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Car Accidents

What Should I do After an Accident?

First call 911 and get assistance for you or the other driver if yourself have been injured. Also get the police on the scene of the accident, so they can create and file an accident report. Do not admit liability since this is a legal matter and needs to be investigated further. Make sure to get the contact information from other drivers, passengers and witnesses involved in the accident. We’ve created a car accident checklist for a complete breakdown on what you should do following an accident.

What Information do I need to file a claim?

The more information you have available, the better. Contact information for all of the parties involved in the accident, in addition to any eye-witnesses, a detailed explanation of how the accident occurred and photographs of the scene of the accident, and any information that will help you prove the other party caused the accident will all be helpful in filing your claim.

What if I was a victim of a hit and run accident?

If you were involved in a hit and run, you are probably confused, angry and don’t know whether or not you’ll be able to receive compensation. Make sure to file a police report and, if available, obtain any eye-witness reports. Additionally, document the scene of the accident and receive medical treatment. If you have uninsured motorist policy, you should file a claim with your insurance provider. This provision should allow you to get compensated in the instance of a hit and run.

What if the other driver doesn’t have car insurance?

If the other driver in your accident is uninsured it may feel like you are out of options. However, you can receive compensation from your own car insurance provider. This is done as part of underinsured motorist coverage policies. However, if the state you are in does not require your insurance policy to include UM or UIM, you may have to file suit against the uninsured driver.

Should I Take a Check From the At-Fault Driver or Their Insurance Company?

This can vary from circumstance to circumstance, but it’d be best to consult with an experienced car accident attorney before accepting payment of any kind. If you accept a check early, you may later discover the true value of your claim is higher than what you were offered. If you accept the settlement early, you may miss out on getting the entire value of what your claim is worth!

Truck Accidents

What is a Commercial Truck?

commercial truck is any kind of vehicle used for transport of commercial goods. Eighteen-wheelers, tractor trailers, tanker trucks are examples of these kinds of delivery vehicles. Specialized vehicles such as cement trucks are also included in this classification.

Why Do More Injuries Occur in Trucking Accidents?

Size and weight are the biggest factors in why so many truck accidents result in injury. A fully loaded truck can weigh more than 25 times that of the average automobile.

What Causes Truck Accidents?

There are many factors that can cause truck accidents, driver error and mechanical failure are two of the more common contributors. Other factors can include the truck’s ability to respond, in regards to acceleration, brakes and visibility. Drivers must be cautious around large trucks due to their larger blind spots and inability to react to road hazards as quickly.

Worker Compensation

How Do I Know If My Injury Is Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

First, ask yourself were you employed when the incident occurred? Did the incident occur as a result of your employment?  If the answer to these questions is yes, you may have a case. However, this does not guarantee that you are covered. It would be best to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can guide and advise you.

Can an employee recover worker’s compensation benefits, no matter what he or She Did, Because it is a No-Fault System?

No. Even though most injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation, there are disqualifying factors. For example, if an employee was injured under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol, the benefits may not be paid.

I have further questions about workers’ compensation and what my options are. What should I do?

Contact the attorneys at Wettermark Keith our experts in workers’ compensation will be able to advise you on all of your options and what will be best for your unique situation.

Premises Liability

I got injured at a party at my friend’s house. What are my options?

Guest are sometimes able to recover compensation from the host, but it is dependent upon the circumstances. If there are any dangerous conditions that were not easily recognizable, or neglected hazards.

Who is liable if a person gets injured while walking near a construction site, due to debris from the site?

In some circumstances, the construction company may be liable for the damaged not take reasonable steps to keep the site free from debris. If it can be proven these precautions were not taken the construction company may be liable.

Can a business be liable if someone is the victim of a crime on or near their establishment?

If the crime could have been anticipated by the establishment it is possible for the business to be held liable. If the establishment is in a high crime area and the business did not take adequate security measure or post adequate warnings victims may have a case.

Social Security Disability

If I have a long work history, will I automatically qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB)?

You may qualify for early Social Security Retirement at age 62 but not Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB), which is also called Title II benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI). You generally need to have worked five out of the last ten years and have sufficient quarters of coverage. This analysis is affected by the date you allege that you became unable to work, as well as the salary you earned. Claimants 31 years old or younger have different earnings requirements.

If you are ineligible for DIB, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), also called Title XVI benefits. Because SSI is a needs based (welfare) program, you must undergo a financial analysis of your income, the income of your spouse, household resources, etc.

If I am in financial distress, my attorney can get the case moved faster.

If you are in dire need, because you cannot get food, clothing, medical care or shelter, i.e. your home is in foreclosure or you are about to be evicted, an attorney can write a letter to Social Security asking that the case be evaluated as soon as possible. Unfortunately, since many people applying for Social Security disability insurance benefits (SSDI, DIB, Title II) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI, Title XVI) have no income or are homeless, the letter does not always guarantee that the case will be moved along faster.

I am not crazy, so I do not need to get mental health treatment.

A lot of people apply for Social Security disability insurance benefits or SSI benefits suffer from depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.  They apply because they can no longer work as a result of disabling medical conditions, have no money, have unstable living situations, and are dealing with an insensitive governmental process. Others have schizophrenia or have personality disorders. Unfortunately, some people feel that seeking mental health treatment is stigmatizing because they will be branded “crazy” for life.

Social Security evaluates the effect of a combination of your physical or mental conditions on your ability to work. Therefore, if you have a mental condition, you absolutely should seek mental health treatment. You are not alone, as millions of Americans suffer from mental illnesses each year.

I worked hard all my life, so that money is mine, and I deserve to be found disabled. Now, how much will my check be?

Some adjudicators/judges are impressed with a claimant who has an extensive work history and may give you the benefit of the doubt when assessing your credibility about symptoms and limitations. Yet, how many years you have worked will not automatically qualify you for Social Security disability insurance benefits. You must have well documented mental or physical conditions that result in disabling limitations found by your treating physician/psychiatrist and/or consultative examiners from the Social Security.

I should just give up. I am tired of trying to convince Social Security that I’m disabled.

If you cannot work due to a physical or mental condition, never stop pursuing your claim.  This is appropriate as long as you are receiving medical treatment and do not have earnings at the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level. www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/COLA/sga.html. In a lot of cases, those who are persistent in appealing their cases will eventually prevail.   However, there may be a limitation on filing for disability insurance benefits (DIB) should a decision be made by a judge after your work credits have expired.

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3595 Grandview Pkwy Suite 350, Birmingham, AL 35243

205.993.9500

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