Suing for Swimming Pool Injuries: Know Your Rights

Feb 26, 2021 - Personal Injury by

Let an Experienced Tuscaloosa Personal Injury Attorney Help If you’ve been injured due to a pool-related injury in Alabama, then you may have a right to sue and recover damages from the pool owner.  Swimming pool injuries are common, but few plaintiffs understand how liability works in this context.  Let’s take a closer look. Pool Owners Have a Duty to Warn of Dangers Pool owners must maintain reasonably safe premises (under the circumstances) and warn users of any hazards. For example, if a pool area has smooth tile (not a rough, textured surface) and it is wet, it could pose a slipping hazard.  Depending on the danger, the pool owner may have to either clean up the spill to correct the slipping hazard or put up signage warning users about the risk so that they can avoid it. Swimming Pool Regulations In Alabama, as in other states, there are several regulations associated with swimming pools.  Pool owners must maintain four-sided isolation fencing that is at least five feet high, with self-latching gates.  Further, toys must not be left in the pool as it may be considered an attractive nuisance for nearby children. Pool covers must be in place, and some pools (if they are large enough) must have a lifeguard on-duty.  Safety devices may also be necessary. Importantly, some pools must include signage indicating various operational concerns: the hours of operation, whether the lifeguard is on-duty, etc. Supervisory Negligence Whether or not the pool has a lifeguard (or is simply […]

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Establishing Notice for an Inadequate Security Claim

Feb 12, 2021 - Personal Injury by

Work With an Experienced Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney  In Alabama, if you’ve been injured due to third-party criminal activity on another’s property (such as a retail store), then you can sue the property owner for damages based on an inadequate security claim. Inadequate security claims are essentially a sub-category of premises liability claims.  Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition, and that responsibility extends to the provision of proper security. A key issue in inadequate security claims is the element of “notice.”  Below, our Tuscaloosa injury attorney takes a closer look at how it works. The Notice Element Notably, a defendant cannot be held liable for providing inadequate security if they were not aware of the danger of third-party criminal activity.  However, it’s important to point out that a defendant’s ignorance of a danger does not let them escape liability.  If you can show that they “should have been aware” of the danger (i.e., that a person in their circumstances would reasonably foresee the dangerous occurrence), then you can impose liability. The key to a successful claim is in showing that the defendant was put on notice as to the existence of the danger — here, the danger of third-party criminal activity.  If they were put on notice, then it was their responsibility to take steps to correct the danger (by hiring additional security guards, installing security cameras, installing more lights for nighttime visibility, putting up warning signs, etc.). Whether a crime is “reasonably […]

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Auto Accidents: Who’s Responsible for Crashes Related to Defective Tires?

Jan 29, 2021 - Car Accidents by

Work With a Tuscaloosa Auto Accident Attorney Defective tires can lead to serious car accident injuries. For example, a defective tire could explode at an inopportune moment or could be imbalanced (due to an air leak), making you lose control and crash. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident due to a defective tire, then Alabama law may give you a right of action against the manufacturer (and potentially against other parties, too).  However, it can be difficult to understand how defective tire liability works, so let’s take a brief look at some of the basics. Defective Product Liability — Basics In Alabama, if you are injured due to a defective product (such as a defective tire), then you may sue the manufacturer and recover damages. The advantage of product defect liability is that you need not prove negligence — in other words, to recover damages successfully, all you have to show is that the tire was defectively manufactured or designed and that you were injured as a result of that defect. This isn’t always straightforward, however. Proving that the tire was defectively manufactured or defectively designed can be quite tricky.  Whether a product is defective is ultimately a question of whether it is reasonably safe for its intended purpose. This may require extensive expert testimony, comparison to alternative products on the market, and more. For example, a tire may be predisposed to “leaking” air, but your Tuscaloosa auto accident attorney will have to introduce data compared to other […]

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Work Injuries: What If I’m Assaulted at Work?

