Trusting others to take good care of an aging or disabled loved one can be daunting. At Moore Law Firm, we’re well acquainted with nursing home abuse signs and how this mistreatment affects victims and their families. Our personal injury attorneys handle all types of nursing home abuse claims, and we’re committed to holding abusers, nursing homes, and personal care facilities accountable for their actions. While it may be challenging to broach the subject, if you notice signs, it’s important to speak to your loved one about nursing home abuse or neglect.
Identifying Nursing Home Abuse Signs
Nursing home abuse takes a heavy toll on the most vulnerable members of our society — the elderly and disabled. Abuse may involve physical, sexual, and emotional violence, neglect, and financial misuse. Sometimes abuse can be so subtle that it can be hard to identify, but there are many signs you can look for to protect your loved one.
Some of the most common nursing home abuse signs are behavioral changes, such as depression, lack of interest in things your loved one used to enjoy, or becoming withdrawn and disinterested in engaging visitors. These changes in behavior can occur over time, so it’s vital to be observant of your loved one’s behavior and emotional state.
Physical signs of nursing home abuse or neglect can take the form of bruises, cuts, scars, broken bones, bedsores, poor personal hygiene, weight loss, and dehydration. Accidents do happen, but if you suspect that someone is being abused or neglected, opening a dialogue about what may be happening could save their life.
Talking To Your Loved One About Nursing Home Abuse
Being reluctant to talk about or claiming not to remember how an injury occurred is common in people who are abused. Your loved one may be embarrassed or afraid to talk about it or may think that they won’t be believed. Nevertheless, it’s important to be straightforward and ask your loved one if they need help.
A few simple questions that can help get the conversation started include:
- Is anything wrong?
- Do you need help with anything that’s happening at your nursing home?
- I see that you have an injury, bedsores, etc. Can you tell me what happened?
- I’ve noticed that you seem depressed or withdrawn. Could you tell me why?
If your loved one is reticent about sharing information with you, explain that abuse isn’t their fault and you’re there to help.
It’s important to listen without interrupting or making judgments. Practice compassion and show empathy, but don’t react with strong emotions, such as pity or anger, even if you feel them. Let your loved one know that you’re there for them and you believe them.
Abuse victims often blame themselves. Provide your loved one with information and resources, so they understand that they’re not alone. Make it a point to tell them that nursing home abuse and neglect can happen to anyone, and it can be stopped if it’s reported.
What To Do If Your Loved One Has Been Abused
If you recognize signs of nursing home abuse or neglect, speak with your loved one’s caregivers, physicians, nurses, and their supervisors. You may also report any abuse or neglect to local law enforcement and the Alabama Department of Senior Services. In addition to taking these steps, it’s a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney who is well versed in elder law and can advise you on what to do to protect your loved one’s rights and help them find justice.
Contact An Attorney If You Notice Nursing Home Abuse Signs
If you suspect that a loved one’s injuries or death was caused by nursing home abuse, our compassionate personal injury lawyers at Moore Law Firm can help you hold responsible parties accountable and recover maximum compensation for the damage that has been done. Call 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Struggling with the grief of losing a loved one is challenging. It can be even more difficult when they were killed due to someone else’s negligence. Many families don’t even realize that they may have a wrongful death case in which their loved one’s estate may be able to seek damages for their losses. Our personal injury attorneys at Moore Law Firm are well-versed in complex Alabama wrongful death law. We advise clients on the most effective course of action to take after losing someone they love in an accident or incident that caused a wrongful death.
Learn The Basics About Alabama Wrongful Death Law
In Alabama, wrongful death occurs due to the “wrongful act, omission, or negligence” of another. For Alabama law to apply in a wrongful death claim, the deceased person must have passed away within the state of Alabama. Although a wrongful death case can be brought in the civil court in Alabama, the claim must be filed by the deceased person’s estate, not individual family members.
Unlike most other states, only punitive damages may be awarded in Alabama wrongful death cases. Other states typically award monetary compensation for damages, such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate victims for their losses. They’re designed to punish the negligent party and deter similar behavior. In wrongful death cases in Alabama, the focus isn’t on the victims’ losses but rather on the severity of the wrongdoing that caused the death.
Contact An Alabama Wrongful Death Attorney
If you believe you may have a valid wrongful death case, it’s important to act fast — a claim must be brought within two years of the date of the victim’s death. Seeking the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney who has experience in handling wrongful death claims in Alabama is critical to ensure the proper steps are taken promptly.
Open The Estate And File A Wrongful Death Claim
Because the personal representative of a victim’s estate is the only one who can bring a wrongful death claim against a negligent party, the estate must be opened before a wrongful death suit can be filed. The process for opening an estate must be initiated in the Alabama probate court, which will appoint a personal representative for the estate if one has not already been named in a deceased person’s will. When you’re grieving, dealing with the probate process can be daunting. Having an experienced attorney help you open the estate in the probate court and file a wrongful death claim in the civil court can help you avoid common mistakes that can slow the process.
Prove Your Wrongful Death Claim
In addition to dealing with complex legal processes, negligence must be proven in a wrongful death claim. If the personal representative of your loved one’s estate is not familiar with Alabama law, this can be virtually impossible to do on your own. Three general elements are involved when proving negligence in a wrongful death claim:
Duty of care — In a wrongful death claim, you must show that the negligent party owed the deceased person a duty of care. For example, motorists have a duty of care to drive safely at all times.
Breach of duty of care — Next, you must indicate that the defendant breached that duty of care due to negligence, misconduct, or intent to harm.
Causation — Finally, you must demonstrate a connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and the death. For example, if a motorist who was driving recklessly is involved in an accident that causes a person’s death, but for their actions, that person would not have died.
