Cross & Smith LLC


Trucking Accidents in Alabama: More Semis & Greater Risk of Injury

Jun 19, 2012 - Truck Accidents by

According to recently-released statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 110 large trucks that were involved in fatal trucking accidents in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere in Alabama in 2010. For statistical purposes, a large truck is considered a truck whose gross vehicle weight is over 10,000 pounds. Throughout the nation, there were nearly 3,700 people who were killed in these kinds of big rig accidents that year. There were also another 80,000 people who were injured in trucking accidents. Reports indicate that there were close to 280,000 trucks involved in traffic accidents in 2010. This is an issue of growing importance because the number of trucks on the nation’s roads is projected to grow substantially in coming years. And passenger vehicles are at an extreme disadvantage in the event of an accident with a large commercial vehicle. Large trucks operate differently than our passenger vehicles. They are also larger, heavier and more powerful. This is why so many of the fatalities in these kinds of accidents occur to the passengers of other vehicles involved. In 2010, nearly 73 percent of the fatalities were of passenger vehicle occupants, about 2 percent were non-occupants and close to 25 percent were of the occupants of the large truck

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Car Accidents in Alabama a Summer Risk for Teens

Jun 13, 2012 - Car Accidents by

Texting while driving is dangerous. This is especially relevant when we’re talking about teenage drivers. As a matter of fact, teen drivers not only have the highest rates for car accidents in Alabama, but they are also the driving group that’s most likely to engage in distractions behind the wheel. There is no better time than the beginning of summer vacation to have a serious talk with the teens in your life. Various studies have concluded that drivers understand the dangers that are associated with this dangerous habit, but most of them are not willing to make the changes to increase roadway safety. Young drivers are most prone to ignoring the risks. Perhaps you heard recently about the Massachusetts teen who was charged with vehicular manslaughter and negligent operation while texting after a fatal distracted driving accident. At the conclusion of the ground-breaking case, the teen was sentenced to a year in prison and had his driver’s license suspended for 15 years because of the accident, according to FOX News.

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Work Accidents in Tuscaloosa and Elsewhere Targeted through Month-Long NSC Campaign

Jun 5, 2012 - Tuscaloosa by

For the entire month of June, officials with the National Safety Council (NSC) are promoting National Safety Month. Our Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation attorneys understand that there are small steps that we can all take to help to reduce our risks of injury — both on and off the job. Officials with the NSC will be featuring safety topics throughout the month. Follow along and work toward a safer time both at work and off the job. Here’s the setup for the month-long campaign: -June 3rd – 9th: Employee Wellness -June 10th – 16th: Ergonomics -June 17th – 23rd: Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls -June 24th – 30th: Driving Safety This annual observance is used to educate and encourage safe behaviors to help to reduce the risks of work accidents in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere. This year’s campaign is encouraging safe behavior — all day every day. Each week will be dedicated to a different type of injury, ones that are all too frequent in our everyday lives. Review each week’s materials to help to reduce your risks of needless and preventable injuries.

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Alabama Bus Accidents Can be Complex: Lyons v. Lancer

May 27, 2012 - Bus Accidents by

More often than not, personal injury lawsuits last several years. However, a recent Second Circuit Court of Appeals case was decided regarding a 1989 bus accident. If you are involved in a car accident in Tuscaloosa, it is important to have the guidance of an experienced Tuscaloosa injury attorney. Lyons v. Lancer insurance Company deals with the complex areas of personal injury lawsuits. The case arose in 1989 when a school bus driver, Michael Thomas (Thomas), collided with a passenger vehicle being driven by Mr. Lyons (plaintiff). Thomas was employed with T.F.D. Bus Company (TFD), a commercial transportation company based out of New York. The majority of TFD’s business came from their school bus services for children. The school buses in the TFD fleet were also used on occasion to transport small parties for day trips.

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Car Accident Risks Increase Over Memorial Day

May 23, 2012 - Car Accidents by

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to be deadly. Safe driving advocates with the National Safety Council (NSC) are predicting that more than 400 people are going to die in car accidents in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere over the three-day holiday weekend. Experts are also predicting another 42,000 auto accident-related injuries during the weekend. The Memorial Day holiday weekend is defined as the time from 6:00 p.m. on Friday the 25th through 11:59 p.m. on Monday the 28th. During this time, motorists are asked to be extremely cautious on our roadways as the significant increase in motor vehicle traffic is expected to result in an increase in the number of serious and fatal accidents. Typically, the Memorial Day holiday weekend sees a 12 percent increase in the number of fatal car accidents compared to similar non-holiday weekends. During this time of the year, millions of Americans are expected to hit the road to kickoff the summer travel season. Our Tuscaloosa accident attorneys understand that long weekends offer residents and visitors with just enough time to hit the road and to get out of town. Unfortunately, everyone else has the same idea, too. For that reason, ocal and state law enforcement agencies will be out in force.

