Tag Archive for: car accident

The Importance of a Post-Accident Investigation

Whether you’ve suffered injuries in a car crash, fall, or workplace accident, a thorough investigation will likely need to take place. An accident investigation is a crucial step in your quest for compensation, which is why it’s important to work with your attorney as they gather more information about your accident and injuries. Learn more about why these investigations are so crucial and how they can help you.

Choosing the right attorney can help you make the most of your personal injury claim. Call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661 to start your claim.

Determining the Cause of an Accident

A comprehensive investigation can help attorneys and insurance companies get to the root cause of an accident. This is obviously important, as relying on eyewitness testimony isn’t a reliable way to assign fault and figure out liability.

Consider, for example, a workplace accident. An employee might claim that a piece of equipment malfunctioned when they were using it as intended, causing deep cuts to the tendons in their hand.

An investigation might look at the piece of equipment and video footage of the work environment. When investigators discover that the equipment was tampered with by a contractor brought in to perform a specific task, that gives the employee a chance to bring a third-party claim against the contractor.

Assigning Fault

The flipside of figuring out the cause of an accident is assigning fault, and that’s really at the heart of a personal injury claim. Once investigators figure out what went wrong, they can determine who caused things to go awry.

For example, consider a car accident. A driver runs a red light and crashes into someone crossing the intersection from the right. They claim that they did brake but that their brakes didn’t work, a fairly common excuse used by negligent drivers.

Since this is such a common excuse, insurance adjusters may ignore their testimony and put blame on the driver who ran the light. But if an investigation shows that the brakes truly did stop working without warning, that would shift liability to the manufacturer or repair shop, protecting an innocent person from a lawsuit.

Identifying Systemic Problems

Many of the benefits of an accident investigation personally benefit the victim. However, there are also widespread benefits for society as a whole. If you follow the example of a car with faulty brakes, consider that there are thousands of that same vehicle on the road. How many of them have faulty brakes and the owners don’t know it yet? Accident investigations that uncover this type of information get the ball rolling on recalls and other actions that force corporate accountability.

Investigations also identify trends in human behavior that can help prevent future accidents. Imagine that research came out showing that car crashes caused by distracted driving increased more in one year than they did in the ten years prior. Such an alarming jump could highlight to public safety officials that they should focus on this behavior and spend more time on education efforts to discourage distracted driving.

Securing Fair Compensation for Victims

At the end of the day, an accident investigation helps the victims get the full and fair compensation they deserve. Once a victim’s insurance company or attorney can pinpoint the cause of an accident and the liable party, they can negotiate a proper settlement. This is a huge relief for victims, who may have been watching medical bills and other unpaid expenses pile up as they wait to return to work.

While the time spent waiting for an accident investigation may seem unnecessary, remember that it ultimately benefits you. The more evidence your attorney can gather for you, the better chance they have of recovering the compensation you deserve.

Choose Mann & Potter for Your Injury Claim

Not sure what your next step is after a car crash, slip and fall, animal attack, or other accident? The team at Mann & Potter is ready to talk to you about your legal options and help you get started on your personal injury claim. Take the first step right now by contacting us to set up a free consultation. Give us a call at 205-879-9661 or reach out to us online now.

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.

Amputation Injuries and Car Accidents

An amputation is one of the worst possible outcomes of a serious car accident. In addition to limiting your mobility and independence, an amputation injury can cause significant physical health and psychological issues for the rest of your life. If you sustain an amputation injury during a car crash, it is important to explore your legal options by consulting a personal injury attorney.

Different Types of Amputation Injuries

Amputation injuries are broken down into several distinct categories. The type of amputation you suffer determines your treatment options, prosthetic choices, and the side effects or complications you may experience. Common injuries include:

  • Above-the-knee or below-the-knee amputations
  • Knee-bearing amputation
  • Ankle disarticulation, removal of the foot at the ankle
  • Partial foot amputation, the loss of multiple toes or part of the foot
  • Elbow disarticulation, removal of the arm at the elbow
  • Above-elbow amputation
  • Shoulder disarticulation and forequarter amputations

Which Accidents Cause Amputations?

Any type of vehicle crash can cause severe injuries, but amputations are more likely in certain types of crashes. Rollover accidents are among the most dangerous for drivers and occupants, as bones may be crushed on impact or may be pierced by glass or metal. Head-on accidents are also likely to cause amputation injuries. Amputations may arise after T-bone accidents or side collisions.

Much depends on the severity of the accident and the level of impact. Amputation injuries can occur in a variety of ways. In some crashes, amputation occurs when the limb is pierced and severed by metal or glass. It may also occur when a limb is crushed by the vehicle or is otherwise so damaged that function cannot be restored. In these situations, surgical amputation may be necessary to prevent infection and save the victim’s life.

Psychological Impact of Amputation Injuries

Beyond the obvious physical damage caused by amputation injuries, these injuries often leave victims with significant emotional and mental health concerns. Phantom limb pain occurs when a victim feels pain, tingling, or numbness in the amputated part of the body. Since the sensation does not actually originate from the body, it can be difficult to eliminate the mental discomfort it causes.

Amputations also leave victims with depression, anxiety, and a feeling of helplessness. The process of learning how to move around, perform activities of daily living, and maintain independence can be frustrating for those who have suffered an amputation. The help they need from medical professionals, family members, and caretakers following an amputation can make victims feel hopeless. Additionally, many people develop body image issues following an amputation. Combined, these issues can seriously restrict a person’s independence, prevent from going out and engaging in activities they enjoy, and leave them with a lower quality of life.

