The Consequences of a DUI For Commercial Drivers in Fairhope, AL

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense with significant legal and personal consequences. Operating a commercial vehicle while impaired not only jeopardizes the safety of others on the road but also has far-reaching consequences for the driver’s livelihood. A seasoned Fairhope, AL DUI attorney can help you understand the specific penalties and requirements and explain your best legal options for minimizing the impact on your CDL and career.

Commercial License Suspension or Revocation After DUI in Alabama

First DUI Offense

For a first DUI offense in a non-commercial vehicle, a commercial driver’s CDL will be disqualified for one year. During this period, you cannot legally operate a commercial vehicle.

Second DUI Offense

If you get convicted of a second DUI offense in a non-commercial vehicle, your CDL will be disqualified for life. This is a permanent revocation of the CDL, meaning you will no longer be eligible to hold a CDL in Alabama.

CDL Disqualification

If you get a commercial DUI conviction while operating a commercial vehicle, you may lose your license permanently. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, your CDL may be disqualified for one year for the first refusal and three years for subsequent refusals.

Employment Consequences of Drunk Driving in Fairhope, AL

  • Job Loss: Most employers of commercial drivers in Fairhope, AL have strict policies against employing individuals with DUI convictions. If you are convicted of a DUI in Alabama, you will most likely lose your job. This is especially true if the DUI incident occurred while operating a commercial vehicle.
  • Disqualification from CDL-Required Positions: Losing a commercial driver’s license (CDL) due to a DUI conviction may disqualify you from applying for CDL-required positions. These positions are often well-paying and stable employment opportunities.
  • Loss of Seniority and Benefits: For those who had a long-standing career as a commercial driver, a DUI conviction can result in the loss of seniority, benefits, and retirement contributions. This can have a lasting financial impact.
  • Increased Insurance Costs for Employers: A DUI conviction can lead to higher insurance premiums for the employer’s commercial vehicle fleet. This increased expense may result in reduced wages or benefits for all employees.
  • Difficulty Finding New Employment: Even after a DUI conviction, finding new employment in the transportation or trucking industry can be challenging. Employers often check driving records, and a DUI can be a red flag for potential employers.

Federal Regulations for Commercial DUI

For commercial drivers in Fairhope, AL, federal regulations regarding DUI are primarily governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Federal regulations set strict BAC limits for commercial drivers. In Alabama, the legal limit for commercial drivers is generally 0.04% BAC, which is half the limit for non-commercial drivers (0.08% BAC).

In addition, commercial drivers are subject to implied consent laws, which means that by holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you agree to submit to chemical testing, such as breathalyzer or blood tests. Commercial drivers who refuse to take a required BAC test can face disqualification. Certain DUI convictions may require the installation of an ignition interlock device on all vehicles operated by the driver both personal and commercial.

The FMCSA established the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which is a national database that tracks drug and alcohol violations for CDL holders. Employers are required to report these violations, and this information can affect your future employment prospects.

How Will Our Lawyers Refute Your Fairhope, AL DUI Charge?

Here are a few key strategies and arguments our DUI defense lawyers in Fairhope, AL will use to challenge your commercial DUI charges:

  • Lack of Probable Cause: Our attorney may argue that law enforcement lacked probable cause to stop or detain you.
  • Challenging Field Sobriety Tests: We may challenge the reliability and accuracy of these tests, pointing out factors such as poor weather conditions, medical conditions, or law enforcement errors that may have affected the results.
  • Breathalyzer Accuracy: We can question the accuracy and maintenance of breathalyzer devices used to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
  • Rising BAC Defense: In some cases, a driver’s BAC can rise between the time they were pulled over and when the breathalyzer test was administered. The attorney may argue that your BAC was below the legal limit while driving but had increased by the time of testing.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions or medications can affect BAC readings and may lead to false positives. We may present medical records and expert testimony to support this defense.
  • Field Sobriety Test Video Analysis: Our dedicated attorney may review video footage of field sobriety tests to challenge the officer’s observations and interpretations of your performance.
  • Chain of Custody: The attorney may examine the chain of custody for blood or urine samples, if applicable. Any break in the chain of custody could raise doubts about the integrity of the evidence.
  • Mistaken Identity: If there is any doubt about the identity of the drunk driver or if someone else had access to the commercial vehicle, we may present evidence to establish an alibi or demonstrate mistaken identity.

