Can I Sue a Truck Driver’s Employer in a Truck Accident Claim?

Although truck accidents in Birmingham, AL are far less common than crashes that only involve passenger vehicles, they are much more likely to lead to fatal or catastrophic injuries. Those who suffer serious injuries after a truck accident may struggle to recover the compensation they deserve since many trucking companies employ massive legal teams to limit their liability and subsequent payouts.

What can you do after a truck crash? Learn more about employer liability and how you can protect yourself. For more advice regarding your specific needs, call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661.

Verifying the Truck Driver’s Status

First, you should know that there are multiple ways a truck driver may carry loads for a company. Many truck drivers are actual employees of the truck driving company, so they are protected under the company’s business and driver insurance. However, they may also be an independent contractor. Some truck drivers own their own vehicles and carry loads for multiple companies, which means that they alone are responsible for their insurance.

Employee vs. Independent Contractor

It’s not always cut-and-dry, unfortunately. A trucking company might claim that a driver is an independent contractor when the driver actually functions as an employee. Companies often misclassify drivers as independent contractors for the exact reason discussed in this article—they want to avoid liability for accidents.

If an employee causes an accident, the employer is responsible under the “respondeat superior” doctrine. This means that work done by the employee in the course of their normal employment is their employer’s responsibility.

Don’t lose hope, though. Just because a company calls a driver an independent contractor does not necessarily mean that they are. There are several ways you can prove that the employer is misclassifying the driver, that the driver is actually an employee, and that the company is subsequently responsible for your losses.

For example, if the truck driver only drives for one company and is not permitted to take loads from other companies, it’s likely that they are legally an employee of the company they drive for. If the driver is truly an independent contractor, however, then you can seek compensation through their own vehicle insurance policy.

Your Options for Compensation

Calling an attorney should be one of your first steps after a trucking accident. They can conduct an in-depth investigation that uncovers the cause of your accident and proves who the liable party is. While the liable party is generally one of the two drivers, that isn’t always the case. If a separate party is responsible for the accident, you may not even need to worry about whether or not the driver is an employee.

Other liable parties may include the manufacturer of the truck, the owner of the cargo, or the company responsible for loading the cargo. As you may expect, though, people are not quick to claim responsibility when something like this happens. While each party may be quick to tell you that they are not at fault, they also don’t have a vested interest in helping you figure out who is.

If your top priority is getting the full and fair compensation that you deserve, talk to an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident.

The good news: if you are able to prove that the driver is an employee, you may find it much easier to get the compensation you are owed. Insurance policies for truck drivers are substantially larger than policies held by standard passenger vehicle drivers, simply because trucks often carry expensive cargo and can do a lot of damage in a crash. If you’ve suffered life-changing injuries, a truck insurer is far more likely to cover your damages than a passenger vehicle’s insurer.

Choose Mann & Potter for Your Truck Accident Claim

Don’t wait to hire an attorney for your truck accident claim. The longer you wait, the less evidence you have available to you. It’s time to talk to Mann & Potter and take action. Call our firm at 205-879-9661 or have a team member reach out to you online.

How Future Medical Costs Are Calculated After an Accident

In some personal injury cases, compensation is awarded for future medical claims. While this type of compensation isn’t relevant to all cases, if it’s relevant to yours, it could be a significant portion of your settlement. The thought of calculating these damages can be overwhelming—how are you supposed to know what care you’ll need in the future and how much it will cost?

Hiring a dependable and proven personal injury attorney is the first step in answering these questions. Call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661 to schedule a consultation now.

Future Medical Costs Are Not Always Awarded

To start, you have to ask if your case is even one that qualifies for compensation for future medical costs. For some injuries, you get the treatment you need, heal completely, and never have to worry about the injury again.

As an example, if you have a broken leg that heals well with a cast, you’re unlikely to incur further medical expenses related to it. However, if your injuries are so severe that you will never make a full recovery, it’s likely that you will need ongoing care for the rest of your life. In these circumstances, you may receive money for future medical costs.

