Motorcycle Intersection Accidents

Intersection Accidents: Why Motorcyclists Are at Heightened Risk

Intersection accidents are a serious concern for all road users, but motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable when navigating these high-risk areas. The combination of traffic congestion, varying road conditions, and the presence of multiple vehicles can create a dangerous environment for motorcyclists.

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users on Montgomery roads. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash, turn to attorney Aaron Luck for help with your personal injury claim. Give us a call at 334-262-1911 to set up a consultation with our team.

Understanding Intersection Dynamics and Risks

Intersections force drivers and riders to make split-second decisions, often under pressure. The complexity of intersections arises from vehicles traveling in different directions, sometimes with competing priorities, driving up the risk of a crash. For motorcyclists, these risks are amplified by factors such as their limited size and minimal protection.

Adding to the danger, motorcyclists often find themselves in drivers’ blind spots, making them less visible to already distracted drivers. This decreased visibility is a critical concern, as it directly correlates with the frequency of incidents involving motorcycles within these high-activity zones. 

Furthermore, the unpredictable nature of intersections creates a dynamic environment where motorcyclists must remain vigilant to navigate safely. Recognizing these challenges is the first step in understanding why intersections represent a particular hazard for motorcyclists.

The Vulnerability of Motorcyclists in Traffic

The inherent risk faced by motorcyclists on the road is significantly compounded by their lack of physical protection compared to passengers in enclosed vehicles. This disparity in safety measures means that, in the event of a collision, motorcyclists are subjected to direct exposure to the forces of impact. Intersections, in particular, pose a heightened danger. Here, the complexities of navigation along with the other dangers faced by motorcyclists lay the groundwork for collisions. 

Moreover, the often limited reaction time available in such dynamic environments leaves little margin for error. Recognizing and addressing these challenges is paramount in safeguarding these vulnerable road users.

Contributing Factors to Intersection Accidents Involving Motorcycles

Several underlying factors play a significant role in intersection accidents involving motorcycles. Driver inattention is a leading cause, as motorists often overlook motorcycles due to their smaller size, leading to hazardous situations. Misjudgment of a motorcyclist’s speed and distance is another critical factor, with drivers frequently failing to accurately assess the approach of motorcycles.

Additionally, the failure to yield the right of way, particularly during turning maneuvers, heightens the risk for motorcyclists navigating through intersections. Speeding and distracted driving further contribute to the danger, diminishing the driver’s ability to react promptly to the dynamic changes at intersections. Road design flaws and limited visibility issues also significantly increase the danger for motorcyclists. These contributing factors highlight the complex nature of the risks at intersections, showing the need for heightened awareness and improved safety measures to protect motorcyclists on the road.

Strategies for Reducing Intersection Accidents

To address the grave concerns surrounding intersection accidents involving motorcyclists, immediate action is necessary. Enhanced visibility for motorcyclists is paramount; utilizing reflective gear and ensuring motorcycles are equipped with high-visibility lights can significantly reduce the risk of these accidents. Motorcyclists and drivers alike must adhere strictly to traffic regulations and signals, as these are designed to create a safe driving environment for everyone on the road.

Education plays a pivotal role in mitigating risks, with targeted campaigns aimed at both motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers to foster an environment of mutual respect and understanding on the roads. Such initiatives should highlight the unique vulnerabilities of motorcyclists and promote defensive driving techniques.

By implementing these strategies, everyone on the road can do their part to keep motorcyclists safe and decrease accident rates in and around Montgomery. Our vulnerable road users deserve better, and by driving more carefully, supporting public safety initiatives, and calling for more rider-safe infrastructure, we can help create a safer environment for them.

Explore Your Legal Options with McPhillips Shinbaum

When you’re ready to take the next step in your motorcycle accident claim, it’s time to meet with the team at McPhillips Shinbaum. We’ll learn more about your accident and help you understand your options for seeking compensation. Fill out our online contact form or call us at 334-262-1911 to get started.

Personal Injury Settlement vs. Verdict

The Differences Between a Settlement and a Verdict in Personal Injury Cases

You’ve been injured because of another person’s mistake, perhaps in a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or other type of accident. Now that you’ve made the decision to seek legal representation, you have some important choices to make. Understanding the differences between a verdict and a settlement can help you know what to expect from this process and what factors may affect your claim.

