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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Kelly v. Haralampopoulos – Exception to Hearsay Rule in Medical Malpractice Claim

Jun 23, 2014 - Medical Malpractice by

In Alabama medical malpractice cases, there are strict rules governing what type of evidence the jury will be allowed to weigh. Generally, hearsay – or out-of-court statements or statements otherwise not of one’s direct knowledge – is barred, unless the statements fall under one of the noted exceptions as explained under Federal Rules of Evidence Rule 803. Birmingham medical malpractice lawyers know that statements made for the purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment may fall into this exception. The 1987 Alabama Supreme Court ruling in Seaboard System RR, Inc. v. Keen established that such statements would be admissible – but only if made to a physician. However, Rule 803(4) expands this definition, and allows hearsay exceptions to be made to include all statements given for the purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment and/or to describe medical history or past or present symptoms or other details reasonably pertinent to treatment or diagnosis.

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Madden v. City of Iowa City – Injuries Caused by Road Defects

Jun 20, 2014 - Personal Injury by

A bicyclist who suffered a fall and injury from her bicycle due to an allegedly defective university sidewalk sued the city for failure to maintain its roads. In later proceedings, the city sought to bring in the state as a third-party defendant to share the liability. In Madden v. City of Iowa City, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s denial of the state’s motion to dismiss the cross-claim, finding a city ordinance could establish duty on the part of the state, and the claim of contribution of liability was not excluded under the state’s tort claims act. Tuscaloosa bicycle accident attorneys recognize the relevance of this case to those who typically commute on bicycles at The University of Alabama. Previous case law in Alabama supports the idea that municipalities and state governments can be held accountable for injuries sustained by negligent maintenance of public roadways.

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Fatal Truck Crash Reportedly Caused by Fatigued Driver

Jun 10, 2014 - Birmingham by

A truck driver’s lack of sleep is blamed for a crash that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed another comedian in New Jersey. Authorities say the 35-year-old Georgia driver hadn’t slept for 24 hours before the crash, which occurred when he failed to stop for slowed traffic on the highway. Federal law limits driving to 11 hours in a 14-hour period, followed by 10 hours of rest, although the driver’s employer, Wal-Mart, insists he was operating within those guidelines. The truck was equipped with safety systems designed to slow the rig’s speed and notify the driver of stopped traffic ahead, but it’s unclear whether the technology was activated or that the system was operational at the time of the crash.

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Perry v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co. – Fighting for Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Jun 9, 2014 - Car Accidents by

In Alabama, it’s estimated more than one in four drivers lacks auto insurance. Even among those who do carry insurance, about 55 percent have policies that only cover the bare minimum, which is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash. This usually is not enough. Medical bills for serious injuries could easily top six figures. This makes uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage practically a necessity in this state. By having one of these policies, you ensure you are covered in case the at-fault party didn’t have insurance or didn’t have enough insurance to cover the damages incurred. Coverage also extends to you as a passenger. However, car accident lawyers in Tuscaloosa recognize that even those with coverage may find themselves in court, fighting to get the insurer to pay.

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Report: Southern Pedestrians at High Risk — Birmingham Ranks 6th

Jun 8, 2014 - Birmingham by

Researchers at Smart Growth America recently analyzed the safety of pedestrians nationwide, finding that not only is the problem worsening, but it’s especially bad in the South. In particular, the Dangerous by Design 2014 report found the Birmingham-Hoover metro area to be the sixth-most dangerous place for walkers in the country. Study authors calculated the ranks by determining the average number of pedestrians versus the number of those killed on the streets and sidewalks. This gave them what they called the “pedestrian danger index,” or PDI. Birmingham-Hoover tallied 148 pedestrian deaths between 2003 and 2012, resulting in a PDI of 125.6. Compare this to Houston, Texas, which had a total of 1,034 pedestrian fatalities during those years, yet ranked No. 7 with a PDI of 119.64. Rounding out the top 10, all but one of those cities (Phoenix, Arizona) was in the southeastern part of the U.S. Birmingham injury lawyers recognize these areas grew rapidly as post-war suburbia brought roads to rural areas. That meant wide streets and fast speed limits, primarily catering to motor vehicles. Pedestrians were an afterthought, if they were a thought at all.

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Asklar v. Gilb – Jurisdictional Issues in Truck Accident Lawsuits May Impact Insurance Payouts

Jun 3, 2014 - Truck Accidents by

Every day, hundreds of thousands of large trucks traverse state lines to deliver cargo. When one of these vehicle is involved in a crash, it can raise a host of jurisdictional questions. The trucker could be from one state and the trucking company from another, while the accident occurred in a third state. There are even cases that are further complicated when an injured party is from yet another state. Tuscaloosa truck accident attorneys recognize that sorting through these jurisdictional issues is important not only for the purposes of deciding which court should hear them, as we recently discussed in the Alabama Supreme Court decision in Cruz v. J&W Enterprises, LLC. The question of jurisdiction can also have a great bearing on insurance issues. Basically, each state has differing requirements on what kinds of insurance must be carried and paid out and by whom.

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