Our DUI lawyers will fight till the end to protect your rights. If all options are exhausted, we will strongly negotiate with the prosecution for a plea deal that reduces the charge from DUI to a lesser offense with less severe consequences.

Get a Free Case Evaluation from Our Seasoned Fairhope, AL Criminal Defense Attorneys

The experienced DUI lawyers at Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne, P.A. have decades of collective experience in DUI defense. We have represented numerous clients, from first-time offenses to commercial DUIs. We know how to negotiate with prosecutors and present strong arguments and evidence in court to get your charges dismissed or reduced. Depending on the case, we can also explore alternative penalties that minimize the impact on your life. To schedule your free consultation, call 251-928-1915 or reach us online.

Important Tips for Avoiding School Bus Accidents

Each day, millions of students rely on school buses for transportation to and from their educational institutions. To ensure their safety and well-being, it is important to implement preventive measures that minimize the risk of school bus accidents. If your child was injured in a school bus accident, you should not delay in speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney to pursue the rightful financial damages.

Helpful Tips for Avoiding School Bus Accidents in Alabama

Preventing school bus accidents requires a collective effort involving school administrations, bus drivers, students, parents, and the wider community. By following these tips and fostering a safety-conscious environment, everyone can significantly reduce the risk of school bus accidents and ensure the well-being of children during their daily commute.

  • Strict Adherence to Traffic Rules: School bus drivers should adhere to all traffic rules and regulations, especially speed limits and stop sign rules. Stopping for school buses that have their stop signs extended and red lights flashing is mandatory in most places to allow children to safely board or disembark from the bus.
  • Adequate Training for Drivers: School bus drivers should receive comprehensive training that covers safe driving practices, handling emergencies, and dealing with challenging situations. Regular refresher courses can help drivers stay updated on the latest safety protocols.
  • Routine Maintenance: Regular maintenance and thorough inspections of school buses are essential to ensure that they are in optimal working condition. Brakes, tires, signals, and other components must be regularly checked to minimize the risk of accidents caused by mechanical failures.
  • Distraction-Free Driving: Bus drivers must remain focused on the road and their surroundings at all times. The use of mobile phones or engaging in other distracting activities while driving should be strictly prohibited.
  • Clear Communication: Drivers should establish clear guidelines for safe boarding and disembarking, and students should be educated about proper behavior on the bus to prevent any disturbances that could lead to accidents.
  • Designated Zones: Schools should establish designated zones for getting in the buses that are clearly marked and free from obstructions. This helps ensure that students can safely enter or exit the bus without the risk of accidents due to traffic congestion or blind spots.
  • Traffic Awareness Campaigns: Educational campaigns aimed at raising awareness among drivers about the importance of following school bus safety rules can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. These campaigns can include information about the consequences of not stopping for school buses and the penalties for violating these rules.
  • Supervision for Younger Students: Younger students may require additional supervision while boarding and disembarking from the bus. School staff or older students can assist them to ensure their safety during these critical moments.
  • Emergency Evacuation Drills: Regular practice of emergency evacuation drills can prepare both students and drivers for quick and safe evacuation in case of an emergency. These drills can help reduce panic and confusion during unforeseen situations.
  • Parental Involvement: Parents can play a vital role by educating their children about school bus safety and reinforcing good behavior. Encouraging open communication between parents, students, and school authorities can create a collaborative approach to safety.