Calculating Your Medical Expenses

First, think about medical expenses as a broad term. This is an umbrella term that could include:

  • Time spent in the hospital
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Surgical treatments
  • Prescription medications
  • Specialist care
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Adaptive equipment
  • Medical supplies
  • Around-the-clock home care, either through a nursing agency or from family members
  • Facility care if at-home care is not suitable
  • Transportation to and from appointments

Calculating costs is the tricky part, as medical costs change rapidly and are influenced by a wide range of factors. Your attorney will have more specific guidance based on your diagnosis, but you’ll generally start by seeking out specialists’ care.

They will have some insight regarding the prognosis of your injury or illness, what type of care you can expect to need for the rest of your life, and approximately what that care would cost. It’s better to seek multiple estimates, as this shows the insurance company or jury that your calculations are based on a large body of medical evidence—not just the opinion of one medical professional.

After getting a better estimate of your long-term medical care needs, your attorney will be able to figure out what amount would be fair in terms of compensation.

Getting the Compensation that You Deserve

Remember, you only have one chance to get what you deserve in an injury claim. If you rush the process, underestimate your future medical expenses, and later find out you cannot get the care you need, there are no do-overs. Once you’ve signed away your right to sue, you cannot go back to the insurance company for more money. This is why it is crucial to hire an attorney, follow their directions, and make sure you prove your injuries in any way you can.

Whether your case is settled outside of court or plays out in the courtroom, you’ll need evidence supporting your need for future medical care. Make sure your care team is on board with providing estimates and insight regarding your future care needs. You may also want to consult a healthcare economist. They understand how healthcare costs fluctuate and can give a more precise estimate of what you’ll need to get necessary medical care in the future.

Hiring the right attorney is essential when it comes to getting a full and fair settlement. The team at Mann & Potter understands how important it is that you get proper compensation for future medical expenses, and our in-depth understanding of financial data and medical expenses gives us the tools we need to represent you. Our goal is to ensure that you have what you need to live a full and productive life after your accident.

Contact Mann & Potter for Help with Your Claim

Are you ready to start your personal injury claim? It’s time to talk to the team at Mann & Potter. After your first consultation, we’re certain you’ll feel confident about our body of experience and how we can help you. Call us at 205-879-9661 or reach out online now to schedule your consultation.

Accidents May Be Caused by Road Defects

Municipalities have an obligation to their residents to keep roadways safe, easy to navigate, and free of obstructions. Unfortunately, as anyone who has ever driven will tell you, that just isn’t how it happens. When the weather doesn’t cooperate or the county budget doesn’t stretch as far as it needs to, roads can fall into disrepair. This puts drivers and passengers at risk of preventable accidents.

There are several ways that city planners and municipal leaders may fail at road design and maintenance.

Complex Intersections

Intersections should be easy to understand and identify from a distance and up close. If drivers and motorcyclists have to stop prior to the intersection to understand how to navigate it, the road is defective. Complicated intersections can leave people turning from or into the incorrect lane, missing walkways, and not seeing important signage.

Obscured Walkways

Walkways protect pedestrians and help drivers prevent accidents. When walkways are difficult to see or poorly marked, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and drivers all suffer. Even if a motorcyclist can avoid a crash by hitting the brakes or swerving, they run the risk of getting involved in another accident.

Signs Blocked by Trees and Other Obstacles

Landscaping is a surprisingly important part of road safety and maintenance. Even the most carefully planned road can become impassable when trees and shrubs start blocking important signs.

Additionally, overgrown trees and bushes can make it difficult to see vehicles approaching from other directions. This puts motorcyclists in the position of having to make blind turns and hope for the best, which is obviously a dangerous option. Again, this is something that tends to fall to the bottom of the priority list in an overworked municipality or a municipality with more needs than money.

Roads Damaged by Weather

Roads need frequent maintenance and upkeep to be safe for drivers. While roadway defects can cause accidents for anyone, people in cars are far more likely to walk away from these accidents with minimal or no injuries. The design of a motorcycle automatically puts bikers at greater risk of injuries when they hit an uneven or unsteady roadway. If roads aren’t maintained after seasons of heavy rain, snow, or wind, they are bound to become uneven and difficult to navigate.

