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Yearly Archives: 2013

Medical Malpractice Litigation in Alabama – A Look at the Facts

Nov 19, 2013 - Birmingham by

Recently, an article in the Huffington Post talked about the myth that medical malpractice claims are a primary contributor to high medical bills. This article aimed to shoot down that common misconception by pointing to data that illustrated the cost of medical malpractice in Birmingham and elsewhere has been dropping across the nation for the last 10 years. In 2003, there were close to 17,00 paid medical malpractice claims in the U.S., totaling close to $5 billion. By 2011, the number of paid claims had dropped to less than 10,000 and the total payout was less than $3.5 billion. That’s about a 40 percent drop in the number of paid claims and a near 30 percent drop in the amount paid out. The cost of medical malpractice insurance began to rise in the early 2000s after a period of essentially flat prices. Rate increases were precipitated in part by the growing size of claims, particularly in urban areas. Among the other factors driving up prices was a reduced supply of available coverage as several major insurers exited the medical malpractice business because of difficulty in making a profit.

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Train Accident Highlights Railroad Crossing Safety in Alabama

Nov 12, 2013 - Personal Injury by

Officials with the Tuscaloosa Fire Department’s Haz Mat team recently responded to a train fire in Pickensville. Emergency response teams worked to disconnect the train cars that were on fire. According to ABC33, there were at least five or six cars involved in the blaze. The train was carrying crude oil and officials reported at least two explosions. A dozen cars were derailed in the accident. Officials let those cars burn out, instead of trying to put them out. While train accidents can be devastating when trains derail or collide with one another, they can be even more devastating when they collide with passenger vehicles or even pedestrians and bicyclists. Our Tuscaloosa personal injury lawyers understand that railroad crossing safety rarely gets the attention it deserves. And unfortunately, they’re alarmingly common. In many cases, these crossings do not have adequate warnings. In other cases, the equipment may be dated or even inoperative. Operation Lifesaver reports that there were close to 2,000 railroad crossing accidents reported in the U.S. in 2012. There were nearly 300 people killed and another 950 who were seriously injured. In all, there are over 210,000 railroad crossings currently in the U.S. and more than 129,000 intersect with public roads.

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Teens Answer Questionable Survey Regarding Drunk Driving

Nov 8, 2013 - Drunk Driving Accidents by

A new survey of high school students indicated that roughly 75 percent don’t drink alcohol. But who’s expecting teens to be honest in these surveys? According to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD), nearly 700 students across the nation were surveyed during Red Ribbon Week. The reasoning for not drinking varied from it being illegal, the effects it has on their health, the effects is has on their grades and the disapproval from their parents. The truth of the matter here is that there were close to 10,000 traffic accident fatalities in 2011 in the U.S. involving a driver with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these accident fatalities accounted for more than 30 percent of all traffic deaths recorded that year year. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 accounted for close to 1,000 of the drivers involved in these accidents. That’s 20 percent of all drunk drivers involved drunk driving accidents in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere.

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Canceled Safe Routes to School Program Reduced Pedestrian Accident Risks in Alabama

Nov 7, 2013 - Car Accidents by

Safe sidewalks and road crossings are a concern for us all. Unfortunately, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has announced at the end of FY13, the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program will be eliminated. That means no more safe walking projects under this program. If any city in the state wishes to launch a new project, leaders are first going to have to apply under the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and compete with various other applicants to get the proper funding. These projects, if approved, will result in 80 percent federal funding with a 20 percent local match. With no sidewalks and no safety projects in the works, our risks for pedestrian accidents in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere — particularly among our youngest walkers — will only increase. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were close to 100 pedestrians killed in the state of Alabama in 2011. These fatalities accounted for nearly 10 percent of all traffic accident fatalities throughout the year.

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Transvaginal Mesh Products Provide Risks But No Benefits

Nov 6, 2013 - Pharmaceutical Litigation/Dangerous Drugs by

Our Tuscaloosa defective medical device lawyers know transvaginal mesh products were sold by manufacturers with lots of promises to doctors and patients that the surgical mesh would make it easier to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). For thousands of women who began to experience complications after their TVM surgeries, however, the surgical mesh turned out not to live up to its promises. Now, a new study has demonstrated that transvaginal mesh is not only unsafe but also that it is ineffective. The study was conducted by Georgetown University and published in the September issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The results are alarming and every patient who has had a mesh procedure or who is considering one should be aware of what the research showed.