At McPhillips Shinbaum in Montgomery, our clients fight for full and fair compensation with the assistance of attorney Aaron Luck. Find out more about how we can help you now by calling us at 334-262-1911.

The Process of Beginning a Claim

First, you have to understand the general process that you go through when you pursue a personal injury claim. After an attorney agrees to take your claim, they go through an investigation to learn more about what happened and gather the necessary evidence. This should give them the information they need to contact the insurance company on your behalf. They assess how much your claim is worth, send a demand letter to the insurance company, and begin negotiations.

The majority of personal injury claims result in a settlement, not a verdict. This generally happens fairly early on in the process; both sides avoid the risk of going to court while still having some control over the outcome. However, a settlement is not always possible, nor is it always the best option for your case.

What Happens When You Negotiate a Settlement

After your attorney sends a demand letter to the insurance company, the insurance company will come back with their own settlement offer. The first offer is rarely what you actually deserve. Negotiations commence, and in most cases, the parties end up agreeing on a number. You, as the victim, sign a waiver that gives up your right to sue for your current injuries or other injuries resulting from the accident in question. You then receive your settlement.

When It’s Necessary to Secure a Verdict

Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always see the genuine value of a claim. If they do not accept the evidence presented to them or underestimate how much a claim is worth, their settlement offer may not come anywhere close to what you are willing to accept. When negotiations falter, your personal injury attorney may need to move forward with a lawsuit.

Even then, a settlement is still a possibility. As the case proceeds and discovery brings your evidence to light, the other party may opt to offer a more favorable settlement. If this does not happen, your case will go before a judge and possibly a jury.

Once the judge and jury have heard from both sides, they will make their decision. In some cases, the judge alone hears your case and makes the final decision; in others, the jury makes the final call. They will decide whether or not the other party is liable for your injuries. If they find that the other party is liable, they will also decide how much compensation they owe you.

The Risks You Take with a Settlement or Verdict

Both of these solutions come with benefits and drawbacks, so we’ll focus on the risks. When you accept a settlement, risks are overall low. The main risk is that you may give up what you truly deserve—for example, if your case warrants punitive damages, you’ll only be awarded those if your case goes to court and results in a verdict. In exchange for guaranteed compensation, you have to give up the possibility of getting a much larger award.

The risks associated with a verdict are far greater. It’s entirely possible that you’ll go through the entire process, only for the jury to find that the other party is not liable and that you are not entitled to anything. Since this is Alabama, they may find that you are partially to blame for the accident—a decision that bars you from receiving any compensation. This risk is more than most people are willing to bear, particularly if they need compensation for medical expenses and other accident-related costs.

Considering a Personal Injury Claim? Contact McPhillips Shinbaum

The right decision for your case will be determined by the specific details of your accident and injuries. That’s where attorney Aaron Luck steps in to help—you can trust his expertise and commitment to his clients. Set up a consultation now by getting in touch online or calling us at 334-262-1911.

Personal Injury Claims

Can Returning to Work Too Soon Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim?

Returning to work too soon after sustaining a personal injury can have significant implications on your personal injury claim. While it may seem necessary to resume work as soon as possible for financial reasons, doing so too early could potentially damage your claim and limit your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries. This seems unfair—people often have to go back to work to provide for their families, but in doing so, they prevent themselves from receiving the full and fair compensation they deserve.

It’s important to run important decisions like this one by your personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At McPhillips Shinbaum, attorney Aaron Luck helps injured clients pursue the compensation they are owed. Set up your consultation with attorney Aaron Luck now by calling us at 334-262-1911.

How Your Work Status Affects Your Personal Injury Claim

Your work status plays a crucial role in your personal injury claim, as it directly impacts the amount of compensation you receive and your efforts to mitigate your injuries. When determining compensation for your injuries, insurance companies and courts consider factors such as lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and the impact of the injury on your ability to perform job-related tasks. Your work status, including whether you are able to return to work, the extent of your work restrictions, and any accommodations needed, plays a big role in the compensation you receive. If you push yourself to return to work early—even if doing so negatively impacts your health—the insurance company may claim that your injuries obviously aren’t as bad as reported.

