Cross & Smith LLC


Judicial Review in Workers’ Compensation Cases Discussed in Gilmore v. Director, Department of Labor

Apr 9, 2012 - Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

The law surrounding workers’ compensation (WC) for federal employees is very complex. In many cases, a federal employee’s initial application for WC can mean the difference between receiving benefits or not. This is why it is so important to complete your workers’ compensation petition properly. Our experienced Tuscaloosa Workers’ Compensation Attorneys understand how important this is, and we can help protect your rights at each stage of the process. Gilmore v. Director, Department of Labor is an 11th Circuit workers’ compensation case that centers on jurisdiction and the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). “FECA is a comprehensive and exclusive workers’ compensation scheme for federal civilian employees who are injured or killed while performing their work duties. ” Gilmore v. Director, Department of Labor, No. 11-12747 (11th Cir. Feb. 6, 2012); see also Nobel v. United States, 216 F.3d 1229, 1234 (11 Cir. 2000).

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Alabama Personal Injury: Car Accidents Target of Distracted Driving Month

Apr 3, 2012 - Car Accidents by

This is the month! It’s the month to put an end to talking on your cell phone and text messaging behind the wheel. Why this month? Because it’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month 2012! It’s as good of a month as ever. Every year, throughout the entire month of April, the National Safety Council, our Alabama personal injury attorneys and safe driving advocates across the country work together to help to spread the word about the dangers associated with distracted driving and to encourage more drivers to hang up the phone, put distraction aside, and focus on the road. The truth of the matter is that distraction-related car accidents took the lives of more than 3,000 people in 2010. That’s 3,000 people who didn’t have to die. They were killed by the irresponsibility of drivers. Our Tuscaloosa injury lawyers understand that about 25 percent of all motor vehicle accidents involve a driver who is distracted by the use of a cell phone. That’s no surprise when you consider that using either a hand-held or a hands-free cell phone makes a driver four times more likely to get into an accident. Texting increases a driver’s risk for an accident by nearly 25 times. It’s so bad that using a cell phone at the wheel gives a driver the same reaction time as a driver who is legally drunk. Using a cell phone while driving reduces the amount of brain activity that is associated with driving by about 40 percent.

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Expert Testimony and Alabama Personal Injury: a Look at Dubiel v. Montana Department of Transportation

Mar 27, 2012 - Personal Injury by

When you are injured because of the fault of someone else, establishing liability can be complicated. Our Tuscaloosa injury attorneys understand that the law is complex, and we can help defend your rights in the wake of a serious or fatal accident. Dubiel v. Montana Department of Transportation is a case that examines the plaintiff’s burden of proof in injury cases based on negligence. This case is important because it shows the importance of expert testimony in Tuscaloosa injury cases. Jerome Dubiel was traveling on a highway in Montana during a time of extremely high winds. These winds persisted for two hours causing trees to be blown down and scatter on the road. There were several employees from the Montana Department of Transportation (“MDT”) within the area assessing road conditions, working on the power lines, as well as removing trees from the roads. Jerome was temporarily stopped by an employee of the MDT who was clearing debris from the highway, when a tree fell onto Jerome’s car causing him to suffer a fatal injury. Subsequently, the MDT closed the highway due to weather and road conditions. However, the MDT contends that they did not know of Jerome’s accident when they decided to close the highway.

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Alabama Truck Accidents Have Variety of Causes

Mar 6, 2012 - Bessemer by

Our Bessemer accident attorneys have seen far too many crashes caused by truckers who were either distracted, fatigued or reckless. Causes of accidents involving large trucks over 10,000 pounds are as varied as the people behind the wheel. A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2/car-accidents/alabama-traffic-accidents-likely-to-increase-with-economic-recovery/ looked at the top causes of large truck crashes, and this is what they found: Of a sample of 120,000 large truck crashes analyzed, at least one person was killed in every single case. In nearly 80 percent of these cases, the large truck was pulling one semi-trailer. In 5 percent of the cases, the trucks were hauling materials deemed hazardous. Also in about 75 percent of these crashes, the truck struck another vehicle. When investigators look at the causes of the crash, they sometimes have to analyze what was happening hours, days or even months prior to a crash. That’s because crashes can involve elements such as driver fatigue, driver training and experience or the design and manufacturing of the vehicle itself.

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Construction Zones are Dangerous for Motorists and Workers

Feb 28, 2012 - Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

Our Alabama workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyers understand that construction zones are dangerous for both motorists and workers, especially when people aren’t paying attention. According to The National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, there were more than 575 people killed in work zones in the U.S. in 2009. Alabama sees nearly a dozen of these kinds of fatalities a year. Of the nationwide fatalities, nearly 50 of the 575 were the result of a pedestrian accident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle or a piece of mobile equipment. Last year, released a statement discussing the importance of driver attention and worker protection in our nation’s work zones. The organization asked motorists to practice safe driving in these areas to help protect our roadside workers. Motorists are asked to slow it down, to be cautious on uneven pavement, to abide by posted work zone signs, to stay away from workers and work zone equipment, to keep an eye out for other drivers and to expect the unexpected. Employers are asked to ensure that workers have all of the proper safety equipment to help to reduce the risks of these accidents. With cautious travel and safe working habits, we can all do our part to help to stop these kinds of accidents.

