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6 Questions You Should Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer Before Hiring Them

If you’ve been involved in a car crash and need help, it’s hard to know who has your best interest in mind — and who is out to take you for a ride. When you or someone you love suffered devastating injuries in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you can’t risk your future on a lawyer who doesn’t have your back.

In this blog, the Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys team outlines six essential questions to ask a personal injury lawyer before hiring them.

Meeting With a Lawyer? Ask Them These Questions

When you need to make a decision about which lawyer to hire, it can be hard to know who is truly ready to fight for you and who has their own best interests in mind. Asking questions during a free consultation is one way to figure out whether a lawyer is a good fit for your case.

Below, we outline six questions that every victim should ask when vetting their potential personal injury lawyer.

1. Who Will Be Handling My Case?

Some prominent attorneys are with “big-box” firms that do two things:

  • Accept only the easy-to-settle cases
  • Refer everything out to other firms so they can claim a referral fee

These lawyers are not equipped to handle complex cases. They’ll simply shuffle you along and collect their fee. And if you ask them who will be handling your case, they won’t be able to tell you for sure. When you ask this question at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we will tell you the name of every person on our team who will be helping you with your case.

2. What Kinds of Cases Do You Handle Most Often?

Some law firms are willing to take any case that comes through the door if they think it will make them money, even if they’re not experienced or equipped to handle it. When you have a serious personal injury case, you need a lawyer who’s experienced at investigating, negotiating, and taking your type of case to trial (if need be). For example, truck and commercial vehicle claims involve a variety of important federal regulations. If your lawyer doesn’t understand them, you’re at a serious disadvantage. You should never trust your case to someone who doesn’t focus on personal injury claims.

Don’t be shy when you ask a lawyer about their specific experience with complex injury claims. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we love discussing our track record with potential clients.

3. When Was the Last Time You Took a Case to Trial?

Knowing how many cases a lawyer takes to trial helps you understand if they are prepared and skilled enough to fight for you. Many good lawyers help victims get financial compensation through settlements. Only great lawyers are willing to take a case to trial if it means getting their clients the justice and financial resources they deserve.

4. What’s Your Plan of Attack for Handling My Case?

Any attorney with experience, tenacity, and vision should be able to provide you with a clear outline of how they’ll handle your case. Personal injury litigation can be a complicated process with many steps that you need to understand. Your lawyer should inspire confidence in their abilities and let you know what to expect if you choose to hire them.

5. What’s Your Record of Verdicts and Settlements?

The longer the track record of successful verdicts and settlements a lawyer has, the better. It indicates that you have a skilled professional on your side. Additionally, the insurance company is familiar with all of the personal injury lawyers in your area and will build its strategy based on who they will be opposing. Successful personal injury attorneys have a reputation that carries as much weight and significance as their skills in the courtroom. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’re proud of our reputation for tenacious representation and track record of success.

6. What’s Your Policy on Legal Fees?

Hiring a lawyer is a significant investment. For victims who’ve sustained severe injuries and extensive property damage, the financial burden of retaining a lawyer may seem like too much. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we want our clients to feel comfortable talking through their options without having to worry about the cost. That’s why we operate on a contingency fee basis — meaning that unless we win for you, you don’t owe us a dime.

RELATED: 5 Reasons to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer

Contact Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys With Your Personal Injury Questions

At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we have a long history of assisting people with catastrophic injuries receive compensation for their suffering. For example, we recently helped Carlton, a retired veteran, get the financial compensation he needed after a car crash.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in an accident, please contact Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys to schedule your free consultation with our skilled and experienced Alabama and Mississippi personal injury attorneys. During our discussion, we’ll listen to the details of your case and offer direct advice about potential next steps.

Please complete this brief online form or call our offices at 251-888-8888 today to schedule your appointment.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Holiday Distracted Driving: What You Need to Know

During the winter holidays, many of us hit the road to spend time with family, friends, and loved ones. However, thanks to distracted driving and other factors, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is one of the most dangerous times for travelers.

In this blog, Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys outlines the essentials of holiday distracted driving, so you can protect yourself and your family from car crashes this season.

Holiday Distracted Driving Is More Common Than You Think

When you hit traffic, you pull your phone out and send your mom a quick text to let her know you’ll be a little late for Thanksgiving dinner. You begin to type the message out when, all of a sudden, you hear a crunch. Your car wasn’t stopped when you began your message, and you’ve rear-ended the vehicle in front of you. In addition to being late, you may also be liable for someone’s injuries now.

Situations like this are all too common. With more people traveling to see family, too many of us are driving while distracted by our phones, devices, and other activities. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distracted driving injures roughly 390,000 people and kills 3,500 people every year.

Many distracted driving crashes occur during the holidays. The National Safety Council estimates that 855 people were killed in car accidents on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day in 2018 alone.

The increase in car accidents over the holidays is due, in part, to the volume of people who hit the roads. Millions of people clog our highways on peak holiday weekends. However, it’s also an easy time to become distracted. Many of us are too worried about making it to our celebrations, running our errands, or sending that one last text – and forget about safe driving.

RELATED: Alabama’s Distracted Driving Laws Don’t Work

Understand Distracted Driving in Alabama

Texting and driving is always dangerous. However, other forms of distracted driving can be just as harmful. These include:

  • Eating while driving
  • Personal hygiene tasks, like applying makeup or fixing your hair
  • Emailing or checking social media
  • Talking on the phone or with a passenger
  • Rubbernecking
  • Adjusting heating or radio settings
  • Daydreaming and multitasking

The more your eyes are off the road, the more likely it is that you will crash. Therefore, you put yourself and others at risk every time you look at your phone, your shopping list, or your navigation system. Fortunately, there are strategies and tools you can use to stay focused behind the wheel.