Dangers of Returning to Work Early

Returning to work earlier than recommended after sustaining a personal injury can pose several risks to your claim:

  • Underestimation of damages: By returning to work before you fully recover from your injuries, you may underestimate the severity of your condition and the long-term impact it may have on your ability to work and earn income. This could result in undervaluing your claim and receiving inadequate compensation for your losses. You may, for example, be able to push through your work for a few weeks—only to collapse four weeks in and be permanently out of the workforce.

  • Compromised medical treatment: Returning to work too soon may interfere with your medical treatment and rehabilitation process. Focusing on work responsibilities instead of prioritizing your recovery could delay or hinder your progress, leading to prolonged pain and suffering and potentially exacerbating your injuries. Remember, part of your responsibility in a personal injury claim is to put appropriate effort into your recovery.

  • Limited documentation: Continuing to work while still experiencing pain or limitations may result in insufficient documentation of your injuries and their impact on your ability to work. It’s likely that the other party will assume your injuries are less severe than reported.

Going Back to Work Could Endanger Your Claim

Returning to work too early could also jeopardize your claim by providing ammunition for the defense to dispute the validity of your claim. Insurance companies will point at your past descriptions of your injuries, and then ask how those reports can be true if you’re back to work already. Not only could your claim lose value, but it could be lost entirely if the insurance company is convincing enough.

How to Protect Your Case

Protecting your health and your personal injury claim should be two of your top priorities during this process. Luckily, the two go hand-in-hand. First, follow the treatment and care recommendations given by your doctor. This means not returning to work until you are given the all-clear, doing all recommended physical therapy exercises, and taking medication as prescribed. Second, document your progress and setbacks. If your injury prevents you from taking care of your home and family, following your care instructions, or otherwise living your daily life, make note of these limitations.

Explore Your Legal Options with McPhillips Shinbaum

When you’re ready to move forward with your personal injury claim, attorney Aaron Luck is here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Let’s sit down and talk about your next steps. Just call us at 334-262-1911 or send us a message online to get started.

Motorcycle Accidents

How Distracted Driving Increases the Risk of Motorcycle Accidents

Distracted driving poses a significant threat to road safety, particularly for vulnerable road users like motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. As drivers increasingly engage in activities like texting, eating, or texting while behind the wheel, motorcyclists face ever-growing dangers. Understanding the link between distracted driving and motorcycle accidents is crucial for those who use the road and who are affected directly by these accidents.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Montgomery motorcycle accident, don’t wait any longer to find out if you’re entitled to compensation. Call McPhillips Shinbaum at 334-262-1911 to set up a consultation with our team.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving refers to any activity that diverts a driver’s attention away from the demanding task of operating a vehicle. Common distractions include using smartphones, eating or drinking, grooming, adjusting the radio or GPS, and interacting with passengers. Studies have shown that distracted driving significantly impairs a driver’s ability to detect and react to potential hazards on the road, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Distractions are generally classified into three separate categories: cognitive, manual, and visual. Some activities, such as texting, fit into all three categories.

Why Motorcyclists Are at Greater Risk

Motorcyclists are inherently more vulnerable on the road than occupants of enclosed vehicles. Unlike cars or trucks, motorcycles lack the protective structure of a vehicle, leaving riders exposed to the full force of impact in the event of a collision. On the other hand, occupants of standard passenger vehicles benefit from crumple zones that absorb much of the force of a crash. The protection that motorcyclists do have comes largely from their helmets and any other protective gear they use.

Additionally, motorcycles are smaller and less visible than other vehicles, making them more susceptible to being overlooked by distracted drivers. As a result, motorcyclists face a heightened risk of severe injuries or fatalities when involved in accidents caused by distracted driving.

How Distracted Driving Causes Motorcycle Accidents

Distracted driving can lead to motorcycle accidents in various ways. One common scenario is when a distracted driver misjudges a motorcyclist’s speed and distance. This leads to a collision at intersections or during a lane change. Additionally, distracted drivers may exhibit erratic behavior on the road, such as swerving or sudden braking. This behavior puts motorcyclists at risk of being struck from behind or forced off the road. Distractions can impair a driver’s ability to maintain proper control of their vehicle.