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Reduction of Birmingham and Alabama Car Accidents the Aim of Anti-Texting Bill

Feb 21, 2012 - Birmingham by

In an effort to curb Birmingham car accidents and crashes across the state, a new anti-texting bill is getting widespread support in Alabama’s House of Representatives. The Birmingham News is reporting that a number of high-level lawmakers are backing the bill, which would completely outlaw texting behind the wheel in our state. The way our Birmingham car accident attorneys understand it, anyone who violates this law would be slapped with a $25 fine for the first offense, $50 for the second conviction and $75 for the third or subsequent offense. Some wonder if the bill even goes far enough, considering the devastation that distracted driving can cause on Alabama’s roads.

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Bill Aims to Reduce Risk of Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Alabama

Feb 15, 2012 - Car Accidents by

A new bill is expected to be offered in Washington that will potentially rework federal transportation programs to offer millions of dollars in funding to deserving states for incentives to help to reduce the risks of drunk driving car accidents in Alabama and elsewhere. The goal is to help lawmakers enact tougher penalties for those convicted of a first-time drunk driving offense, according to The Hill. Not everyone’s on board though, saying that these kinds of programs require millions and millions of dollars to be successful. It’s takes community effort and seemingly endless funds for these types of programs. What we’re talking about is Title V. This bill could potentially free up about $500 million every year for highway safety grants in deserving states. About 5 percent, or about $25 million, of that funding would be handed over to states that already require ignition interlock devices for first-time drunk driving offenders. Drunk drivers scare us, too! Our Alabama drunk driving accident attorneys understand that every year, drunk drivers take the lives of thousands of innocent motorists across the U.S. What’s most sad about it is that these accidents are preventable. These victims didn’t have to die.

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Parents and Passengers Affecting Teen’s Risks for Car Accidents in Alabama, Nation

Feb 7, 2012 - Car Accidents by

Teens are at high risks for car accidents in Montgomery, Alabama and elsewhere. Their inexperience behind the wheel hinders their ability to safely navigate our roadways. But did you know there are things you and your teen driver may be doing that can be increasing those risks? According to two new studies released in the Journal of Adolescent Health, passengers and parental involvement can make or break your teen’s safety behind the wheel. Both of the recent studies concluded that comprehensive graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) programs and parental oversight are effective ways to help to reduce the risks of teen car accidents. One of the studies looked at the driving habits of nearly 200 teenage drivers in 15 different states with graduated drivers licensing (GDL) programs. After analyzing their driving behaviors, researchers concluded that teens who had parents who were involved in monitoring the young driver’s habits were less likely to act dangerously behind the wheel. The teen drivers with parents who stayed aware of their teen’s whereabouts and their driving habits were typically safer behind the wheel.

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Super Bowl Sunday Second Deadliest for Drunk Driving Accidents in Tuscaloosa, Nation

Feb 2, 2012 - Car Accidents by

The Super Bowl is this Sunday! Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. While neither of the teams are from Alabama, people throughout the state are sure to pile in front of the TV to enjoy the biggest football game of the year with friends and family members. Some of us will be gathering at house parties. Others will be getting together at local restaurants and bars for Super Bowl parties. What none of us should be doing is getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Super Bowl Sunday sees more drunk driving car accidents in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere than any other day of the year aside from New Year’s Day. This year’s drunk driving prevention campaign is called “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk,” and it’s being put on by the U.S Department of Transportation (USDOT), law enforcement officials nationwide and the Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a subsidiary of the USDOT, there have been roughly 180,000 football fans have already signed up to be a designated driver this season. These drivers are the key to safer roadways, especially on Super Bowl Sunday.

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School Bus Accident in Alabama Sends 20 Students to Hospital

Jan 30, 2012 - Bus Accidents by

A recent school bus accident in southeast Alabama sent 20 students to local hospitals. According to The Washington Post, the bus accident happened just after 7:00 a.m. as the bus made its way to Goshen’s Elementary and Goshen’s High Schools. On the school bus at the time of the accident were 40 students. Twenty-one were transported to ambulances to local hospitals and Troy and Luverne. Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas says that the weather contributed to the accidents. He says that weather conditions were poor and it was raining hard when the bus flipped. Still, an official cause of the accident has yet to be released by authorities. Some reports indicate that the rear tire of the school bus left the roadways shortly before it overturned. “It’s just an unfortunate accident. Right now we’re focusing on providing support to the students and their parents,” said Dr. Mark Bazzell, the superintendent of Pike County Schools. Our Alabama school bus accident lawyers understand that there are about 9 billion school bus trips that are made every year. Less than 450,000 school buses make these 9 billion trips. On these trips are nearly 25 million students. The trips are made to and from school, athletic events, camps and religious events. It is estimated that more than 25 school-aged bus riders are killed in these types of accidents every year. Hundreds of others are injured.

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"My father-in-law was involved in a horrible traffic accident. The firm was great at handling all of his questions. In the end they got him a great settlement, but the thing he remembers most is that the people at the law firm cared about him as a person. I would highly recommend them to anyone in need of legal services."
Posted By: Jaimie Copeland

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