Protect Yourself From Distraction on the Road

When you’re traveling this holiday season, staying focused and safe while driving is the first line of defense against distracted driving.

    • Keep your phone on silent or airplane mode and refrain from checking it while you drive. If you need it for navigation, use a dashboard mount or rely on a passenger to help you. If you need to check your messages or make a call, pull over or park in a rest area.
    • Make sure you’re ready for the trip. If you’re tired, under the influence, or don’t think you can focus on navigating, call a taxi or rideshare, spend the night, or get a ride home from someone else.
    • Limit other distractions in the vehicle. If you can, restrict the number of passengers and the noise levels in your car.

RELATED: How to Calculate the Real Cost of Your Car Accident Claim

Hurt By a Distracted Driver? Follow Our Simple Advice

Unfortunately, no matter how carefully we follow the rules of the road, we can’t control other drivers. When someone else’s distracted driving causes a life-changing car accident, you need to protect yourself and your family.

Make Sure Everyone Is Safe and Call the Police

The first step to take after a crash is to make sure everyone is safe. You should always call 911 after an accident and request emergency medical assistance for anyone who is injured. If you suspect that the at-fault driver was texting or using their phone before or during the crash, voice your concern to the officers.

Gather Evidence at the Crash Scene

The moments after a wreck can be scary and disorienting, but taking steps to preserve evidence can be a huge help in the future. Take photos of the scene, including the damaged vehicles, your injuries, the road and weather conditions, and any other factors that might have impacted the crash. These images, even if they’re not perfect, can help expert witnesses reconstruct the crash.

You should also collect everyone’s names and contact information. If you need to file an injury claim, the witnesses’ statements may become essential evidence.

Get Medical Treatment Right Away

Many victims ignore their aches and pains after a car accident, assuming that they’ll fade away. Unfortunately, your bumps and bruises may be signs of serious, developing injuries – like a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt very badly, it’s always best to seek medical treatment after a crash.

Call an Alabama or Mississippi Gulf Coast Car Accident Attorney

When you’re in a car crash with a distracted driver, you could be eligible for financial compensation. However, you’ll probably need an attorney’s help, since it’s not always easy to calculate the value of your suffering, injuries, and damaged property. An experienced Alabama or Mississippi Gulf Coast car accident lawyer can educate you about your options, guide you through your insurance claims, and build your case.

This is especially true when distracted driving played a role in the accident. Your lawyer can help preserve high-tech evidence like mobile phone and data records, which may prove that the at-fault driver was texting or streaming at the time of the crash.

Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Keeping Alabama and Gulf Coast Roads Safe and Distraction-Free

There’s no place for distracted driving on Alabama and Mississippi roads. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we take pride in our track record of fighting for victims harmed by distracted driving. That’s why we offer free consultations where victims can meet with one of our experienced attorneys to learn about their options. If you want to take advantage of one of these no-risk case evaluations, contact us today at 251-888-8888 or online.

References

2018 traffic safety culture index. (2019, June). AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Retrieved from https://aaafoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2018-TSCI-FINAL-061819_updated.pdf

Halsey III, A. (2018, June 27). Distracted driving is illegal in many states, but too many people are addicted. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/its-illegal-in-more-states-than-marijuana-but-too-many-people-are-addicted/2018/06/26/c8de8308-78ab-11e8-80be-6d32e182a3bc_story.html

Halsey III, A. (2018, November 27). Distracted drivers are way more distracted during the holiday season. Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/distracted-driving-will-jump-by-33-percent-this-holiday-season/2018/11/27/0197d7c2-ec37-11e8-8679-934a2b33be52_story.html

Holiday traffic fatality estimate: Christmas Day. (2019). National Safety Council. Retrieved from https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/holidays/christmas-day/

Holiday traffic fatality estimate: Thanksgiving Day. (2019). National Safety Council. Retrieved from https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/holidays/thanksgiving-day/

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Understand the Basics of Whiplash Injuries

You’re stopped at a light when, out of nowhere, the car behind you crashes into your back bumper. Your head snaps forward and back, slamming into the headrest. Twenty-four hours later, your neck is stiff, moving is painful, and you have a severe headache. You might not know it, but you’ve sustained a Cervical Acceleration-Deceleration (CAD) injury — also known as whiplash.

In this blog, the Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys team will review the basics of whiplash injuries and offer solutions for victims of whiplash to protect themselves after a crash.

How Whiplash Injuries Occur

While any quick acceleration-deceleration can cause damage to the soft tissue in the neck, most cases occur when someone has been rear-ended in a car crash. When you’re rear-ended, the acceleration pushes your body forward, forcing your neck into an unnatural and unstable position before it slams back into the headrest. Your head and neck then snap forward as the vehicle quickly decelerates.

These forces cause most of the damage. As your neck overextends, this puts stress on its discs, joints, muscles, and tendons. The hyperextension can cause a range of injuries — including torn or herniated discs, pinched nerves, and torn muscles or ligaments. Even the strain of moving in such an unnatural forward-and-back way is enough to cause lasting pain and stiffness.

Despite being viewed by many as a commonplace injury, whiplash can have serious long-term effects. Most people recover in about three months, but sometimes the recovery period is longer. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, crash victims who experience whiplash have a poorer quality of life five years after the crash. Whiplash and concussion injuries commonly occur at the same time, making your symptoms and recovery more challenging.