A seasoned Alabama personal injury attorney can build and prove a solid wrongful death case and work to obtain the maximum amount of punitive damages available in your specific case. It’s also important to keep in mind that any settlement will be distributed to beneficiaries separate from the estate and according to Alabama inheritance laws, and even if your loved one had a will. This means that long-term partners or family friends cannot receive wrongful death damages in Alabama.
Contact An Attorney For Help With Your Wrongful Death Case
If you believe a loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence, our personal injury lawyers at Moore Law Firm can evaluate your wrongful death case and advise you on how to proceed. We offer a free initial consultation and legal advice and services you can trust. Contact us online or call 251-445-7602 today.
Rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are more popular than ever. Catching a ride in minutes by using a smartphone app is convenient, but what happens when you’re hurt in a rideshare accident? Whether you’re a passenger, pedestrian, bicyclist, or the other motorist, you may wonder who’s liable for your injuries and how you’ll pay for your medical bills and lost time from work. Our rideshare accident attorneys are well-versed in handling these types of complex cases. They offer some straightforward advice about what to do after a Lyft or Uber accident.
When A Rideshare Driver Causes An Accident
If you’re a passenger in a rideshare vehicle that causes an accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation from the rideshare company. Both Uber and Lyft carry $1 million liability policies, but it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be compensated for your damages. The driver must be logged in and working “on the clock” at the time of the accident. Depending on the specific situation, you may also be able to recover compensation from the rideshare driver’s private auto insurance policy and even your insurance if you have proper coverage.
You may also have several options for compensation if you were injured as an occupant of another vehicle, a pedestrian, bicyclist, or bystander in a rideshare accident that was an Uber or Lyft driver’s fault. These types of cases are complex, and each situation is unique. Sorting out who’s responsible for your damages and filing claims with the proper parties can be frustrating and stressful. An experienced rideshare accident attorney can help you make sense of it all and handle your claims so you can focus on healing.
Steps To Take After A Rideshare Accident
It’s critical to seek medical attention after any accident, even if you don’t believe you’ve been seriously injured. Symptoms of your injuries may not show up right away, but seeking care at an emergency room or doctor’s office can help to ensure that your rights are protected if you do need to file a personal injury claim. Medical records are valuable evidence that can substantiate your side of the story.
Whether you’re a passenger, motorist, or another party who was injured in the accident, it’s also important to call 9-1-1 and wait for the police. Ask the rideshare driver for their name, contact, and insurance information and write down their license plate number. Take photos of the scene, including damage to vehicles and your injuries. Collect contact information from any witnesses, and if it’s available, get a copy of the police report at the scene. If you’re a passenger who’s been injured in a rideshare crash, you should be able to report it through the app.
Contact A Rideshare Accident Lawyer
Regardless of your role in the accident, it’s vital to contact a rideshare accident attorney for legal advice before you speak with any insurance company, sign any documents, or accept a settlement. Personal injury attorneys typically offer free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means you won’t have any up-front expenses. A rideshare accident lawyer can evaluate your case and advise you on the viability of your claim and the best course of action for recovering compensation.
How An Attorney Can Help
An experienced lawyer understands how to accurately calculate the monetary value of your claim, which is important if you’ve suffered a serious injury. Victims often underestimate the cost of their medical care and lost time from work. It’s also hard for someone who’s not familiar with the law to put a number on non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment.
It’s important to keep in mind that insurance companies are not looking out for your best interests. Their main goal is to pay out as little as possible, even on valid claims. When multiple insurance companies are involved, they may work in concert to try and discredit or undervalue your claim. A skilled personal injury lawyer is familiar with these tactics, act as your staunch advocate, and aggressively negotiate to help you recover the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled.
Contact Us To Learn More About Recovering Compensation After A Rideshare Accident
Since 1985, Moore Law Firm has represented more than 12,000 victims in personal injury cases. If you’ve been injured or have suffered the loss of a loved one in a Lyft, Uber, or other rideshare crash, contact us online or call 251-445-7602 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
There are quite a few factors to consider when choosing an attorney. Hiring an attorney can be daunting, especially if it’s the first time you’ve ever considered seeking legal representation. Our team at Moore Law Firm has served the Mobile community for more than 35 years. We understand the value of being available and meeting with our clients face-to-face. That’s why we recommend hiring an in-town attorney, particularly if you’re pursuing a personal injury claim. These are just a few reasons why hiring a local attorney to represent your interests is critical.
#1. Relationships Built On Trust Are Important
Trust is one of the most important elements of the attorney-client relationship. Forming a positive working relationship with your attorneys and their team is vital. There’s nothing like meeting in person, shaking hands, and sitting down to talk about the facts of your case. Seeing someone’s demeanor and style in person just can’t compare to videoconferencing or talking on the phone. It’s a lot easier to be honest and share details with someone you know that’s looking out for your best interest. Having an in-town attorney handle your case allows you to build a rapport that can lead to a deeper understanding of your specific situation and a positive outcome for your case.
#2. Local Connections
Many lawyers work and interact with the same people for decades in various state, county, and local courts. Well-established relationships with judges, law clerks, prosecutors, law enforcement, and other professionals can help expedite your claim and make the process run more smoothly. In-town attorneys typically have solid relationships with other lawyers, local physicians, scene reconstructions, and additional experts as well. Not only that, if you opt to hire a local personal injury attorney, you can ask family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors to recommend a firm that has gotten positive results for them in the past.
