Frequently Asked Questions
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Conchin, & Cole can help you recover the maximum amount of compensation for the harm suffered by you and your family. Our experienced car accident lawyers will preserve evidence and conduct an investigation to find all potentially liable parties contributing to the accident, including possible automobile defects. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Conchin, Cole, Jordan & Sherrod are trained advocates who know how to protect you from being unfairly blamed for an accident and how much money is considered fair compensation for things such as pain and suffering. If you have been in a car or 18-wheeler wreck, contact us today for a free consultation and we can get to work for you.
Commonly Asked Questions Following an Injury or Accident
- Do I Have To Report an Accident in Huntsville?
- What Happens If I am Injured In a Car Accident?
- What if I Can’t Afford an Attorney in Huntsville?
- Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
- Contact A Huntsville Personal Injury Lawyer
I Was Just Involved in a Car Accident. Now What?
The moments, and even days, following a car accident, can be stressful and confusing. The actions you take could eventually affect your right to compensation. Our car accident lawyers recommend that you do the following after a Huntsville car accident:
- Check yourself, your passengers, and the other parties involved in injuries. Call 9-1-1 to report the accident and summon a police officer to the scene to file a report.
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver, and ask any eyewitnesses on the scene for their contact information.
- Never admit fault. Remember, even something as simple as an apology could be construed as accepting liability for an accident. Limit your conversation with the other driver to the exchange of insurance information.
- Provide a description of the accident to the responding officer. Get his or her badge number and name for confirmation.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, including damage to your vehicle and other property, if possible.
You should also report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. When reporting an accident to an insurance company, be thorough but do not try to assign fault, either to yourself or another party.
Under Alabama law, you must have minimum insurance that covers bodily injury. This kicks in to pay for your medical bills in the event of an injury-causing accident. Generally, your medical claims fall under a bodily injury policy up to those limits, and your medical insurance should pay the rest. Keep in mind, however, that an at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage should cover the costs of your medical care if your injuries result from his or her negligence.
What Should I Do If My Insurance Company Requests a Medical Release?
Insurance companies may request many forms of documentation when evaluating claims. One of the most common is a medical release, which allows insurance companies to examine your medical records in an effort to calculate the number of damages you sustained. One of the biggest tricks a claims adjuster will employ is requesting a medical release before the full extent of your injuries can manifest. This way, the insurance company can pay as little of your claim as possible.
Medical release forms can also contain clauses stating that you release the insurance company from any further payments related to your case. For this reason, we highly recommend having an attorney review any medical release forms from an insurance company before signing anything.
If your car accident involves more than minor property damage, you may benefit from having a personal injury attorney on your case. Insurance companies will use a variety of tactics to negotiate a settlement that does not adequately reflect the number of damages you actually incurred. Insurers will use your lack of knowledge of the system to avoid fair settlements or bully you into signing releases. A personal injury attorney, on the other hand, will have your best interests at heart and will negotiate on your behalf to achieve a settlement or jury verdict that adequately reflects your material and immaterial losses.
Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis. This means “no recovery, no fee.” In other words, you won’t owe anything unless our firm can attain a settlement or jury verdict on your behalf. This helps assure that all victims of car accidents have access to the legal help they need at a vulnerable time.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or your property has been damaged, many important questions will immediately come to mind and it is important to act immediately to begin the presentment of your case as soon as possible. While nobody wants to find themselves in a position to consider using the services of a personal injury attorney, the lawyers at Conchin, Cole, Jordan & Sherrod have more than 100 years in combined experience offering knowledgeable, compassionate counsel to every client we represent, and we’re prepared to handle cases involving any type of accident or injury. Answers to some of the questions we’re asked most frequently are provided below, but for more information, please contact us immediately.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been in a Car or 18-wheeler Accident?
CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY if anyone has been injured and to request the assistance of the police! Even if you believe your injuries are not serious, you should seek medical attention. The shock from a car wreck can be overwhelming and you may not feel pain immediately after the wreck, but that does not mean you are not injured.
Once everyone is safe, begin recording as many details as you can at the car wreck scene. It is important to collect and preserve this information as soon as possible. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and vehicles and write down the names and contact information of any witnesses. You should also ask the police officer for a copy of the accident report.
Notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible. You should tell your insurance company that you were in an accident, the date, time, vehicles involved, the other driver’s contact and insurance information, and that you were injured. However, DO NOT accept any money for your injuries without first consulting an attorney. Insurance companies often attempt to settle your potential personal injury claim for a low amount in the whirlwind aftermath of a car wreck. Make sure every correspondence with the insurance company or adjuster is in writing and keep phone messages and emails.
Following the accident, document everything you do or experience that is related to the car wreck. This should include:
- The dates of any medical treatment
- The names of doctors and facilities that treated you for your injuries
- Time you lost at work
- Feelings of pain, anxiety, sleep loss, or other issues you experience
What Should I Do If My Home or Property Has Been Damaged In a Fire, Tornado, or Storm?
Insurance policies are long, complex, and contain hidden requirements for you to present your property damage claim to your insurance company. Each policy is different, and it is important for you to understand some of the requirements that may be in your policy so that you can get your property replaced or repaired as soon as possible.
The first thing you should always do is immediately call your insurance company and report the damage.
Next, look for a section in your insurance policy called “Duties in the Event of Loss” or something similar. In general, these policies will require you to:
- Notify your insurance company of the damage as soon as possible and describe how, when, and where the damage occurred.
- Protect your property from further damage.
Insurance companies do not want to pay for subsequent damages that could have been prevented. For example, if a tornado takes some shingles off your roof, it may be necessary to put a tarp over the missing portions so water does not damage the interior of your home. Make sure to save any receipts for the amounts you spent to protect your property from further damage.
- Create an “inventory” of your property that was damaged or lost, when it was bought, and how much it cost.
After items such as furniture, clothes, fixtures, etc. have been destroyed or damaged in a fire, tornado, or storm, it is important to write down as many details as possible of those items. This inventory will be presented to your insurance company and will be evidence of your damages.
- Once you have notified the insurance company and completed your inventory, ask the insurance company for a “Sworn Proof of Loss” form.
The form will ask you to fill out some general information about the loss and how much you believe the property that was damaged or lost is worth. Once you have completed the form, send it back to the insurance company. Make sure you make yourself aware of any time limitations that are contained insurance policy for submitting your Sworn Proof of Loss.
Insurance companies love collecting your premiums, but they do not like paying you what you deserve. They will often delay payment for as long as possible. If your home or property has been destroyed or damaged in a fire, tornado, storm, or other cause, and the insurance company refuses to pay you what you deserve, the personal injury attorneys at Conchin, Cole, Jordan & Sherrod are here to help. Call us today for a free consultation and we will get to work for you.