Common Whiplash Symptoms

No two whiplash injuries are the same; symptoms vary depending on the person and severity of the crash. You could have whiplash if your symptoms include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness: Neck pain after a crash can affect the ligaments, tendons, bones, and soft tissue in the neck. Pain and stiffness can also cause a decreased range of motion.
  • Headache: Inflammation and damaged muscles and nerves can cause headaches. These symptoms are often aggravated if victims also have a concussion.
  • Shoulder, back, or arm Pain: Nerve and muscle damage can cause radiating pain into the shoulders, back, and arms.
  • Nerve damage: Because so many nerves are housed in the neck, any damage or misalignment can cause pain, tingling, numbness, or other uncomfortable sensations.
  • Dizziness: Neck instability or a concussion can cause persistent dizziness after a crash.
  • Blurred vision: Blurry vision or other visual challenges could be a result of nerve damage in the neck or a concussion.
  • Mood changes: Irritability, anxiety, and depression are common after a whiplash injury, especially if the victim is also experiencing PTSD or other emotional challenges.

These symptoms can make it challenging to work, carry out daily activities, and even sleep. When an injury caused by an accident that wasn’t your fault is keeping you from living your life the way you’d like to, you deserve justice.

RELATED ARTICLE: Head Injuries: What Every Accident Victim Needs to Know

Getting Justice for Whiplash Injuries and How a Lawyer Can Help

Despite the devastating nature of whiplash injuries, it can be challenging for victims to get the justice they deserve after a crash.

Bias Against Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash has a reputation for being a fairly inconsequential injury, which keeps victims from getting the necessary time off, settlements, and even treatment they need to ensure a proper recovery.

Whiplash Affects Soft Tissue

Whiplash injuries are usually limited to soft tissue in the neck. These injuries won’t show up on x-rays, making it even more complicated to obtain evidence.

Effective Whiplash Treatment Is Looked Down Upon

Additional stigma surrounding whiplash can make it difficult for victims to get the compensation they need after a crash. Time and again, we find that some of the most effective treatment options include physical therapy or chiropractic care. Some victims struggle to have their claims taken seriously because their injuries aren’t “bad enough” to necessitate surgery or other aggressive treatments.

How an Experienced Attorney Can Help

No one should struggle to get the help they need after a crash. If a whiplash injury is keeping you from working, taking care of your family, or enjoying life, there’s no shame in reaching out for help. With the assistance of a skilled and experienced car crash lawyer, you can recover the financial compensation you deserve to get your health and your life back on track.

An experienced car crash attorney can help you recover compensation to cover:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages from missing work
  • Medical bills and expenses
  • The cost of long-term treatment
  • The repair of damaged property
  • And more, depending on your case

Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Fighting for Whiplash Victims in Alabama and Across the Gulf Coast

If being rear-ended has left you with a painful whiplash injury, you don’t have to suffer alone. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’re proud to represent victims just like you who need help getting the justice they deserve after a crash.

If you would like to speak with one of our experienced, empathetic attorneys today, please reach out to us by calling (251) 888-8888 or completing this brief form. We’ll meet with you individually, listen to your story, and offer sound legal advice about what to do next. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

References

Charnay, P., Chossegros, L., Hours, M., Tardy, & H., Tournier, C. (2016, January 5). Five years after the accident, whiplash casualties still have porer quality of life in the physical domain than other mildly injured casualties: analysis of the ESPARR cohort. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4702400/

Johnson, S. (2017, April 11). Whiplash. Healthline. Retrieved from

https://www.healthline.com/health/whiplash

Meyler, Z. (2017, April 4). Whiplash symptoms and associated disorders. SPINE-health. Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/whiplash-symptoms-and-associated-disorders

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

5 Reasons to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer

Contacting a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer when you’re in a tough situation can feel like a big step, but in many cases, it’s the right one. Yet, after a car accident, many people aren’t sure if hiring a lawyer is really “worth it.”

In this blog, we outline five reasons you should consider contacting a personal injury attorney and how they can help you after a car crash.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help After a Car Crash

Ultimately, a personal injury lawyer’s job is to help you maximize the compensation you receive from a settlement or trial. Utilizing their advanced understanding of the law and legal processes, lawyers serve their clients through skilled representation.

Here are five reasons to contact a personal injury attorney if you’ve been involved in a car crash.

1) The Time to Take Action Is Already Counting Down

In Alabama, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury case is only two years, and it begins counting down the moment of the crash. This means you only have two years to seek justice through legal action.

In the Mississippi Gulf Coast, there’s a three-year statute of limitations in personal injury claims.

If you’re not sure of what to do or just want to discuss your options, you should contact a lawyer right away. Many seemingly straightforward cases are actually quite complex, so it can take a long time to gather your evidence and investigate your claims. Consulting with a lawyer right away can help you understand your options and timeline.

2) Your Evidence Could Disappear

Evidence plays an important role in any case. While there is some evidence you can gather and preserve yourself (a pain diary, photos from the scene of the crash, the damage to your vehicle, etc.), a seasoned lawyer knows how to obtain hard-to-get items that might otherwise disappear. Doctors’ notes, phone records, trucking logs, and even written statements from the other party are all valuable pieces of evidence that can be challenging for victims to recover on their own.

3) The Insurance Company Is Pressuring You to Settle

The insurance company and their representatives will never tell you how much your personal injury claim is really worth. Remember, it’s their job to settle your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible.

For example, a $50,000 settlement might seem like a large sum after a crash. But if you’ve sustained devastating injuries, this settlement may not cover a lifetime of medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced lawyer can help you determine the true value of your case and go head-to-head with the insurance company to ensure you get the compensation you need to live a full and healthy life — both now and in the future.

If you have questions about a settlement, don’t wait to call a lawyer.

4) You Have Significant Out-of-Pocket Bills and Liens

When you can’t pay your medical and other accident-related bills, the companies can file liens with the court or start collections actions. When there is a lien on your account, any settlement money goes toward paying off that lien before it goes to you. We believe that victims should receive every cent they deserve after a devastating car crash.

