Cross & Smith LLC


Tires and Summer Heat Can Prove Fatal Combination

Jul 3, 2013 - Birmingham by

A crash recently in Central Florida claimed the lives of two developmentally disabled women, one in her late 70s and another in her 40s, who were being transported back from a day trip in a van when a tire blew out on the interstate, causing the vehicle to flip. Our Birmingham accident attorneys understand that in addition to the two women killed, two others, both staffers, were severely injured in the wreck. According to a spokesman for the agency, the van tires had been inspected prior to the trip. One of the tires was replaced when mechanics who, initially inspecting the vehicle for an oil change and windshield wiper replacement, noticed it had dry rot. However, it was a different tire that blew. The agency spokesman insists the vehicle was inspected after that tire replacement and was found to be “in good shape,” adding that the firm’s vans are routinely inspected, particularly prior to longer trips, such as this one.

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Hands Free Devices Don’t Really Reduce Your Distracted Driving Risk

Jun 27, 2013 - Car Accidents by

Laws related to cell phone use and education campaigns related to distracted driving usually stress the dangers of handheld phone devices. In fact, drivers may be required to use hands-free tools or urged to make use of Bluetooth and text-to-speech as a means of reducing the risk of a distracted driving crash. Unfortunately, recent studies indicate that hands-free devices may not actually be any safer than using a phone that you are holding onto. Our Tuscaloosa accident lawyers know that your brain is still focused on something other than the road whenever you are texting or talking, regardless of whether you have a hands-free device or not. The recent studies confirm not only that you face cognitive distractions from the use of a hands-free phone but also that texting via voice may be even more dangerous than sending a text the old fashioned way.

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Could You Be at Risk of a Distracted Driving Accident with a First Responder?

Jun 25, 2013 - Car Accidents by

Police, paramedics and EMTs are on the roads to respond to accidents and to monitor safe driving. What if, however, these first responders and law enforcement personnel are actually a safety-risk themselves? Police, EMTs, first-responders and paramedics have many electronic devices in their cars, are generally exempt from distracted driving laws and often depend upon using this technology while traveling through traffic at high speeds. Unfortunately, while these first responders may be immune from distracted driving laws, they aren’t immune from the risks associated with distracted driving. As the New York Times reports, one paramedic described the combination of technology use and high speeds as having the “potential for disaster.” Our Tuscaloosa accident lawyers know that such disasters have already happened, as there have been several documented accidents in which police or EMTs have caused serious accidents while using the technology in their vehicles.

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Estimates Indicate Fatal Traffic Accidents on the Rise

Jun 23, 2013 - Car Accidents by

Recently, the NHTSA released estimates regarding the number of traffic fatalities in 2012. While the numbers have not yet been finalized, the news is not good. The NHTSA data shows that there has been a significant increase in the number of people who died in car wrecks over the course of the year. This is the first year-to-year increase since 2005. Our Birmingham accident lawyers know that the number of traffic fatalities has been steadily declining over the past six years, decreasing as much as 26 percent from near-record highs in 2005 up through 2011. Unfortunately, the 2012 increase indicates that it may be difficult to continue this downward trend. Still, if every driver makes a commitment to staying safe and if states continue to improve their driving regulations and safety enforcement, hopefully the traffic fatality rates can get back on the decline for 2013 and beyond. Preliminary Data Shows Significant Increase in Traffic Fatalities According to the NHTSA’s preliminary data, an estimated 34,080 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic accidents in 2012 as compared with just 32,367 in 2011. This would mean that the number of people killed in car accidents over the course of 2012 increased around 5.3 percent when compared with 2011.

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Fewer Alabama Motorcycle Injuries Possible With Anti-lock Brake Systems

Jun 21, 2013 - Motorcycle Accidents by

Earlier this month on Highway 119 in Birmingham, three people died tragically in a crash involving two motorcycles and a truck, according to Jefferson County investigators. Our Birmingham motorcycle accident lawyers understand that two motorcycle passengers, a man and a woman in their 40s, as well as the 19-year-old driver of the truck, were pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver reportedly lost control of his vehicle for unknown reasons, sliding into one of the motorcycles, causing both vehicles to go airborne over a guardrail and into a ditch. A second motorcyclist was forced to swerve and lay down his bicycle to avoid the crash, causing both himself and his passenger to suffer head injuries. While all of the details in this case are still under investigation, it would be interesting to find out whether the second motorcycle was equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), in light of a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute. The research shows that motorcycles that have ABS are about 30 percent less likely to be involved in fatal crashes, as compared to those motorcycles that aren’t equipped with ABS.

