Category: blog

Alabama Personal Injury Case Guide

Each state has its own take on road safety, vehicle insurance, personal injury liability, and who is at fault and for what when it comes to an accident. Let’s go over how Alabama deals with these questions. 

What do personal injury lawyers do?

A personal injury lawyer works to provide their client(s) with the required legal counsel and representation needed to successfully secure the best compensation possible for their injuries. Personal injury law is complex. A personal injury lawyer covers a range of things including:

  • Investigating and gathering evidence
  • Documenting injuries, expenses, and communication with parties involved
  • Calculating damages
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Filing legal motions, proceedings, and negotiating with insurance companies
  • Counseling clients on the best possible steps

Personal Injury cases are civil matters. Lawyers involved in these matters will mainly negotiate a settlement with insurance companies to try and get a fair damages payout. But, if negotiations fail they’re there to file lawsuits as well. Personal Injury lawyers are there for you when it comes to negligence cases as well as intentional tort cases.

Negligence, as the name implies, means that another person, without malice, injures you. Think of a driver being distracted at the wheel, texting or not paying attention, they hit your car causing damages and injuries. Intentional torts on the other hand deal with malicious intent.

When to hire a personal injury lawyer?

  • High Car Accident Costs?

If your insurance company is lowballing your settlement offer, or if the costs of the damages are simply too high, then it might be time to hire a personal injury lawyer. Car accident costs are not the only costs you might be factoring in. There could be the costs from medical bills and even that of lost-wages from when you were recovering. 

  • Were you seriously injured?

It might be due to how distracted or not in the right state-of-mind the other driver was but if you were/are seriously injured due to an accident or someone else’s negligence then contact a personal injury lawyer ASAP. 

  • Insurance denying your claim?

Insurance companies are mostly looking out for their own pockets. You pay every month but when it comes to getting help they look the other way? If that sounds fishy it’s because it is. You need professional legal help and that’s what we can do.

How much should you ask for in a personal injury case?

There is no magic calculator when it comes to a personal injury case. An experienced attorney will calculate the costs of the case based on all the details available. Usually, these cases involve a set of questions like: Was there damage to property, damage to health, emotional damage, physical damage, etc. Based on these questions, the evidence, and how experienced or knowledgeable your attorney is you might be able to determine a ballpark range in terms of settlement. 

Warren Freeman – North East Alabama Lawyer

Warren Freeman has been fighting for his clients for over 20 years. He’s handled complex and well-known cases in both Criminal Defense and Personal Injury. There’s little Warren hasn’t seen or heard when it comes to the law. He believes deeply in due diligence and he’ll work aggressively to guarantee his clients the top-notch legal counsel.

Is your spouse hiding assets? Alabama Divorce Lawyer

Defending Against a Fault-Based Divorce

Spouses cite money as one of the most important factors causing divorce. It’s no surprise then that during a divorce things get heated when money, assets, and their division comes into question. Unfortunately, some spouses try to hide assets before or during the proceedings. This is so that they don’t have to let go of them when the judge decides on a fair division. There are ways around this and with the right divorce lawyer, you can rest assured that you’ll get your fair share. 

Warren Freeman has been practicing law in North East Alabama for decades. He has represented clients in Clay County, Calhoun County, Talladega County, and throughout all of the North East Alabama area. Countless clients have trusted him when it comes to resolving their divorce process justly. If you’re looking for a trusted local name contact Warren today

 

How to find hidden assets during a divorce:

Before the divorce process is started an attorney should advise you to get a few things in order. One of those things is related to finances. Creating a full financial assessment helps your attorney deal with a spouse trying to lie. Assets are normally put into a few different categories. Marital, separate, mixed, etc. Marital assets are those which have been acquired during the marriage. Even though separate property is considered just one person’s, it’s still important to take those assets into account. 

Your spouse does not need to comply with disclosing financial documents. But, their attempts might not go that far. Your attorney can keep a keen eye over the documents requested, found, and given during the discovery process. Discovery is, as it sounds, all about finding evidence. Through documents, inspections, and testimony your attorney can build an accurate picture of what assets your spouse is trying to conceal. 