We have a long and successful history of fighting for clients and resolving liens. Read more from one client and how we took care of him after a crash.

5) You May Need to Fight for Justice in Court

Sometimes, when settlement negotiations fail, you must take your case to trial. It’s incredibly challenging to represent yourself in court, especially when the insurance company you’re up against has a team of veteran attorneys on their side.

When you have an experienced lawyer in your corner, you can rest assured that you’ve done all you can to prepare for the best outcome possible. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we refuse to settle if we know an offer is unfair, and we aren’t afraid to take a case to trial.

RELATED ARTICLE: How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Fighting for Victims Across Alabama and the Gulf Coast

At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’ve been fighting for personal injury victims throughout Alabama and across the Gulf Coast for over 30 years. Time and again, we meet good people hurt by the careless actions of others who don’t think they have a case — when in reality, they’re eligible to collect thousands of dollars in damages.

If you have questions about your case, need help understanding the value of your damages, or just need to speak with an experienced Alabama or Mississippi Gulf Coast personal injury lawyer about your options, you should reach out today to schedule your free, no-risk case evaluation. During your appointment, we’ll get to know you, learn more about your claim, and offer sound legal advice.

Please complete this brief online form or call our offices at 251-888-8888 to schedule your evaluation today.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

How to Stay Safe on a Motorcycle in Alabama

Riding a motorcycle on the open Alabama road is thrilling, but it can also be dangerous. While many accidents occur through no fault of the motorcyclist, it’s important to understand Alabama motorcycle laws to stay safe while you ride.

In this blog, we outline safety tips for Alabama bikers and recommend the best course of action if you or a loved one has been injured on the road.

Alabama Motorcycle Safety

It’s impossible to predict when, where, and how other drivers are going to make negligent decisions on the road. However, there are steps you can take to prepare yourself for other drivers’ reckless decisions.

Always Wear a Motorcycle Helmet

According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, one in five motorcycle crashes cause head or neck injuries. Helmet use can drastically reduce these serious or fatal injuries.

Thankfully, in Alabama, wearing a motorcycle helmet isn’t just the smart choice; it’s also the law. All riders must wear a motorcycle-specific helmet when riding.

Follow the Rules of the Road in Alabama

Motorcycles are smaller and more agile than cars or trucks. Because these vehicles are more nimble, many riders are tempted to ride on the shoulder, lane split, or perform other dangerous maneuvers. This makes it difficult for other motorists to anticipate your actions, which increase the risk of a serious crash. Additionally, riding on the shoulder is dangerous because there’s often more debris that can cause motorcycles to lose traction and crash. So it’s always in your best interest to stay in your lane and follow the rules of the road.

Ride Focused and Sober

Staying sober is your first line of defense to staying safe on the road. While driving under the influence is equally problematic for traditional motorists and motorcyclists alike, bikers are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash involving substances. According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, 90% of motorcyclists are injured in crashes involving substance abuse — compared to just 33% of motorists.

Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident? An Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

When you’re hurt on the road due to another driver’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to suffer alone. Time and again, we see responsible motorcyclists struggling because someone else made a series of poor decisions that impacted their health, ability to work, and sense of safety.


“While many accidents occur through no fault of the motorcyclist, it’s important to understand Alabama motorcycle laws to stay safe while you ride.”


If you find yourself in this situation, you should consider contacting an Alabama motorcycle accident lawyer to help you recover the compensation you need to cover your:

  • Medical treatment
  • Long-term care
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Mental health care
  • Lost wages from missing work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Damaged property

A skilled and experienced attorney can also help you determine the value of your case and provide sound legal advice that protect you and your family moving forward.

Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys Fight for Motorcycle Crash Victims Throughout the Gulf Coast

At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we believe Alabama roads should be safe for all. That’s why we fight for motorcycle crash victims every day, and our dedication speaks for itself. We’ve won millions in compensation for our clients.

In fact, you can click here to learn how our team recently helped a motorcycle crash victim recover enough funds to cover the costs of his medical care and ensure long-term stability.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash in Alabama, please contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation. (We can even come to you if you can’t leave the house!) During our discussion, we’ll get to know you, gather all the details of your story, and offer legal advice on what to do next.

Please contact us today to schedule your no-risk consultation by calling 251-888-8888 by completing this brief online contact form.

References

(2014, February). Motorcycle Operator Manual. Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Retrieved from

https://www.alea.gov/sites/default/files/inline-files/motorcyclemanual_0.pdf

Motorcycle Safety. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycle-safety

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Five Signs You Have an Undiagnosed TBI

It comes out of nowhere: a car disregards a stop sign, ploughing through the intersection, slamming into your car. Your head snaps sideways and hits the driver’s side window and you black out. You might not realize it, but you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Accidents and crashes of any kind are scary enough, but when you’re suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI), they can take a serious situation from bad to worse. In this blog, the experts at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys outline common symptoms of mild TBIs and provide suggestions for what to do if you’ve been hurt by someone else’s negligence behavior.

TBIs Are Serious, but Easy to Miss

Roughly 1.5 million people experience traumatic brain injuries every year. Historically, TBIs have been incredibly challenging to identify and diagnose because the symptoms are easy to miss. Fatigue, confusion, and pain are all common after an accident. Many victims try to “sleep it off” or wait for the pain to go away rather than treating it like the serious injury that it is simply because they don’t realize how serious the issue is.

RELATED ARTICLE: Head Injuries: What Every Accident Victim Needs to Know

Signs You Have an Undiagnosed Traumatic Brain Injury

TBI symptoms are wide-ranging and can be easily attributed to other factors. However, if you or someone you love are or have experienced any of the following, it could be a sign that you might be experiencing a TBI.

