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Category: Tuscaloosa

Distracted Driving Series Part 1: Visual Distractions

Jul 30, 2021 - Car Accidents by

Ask any Tuscaloosa auto accident attorney, and they will tell you, distracted driving is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents throughout Alabama. There are three different types of distracted driving: visual, manual and cognitive. In Part 1 of this three-part series, we will discuss visual distractions that cause drivers to take their eyes off the road. Even for a moment, looking at anything not related to driving a motor vehicle can lead to a serious accident. 

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How Can Criminal Litigation Impact an Injury Lawsuit?

Jun 16, 2021 - Personal Injury by

Work With an Experienced Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident due to the fault of another, then you may be entitled to damages under Alabama law.  It’s worth noting, however, that — in some cases — there may be a parallel criminal proceeding alongside your civil lawsuit.  This can be concerning for first-time injury plaintiffs who are not quite sure how the two proceedings are interlinked.

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Incriminating Statements in Alabama Car Accidents

Apr 30, 2021 - Car Accidents by

Seek Guidance from an Experienced Tuscaloosa Car Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then the defendant-driver (assuming they do not leave the scene of the accident immediately) may make incriminating statements that could benefit you in your lawsuit.

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Who Can You Sue in a Car Accident Involving an Uninsured Driver?

Apr 16, 2021 - Car Accidents by

Let a Tuscaloosa Car Accident Attorney Help If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, Alabama law may entitle you to sue and recover damages.  Generally speaking, the “standard” car accident lawsuit targets the defendant-driver whose negligent conduct directly caused the accident.  For example, you might sue a speeding driver who lost control over their vehicle and sideswiped your vehicle.

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Crosswalk Injury Claims in Alabama

Mar 31, 2021 - Personal Injury by

Our Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney is Ready to Handle Your Claim If you’ve been injured as a pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident, then Alabama law may entitle you to a significant amount of damages as compensation.  Pursuing compensation under Alabama law isn’t always straightforward. There are unique issues in pedestrian accident law that can complicate the dispute and make it more difficult to obtain damages.

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Negligent Security Claims in Alabama

Sep 30, 2020 - Personal Injury by

Let Our Experienced Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney Help If you are on another’s property and were injured due to a criminal attack by a third-party, then Alabama law may entitle you to sue and recover damages from the property owner or possessor.  After all, you may be able to assert that the defendant is liable for negligent security — for failing to implement property safety measures to protect visitors from third-party criminal activity. Negligent security claims are somewhat non-standard, so let’s clarify with a basic introduction to how they work. How a Negligent Security Claim Works — Foreseeability Negligent security claims are a subcategory of premises liability claims.  In essence, a defendant-landlord (or any other party “possessing” and “controlling” a given property) has a responsibility to maintain given premises in a reasonably safe condition for visitors.  If a visitor is injured due to a dangerous condition of the property, then the defendant could be held liable for failing to correct the hazard, or for failing to warn the visitor about the hazard. Where the situation can get confusing is third-party criminal activity. Generally, there is no duty on a defendant — in the premises liability context — to protect visitors from third-party criminal activity, such as a battery or a mugging.  However, a duty to take action (by taking steps to minimize such risks) will be imposed in circumstances where the third-party criminal activity was foreseeable. The issue of foreseeability is central to the plaintiff presenting a successful negligent security claim.  […]

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How Does Comprehensive Medical Insurance Coverage Impact My Damages Claim?

Sep 16, 2020 - Personal Injury by

Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney Here to Help You If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence (or other misconduct), then Alabama law may give you a right to sue and recover significant damages as compensation. These compensatory damages include medical expenses suffered due to the defendant’s misconduct.  For example, if you fractured your legs in a car accident caused by a drunk driving defendant, then they would be liable for the various medical expenses associated with the injuries: diagnostics, surgical intervention, pharmaceutical treatment, rehabilitation, and more. First-time plaintiffs may be left somewhat confused.  Does the fact that they have comprehensive medical insurance (and therefore paid nothing out-of-pocket for their treatment) impact their ability to claim medical expenses as damages? No, it does not!  Let’s take a closer look. Out-of-Pocket Costs Are Unnecessary for Recovery In Alabama, and other jurisdictions, plaintiffs may recover for their medical expenses in full, even if they did not suffer out-of-pocket costs (due to having purchased comprehensive insurance coverage). For example, suppose that you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, and have to undergo $50,000 in surgeries (along with other related medical costs).  As part of your overall damages claim, you assert a claim for medical expenses of $50,000.  In reality, however, you did not have to pay a single cent out-of-pocket, as your medical insurance covered those costs completely.  Despite that, the defendant would still be “on the hook” for the $50,000 — assuming you could establish liability. At first […]

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Does an Uncommon Fragility Prevent Recovery?