#3. Knowledge Of Local And State Law
Laws, statutes, and court processes vary by jurisdiction. Hiring an attorney who’s well-versed in local, state, and federal law is essential to ensure all your legal bases are covered. A lawyer who isn’t licensed to practice law in your state is unlikely to be familiar with the nuances of state and local laws that are relevant to your claim. An in-town personal injury attorney should know state and local statutes of limitations, compensation standards, and filing requirements and deadlines that apply to your claim.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that they don’t collect attorney fees unless they recover compensation for you. Hiring an attorney who doesn’t typically work in your area can lead to lots of additional expenses that you might not incur when seeking the counsel of someone who’s local. An in-town attorney and members of their team won’t have to travel far to investigate the facts of your claim or file motions with the local court, which eliminates travel costs, such as mileage, airfare, hotel accommodations and other expenses. The more expenses your lawyers incur, the less money you’ll receive when you recover a personal injury settlement or award. In addition, attorney fees may be a lot higher for those who practice in other states or large metro areas.
Regardless of the type of case, being able to walk or drive to your attorney’s office is convenient, which can help cut down on stress. When you need to appear in court, knowing your attorney is right around the corner can be reassuring. The personalized attention you receive from an in-town attorney and their team can help make the process easier and take some of the weight off your shoulders. If you have a question or concern, they may be able to meet with you in a matter of minutes. At Moore Law Firm, we give all of our clients our personal cell phone numbers.
Contact An In-Town Attorney At Moore Law Firm
Choosing an in-town attorney that’s right for you doesn’t have to be overwhelming. At Moore Law Firm, we’re dedicated to helping injured victims and their families in the Mobile community recover the maximum compensation they deserve. We’ll gladly answer any questions you may have and give you a straightforward assessment of your case. To schedule a free consultation with a Mobile personal injury attorney, call us at 251-445-7602 or contact us online today.
If you’ve suffered an injury as a passenger in a car accident, it can be confusing to figure out how to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. There are several options that may be available to you when filing an insurance claim. Our personal injury attorneys at Moore Law Firm understand that being injured in an accident is often a harrowing experience. Having an understanding of the law and knowing what to do after a car accident can help you recover the compensation you need and deserve.
Passenger Injury Law In Alabama
Due to the Alabama Guest Statute, recovering compensation as a passenger injured in a car accident can be challenging. Unless a driver is found to have willfully or recklessly operated a motor vehicle, the Alabama Guest Statute typically forbids a nonpaying “guest” from bringing a claim against the driver after an accident. Willful or reckless misconduct may involve distracted driving, speeding, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and other unsafe driving practices.
This statute doesn’t apply if you’re a paying passenger in a vehicle, such as a taxicab, Uber, or Lyft. The distinction between a guest and a passenger is important in these cases, and a variety of factors may affect the official classification of someone who was injured while riding in a motor vehicle. If it can be proven that a driver was acting recklessly at the time of the accident that caused your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation from their auto insurance company. That’s why it’s critical to contact a skilled car accident attorney who’s well-versed in the law and has experience investigating and proving these types of cases.
Recovering Compensation As A Passenger Who’s Been Injured
If the driver of another car was at fault for the accident, you should be able to seek compensation from their insurance company. Depending on the circumstances, if you have your own auto insurance, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills and other damages from your own policy. Your health insurance may also cover some costs of medical treatment.
How A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
As you can see, cases involving passenger injuries are complex. Recovering compensation for damages, including loss of income, pain and suffering, and emotional distress, can be virtually impossible without a seasoned attorney in your corner. If you’ve suffered catastrophic injuries, such as amputation, traumatic brain injury, or paralysis, you may require expensive, lifelong medical treatment. Regardless of the extent of your injuries, it’s vital to explore every option to get the care you need. An experienced car accident lawyer assesses your specific situation and determines the most effective approach to recover maximum compensation for your injuries.
What To Do After A Car Accident
After any car accident, getting the medical care you need should be your first priority. However, if you’re able, taking the following steps can help protect your rights and back up your personal injury claim.
- Call 911 immediately and check to see if anyone needs assistance.
- Gather contact and insurance information from all drivers who were involved.
- Collect contact information from witnesses.
- Take photos of the scene and your injuries. Write down what you can remember about the accident while it’s fresh in your mind.
- Get a copy of the police report, if possible.
- Call a personal injury attorney.
Make sure to seek medical treatment as soon as possible and save all the bills you receive, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Symptoms of more serious injury may not appear until days or weeks later. Don’t give a statement, accept a settlement offer, or sign anything from an insurance company until you’ve spoken with a car accident attorney. Although an offer may seem generous, it’s important to remember that insurance companies don’t have your best interests at heart. Personal injury lawyers are familiar with tactics insurers often use to deny or minimize personal injury claims. They’ll fight to protect your rights and work to recover the maximum compensation to which you’re entitled.
Contact An Auto Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a car crash, you don’t have to go it alone. Call Moore Law Firm today at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a Mobile car accident lawyer.
Although most truck drivers make an effort to stay safe on the road, driver fatigue is often one of the leading factors in commercial vehicle crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). At Moore Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys understand the vital elements that go into proving truck driver fatigue cases. We’re dedicated to helping injured victims get the maximum compensation they deserve.
What is Truck Driver Fatigue?
Sometimes known as drowsy driving, driver fatigue causes thousands of accidents each year. Simply put, driver fatigue means that a driver is operating a vehicle while tired or sleepy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), truck drivers are more likely than other motorists to drive while fatigued.
Because driver fatigue is a major factor in many truck crashes, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations limit the number of hours truckers can drive without a break. FMCSA regulations state that a driver is permitted a period of 14 consecutive hours, in which they may drive up to 11 hours after being off duty for 10 hours or more. Drivers are not permitted to drive for more than eight hours without a 30-minute break. In addition, drivers are not allowed to drive more than 60 hours every seven days or 70 hours every eight days, depending on the specifics of their schedules.
Unfortunately, drivers are often pushed by trucking companies and distributors to drive more than the maximum hours as required by the FMCSA. Drivers and companies who violate these rules may be liable for any injuries, death, or other damages caused by an accident involving a fatigued truck driver.