Loss of Consciousness

Most people with mild TBIs are unconscious for less than 30 minutes. According to the International Brain Injury Association, losing consciousness for any period of time is one of the main indicators that a victim is suffering from a mild TBI.

Headaches

Headaches are one of the most common signs you’re experiencing a TBI. Impact headaches occur when the brain hits the skull and can be caused by pools of blood or fluid inside the skull — or from the injured brain tissue. While it’s tempting to simply take a pain killer, drink some water, and hope the pain goes away, ignoring a brain injury can be devasting for your long-term health.

Sensory Issues

Any changes to your senses can indicate that your brain has been injured. Blurred vision, ringing ears or muffled hearing, and changes to how you smell or taste things are all signs that might appear over time. You might also experience sensitivity to light and sound or struggle to moderate other sensory input that normally wouldn’t bother you.

Behavioral Changes

After a head injury, it’s common to experience mood or behavioral changes. Irritability, depression, combativeness, and mood swings are all indicators that the brain has been damaged. These symptoms are easy to miss in the stressful aftermath of an accident. In fact, many symptoms can overlap or correlate with other conditions — such as depression, anxiety, or even sleep disorders.

Cognitive Challenges

Loss of memory and other cognitive issues before or after the accident can serve as major TBI warning signs. In addition, any trouble thinking, reasoning, or processing can signal a TBI.

Many people we see with traumatic brain injuries struggle to go back to work after a crash because normal processes are suddenly a challenge, but they don’t know why. We always encourage victims to get medical help as soon as possible after an accident. Left untreated, these symptoms could lead to more serious medical conditions and negatively impact your quality of life.

Traumatic brain injuries are complicated medical conditions with a wide range of symptoms. Everyone’s body is different, so if you’re experiencing challenges that are not listed above, it’s still in your best interest to see a doctor right away.

Contact an Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer for Help With Your TBI

Traumatic brain injuries can have a profound impact on your life. Medical bills, inability to work, and the impact on family life can take a heavy toll — something victims should never have to deal with. If you’re suffering because of someone else’s negligence, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer.

An empathetic and tenacious lawyer can help you recover compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Treatment costs
  • Long-term care
  • Missed wages
  • Pain and suffering

If you have questions about your options, you should reach out to a lawyer today.

Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Fighting for Alabama TBI Victims

At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we take brain health and wellness seriously and fight to deliver justice to our clients. And with millions in compensation recovered, we have a reputation of success.

For a free personalized evaluation and practical advice, please call 251-888-8888, or complete this form.

References

Bitonte, R., DeSanto, D., Hecht, K., & Tribuzio, B. Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries Were Previously Undiagnosable, and Therefore Treatment Uncertain, and Damages Speculative. International Brain Injury Association. Retrieved from https://www.internationalbrain.org/mild-traumatic-brain-injuries-were-prev-undiagnosable-therefore-treatment-uncertain-and-damages/

Traumatic Brain Injury Signs and Symptoms. BrainLine. Retrieved from https://www.brainline.org/article/traumatic-brain-injury-signs-and-symptoms

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Medical Marijuana and Drugged Driving in Alabama: Everything You Need to Know

Using marijuana and marijuana products is illegal in every form in Alabama. Even children who use cannabidiol (CBD) to treat seizures must have special permissions. However, Mississippi has decriminalized first-time possession of small amounts of marijuana, and medical marijuana is legal in Florida.

As many states have adopted more lenient marijuana laws, Alabama created a 15-member medical cannabis commission to study the effects of medical marijuana in treating certain health conditions, with anticipated legislation coming in 2020. However, as more people become interested in medical marijuana, concern is rising over the risks of people who choose to drive under the influence.

In this blog, Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys outlines current Alabama’s marijuana legislation and what to do if you suspect you’ve been the victim of a drugged driving accident.

It’s Illegal to Drive Under the Influence of Marijuana

If someone decides to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana in Alabama, no matter how they obtain it or why they use it, they are subject to the penalties of Alabama’s drugged driving laws. In other words, there are no special passes for medical marijuana users who cross the border from other states.

Alabama has a zero-tolerance stance on drugged driving. If an officer pulls you over, administers a drug test, and finds traces of marijuana in your system, you may face serious drug charges.

RELATED ARTICLE: Did a Drunk or Drugged Driver Cause Your Crash? Here’s What You Need to Know

What to Do If You Are the Victim of Drugged Driving

Driving under the influence of marijuana is never safe or a good idea. Signs a driver is driving while high include:

  • Lack of coordination and reaction time
  • Poor short-term memory and concentration
  • Poor perception of time and distance
  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • The smell of marijuana or marijuana smoke

If you think someone is driving under the influence, you should call the authorities right away. If you’ve been hurt in an accident with someone you suspect is using marijuana, here’s what to do.

Make Sure Everyone Is Safe, and Call the Authorities

The most important thing to do after a crash is to make sure everyone is safe and out of harm’s way. If someone is injured, call emergency medical services right away. It’s also in your best interest to call the authorities to generate a police report, which is extremely helpful for your case as it will list which driver is at-fault and if there is any suspected substance use. If you notice signs of drugged driving, be sure to mention it to the police on the scene so they can administer a roadside test or request bloodwork.

Get Medical Attention

We always recommend that victims seek medical attention after a crash, whether they think they’ve been hurt or not. A doctor can treat wounds before they have a chance to get worse. They can also diagnose hard-to-find injuries that would otherwise cause long-term damage if untreated — such as internal bleeding, mild traumatic brain injuries, or whiplash. Furthermore, medical records are valuable evidence if you need to take legal action against the negligent driver.

