Vicarious Liability in Alabama Car Accident Injury Cases

April 17, 2014

In filing a Tuscaloosa car accident lawsuit, an experienced plaintiff attorney looks beyond those obviously negligent. speeding1.jpg

The at-fault driver behind the wheel will be named in any negligence lawsuit. However, other parties may be found vicariously liable for the actions of that driver. In English common law, this was known as the "theory of respondeat superior." This is the principal that allows employers to be held liable for the actions of an employee committed within the line and scope of his or her employment. The employer or vehicle owner can also be sued for independent torts such as negligent entrustment and/or negligent hiring, training and/or supervision.

Each state has their own laws and limitations on vicarious liability. At the federal level, Congress passed a measure in 2005, called the Graves Amendment, which bars states from holding vehicle rental or leasing firms liable for negligence in cases where customers cause accidents.

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Laurel v. Prince - Physical Injury Necessary in Alabama Medical Malpractice Claim

April 15, 2014

In filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Birmingham, it's not enough for the plaintiff to show the defendant erred. He or she must prove that the error caused a compensable degree of harm.
That could be in the form of additional medical expenses incurred as a result of the error. It could be in the form of lost wages, due to the fact that the error rendered you unable to work for a time. It could be physical pain, permanent scarring or impairment.

Absent proof of physical harm, though, a medical mistake may not be worth a lawsuit, as the case of Laurel v. Prince, recently reviewed by the Alabama Supreme Court, demonstrates.

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Establishing Standing in Alabama Wrongful Death Claims

April 10, 2014

Alabama's wrongful law is different in many ways than most other states. grave.jpg
In Alabama, dependents of the decedent are not allowed to file suit unless the death took place on the job. Spouses, children, parents, dependent siblings - all are potential beneficiaries. However, per Ala Code 6-5-410, only a "personal representative" of the deceased person's estate has the ability to file a wrongful death claim. Unlike in other states, family members in Alabama can't file a wrongful death claim on their own behalf or on behalf of the deceased - unless they are the personal representative of the decedent's estate.

An Alabama wrongful death claim involving the death of a Montgomery man in a fatal truck accident has given rise to a challenge that could change who qualifies as a potential beneficiary.

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Intentional Work Injuries Not Compensable in Alabama

April 8, 2014

Workers can successfully file a Tuscaloosa workers' compensation claim in most every case where an injury has occurred on the job (or in the course of employment).
One of the few instances in which employers can rightfully deny a claim for benefits is when the injury was intentionally self-inflicted. In this situations, it all comes down to the intent of the worker, and the onus is on the employer to prove intent.

This was the issue before the Mississippi Supreme Court in the case of Smith v. Tippah Electric Power Association. Despite this being an out-of-state case, the same general principles are applicable.

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Alabama Truck Accident Case Heard by State Supreme Court

April 3, 2014

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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Progressive Gulf Ins. Co. v. Faehnrich - Update Auto Insurance Following Life Events

April 1, 2014

If there is any chance that an auto insurance company can find grounds on which to deny a claim, you can bet they are going to try. drivingsleepy.jpg
personal injury lawyers in Tuscaloosa
know one element that can make it tougher to win your claim is if the policy is outdated. When your policy fails to accurately reflect your living situation with regard to residency and household members, it can create problems when it comes time to file a claim. This was what happened in the recent case of Progressive Gulf Ins. Co. v. Faehnrich.

This Nevada Supreme Court ruling reveals why it is so important to revisit your auto insurance policy in the event you move, divorce, have a licensed teen driver in your home, or experience other relevant life events. You want to make sure your loved ones are going to be covered in the event of a serious crash.

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Morrow v. Caldwell: Statutory Damage Caps Not Applicable to Municipal Workers Sued in Their Own Capacity

March 25, 2014

The Alabama Supreme Court recently returned a decision in the personal injury case of Morrow v. Caldwell that negligent government workers sued in their own capacity shouldn't expect protection under the state's statutory $100,000 damages cap. electricalplug.jpg

Our Birmingham wrongful death attorneys recognize that this was an important decision in favor of families who have suffered the ultimate loss as a result of a government worker's carelessness. And it means that the damages to which these families are entitled to receive can exceed that $100,000 limit that is otherwise imposed.