Seeking Justice for a Child Injured in an Alabama School Bus Accident

In Alabama, there are several legal avenues through which a parent can seek compensation for a school bus accident involving their child. These avenues may include:

  • Personal Injury Lawsuit: If the accident was caused by negligence or recklessness, the parent can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party, which could include the school district, bus driver, or other responsible parties.
  • Negligence Claims: If negligence played a role in the accident (such as inadequate training of the bus driver or failure to maintain the bus), the parent can pursue a claim based on the other party’s negligence.
  • Vicarious Liability: If the accident was caused by the bus driver while on duty, the school district might be held vicariously liable for the actions of its employees.
  • Premises Liability: If the accident occurred due to hazardous conditions on school property (such as poorly maintained bus stops or school grounds), a premises liability claim could be pursued.
  • Product Liability: If a defect in the school bus or its components contributed to the accident, a product liability claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or seller could be pursued.
  • Wrongful Death Claims: If the accident tragically resulted in the death of the child, the parents may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for their loss.
  • Municipal Liability: If the school district is a municipal entity, there are specific rules and procedures for filing claims against government entities for injuries caused by their employees.

An experienced personal injury attorney can provide legal help for filing a claim after identifying all potential defendants.

Why Should You Pursue Civil Action Following a School Bus Accident?

Parents should consider pursuing a civil claim for a school bus accident if their child has been injured or suffered damages as a result of the accident. Pursuing a civil claim serves several important purposes:

  • Compensation for Damages
  • Holding Responsible Parties Accountable
  • Encouraging Safer Practices

Seeking compensation through a civil claim can provide a sense of closure and justice for both the child and the parents. Consulting with legal professionals who are experienced in personal injury cases can help parents navigate the legal process and make informed decisions about their child’s well-being and future.

Get an Experienced School Bus Accident Lawyer on Your Side to Maximize Compensation for Your Child’s Injuries

If your child has been involved in a school bus accident and has suffered injuries or damages, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne, P.A. can help you take legal action to protect your child’s rights and seek the justice and compensation your child deserves. Our attorneys are dedicated to holding all the negligent parties accountable and helping secure your child’s future with the rightful compensation.

Our lawyers are here to provide you with a free case evaluation. Call us at 251-928-1915 or contact us online.


Ways to Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement

Car accidents are expensive, and you likely won’t realize the full financial impact of a crash for months or years. Despite this, insurance companies are determined to pay accident victims as little as they possibly can. How can you fight back and get what you deserve?

At Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne, we advocate aggressively for each and every client. If you’ve been hurt in a crash and you want to hold the insurance company accountable, call us at 251-928-1915 to set up a consultation.

Report the Accident to the Police

Make sure you report the crash to the police if you want fair compensation. The other driver may not want to call them, but that’s a red flag—it often means that they want to settle the crash outside of insurance to avoid their rates increasing. The result is usually that the victim is poorly compensated for their losses. Call the police at the scene of the crash and ensure that they create a report for it. Get a copy of the report as soon as you can.

Spend Some Time Taking Pictures

Evidence is king in a personal injury claim, and there is plenty of it available after a car accident. Your time is limited, however—a lot of the evidence available to you will be gone hours after a crash. Before you leave the scene, spend a few minutes taking pictures of the crash scene and your injuries.

Take photos of the scene from multiple angles, making sure to include license plates, street names, and other identifying information. If possible, you may also want to get video footage to provide a full picture of what happened. Once you get home, make copies of the photo files and upload them to a cloud-based storage system for safety.

Write Down What Happened

The details of the accident will slip away faster than you expect, but those same details are an important part of your personal injury claim. At your earliest convenience, sit down and write about what happened.

