Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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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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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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Huntsville Accident & Injury LawyersI’ve written more posts about the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) than I can count. Most of my OSHA-related articles discuss specific safety hazards or issues that impact my Alabama clients. In some articles, I discuss specific citations at Alabama businesses.

One of my primary complaints — OSHA is undermanned and underfunded. The Agency should protect working men and women. In theory, it does. In reality, it lacks the manpower to conduct needed inspections. Unsafe workplaces across the United States go without inspection until a deadly accident leaves families grieving the loss of a loved one. This lack of manpower and inspections are issues I’ve discussed many times. So, I’ll leave it for today.

Are OSHA inspections and violations public record? Someone recently asked our office this question. Yes, they are accessible. In many prior cases, I’ve obtained OSHA reports or data. Through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, you can find detailed information about violations and other incidents. In prior cases, I’ve found key information from these FOIA requests. I’ve also obtained information from OSHA’s Birmingham area office. But, I’m not writing simply to list the steps in a FOIA request. Nor am I writing to list addresses that are available in a simple Google search. Instead, I want to talk about a couple serious ways OSHA can help your injury case. I also want to discuss a third way OSHA should impact safety through our work comp system. Unfortunately, it does not in Alabama.

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Huntsville Truck Injury AttorneysThe U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently released detailed data on truck driver drug testing. The data shows drug violations among truckers increased in 2021. One truck driver website reported the information as follows:

Violations reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse were up 10.2% in 2021 compared to 2020, according to FMCSA’s December 2021 monthly report.

Several other news sources reported the results with alarm. Any increase in drug or alcohol use among commercial drivers is alarming. Impaired driving is a major cause of needless highway accidents, injuries and deaths. Yes, data showing a 10% jump in one year is alarming. But, I would read the results with caution. I’ll explain below why I don’t read too much into this current data.

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Alabama Premises Liability InjuryEarlier this week, I read an article about a lady in another state who suffered a serious head injury from falling merchandise in her local Walmart store. You can read the article at Lawsuit Says TV Fell On Woman. While this lady was a customer, falling merchandise is a danger to both customers and other store employees.

Over the years, we’ve represented numerous retail workers injured by falling merchandise. In many of those cases, we were fighting for work comp benefits due to serious head and upper body injuries. We’ve also represented numerous workers injured because a store required them to climb and retrieve merchandise at heights with little regard for safety. In both situations, merchandise stored or displayed at significant heights presents serious dangers. This presents a huge risk of traumatic brain injury to people. Many customers don’t realize this risk as they shop the aisles at our local stores.

Today, I’ll focus mainly on customers. Is falling merchandise a danger to innocent store customers? Yes, in many big box stores it is a serious issue. In recent years, I’ve prepared a case very similar to the one in the news article I mentioned at the beginning of this post. My case also involved falling merchandise at a Walmart. This Walmart was in Guntersville. My client suffered both traumatic head and shoulder injuries which left her significantly disabled. Because of her injuries, she required shoulder surgery. And, she suffered cognitive impairments from the traumatic brain injury. These accidents are often very serious. What is the problem with falling merchandise at big box retailers?

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Blackwell Law FirmYou are passenger in a car. You are riding down the road. Everything seems fine. Suddenly, your driver runs a stop sign. He did not see it. He crashes into a culvert. You are hurt severely. When you later call your driver’s insurance adjuster to make a claim, the adjuster says he’s sorry but your claim is barred by the Alabama Guest Passenger Statute. Your driver probably wants his insurance company to pay you. But, that doesn’t matter. The adjuster simply denies your claim.

I’ve written previously about the Alabama Guest Passenger Statute. You can read one of my prior posts on this topic at Guest Passenger Statute In Alabama? Does It Affect My Personal Injury Claim? My prior post gives a good overview of this law. In it, I discuss the background of this unfair law. I also explain the law as well as some exceptions to it. As with most legal issues, the exceptions are key! Today, I’ll touch again briefly on the exceptions. But, I primarily want to provide a little practical advice in this post for passengers injured in car accidents. If you are a passenger injured in an Alabama car accident, what should you expect? How do you handle this issue? You need practical advice for your claim.

During the 1920s and 1930s, many states passed guest passenger statutes. Insurance company lobbyists worked hard to get these unfair laws passed across the United States. While many states have since abandoned this unfair rule, Alabama has not.

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Huntsville, AlabamaEarlier this week, I saw a strange lawyer video. It was published by a settlement mill lawyer outside Alabama. In the video, this personal injury lawyer suggested injured people should hire her because she would “pester” the insurance adjuster with repeated calls for a settlement. This lawyer repeated over-and-over that she would pepper the adjuster with repeated phone calls to pester them into negotiating a settlement. I guess it was easy to make a quick TikTok video. But, what a terrible idea. If you want to get the most compensation possible for your clients, being a needy or desperate pest is a terrible idea.

I understand the frustration of hurt people after dealing with an insurance adjuster. Your calls are often ignored. I hear from people hurt in car accidents who are ghosted by an adjuster. I hear from people hurt in work-related accidents who cannot get the adjuster to respond and approve medical care. I’ve written multiple times on the topic. I’ve offered advice in some of my prior posts.

But, a lawyer pestering the adjuster is not the answer! Yet, it’s a practice of many settlement mill lawyers. Why? Their goal is a quick settlement. Their goal is not to get you the best settlement. It’s to get you the quickest settlement so they can move to the next claim. Settlement mill lawyers put quantity of settlements over quality of settlements. If you suffered a serious personal injury, you want the opposite. You want quality.

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