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Do some areas pay more for a car wreck than Mobile and Baldwin Counties?

by | Jun 16, 2024 | LawCall Q&A | 0 comments

Question: I was in an accident. My cousin from another state was in a similar wreck and got twice the amount I did. Why?

BILL: Some states do pay more in specific situations. I will tell you that some counties, even in the state of Alabama, have reputations for larger jury awards. Here is the bottom line to the insurance company – if a jury would award more, the insurance company will offer more to settle the case.

Now, some of my lawyer friends say that Huntsville can be the worst. With all its high-tech engineers, Huntsville juries have a reputation for analyzing and flowcharting your case for days. According to attorneys there, the jurors have a reputation for finding that 1% of blame that, by Alabama law, can stop you from collecting anything … ever.

Let me explain that since it can seriously impact what you can collect.

Alabama is one of the few states—North Carolina is also one —that says if you’re the plaintiff (injured person) and are even a little bit at fault, you don’t get anything. Yes, it’s all or nothing.

A couple of years ago, I had a case in Mississippi in which the jury found that my client was 10% at fault, but the other driver was 90% at fault.

Well, what they do there is basically just deduct whatever percentage you’re at fault from the jury awards. So, if the jury awarded you $100,000, they would take away $10,000, and you get $90,000.

To show how different states can be if you’re 10% at fault in the state of Alabama, whether it be a car wreck, slip and fall, you know, whatever — you get zero.

Let me quickly add that I worked with a Mississippi lawyer, and we shared the fee. It did not cost the client one extra penny to have a lawyer here in Mobile that they could come to see and talk to and have a Mississippi lawyer who could help us through the specific laws in that state.

Let me add that workers comp. in Alabama is a little different. If you’re hurt on the job, even if it’s your own fault, then you still get workers compensation. The downside is that on workers comp., you don’t get pain and suffering, mental anguish, or things of that nature, but you do get compensated for whatever injury you had.

CALL BILL

Injured? You can call Bill directly at 251-255-5000. He will talk to you for free. Plus, watch Bill every Sunday night at 10:30 on NBC 15 LawCall, our legal TV show, here in Mobile. Hosted by Andrea Ramey, it is on right after the news.