Stick to the objective facts and avoid including emotion or speculation in what you write down. Write down exactly what happened prior to, during, and after the accident. Include any observations that may be relevant. If there were any eyewitnesses, ask them to write down a retelling of the crash as well. It could be useful to your attorney.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

People often wait too long to see a doctor after a crash, which puts their personal injury claim in danger. The longer it takes you to get medical care, the easier it is for the other party’s insurance company to claim that your injuries were caused by something else. Whether you go to an urgent care center or emergency room, report any injuries you’ve noticed and any symptoms you may be having. Keep copies of any documentation you receive and any copays or other costs you incur.

Talk to an Attorney Before Talking to the Insurance Company

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is one of the most important parts of maximizing your injury settlement. Insurance companies are in the business of parting with as little money as they can, and laypeople do not know how to get around that. An attorney does, though. The sooner you can connect with an attorney, the sooner they can take over communication with the other party’s insurance provider.

Ideally, you’ll talk to a lawyer before you have any communication with the other driver’s insurance. This prevents you from unintentionally saying anything that will hurt your claim—believe us, the other driver’s insurance adjuster will try to get you to say something that they can use against you. Look for an attorney that has handled claims similar to yours before.

Maximize Your Settlement With the Help of Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne

The team at Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne holds negligent drivers and their insurance companies accountable. Let us use our years of experience and knowledge to help you as you seek compensation. Call our Fairhope office at 251-928-1915 or get in touch with our team online to set up a consultation now.

Tips for Avoiding DUI Accidents During the Holidays

Nothing throws a wrench in your holiday plans like an auto accident. Unfortunately, the holidays are an incredibly common time for car crashes, especially those caused by impaired drivers. People are getting together for the holidays, indulging a bit to enjoy their time off, and perhaps overestimating their driving abilities. Combine that with poor weather in some parts of the country and drivers who are unfamiliar with the roads, accidents are almost inevitable.

Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or staying close to home, make sure you do everything you can to keep your family safe and limit the risk of accidents. If you are involved in a crash regardless of your efforts to stay safe, we can help. Call Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne at 251-928-1915 to set up a meeting.

Know the Dangerous Days and Times

Impaired driving crashes can happen anywhere at any time, but there are certain times of the week when you should be even more attentive to the roads around you. Per the Alabama Department of Transportation, drunk driving crashes are fairly uncommon between 4:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M.

They start to really increase by 8:00 P.M., and the most common time for impaired driving accidents is 1:00 A.M. Knowing this can help you minimize your outings between 8:00 P.M. and the morning hours. If you must be on the roads during this time, at least you know to give other drivers extra space.

The most common days for impaired driving accidents are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This often remains true during the holiday season, when people are taking time off of work and spending extra time with family and friends.

Limit Travel When Possible

While travel is an unavoidable part of the holiday season, don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk. Limit your driving to the safer hours of the day and try to combine errands into one trip with multiple stops.

Ramp Up Your Defensive Driving

Defensive driving is always recommended, but it is particularly important when you’re on the roads during the holidays. Take a few minutes to review important defensive driving tips, including:

  • Always be scanning your surroundings
  • Don’t depend on other drivers to protect you—always expect them to act in an unexpected way
  • Leave several seconds of following distance between yourself and the car in front of you
  • Don’t get stuck in a situation that there is no way out of
  • Drive slightly slower than you think you need to
  • Avoid distractions

Review Accident Protocols

Know what you should do if you are involved in an accident. We recommend:

  • Reporting the crash to the police
  • Taking photos of the crash scene
  • Exchanging insurance and contact information with the other driver
  • Being aware of any injuries you may have suffered
  • Seeking medical care right away
  • Contacting a personal injury attorney to explore your legal options

Always Stay Sober

One thing you can always count on when it comes to driving is that you can’t count on other drivers. People know that driving while impaired is an unsafe choice that puts other people at risk, but they choose to do it anyways.

While you can’t stop others from making poor choices, you can at least put yourself in a better position to protect yourself from them. Stay sober when you go out this holiday season, even if you usually only have a couple of drinks. Even small changes to your reaction time or decision-making capabilities could be disastrous if you share the road with a drunk driver.