Consider Consulting With an Experienced Car Crash Lawyer

Drugged driving is a serious offense, and when you’ve been hurt because someone else made the reckless decision to drive while high, you deserve answers and justice. When you’re missing work, medical bills are piling up, and you’re unsure what to do next, you should speak with an attorney. They can offer advice on next steps, support you as you heal, and help you take steps to recover the damages you need to get your life back on track.

Hurt by a Drugged Driver? Contact Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys Today

At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we believe everyone deserves to be safe on the road, and someone else’s poor choices  shouldn’t affect you for the rest of your life. That’s why we’ve dedicated our careers to fighting for victims just like you.

If you need to speak with one of our skilled and experienced injury attorneys, please contact us today to schedule your free consultation. We’ll meet with and get to know you, learn about your case, and offer sound legal advice on what to do next.

Please call (251) 888-8888 today or complete this brief and simple online form.

References

Drug Impaired Driving. Governors Highway Safety Association. Retrieved from https://www.ghsa.org/state-laws/issues/drug%20impaired%20driving

Gore, L. (2019, June 11). Medical marijuana isn’t legal in Alabama; Bill only establishes study. Alabama.com. Retrieved from https://www.al.com/news/2019/06/medical-marijuana-isnt-legal-in-alabama-bill-only-establishes-study.html

Lautieri, A. (2019, July 25). What Are the Signs that Someone Is High? American Addiction Centers. Retrieved from https://americanaddictioncenters.org/marijuana-rehab/how-to-tell-if-someone-is-high

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Rear Ended in Alabama? Here’s What You Should Do After a Crash

A car accident occurs in Alabama every three minutes, so, unfortunately, chances are you’ll be involved in some sort of crash in your lifetime (and maybe already have). If so, knowing what to do ahead of time can save time, money, and stress down the road.

In this blog, we outline what Alabama car crash victims need to know after an accident and provide next steps if you find yourself in this scary situation.

Alabama Rear-End Collisions Can Have Devastating Effects

While rear-end collisions might seem run-of-the-mill, they often cause serious injuries and significant damage. According to the Washington Post, there are 1.7 million rear-end crashes in the U.S. every year. Roughly 1,700 people die and 500,000 are injured in these collisions.

Seemingly minor injuries after a rear-end collision are common. However, neck injuries like hyperextension, hyperflexion, and strains — all other words for “whiplash” — can have an incredible impact on a victim’s life. Other common injuries include concussions, sprains, and emotional distress.

Don’t let the seemingly uncomplicated nature of these injuries keep you from seeking help. Without proper treatment and care, a routine injury could lead to something more complicated — prolonging your healing and causing you more pain and suffering over time.

RELATED ARTICLE: Head Injuries: What Every Accident Victim Needs to Know

Take These Steps After a Rear-End Collision in Alabama

Getting rear-ended might seem minor because it’s so common, but the moments immediately after a crash are scary and can be filled with uncertainty, panic, and pain. Protect yourself after a rear-end collision by knowing what to do and who to contact.

Make Sure Everyone Is Safe

The most important thing after a crash is to ensure everyone involved is safe. Even if you don’t think you’ve sustained major injuries, it’s still best to get checked out. A doctor will catch latent injuries that can cause trouble if left untreated. Concussions, internal bleeding, and bruised bones can be painful and problematic if left untreated.

Call the Police and Get an Accident Report

A police report is a tremendous piece of evidence in a rear-end case. It’s in your best interest to call the police after a crash, especially when you’re the victim of someone else’s negligence because the report will list the liable driver. When the other driver is at fault, the report can help you and your lawyer fight for the compensation you deserve if you decide to pursue legal action.

Gather Information and Evidence

If you can, take down the negligent driver’s:

    • Name
    • Phone number
    • Address
    • License plate number
    • Insurance information

This information will be useful when you file your insurance claim.

If possible, you should also use your cell phone to take photos of the crash scene, every vehicle involved, and the road. While your lawyer can help you collect and preserve evidence, these images are irreplaceable.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help After a Rear-End Collision in Alabama

After a rear-end collision, the negligent driver might not have sufficient insurance to cover the costs of your injuries and damages. They might also claim that they were not at fault or liable for the crash.

If you’re being denied the compensation you deserve after a crash, you should consider contacting an Alabama personal injury attorney. These professionals can help you evaluate your options, compile and preserve evidence, and fight to get you the compensation you need to get your life back on track.

A lawyer can help you recover damages for:

  • Medical bills
  • Repairing your vehicle
  • Pain and suffering
  • Missed work
  • Lost wages
  • And more

Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Taking Your Accident Seriously for Over 30 Years

At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’ve been fighting for personal injury victims Alabama and the Gulf Coast for over 30 years. We understand the impact even the most seemingly routine crashes can have on victims and have dedicated our careers to making sure no one goes without the compensation they deserve to live full and happy lives.

If you’re suffering because of someone else’s negligence, please contact us today so we can conduct a free case evaluation and provide sound legal advice about what to do next.

Please call (251) 888-8888 or complete this brief form to request your free consultation.

References

Halsey, A. (2015, June 2015). There are about 1.7 million rear-end collisions on U.S. roads each year. Here’s how to stop them. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/06/08/there-are-about-1-7-million-rear-end-collisions-on-u-s-roads-each-year-heres-how-to-stop-them/?noredirect=on

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

How Much Is My Spinal Cord Injury Claim Worth?

While they may seem relatively rare, more than 17,700 people suffer a spinal cord injury (SCI) each year. Motor vehicle accidents are the top cause of SCIs, contributing to nearly 40% of all cord injuries. Whether you’ve completely lost the use of your limbs or still have some function, a spinal cord injury can change your life forever. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we have a long history of helping people with spinal cord injuries and their loved ones rebuild and demand justice.

