Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyer
Since 2008, Stephen Thompson has been working on personal injury claims in Alabama, providing the compassionate and skilled legal counsel needed for individuals facing some of life's most difficult situations. Whether you are facing a Car Accident Injury, the Wrongful Death of a Loved One, an injury resulting from a 18 Wheeler Accident, or need assistance with an Alabama Workers' Compensation claim, this firm is dedicated to providing the professional and experienced representation necessary to efficiently resolve your legal crisis throughout Alabama.
Individualized & Personalized Legal Attention
At Stephen F. Thompson, Jr., Attorney at Law, LLC, your case will be handled directly by Stephen Thompson, not a paralegal or staff member. This personal attention means your case can receive the individualized care and consideration required to construct a customized and effective legal strategy.
Informative and Knowledgeable Legal Counsel
Knowledge is power. At your initial case strategy session, I will speak or meet with you personally to gather all the details of your case. After a thorough fact-gathering process, I can describe to you the legal options available, and how they align with your goals and desired outcomes. Armed with this knowledge, you can then make the necessary informed decisions for your case. In over a decade of experience, common questions and concerns have arisen time and again from new clients, which are addressed below.
What qualifies as a personal injury case?
Regardless of the legal theory, personal injury claims are viable legal claims when one person had a duty to act in a certain way, and did not; and that person's actions (or failure to act) then lead to another person's injuries. There is a variety of common law tort claims available as legal mechanisms for relief, ranging from common to rare, and obvious to concealed; as well as many statutes that provide relief such as the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act.
How are personal injury settlements calculated?
Settlement value depends on the particular facts and circumstances of each case. Dagamges are generally broken into two categories: Special Damages and General Damages. Special damages are things we can point to and add up. General damages are things that we cannot show a receipt for.
Special damages include things like:
- Medical Bills
- Property Damage
- Lost past and future wages
Proving General damages is not a straight forward as showing special damages. General damages include things like:
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Mental Anguish
How much should I get for pain and suffering?
Pain and suffering is difficult to measure. There's no way to accurately put a price tag on someone's pain and suffering. It's easier to say what is too high, and what is too low. The nearest frame of reference is typically your medical records - which reveal the nature and duration of medical treatment, along with the cost. Medical treatment that endured for 18 months is better evidence of extensive pain and suffering than medical treatment that endured for three days.
How do you explain pain and suffering?
It is impossible to experience someone else's pain and suffering to gain an accurate pictuer of what they are enduring. What we can do, however, is evaluate and measure the outward indicators of their pain and suffering. Evidence revealing pain and suffering includes:
- Medical records
- Plaintiff testimony
- Testimony from spouse or family members
- Doctor testimony about the nature and extent of your injuries
- Work and payroll records revealing diminshed capacity to earn and income
Good lawyers are able to gether all of the above evidence to show your damages. The best personal injury lawyers are story tellers; and can weave it all together into a compelling story of what happened to you, and what must be done for you to have justice.
How are personal injury lawyers paid? Are personal injury lawyers free?
Legal services are not free, however, clients are not required to pay out-of-pocket. Personal injury claims are handled under a contingency fee agreement, which means the attorney fee is paid as a percentage of the recovery or settlement proceeds. The fee is paid on the back-end. This agreement has historically proven to work, as it aligns incentives for the lawyer and client.
Are personal injury lawyers worth it? When should a personal injury lawyer be used? Can I make a personal injury claim myself?
It depends on the particular circumstances of your case. If your injuries are minor, then there is probably not enough economic incentive in play to make it worth hiring a lawyer. Likewise, it may be tempting to think that if your damages are in excess of policy limits then you may not need a lawyer, however, good personal injury lawyers will look for other insurance policies that may be available to pay on your claim, and an offer of policy limits is not guaranteed.
Insurance companies are national corporations with millions of dollars of resources. They have fleets of attorneys in every state. They have doctors and nurses on call to answer questions about records. Their adjusters have access to internal studies, and data reports, and strategy metrics that the average person simply does not have access to. They absolutely have lawyers in their corner. It merely levels the playing field for you to have one in your corner also. If you'd like to talk about whether or not your claim is something that needs a lawyer's assistance, you are invited to contact me to discuss your situation.