By following these tips, we hope you’ll be able to navigate this holiday season safely and without incident. You deserve to spend the season celebrating with friends and getting ready for a new year, not dealing with injuries and legal proceedings.

Have You Been Hurt in a Crash? Call Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne

If you or someone you love is injured in a car crash, make sure you have an attorney you can trust. The team at Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne is focused on helping victims pursue the compensation they deserve. To set up a consultation call our Fairhope office at 251-928-1915, or get in touch online.

Liability for Ridesharing Accidents: What You Need to Know

Ridesharing has made so many aspects of life easier. If you want to have a few drinks while you’re out, you can turn to Uber or Lyft instead of trying to schedule a taxi in advance. Have a work meeting in an unfamiliar part of the city? Entrust the task to a rideshare driver. However, anything that makes life easier also comes with its downsides. The same is true with ridesharing and an uptick in accidents across the country.

Not sure what happens after a rideshare accident? We’re here to help. Call Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne at 251-937-7024 to set up a consultation now.

The Basics of Liability Are the Same

The basic principles of liability are the same, whether or not a rideshare driver is involved in a crash. Either driver could be liable, but so could the vehicle manufacturer, the municipality that maintains the roads, or the repair shop that last took care of either vehicle. If either driver was working at the time of the collision, their employer could even have some liability.

However, rideshare accidents start to split apart from the rest when you look at the insurance coverage they have at different steps of a ride. since insurance coverage is often a limiting factor when it comes to getting full and fair compensation, it’s important to know how protected you are when you choose to ride with a rideshare company.

Insurance Coverage is Different for Rideshare Drivers

The rideshare industry grew so quickly that legislation struggled to keep up. Now that ridesharing is a regular and accepted part of American life, there is a lot more protection available to drivers and riders alike.

Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage for accidents caused by their drivers. The coverage varies, depending on where they are in the process:

  • App turned on, but no ride is accepted: The driver has $25,000 of coverage for property damage, $50,000 of coverage per person, and a total of $100,000 per accident.
  • On the way to pick up a rider or driving with a rider in the vehicle: The rider has up to $1 million of liability coverage.

If the app is off, the rideshare company’s insurance does not apply at all. In this situation, you would seek compensation through the driver’s personal vehicle insurance.

Protecting Yourself After a Crash

Whether you are injured as a rider in an Uber or Lyft driver’s vehicle or you hit an Uber or Lyft car with your vehicle, it’s important to protect yourself after a collision. Yes, rideshare drivers have plenty of insurance coverage to pay for the property damage and injuries they cause. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to get them to pay out.

Uber and Lyft drivers know that serious accidents or a track record of minor accidents make it more likely that they will be deactivated on the platform and lose a source of income. Because of this, some drivers are unwilling to hand out insurance information or even report the crash. This makes it very hard for you to get your expenses paid for.

Even once your crash reaches the insurance company, there’s no guarantee that they will pay you what your injury is worth. Providing that level of coverage to the thousands and thousands of rideshare drivers in the United States is incredibly expensive, and one of the ways they protect their profit margins is to deny injury claims whenever possible.

To keep yourself safe after a crash, immediately report it to the police. You want documentation of the accident and evidence you can give to your attorney. Get insurance information from the Uber or Lyft driver. From there, you’ll need to reach out to a rideshare accident attorney in Baldwin County. We can help you fight for what you deserve.

Reach Out to Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne Today

If a rideshare accident has left you injured and unsure of what you should do next, the team at Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne is here to help. Set up an appointment now. You can reach us online or give us a call at our Fairhope office at 251-928-1915.

Calculating Damages for Permanent Injuries

While most injury victims are lucky to walk away with no injuries or injuries that require minimal treatment, some are far less lucky. Some are left with permanent injuries that will follow them the rest of their lives, forever reminding them of the injury and what it cost them. Knowing that, it seems unfair that financial compensation is the only option that victims have. Unfortunately, that is the only justice available—for that reason, it’s crucial to make sure you seek out every single penny you are due.