 

Alabama Divorce Laws

Alabama is not a community property state. This means that, by law, assets do not need to be divided strictly, that’s to say 50-50 down the line. Courts and individuals have more flexibility when it comes to divorce and assets. Courts simply look at what’s ‘fair.’ Sometimes, this means an equal distribution and at other times it might be unequal (in the literal sense of what is split). 

 

How Warren Freeman can help you

Warren Freeman works aggressively to uncover the truth and fight for you. Our firm can run a detailed audit of your financial situation and help you determine what should be fought over in court. 

To speak with an experienced Alabama divorce lawyer contact our offices today. Fill out this form or contact us at 256-253-3169

Don’t make this mistake after a car accident

Protection Orders Against Domestic Violence

“I forgot to take pictures.”

Even the best car accident lawyers don’t like hearing those words. The moments right after an accident can be difficult to process. Even during a fender-bender, you might get a feeling of shell shock and confusion. It’s also possible that you can have an injury and not even know about. Warren Freeman has helped individuals recover monetary damages related to personal injury cases like car accidents for over a decade. He has helped his clients adjust to life after an accident throughout Alabama. 

Our firm prides itself on being transparent. A big firm might have hundreds of people working on your case. They’re not going to be as careful creating the right strategy to maximize your damages. Unlike them, we’re right here with you. We’ll explain the steps, timeline, and potential damage amount throughout the process. It’s important to remember that your damages can cover medical bills, lost wages, and more. 

If you have been the victim of a car accident contact our offices today. We serve throughout Northeast Alabama including Calhoun, Talladega, Cleburne, Etowah, and Clay Counties. 

 

Why Are Car Accident Photos Important?

It’s all in the details…

 

  • Insurance companies are notorious for not wanting to pay out their fair share when it comes to car accident victims. You pay them monthly but when it comes to actually using their services they can get stingy. How can you avoid getting left out in the cold? Pictures. The biggest questions asked after an accident, big or small, are: Where did it happen? Were there witnesses? What were the damages? Take pictures or make sure someone else does so these questions can be answered quickly.

 

 

Evidence that helps you.

 

  • Pictures of the accident scene are the best way to document what exactly happened. Taking a picture takes the guesswork out of the equation. With pictures in hand, your car accident lawyer can help expedite the process by building a more solid case in your favor. 

 

 

Don’t forget to cross your T’s and dot your I’s!

 

  • If you have been in an accident maybe you can’t focus entirely on taking pictures. But hopefully you’re able to get a bystander, friend, or family to help you take pictures. Car accident pictures, as we’ve mentioned, are hugely beneficial to building your best case. Don’t forget though, not all pictures are created equal. Here’s three tips: The more the merrier. Up close and personal. Location, location, location. 

 

 

Consult with a Car Accident Lawyer

After an accident, you might think that hiring an attorney is the last thing you want to do. Some people are lucky, they get into an accident and come out unscathed. Others might get injured and not want to see a doctor or lawyer because they think everything is fine. If you’ve been in an accident that resulted in expensive repairs, medical bills, or a loss of peace of mind you are entitled to fight for fair and just damages. We work hard to help our clients get the outcome they deserve.

Accused of causing an accident? Alabama Car Accident Lawyer

Proving Who Was at Fault

Accused Of Causing A Crash?

Proving Who Was at Fault

What happens if you’ve been accused of causing an accident? Whether directly accused at the accident scene or in the days or weeks after it occurred? If you or a loved one have been accused of causing an accident, your number one question is how can you fight this. Well, don’t lose hope. There are ways you can clear your name of the accusations and possibly claim damages depending on your situation. 

Alabama is an at-fault state when it comes to car accident insurance damage payouts. This means that the person who is found responsible for the accident must pay the other person’s damages. This also means that if a person is found even slightly at-fault then they will not be entitled to receive damages. Don’t let an accusation cause you headaches, stress, and an expensive aftermath.

If you’ve been accused of causing an accident you have a right to defend yourself. Contacting a knowledgeable and experienced attorney is your best bet at resolving these accusations. Warren Freeman has worked in both criminal defense and personal injury law throughout his entire legal career. His insights and expertise of the law has been recognized by countless people in Alabama. A car accident claim can get complicated, when you’re facing claims that you caused the accident you have to fight back. Contact us today to get started. 

 

What can you do if you’ve been accused of causing a car accident?

