There are fifty states and fifty different judicial systems. The rules for filing personal injury lawsuits can vary wildly once you cross state lines. So if you’re in Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, or another part of Alabama, you need a personal injury attorney who knows the laws of the Yellowhammer State (and while you’re at it, maybe ask them why it’s called the Yellowhammer State, since that’s definitely a unique nickname).
Let’s say you’re in Birmingham. It’s the biggest city in the state, so there’s plenty to do there. You’re walking down the street and minding your own business when a car swerves and hits you, knocking your off your feet. The driver stops the car and rushes out to ask if you’re OK. He begs you not to contact his car insurance. If you do, he says his rates will go up. You’re still in a daze and not sure whether you need to go to local hospital or an urgent care center,
You shouldn’t promise him anything, especially before you get medical treatment. It’s pretty gutsy of him to even ask you for anything after he just ran you over with a giant hunk of metal. Take care of yourself first.
You might try to go to a Birmingham urgent care center first in the hope that it’s cheaper than an emergency room. If you’re lucky, they’ll fix you up and send you on your way. If you’re not, you’ll be transferred to a hospital. The bills can really start to pile up quickly at that point.
Most car accidents resulting in an injury have to be reported to the police, so you should also do that as soon as possible. Ideally you would do that while the driver was still at the scene of the crash, but if it slipped your mind, call the police or go by the station and make a report. That will be helpful to have when you call the driver’s insurance. If you’re injured, you should definitely call. You don’t owe the driver much of anything, and you need compensation for what you’ve been through.
How much compensation should you get, though? There’s a good chance the insurance company will try to lowball you. That’s why you need a qualified attorney to fight the insurance company on your behalf. Lawyers have a great knowledge of the law than most of us could ever dream of. They’ll also be able to tell you if you have a good case for filing a lawsuit against the driver of the car and/or his insurance company. And if someone really does mow you down while you’re standing on the sidewalk, chances are you’ve got a pretty good case. But don’t assume anything. Let your lawyer do the heavy lifting. While they do that, try to focus on getting better. Watch some Alabama football to take your mind off what happened. Seek out counseling if you feel like you need it. Your job is getting better, and your attorney’s job is to make sure you have as many resources available to you as possible while you heal.