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Fault in Alabama Car Accident Cases: Zito v. Advanced Medical Services

May 20, 2012 - Car Accidents by

The roads can be dangerous for anyone driving. One moment of careless driving in Tuscaloosa can lead to a lifetime of injuries. If you have been in an accident and need guidance to get the compensation you deserve, it is critical for you to have an experienced Tuscaloosa injury attorney. Recently the Louisiana courts dealt with a lawsuit arising from an unusual vehicle accident. This case arose in 2006 when an ambulance had to pull over to the shoulder of a four lane highway to deal with transmission problems. Zito v. Advanced Emergency Medical Services, Inc., No. 2011-C-2382 (La. May 8, 2012).The ambulance was covered in reflective tape making it highly visible to cars on the highway, from a far distance. This ambulance was owned by Advanced Emergency Medical Services, Inc. (Advanced) and insured by Empire Indemnity Insurance Company (Empire).

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Tuscaloosa Car Insurance Policies: A Look at Swartzbaugh v. Encompass Ins.

May 10, 2012 - Car Accidents by

When you are involved in a car accident in Tuscaloosa, you may be confused over your rights. Our personal injury attorneys understand your confusion and we are here to help you get the benefits necessary to pay for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and other expenses. Swartzbaugh v. Encompass Insurance Company of America is a recent Maryland case that shows the confusion that is often times created by language in automobile insurance policies. Mrs. Swartzbaugh purchased auto insurance from the defendant, Encompass Insurance Company of America, through a local independent insurance broker. The automobile insurance policy named Mrs. Swartzbaugh, her husband Mr. Swartzbaugh and their daughter Kelly as drivers. Mrs. Swartzbaugh purchased the minimum mandatory under-insured motorist (UM) but waived the higher UM coverage option. This waiver was done on a standard form and signed by Mrs. Swartzbaugh. As in many states, a waiver of further insurance coverage remains in effect until the clients withdraw the waiver and purchase additional insurance coverage.

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Motorcycling Accidents in Tuscaloosa and Elsewhere Targeted by Safety Awareness Month

May 4, 2012 - Car Accidents by

Roughly 80 percent of the time, motorcyclists are faced with serious risks of injury and even death in the event of an auto accident. The occupants of motor vehicles suffer from severe injury or death only 20 percent of the time. Because of the risks that motorcyclists face on our roadways, the entire month of May is dedicated as Motorcycle Awareness Safety Month, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Safe driving advocates are calling on the help of motorists to remember riders as the spring and summer riding season begins. Our Tuscaloosa motorcycle accident lawyers understand that motorcyclists are oftentimes overlooked by the drivers of passenger vehicles. The Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program was designed to help our two-wheeled friends to defend themselves on our roadways. This program offers some serious motorcycle riding courses for riders in an attempt to teach them how to navigate our roadways as safely as possible. In 2009, there were nearly 100 motorcyclist fatalities in the state of Alabama. Most of these motorcycle accidents occurred in Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, Mobil and Baldwin counties.

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Prom & Graduation Season: Car Accidents in Tuscaloosa and Elsewhere

Apr 23, 2012 - Tuscaloosa by

Officials are already doing their part in pushing for prom and graduation safety — all we need now is the participation of area high school students. According to ABC 33/40, Central Alabama’s largest emergency ambulance service provider is working alongside other public safety agencies and Tuscaloosa County High School’s Pride Chapter to kickoff this year’s “Prom Promise.” The goal of Prom Promise is to reduce drinking and driving. It’s an all too common scenario, alcohol-related car accidents in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere throughout the state during prom and graduation season. Many of these types of accidents wind up with fatal results. Don’t let your teen become a victim. Ask them to make the Prom Promise and vow to be safe and sober behind the wheel during this year’s prom. “If we can stop at least one person from doing this on prom night, then all our efforts are worth it!” said Debbie Blake, the Operations Manager for NEMS Tuscaloosa.

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Alabama Personal Injury Expert Testimony and a Look at Newell Rubbermaid v. Raymond Corp.

Apr 18, 2012 - Dangerous Products/Liability by

You can sustain an injury doing almost anything. But when you suffer an injury because of someone else, how do you prove that they are at fault? One of the key components to proving certain types of Tuscaloosa personal injury cases is providing expert witness testimony. The law governing expert witness testimony is complex. Federal Rule of Evidence (FRE) 702 governs the admissibility of expert witness testimony in federal court i.e. necessary qualifications of an expert witness, requirement that expert’s testimony be based on reliable principles and methods. In Newell Rubbermaid v. Raymond Corp. a federal appeals court addressed, among other things, the admissibility of expert witness testimony. This case arose where Hashman (Victim) was working in a factory for Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. (Newell or Employer). The victim was required to use a Dockstocker forklift which was manufactured by Raymond (Manufacturer). As part of the design of this forklift, the rear of the machine had no guard door to protect the operator.

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Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"After my husband was injured in a burn accident at work, we felt the accident could have been avoided. I was not sure where to start, but after careful research, we met with Justin Smith and shared our experience. From day one, we felt we were in good hands. Justin and Dell explained everything and kept us informed from start to finish. It was a complicated case that took an outside the box approach. Both Justin and Dell made us feel like part of the team."
Posted By: Rhonda Moore

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