In this article, we’ll discuss the various kinds of cord injuries and how they can impact the value of your claim after an accident.

Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries

Your spinal cord is made up of a series of complex nerve tissues and runs from your brain to your low back. It transmits messages from the brain and then passes them on to the rest of your body, using spinal nerves. These electrical impulses control most of your body’s conscious and subconscious activities, including walking, talking, breathing, and feeling. While it is protected by a fibrous layer (the dura) and your backbone (vertebral column), it is still prone to injury.

When your spinal cord is crushed, compressed, bruised, or cut, it may be unable to send the brain’s messages to certain spinal nerves. This can cause a wide range of symptoms, ranging from partial strength and movement to complete loss of strength and mobility from the neck down. The most serious cord injuries are fatal.

Doctors and other medical providers categorize SCIs in a variety of ways, focusing on the degree of injury and its location:

  • Incomplete: You retain some ability to move and feel below the site of the spinal injury.
  • Complete: You lose all sensory and motor function below the site of the spinal injury.
  • Paraplegia: Spinal cord damage in your mid or low back causes paralysis or weakness in your legs and lost bladder and bowel control, sexual function, and sensation.
  • Quadriplegia or tetraplegia: An injury to your cervical or thoracic cord can lead to paralysis in both your arms and legs, breathing difficulties, lost bowel and bladder control, sexual dysfunction, and other problems.
  • Sacral cord injuries: Damage at the very base of your spine can cause leg and hip weakness, bowel and bladder control issues, and sexual dysfunction.

An estimated 300,000 people in the U.S. live with spinal cord injuries.

While trauma can immediately damage the cord, spinal cord injuries can take time to develop. For example, bleeding and swelling can cut off the spinal cord’s oxygen supply, causing its tissues to die. Other times, a bone fragment or debris from a penetrating injury may bruise or break the spinal cord days, weeks, or even months later. Because of this, victims should try to be patient when filing a claim despite the overwhelming fear and anxiety about what to do next. You want to know exactly how your injuries are affecting you before calculating their value. Consider things like ongoing physical therapy, physical and mental comfort, and if you’ll be able to work and live independently.

RELATED CLIENT STORY: Madeline’s Story: Finding Peace After a Catastrophic Crash

Signs of a Spinal Cord Injury

After a serious car accident, you should always call 911 and seek medical treatment. If you suspect a spinal cord injury, prompt medical care is even more important. If you experience any of the following symptoms, go to the ER or your physician for help:

  • Loss of movement
  • Lost or decreased sensation
  • Altered ability to feel heat, cold, or pain
  • Changes or loss of function in pelvic organs, including bowels, bladder, and sexual organs
  • Exaggerated reflexes or spasms
  • Pain, such as intense stinging
  • Respiratory difficulties, including problems with breathing and clearing your lungs
  • Weakness or a lack of coordination and balance
  • Severe pain or pressure in the head, neck, or back
  • Strange twist or position of the neck or back

How a Spinal Cord Injury Can Affect Your Claim

In the past, a spinal cord injury was a dire and potentially life-threatening diagnosis. While you still must take all spinal cord injuries seriously, there have been significant advances in their treatment. In the 1970s, a spinal cord injury survivor would typically spend 24 days in the hospital, followed by 98 days in a rehabilitation center. Today, most people spend 11 days in the hospital and 31 days in intense rehabilitation. However, that doesn’t mean that you still won’t face challenges.

Many people with cord injuries require ongoing medical attention and help with daily tasks and self-care. Depending on the severity of your injury and other factors, you may be unable to work and do other things you love.

At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we understand how overwhelming it is to live with paraplegia and quadriplegia. If the at-fault driver’s insurance company has offered you a settlement for your spinal cord injuries, you should give us a call. Unlike the insurance adjuster, we’ll help you understand the full value of your claim. We frequently consult with experts, including physicians and long-term care planners, to estimate our clients’ future needs.

RELATED ARTICLE: Can the Insurance Company Deny My Injury Claim Due to a Pre-Existing Condition?

Determining Compensation in an Alabama Spinal Cord Injury Claim

According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the average lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury is within the millions. However, the value of your case will depend on a variety of factors, including your medical needs, lost income, pain and suffering, and the number of insurance policies that cover your claim. Your lawyer may also suggest waiting until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before you agree to a settlement. You’ll reach MMI once your condition stabilizes and it’s unlikely that your symptoms will improve. If you settle before you reach this point, you may seriously underestimate your damages.

When you work with Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’ll carefully assess all of your losses, including:

  • Medical  bills, both current and future
  • Lost income and wage-earning capacity
  • Long-term care needs
  • Equipment that helps you live more independently, such as ramps, wheelchairs, and lifts
  • Pain and suffering
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Damage to your relationships

Contact Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys If You Have Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries cause enough pain and stress on their own. The last thing you need after suffering a catastrophic injury is unfair compensation that doesn’t cover your medical expenses or changed quality of life. The lawyers at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys are dedicated to ensuring you get the compensation you deserve. We have a long history with catastrophic SCI claims and have the resources to represent you aggressively and effectively.

If you or a loved one is living with a spinal cord injury, please call us today at (251) 888-8888 or complete this brief form to request your free case evaluation with an experienced attorney from the Andy Citrin team.

References

Costs of living with SCI (n.d.) Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.christopherreeve.org/living-with-paralysis/costs-and-insurance/costs-of-living-with-spinal-cord-injury

Spinal cord injury (SCI) facts and figures at a glance. (2019). National SCI Statistical Center. Retrieved from https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/Public/Facts%20and%20Figures%202019%20-%20Final.pdf 

The content  provided here is  for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

What Should I Do If I Get a Recall Notice for a Product I Own?

