The Role Of Photographic Evidence In A Personal Injury Case
Interviewer: In a personal injury case, how much weight does evidence or do photographs have? If I were to take pictures of an injury, does that mean anything?
Brett Hollett: Absolutely, it’s something that can greatly help your case. In a car accident cases, if fault is at issue or if it’s disputed, the photographs may shed light on really who’s at fault or what was going on. Photographs of your injuries also help because they show an adjuster and the insurance company what your injuries actually look like and how they may have affected your life. So, photographs can be very powerful.
A Bicycle Accident Can Either be Construed as a Pedestrian Accident or a Vehicle Accident Depending Upon the Circumstances
Interviewer: If someone had a bicycle accident, would that be closer to a pedestrian or more to an auto accident?
Brett Hollett: It would depend on why they had the bicycle accident. There are many causes of bicycle accidents including, road rage, motor vehicle collisions, road debris, street defects or dog bite or dog chase instances. If you were hit by a car or an open car door, your case would line up more with an auto accident. However, if you were riding on the road and you were injured because of some defect in the road or something that was going on with the road and it wasn’t marked, you may think of your case as more of a pedestrian injury. You may then have a claim against the city, municipality or utility company that is responsible for the road or the work that was being done.
The Role of Social Media in a Personal Injury Claim in Alabama
Interviewer: Would social media ever be considered a factor in hindering or helping a case?
Brett Hollett: Yes. It can help but more often it can really hurt your case. We tell all of our clients to refrain from posting anything about their case or their status online. Investigators, insurance companies and opposing attorneys may be monitoring your social media pages during the pendency of litigation. If you say, you’re really hurt but then, all of a sudden, you’re posting about going on some great vacation or how you just ran a marathon and you previously stated you could not get out of bed or run that’s going to be a problem and it will be used against you. Social media may kill your case or greatly reduce the amount of compensation you may otherwise be entitled to. However, social media can also sometimes help locate potential witnesses that observed the accident but didn’t give an official statement to the responding officers.
The Obstacles that Hinder a Person From Winning a Personal Injury Case
Interviewer: What are some things that make a personal injury case difficult to win?
Brett Hollett: Since Alabama is a pure contributory negligence state, proving fault is obviously number 1. If any negligent conduct on the part of your client, contributed to the negligence of the defendant in causing the injury or damage you may not recover. The pure contributory negligence rule is literally a defense the insurance company or defense attorney will use. It says that an injured party cannot recover any damages if it is even 1 percent at fault. This is a very harsh rule but it can be a complete bar to any recover.
The Chances of Winning a Personal Injury Case are Dependent Upon the Circumstances of the Case
Interviewer: Are personal injury cases in your opinion worth pursuing? What are the chances for someone to win a personal injury case?
Brett Hollett: It’s going to be very case specific. However, because most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, if you talk to an attorney, and they take your case, there is a good chance that attorney believes they can win or settle your case. This makes sense because the attorney has to be comfortable enough to accept your case and then invest his own money in pursing it. It is always advisable to discuss any potential personal injury case with an attorney because all attorneys are going to offer free consultations to listen to you and answer any questions you may have. This consultation is obligation free and the attorney will likely tell you their thoughts on success at the end of the consultation.
Because of the Contingency Fees, an Attorney Won’t Take a Case if He thinks that it’s Not Worth Pursuing
Because these cases are dealt with on a contingency fee basis, if an attorney doesn’t think your case has a chance to win or settle your case, he’s typically not going to take your case. Again, the attorney would be fronting all the expenses and he would be taking all the risk. The client doesn’t have any money invested or risk in pursuing their case. So, an attorney is not going to want to take on too many risky type cases that don’t settle or don’t result in a plaintiff verdict because if he does, all he’s doing is losing money and wasting time.
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