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Fewer Alabama Truck Crashes Expected With New Hours of Service Rules

Jun 18, 2013 - Truck Accidents by

The number of Tuscaloosa truck accidents will hopefully be reduced with the implementation of new hours-of-service regulations, effective July 1, 2013 and handed down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Unfortunately, many trucking companies, including the American Trucking Association, have opposed the regulations, saying it will cost them millions of dollars more than what the FMCSA has estimated. Just to implement the program, companies say, will cost them $320 million. The FMCSA, meanwhile, anticipates the industry will see a benefit of between $135 million and $300 million annually, due to a reduction in crashes, which result in loss of productivity, hefty insurance payouts and other expenses. The agency says the cost of implementation should only be about $200 per long-haul driver, with another $270 lost annually per driver in terms of productivity loss from fewer hours of drive time.

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Keeping Alabama Kids Safe From Dog Bite Injuries

Jun 14, 2013 - Birmingham by

Dogs can be wonderful pets and great companions for kids and adults alike. Unfortunately, dogs can also cause serious injuries if the animal is aggressive or not properly trained. Dog attacks can lead to lacerations, cuts, bruises, broken bones, amputations, scarring, disfigurement or even death. Our Birmingham dog bite lawyers know that the number of bite incidents has remained relatively stable over the past decade. However, as Time Business and Money reports, the amount of money paid out by insurance companies as a result of dog bite incidents has increased significantly. Today, more than a third of all dollars paid out in homeowner’s liability insurance claims is paid to cover dog bite damages.

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Birmingham Car Accidents May Rise With Increasing Smartphone Users

Jun 10, 2013 - Birmingham by

For all the time and technology we’ve had to tackle the issue of fatal crashes in Alabama, we have yet to get a firm grip on the problem. Our Birmingham injury lawyers know that between 2/car-accidents/alabama-traffic-accidents-likely-to-increase-with-economic-recovery/ and 2011, there were nearly 600 people killed in some 530 crashes just in Jefferson and Shelby Counties. There were also more than 27,000 non-fatal crashes in those counties just in 2011, according to a report by the University of Alabama. Speed is often cited as a factor. So is the increase and traffic levels. But also, we have the issue of those who drive distracted. The number of fatal crashes between 2009 and 2011 spiked by approximately 22 percent.

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Tuscaloosa Accident Lawyers Warn of Dangerous Vehicles

Jun 6, 2013 - Car Accidents by

Dangerous vehicles and vehicle parts can be a contributing factor to serious Tuscaloosa car accidents resulting in injury and even death. Most of the time, when companies become aware of design flaws that could make their products unsafe, they issue a recall. Currently, we have one manufacturer who has issued a massive recall and another that is refusing to do so. It’s worth noting that a company can be held liable for accidents and injuries caused as a result of their defect, regardless of whether a recall is issued. Still, the issuance of one, particularly when there is a recommendation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, shows good faith that the manufacturer is doing all it can to protect the safety of consumers.

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Child Stroller Injuries Prompt Efforts to Boost Safety

May 28, 2013 - Dangerous Products/Liability by

Reports of defective strollers in Alabama and throughout the country, resulting in hundreds of injuries and, sadly, several deaths, have prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to approve the first step in the implementation of federal safety standards for the devices. Our Birmingham defective products attorneys understand that the CPSC voted unanimously to issue a notice of rulemaking on the issue, which kick-starts the process of establishing a set of uniform safety guidelines for the devices. The only surprise with this is that it took as long as it did, given the high number of injury reports and the fact that it affected infants and young children.

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"I have hired Justin Smith to handle two separate automobile accidents that I was involved in. I have worked for several different attorneys during my lifetime, and I am fully aware that most attorneys take a while to respond to phone calls or emails. Justin has always been so quick to respond to any questions or needs that I have had during each process. He is such an attentive and steadfast attorney who has always shown unparalleled professionalism."
Posted By: Candace Crews

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