As consumers, we trust that the products we buy will make our lives better, not worse. We also believe that when something goes wrong, the manufacturer will do its part to protect us from danger and make sure that no one is harmed again. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.

In this blog, Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys’ product liability team outlines what to do after a recall and how to seek compensation if you’ve been hurt by a defective product, whether it’s been recalled or not.

What Is a Product Recall?

When a design defect or manufacturing errors puts consumers at risk, a company can recall the product on their own, or at the behest of a government agency. This process is called a product recall. Typically, a manufacturer must notify the government when they identify a defective or faulty product that carries a significant risk of injury or death. However, noncompliant companies may face a mandatory, government-ordered recall.

After a product has been recalled, the company must implement a recall plan.

The Company Publishes a Recall Notice

Many recalls are made public in trade journals, pushed through the media, or to dealers and owners directly, depending on the circumstances. When a car or car part is recalled, the manufacturer will notify the registered owner of the vehicle.

Government Agencies Monitor Recall Compliance

Depending on the type of product involved, a recall may involve the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), or other state and federal agencies. These agencies help oversee recalls and protect consumers from further harm.

Consumers Receive Repairs or Refunds

If you own a dangerous or defective product that has been recalled and it has not harmed you, read the recall notice carefully and follow its instructions. Depending on the company’s recall plan, it will either give you a refund, replace, or repair the product.

If the recall notice tells you that you should not use the product, cease its operation immediately.

Takata Airbags: A Recall Gone Very Wrong

While some recalls are relatively short-lived, others go on for years. Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata began noticing problems with its airbags in 2000, when inflators started malfunctioning and even exploding during tests. However, the company did nothing to protect consumers – and employees even manipulated test data to hide the problem.

Unfortunately, when a defective Takata airbag activates, it can break into tiny fragments and shrapnel that cause catastrophic and fatal injuries. One of the first documented Takata cases occurred in Alabama in 2004.

In November 2008, Honda issued the first Takata-related recall. In November 2009, the NHTSA began investigating the issue but was hampered by inaccurate information it received from the airbag company. Eventually, Takata agreed to recall millions of airbag inflators and pay up to $200 million in penalties – but problems still persisted.

In 2016, Takata agreed to recall another 35-40 million inflators, making it the largest recall in U.S. history. The company pled guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay nearly a billion dollars in penalties and compensation.

According to the NHTSA, almost 42 million vehicles contained defective Takata airbags. Due to the size of the recall, the process was staged. The last expected round of Takata recalls will occur in December 2019, almost two decades after the problem arose. The most recent Takata-related fatality occurred in March 2019.

What Should I Do If I’m Injured by a Recalled or Dangerous Product?

If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a defective vehicle, product, or medication, you may be eligible for compensation. However, to protect your legal claims, you’ll need to act quickly.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Defective products and dangerous drugs can cause catastrophic injuries. However, even if your injuries appear minor at first glance, it’s in your best interest to consult with a doctor. First, you may have unidentified injuries or complications that need immediate care. Second, your medical records will serve as valuable evidence in your potential product liability claims.

Preserve the Evidence

If a defective product hurt you, don’t return or repair it as part of a recall. To prove your injury claim, your product liability lawyer and their team of experts will need to examine and study the product.

In most product liability claims, you must prove that the product malfunctioned “without substantial alteration” and caused damage to your person or property as a result. Having reliable evidence is critical. Otherwise, the company will assert that you damaged or modified the product and caused it to malfunction, instead of taking responsibility for their dangerous product.

Call a Product Liability Lawyer

When a dangerous product hurts you, you deserve honest advice from an experienced lawyer. In Alabama, it’s especially critical for victims to seek legal counsel; factors like liability and breach of warranty may impact your ability to recover damages. Given these complex factors, it’s in your best interest to consult with an injury attorney before deciding to return the product or pursue legal action.

You Have Two Years to File a Product Liability Lawsuit

Under Alabama law, you only have a short period to file a product liability claim. You typically must file your lawsuit within two years of your date of injury. Different rules may apply if you were not immediately aware of your injury – if you need help calculating your filing deadlines, contact Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys.

RELATED ARTICLE: Injured by a Dangerous Drug or Medical Device? Know Your Rights

A Product Recall Does Not Guarantee Compensation for Your Suffering

There’s a common misconception that, as a victim who’s been harmed by a dangerous product, you’ll automatically get compensation. But a recall does not mean the company has any legal obligation to offer you compensation, nor does it automatically bring a suit against the company.

A recall notice simply means the manufacturer is aware of the problem and is doing something to correct it. In fact, many dangerous products are never recalled! If a faulty product results in lost time, money, and quality of life, you deserve compensation. However, the only way to collect these damages is to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor.

No matter what you decide to do after a product recall, you deserve to understand the options available to you. We always encourage victims to take advantage of a free consultation with Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys to make sure you have all the information you need to make a good decision.

Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Protecting Alabama Residents From Dangerous Products

Getting hurt by a dangerous product can be one of the scariest things that can happen to a person. When you do everything right, but things still go wrong, you need the wisdom, guidance, and reassurance of an experienced product liability attorney.

At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’ll listen to your story with empathy and understanding, and fight for you like you were our own family. When you need to win, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us today at (251) 888-8888 today or complete our simple online form. Consultations are free and no risk to you!

Resources

Jones, C., & Bomey, N. (2017, June 25). Timeline: How Takata’s air-bag scandal erupted. USA Today. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/06/25/takata-air-bag-scandal-timeline/103184598/

Takata airbag recall: Everything you need to know. (2019, March 29). Consumer Reports. Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/car-recalls-defects/takata-airbag-recall-everything-you-need-to-know/

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.