Consider this: drivers are generally far less likely to see motorcycles than they are to see other vehicles. Motorcycles are smaller and easier to miss during a quick glance. This effect is multiplied when a driver is already distracted and giving just a shred of their attention to the road. By the time they realize a motorcyclist is in their path, it may be too late to take corrective action.

Legal Options for Injured Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists injured in accidents caused by distracted driving have legal recourse to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, injured motorcyclists may pursue a personal injury claim against the liable driver. This can be an uphill battle for some motorcyclists, as many people still assume the worst of motorcyclists and blame accidents on them regardless of what the evidence says.

That’s why it’s so important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. Motorcyclists often suffer enormous physical and financial losses in these collisions, but drivers’ policies aren’t quick to pay out what victims owe. The sooner you begin working with an attorney on your case, the more time they have to gather necessary evidence, prove the other party’s liability, and fight for the compensation you deserve. If your accident is caused by distracted driving, they may look for evidence proving the driver’s focus at the time of the accident. For example, phone records may show that the driver was texting or using social media.

Contact McPhillips Shinbaum to Start Your Claim

At McPhillips Shinbaum, attorney Aaron Luck helps accident victims like you fight for justice. Take the first step now—schedule a consultation by calling us at 334-262-1911 or connecting with us online.

The Importance of Medical Records in Personal Injury Claims

The Importance of Medical Records in Personal Injury Claims

When you’re seeking compensation for a personal injury, your medical records may play a critical role in whether or not you receive a fair settlement offer. Medical expenses are often the largest portion of a personal injury settlement, and with complete medical records, you can prove your injuries and the costs that come with treating them.

Getting full and fair compensation often starts with finding the right attorney for your personal injury claim. Set up a consultation with the team at McPhillips Shinbaum and attorney Aaron Luck by giving us a call at 334-262-1911. We look forward to helping you. 

Proving the Nature and Severity of Injuries

Medical records can go a long way in proving the severity and extent of your injuries. Medical records may show when a patient sought treatment, which diagnoses they received, treatment plans that were recommended, and progress on their recovery. Comprehensive medical records may also show a patient’s diagnostic testing, medical imaging, and care provider observations. All of this evidence makes it very hard for the other party’s insurance company to claim that you are exaggerating your injuries or making them up entirely.

Highlighting the Need for Medical Treatment

Even if the insurance company is willing to admit that you are injured, they don’t always necessarily agree that you need medical care. They’ve been known to say that your care was frivolous or excessive, or even worse, just a way to fluff up the amount of money you ask for. Thorough medical records show what prescription medications you take for your condition, how often you have medical appointments, which specialists you see, which treatments you have tried, and which treatments have helped you make progress. 

If your injuries aren’t yet completely healed, your medical records can also show your ongoing care needs and provide insight into your prognosis. This is particularly important if you are likely to need care for the rest of your life, as the doctor’s recommendations and observations may be used to determine how much money you receive for future medical care.

Demonstrating Pain and Suffering

Putting a dollar amount to your pain and suffering feels unnatural. For some, it even feels wrong—how can you ask for money for a loss that isn’t financial? The fact is that money is the only type of compensation that the civil court can award, and you should get every dollar you are entitled to.

How, then, do medical records prove your pain and suffering? Doctors often note patients’ pain levels in their charts. They also document the type of medications a patient receives for pain, what physical limitations they struggle with as a result of their pain, and the progress they make over time.

Insurance companies aren’t quick to pay out additional money for pain and suffering. Medical records can help back up your claims of pain and suffering with actual medical documentation. Sometimes, you just need the insurance adjuster to see you as a person—and sometimes, thorough documentation of pain and suffering can make that happen.

Avoiding Pre-Existing Conditions Accusations

Insurance companies sometimes go low when they are trying to avoid paying out a full and fair settlement. That may mean implying—or saying outright—that your current injuries are a result of pre-existing conditions, not their client’s actions. Your medical documentation may disprove that. Doctors can provide their opinion on the source of injuries and subsequent pain, making it clear that your injuries are in line with what other accident victims experience. They may also comment on past injuries and the fact that they do not align with your current symptoms and pain levels. In these claims, it is often a matter of getting ahead of the insurance company, anticipating their next move, and having a rebuttal ready for it.

