Personal Injury Attorneys in Montgomery, Alabama
Exceptional law firm in Montgomery
Understanding personal injury is vital to protecting yourself and your family in the event of an injury in Alabama. Frank M. Wilson has successfully represented clients in a wide range of cases, including the family of a child killed in a drainage ditch at a construction site.
Don’t Fail to Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Generally, personal injury victims fail to contact a lawyer due to one or more of the following reasons:
The ‘Minor Injuries’ Misconception
Many accident victims assume that their injuries are minor in nature and that the pain will subside on its own. As a result, many of them do not even bother seeing a doctor, let alone a lawyer. While there are minor injury cases that may not require the involvement of a lawyer, there are other cases when an injury turns out to be more serious than it was originally believed.
At the very least, it never hurts to at least speak with a lawyer to discuss your specific case and fully understand your legal rights. Most attorneys provide free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose but a little of your time to find out where you stand.
The ‘I Can Handle It Myself’ Misconception
Some accident victims believe that they can file a claim on their own and that they do not really need a lawyer. They realize the need for a lawyer only when the phone calls from the insurance company start coming in and the paperwork starts piling up. It is far better to get an attorney involved early on. That way, the case will be handled professionally from the start, which gives you a better chance of securing a favorable outcome.
The ‘I Can Afford to Pay for It’ Misconception
Some accident victims believe that they can afford to pay for their own treatment – partly because they have insurance and partly because they believe that they have only suffered minor injuries and the treatment is unlikely to cost a fortune. If the treatment goes on for weeks or if their treatment is not covered by their insurance policy, they realize that they have made a terrible mistake and rush to see a lawyer.
Ideally, right after the accident, you should get yourself thoroughly examined by a doctor. Once the doctor tells you what kind of injuries you have suffered and what kind of treatment you might need, you should call an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer right away and discuss the possibility of filing a claim against the at-fault party.
Personal Injury Claim Process
There are several factors that may decide the duration of time your personal injury litigation or settlement will take. The following is the personal injury claim process, the time each step of the process takes on average, and the factors that can speed up this process or slow it down:
File a Personal Injury Claim
The very first steps that your attorney must take to initiate a civil lawsuit will include the following:
- File a complaint, and the filing fee, along with the details of the case and the demand for the amount of compensation.
- Serve the defendant with a summons to notify them that you are filing a compensation claim against them.
It can take anywhere between a week to a year for your lawyer to draft the complaint and get it served, depending upon a few of these factors:
- The complexity of the case
- Your lawyer’s willingness to negotiate before filing the complaint
- The defendants trying to evade summons
Important note: The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims in Alabama is two years from the date of the injury. Your attorney will keep this in mind while drafting the complaint, and before initiating litigation, they will most likely reach out to the defendant (usually an insurance company) to discuss the possibility of a settlement. If the other side is not willing to negotiate in good faith, then a lawsuit may be filed.
The exchange of information between the plaintiff and the defendant in a pre-trial process is called discovery. The two parties exchange information that typically includes the following:
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Security footage
- Company emails
Another part of the discovery process is depositions, where both parties get the opportunity to question each other as well as cross-examine witnesses. A court reporter keeps a written record of the testimonies in these depositions.
The discovery process begins soon after filing of the complaint and usually continues till approximately 30 days before the trial commences.
The attorneys of both parties file pre-trial motions, submitting requests to the court for its ruling on particular issues that can range from documents to venue. The lawyers can file pre-trial motions immediately after the complaint is filed and until the beginning of the trial.
Negotiating a Settlement
A vast majority of claims are settled between the two parties before they can reach the courtroom. But oftentimes, the act of filing a lawsuit is enough to bring the other side to the negotiating table. Your lawyer may start negotiations for a settlement during or soon after the discovery phase.
The attorneys can informally discuss a settlement at any point during the claims process, failing which they have the option of pursuing some formal type of alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration or mediation. While your attorney may carry out informal negotiations, the final approval in saying yes or no to a settlement offer lies solely with you.
Going to Trial
In case the settlement negotiations do not work out, the claim will go to a civil trial where the court decides whether the defendant or the insurers are liable to pay damages to the plaintiff. Here are some of the stages of a trial:
- Selection of jury
- Opening arguments
- Witness cross-examination
- Closing statements
- Jury instruction
- Jury deliberation and verdict
Frank M. Wilson, has handled various types of claims involving personal injuries in Montgomery, Alabama. He has won settlements for:
- A child suffering brain injuries in an automobile collision.
- Numerous cases for families of individuals who were killed in automobile collisions.
- The driver of an SUV paralyzed when her vehicle left the road as a result of defective workmanship and failure to provide adequate warning signs by a road contractor and its subcontractors.
- We also handle helmet defect injuries and pedestrian accidents.
Contact Frank M. Wilson, personal injury law firm in Montgomery, AL
You’ll never know what factors may have contributed to an accident injury unless you seek expert help from Frank M. Wilson, a leader among personal injury law firms in Montgomery. The law office of Frank M. Wilson is always available for a free, expert consultation. You can call our office toll free at 888.366.5732 or at 334.649.7106. You can also contact us online.
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