Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyers
Fighting for families throughout Alabama
After a serious injury, every day life can become more difficult. Aside from the doctors’ visits and chronic pain, there are worries about how to pay the bills, how to take care of your kids, and how long your recovery is going to take. At Mezrano Law Firm, we know that you might be feeling overwhelmed, and that you could use some help. Our Birmingham personal injury lawyers have been guiding Alabama clients through the rough spots for years. If you or your loved one is hurt, call us to learn how we can help.
What does a personal injury lawyer do?
On TV and in film, lawyers spend a lot of time in courtrooms. They don’t really show all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a case. If you’ve never hired a personal injury lawyer before, then you probably don’t know what it is we do. On any given day, our team:
- Reviews your medical records, and works with medical experts to show the extent of your injuries.
- Deals with your insurance company, trying to negotiate a better settlement (when applicable).
- Makes sure the creditors stop calling at all hours of the day and night after your injury leaves you unable to work, and you fall behind on the bills.
- Works with outside experts, like financial planners or accident reconstructionists, to show what happened to you – and how your life is going to change.
- Helps you get a rental car, access to home health aides or rehabilitation centers, and access to child care (if needed).
- Reviews any documentation that you need if you have to claim workers’ compensation or Social Security Disability.
- Interviews witnesses to your accident, and takes depositions.
In short, a Birmingham personal injury lawyer doesn’t just go to court to fight for your rights. We take the time to get to know you and your family while we build a case to prove you have been hurt, and are entitled to damages as a result.
Can I afford a Birmingham personal injury lawyer?
Yes, you can. We always tell our new clients that they never have to worry about the costs of hiring our firm because we only work on contingency. That means that our fees are contingent on, or based on, our ability to win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Once you hire us, we front the costs for your case. We pay for the experts we need to hire, for the copies of the documentation we need to make, and for any other expenses. We don’t charge you any fees, either.
After you have won your trial, your award will go into a trust. First, any outstanding medical liens or bills you have will be paid. Then, we take out our fees and expenses. Everything that is left belongs to you, tax-free.
Time limits for filing a personal injury lawsuit
How long you have to file your personal injury lawsuit depends on what kind of case it is. The statutes of limitation for injury claims are:
- Accidental personal injury: 2 years
- Medical malpractice: 2 years
- Wrongful death: 2 years
- Intentional injury: 6 years
The clock starts running on the date you were injured, or could have reasonably known you were injured. This is why it is very important to seek medical attention after you have been hurt, and to call a Birmingham personal injury lawyer right away. Otherwise, you could be time-barred from collecting the compensation you are owed.
What kind of compensation can I get for my injuries?
Every case is different, but generally speaking, there are three categories of compensation you might be awarded after an injury.
Economic damages are the types of losses and costs that you can calculate. They include your medical bills, the costs of your prescriptions, your property damages, and any lost wages. If you have to build a wheelchair ramp, or if a brain injury leaves you unable to work in the same job, so your potential earning capabilities drop – all of these are covered under economic damages, too.
Non-economic damages are the “intangibles” – the types of things that are not easily calculated. They include pain and suffering, or loss of companionship. If an injury causes you emotional or mental trauma, that is covered, too.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer for particularly egregious behavior, or extreme negligence. They are pretty rare in most civil cases, but not impossible to obtain. The state allows punitive damages at 3x the amount of the total damages, but puts a hard cap at $1.5 million.
What that means is, if you are awarded $200,000 in economic and non-economic damages, the most you can be awarded in punitive damages is $600,000. However, if you are awarded $5 million in combined economic and non-economic damages, you cannot be awarded more than $1.5 million in punitive damages.
How much is my case worth?
One question we get asked a lot is, “How much is my case worth?” The answer is, it depends. There’s no way to determine how much a case is worth from the get-go, because the costs can increase over time. The amount of compensation you may be entitled to is based on a lot of factors: what your bills are, how much money you lost in terms of wages, how severe your injury is, etc.
Calculating pain and suffering
Figuring out economic damages is fairly straightforward, but calculating pain and suffering after a serious injury can be more difficult. There are two ways that it can be calculated: the multiplier method, and the per diem method.
In the multiplier method, your economic losses are multiplied by a number between 1 and 5 (on average), and the resulting amount is what you are offered. For example, if you sustain $25,000 in economic losses after a wreck on I-20, your insurance company (or other negligent party) may offer you $50,000 for your pain and suffering (25 x 2 = 50). However, if your attorney uses a different multiplier – let’s use 4 – because of the severity of your injuries, then he or she would counter that offer, saying you really deserved $100,000 for your pain and suffering (25 x 4 = 100). From there, the two sides will negotiate until a just settlement is reached, or you may decide to go to trial instead, in hopes of getting a higher award.
The per diem method is more commonly used for less-severe injuries, or injuries that cause temporary pain and suffering, but no permanent damage. It works by figuring out your daily “rate” and then multiply that by how many days you were in pain.
For example, say you fell on a slippery floor at Piggly Wiggly, and you broke your arm:
- You are out of work for 30 days as a result
- You earn $400 a week at your job, or $100 a day
- $100 x 30 days = $3,000
Through the per diem method, you would be offered $3,000 for your pain and suffering.
Common personal injury claims in Birmingham
Mezrano Law Firm handles all manner of personal injury claims on behalf of our clients. If someone else caused you harm through his or her negligence, we are available to help, no matter what. We are the law firm you can trust for injuries resulting from:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Injuries on other peoples’ properties
- Defective products
- Nursing home negligence or abuse
- Medical malpractice
Whether you’ve sustained whiplash, suffered a traumatic brain injury, sustained serious burns, or lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, we will be there to help. If it turns out that you have been rendered permanently disabled, we can help you file for Social Security Disability Insurance. If you need to collect workers’ compensation, we can make sure you have the right tools and resources for your claim.
Helpful information about Birmingham
- Birmingham Fire & Rescue: 205.254.2995
- Birmingham Police Department: 205.254.1765
- Emergency Services: 911
- UAB Hospital: 205.934.3411
- Vincent’s Hospital: 205.939.7000
- Brookwood Baptist Medical Center: 205.877.1000
- Children’s of Alabama: 205.638.9100
Transportation services in Birmingham
MAX Transit (formerly the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority)
1801 Morris Avenue
Birmingham AL 35203
Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport
5900 Messer Airport Highway
Birmingham, Alabama 35212
1801 Morris Avenue
Birmingham, AL 35203
David J. Vann Municipal Justice Center
801 17th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Phone: 205. 254.2161
Municipal Services Building
808 18th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203
U.S. District Court Clerk
1729 5th Ave N
Birmingham, AL 35203
Birmingham personal injury lawyers on your side
Serious injuries need serious representation, Mezrano Law Firm helps the injured throughout Alabama. To schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced Birmingham personal injury lawyer, please call 205-206-6300 or fill out our contact form.
If you have a case, you have a lawyer. Call us today to learn more.