What You Should Do After an Auto Accident Caused by Road Defects

If you’re involved in an accident that’s caused by a road defect, you may wonder what comes next. Crashes where one driver is at fault are easier to handle, as you only have to negotiate with their insurance. However, claims against the government are inherently more time-consuming and challenging.

You generally have to go through a slightly different process, alert the appropriate parties that you plan on filing a case against them, and then do so—all on a tighter time frame. Personal injury claims against the government typically have a much shorter statute of limitations than claims against private parties, so delaying at all in your claim could be a huge mistake. Waiting too long could mean giving up your right to sue and losing your chance at fair and full compensation.

When you suspect that the government is liable for an accident, talk to an attorney as soon as possible.

Contact Mann & Potter to Start Your Claim Now

Have you been injured in a vehicle accident? Act quickly to preserve the evidence and hold the right party accountable. Take the first step now by calling Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661 or filling out our online contact form. We’re here to help you.

Common Dental Injuries That Result from Auto Accidents

Nothing strikes fear into your heart like a wiggling tooth that isn’t meant to move or a sharp toothache that stays with you through multiple rounds of Orajel. Unfortunately, for many car accident victims, this is reality.

Dental injuries are a fairly common outcome in serious accidents. Dental work can be incredibly expensive—so expensive that many people put it off for years. Unexpected dental expenses are even worse when you’re dealing with other accident injuries, lost income, and other osts.

Have you suffered a dental injury because of someone else’s negligence? You could be entitled to compensation. Learn more about common dental injuries, and then call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661 to schedule a consultation now.

Luxated Tooth

A luxated tooth can quickly become a permanently lost tooth. This injury occurs when trauma loosens the tooth from its root, freeing it to move from side to side within its socket. If treated quickly, it can be secured in place. If left without treatment, it may continue to get weaker until it completely falls out.

Avulsed Tooth

A tooth may become avulsed when it completely falls out during a crash. This may happen when you strike your head against an object or are thrown from the vehicle during the crash. Whether or not the tooth can be repaired and reset into the mouth depends on how it broke, how it fell out, and how quickly you seek treatment.

Fractured Tooth

Fractured teeth can be both painful and embarrassing. In some cases, a fractured tooth is just a source of embarrassment—if it is aesthetically unappealing, you still deserve to get it fixed and feel good about yourself. In a more serious case, your tooth may be visibly broken and have exposed roots, causing significant pain.

Tooth Intrusion

When the tooth gets jammed into the gums, you suffer a tooth intrusion. This often causes bleeding, swelling of the gums, and pain.

Getting Fair Compensation

How do you get full and fair compensation after a dental injury? It’s more difficult than you may think. The other party’s car insurance is not in a rush to pay you what you deserve, since a full settlement will result in lost profits. You’ll need to force them to be accountable for their client’s mistake.

Healthcare is already expensive, but when you add in dental care, a settlement can be even more costly. The cost of dental care is significantly higher than many types of medical care, especially since much of it is not covered by dental insurance. To get compensated for your dental injuries, you will need to prove conclusively that those injuries were the result of the other party’s negligence. That’s where an attorney comes in.

A personal injury attorney in Birmingham, Alabama can fight for the compensation you’re owed. We’ll gather evidence and build a case for you. Our goal is to secure a fair settlement from the insurance company or, if necessary, take your case to court.

Contact Mann & Potter Now

Don’t let a dental injury affect your self-esteem, ability to eat, and pain levels. If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the costs related to your accident. The sooner you connect with the team at Mann & Potter, the sooner we can start on your claim. Call us at 205-879-9661 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a meeting as soon as possible.

What Are My Rights as An Injured Passenger in a Car Accident?

The Alabama Guest Statute

When you are a passenger in a car accident in Alabama, a lot depends on who is at fault for the injuries you suffered. If another driver is liable, you have options—we will explain that later. However, if the driver of the vehicle you were in caused the accident, you may be facing an uphill battle. Alabama has a Guest Statute on the books, and it’s the only state to still have this type of law in place.

