Monthly Archives: October 2015
Choosing Between Jury and Bench Trials in Injury Cases
When the Washington Post and other news outlets reported that a Virginia patient won $500,000 after his secret cell phone recording during a medical procedure captured an anesthesiologist insulting him and even planning to diagnose a non-existent condition, portions of the recording went viral. Like Alabama, Virginia law allows the use of recordings as courtroom evidence as long as one party permits it. Used in front of a jury, that recording provided powerful evidence in court. Presented in front of a judge (known as a bench trial), however, a case like this one might have different results. Plaintiffs in personal injury cases have a choice between jury and bench trials and many case details go into deciding which type of trial offers the most benefits. Each Tuscaloosa injury attorney at our firm carefully assesses those details before making recommendations to our clients. Facts, Perception and Emotion Drive Courtroom Verdicts Surprisingly, studies show that judges agree with jury decisions on liability as much as 80 percent of the time. However, while judges may award larger damages in about 40 percent of cases, they favor smaller awards in over 50 percent of cases. One study indicated that the differences may be due to judges’ lower susceptibility to two specific cognitive illusions: • Framing, which involves treating economic gains differently than losses, even though their value is actually equal • Representativeness, in which a reduced value is placed on background statistical information or base rates that are relevant to the case Additionally, even […]Read More
Would Transparent Semis Increase Road Safety?
It seems as if new safety technologies appear on motor vehicles almost every year. Considering the devastation that our clients experience on the roads on a regular basis, our Tuscaloosa car accident attorneys applaud these developments — especially when they allow small cars to share the roads with big trucks more safely. It may be early in the game, but it is not too early to start thinking about one of the latest developments: the transparent truck. A New Invention That Addresses Visibility Issues for Small Vehicles Anyone who is forced to drive behind a huge semi knows that it is like driving behind a solid wall. Without the ability to catch a glimpse of traffic in front of the truck, it is virtually impossible to safely pass these slow-moving vehicles, much less remain aware of potential hazards on the road ahead. In June 2015, Samsung announced the development of its Safety Truck, which could vastly reduce these visibility issues. The concept behind the Safety Truck is simple: Put wireless cameras on the front of trucks and transmit the images to screens on the back, allowing motorists to see the road almost as if the truck was not in front of them. Early prototype tests in Argentina (which has some of the most dangerous roads in the world) showed positive results. The screen images made passing safer on two-lane roads, while also reducing accidents caused by sudden braking or animals on the road. Samsung is now working with the U.S. […]Read More