Seeking Compensation After an Amputation Injury

If you undergo an amputation, the thought of compensation may be low on your list of priorities. After all, no amount of money can restore your physical health and independence. However, fair compensation can help you get the high-quality medical care and adaptive equipment you need to live a full life.

If the other driver in a crash is responsible for the accident, their insurance company may contact you shortly after the accident to discuss a settlement. Accepting a settlement right away is typically not in your best interest. In the early days of your recovery, it is difficult to know how much your injuries will cost you and how much compensation you should request.

That is where your Alabama personal injury attorney steps in. An experienced attorney knows how to assess the damage of a car accident and figure out how much compensation you deserve for your injuries, property damage, and suffering. They will also take over negotiations with the other party’s insurance company to ensure that you are treated fairly. If necessary, they will take your case to court and fight aggressively on your behalf.

Talk to your attorney about the types and amount of compensation you may be entitled to. Accident victims often seek damages for medical bills, adaptive equipment, surgical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Contact Us for Help with Your Car Accident Claim

At Mann & Potter, PC, we are dedicated to helping accident victims get what they deserve from the party responsible for their injuries. If you have been hurt in a car accident, let us take care of your legal needs while you recover. Call us at 205-879-9661 or message us online to take the first step.

Can You Get PTSD From a Car Accident?

One of the worst consequences of being involved in a serious car accident is the possibility of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition which can haunt you for the rest of your life.

In this article, we will take a look at the connection between car accidents and PTSD and the legal options available for people who developed PTSD as a result of being involved in a car accident:

What is PTSD?

It is a condition that you can develop as a result of being exposed to or being involved in a traumatic incident. The most common examples of traumatic incidents that can cause PTSD include

  • Violent physical or sexual assault
  • Domestic abuse
  • Serious motor vehicle accidents
  • Being abducted and held hostage
  • Being tortured
  • Natural disasters
  • Losing a baby, especially during childbirth  

Victims of serious motor vehicle accidents, in particular, are more likely to develop the disorder compared to people who are exposed to other kinds of traumatic events. In fact, a study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says that close to 40% of motor vehicle accident victims tend to develop PTSD.

How PTSD Affects You

There are primarily four ways in which PTSD can affect you:

Intrusion – Re-experiencing and reliving the traumatic incident again and again in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, auditory memories, visual memories, and physical reactions like pain, excessive sweating, rapid breathing, and giddiness.

Avoidance – Avoiding people, places, situations, and objects that remind you of the traumatic incident.

Hyper Arousal – Being in a state of increased alertness all the time.

Negativity – Changing your worldview based on the traumatic experience you went through. For example, survivors of a horrific car accident might start thinking that driving a vehicle is an inherently dangerous activity.

In addition to this, you might also experience the symptoms listed below:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Irritability
  • Inability to focus on things
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety

Car Accidents and PTSD

Data from the American Psychological Association shows that serious car accidents – particularly those in which the victims sustain severe, life altering injuries – are the leading cause of stress disorders among the general population in the country.

Also, data from the National Center for PTSD shows that a significant percentage of motor vehicle accident victims tend to seek treatment for PTSD related problems like mood disorders.

Treating PTSD

Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for PTSD. The condition, however, can be managed very effectively with the help of medications, therapy, and relaxation techniques. Cognitive behavioral therapy and group therapy, in particular, are very effective in treating the condition.

What Should You Do If You Have Developed PTSD As a Result of a Car Accident?

If you have developed PTSD as a result of a car accident, you are eligible to seek damages from the person who caused the accident. Car accident victims in Alabama have a two-year window to file a personal injury lawsuit against the parties at fault. So, you should hire a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible and take legal action against the parties responsible for the accident.

First and foremost, quantifying the damages caused by PTSD is not easy. It is a long-term condition which can adversely affect your personal, professional, and social life. In order to make sure that you are adequately compensated for your pain and suffering, your attorney must establish – with the help of expert witnesses – the following:

  • You are suffering from PTSD;
  • You developed the condition as a result of the car accident;
  • The car accident was caused as a direct result of the defendant’s negligence;
  • How long your PTSD is expected to persist and what kind of treatment you need.

Based on the aforementioned factors, your attorney can come up with an appropriate amount of compensation that you can seek from the defendant.

Secondly, and more importantly, Alabama is among the handful of states that follow the contributory negligence rule when it comes to accidents. If the defendant manages to prove that your own actions contributed to the accident in some way, you will not be able to receive any compensation.

This is why you need a skilled and experienced lawyer who can figure out the arguments that the defendant’s side is likely to make, prepare compelling counter arguments, and establish that the accident was caused directly as a result of the defendant’s actions.

Car Accident Lawyers in Alabama

Mann & Potter, PC has been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of car accident victims in Alabama for over 20 years now. Our lawyers are highly skilled, extremely resourceful, and have several years of experience handling personal injury lawsuits.

We can provide you with the kind of aggressive legal representation you need to win even more complex cases. We will use every single tool in our legal arsenal to help ensure that you are fully compensated for the pain and suffering you experienced – and likely to experience for the foreseeable future – as a result of PTSD. Contact our personal injury attorneys today at 205-879-9661.