If you are hurt in an accident where the driver of the vehicle you are in is at fault, you cannot file a claim against their insurance if you were their guest. This law is designed to protect drivers from insurance claims stemming from efforts to help people by driving them off somewhere or helping them with errands.

Exceptions to This Statute

There are some exceptions to this. You can seek compensation if your injuries were caused by the driver’s willful or wanton misconduct. Proving wanton disconnect is challenging, however, which is one reason you need the help of a personal injury attorney if you are seeking compensation for injuries.

Willful, wanton misconduct isn’t simply speeding or driving too fast for weather conditions. The standard for this is substantially higher. You may be able to seek compensation under these conditions if, for example, the driver is under the influence and does not tell you that before you accept the ride. You might also be able to seek compensation if they intentionally harm you.

If you go this route, you’ll likely need to talk to an attorney to fight for the compensation you are owed, as it’s unlikely that the driver will come out and tell the insurance company that they were driving recklessly or intentionally putting you in danger.

When Someone Else is Negligent

If the driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash is liable, you can still seek compensation from the liable driver. In these situations, the process is largely the same as if you were an injured driver. You would seek out a personal injury attorney, provide the evidence you gathered as an accident victim, get the medical treatment you need, and find out if you are entitled to compensation. This is much easier with the help of an attorney. Be prepared to prove the other party’s liability with witness testimony, photos of the crash scene, video footage of the crash scene, and medical records. In this situation, the claim would proceed as a standard personal injury claim.

Non-Traumatic Brain Injuries

What is a Non-Traumatic Brain Injury, aka an Acquired Brain Injury? While the impact of an ABI is fairly similar to what you may experience after an ABI, the cause is different. ABIs occur because of something internal, such as a lack of oxygen, a brain tumor, exposure to toxic chemicals, or a medical issue inside the brain. Common causes of ABIs include aneurysms, loss of oxygen due to fire, strokes, near-drowning accidents, meningitis, heart attacks, and brain tumors.

Acquired brain injuries may occur as the result of a traumatic brain injury. For example, consider a fall that causes bleeding in the brain. This is a TBI. The brain bleed restricts oxygen flow to a specific part of the brain. This is an ABI. The combined effects of a TBI and ABI often cause far more serious deficits than either one alone.

How These Injuries Affect the Brain

TBIs and ABIs can affect the brain and body in a huge variety of ways. Everything depends on which part of the brain is affected and how severe the injury is. For example, a TBI that primarily affects the occipital lobe could leave a victim blind, even if their eyes are perfectly healthy. An ABI that stops oxygen flow to the temporal lobes could negatively impact hearing and memory.

Cognitive function is often affected by TBIs and ABIs. A victim may experience poor memory, difficulty paying attention, difficulty problem solving, limited understanding of language, and struggle to follow a chain of thought. The senses, including hearing, vision, touch, and smell may also be damaged after a brain injury.

Some of the physical deficits a brain injury victim may experience include strength, balance, coordination, ability to walk, ability to swallow, and bowel and bladder control. Brain injuries can also cause muscle stiffness and tightness that limit mobility.

Brain injuries may also have a negative effect on one’s behavior and emotions. People may report an uptick in mental health issues, unexpected irritability or fits of rage, difficulty managing impulses, poor emotional regulation, inappropriate laughter or comments, or changes in personality.

Knowing What Type of Injury You Have

If your symptoms occur after an accident, such as an animal attack, car crash, or fall, you’re likely suffering a TBI. However, since TBIs can cause ABIs, it’s important to seek medical care as soon as possible after an accident. The brain can recover remarkably well from a variety of injuries, but the speed of treatment plays a big factor in how well you heal. Don’t wait until an injury becomes unbearable to seek treatment.

Explore Your Legal Options with Mann & Potter

A brain injury could change how you live the rest of your life. If your injury occurred because of someone else’s negligence, it’s time to hold them accountable with a personal injury claim. Call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661 or contact us online to set up a consultation now.