Aug 31, 2020 - Personal Injury by

Work With a Skilled Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney Not all plaintiffs are built the same way.  Some may have unique sensitivities or fragilities that make them more susceptible to certain injuries — but can these fragilities impact their ability to sue and recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit? Let’s take a closer look. What is an Eggshell Skull Plaintiff? In the personal injury context, an eggshell skull plaintiff is an injury victim who is particularly fragile, and who therefore suffered more severe injuries (physical or mental) as a result of the defendant’s misconduct. This may seem a bit confusing at first glance, so let’s clarify with a brief example. Suppose that you have “brittle bones.”  Your condition doesn’t cause you any additional pain or issues normally, but if you were to be involved in a car accident, then you are much more likely to not only suffer a fracture but for that fracture to lead to debilitating injuries.  As such, if you did suffer those injuries in a car accident, you would be considered an “eggshell skull plaintiff.” Understanding How Liability is Imposed It’s important to highlight this fact: eggshell skull plaintiffs (i.e., plaintiffs who are uniquely fragile) are entitled to a full and adequate recovery, even if their damages are more than what the “typical” person would have suffered under the same circumstances. So, for example, in our previous eggshell skull explanation, the eggshell skull plaintiff might have suffered $150,000 in damages.  They would be entitled to recover this […]

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Can You Sue Your Employer for an Injury at Work?

Aug 17, 2020 - Personal Injury by

Experienced Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney If you’ve been injured at work, then you may be entitled to workers’ compensation.  These benefits are quite useful in that they do not require that you prove the employer engaged in any misconduct — instead, you need only prove that you were injured (through no fault of your own), and you will receive some form of benefit that can defray your losses. Workers’ compensation may not always be enough, however, particularly in severe injury cases.  At that point, some of the legal limitations can serve as a barrier.  Let’s take a closer look at how to overcome these barriers and sue your employer directly. Workers’ Compensation May Prevent a Negligence Suit Workers’ compensation laws — in Alabama and elsewhere — prohibit a negligence-based lawsuit against one’s employer by covered employees.  Those employees must seek recovery through the workers’ compensation process. This can be a problem, in part because workers’ compensation — though helpful — is not a complete form of recovery.  It does not cover pain and suffering damages, for example, which in some cases can be substantial. Reckless and Intentional Acts May Enable a Lawsuit In Alabama, and in other states, employers are not completely shielded from a lawsuit simply because their employees are covered by workers’ compensation.  In certain circumstances, an employer can be held liable — specifically, if the employer engaged in reckless or intentional misconduct. How does this work?  Let’s use two counterexamples to clarify. Suppose that you are injured in […]

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Getting “Bonus” Punitive Damages in an Accident Claim

Jul 31, 2020 - Personal Injury by

Experienced Injury Attorney in Tuscaloosa, AL If you have been injured in an accident, in Alabama or elsewhere, then you may be entitled to damages as compensation for the harm caused.  For example, if a defendant slams into your car from the side, then you could ostensibly sue and recover for past and future medical expenses. This category of damages — known as “compensatory” damages — is not necessarily the only one available to injured plaintiffs.  In fact, many high-value, multimillion-dollar recoveries are based on punitive damages.  Punitive damages are only infrequently awarded, but they are an important aspect to consider when bringing a case against the defendant. Let’s take a closer look. What Are Punitive Damages? Punitive damages are meant to “punish” the liable defendant for particularly egregious or malicious conduct.  Simple negligence is not enough to qualify for punitive damages — the defendant must have done something with reckless disregard for the safety of others, or even have done something with intentional malice.  For example, if a defendant crashes into you intentionally because they are angry, or drunk, the court may decide to award punitive damages in that case. Punitive damages multiply the amount of compensatory damages by up to seven times.  If you have a case worth $100,000 (i.e., medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc.), then the punitive damages claim could be as much as $700,000, for a grand total of $800,000 recovered. Courts may exercise discretion in choosing to award punitive damages, and generally […]

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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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