Call McPhillips Shinbaum for Help with Your Personal Injury Case

If you’ve been injured in a Montgomery car accident or other type of accident, you don’t need to go through this challenging time alone. Attorney Aaron Luck at McPhillips Shinbaum is committed to helping victims like you fight for the compensation they are owed. Take the first step in your claim now by calling us at 334-262-1911 or filling out our online contact form.

personal injury

How to Avoid Common Pitfalls in Personal Injury Claims

If you’ve never pursued a personal injury claim before, it’s easy to make a whole list of mistakes that can weaken your claim or even keep you from seeking compensation. The earlier you learn about this process and how to fight for what you deserve, the less likely you are to make these critical mistakes. Learn more about the most common personal injury pitfalls and how you can avoid them. When you’re ready to get started with your claim, attorney Aaron Luck and the team at McPhillips Shinbaum are here to help. Call us today at 334-262-1911.

Pitfall #1: Not Gathering Evidence

Every successful personal injury claim has a bounty of evidence behind it. The longer you wait to start gathering evidence, the more likely you are to miss out on crucial pieces. Remember that the insurance company has no desire to actually give you the compensation you deserve—they will only do so if they truly have no other option. To put them in that position, you have to have irrefutable evidence.

  • How to avoid this pitfall: If there’s something relevant to your accident or injuries, keep it. This includes photos of where it happened, medical bills, eyewitness statements, and reports from your doctor.

Pitfall #2: Talking to the Other Party’s Insurance Company

Remember, the other party’s insurance company is not your friend. The insurance adjuster might be very nice. They may seem concerned about your injuries. They may even assure you that they just want to get you what you’re owed and be done with the claim. Don’t believe anything and don’t talk to them without your attorney. Their top priorities at all times are to save their company as much money as possible and avoid getting sued. 

They do the first one by paying you as little as possible, and they do the second one by convincing you that their pitiful settlement offer is in your best interests. When you talk to the insurance adjuster, you’re very likely to say something that they can use against you or use to weaken your claim.

  • How to avoid this pitfall: Reach out to a personal injury lawyer in Montgomery before you answer any calls from the insurance company. They’ll likely take over all communication for you.

Pitfall #3: Putting Off Medical Care

The aches and pains you experience after an injury warrant a checkup. A lot of people put off that initial checkup because they’re afraid of the cost of medical care or they’re certain their symptoms will go away. Unfortunately, every day you wait to seek medical care after an injury can harm your case. 

The longer you wait, the easier it is for the other party to point out that your injuries could have been caused by anything between your accident and subsequent injuries. The insurance company is already bending over backward to look for reasons to deny you compensation—don’t make it easier for them by waiting weeks or months to get checked out by a doctor.

  • How to avoid this pitfall: Make it a priority to go to the doctor as soon as possible after an injury. You don’t even necessarily have to go to the emergency room unless you are seriously injured enough to warrant it. You may want to get checked out at an urgent care clinic, walk-in clinic, or general practitioner’s office. From there, you can find out what type of care you need.

Pitfall #4: Waiting to Hire an Attorney

Too many people wait to hire an attorney until they have no other option. They try to save time by negotiating with the insurance company on their own, only to be disappointed by what they offer. When their negotiations go nowhere, then they talk to a lawyer. Of course, it’s better late than never—but at that point, they have already harmed their own case and put themselves in a bad negotiating position.

  • How to avoid this pitfall: Talk to an attorney as early in the process as possible. Don’t risk your claim by taking a DIY approach to it.

Fight for the Compensation You Deserve with McPhillips Shinbaum

When you’re owed compensation, turn to Aaron Luck and the team at McPhillips Shinbaum. Call us at 334-262-1911 or contact us online to set up a consultation with our team now.

motorcycle injury

The Role of Expert Witnesses in Motorcycle Injury Cases

When you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, life changes in an instant. While occupants of larger passenger vehicles often walk away from motorcycle accidents with little more than property damage, motorcyclists are at risk of serious and fatal injuries. To make it worse, motorcyclists often struggle to get full and fair compensation after a collision. The bias against motorcyclists often means that they are blamed for every accident that happens, even if the other driver is at fault.

That’s one reason your attorney may recommend the use of expert witnesses in your motorcycle injury claim. They can make complex topics easier to understand and strengthen your claim. Ready to start your case? Call McPhillips Shinbaum at 334-262-1911.