The first thing anyone should tell you (except maybe the insurance company itself) is to never admit fault. You don’t know all the factors that might have contributed to an accident. Even if you believe you are partly to blame, admitting fault is not the way to go right away. These admissions could come back to haunt you. 

Try to avoid speaking to an insurance adjuster until after the investigation has been completed and you have contacted an attorney. What you tell an insurance adjuster can be used against you. They’re looking out for their bottom line. Giving them statements might just cause you to get the blame of the accident put on you. 

Dispute any fault-finding statements you know to be skewed. A fault-finding statement is created by the insurance company to determine fault. There are steps you can take to dispute this document. Ask for a copy of the police report from the scene. You can also ask for what witnesses were interviewed and what evidence was considered. This can help you (or your attorney) to determine whether there are faults in the fault-finding determination. 

 

Contact Warren Freeman Today – North East Alabama Car Accident Lawyer

Going up against an insurance company by yourself, which deals with claims day in and day out, is not advisable. Being unrepresented during a dispute with these companies can lead to your case being dragged out and potentially being ruled against your favor. Learn more about Warren Freeman here.

What is a ‘No Contact Order’ in Alabama?

Protection Orders Against Domestic Violence

What is a ‘No Contact Order’ in Alabama?

No Contact Orders are legal instructions ordered by a judge to a person. As the name suggests they are orders that a person not contact, communicate, or interact with someone. These orders might be given due to an altercation between people (like a couple) or for higher-level offenses like sexual harassment. Sometimes these orders can be given due to an intense divorce as well. The terms No Contact Order, Restraining Order, or Protective Order are used interchangeably sometimes. Still, these are all legally and technically different. Make sure to read the rest of this article to find out more.

 

‘No contact order’ vs restraining order

A No Contact Order is very similar in scope and definition to a restraining or protective order. No Contact Orders usually take place after an allegation of abuse or an altercation have already taken place. This can be because of domestic violence or an intense situation a victim finds themselves in with someone else. No Contact Orders can also be issued after an abuser is arrested and detained. Usually, a judge will order this for the duration of the pre-trial time period and extend it based on their discretion.

Restraining Orders essentially accomplish the same things but they’re usually ordered before an allegation of an attack or violence. Laws vary from state to state. These two orders and orders issued under Alabama’s Protection from Abuse Act (Protection Orders) have slightly different consequences for those who violate them. To get a full understanding of the law it’s best to contact a criminal and family law attorney like Warren Freeman. An attorney can help guide and represent you that way you can focus on moving forward.

 

How long does ‘No Contact Order’ last?

In Alabama, there are three types of orders a judge can issue due to an allegation of criminality. These are, as mentioned above, restraining orders, no-contact orders, and protection orders. Protection orders can last anywhere from 30 days to a year. They are usually initially ordered as a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) and last from the moment it is filed to the moment a judge hears a case. After the hearing, the judge can extend or rescind the order. A No Contact Order can be indefinite but it can have a yearly renewal process. 

How can a victim get a ‘No Contact Order’ lifted?

Judges have wide discretion when it comes to issuing and lifting a No Contact Order. In criminal cases, a bond (condition of release) can have a no-contact order weaved into the terms of release. So, in cases like this, an order can be issued without the implicit knowledge or request from the person who has been abused. The same discretion applies to those victims requesting an order be lifted. Judges can sometimes agree with the victim and release the accused abuser from restraint or they can disagree with the victim and keep the order in place. 

 

Work with an Alabama Criminal Defense Attorney

After more than 20 years of handling complex and notorious cases, there’s nothing attorney Warren Freeman hasn’t seen or heard. He firmly believes in the due diligence for all of his clients, and he’ll work aggressively to fight for your rights.

What sets Warren Freeman Attorney at Law apart is his experience and unflagging dedication to each and every case, no matter how big or small. Regardless of the details of your case, you’ll get the attention you deserve. Hit the button below to give us a call.

Adultery and Divorce

What is a Power of Attorney

Adultery and Divorce – Randolph County Divorce Attorney

Divorce is difficult to talk about. Although it’s a legal process we all know it’s also an emotional and confusing process too. Sorting out everything to do with a marriage while facing stress and high stakes is not easy. These are tricky subjects to navigate including asset division, alimony, child support and custody, and many other things.