Proving Truck Driver Fatigue
There are many pieces of valuable evidence that can help personal injury attorneys prove driver fatigue cases, including:
Police reports: Police officers are trained to recognize when someone is fatigued or sleep-deprived. A police report documenting bloodshot eyes, obvious exhaustion, and/or a statement from the driver admitting they were tired can help form a solid foundation for a truck driver fatigue case. Police officers may also be interviewed or called to testify, so a firsthand account of what they witnessed can be documented as well.
Time of day: The time of day an accident occurs can be another sign that driver fatigue played a part in an accident. Drivers who operate trucks from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. are more likely to have been driving throughout the night, possibly without required breaks.
Lack of accident avoidance: One of the most obvious signs of drowsy driving is whether a driver tried to avoid an accident. Typically, when any driver loses control or thinks there’s potential for an accident, they’ll try to regain control of their vehicle or veer away from danger. However, if a truck driver has fallen asleep or is fatigued, they may not notice the danger at all. Witness statements and detailed analysis of a crash can often show whether a driver tried to stop or avoid an accident. Failing to try to avoid an accident is often a clear sign that a driver was too exhausted to operate their truck safely.
Logbooks and billed hours: In 2000 and later model year trucks, most commercial truckers and trucking companies are required by law to have Electronic Logging Devices (ELD). If a truck doesn’t have an ELD, drivers are required to keep handwritten logbooks. Another way to see whether a driver has been on the road longer than they should is to review the hours they have billed. If logged or billed hours go beyond what FMCSA regulations allow, legal fatigue may be proven.
Analyzing a truck’s GPS history and reviewing a driver’s receipts and tolls can also give lawyers a timeline of where and when a trucker was on the road. In addition, trucks have “black boxes” (much like airplanes) with data that can be analyzed, which may produce evidence of driver fatigue and other poor driving behaviors. Health issues and evidence of drugs or alcohol in their system can also be factors in proving liability in a fatigued truck driving case. Your attorney will collect all relevant evidence and may employ accident reconstructionists, sleep specialists, and other experts to help them analyze data.
Contact A Truck Accident Attorney
Putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to prove that driver fatigue caused an accident requires the experience, knowledge, and resources of seasoned personal injury attorneys. Our team at Moore Law Firm can assess your driver fatigue case and advise you on all sources of compensation that may be available. Call us today at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Riding a motorcycle is much different than driving a car.
Our motorcycle accident attorneys at Moore Law Firm have represented many clients who sustained catastrophic injuries in motorcycle accidents. It’s vital to understand your responsibilities under Alabama motorcycle safety law. These tips can help you become a better rider and stay safe on the road.
Wear A Helmet Every Time You Go For A Drive
Wearing a helmet is the most effective way to protect yourself against catastrophic head and brain injuries. Not only that, both operators and passengers are required to wear helmets under Alabama motorcycle safety law. A face shield or protective eyewear add an extra layer of protection you’ll appreciate if you do get into an accident.
Wear Proper Safety Gear
In addition to wearing a helmet with a face shield, protective gear is critical to protect the rest of your body. Leather jackets, gloves, and boots that are specifically designed for motorcyclists can help minimize your chances of getting road rash or other injuries
in the event of an accident. Buying reflective gear or putting reflective tape on your clothing will make you more visible to other drivers as well.
Follow The Rules Of The Road
Following all traffic and motorcycle safety laws in Alabama can keep you and others safer when you’re on the road. Speeding is definitely out of the question; the faster you ride, the longer it takes you to stop, which can be deadly if you encounter traffic that’s at a standstill. Although a maximum of two motorcycles may share a lane side by side, you can forget about lane splitting — in Alabama, it’s illegal under motorcycle safety law.
Ride Defensively And Make Yourself Visible
Many motorists don’t even notice motorcycles when they’re driving, especially when a rider is making a left turn. Always be aware of your surroundings. Ride with your headlights on at all times and use turn signals well in advance of making lane changes or any turn. Avoid riding in drivers’ blind spots and keep an eye out for turning vehicles.
Keep Your Skills Sharp With Riding Courses
Although Alabama is one of a few states that don’t require a separate license or test for motorcyclists, completing a motorcycle safety class can help you learn how to perform evasive emergency maneuvers that could save your life. It also helps you hone your riding skills. Taking an approved safety course from time to time is a great refresher, and it’s always good to learn something new. You may even get a discount from your insurance company if you take motorcycle safety classes.
Don’t Drink And Ride
Avoid drugs and alcohol when you ride. According to the NHTSA, in 2016, 26% of motorcyclists killed in motorcycle accidents had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Being impaired affects your alertness and reduces reaction time, coordination, judgment, and balance. In addition to avoiding drugs and alcohol, make sure you’re well-rested when you get on your bike. Fatigue can also negatively affect your reaction time and riding skills.
Do A Bike Check Before You Get On The Road
Ensuring your motorcycle is fit for the road is just as essential as following Alabama motorcycle safety law. You never know when you may have a blown tire,
mechanical malfunction, or burned-out headlight. Make sure to check the following:
- Tires — Look for holes, bulges, and cracks in your tires, and always check the pressure before riding.
- Lights — Check your turn signals, headlight, and taillight. These are critical for staying visible to other drivers.
- Oil and Coolant — Check oil and coolant levels at least once a week and be on the lookout for any leaks
- Brakes — Test both the front and rear brakes before you hit the road.
- Horn — Your horn is another way to make motorists aware of your presence. Don’t ride without a working horn.
- Mirrors — Alabama motorcycle safety law requires that motorcycles be equipped with at least one mirror. Adjust and clean your mirrors for better viewing while riding.