If you’ve suffered a permanent injury because of another driver’s negligence, make sure you fight for the compensation you are owed. Take the first step now by calling Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne at 251-937-7024.

What Makes Permanent Injuries Different?

Permanent injuries are much more expensive than injuries that eventually heal. To start, a victim will have medical care needs for the rest of their life. As medical costs increase year after year, that alone is enough to drive up a settlement estimate considerably. Additionally, it’s important to think about how a permanent injury will affect an individual’s ability to work. In many cases, the individual can no longer work at all.

This is a huge financial blow to the family and deserves significant compensation. A homemaker may not lose any income due to a personal injury, but they are unlikely to continue their role at home. They may need to hire out for childcare, housekeeping, and other tasks they once did on their own.

Furthermore, the emotional burden of a permanent injury is far, far heavier than that of a less serious injury. Not only does it take a toll on the victim, but it can also be devastating to their friends and family members.

Listed below, there are several types of damages a victim may be awarded after a permanent injury.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are the easily calculated costs of an injury. They include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. These damages can be extremely high for those with permanent injuries. Not only do you have the standard expenses of an accident, but you also have long-term costs like future medical care and permanent loss of wages.

Non-Compensatory Damages

Not all losses are financial, and non-compensatory damages aim to make up for these losses. You may receive compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. Pain and suffering compensation may be significantly higher for someone with a permanent injury, particularly if they will spend a lifetime going through invasive or intensive medical procedures.

Emotional distress damages may be substantial for someone with a permanent injury. They don’t just have to deal with the reality of the injury for a short time as they wait to heal—they will carry it with them for the rest of their life. That’s a huge emotional burden to carry. Loss of consortium compensates a spouse for the loss of their spouse’s company, fellowship, and assistance in the home. Again, this may be a lot, as the spouse has permanently lost those benefits of marriage.

Getting a Fair Calculation

It is often challenging to calculate damages for a permanent injury. When you try to imagine the multitude of ways a permanent injury will affect you, it is hard to account for every single way you’ll need to change your life. That’s why it’s important to talk to a Fairhope personal injury lawyer with experience in permanent injury claims.

Medical care is increasing all the time, and you must be able to get the care you need later in life. When calculating lost future income, you don’t just have to think about your current wages—you must also consider the promotion and growth opportunities you have now lost out on because of your injury. An attorney can account for all of this in their calculations.

We’re Here to Help—Call Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne Now

If you’re ready to seek compensation for your permanent injury, let’s talk about what comes next and how we can assist you. Call our Fairhope office at 251-928-1915 or send us a message online. The team at Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne is here for you.

Things Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know

Before a car accident, you talk to an insurance agent maybe once a year—and that’s if you’re checking in more than the usual client. After an accident, your phone might feel like it’s ringing off the hook with calls from your insurance provider and the other party’s insurance adjuster. Before you talk to the other driver’s adjuster, make sure you know what they are trying to do and how you can protect yourself.

When it comes to car collisions and other types of accidents, you need an advocate who’s ready to fight for you. Call Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne at 251-937-7024 to schedule a meeting right away.

1. An Initial Lowball Offer is Very Likely

The insurance adjuster may give you a whole speech about how they fought tooth and nail to get you the best settlement they possibly could, but that is almost certainly not true. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and one of the fastest ways to make more money is to give less out in settlements. They’re likely to throw out a low number at the beginning just to see if you’ll take it. A surprising amount of accident victims take the first offer, assuming that it is the best they will get.

2. Your Recorded Statement Could Hurt You

If the other party’s insurance company asks you for a recorded statement, it might seem innocent. It’s just a way to hear your side of the story and compare it to their client’s, right? Actually, your recorded statement can work against you when it’s time to negotiate a settlement. Any discrepancies between your recorded statement and other retellings may be used to question your credibility, and details that you add or remove later could raise red flags. Talk to an attorney before you agree to any sort of recorded retelling of the accident.

