settlement, and litigate your case if need be.
The Statute of Limitations in Alabama
Suffering a serious injury can be a life-changing experience, and one that shocks you and leaves you unsure of how to proceed. While recovering from your injuries should be your top priority, our lawyers want to remind you that if you do not initiate your claim within the required time frame, you may forfeit your right to compensation.
In Alabama, a plaintiff only has two years from the date of their injury to file a claim in most personal injury cases; if you breach the two-year statute of limitations, you will likely be barred from recovery. If you are injured when you are a minor, the two-year clock does not begin counting down until you are 19 years old.
You can preserve your right to compensation by seeking medical care immediately following your accident, reporting your accident to the police and your insurance adjuster, and then immediately calling a lawyer who can start collecting and preserving evidence, talking to eyewitnesses, and ensuring that your case is filed within the legal time limit.
Why You Should File Earlier
Legally, yes, you can wait up to two years to file a lawsuit against the liable party. But you should begin the process of a personal injury claim right away. The vast majority of personal injury claims are settled outside of court, so it’s likely your attorney will not even need to file a lawsuit.
However, the longer you wait to begin your claim, the harder it may be to prove your injuries and validate the facts of the accident. Consider a car accident. In the days after an accident, you can still drive by the scene and see skid marks from where someone tried to stop, property damage to the median or side of the road, and shattered glass from the car. This is all valuable evidence in a claim.
Mistakes You Should Avoid in a Personal Injury Case
Assuming Your Own Innocence
This mistake might take you by surprise—as the victim of the accident, of course you’re innocent. However, you have to look at your own claim through the insurance company’s eyes. They aren’t assuming you’re innocent, and in fact, they’re looking for ways to prove that you’re not. This means that you want to keep a low profile and be careful what you say regarding your injuries until you’ve reached a settlement.
If you’re out sharing your story with the media, leading a virtual mob against the negligent party, or otherwise going to great lengths to make your story public, these actions could damage your claim. Any comments you make about the accident could be taken out of context by the insurance company and used against you.
Being Active on Social Media
This mistake ties in closely with the first one. Being too active on social media after an injury can definitely hurt you during settlement negotiations. Posting details of your accident on social media gives the insurance company room to look for discrepancies between your posts and your official statement. Furthermore, posting about your activities online gives the insurance company a chance to question the severity of your injuries. It can be hard to keep such an important aspect of your life private if you’re an avid social media user but hold off until your case is settled.
Failing to Get Medical Care
Either skipping medical care completely or putting it off is a huge mistake that can be devastating to your personal injury claim. First, you need to prove that the other party’s negligent actions caused your injuries. That involves getting medical evidence of your injuries and their cause. If you go to the doctor right after an accident, it creates a pretty clear link between the accident and your injuries.
If you wait a week or two or longer, it will be much more difficult to establish a link. The other side might claim that your injuries happened between the accident and the doctor appointment, and you’re just trying to get them to pay for injuries they didn’t even cause. Get medical care right away after an accident and follow your physician’s instructions. This shows that you take your injuries seriously and that you are doing everything you can to help the healing process.
Thinking You Don’t Need an Attorney
Everyone wants to negotiate their own settlement until they realize just how hard the insurance company is willing to fight. The insurance industry spends a large amount of money figuring out how to deny victims full settlements, and you can expect all of that knowledge to work against you as you fight for compensation.
If you retain a reputable attorney to negotiate on your behalf, the insurance adjuster will take your claim more seriously. Your attorney can figure out the value of your claim and handle negotiations with the insurance company, giving you more time to rest and recover.
When Is It Time to Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If the other party has a team of insurance adjusters on their side, who has your back? Until you hire an attorney, no one does. Trying to represent yourself in this type of situation leaves you woefully underprepared for everything an insurance company will do to wear you down. You can try to negotiate with them on your own, but they probably won’t budge—they know that if they wait you out, you’ll wear down and agree to their offer.
You need an attorney. Attorneys who focus on personal injury law know exactly how insurance adjusters operate, and as a result, they know how to get past those unfair negotiating techniques and fight for what you really deserve. Your attorney will investigate your accident, get a full understanding of your injuries, and hold the other party accountable for the damage they have caused. This means that you don’t have to communicate with the insurance company or worry about negotiations. You can simply focus on healing.
If You Have to Talk to Insurance Companies
Whenever an insurance company has a hand in the outcome of your personal injury claim, you absolutely need an attorney. Insurance companies, above all else, are in the business of making money. When they look at you—a victim of their client’s negligence—they just see another obstacle to their company’s record profits. Their goal is to get you to sign a waiver of liability while paying you as little as possible. To know what your case is actually worth and force the insurance company to play fair, you need an attorney who can get them to the negotiating table.
They Aren’t On Your Side
If you answer the phone, you might be shocked at how friendly the insurance adjuster is. They might ask how you are, apologize for the accident, and promise to make things right with you. It’s all fake, unfortunately. No matter how friendly they seem, they are not on your side. They are not even on their own client’s side—they are representing the insurance company and its financial interests. Their goal is to get you to sign a liability waiver in exchange for as little money as possible.
The First Settlement Offer is Likely Unfair
The first settlement amount they offer is likely far too low to consider. This is just them trying their luck. If they get an uninformed consumer, the adjuster may be able to convince them to accept this offer. They often do this by saying that the offer is only good for 24 hours or that it is the very most they can offer. Afraid of getting nothing, some victims sign the paperwork and take the paltry settlement offer.
After You Suffer Injuries
If you have sustained physical injuries, you should discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. The responsible party may offer to pay initial medical bills to bring the situation to a close, but this solution does not take into account your missed work, future medical bills, and other expenses. On the flip side, the responsible party could completely ghost you to avoid taking responsibility. In these situations, legal solutions are your only option.
When Property Damage is Involved
Property damage can be substantial in a personal injury claim, but trying to evaluate the damage and get a fair payment from the liable party is a challenge. To be made whole—which is the goal after you have suffered losses because of someone else’s negligence—you need an experienced attorney. Your attorney can figure out your financial losses, determine whether or not your property can be repaired or if it is a total loss, and hold the other party accountable for their actions. Without the help of an attorney, you run the risk of accepting an insultingly low settlement offer that is just a fraction of your total losses.
Contact Burns, Cunningham & Mackey Today
Our lawyers have the case results and the experience that you can count on when you have been seriously injured and need an advocate on your side who can help you to recover the financial compensation to which you’re entitled. To learn more about the personal injury claim process, or to have one of our Alabama personal injury lawyers review your case free of charge today, please call our law firm at 800-574-4332 today, visit our Mobile law office in person, or use the contact form on our website to provide us more details about your accident and injuries. We offer the legal support and representation you’re looking for. We focus on injured victims who have suffered anything from serious injuries to fractured bones.
We also handle personal injury cases in Daphne.