Contact A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Unfortunately, even if you follow all of the safety tips above, it is still possible to be involved in a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash, our experienced legal team can help you understand your rights under Alabama motorcycle safety law. At Moore Law Firm, our motorcycle accident attorneys fight for your rights and help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation
When you’ve been hurt in an auto accident, handling a personal injury claim without an attorney often results in recovering little or no compensation. An insurance company’s top priority is to do everything it can to minimize your settlement or deny your claim altogether. To protect the company’s bottom line, an insurance adjuster uses a variety of tactics and keeps important auto insurance facts from you. Our personal injury attorneys at Moore Law Firm in Mobile, Alabama, understand the games insurance companies play, and they tell you what auto insurance companies don’t want you to know.
- 1. The Insurance Company Isn’t Your Friend
After an accident, the insurance company representing the other driver calls you about your claim. They want you to believe they’re your friend and are only trying to help you through a trying time, but they’re not on your side. A claims adjuster’s job is to protect the company from paying you any more than they have to by disputing or even denying your claim. You shouldn’t answer any questions the adjuster asks or sign anything until you’ve spoken to a personal injury attorney.
- 2. They Use Delaying Tactics
Insurance companies aren’t obligated to treat you fairly, and their priority is to try to get out of paying claims or limiting the amount they pay. A common tactic is to delay handling your claim. The purpose is to increase your worry overpaying your bills and make you more open to accepting whatever amount they offer.
Another ulterior motive of delaying payment on your claim is to run out the clock on your right to file a lawsuit. In Alabama, unless you’re a minor or you’ve been declared incompetent, you only have two years from the day of your car accident to file a personal injury claim. Once this statute of limitations expires, you lose your right to seek compensation through the courts.
- 3. Settlements Are Often Lowballed
Underpaying legitimate claims saves insurance companies billions of dollars. They know car accident victims are under a lot of stress as they worry about mounting medical bills and how they’re going to repair their car. They prey on this vulnerability to try to get you to settle quickly, minimizing the settlement amount. Insurance companies almost always offer a lowball settlement first, and these offers are frequently accepted because the claimant doesn’t have all the auto insurance facts. In Alabama, you can recover economic and noneconomic damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages, so don’t settle for less than you deserve.
- 4. You Don’t Have To Accept A Settlement
Many companies use a “Take It or Leave It” tactic to make you believe that their first settlement offer is the only offer you’re going to get, and if you don’t take it, you’re going to be left with nothing. This isn’t true. If the offer won’t even cover your current medical and car repair bills, turn it down. If you accept a settlement before the extent of injuries or bills are known, you may receive a much shorter amount than what you really need. Once you accept a settlement, you can’t get a second settlement to cover any leftover or new costs.
- 5. You Can Hire An Attorney Immediately
Insurance companies discourage you from hiring an attorney by trying to convince you that you don’t need one and that you’ll get way less money because of the attorney’s fee. They may also say you must wait to hire an attorney until they’ve had an opportunity to settle the claim first. You don’t have to wait to hire an attorney and should hire one immediately after your accident.
A personal injury attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies to get you a higher settlement than you would on your own. An attorney negotiates for the highest possible settlement, and even after they collect their fee, your settlement is still higher than what you would have received.
Get The Auto Insurance Facts
For more than 35 years, Moore Law Firm has helped clients who have suffered personal injuries in Mobile and throughout Alabama. Our personal injury attorneys provide individualized, straightforward legal representation and fight to help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve. We work on a contingency basis, so there’s no fee until we successfully win your settlement. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact us at 251-445-7602 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation today.
When you’re already suffering from an injury or have a preexisting medical condition, being involved in a car accident can have a serious impact on your health. At Moore Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys help you understand how a preexisting condition may affect your car accident claim and work with you to recover maximum compensation for your damages.
Common Preexisting Conditions That Can Be Worsened By Car Accidents
A car accident can exacerbate or aggravate preexisting conditions such as:
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Other back problems
- Previous fractures, sprains, and strains
- Knee and shoulder injuries
- Brain injuries
- Anxiety, PTSD, and depression
Recovering Compensation With A Preexisting Condition
Even though car accidents often aggravate or worsen preexisting conditions, some injured victims believe it’s not worth pursuing compensation because they assume their claim will be denied due to their condition. However, just because you were already injured or ill, it doesn’t mean the party who caused the accident isn’t liable for making it worse. If an accident aggravates or accelerates a preexisting condition, you may be entitled to compensation. Hiring a personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling these types of cases is vital because you must show that the new injuries you sustained in your accident made your existing condition worse, which can be a daunting task.
Dealing With Insurance Companies & Preexisting Car Accident Claims
The at-fault driver’s insurance company may not be responsible for any treatment you would have undergone for your preexisting condition if the accident hadn’t occurred, but they may be liable for the cost of the treatment you may need if the accident caused your condition to worsen. For example, if you were already taking pain medication for a back injury and the accident made it worse, you may be able to recover damages for the cost of physical therapy that could help it improve but not for the pain medicine you were already taking.
Although insurance companies try their hardest to minimize or avoid paying settlements, having a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in your corner can make all the difference. It is extremely important to be completely honest with your attorney about your medical history to recover compensation. Insurance companies often use preexisting medical problems as an excuse to deny claims. They will go over your medical history with a fine-tooth comb to find any possible evidence suggesting the accident did not affect your preexisting condition or injury. Your attorney will review your medical history with you at the beginning of your case. Even if you think there may be something that could complicate your claim, make sure to disclose it to your attorney. Failing to disclose a preexisting condition can harm your credibility, can sabotage your claim, and may even expose you to legal action if the defense finds out you deliberately omitted medical information.
How A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Create A Solid Claim
There are several ways in which a skilled personal injury lawyer can demonstrate that your injuries were caused or exacerbated by a car accident. They may invoke the “eggshell plaintiff rule,” which means that the defendant must “take the plaintiff as they find him.” In other words, a negligent party cannot shirk their responsibility for causing injuries just because a person was frail, weak, or especially susceptible to injury.