3. The Insurance Adjuster is Not Your Friend

Insurance companies are very good at convincing accident victims that they are on their side, even when they are representing the other party. This is why accident victims open up to them about where they may have made mistakes in the crash, past injuries, and other types of information that can ruin their personal injury claim.

The insurance adjuster isn’t really on your side. They are only interested in getting information out of you that they can use to drive down your settlement offer or pay you nothing. It’s often better to have all communication between you and the other party’s insurance company go through your attorney. Otherwise, you risk harming your personal injury claim just by telling your side of the story.

4. They Really Don’t Want to Go to Court

A court trial is a huge expense and inconvenience for the insurance company. They really do not want to spend time and money preparing for a court case that they are likely to lose. But if they let you know that they know you will demand more money. The insurance adjuster might seem unfazed by the idea of going to court and even say that you can try your case in court if you don’t like their settlement offer. It’s a bluff. They know that if you bring in a personal injury attorney, they’ll likely have to pay more to settle the claim. Their hope is that acting like they don’t care will make you think your case is worthless.

5. They Take You More Seriously When You Have an Attorney

Why do insurance adjusters discourage accident victims from hiring an attorney? Research shows that victims who hire attorneys usually get a larger settlement than those who negotiate on their own. Insurance companies hope that they can talk you out of it and protect their bottom line. However, if you do hire an attorney, their usual negotiation tricks don’t work. They are much more likely to come to the negotiating table in good faith.

Explore Your Personal Claim Options with Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne

If you’ve suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence, don’t wait any longer to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. At Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne, we are committed to helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Call us at 251-937-7024 or reach out online to get started.

How Accident Scene Photos Can Increase the Value of a Car Crash Claim

You have been hurt in a car accident—what comes next? While you may assume that getting fair compensation is a quick and easy task, that’s usually not the case. You can expect to go through several rounds with the liable party’s insurance company before you get a full and fair settlement. One thing that can help you get the compensation you deserve is a solid set of crash scene photographs.

Find out more about what type of photos you should take and how they can help. If you’re ready to get started on your personal injury claim, call the team at Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne at 251-928-1915 now.

Evidence is Paramount in Personal Injury Claims

In any injury claim, you have to prove what happened, who caused it, and how it led to your injuries. Even if you think that your injuries and vehicle damage speak for themselves, that simply isn’t the case. Insurance adjusters are very good at finding “what if” questions that shift the blame to you or at least create doubt regarding their client’s liability.

The solution? Evidence—as much as possible. The more evidence you have that backs up your claims, the harder it is for the insurance adjuster to insist that it should be interpreted a different way. Photographs are an excellent type of evidence and should definitely be part of your claim.

Photos Provide Context That Other Types of Evidence Cannot

No matter how careful and detailed you are in your retelling of the accident, there are details that will undoubtedly slip through the cracks. Memories fade with time, but photos can preserve those memories and ensure that details don’t get lost.

The context of an accident is clearer when you see it in photographs. Even an excellent verbal or written description can be hard to imagine in your mind, but photographs put it all on the table. In some cases, you can even get additional details from a photo.

Consider a photograph where the stoplight is available. Using the metadata of the photo, you can tell the exact time it was taken. From there, investigators may be able to figure out if the light was red, green, or yellow, at the time of the collision. This can prove who had right of way when the crash occurred.

What Photos Should You Take?

Taking the right photos can definitely help your injury claim, but don’t spend too much time worrying about which photos you should take. Instead, focus on taking as many photos as possible. Your attorney’s team can determine which ones should be used as evidence.

