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The ad popped-up again in my Facebook feed. The headline screamed, “Have You Been Injured? You May Be Entitled To Compensation!” The post showed graphic pictures of cars crushed together following a crash. It was designed to grab attention. It did. We’ve all heard and seen that headline in numerous lawyer ads. Of course, that’s the call line of almost every lawyer advertisement! But, this ad was different.

How was that Facebook ad different? Most attorney ads contain the name of the lawyer or law firm. Not so with this ad. The ad never mentioned the lawyer’s name or firm. Silence. Instead, the ad was designed to appear like some advocacy group. Fill out this intake form and we’ll help you find a lawyer. Interesting!

The ad reminded me of The Wizard Of Oz. Who’s behind that curtain? Who’s really pulling the strings? If you run a law firm, you are constantly bombarded with emails from “lead generation” services. All these services promise cases for a price. They are awful. So, I suspected the ad was simply some lead generation service.

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Huntsville Personal Injury AttorneysA recent Huntsville news article tells the story of a bicyclist injured in a hit-and-run. This accident happened on a roadway in the City of Madison. But, the story is all too common.

A car hits a cyclist. Instead of stopping and helping, the driver speeds away. The cyclist is left on the road injured. Hit-and-run accidents involving cyclists are very common.

Afterwards, the police search for the offender. Maybe a witness saw something that helps identify the vehicle. Maybe a business along the roadway has a camera. In the last few years, we’ve obtained some good video footage in several car accident cases. Sometimes, the police locate the driver. But, in many cases they do not. In most cases, the driver who caused the crash is never identified.

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Personal Injury CaseI recently saw a law firm post that asked — What trauma do children experience from accidents? Interesting question. Unfortunately, that law firm’s post simply listed a number of specific physical injuries. The post simply listed injuries that could be suffered by children as well as adults. They were not providing useful information. Instead, they were writing for Google search. A list of physical injuries might help that law firm with Google search but it does very little to answer important questions. It provides no real answers.

If your child suffers an injury from a car accident, you need to talk to the doctor. You need to talk with your child’s pediatrician or an appropriate specialist. In Huntsville and Birmingham, we even have orthopedics who sub-specialize in spine and bone injuries to children. It’s essential that potential injuries be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Proper treatment is key to the best recovery.

While that other firm’s post provided little or no useful information, I did start thinking — What is unique about car accident injuries to minors that you might need to know? How do personal injury claims for children differ from those to adults? What key information is important to know? If a parent were looking for information about their child’s accident, what might be important? Here are four key areas where Alabama personal injury claims for children differ from those to adults:

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Huntsville Workers Compensation AttorneysAccording to the new Amazon CEO, the company’s “injury rates are sometimes misunderstood.” I guess that’s his “spin” on the high numbers. In modern society, “I’m just misunderstood” seems to be the first defense for people who do NOT want accountability for their bad or dangerous decisions!

The Amazon CEO’s letter reminds me of a construction injury case I worked several years ago. I represented a steel worker who suffered disabling injuries in a worksite fall on a Huntsville project. The contractor did nothing for safety — No real safety plan. No real safety meetings. No real safety equipment. At trial, the construction company’s executive claimed his company was safe and my case was just a “misunderstanding” of their safety culture. The executive then bragged from the witness stand about a safety award the company won (and proudly displayed on its website). Here’s the problem with their so-called award — It was a complete spin. They had multiple accidents and even deaths on their worksites. The award only counted project managers. It did not count the workers doing the real (and dangerous) jobs. It was a fake award. If any “misunderstanding” existed, it was because the company was trying to spin its safety failures. Fortunately, the truth came out in our trial. We were able to hold the company accountable for all our client’s personal injuries and damages.

Is safety a real concern or not? Do some companies manipulate the numbers to lie about their safety record? Are these companies simply “misunderstood” as Amazon’s CEO claims? What’s the real truth?

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Distracted Driving Injury AttorneysDing!

You glance down at the phone to read a text. Then, you look back at the road ahead.

Ding!

You glance down to read another text. When you look back to the road this time – the car in front of you is stopped! All you see are red brake lights. It’s too late.

Crash!