Things to Know About Chest Contusions

If you have a general feeling of soreness and tightness in the chest after an impact, you may have a chest contusion.

If someone else is responsible for your impact, you may be able to. Seek compensation from them. To discuss your case in greater detail, call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661.

What is a Chest Contusion?

A chest contusion is an injury that results from a blow to the chest. It is a type of blunt force trauma that can cause surface-level damage to the skin of the chest, the blood vessels of the affected area, and underlying structures. While vehicle accidents are perhaps the most common cause of chest contusions, contusions may also occur after a fall, an assault, or a workplace accident.

It’s important to look out for the symptoms of a chest contusion after an impact. This type of injury can be serious, and it’s important to catch severe injuries before they become worse. Commonly reported chest contusion symptoms include:

  • Pain and bruising in the chest area
  • Difficulty breathing or short, shallow breaths
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Skin that feels sweaty or cool
  • Skin that has a bluish tinge
  • Other injuries to the chest area, as these may be the result of the blunt force trauma that caused the contusion

Possible Outcomes

A lot depends on how quickly you seek medical care and the severity of your accident. After a crash, you may choose to get checked out at a local hospital or urgent care center, such as UAB Medicine, Brookwood Baptist Medical Center, or Ascension St. Vincent’s.

In many cases, chest contusions heal without medical intervention. This tends to be the case with mild contusions that cause no damage to the underlying bones, muscles, and soft tissue. If you have a mild chest contusion, a doctor may simply recommend resting, staying hydrated, and limiting your physical activity.

In other situations, a chest contusion can lead to much more serious injuries. If the impact of the crash is hard enough, you could suffer internal bleeding. This can become fatal if not immediately identified and treated. If the contusion leads to a broken rib, the rib could puncture the lung and cause a pneumothorax. This is a very painful condition that requires prompt treatment.

You simply don’t know how serious your chest contusion is until you get it checked out by a medical professional. That’s why it’s so important to see a doctor after an impact, even if you feel fine or only experience mild soreness.

What to Do After Suffering a Chest Contusion

After you’ve been seen by a doctor and followed their care instructions, it’s time to set up a meeting with a personal injury attorney. Your lawyer can help investigate your accident, determine who is liable for your injuries, and fight for compensation.

The sooner you connect with a personal injury attorney, the more quickly they can start gathering important evidence and building a case on your behalf. Make sure to save copies of your medical reports, medical bills, and other documentation.

Find Out How Mann & Potter Can Help You After an Accident

If an accident has left you with a serious injury, don’t negotiate with the insurance company on your own. Let the team at Mann & Potter fight for you. Schedule a consultation with our team now by reaching out online or calling us at 205-879-9661.

Can Your Vehicle’s “Black Box” Help with Your Auto Accident Claim?

How can you prove your side of the story after a car accident? As it turns out, your vehicle can actually back up your story for you. Your car’s “black box” is a good source of information about your driving choices prior to and during an accident. Find out how this piece of equipment could affect your accident claim and what your next step is.

The team at Mann & Potter is here to help you with your car accident claim and handle communication with the insurance company. Ready to get started? Call us at 205-879-9661 to set up a consultation now.

What is the Black Box?

Your vehicle may have a “black box” built into it. Officially known as the Event Data Recorder or EDR, the black box records information about your car’s operations. The information it provides about your vehicle before, during, and after a crash van be invaluable if you’re struggling to prove your side of the story.

It’s important to note that not all cars have EDRs, especially older vehicles. The vast majority of cars made after 2014 do have an EDR.

Your EDR collects very specific information. Its primary purpose is to look at the factors used to deploy airbags. It tracks information like speed, acceleration, crash force, brake activation, seatbelt use, front-seat position, and steering. The amount of time it collects data varies. It generally records about 20 seconds prior to a crash and up to 10 seconds after a collision. Data is recorded whether or not your airbags are deployed.