Jan 15, 2021 - Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

An Experienced Tuscaloosa Work Injury Lawyer Can Help In the workplace, not all injuries are caused by “accident.” In fact, it’s not altogether uncommon for a worker to be injured due to a physical attack engaged by either a co-worker or a customer. Our Tuscaloosa work injury lawyer knows that the injured worker may have a right of action under Alabama law to sue and recover damages under these circumstances. It can be challenging to understand how injury liability works in situations where there are multiple potential defendants, so let’s explore liability based on the parties involved. We’ll use a brief example as the basis for this exploration. Consider the following: Suppose that you are working as a warehouse stocker at a retail store. During a shift, you are punched by a co-worker. It turns out that your co-worker was intoxicated at the time of the attack. Had they not been intoxicated, they would not have attacked you and caused you to suffer injuries. Now, let’s jump right in. Attacker Liability Taking the above example, it’s clear that the attacking co-worker would be liable to you for damages. They caused you to suffer injuries by acting recklessly or intentionally (i.e., by becoming intoxicated and attacking you). There is hardly any ambiguity as to the liability of the co-worker in this situation. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to recover fully from a co-worker, as they may not have the financial assets or the insurance coverage necessary to cover your losses in […]

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Injured After Misusing a Christmas Gift? You May Be Able to Sue for Damages

Dec 31, 2020 - Dangerous Products/Liability by

Let our Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney Help The winter holiday season is a time of gift-giving, and that also means that product injuries could be on the rise as new customers open up and use their brand new gifts — some of which may be defective. But what happens if you use a product in a way that the manufacturer didn’t intend — can you sue and recover damages from the manufacturer? Maybe. Let’s take a closer look! Strict Product Liability at a Glance In Alabama, a product is defective if it is unreasonably dangerous to the end-user.  If you are injured by your use of a product, then you may be able to sue and recover damages from the product’s manufacturer, so long as the defective nature of the product is what caused your injuries. Alabama law makes it somewhat easier to successfully establish liability, as you need not show that the manufacturer was “negligent” in creating the defective product — you need only show that the product was defective and that it caused an injury. Foreseeable Use So, what happens if you are injured due to your use of a product — but your use of the product was not as “intended”?  That’s an interesting issue that many prospective product defect plaintiffs run into. In Alabama, as in other states, product defect liability can still be imposed on manufacturers if you — the user — has used the product in a way that was unintended by the manufacturer, so […]

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Recovering Damages From a Drunk Driving Defendant

Dec 17, 2020 - Car Accidents by

Our Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney Will Fight for You The winter holidays are a busy time for Americans, from Christmas shopping to end-of-year social events with family and friends— even with the Covid-19 pandemic discouraging many from socializing in the same way that they would in previous years. Unfortunately, not all news surrounding the holidays is positive.  With the winter holidays (and an increase in road traffic) comes an increase in motor vehicle accidents, in many cases driven by holiday alcohol consumption. If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver over the holidays, then you may be entitled to significant damages as compensation.  In fact, bringing a motor vehicle lawsuit against a drunk driver has its own unique opportunities — let’s go ahead and briefly explore them. Establishing Negligence In a “standard” motor vehicle accident dispute, the injured plaintiff has to prove that the defendant-driver acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally — and that this misconduct caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries.  Establishing fault can be difficult in some cases, depending on the facts. In a drunk driving lawsuit, by contrast, the plaintiff need only show that the defendant’s intoxication caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries.  Negligence is “assumed” thanks to a principle known as negligence per se. In other words, driving while under the influence of alcohol is considered an act that is fundamentally “wrong,” and as such, there is no need to prove that the defendant’s conduct rose to the level of negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.  This can make […]

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Common Reasons for a Workers’ Compensation Claim Denial

Nov 30, 2020 - Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

Let an Experienced Tuscaloosa Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help Workplace injuries are common.  In Alabama, employees who suffer workplace injuries may be entitled to workers’ compensation, which can cover their health expenses, but workers’ compensation claims are often denied — that can put the employee in a financially and emotionally vulnerable situation. If you would like to get in touch with an experienced Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation attorney, we encourage you to contact Cross & Smith to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.  Call us at 877-791-0618 or send us a message online today. Here at Cross & Smith, our team has decades of experience working with personal injury claimants, including those who have been injured in a work setting.  We understand how best to navigate the challenges of a workers’ compensation-related dispute, and what is necessary to secure the maximum compensation for our clients (under the circumstances). For now, let’s take a brief look at some of the common reasons behind a workers’ compensation claim denial.  It’s worth noting that if your claim is denied, you may be entitled to challenge the adverse decision and potentially sue to recover benefits. Failure to Notify Employer in a Timely Manner In Alabama, notice of the accident and injury must be given to the employer within five days of its occurrence.  This is a rather short time period, so it’s important not to delay before getting in contact with a Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation attorney who can manage the procedural requirements in a timely […]

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Workplace Injuries — When Can You Sue Your Employer?