Your attorney will also meticulously review your medical records and consult with your health care providers. If your preexisting condition has little or nothing to do with your current injury, your attorney may argue that evidence of your preexisting condition is irrelevant to your claim. For example, if you previously had a broken leg, but the current injury you sustained in a car accident caused back and neck problems, your attorney could argue that it is completely unrelated and should not be allowed into evidence. Seasoned personal injury attorneys understand how to use medical evidence to their advantage to build solid cases in preexisting car accident injury claims. They use their experience and resources to develop effective legal strategies that can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, our personal injury lawyers can assess your case and advise you on the best course of action to recover compensation. Call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
At Moore Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers have handled thousands of cases involving victims who have been injured or have lost a loved one due to no fault of their own. Costly medical bills and other injury-related expenses can pile up quickly, not to mention the physical and emotional cost of the pain and suffering many victims face. Recovering maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages can help protect your health and your family’s financial future, and there are many other reasons why you should hire a personal injury attorney if you’ve been injured, including:
Being injured in an accident can lead to serious physical, emotional, and financial difficulties. It’s hard to be objective when you or a loved one may be suffering. A personal injury lawyer provides the objectivity that is necessary when pursuing a personal injury claim. During your initial consultation, an attorney will evaluate your case and give you an honest assessment about whether it is worth pursuing. If you have a viable personal injury claim, your attorney will advise you on the best course of action to recover compensation, focus on the facts, and fight to get you the maximum compensation and justice you deserve.
- Negotiation Skills
Insurance companies are in the business of making money and often try to offer minimal settlements or deny claims altogether. Dealing with insurance company representatives can be daunting — they may try to push you into accepting a settlement that won’t even cover your medical expenses, let alone other damages. Personal injury attorneys are well-versed in these tactics and understand how to negotiate and drive a hard bargain to recover the full compensation to which you are entitled.
- Experience And Resources
Collecting medical records, reviewing police files, and investigating the facts of your case takes a lot of time. Your lawyer knows how to determine exactly what your claim is worth and pursues all possible avenues to recover maximum compensation. Legal teams often include investigators who examine every detail surrounding the accident and your injuries. They may perform reenactments, interview witnesses, and consult with experts to build a solid case that backs up your claim.
- Assistance With Litigation
Although the vast majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court, if a reasonable agreement cannot be reached, your attorney can help you take legal action. Taking a personal injury case to trial can be tricky. The opposing party’s legal team will aggressively try to prove that they are not responsible for your damages and may prevent evidence that can work against you. Having an experienced personal injury attorney in your corner is vital to effectively counter these arguments, ensure your rights are protected, and ultimately, convince a judge or jury that you are entitled to full compensation for all of your injuries and losses.
- Peace Of Mind
Seeking compensation after an injury or loss of a loved one can be a stressful and time-consuming process. Having someone else fight for you can allow you and your family to heal from the trauma of your injuries and losses while ensuring that strict deadlines and filings are taken care of in a timely manner.
- Personal Injury Lawyers Work On A Contingency Basis
You have nothing to lose if you contact an attorney after being injured or losing a loved one. Most personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency basis. This means that there are no up-front costs for legal representation throughout the process. If you do not win your case, you won’t have to pay any legal fees — your attorneys only get paid if they recover compensation for you.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, our personal injury lawyers can help. Call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Being injured in a hit and run accident can have devastating consequences for victims and their families. When you have no idea who may have caused your injuries, it can be daunting to think about how you’ll pay for your medical expenses, loss of income, property damage and other accident-related expenses. At Moore Law Firm, our auto accident attorneys can help you pursue all possible avenues of compensation and help you understand your rights as a victim of a hit and run.
Hit And Run Accidents Are On The Rise
According to recent research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of hit and run crashes is rising at an alarming pace in the U.S. In 2016, there were a total of 1,980 fatal hit and run accidents resulting in 2,049 fatalities–the highest annual number since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began collecting statistics on fatal motor vehicle crashes in 1975. Almost 65 percent of people killed in these crashes were pedestrians or bicyclists.
Hit And Run Is A Crime In Alabama
In Alabama, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving injuries or death can be charged as a felony. Regardless of who is responsible for the crash, all involved parties are required to stop, provide information such as name, address, driver’s license number and insurance information. Drivers must also render reasonable assistance to those who are injured, which means you should call 911 and administer first aid if you can.
After a Hit And Run Accident
After an accident, contact the police right away. If you’ve been injured as a driver, pedestrian or bicyclist, it’s vital to get yourself out of harm’s way to avoid being hit again if you’re on the road. Check to see if there are witnesses, ask for assistance and get their contact information. Write down a description of the vehicle, license plate and its driver. It’s also important to jot down the details of what occurred while they are fresh in your mind. Take pictures of the scene, your injuries and damage to your vehicle.
Report The Accident To Your Auto Insurance Company
Even if a hit and run driver can’t be located, your own car insurance company may provide compensation through medical benefits coverage and uninsured motorist coverage (UM). Although these types of insurance are not required in Alabama, adding them to your auto policy is well worth the cost to ensure your medical bills and other damages are covered in case of a hit and run or an accident with an uninsured motorist. Your medical insurance may also cover all or some of your medical expenses.
While you may think that your auto insurance company is looking out for your best interests, most will try to pay as little as possible and may deny your claim altogether. Police use all kinds of evidence when investigating hit and run cases, including traffic camera footage, eyewitness accounts, vehicle and driver descriptions and license plate numbers. This important evidence provides proof of the accident and your injuries when filing a claim with your insurance company.
