According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 42,196 Americans died in motor vehicle accidents in 2001. Car and truck accidents were the number one leading cause of death of Americans age 4 through 33. During calendar years 1998 - 2003, 31% of automobile accident fatalities involved impaired drivers. In addition to this heavy toll of deaths, millions of Americans received life threatening or serious injuries in automobile accidents. These deaths and injuries are more than mere statistics. In each of these cases, the lives of ordinary people have been disrupted with heartache, anguish, pain, and financial disaster. Fortunately, the law provides a remedy for individuals who have been seriously injured or the families of those who have been killed by the negligence of other automobile drivers. Wettermark Holland & Keith, LLC is a law firm that is dedicated to using the law to provide fair and adequate compensation to the victims of automobile accidents.
Automobile accident law varies from state to state. Many states have adopted no fault liability for automobile accidents. In those states, all claims below a certain monetary value or injury level must be handled through the insurance companies without regard to fault. When the damage or injuries exceed a certain monetary threshold or injury level, then the injured parties are free to pursue full compensation against the responsible or negligent driver.
In states without no fault laws, recovery can only be made in an automobile accident by proving that the accident was the fault of the other driver. Proof is essential. A good automobile accident lawyer knows the importance of identifying witnesses, interviewing police officers, and if necessary, retaining accident reconstruction experts.
Once liability is established in an automobile accident case, the next step is to prove, explain, and quantify the seriousness of the personal injuries. A good personal injury lawyer will have extensive contacts in the medical community to assist their clients in documenting the seriousness of their injury. In many cases, it is necessary to use economists, medical experts, and even life care planners to fully document the extent of an accident victim’s injuries.
Even a seemingly simple automobile accident case can present legal complexities. In many cases, there are issues of insurance coverage. Even if the defendant driver has insurance coverage, it may not be adequate to cover all the injuries. In cases such as this, the best automobile accident attorneys know how to identify other sources of insurance coverage, including underinsured and uninsured policies, employer’s policies, umbrella policies, and, in some cases, even homeowner’s insurance. It is only by bringing all of these factors together--establishing the fault of the other driver, maximizing and proving the extent of the injuries, and ensuring that there are adequate proceeds to pay the settlement--that an accident injury victim can receive a full recovery.
About Chris Keith:
Born and raised in Panama City, Florida, Chris Keith appreciates the warm weather, sunshine, and beautiful beaches. Growing-up ninety miles from Tallahassee, Florida, Chris learned the Seminole war chant at a young age. The garnet and gold that he grew-up cherishing no doubt played a role in his decision to attend Florida State University upon graduating from high school. Chris was the first in his immediate or distant family to attend college. Chris’s humble background, however, did not prevent him from excelling in his studies at Florida State. While attending Florida State Chris was elected and served as President of the Garnet Key Honor Society and one of a select few college students throughout the State of Florida privileged enough to be selected as a member of College Leadership Florida.
Chris’s distinguished collegiate career did not end at Florida State. After graduating from Florida State he decided to study law at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama. The decision to attend Cumberland was an easy one for Chris. He attended because he wanted to become a trial lawyer. While attending Cumberland Chris earned numerous accolades. He was recognized as the “best” legal writer in his class, recognized for his oral advocacy abilities, nominated to “Who’s Who Among American College Students,” and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Cumberland Law Review.
Chris graduated from Cumberland with Honors in 2001 and immediately began his career as a trial lawyer. Chris joined James Wettermark and in 2003 eventually became a founding member of Wettermark Holland & Keith, LLC. Chris’s career as a trial lawyer has not been uneventful. He has obtained jury verdicts and settlements on behalf of seriously injured clients against major corporations thirteen Southeastern States. He has been one of a very few distinct lawyers throughout the Country to obtain a million dollar jury verdict in only the second year of beginning his practice. His cases have been featured by print and television media nationally and locally.
- Alabama 2001
- Florida 2002
- Mississippi 2003
- United States District Court Northern District of Alabama
- United States District Court Northern District of Mississippi
- United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
Professional Associations and Memberships:
- Alabama State Bar
- Florida State Bar
- Mississippi State Bar
- Alabama Trial Lawyers Association
- Florida Trial Lawyers Association
- American Bar Association
- American Trial Lawyers Association
- Birmingham Bar Association
- Million Dollar Advocates Forum