That’s how quickly distractions can result in car crashes. A crash at normal roadway speeds creates a huge risk of serious personal injury. We hear some version of this story almost every week. A story of distraction while texting, selecting songs, or other uses of a cellphone. Continue reading →

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Car Accident LawyersIn the current gig-economy, some companies have constructed huge enterprises based on business models that classify their entire workforce as independent contractors. By classifying their workers as independent contractors rather than employees, these companies shift their costs onto the workers and communities they serve.

Traditionally, companies paid payroll taxes on employees. And, companies provided benefits (such as workers’ compensation) for employees. Neither is true with independent contractors. The costs and taxes are shifted to the worker. Work-related injury and disability costs are shifted first to the worker. But, when the worker is unable to pay, these costs are borne by the entire community. In past years, I’ve written several articles discussing why basic workers compensation benefits are important to our entire community.

Employee classification matters for several reasons. Today, I’ll stick to a topic I frequently discuss — Workers’ Compensation In Alabama.

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Untitled-design-3-300x300A recent insurance journal headline reads, Positive Drug Tests In US Workforce Highest In Two Decades. According to the article, positive drug test rates increased another 4.6% in 2021. The rate shows a 31.4% increase from its all-time low just 10 years ago. In isolation, those statistics are troubling. Let’s talk a little more about the potential impact of increasing employee drug use on accidents and injuries. An increase in drug impairment means an increase in dangers among employees on worksites. It also means an increase in dangers to the public, especially on our roads and highways. Today, I’ll address a couple areas of concern as well as one area of potential long-term good news.

Do Changing Marijuana Laws Impact Workers Compensation Claims? And Other Personal Injury Claims?

I’ve written several times about the potential impact of changing marijuana beliefs and laws on work-related accidents. In Alabama, our work comp law bars claims where (1) the worker was impaired; and, (2) that impairment proximately caused the accident. That second requirement – the impairment proximately caused the accident – is likely to be a key issue in more future cases.

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Worker-Safety-Is-Important-For-Everyone-300x300Last Fall, I wrote about two deadly trench collapses in the Huntsville area. One trench collapse involved a private construction company in Madison. The other involved a City of Huntsville project and public employees. Year-after-year, trench collapses are one of the most frequent causes of construction site wrongful deaths.

Were these two deadly construction accidents treated differently? Yes. After an investigation, OSHA fined the private contractor in Madison for its fatal accident. The City’s public project? That’s a different story. The City was not cited for the dangerous worksite it created. And, it did create one. A 20 foot deep, unprotected trench, is a reckless and dangerous condition. It’s inexcusable for the City to put its workers in such tremendous danger!

Why were the two different sites treated differently? Why do workers employed with private companies get some protection from OSHA while many public workers do not? All workers deserve a safe workplace!

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Best OfI saw the picture on Facebook. The Huntsville lawyer stands smiling next to his desk. On the desk sits a large glass (or plastic) trophy. I cannot remember the name of the award. It was probably “Best Lawyer Across From The Courthouse In Downtown Huntsville!” I’m sure it was the best of something. I also know this — The same company sent an email to lawyers across Alabama promising to award them “the best of….” for only a small price. For a couple hundred dollars they could also stand next to the trophy and market themselves to unsuspecting clients. It’s a scam.

I’ll give you another example. Last week, some website published a list of its 20 best personal injury lawyers in Huntsville. I only heard of this list because another lawyer was laughing about it. Why was he laughing? This lawyer tried multiple car accident cases in Madison County last year. Our firm tried some as well. He was laughing because he hadn’t seen the listed lawyers at the courthouse.

The list was quite interesting. It contained 3 or 4 criminal lawyers who don’t even handle personal injury cases. It included a firm that advertises for car accident cases but secretly has a deal to refer the cases to an outside lawyer for a fee. That advertising firm even put a real small print disclaimer on one of its website pages. The reality — They don’t try accident and injury cases. I think that type of misleading advertising is horrible. The list also had a semi-retired local lawyer on it. These firms contributed in exchange for a fake “vanity” listing and internet link they could market.

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Alabama Workers Compensation LawyersI’ve written a couple times about first responders in Alabama and the need for benefits related to PTSD. Many state legislatures are currently considering proposals to provide additional benefits to first responders for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Alabama Legislature has considered proposals in the past and is also considering one in the current legislative session.

After a couple pandemic years which saw first responders stretched to the limit, this discussion is really important. Let’s look at this issue a little closer.

How Does Alabama Work Comp Law Fall Short On Covering PTSD?

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