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Category: Birmingham

Fatal Truck Crash Reportedly Caused by Fatigued Driver

Aug 25, 2014 - Birmingham by

A truck driver’s lack of sleep is blamed for a crash that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed another comedian in New Jersey. Authorities say the 35-year-old Georgia driver hadn’t slept for 24 hours before the crash, which occurred when he failed to stop for slowed traffic on the highway. Federal law limits driving to 11 hours in a 14-hour period, followed by 10 hours of rest, although the driver’s employer, Wal-Mart, insists he was operating within those guidelines. The truck was equipped with safety systems designed to slow the rig’s speed and notify the driver of stopped traffic ahead, but it’s unclear whether the technology was activated or that the system was operational at the time of the crash. Birmingham truck accident attorneys recognize that while this case is under investigation, truck driver fatigue continues to be a serious ongoing problem throughout the country despite recent legislation. Every year, truck crashes kill more than 5,000 people and injure nearly 150,000. And yet, just days before that deadly crash, the Senate Appropriations Committee moved to weaken safety rules pertaining to truck standards. Last summer, officials passed a number of “restart” regulations requiring truckers to rest for at least 34 straight hours from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., prior to their next work week. The primary goal was to reduce the amount of driver fatigue. The new rules also limited the maximum work week from a maximum of 82 hours down to 70 hours, and drivers were also mandated to […]

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Volcano Enterprises, Inc. v. Rush – Alabama Supreme Court Rules on DUI Death Lawsuit

Aug 25, 2014 - Birmingham by

Plaintiffs in Alabama personal injury cases should take care to exhaust every means of serving defendants notification of a complaint before proceeding with service by publication. That’s the lesson gleaned in Volcano Enterprises, Inc. v. Rush, recently decided by the Alabama Supreme Court. The decision effectively vacates an earlier award of $37 million in favor of a family whose choir minister husband/father was killed by a drunk, off-duty Birmingham police officer in 2009. Birmingham DUI injury lawyers know the officer received 12 years in prison on a charge of reckless manslaughter, and was also ordered to pay $3 million in civil damages. The criminal court additionally ordered him to pay $43,000 in restitution. The $37 million liability claim was against the strip club that had served alcohol that night to a patron whom plaintiffs allege was already visibly impaired by the time he arrived. He had reportedly consumed hard liquor in his vehicle while waiting for a friend to show up after their shift. Birmingham DUI injury lawyers know the officer received 12 years in prison on a charge of reckless manslaughter, and was also ordered to pay $3 million in civil damages. The criminal court additionally ordered him to pay $43,000 in restitution. The $37 million liability claim was against the strip club that had served alcohol that night to a patron whom plaintiffs allege was already visibly impaired by the time he arrived. He had reportedly consumed hard liquor in his vehicle while waiting for a friend to […]

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Fatal Truck Crash Reportedly Caused by Fatigued Driver

Jun 10, 2014 - Birmingham by

A truck driver’s lack of sleep is blamed for a crash that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed another comedian in New Jersey. Authorities say the 35-year-old Georgia driver hadn’t slept for 24 hours before the crash, which occurred when he failed to stop for slowed traffic on the highway. Federal law limits driving to 11 hours in a 14-hour period, followed by 10 hours of rest, although the driver’s employer, Wal-Mart, insists he was operating within those guidelines. The truck was equipped with safety systems designed to slow the rig’s speed and notify the driver of stopped traffic ahead, but it’s unclear whether the technology was activated or that the system was operational at the time of the crash.

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Report: Southern Pedestrians at High Risk — Birmingham Ranks 6th

Jun 8, 2014 - Birmingham by

Researchers at Smart Growth America recently analyzed the safety of pedestrians nationwide, finding that not only is the problem worsening, but it’s especially bad in the South. In particular, the Dangerous by Design 2014 report found the Birmingham-Hoover metro area to be the sixth-most dangerous place for walkers in the country. Study authors calculated the ranks by determining the average number of pedestrians versus the number of those killed on the streets and sidewalks. This gave them what they called the “pedestrian danger index,” or PDI. Birmingham-Hoover tallied 148 pedestrian deaths between 2003 and 2012, resulting in a PDI of 125.6. Compare this to Houston, Texas, which had a total of 1,034 pedestrian fatalities during those years, yet ranked No. 7 with a PDI of 119.64. Rounding out the top 10, all but one of those cities (Phoenix, Arizona) was in the southeastern part of the U.S. Birmingham injury lawyers recognize these areas grew rapidly as post-war suburbia brought roads to rural areas. That meant wide streets and fast speed limits, primarily catering to motor vehicles. Pedestrians were an afterthought, if they were a thought at all.