If you’re planning to file for divorce you should consider a few of the following things. Alabama has a set of complex laws regarding this legal process. There’s a list of reasons one could file for divorce. There’s both fault-based and no-fault reasons. Check out the rest of this article to find out about Alabama’s divorce laws and the legal reasons one can file for divorce. 

If you’re looking to file we recommend seeking an attorney with expertise in family law matters. Warren Freeman can help guide and represent you during these difficult moments. Find out more about Warren by clicking here. 

 

Divorce Laws in Alabama

Divorce in Alabama comes in two forms; Contested or Uncontested. Uncontested divorce, like the name suggests, is a divorce where both people agree to the basics. These basics include alimony, division of property, child support/custody, etc. Although this might make it seem like uncontested divorces can always proceed without attorneys we recommend still contacting a family law attorney to guide you during the process. Getting, signing, filing, and understanding all the documents is not something we recommend you do. You should feel comfortable with both the details and broad strokes of the agreement you are putting your name on.

Contested divorces are much different. Although both parties might agree on almost everything regarding their legal separation there might still be some gray or contested areas. These divorces do not have to be sour or heated negotiations. But, in case mediation stalls you want a lawyer like Warren Freeman by your side defending your needs and rights.

Along with these two different forms of divorce there can also be both fault and no-fault divorces in Alabama. Fault-based reasons are those that allege a person in a marriage may have caused the divorce directly or indirectly. No-fault reasons on the other hand simply state to the court that irretrievable breakdown has occurred in the marriage. With fault-based divorces comes the need to prove the actions of the offending spouse, for this a lawyer should be retained. 

 

Is there No-Fault Divorce in Alabama?

There is No-Fault divorce in Alabama. In Alabama you can use the following reasons as ‘no-fault’ grounds for divorce:

  • Incompatibility
  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage
  • Voluntary abandonment

In some cases, it is recommended to file a no-fault divorce. This is because it might be a much longer process to claim fault in a spouse when filing for a fault-based divorce. Even if only one spouse agrees with the reasons above a judge can still grant a divorce.

 

WARREN FREEMAN ATTORNEY AT LAW – RANDOLPH COUNTY DIVORCE LAWYER

If you’re considering divorcing your spouse, hiring an experienced attorney is the only way to seek your most favorable settlement.

Going through a divorce is an emotionally draining experience. It would be best if you didn’t try to also navigate the legal process yourself, especially with so much on the line.

Attorney Warren Freeman has more than two decades of experience representing clients in Alabama. He’s represented many clients on both sides of divorce proceedings and has a comprehensive understanding of the legal system in Alabama.

If you want the very best outcome in your case, call the office of Warren Freeman, Attorney at Law, today on (256) 253-3169, or contact us by filling out a form here.

How does Alabama Divide Assets During a Divorce?

Divorce for Adultery and Incompatibility in Alabama

Divorce is not something that people like to consider when going into a marriage. Spending so many years together and then deciding to break apart the pact is one of the hardest things people can go through in their lives. Each divorce can be considered unique as it is a unique couple looking to separate. For this reason, it can be complicated when the question of money is inevitably brought up. Even when considering all the steps to a divorce, people are unaware of some things that will be brought up during the mediation and court appearances. As we stated, divorces are complicated and even the smallest details do not go unaddressed. 

If you are thinking about filing for divorce then we highly recommend contacting an experienced divorce attorney like Warren Freeman. Warren is a lifelong Alabama resident and he is dedicated to helping his clients defend their best interests. In this blog post, we will go over a brief overview of how Alabama divides assets during a divorce. 

 

Recent Changes to Alabama Divorce Laws

For a long time, Alabama had certain laws pertaining to Divorce. Specifically, the division of certain assets acquired before a marriage were off-limits to divorcing spouses. For example, before 2018 a judge could only consider assets like retirement accounts to be divisible if the married couple were together for over 10 years. The new law gives leeway to judges to issue directions towards the divisibility of this property. Essentially, retirement accounts are not part of ‘marital property.’ 

 

Equitable Distribution under Alabama Law

Alabama law gives judges the power to consider multiple factors during a divorce proceeding. Judges consider the economic standing, medical history, family history, and any special needs in order to establish an equitable distribution of assets amongst both spouses.

