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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Volcano Enterprises, Inc. v. Rush – Alabama Supreme Court Rules on DUI Death Lawsuit

May 27, 2014 - Birmingham by

Plaintiffs in Alabama personal injury cases should take care to exhaust every means of serving defendants notification of a complaint before proceeding with service by publication. That’s the lesson gleaned in Volcano Enterprises, Inc. v. Rush, recently decided by the Alabama Supreme Court. The decision effectively vacates an earlier award of $37 million in favor of a family whose choir minister husband/father was killed by a drunk, off-duty Birmingham police officer in 2009. Birmingham DUI injury lawyers know the officer received 12 years in prison on a charge of reckless manslaughter, and was also ordered to pay $3 million in civil damages. The criminal court additionally ordered him to pay $43,000 in restitution. The $37 million liability claim was against the strip club that had served alcohol that night to a patron whom plaintiffs allege was already visibly impaired by the time he arrived. He had reportedly consumed hard liquor in his vehicle while waiting for a friend to show up after their shift.

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Lockwood v. Geico – Unreasonable Delay in Payment of Insurance

May 15, 2014 - Car Accidents by

The contract you hold with your car insurance companies is probably filled with numerous caveats designed to minimize the firm’s risk of paying up when the time comes. But an element that is inherent in these contracts – no matter what the language – is the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. If an insurance company acts in bad faith in dealing with the client, it could be subject to severe punitive damages. Examples of bad faith dealings would be if an insurer denies a claim without proper cause or delays a claim unreasonably. Our Tuscaloosa car accident lawyers have a detailed understanding of uninsured motorist law. You are entitled to coverage for which you paid, and we are committed to helping you obtain that compensation.

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Alabama Motorcycle Accident Statistics

May 12, 2014 - Motorcycle Accidents by

The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that motorcycle deaths were down 22 percent last year in Alabama and more than 7 percent nationwide. Although any reduction in fatalities is good news, those figures may be more of a fluke than a trend. As much as safety advocates want to tout 2013 as the start of a downward trajectory, it’s more of a stabilization of the statistics, following a big spike in motorcycle deaths in 2012. Birmingham motorcycle injury lawyers note the primary factors in the 2012 increase had to do with a warmer-than-usual riding season and higher-than-average gas prices. Better weather is more conducive to riding, and rising gas prices prompts people to choose a cheaper alternative to cars and sport utility vehicles.

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Attractive Nuisance Doctrine & Premises Liability in Alabama

May 7, 2014 - Premises Liability by

Premise liability law is founded upon the principle that a property owner (or manager) has a responsibility to maintain a property in a safe manner for those who enter. The duty owed by the property owner to those on site depends on the relationship. For example, the owner of a property open to the public would owe to a patron is far greater than a private property owner would owe to a trespasser. For the most part, Tuscaloosa premises liability lawyers recognize that trespassers aren’t entitled to many protections, except in cases of injury caused by willful or wanton negligence. The one notable exception is attractive nuisance. This legal theory alters the duty that is usually owed by a property owner to a trespasser or licensee for the simple fact that the “visitor” is a child drawn to the property by a hazard. A perfect example of this is a swimming pool. This not only poses a serious potential danger, it’s one a person could reasonably expect would be considered an attractive place to play. In order for a liability lawsuit to be successful, the owner must know a dangerous condition exists, the child must not know or recognize the danger and the child must not receive proper warning of the danger.

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Alabama DUI Accidents – Ignition-Interlock Law Passes

May 5, 2014 - Drunk Driving Accidents by

Shortly before he was convicted of DUI manslaughter in the death of fellow motorist and the serious injury of his passenger, a Hoover man conceded he’d had too much to drink while watching the 2012 Iron Bowl game on television. He said he knew after the crash that getting behind the wheel after drinking so much was a mistake. If only he’d come to that realization before he put the key in the ignition. And that’s the problem with so many DUI offenders – their failure to first think through the consequences. There is however technology that takes the choice away for previous offenders. DUI injury lawyers in Birmingham note Alabama just became the 21st state in the country to adopt an ignition-interlock law.

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U.S. Supreme Court Gives Alabama Police More Tools to Combat DUI

May 1, 2014 - Drunk Driving Accidents by

A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Navarette v. California will hopefully mean fewer DUI injuries in Alabama, as it gives authorities a greater opportunity to stop reckless and potentially drunk drivers. Birmingham DUI injury lawyers know that the crux of the Navarette case had to do with reasonable suspicion as it pertains to a defendant’s Fourth-Amendment right to protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Specifically, the question before the justices was whether information provided by an anonymous 911 tip was enough to establish reasonable suspicion. The court ruled that, in some cases, it is. The reason this is important for potential victims of DUI is that, No. 1, it provides more incentive for people to call when they see a reckless driver as they know police will be more inclined to act. Secondly, when police are given the authority to stop a car based on an anonymous 911 tip, they can get a possibly dangerous driver off the road faster. Officers may not necessarily have to wait to observe the driver engaged in a traffic violation before initiating a stop. This ruling is in line with a 1990 decision by the high court in Alabama v. White, where the court found that an anonymous tip, when corroborated by independent police work, provides the basis for the reasonable suspicion necessary to make an investigatory traffic stop.

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Posted By: Jaimie Copeland

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