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No Time for Complacency: The Most Dangerous Time on the Road

Nov 5, 2013 - Birmingham by

Safe driving should be a top priority all the time. But a lot of focus is on summer safety, especially for teenagers since the period from Memorial Day to Labor day is known as the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers. If you’re thinking the risk is behind you now that kids are back in school, though, the sad fact is that is simply not true. Winter and daylight savings time are coming, as is the busy holiday travel season. Our Birmingham personal injury lawyers know that the risk of accidents can significantly increase during the winter time, in large part because people spend more time driving in the darkness. While advanced car headlight systems may help to reduce this risk in the future, drivers today need to be aware of the dangers and take extra precautions to stay safe as this dangerous time on the road approaches.

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Backover Accidents a Risk in Tuscaloosa this Holiday Season

Nov 2, 2013 - Tuscaloosa by

Tuscaloosa personal injury attorneys note recent reports indicate there are 228 deaths and 17,000 injuries every single year in the United States as a result of backover accidents. A backover accident happens when a car going in reverse runs someone over. Often, the victim of these accidents is either a senior citizen over age 65, or a child under aged 10. In fact, almost half of all backover accident victims are young kids. Backover accidents typically happen in parking lots and when leaving driveways. Drivers must be sure to carefully check their rear view mirrors in order to avoid causing serious injuries or fatalities to those who may be behind the vehicle. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be difficult for drivers to see what is to their rear. Rear view cameras were supposed to be mandated in order to alleviate this problem, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has delayed the mandate and instead added rearview video systems to its list of recommended safety technologies.

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Alabama Traffic Safety – Combatting Known Risks for Teens

Oct 30, 2013 - Car Accidents by

Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently unveiled a new safety campaign that’s working to keep teens safe through the busy upcoming holiday driving season. It’s the “5 to Drive” campaign and it’s addressing the five factors that can have the biggest impact young drivers’ careers behind the wheel. “The ’5 to Drive’ campaign gives parents and teens a simple, straightforward checklist that can help them talk about good driving skills,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Our Birmingham car accident lawyers understand that traffic collisions continue to be the number one cause of death for teens across the nation. In 2011, there were more than 2,100 teen drivers who were involved in deadly collisions. Close to half of those teens were killed in these accidents. And to help to reduce the risks, we’re calling on parents to step in and kick off the conversation today. Sit down and talk with the teen driver in your family about the risks behind the wheel and the habits that can help keep them safe.

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Ag Accidents an Autumn Risk in Alabama

Oct 29, 2013 - Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

There were close to 500 workers killed in the agriculture sector in 2012. The fatality rate in this industry is more than 21 per 100,000 full-time equivalent worker, which is the highest fatality rate of any sector. In addition to these fatalities, there were close to 48,500 workers injured in 2011. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are more than 2 million people who are employed in the agricultural industry in the U.S. Those who work and farm are at serious risks for critical injuries, death, work-related lung diseases, cancer, skin diseases, noise-induced hearing loss and even heat exposure. farm accidents in Alabama are an all-too-common threat during harvest season. The number one cause of death for farmworkers between 1992 and 2009 was tractor overturns. These accidents account for more than 90 fatalities each and every year. Each day, there are close to 250 farm workers who suffer from a serious injury and are forced to take time away from work. About 5 percent of these injuries result in permanent impairment.

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Tuscaloosa Traffic Accidents – Cell Phones Not Only Distraction

Oct 16, 2013 - Car Accidents by

When we think about distracted driving, most people will think of talking on a cell phone or text messaging behind the wheel. But according to Allstate, the top five driver distractions include, eating and drinking, adjusting music, interacting with passengers, playing music loudly and reaching into the back seat. Those are things we’re all guilty of, and they are activities that could result in a potentially fatal accident. Between 4,000 and 8,000 crashes related to distracted driving occur daily in the United States alone. In North America, distracted driving contributes to as many as one-half of crashes reported annually. Our Tuscaloosa car accident lawyers understand that’s just the tip of the iceberg. According to Insurance Hotline, Americans are also guilty of grooming, smoking, playing with car controls and tending to babies while in the driver’s seat.

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