Cross & Smith LLC


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).

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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).

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"I highly recommend Cross & Smith. They are an excellent law firm with attorneys who care greatly about the individuals they are representing. "
Posted By: Robert Upchurch

Read More Reviews