How the EDR Can Help Your Claim

Data from your black box could help you fight for the compensation you deserve as it can prove exactly what happened prior to a crash. However, since the data is relatively difficult to access, it isn’t done as a matter of routine. It is primarily used for collisions that involve multiple vehicles or collisions, crashes where both sides’ stories contradict each other and the truth isn’t clear, and collisions where it’s hard to tell the severity of an injury.

When you look at the information contained in a black box, it is clear how it could help your claim. If the other side claims that you hit them and made no attempt to stop, the EDR may show hard braking immediately prior to impact. If you were rear-ended and then hit the car ahead of you, the EDR may show that there was an impact prior to the impact that caused damage to the front vehicle.

If the other party’s insurance company is claiming that your injuries aren’t nearly as severe as you say, your EDR may show the force of the impact and that your airbags deployed. In a crash where you are accused of speeding or driving erratically, your black box may indicate that you were driving the speed limit and did not accelerate prior to the crash.

How It Could Harm Your Claim—and Why You Need an Attorney

Just like the information in the EDR could help your accident claim, it could also work against you. Legally, you are the only one who can access the EDR or give others the right to access it. If the other party’s insurance company or attorney gets to you before you know this information, you could unintentionally harm your claim. Before you sign anything, make sure you talk to your attorney and figure out if it’s in your best interest to do so.

In a crash where your black box could be helpful, you’re likely looking at a fairly complex accident claim. You need to talk to a personal injury attorney who can fight for the compensation you’re owed and prove the extent of your injuries. Whether you’re hurt at a busy intersection on Montclair Road or Gadsden Highway or a smaller rural road outside the city or anywhere else, you should discuss your options with a lawyer.

Choose Mann & Potter for Your Auto Accident Claim

With the team at Mann & Potter on your side, you can feel confident that your claim is in good hands. Take the first step now by contacting us to set up a meeting. Reach out online or call us at 205-879-9661 to schedule your consultation right away.

How Dashcam Footage Can Impact a Car Accident Case

Dashcams can significantly affect the outcome of your personal injury claim. In some accidents, it’s obvious what happened. The physical evidence shows who made a bad decision while driving and who was an innocent victim. In other accidents, the evidence is a little more nuanced and it comes down to both drivers’ stories.

What happens when the drivers’ versions of events can’t both be true? A dashcam can settle these disputes and make it easier for victims to get the compensation they deserve.

The team at Mann & Potter is here to help if you’ve been injured in a car accident. Set up a consultation now by calling us at 205-879-9661.

When Dashcam Footage Helps You

In some circumstances, dashcam footage can strengthen your claim and help you get the compensation you are owed. Consider a standard car accident scenario. You’re driving and paying attention, obeying all road signs, and taking appropriate precautions. Another driver, perhaps distracted or simply careless, collides with you. When the police arrive on the scene, the other driver spins a tale that makes you look like the negligent party. You pull out your dashcam, show the police officer what actually happened, and watch the other driver get cited.

A dashcam can also help when there are genuine misunderstandings, not just when a negligent driver is trying to protect themselves from a personal injury claim. If you and another driver argue about what color the light was when you collided, what the posted speed limit was, or how close they were to you, your dashcam footage may clear up these misunderstandings as well.

When Footage Works Against You

The good thing about a dashcam is that it is a neutral observer. Sometimes, though, the bad thing about a dashcam is that it is a neutral observer. Just because the dashcam is in your car does not mean that its footage can’t be used against you.

Consider a distracted driving accident. You hit another car while talking to a friend. The dashcam audio clearly shows that you were having a phone conversation at the time of the accident.

Your dashcam may also catch footage of you driving in an unsafe or negligent manner. Perhaps it shows you swerving around other cars, tailgating, speeding, or running red lights. Any of this footage can lead to citations or even criminal charges. If you cause an accident and the other party decides to pursue a personal injury claim against you, your own footage could force your insurance company to pay them for your reckless behavior.