Marital Property are assets gained and acquired during the length of the marriage. Assets considered individual are those which were acquired or gifted to each spouse before the marriage. As stated above, retirement accounts are now considered marital property even if the marriage was short-lived. One thing to note: these accounts are usually not penalized as there are pre-established rules within the guidelines of most accounts to prevent a penalization for early withdrawal because of a divorce.

 

Contact Warren Freeman Today

Working with an experienced attorney is crucial for your divorce proceedings.

Warren Freeman, Attorney at Law, has been representing clients in Alabama for more than 20 years. He has extensive experience handling all family law matters, such as writing wills, managing probate, and handling divorce.

Call our office today on (256) 253-3169 to schedule your free consultation to discuss your estates and wills with Warren Freeman.

Low Settlement Offer? Here’s What To Do.

Why Would You Need a Power of Attorney

Why Would You Need a Power of Attorney

Personal Injury Attorney serving Clay, Calhoun, Cleburne, Talladega, and Randolph Counties

A question our clients always ask deals with how they should proceed after receiving a lower-than-expected offer from an insurance company. In fact, it’s one of the reasons so many people seek out personal injury attorneys. Negotiating with insurance companies is one of the most arduous processes a person who has been injured can go through. Whether it is a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, or a slip-and-fall accident, insurance companies will try to lowball settlements. We recommend working with a personal injury attorney so that you can maximize your damages and not settle for an inadequate settlement. 

 

What are some common insurance tactics?

After filing a claim, an insurance company will send an adjuster to investigate the situation. It is important to remember that this person does NOT work for you, but for the insurance company. As an employee of the company they will focus on one thing; profitability. An adjuster will not always give you a meager settlement, they are trying to pay out as little as they can without triggering a lawsuit from an angry policyholder (you).

An adjuster might say that their offer is the highest offer they can give and that you should take it. This is a common sales tactic and may be false. Companies might also try to delay/deny your claim. Don’t fall for these tactics

 

Two Tips from Warren Freeman Law

First:

  • Try to keep your communications with your insurance company and adjuster in writing. Explain in detail your situation and your disagreements with their settlement offer. Keeping everything in writing might help record the timeline and facts in the event of a trial or further negotiations. 

Second:

  • Contact a personal injury attorney. At first, dealing with an insurance company might seem like a complicated but doable thing. Many people quickly feel burned out when engaging with insurance companies on their own. After all, they have injuries to heal from, bills to pay, and jobs to try to get back to. These are some of the reasons that hiring an attorney could be beneficial for you. An attorney, like Warren Freeman, will spend his fighting lowball settlements. 

 

What to do if you have been injured in Alabama:

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact a personal injury attorney. An attorney being present can help defend your rights by building a strong investigation, negotiation, and defense. Attorney Warren Freeman has more than two decade’s legal experience. He’s litigated some of the most challenging lawsuits across several counties in Alabama. Warren is one of the premier attorneys in Talladega, Calhoun, Clay, and Etowah Counties . Call the office of Warren Freeman Attorney at Law today on (256) 253-3169, or contact us by filling out a form here.

Are Breathalyzers Foolproof?

breathalyzer drinks neon green sign bar bars

Are Breathalyzers Foolproof?

breathalyzer drinks neon green sign bar bars

Breathalyzer and DUI are terms that go hand in hand. Many people hear “DUI” and immediately think of a Breathalyzer. This is understandable as every state has adopted some form of this roadside test for drivers pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. Many drivers though are in fact charged with a DUI, because they failed a Breathalyzer test.

For this reason, many clients ask: “Are Breathalyzers always accurate?” The straight answer is: no. A Breathalyzer can return unreliable readings and thus there is a possibility for acquittal even if a Breathalyzer test was administered.

 

Breathalyzers are not 100% accurate.

First things first: if you, or a loved one, are currently facing a DUI charge, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer well versed in this area of the law can help defend your case and guide you through this potentially difficult process.

An experienced DUI lawyer can help determine if the Breathalyzer test performed on-site was accurate and reliable. They can also help represent you in court and potentially save you from the worst of consequences.

 

What can trigger a Breathalyzer?

