Frequently Asked Questions
What does general practice mean?
Can I represent myself during my legal matter?
Why should I hire an attorney?
What is the difference between mediation and litigation?
How much will Fleming & Chavers charge me?
How long do I have to bring a case?
What should I do if I have just had an accident?
The defendant's insurance company paid to have my car fixed after an accident, but the car is not worth as much as before the accident. Can I make a claim for this loss in value?
What is underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, and do I need it?
What is the difference between compensatory and punitive damages?
I was injured at work. Is workers compensation the exclusive source of compensation for my injury?
Can I be fired for bringing a Workers Compensation claim?
Why should I have a Will - I don't have much money?
Do I really need a Will if I just want to leave my property to my spouse or children?
What is "Probate"?
What are the requirements for a Will to be valid in Alabama?
General practice refers to a firm that has a broad range of practice areas. Fleming & Chavers, LLP is a general practice law firm that handles civil, criminal, real estate, corporate, personal injury, and employment law cases for clients in Alabama. Our attorneys can also assist with insurance, probate, trust, construction, workers compensation, and estate planning matters.
Yes, you may represent yourself, but it is not advisable. Most people do not have the legal education, experience, and resources they will need to be successful with their legal matter. By hiring a skilled attorney, you ensure that your legal matter will be dealt with efficiently and that your rights will be fully protected.
An attorney can advise you of your rights, inform you of your options, and provide assertive representation throughout the legal process. At Fleming & Chavers, LLP our goal is to protect the best interests of our clients. When you hire our attorneys, you can be assured that we will do everything we can to help you obtain a successful outcome for your legal matter. Our knowledgeable attorneys & staff will also help you with complicated legal paperwork and make sure that you are in compliance with Alabama laws.
Mediation is a problem solving process that involves a third party. The third party, such as an attorney, serves as a mediator. The mediator helps the disputing parties come to a mutual agreement so that they can solve their problem together.
Litigation is a legal dispute that is solved in court. During litigation, the disputing parties rely upon a judge's ruling to solve their problem. In some cases, the judge may derive a solution that is not favorable to both parties. Many legal matters can be solved through mediation. Mediation tends to be less time consuming and less expensive than litigation. During mediation, disputing parties can reach a satisfactory solution that is mutually beneficial.
- There is no charge for your first visit or telephone call. All your questions will be answered and there is no obligation.
- We never charge a fee unless we obtain a recovery for you. Our fee is a percentage of your recovery.
- We will advance all costs for investigators, experts, filing fees, and other expenses associated with obtaining the maximum recovery possible.
- If a recovery is not made, you pay nothing.
- We do not charge a fee for helping you settle your claim for damage to your vehicle.
You must file your case within the Statute of Limitationsâ€”a fixed period of time dictated by the law. In many injury cases you are required to bring your case within two (2) years from the date of the event that caused the injury. For an explanation of these time limits, always consult with a lawyer experienced in these matters.
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Below we have listed 5 things you should do if you have just had an accident. The bottom line is that you should first, of course, get medical care. Your health comes first. Even if you do not have health insurance, go to a hospital and get checked up immediately. Second, you should follow the 5 TIPS outlined below:
- Report the accident immediately. If it is a car accident, call the police. If it is an accident at a business or store, tell the manager or whomever works there, and get their full name and title. Also obtain or request an accident report and list any witnesses to the event.
- Get immediate medical treatment. Do not try to be your own doctor and think that it can wait. Go to an emergency room at a hospital.
- Get the names and contact information of all of the witnesses to the accident and witnesses to how the scene looked right after it happened.
- TAKE PHOTOS THEN AND THERE! Take photos of the scene and of your injuries. Take these photos as soon after it happened as possible. You need to take photos, or have someone take photos, and right away. Use your cell phone or whatever camera is available
Take photos of your injuries right away and at different times; about once a week. The injuries will look different over time. Also, in the case of bruises they will fade over time but may be evidence of serious internal injury that you cannot see from the outside.
- CALL US TODAY AT (251) 432.4070. We can help. We have experience in representing accident victims.
You may be entitled to additional compensation for the loss in value of your car, as long as you have not signed a release absolving the defendant from further responsibility for your damages. The measure of car damages falls into one of three categories:
1) When the reasonable cost of repair exceeds the pre-accident value of the car, the measure of damages is the lost market value;
2) When the car can be repaired so that it is as valuable as it was before the accident, the measure of
damages is the reasonable cost of repair; and
3) When repairing the car will still not make it as valuable as it was before the accident, the measure of damages is the cost of the repair, plus the loss in market value of the repaired car. In each category the measure of damages also includes the reasonable cost of a rental car while the damaged car is being repaired, or for the time it takes to purchase a replacement vehicle.
Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage is an add-on option to your car insurance policy, which Alabama law requires be offered to you by your car insurance company. This coverage comes into play if you are injured by the negligent actions of an uninsured driver, or one who does not have enough assets or insurance to cover your damages. In such a case, your insurance company will pay you for the reasonable value of the damages you have incurred, up to your policy limits, and then pursue a claim for recoupment against the party who caused the damage.
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Compensatory damages reimburse an injured person for their losses, such as medical expenses, wages, and pain and suffering. Defendants are liable for the payment of compensatory damages as a result of their negligent act in causing the damages. A defendant's ability to pay has no bearing on the amount of compensatory damages awarded.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant and discourage them, and everyone else, from engaging in similar wrongful behavior in the future. Defendants become liable for punitive damages by acting with willful, or wanton, disregard for the rights or safety of others..
Pursuant to Alabama law, workers compensation is the exclusive remedy for pursuing claims against your employer. Depending upon the cause of your injury you may also have a claim against either a third party, or against a co-employee who was grossly negligent. A third party complaint involves a claim that the negligent act of someone, other than your employer or one of your co-employees, caused your injury while you were working. For example, if you are in a car accident while making a delivery for your employer, or are injured by a machine at work, claims against the driver of the other car, or the manufacturer of the machine, are not excluded by Alabama's workers compensation statute. Under Alabama law you may, outside the confines of workers compensation, pursue a claim against a co-employee who was grossly negligent in causing your injury. To show gross negligence you must establish that the co-employee consciously failed to protect you from a known danger, even though injury resulting from that danger was probable, not just possible.
No. In Alabama an employee cannot be terminated for pursuing a workers compensation claim.
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Regardless of the value of your property and assets, a Will serves several important purposes. First it directs who, and in what amounts, your property will be distributed to. Second, a Will allows you to appoint an Executor to administer your estate. Without this nomination, the court will decide who handles your estate. Lastly, most people would be surprised at the size of their estate. Especially when you factor in life insurance, pension or 401k plans, owning a home, and all other assets and possessions which you own.
The decision of whether to execute a Will is a personal one. In the State of Alabama, if you do not have a Will, your property will pass to your heirs according to the State's pre-determined guidelines. Executing a valid Will allows you to direct where and how your property will be distributed. This offers a great deal of peace of mind and helps reduce uncertainty.
Probate is the court supervised procedure by which a person, either appointed through your will or by the court if you do not have a will, gathers your property, pays your debts and any taxes due, and then delivers the balance of your remaining property to the people or organizations that you have chosen in your will, or per the state's guidelines if you do not have a will. Do you REALLY want the state to decide who gets your belongings?
A valid Alabama Will must be written or printed (not oral) and signed by the willmaker in front of two (2) disinterested witnesses (non-family members or beneficiaries of the Will). Also, the Will must be made without any influence on the Willmaker. Lastly, the willmaker must know and understand the general extent of his or her property, and what he or she is signing.
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