The death that gave rise to this case was that of a young boy who was playing outside at the Montgomery home of his great-grandmother.

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Tuscaloosa Work Injury Claim: Previous Injuries Can Factor

March 23, 2014

Workers who sustain on-the-job injuries must be careful to provide ample documentation and proof regarding the cause, particularly when older injuries come into play. drywallmess.jpg

Our Tuscaloosa workers' compensation attorneys recognize that when insurers and/or employers can't refute the seriousness of the injury, they may attempt to argue the source.

When old work injuries are exacerbated by new work injuries, they are compensable. Even when a non-related injury is exacerbated by a work injury, it may be compensable, but the amount you can collect could be diminished.

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Birmingham Slip-and-Fall Claims Require Evidence of Negligence

March 20, 2014

One of the more common types of injuries that people sustain is a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall.
However, Birmingham personal injury lawyers recognize that in order to have a valid premise liability claim against the property owner for such an incident, plaintiffs have to show there was some degree of negligence. This is a several-step process. It involves establishing that:

  1. The property owner had a duty of care to you;

  2. The property owner breached that duty of care to you;

  3. As a result of this negligence, you sustained injuries for which you deserve compensation.

A lot of this is going to depend on your relationship to the property owner, the type of hazard that resulted in the fall and whether you in any way contributed to the fall with reckless or negligent action.

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Avoid Alabama Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements

March 18, 2014

Arbitration agreements almost never benefit the consumer, whether they are written into the fine print of an electronics purchase or as a precursor to employment or shoved in front of family members working to admit a loved one into a nursing home.
These agreements require that instead of having any disputes resolved in court, both parties are required to resolve matters before an arbitrator - one who is often chosen by the defendant and paid for by the plaintiff. In theory, the process should be fair. Too often, it's anything but. Yet these documents have become standard - though not required - in nursing home admissions.

In cases of Tuscaloosa nursing home neglect, plaintiffs may wish to challenge the enforceability of the original agreement. This is being done with increasing frequency - and success - across the country.

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Alabama Bicycle Safety: Deep South Most Dangerous for Cyclists

March 12, 2014

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.

Nine out of 10 are in the south.

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Workers' Compensation Claims in Alabama Complicated by Drug Use

March 11, 2014

A pair of decisions out of the Arkansas Supreme Court recently illustrates how companies will go to great lengths to fight rolledcigarette.jpgworkers' compensation claims.

This is as true in Alabama as it is in Arkansas, and despite the differing jurisdictions, our Birmingham workers' compensation lawyers know that the issues presented in these cases are highly relevant here as well.

The cases involve two separate employees and two separate appeals, but both were involved in the same accident at the same company. The first case is Prock v. Bull Shoals Boat Landing and the second is Edmisten v. Bull Shoals Landing.

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Alabama Car Accidents & Disproving Contributory Negligence

March 6, 2014

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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Fraternity Injury Liability

March 4, 2014

Fraternities are heavily marketed to young college students as a valuable, right-of-passage experience. The promise of a four-year party can be a powerful draw to a group who will soon be staring down a decade or more of burdensome loan debt.
However, the experience has resulted in serious injuries for more than a few. As a recent investigation by The Atlantic revealed, in some cases members are left permanently scarred, disabled - even dead.

Our Tuscaloosa injury attorneys recall a case just a few years ago in which a fraternity brother attending the University of Alabama sued the Gamma Alpha chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity following an alleged hazing incident that occurred when he was 19.

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Birmingham Child Balcony Fall Results in Serious Injury

February 20, 2014

A 7-year-old boy was in critical condition following a 5-story fall from a balcony in Birmingham.
Authorities are still investigating what factors may have played a part in the fall. A Birmingham premises liability lawsuit could be a possibility depending on the particular facts of the case. Individual homeowners may also be liable in certain situations.

Unfortunately, balcony falls are all too common, often resulting in critical injuries, or even death. Recent balcony falls since the beginning of the year include:

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