Securing and Using Dashcam Evidence

If the dashcam is in your car, it’s easy to provide the footage to your attorney and let them decide how to use it. In some cases, drivers choose to show the footage to the police at the scene of the accident if the other driver is trying to cover up their unsafe driving. However, before you do that, make sure that the dashcam actually shows what you think it does. Otherwise, you could be handing the other party a gift-wrapped piece of evidence to use against you.

When the other driver has a dashcam, it can be a little more difficult to get the footage you need. You can expect them to try to dispose of any damning evidence at the first possible opportunity, so you will want to work quickly. You can tell the police officer that the other driver has a dashcam (if you are aware of this) and that you would like that fact included in the accident report. This makes it much harder for the other driver to delete the footage and feign ignorance, claiming that they had no idea they had to keep it.

You should then tell your attorney that the other driver has a dashcam. They can request or subpoena the footage, and then decide how to use it in your claim.

Start Your Personal Injury Claim with Mann & Potter

Time is of the essence when you’ve been injured in a car accident. The quicker you can hire an attorney and get your claim started, the easier it is to gather the necessary evidence. Set up a time to talk with Mann & Potter online or call us at 205-879-9661.

When Can Mediation Be Used in a Personal Injury Claim?

Getting compensation for a personal injury can be time-consuming and stressful. If your lawyer or the other party has suggested mediation, you might wonder if mediation is a good use of your time or if it just drags the process out more. Learn more about mediation, how it works in a personal injury case, and how to find out if it’s a good option for your claim.

Not sure what your next step is? Let Mann & Potter help you through your claim. Call us at 205-879-9661 or fill out our online contact form to find out how we can help you.

How Mediation Fits into a Personal Injury Claim

Mediation is a process that involves a neutral third-party mediator who and tries to move the parties toward a workable resolution. And while the mediator guides the discussion, they have no power to impose a resolution that all participants do not agree on.

For many parties to a personal injury claim, mediation is the last step before moving forward with a lawsuit. It may be a last-ditch effort when negotiations have failed, and it seems like the insurance company is unwilling to budge. If there’s still a significant gap between their top offer and your bottom line, mediation may nudge the parties in the right direction and bring them closer to working out a settlement.

Preparing for Mediation

Getting ready for mediation is similar to getting ready for a lawsuit. You and your lawyer go over the details of your personal injury case, putting extra emphasis on the money you’ve lost as a result of the injury and the other ways your injury has affected you. Your attorney will explain what to expect from the mediation process.

After hearing both sides tell their story, the mediator will attempt to negotiate between the two, giving ample time for both sides to speak. Depending on the circumstances and the overall mood of the negotiations, the mediator may have each side in a different room. In that case, the mediator will facilitate communication between the parties using a process known as “caucusing”.

Is Mediation Right for Your Personal Injury Claim?

There are a number of benefits that come with mediation. To start, it is often less stressful than a court case. The setting is slightly more informal, which is often a huge benefit for plaintiffs who have spent months worrying about their personal injury claim.

Additionally, mediation is confidential. If you do not want the details of your claim to be made public, mediation can protect your privacy. On top of that, mediation is usually less expensive and time-consuming than a court case. It also doesn’t limit your options—if you cannot reach a satisfactory agreement via mediation, you can always take your case to court.

There are a number of situations when mediation is not an appropriate choice. If you do not want your case to be confidential, you may want to take it to court. This is fairly unusual but may occur in defective product claims where the victim wants the company’s name and deeds made public, for example.

You also may not be able to use mediation if the other party’s insurance company refuses. For some companies, the cost of mediation is not worth the possibility of a fair agreement. Finally, your attorney may not recommend mediation if your bottom line and the other party’s top offer are just too far apart. Mediation can help smooth out some of the bumps in negotiations, but if you and the other side are too far off, a court case may be the only way to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Start Your Claim with Mann & Potter

Whether you are just exploring your personal injury claim options or you feel like you’re being treated poorly by the liable party’s insurance company, it’s time to talk to an attorney. At Mann & Potter, we focus on fighting aggressively for the compensation our clients deserve. Set up a meeting now by contacting us online or calling 205-879-9661.