Contact An Auto Accident Attorney
Communicating with insurance companies can be stressful, especially when you or a loved one is trying to heal. Accident-related expenses and lost time from work can put you and your family in a precarious financial situation. An auto accident attorney will protect your rights and fight to help you recover the full amount of compensation you deserve. Your attorney will handle negotiations with your insurance company and ensure that all required, relevant documentation is provided to support your claim.
If the police have hit a dead end, your legal team may employ the services of investigators that can try to find the hit and run driver. If the driver is found, you can bring a civil action against them to help you recover damages for your medical bills, past and future loss of income, pain and suffering and other damages. You may be able to sue for punitive damages as well, especially if the driver was intoxicated or behaving recklessly. Alabama has strict laws surrounding punitive damages, so it’s vital to seek the counsel of an experienced auto accident attorney to ensure your hit and run case is handled properly.
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a hit and run, our auto accident attorneys at Moore Law Firm can help. Call 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Generally, compensation in personal injury cases is intended to make an injured party “whole” and may include both economic and noneconomic damages. If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one, our personal injury attorneys at Moore Law Firm can help you understand the types of damages to which you may be entitled.
Types Of Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages are intended to compensate an injured party for their damages and losses. In most personal injury cases, a combination of special compensatory damages and general compensatory damages is awarded.
Special damages are quantifiable losses such as medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. Although putting a monetary value on these types of damages may seem straightforward, many injured victims don’t realize the amount of expenses they may incur in the future and the impact their losses may have on their family. For example, if you’ve suffered permanent injury that requires ongoing care and you are unable to work, estimating the cost of future treatment and future loss of income can be tricky. That’s why seeking the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer after an accident is vital.
General compensatory damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of companionship or consortium and loss of enjoyment of life are subjective. Each case is unique, and there is no set formula for determining general damages. To properly understand which types of general damages may apply to your particular situation, it’s best to seek the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney who can build a solid case for general damages and pursue all avenues to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
If a defendant’s behavior was so outrageous or reckless that it can be established that they knew their actions would lead to injury or harm to another, the injured party may be entitled to punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not designed to compensate plaintiffs. They are intended to punish negligent parties for their egregious actions and deter them and others from committing similar wrongful acts. Alabama has strict requirements and monetary limits pertaining to punitive damages, and they are awarded in only a small percentage of cases. It is essential to have an attorney who is well-versed in the nuances of Alabama law review your case before you seek punitive damages.
Wrongful Death Damages
If a person’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence, the loved ones of the deceased may be entitled to wrongful death damages. Alabama wrongful death law is complex, and only the administrator of a deceased person’s estate may be entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against any liable parties, solely for punitive damages. This means that the estate of the deceased person is seeking punitive damages on the deceased person’s behalf, not to compensate the deceased’s loved ones for their losses.
Determining whether you even have a valid wrongful death claim can be challenging. Not only that, you must be able to prove that another party’s negligence caused the death of your loved one. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you find justice on your loved one’s behalf and work to recover the maximum compensation allowed by Alabama law.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved and need assistance determining which types of damages you may recover, call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
The scene following a car accident can be chaotic, and emotions may run high in the days and weeks after. However, it’s important to remain calm and be careful what you say and do at the scene and when you talk to other drivers, witnesses, police and insurance adjusters. Our auto accident attorneys at Moore Law Firm provide some tips on what to do and say, and what NOT to sign after a car crash.
What NOT To Say At The Scene Of An Accident
After any accident, saying “I’m sorry” is a knee-jerk reaction for many people who care about others. Don’t say “I’m sorry” or “It was my fault” to anyone at the scene, including witnesses or police. If you apologize, your words may show up in in a witness statement, video or police report, which can give an insurer a reason to assign liability and deny your claim. Remain calm, call 911 and check to see whether anyone else is hurt. It’s fine to exchange insurance and contact information but not necessary to talk about anything else. Take photos, jot down notes about the incident and be honest, accurate and factual when you speak to police.
Communicating With Insurance Companies
When you call your auto insurance company, you should also give them a straightforward, factual account of what happened. Again, do not admit fault. You may believe that your own insurance company is on your side, but all insurance companies want to pay as little as possible on claims.
Soon after the accident, the other party’s insurance company will contact you. Before you start speaking about anything, get the name, address and telephone number of the person who called, the insurance company they’re with and the person the company represents. The only information you should provide is your full name, address and telephone number. Politely decline to discuss the accident or your injuries. Insurance adjusters are often quick to offer a settlement or will call you frequently to try to get you to talk.
Don’t fall for these tactics. Avoid giving a recorded statement, and do not sign anything without first seeking the counsel of an experienced auto accident attorney. You do not have a legal obligation to give a recorded statement, and it is against the law for an adjuster to record you without your knowledge. If they persist, let them know that your attorney will provide information in writing at a later date.
It can be tempting to accept a settlement right away, but it is vital to be cautious when dealing with insurance companies. The extent of your injuries may be worse than you think, and there’s no way of knowing whether the amount offered will cover all your losses associated with the accident. Accepting a settlement and signing a release of liability could also complicate things with your own insurance company. Signing a release waives your right to sue or bring any additional claim surrounding the accident, which can leave you stuck with hefty medical bills, lost wages and other expenses that may put you and your family in a financial bind. This is highly important when settling the property damage claim. Make sure the release is for property damage only and not for any and all claims as this could jeopardize any injury claim.
As a car accident injury claim proceeds, insurance adjusters will want to see documentation of your injuries and medical treatment. They may ask you to sign a medical authorization form that releases all of your past medical records to them as well. Unfortunately, insurance companies often get access to additional medical records to see if there is anything they can use against you or minimize the injuries you sustained in the accident. Never sign anything or give verbal permission that authorizes an adjuster to directly obtain any of your medical records. There is absolutely no need to reveal your private medical history — your auto accident attorney will handle negotiations and provide only the records that pertain directly to your injuries.