Accident Reconstruction Experts

Your attorney may turn to accident reconstruction experts if your crash is complex or involves multiple vehicles. Some collisions are cut and dry—it’s easy to see what happened, what went wrong, and who’s to blame. Outside of those crashes, it gets a little murkier. Figuring out who is to blame is critical if you want to recoup your losses, and an accident reconstruction expert can analyze the evidence to figure out precisely what happened, when, and how fast both parties were going.

If your case goes to court, the accident reconstruction expert may strive to make your accident more understandable to a jury of laypeople. This may involve making diagrams or videos showing how the crash happened in slow motion.

Motorcycle-Specific Expert Witnesses

Motorcycles are complex vehicles that are different from cars in many crucial ways. For this reason, insurance adjusters and others who work in this sphere often misunderstand how they work and how they behave in a collision. These types of errors can lead to huge misunderstandings about how the accident occurred and who was negligent.

A motorcycle expert can provide in-depth insight into how the motorcycle functions, its maneuverability and handling, and how it may act in a crash. This can also be used to explain how you suffered certain injuries.

To go one step further, your attorney may also seek out an expert in protective gear. When a rider isn’t wearing protective gear at the time of a crash, it’s common for the other side to claim that their injuries are entirely due to the lack of safety gear. An expert in this area can look at the facts of the crash and determine whether or not that’s true.

Economic and Vocational Experts

You may suffer profound economic losses as a result of your motorcycle accident. Those who suffer catastrophic or disfiguring injuries may find themselves permanently unable to work. Others aren’t able to continue in their current line of work and are forced to take a pay cut to work in a different position. It’s difficult for the average person to calculate exactly how those losses will affect you. 

An economic expert may be able to provide additional information. They can fully explore the economic consequences of your accident, such as lost wages, lost future career growth opportunities, the loss of health insurance and retirement contributions, and more. When you consider everything you truly lose when you have to give up your career, it is far more than just your annual salary.

Vocational experts are well-versed in how complex injuries can affect an individual’s ability to work. Your attorney may hire them to show how your specific line of work is impacted by your injuries.

Medical Experts

If you suffered complex or multifaceted injuries in the crash, figuring out the care you’ll need moving forward can be a challenge. Doctors and other medical specialists can be a great source of information and commentary on this topic. They may also be able to comment on the injuries you sustained, what likely caused them, and how they line up with other motorcycle injuries they’ve seen in the past.

Injured in a Motorcycle Crash? Call McPhillips Shinbaum Today

The team at McPhillips Shinbaum is committed to helping you fight for the compensation you’re owed after a motorcycle accident. Take the first step in your claim now—just call us at 334-262-1911 or contact us online.

Why You Shouldn't Give Your Health History to an Insurance Adjustor

Why You Shouldn’t Give an Insurance Adjuster Your Health History

Few things are more stressful than a personal injury claim. You know that the other party’s insurance company needs to understand your injuries to offer a proper settlement, so you may feel like you need to comply with every request they make. However, doing so doesn’t just give them the information they legitimately need; it also gives them information they can use to drive down the value of your claim and pay you as little as possible. One topic that may come up is offering access to your full health history. Before you do anything, it’s important to discuss it with an attorney. Call 334-262-1911 to schedule a consultation with the Montgomery personal injury lawyers at McPhillips Shinbaum.

What Does Your Health History Include?

If you’ve never had a thorough look through your medical record—which most people haven’t—you may be surprised to find out just how much personal information is in it. It’s a comprehensive log of every medical issue you’ve ever had, medications you’ve taken, medical tests you’ve had done, any surgeries you’ve undergone, and every medical visit you’ve attended. 

This type of information doesn’t seem too personal in a medical context, and that’s true. Your medical care team needs to know your health history to provide effective and patient-centered care. However, that same information is incredibly personal and even invasive in the context of insurance negotiations.

Why the Insurance Adjuster Wants Your Medical History

There are several ways an insurance adjuster may use your medical history. Let’s start with the legitimate uses of your health history. First, your medical records from your current injuries provide insight into the care you’ve received, the expenses you’ve incurred, and the path forward to maximum medical improvement for you. 