Nov 16, 2020 - Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

Seek Help From a Tuscaloosa Work Injury Lawyer In Alabama, workplace injuries — particularly in certain high-risk industries, such as construction and manufacturing — are rather common.  Employees who are injured in the workplace may be wondering what their options are for suing and recovering damages from their employer.  We recommend that injured employees get in touch with a qualified Tuscaloosa work injury lawyer at Cross & Smith for further guidance. Suing one’s employer is a worthwhile option, if available.  After all, workers’ compensation benefits, though useful, can be somewhat limited by comparison.  Workers’ compensation provides for health expenses, for example, but not for the losses associated with pain and suffering. Let’s take a closer look. Workers’ Compensation Prevents Negligence-Based Claims Workers’ compensation protections prohibit employees from bringing negligence-based claims against their employers.  Instead, any employees who are injured at work are meant to submit a claim for workers’ compensation to obtain benefits that can cover their losses (at least in part) — this is meant to serve as a tradeoff for being able to secure benefits even in cases where the injury was not caused through any fault of the employer. If you are an employee who was injured in the workplace, it’s important to understand that you are not left without options for a lawsuit, however — you may still be able to bring a lawsuit against your employer for intentional or reckless misconduct.  Further, if a third-party contributed to your injuries (i.e., a contractor, or passersby), then […]

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Can I Make a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Oct 30, 2020 - Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

Seek Help From an Experienced Tuscaloosa Work Injury Lawyer Workers’ compensation is a valuable option for recovery, providing a range of benefits to employees who suffer a work-related injury or illness.  These workers’ compensation benefits may include medical expenses (from diagnostic costs to treatment and physical therapy), wage loss, and even disability benefits depending on the severity of the injury. Many would-be claimants aren’t quite sure whether they’re eligible to make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, however.  For the sake of clarification, let’s take a brief look. What Determines Eligibility? In the state of Alabama, the law requires (generally speaking) that employers with five or more employees — full-time or part-time — provide workers’ compensation coverage.  It’s worth noting, however, that an employer with fewer employees may have still voluntarily chosen to acquire workers’ compensation coverage, so be sure to check if coverage is available for your claim. If your employee has acquired workers’ compensation coverage, then you’ll have to evaluate whether the suffered injury occurred due to an employment-related accident — whether or not it was caused by another’s negligence.  For example, even if the accident is not necessarily your employer’s fault (i.e., an earthquake causes a box to shift slightly and fall on your foot, fracturing your toes), workers’ compensation claim may provide benefits. Critically, the accident must be linked to your employment activity.  In other words, it must have occurred within the “course and scope” of your employment.  On-site activity is almost always considered within the […]

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Can I Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits if I’m Attacked by a Co-Worker?

Oct 16, 2020 - Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Tuscaloosa, AL Workers’ compensation claims are often associated with equipment-related accidents on a job site — for example, a warehouse worker getting injured by falling storage boxes, or a lab worker getting burned by loose chemicals. In truth, however, many injuries occurring in the workplace are linked to job site violence. If you’ve been injured due to having been willfully assaulted by a colleague, contractor, or other individuals in the workplace, then you may be entitled to submit a workers’ compensation claim for benefits to cover those losses. Let’s take a closer look. Assault is Covered, But Only If There Is an Employment-Related Cause In Alabama, an intentional assault by a co-worker (or anyone else, in fact) is considered an accident for the purpose of workers’ compensation coverage, so long as the assault was motivated by an employment-related issue, and not personal ill will. How does this work? Suppose that you are attacked by a co-worker, who fractures your nose and ribs. In Example A, the co-worker attacked you because he was under the impression that you had insulted his family.  This would not give rise to workers’ compensation benefits, as the attack was motivated by a personal issue — not an employment-related one. In Example B, however, the co-worker attacked you because he was upset that you had signed up for extra shifts, thus taking up some slots that he would’ve signed up for to earn extra pocket money.  The co-worker’s attack could be […]

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