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How do I maximize my personal injury settlement?
It's safer to think of preserving settlement value, instead of maximizing. There are several steps you can take to preserve your claim value.
- Take down witness names and phone numbers
- Make sure to seek and obtain medical treatment - if you do not have insurance, you can contact me and I will attempt to get you in to see a doctor.
- Document your activity, such as trips to the doctor, and how your life has changed as a result of your injury - if you keep a journal or diary, it's very likely you will have to show it to the defense during a lawsuit.
- Keep copies of everything
- Avoid speaking with the adjuster if you intend to consult an attorney. If you do speak with an adjuster, be mindful that your conversation is possibly being recorded.
- Stay mindful of what you share on social media. It's not a good idea to start attempting to delete things, but you can limit your future acitivity. You should also stay aware that it's very possible that a private investigator is watching you.
- If you are engaged in long-term medical treatment, such as physical therapy or rehabilitation, it is best to wait until you have either completed treatment, or have reached a sustainable plateau of improvement. You only settle once, and cannot come back if you later realize your medical condition didn't improve as much as anticipated.
How often do personal injury claims go to court?
Approximately 85% of all civil lawsuits settle. Statstically, your claim will likely settle. However, the thing about large number statistics is that the don't tell us anything at all about an individual situation. For a case to make it to trial, it typically involves a situation where both sides have legitimate reasons to think they're right, and have enough incentive to pursue being right.
A typical personal injury claim in Alabama can be broken into two sections: 1) liability and 2) damages. Liability is the determination of whether or not the accident and plaintiff's damages were the defendant's fault. How clear or unclear liability appears based on the facts is a strong indicator of whether or not a case should be able to settle. Damages issues are generally centered around General damages, as Special damages are more easily quantifiable and therefore less subject to dispute.
Experience Matters When You Want a Favorable Outcome
Whether litigating a 18 Wheeler Accident case, an Alabama Workers' Compensation claim or negotiating a Car Accident Claim, Stphen F. Thompson, Jr., Attorney at Law, LLC has the skills and experience necessary to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Stephen Thompson has worked in the past as a judicial clerk for a Circuit Court Judge in Birmingham, Alabama; as a defense lawyer, and for 12 years as a plaintiff lawyer.
This firm has the depth of experience and sought-after skills to be your legal representative, including:
- Highly recommended by our previous clients, peers, and colleagues
- Trusted reputation for legal excellence
- Compassionate focus on a client's difficult situation
- Statewide legal services for Car Wreck Injuries and Workers' Compensation Injuries throughout Alabama
- Extensive courtroom litigation experience
At Stephen F. Thompson, Jr., Attorney at Law, LLC, claims are worked on tirelessly to help clients efficiently achieve the results they want. Get started on your case.
Free Initial Strategy Session
All Initial Strategy Sessions are Free. If you would like to discuss your options, you are invited to fill out one of the Contact Forms. I will attempt to contact you if I think I can help you.
During your Initial Strategy Session, I will asist you in creating a strategy on how to best pursue your claim, whether it be the result of a Car Accident Claim, 18 Wheeler Injury, or, Alabama Workers' Compensation Claim. At your Initial Strategy Session, you will receive the following:
- First - I will listen to your story. You will have a chance to tell everything to someone who wants to hear what happened to you.
- Based on the information that you provide, I will give you my best advice on both what claims you have, and the next steps you should consider to proceed with your claim(s).
- If your claim is something that I think I can help you with, I will explain the services that I can provide for you, and what the next steps are that we should take. We will start working immediately.
- If your matter is something that I do not think I can help you with, then I will attempt to put you in contact with another lawyer that might be able to help you.
- Either way, what should happen is we will put to rest some of the unkowns that you may be experiencing. We will start to shed some light on what you can expect, and how to best pursue the benefits you deserve.
Don't delay getting the recovery you deserve!
Contact us today for your free Strategy Session!