Many people don’t know this but several types of food, household items, accessories, and even diet can potentially render a false-positive on certain Breathalyzer tests.

Over-the-counter medicine like cough syrup can cause a reading of over .08% BAC. So can mouthwash, nuts, energy drinks, perfumes, breath strips, and other combinations. The reason some breathalyzer tests can be unreliable is because of how they measure alcohol on the breath. Certain tests measure molecules called ketones, which are similar chemically to alcohol. Meaning a keto diet can cause some breathalyzer devices to register positive.

Alabama has laws in place which prohibit a driver from having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of above .08% for personal vehicles. If the driver is holding a commercial vehicle license, then that limit drops to .04%, and if the driver is under 21 then it drops further to .02%.

Check out this page on our site for more information on DUI charges, possible consequences, and other information.

 

Pulled over? Here’s what to do:

Don’t be rude. Being polite can help you.

Don’t say anything you don’t need to say. You have a right to remain silent. Apart from the required documents, you do not need to show the police anything else. 

Talk to an attorney, not the cops. The quicker you contact an experienced attorney, the better your chances are. Here are some of the questions an attorney can use:

  • What device was used to conduct the test?
  • Was the officer trained properly?
  • Was the device maintained correctly? 

With these questions in mind and other factors, an attorney improves your chances of beating a DUI case greatly.

 

Facing DUI charges in Alabama? Contact us today.

Warren Freeman has over a decade of experience defending those charged with a DUI. Our firm will work tirelessly to defend your rights and help you evade the worst consequences. Click here to contact us today.

DUI in Alabama. FAQ

DUI Driving hands on steering wheel black white hands

Have you been charged with a DUI?

DUI charges in Alabama can have significant legal consequences as well as other consequences for a person’s quality of life. Jail time, fines, probation, counseling, and community service might be some of the repercussions of a DUI conviction. DUI’s can also affect a person’s job, employment prospects, and business prospects. 

If you are dealing with a DUI, contact an attorney experienced in criminal defense as well as one with trial experience in DUI cases. We fight for our clients constitutionally guaranteed rights and will defend you throughout the legal process. Contact us today by clicking here or calling at (256) 253-3169. 

 

What should I do if I’m pulled over?

If you are pulled over and are under suspicion by the officer of a DUI offense, you can follow a few steps that can help you at the moment, and in the long run. If you are pulled over, be polite! Being agitated, angry, rude, or any other negative action towards law enforcement could harm your case. 

Don’t say more than is necessary. The police can ask for your identification, vehicle registration, and insurance. Beyond these things, you are within your legal rights to remain silent. If arrested, the one thing we suggest you say is “I would like to speak with my attorney.”

Don’t take a field sobriety test or breathalyzer. Although per Alabama law, your license can be suspended for a short amount of time if you refuse a test, that suspension can be modified with the help of an attorney. 

 

Is a DUI in Alabama a Felony?

A DUI in Alabama is a felony only if it is the fourth DUI offense within a 10 year period. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd time DUI’s are most likely going to be misdemeanors, barring a few circumstances. DUI Misdemeanors, that is, 1st time, 2nd, and 3rd-time offices, come with incremental consequences. First-time offenses can face up to a year in jail, fines of up to $2,100, and the use of an IID. For all misdemeanor DUI offenses, if there are aggravating circumstances, like a child under 14 years of age being in the vehicle, or an accident occurring, then the steeper side of punishments can be incurred. 

 

What is an IID?

An IID, or Ignition-Interlock Device, is essentially an in-car breathalyzer test, which must be used in order to start and drive a car. These devices are used to go around the license suspension/revocation that can occur after a DUI misdemeanor. Usually, these devices are paid for by the defendant. Meaning, they are an out-of-pocket expense but more than usually necessary. 

 

Is jail time a possibility with a DUI in Alabama?

Jail time is always a possibility with a DUI charge. Several factors come into play when the court considers these charges and their possible consequences. For example, it is considered driving under the influence if the BAC is .08% or higher. It is an aggravated misdemeanor if the BAC is .15% or higher. Other aggravating factors can include passengers in the car, if there was an accident, or if there are any previous offenses. Usually, courts give out suspended sentences in order for the accused to complete court-ordered programs like probation, counseling, and community service.