That gives the insurance adjuster a better idea of how much your injuries may be worth and if you’ll need ongoing medical care in the future. Additionally, they may use this information to verify your claims about your injuries. If you tell the insurance company one thing but then tell medical professionals something completely different, that’s a sign to the adjuster that you’re not being honest.

Now, onto the worrying part of this request: how they can use your health history in a less-than-ethical manner. The insurance adjuster may go over everything in your health history to look for preexisting injuries or conditions. If at all possible, they will use those preexisting conditions to downplay their client’s role in your injuries. 

Pinning your current injuries on a past medical condition is a common and unfair insurance adjuster tactic. Additionally, insurance adjusters may use the information in your health history to paint you as an unreliable accident victim. If there’s a long list of medical issues in your past, the insurance adjuster may try to make it sound like you are a hypochondriac who can’t be trusted when it comes to your own health.

Protect Yourself from Weakening Your Claim

How can you safeguard your health history and ensure that the insurance company doesn’t use it against you? To start, don’t give them full and unfettered access to your medical records. Discuss your options with your Montgomery personal injury lawyer. They can determine exactly what information the insurance company actually needs and then grant them limited access to your medical records. Generally, this is limited to records for your current injury and any accident-related care you have received.

This is solid advice for any part of your personal injury claim, actually. Never give them more information than they genuinely need. Assume that any information you give them will be used against you in one way or another. Even better, don’t give them any information directly; let your attorney handle all of their requests. This ensures that you don’t unintentionally harm your claim and reduce its value.

Choose McPhillips Shinbaum for Your Injury Claim

When you’re ready to move forward with your personal injury case, the team at McPhillips Shinbaum is here to help you. Set up a free consultation with our team now by calling us at 334-262-1911 or sending us a message online. We’re ready to step in and help you fight for what’s right.

Personal Injury Claim

What to Expect at Each Stage of a Personal Injury Claim

You’ve been injured because of another person’s negligence—what happens now? If you can prove the other party’s involvement in your accident and subsequent injuries, you may be able to recover compensation. This is good news for victims since injuries can lead to thousands of dollars in medical bills and other losses.

If you’ve never hired an attorney before, you may be overwhelmed at the prospect of pursuing a personal injury claim in Montgomery. However, the process is fairly straightforward, especially with the right guidance and support. Call McPhillips Shinbaum at 334-262-1911 to set up a consultation now.

Consultation and Case Evaluation

First, you’ll meet with a personal injury attorney in Montgomery. It’s important to find one whom you can trust and with whom you feel comfortable. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations, so don’t be afraid to meet with a second and third option if the first one doesn’t pan out. During your consultation, you’ll provide information on your accident and injuries. The attorney will ask relevant questions and determine the viability of your claim. If you have a viable case, you can choose to retain them to represent you.

Investigation

From there, your Montgomery attorney will begin their investigation. This involves gathering evidence, analyzing it, preserving it properly, and determining how to use it in building your case. Evidence may include photos, video footage, eyewitness statements, testimony from expert witnesses, medical reports, police reports, and surveillance camera footage.

Throughout this process, the attorney will communicate with the insurance companies involved to streamline the claims process. This allows you to limit your communication with other parties and focus on your recovery.

As your attorney investigates, they will figure out who is liable for your injuries and who is responsible for compensation. The evidence will come together in a cohesive case that proves your right to compensation and outlines the other party’s liability.

Negotiations With the Other Party

Once your attorney has determined liability and put your evidence together in a way that solidifies your need for compensation, they will begin preparing for negotiations. Many people think that all personal injury claims result in a lawsuit, but in fact, most cases are resolved in out-of-court negotiations.

Your attorney may start by sending a demand letter to the other party’s insurance company or legal representative. The letter outlines your claims and the compensation you’re requesting. This isn’t the final step; it’s just a way to open negotiations. It’s very rare for an insurance company to receive a demand letter and just pay up.

You should expect the insurance company to counteroffer what they believe to be a reasonable number. Negotiations often involve multiple rounds of counteroffers before both parties reach a point where they are both satisfied. Your attorney will likely have a number in mind that they want to reach.

Settling or Litigation

In most situations, negotiations result in a number that you and your attorney are happy with. When this happens, you sign a legal agreement that waives your right to sue them for any injuries or other issues resulting from the accident in question. In exchange, you receive a lump sum payment.

