Frequently Asked Questions Regarding an Automobile Accident
The Insurance Company has offered me a quick injury settlement in my case. I am still hurting should I take it?
You should never accept any personal injury settlement until you have completed all of your medical care and been released. If you settle your case, you are forever barred from getting treatment or getting any other recovery.
Can I settle my property damage claim before my injury claim?
Yes, but you should always consult an attorney before signing a release because it may contain language that also waives other claims like loss wages, pain and suffering, or medical payment reimbursement.
Do I need an attorney to help with my claim?
If you are injured in an accident you should always consult an attorney. There are many things that play into a fair settlement such as Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance subrogation interests and hospital liens, which can be asserted against you individually if not handled correctly and timely.
I have health insurance that paid my medical bills and the at-fault insurance company has offered me a separate injury settlement. Should I accept it?
NO. Most, if not all, health insurance policies have subrogation or repayment requirements. You should never accept an injury settlement without consulting an attorney because you can often time end up owing your health insurance company more than you settlement.
My friend hired an attorney in her car accident claim and in the end her attorney charged an attorney fee that was more than she received. Does this happen?
Hiring an attorney is a very important decision. Injury attorneys handle claims differently and unfortunately some attorneys charge high contingency fees that result in the client receiving less than the attorney. This NEVER happens at Moore Law Firm. It is our policy that we will NEVER charge more in attorney fees than our client puts in pocket.
What questions should I ask if I decide to hire an attorney to handle my claim?
One of the most important things to ask is about the experience of the attorney. There are many out of state attorneys on local TV who are not even licensed to practice in Alabama and have never appeared in a Mobile Courtroom. By comparison, Moore Law Firm has represented over 6,000 injury victims in motor vehicle accidents since 1985 and has conducted trials in hundreds of cases in Mobile.
I do not have health insurance, so how can I get treated for my injuries?
As you know, health care options are very limited if you do not have health insurance. In personal injury cases, some physicians will accept an attorney protect agreement, whereby the physicians agree to hold their bills until the case is over. This means that there are no out-of-pocket costs to the client. Moore Law Firm has an extensive network of physicians who have faith in our ability to recover for our clients which is why they agree to hold their bills until the end. Our network of physicians and medical facilities that accept attorney protect agreements include Urgent Care facilities, Chiropractors, Orthopedics, Physical Therapists, Plastic Surgeons, Psychologists, Neurologists, and Pain Specialists.
I do not understand all the different insurance coverages such as liability, med-pay, uninsured motorist, comprehensive, umbrella coverage, and secondary excess coverages. How does all of this work?
One of the main advantages to consult an experience attorney in an automobile accident is to correctly evaluate and identify the insurance available. We frequently handle claims where clients have other coverages that they did not know where available. For example injuries caused by uninsured drivers and/or underinsured drivers, which allows claims under multiple automobile insurance policies.
What is my injury claim worth?
There are numerous factors that go into determining a fair settlement amount. For example, conduct of the at-fault party (such as high speed or alcohol use), type of impact, medical bills, medical documentation, loss wages, mental anguish, permanent scaring, and pain and suffering. Each claim is different. The most important thing to remember is once you sign a release under Alabama law, your claim is over and can NEVER be reopened. If you are unsure about settling you claim on your own, Moore Law Firm will be happy to give you a FREE claim value review.
I cannot afford an attorney, so am I stuck handling case my own?
No. Some attorneys work on contingence fee contracts, but the attorney fees vary from firm to firm. For example, at Moore Law Firm, we do not get paid unless we recover for you. This means there is no upfront costs at all. Furthermore, we don t charge a fee on property damage and NEVER charge an attorney fee that is higher than what our client puts in pocket.
Why do I need to hire an attorney? Won’t the insurance company offer me something on my case?
Yes the insurance company will typically offer you some type of settlement for your case, but it will generally not be near the settlement amount you will reach if you have an attorney. This is because insurance companies do not treat you as a threat to them until you hire an attorney, therefore they only will offer you a small amount of money for your claim. Another thing you must worry about is the language in releases which can make you responsible for medical bills, Medicare liens, Medicaid liens, Hospital liens, Blue Cross Blue Shield subrogation amounts, etc. This is why hiring an experienced attorney can not only assist you in getting the medical treatment you deserve as well as the money to compensate you for your injury, but also can prevent you from being held responsible for issues later on after you sign a release.
I just got in an accident and I heard I had to fill out a form called the SR-13 form or my license will be suspended. Is this true?
No, this is not true – there recently was a change in the law in January 2013 that changed the SR-13 form into the SR-31 form. The SR-13 form was an old form that required ALL drivers to fill out if they were involved in an accident where there was property damage greater than $250. This form had to be filled out within 30 days of the accident or your license could be suspended. The new law, under the SR-31 form, ONLY requires drivers to fill out the form if they have been personally injured or have property damage in excess of $500 AND the person you are claiming this against does NOT have insurance. This form is also ONLY to be filled out if you have not been compensated. Thus if you have hired an attorney or the person who hit you has insurance, then you do not need to fill out this form.
I have a question in regards to an accident I was involved in and it is not on this page. Where can I find the answer?
The easiest thing to do is to just contact us and ask. We are straightforward attorneys that will give simple answers without any obligation or commitment on your part. We are available 24/7 so please feel free to contact us. You can mail us a letter, call our office, email us or even call us on our cell phones, which we give to all of our clients.