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Volcano Enterprises, Inc. v. Rush – Alabama Supreme Court Rules on DUI Death Lawsuit

May 27, 2014 - Birmingham by

Plaintiffs in Alabama personal injury cases should take care to exhaust every means of serving defendants notification of a complaint before proceeding with service by publication. That’s the lesson gleaned in Volcano Enterprises, Inc. v. Rush, recently decided by the Alabama Supreme Court. The decision effectively vacates an earlier award of $37 million in favor of a family whose choir minister husband/father was killed by a drunk, off-duty Birmingham police officer in 2009. Birmingham DUI injury lawyers know the officer received 12 years in prison on a charge of reckless manslaughter, and was also ordered to pay $3 million in civil damages. The criminal court additionally ordered him to pay $43,000 in restitution. The $37 million liability claim was against the strip club that had served alcohol that night to a patron whom plaintiffs allege was already visibly impaired by the time he arrived. He had reportedly consumed hard liquor in his vehicle while waiting for a friend to show up after their shift.

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Alabama Lawnmower Injuries a Spring Risk

Apr 25, 2014 - Birmingham by

Every year, emergency room administrators report more than 250,000 people receive urgent care after suffering lawn mower injuries – with nearly 7 percent of those being children. May and June are the peak time for these incidents, so it’s a good time for our Birmingham personal injury lawyers to broach the subject, particularly considering that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that the risk of such incidents has risen in recent years. In Alabama, an 8-year-old boy who was killed in 2010 in Gurley when authorities say he was accidentally run over by his father’s lawn mower. Two years later, a 6-year-old girl in Florence was killed after she fell off a lawn mower she’d been riding on with an adult. In some cases, operator error or negligence is to blame for such incidents. Other times, faulty product design, manufacturing or failure to warn could cause or contribute to serious or fatal injury.

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Alabama Truck Accident Case Heard by State Supreme Court

Apr 3, 2014 - Birmingham by

The Alabama Supreme Court recently denied a request for a change of venue in a truck accident case involving two commercial truck drivers who collided in Mobile County. In the lawsuit, Cruz v. J&W Enterprises, LLC, the defendant trucker and his employer requested that the case be moved from Clarke County to Mobile County, on the basis of forum non conveniens – or in other words, what is more convenient to the parties involved. As Birmingham truck accident lawyers, we recognize that many times, there is more than one appropriate venue, but in those cases, there must be sufficient grounds on which to justify a move before a court will approve it.

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Alabama Bicycle Safety: Deep South Most Dangerous for Cyclists

Mar 12, 2014 - Birmingham by

Alabama is one of the most dangerous places for bicyclists, ranking fourth in the nation for the rate of cyclist deaths. That’s according to a benchmark study released by the National Alliance for Biking and Walking. In fact, as a more recent report by The Atlantic points out, the Deep South in general has a horrible track record when it comes to cyclist safety. Our Birmingham personal injury lawyers note 10 states in the country had the highest pedalcyclist fatality rates: Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Delaware and Arkansas.

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Alabama Car Accidents & Disproving Contributory Negligence

Mar 6, 2014 - Birmingham by

There are many states in which a plaintiff can be at least partially at-fault for an auto accident and still collect compensation – these states adhere to the doctrine of comparative negligence. The degree to which a plaintiff is negligent is called “comparative fault” and the higher it is, the more it will impact the overall amount of compensation to which a plaintiff is entitled. Alabama, though, is different. As our Birmingham car accident attorneys must sometimes explain, here, if a plaintiff is partially at-fault the claim is completely barred under a legal doctrine known as contributory negligence.

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Fatal Fires — Alabama Nursing Home Disaster Plans Fall Short

Feb 2, 2014 - Birmingham by

Recently, 10 people in Quebec died and another two dozen more were presumed dead following a nursing home fire that broke out in frigid temperatures that thwarted rescue efforts. A resident smoking a cigarette is a possible cause of the blaze. Meanwhile in Connecticut, the case of Lexington Ins. Co. v. Lexington Healthcare Group, Inc., was recently reviewed by the state’s supreme court, following a dispute over assignation of blame following a 2003 nursing home fire. The blaze resulted in 13 claims of wrongful death and serious bodily injury. Although most of those injured and their survivors had been compensated in various settlements, the case between the nursing home and the insurance company continues to drag on. Our nursing home negligence lawyers know both of these cases underscore the need for facilities in Birmingham to have solid fire prevention and disaster response plans in place. Failure to have a proper plan or to follow it can be the basis for a nursing home negligence claim in cases where such failure results in injury or death.

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