Some cases simply cannot be settled through negotiations. This may happen when the insurance company overestimates the strength of its case or refuses to go above a certain number during negotiations. If the number is too low for you to consider, your attorney may move forward with a lawsuit. This is a much longer process that involves discovery, pre-trial preparations, and numerous other steps.

Receiving Your Settlement

Upon settling, your money may go through a few more hands before it reaches you. If your insurance paid for anything, they will recover the money they spent. From there, your attorney’s fee and any other expenses will be paid. Finally, you receive your settlement.

Ready to Start Your Personal Injury Claim? Call McPhillips Shinbaum

This is your chance to fight for what you deserve after an injury. Don’t take on the burden of medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses alone. Set up a consultation with the Montgomery personal injury attorneys at McPhillips Shinbaum by reaching out online or calling us at 334-262-1911. 

Deer on Alabama Roadway

Beware of Deer on Alabama Roadways: Ways to Stay Safe as the Days Are Getting Shorter

Residents of Alabama are starting to enjoy shorter days, slightly cooler weather, and fall decorations everywhere. While fall is a time to prepare for the holidays and celebrate the return of the school schedule, it’s also a time when deer are considerably more active. Whenever you hit the road in Alabama, particularly in the state’s rural areas, you always run the risk of hitting a deer. Whether you hit a deer or a deer runs into your vehicle while crossing the road, substantial damage may follow.

In some cases, car accidents involving wildlife do have a liable party. Find out if you have a case by calling the Montgomery personal injury lawyers of McPhillips Shinbaum at 334-262-1911.

Why Deer Collisions Are More Common in Fall

This seems to be the worst time of year for an uptick in animal activity—with the days getting shorter, visibility is limited, and taking evasive action is incredibly difficult. Unfortunately, there are numerous factors contributing to the increase in deer-related accidents.

Fall is mating season for deer, so you can expect them to be much more active in the coming months. Their peak activity times are dawn and dusk, which also happen to be some of the worst times for visibility. As they seek out potential mates, the likelihood of crossing the road is much higher.

This time of year also marks the start of hunting season. The sudden presence of human beings within deer’s natural habitat can disrupt their natural habitats and cause them to migrate, leading to a flurry of activity near local highways.

The end of Daylight Savings Time causes earlier sunsets across the country, affecting the actual time at which commuters are going to and from work. You have more cars on the road at peak deer travel times and deer moving more frequently—an increase in crashes is inevitable.

Minimize the Risk of Accidents

Knowing that you’re likely to come across your share of deer in the months to come, what can you do to keep yourself safe? First and most importantly, stay alert. No amount of technology or advice can take the place of an attentive and well-rested driver. Remember when deer are most active and be hyper-vigilant during these times.

Be aware of deer crossing signs along your route. These signs are placed after extensive research by local wildlife experts who determine common crossing areas for deer. When you start seeing deer crossing signs, consider slowing down and scanning the edges of the road more often.

Try to avoid swerving out of a deer’s way if it crosses your path. This can actually. Be more dangerous than hitting it, since you risk hitting other vehicles and causing a chain reaction. If a deer crosses your path, hit the brakes and lay on the horn to hopefully scare it out of your path.

Remember that deer often travel in groups. If you see one crossing the road, be aware that more may follow. Take your time, slow down, and watch the side of the road.

What to Do After an Accident

Accidents happen, no matter how careful and attentive you are while driving. If you do hit a deer, check yourself for injuries and move your vehicle to the side of the road if it is drivable. This prevents vehicles approaching from behind from hitting you and causing even more damage.

Avoid approaching the deer if it is injured but not dead. Wounded animals can be unpredictable and you don’t want to get hurt. Consider calling the local police or animal control department so they can provide assistance.

Document the collision the best you can; your insurance company will want proof that the crash was wildlife-related before they pay out your claim. 

Explore Your Legal Options with McPhillips Shinbaum

If you believe your accident was caused by a negligent driver, you could be entitled to compensation. Our team of personal injury attorneys is ready to help you explore your options and fight for the compensation you’re owed. Schedule your free consultation now by sending us a message online or calling us at 334-262-1911.