However, if you have a clear enough mind to think about the photos you take, try to capture these shots:

  • The damage to both vehicles from multiple distances and angles
  • Specific points of impact on both vehicles
  • Any injuries you sustained
  • Identifying information, including street signs, speed limit signs, nearby businesses, and landmarks
  • Property damage
  • Road debris, including glass, objects ejected from the vehicles, and broken vehicle components
  • Road markings and skid marks

You may also find it helpful to take photos of the other party’s insurance card and ID, versus just writing the information down. You can also take a photo of the instructions for getting a copy of the police report and any other important information you get—as you recover from the crash, you’ll be happy to have that information easily available.

Keeping Photos Safe

Technological errors happen all the time, and you shouldn’t have to worry about your claim being compromised because of a lack of photos. As soon as you get home from your accident, make a digital backup of your photos. You may want to store them on a cloud-based service and on your hard drive. In addition, send copies to your attorney as soon as you hire them.

Choose Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne for Your Personal Injury Claim

Ready to start your car accident claim? Let’s set a time to meet and discuss what comes next. You can contact us online or call our Fairhope office at 251-928-1915. Get the representation you deserve as you fight for compensation.

The most common big rig accidents

The sheer size of tractor-trailers increases the risk of vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists who share the road with them. However, several factors can contribute to the risk of a jackknifed truck, which frequently has devasting consequences in Alabama. If you sustained injuries in a collision with a big rig, proving liability is critical.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Alabama’s laws governing truck weight and size exceed federal laws in several areas. Trailers can weigh up to 84,000 pounds on six-axle trucks. The trailers can also measure up to 57 feet, as long as they adhere to the required distance from the kingpin to the center of tandems. However, due to the large size, mishaps that occur may cause catastrophic injuries.


Semi-truck trailers are longer and taller than they are wide, making the center of gravity higher than most cars and trucks on the road. As a result, rollovers happen more frequently with big rigs than other vehicles. Cargo should have tiedowns, wedges, cradles or dunnage bags that help prevent it from shifting. When commercial trucks take curves or try to stop too quickly, improperly loaded cargo can shift, making the trailer prone to tipping.

Blindspot accidents

Factors such as the lack of a rear-view mirror and the truck’s length and height can cause it to have more numerous and more prominent blind spots than a passenger vehicle. Although the drastic height difference can help the driver see farther ahead than other drivers, he may not see cars beside him. If you cannot see the side mirrors on a big truck when behind it, the driver probably cannot see you.

If you believe a negligent truck driver contributed to your accident and severe injuries, it is critical that you gather the information necessary to determine the facts quickly.

Florida accident claims life of former Alabama football player

Car accident cases in Alabama can run the proverbial gamut from perceived minor fender-benders that most assume to result in only minor vehicle damage to massive multi-car collisions that leave several vehicles destroyed and countless people needing life-saving medical treatment. Yet the common thread amongst them all is the expense that accident victims must deal with.

The hope is that auto insurance will cover the entirety of one’s costs, yet that may not be the case. When insurance coverage is not sufficient, those suffering due to a car accident may have to seek legal action.

Former Crimson Tide walk-on killed in car accident

Oftentimes, however, knowing exactly how to seek such compensation can be difficult. The circumstances of many car accident cases may leave one with perceivably no one to assign liability to. The recent case of a former University of Alabama football player, Rowdy Harrell, serves to illustrate this point. The young man and his wife died in a collision in Florida while vacationing there on their honeymoon. Per Bama Central, the man lost control of his vehicle and drifted into oncoming traffic, striking a pickup truck approaching from the opposite direction.

Seeking compensation from an estate

One might look at a case like this and consider legal action to be a moot point given that there is one around to provide compensation (given that those responsible perished in the accidents they caused). Yet their passage does not change the fact that those impacted by their actions may still need financial assistance to help cover any medical bills and repair costs they must now deal with. In such a scenario, one can seek compensation from another’s estate. Earning such compensation, however, may not be easy. Thus, one may want to first seek the council of an experienced legal professional to discuss their options.