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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Tuscaloosa Truck Wreck Lawyer Warns: Truckers Retain Certain Cell Phone Rights

Jan 22, 2016 - Truck Accidents by

Considering that thousands of drivers across the country operate electronic devices while driving, it is not surprising that many people are injured in distracted driving accidents every day. When large commercial trucks are involved, the chances for serious injuries and fatalities increases exponentially due to the weight of these vehicles. In spite of this risk, however, federal trucking regulations do not impose any additional electronic device restrictions on truck drivers than the ones commonly imposed by the states for drivers of passenger vehicles. Proposed Ban Fails, but Limited Ban Takes Hold Asserting that distracted driving was approaching the risks of DUI driving back in 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) proposed a full ban on the use of even hands-free devices for novice drivers, school bus drivers and commercial truckers. While that ban failed, the NTSB tried repeating the hands-free ban recommendation in 2014 after cell phone use by a truck driver appeared to be the direct cause of a massive truck-versus-train collision in Maryland. Regrettably, federal legislators have not recognized the wisdom of the NTSB recommendations. Currently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued the following restrictions for interstate truck and bus drivers, as well as for anyone who transports certain hazardous materials: No texting while driving: The restriction clearly defines texting as anything that requires more than a single button-press. Hands-free talking: Commercial motor vehicle drivers cannot hold a phone to talk, and the rule includes anything that amounts to reaching for a phone for positioning […]

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Five Common Misconceptions About Alabama Workers’ Compensation

Jan 8, 2016 - Tuscaloosa by

Alabama workers’ compensation provides essential benefits for injured workers, but depending on the nature of a given claim, it may not always work exactly as expected. Every situation is unique, so employees cannot always assume that they know the rules. Five Rules That Are Not as Simple as They Seem The Alabama Department of Commerce created the Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation Manual in an attempt to simplify the state’s employment-related laws. However, the actual rules contain legal language that includes many details and exceptions. The following five misconceptions are among the ones that commonly affect claims: Part-time and contract workers do not qualify for coverage. Not true for part-time workers, but probably true for contractors. With some exceptions, the Alabama workers’ compensation system considers full and part-time workers to be employees, and businesses that have five or more employees must carry coverage. Contract employees should be covered under their own employers’ workers’ compensation policies when working for a business under a lease agreement, and independent contractors may not have any coverage. Any contractor who is uncertain about coverage should seek guidance from our experienced Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation lawyers who can advise them on their legal options for getting coverage. The right to privacy in workers’ compensation claims is the same as for any other health care situation. Not generally true. To determine benefits and the validity of claims, employers and their insurance companies generally need access to private information about a claimant’s injuries and past medical history. Still, requests for […]

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