Contact An Auto Accident Attorney
Being injured in an accident can be daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in an auto accident, contact our personal injury attorneys at Moore Law Firm to schedule a consultation.
Being injured due to someone else’s negligence can throw your life into a tailspin. At Moore Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys understand how difficult it can be to try to recover compensation when you’re injured and trying to heal. However, there is a statute of limitations in Alabama for bringing a personal injury claim, so after any accident, it’s vital to contact an attorney who can help you recover maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
What Is A Statute Of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law that sets strict time limit on bringing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. These deadlines differ from state to state. There are some exceptions to the rule, depending on the type of case and amount of harm you suffered.
Understanding The Statue Of Limitations For Alabama Personal Injury Lawsuits
The State of Alabama sets a two-year deadline for the filing of any civil lawsuit seeking damages “for any injury to the person.” Whether you’ve sustained injuries from a car accident, slip and fall or an assault (intentional tort), in most cases the two-year clock starts ticking on the date the accident or injury occurred.
If you attempt to bring a personal injury lawsuit to court after the two-year filing deadline, the defendant will most likely ask the court to dismiss your case. Unless an exception allows extra time, the court will usually grant the dismissal. The two-year filing deadline is also relevant to your position in settlement negotiations with the negligent party’s insurance company. If you haven’t filed a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, your negotiating power is diminished if not eliminated.
There are a number of scenarios in which the two-year personal injury filing deadline may be paused or extended. In Alabama, if an injured person is under the age of 19 or has been declared mentally incompetent, the injured person is considered to have a “legal disability.” When this period of disability ends (the injured person turns 19 or is declared competent), they have two years to file a civil lawsuit against the person who caused their injury unless more than 20 years have passed.
Another exception is in cases of medical malpractice — for example, in cases where a plaintiff is seeking compensation for birth injuries that aren’t apparent until years later.
An Alabama Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Sort It Out
If you’ve been injured and the personal injury lawsuit deadline is approaching or has already passed, it’s still a good idea to contact an Alabama personal injury attorney who is well-versed in the law to find out how the statute of limitations may apply to your case. They can evaluate your claim, help you understand your options and, if possible, seek maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, contact our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Moore Law Firm to schedule a consultation.
A broken leg, whiplash, back pain, a concussion — being in a car accident can have devastating consequences, not the least of which is the financial burden that results from lost wages as you miss out on time at work. When a crash threatens to derail your future, accident attorneys like those at Moore Law Firm can help you recover the money you deserve.
What Are Lost Wages?
If you’ve been in an accident and received injuries that caused you to miss work, any subsequent reduction in pay can be categorized as lost wages. This term applies whether you’ve been in the hospital, had to call out due to pain or disability or had to skip a shift, come in late or leave early to make a doctor’s appointment or receive treatment. Depending on your situation, you may be able to pursue lost hourly pay or salary as well as any related employment benefits such as commission or bonuses.
Before you can pursue a lost wages claim, you’ll need to put together documentation that proves your case, including proof of your injuries. Whether you’re making a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company or asking your own insurance carrier for compensation, you’ll likely be contacted by an agent requesting your medical records. Sign and return the authorization form, but read it carefully first — you may want to consult a personal injury attorney before proceeding to ensure your rights are protected.
You’ll also need written proof from your employer outlining your employment, confirming the dates and times you missed work and detailing any compensation you lost out on as a result. Include full as well as partial days off and any time off covered by vacation time or sick days. If you’re self-employed, you’re still entitled to lost wages, but you may have to provide tax returns or verify your income via other methods.
Important Tips From An Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Use the following tips to build a strong case and strengthen your position:
- Be honest with your doctor. Don’t downplay your pain or try to “tough it out.” Being open and clear about any discomfort, new issues and ongoing concerns is the best way to make sure you can heal quickly and present an accurate case to the opposition.
- Keep all your paperwork. Make copies of anything you read, sign or submit, and keep those copies in your files. Even your prescription receipts may prove useful down the road.
- Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney. Sometimes the best offense is a dedicated advocate who knows the letter of the law and isn’t afraid to fight for what’s right.
If you’ve been in an accident and need help recovering your lost wages, our team at Moore Law Firm is here to get you the money you’re owed. To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call our office at 251-445-7602.
Road rage and aggressive driving are serious problems that put people on the road in jeopardy every day. At Moore Law Firm, our auto accident attorneys have handled hundreds of motor vehicle injury cases involving road rage. We help you understand your rights under Alabama traffic law and help you recover maximum compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Definition Of Road Rage
There is a clear distinction between road rage and aggressive driving. Drivers who engage in road rage often face criminal charges associated with reckless driving and other offenses, while aggressive driving is usually considered a traffic violation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines road rage as when a driver “commits moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle.”.
Signs Of Road Rage
Drivers engaging in road rage often start by tailgating, cutting other vehicles off, weaving in and out of traffic, flashing their headlights or honking their horn and speeding. If you see someone exhibiting these driving behaviors, do not engage them — it’s best to avoid them as much as you possibly can.
Some examples of road rage include:
- Running other drivers off the road
- Hitting other vehicles
- Getting out of a vehicle to engage in a physical confrontation
- Inciting passengers to fight another motorist
- Threatening someone with or using a weapon to inflict harm
What To Do After A Road Rage Accident
If you are the victim of an accident caused by a driver with road rage, do not get out of the car. Lock your doors, stay calm and call the police. If the situation is too dangerous to stay at the scene, call 911 and drive to the nearest police station. If the driver who caused the accident leaves the scene, try to get their license plate number, note the make, model and color of their car and file a police report.
Road Rage And Personal Injury Claims
The State of Alabama takes road rage very seriously. Drivers who engage in road rage can face criminal charges. The financial, physical and emotional cost of engaging in road rage isn’t worth it. Auto insurance policies exclude intentional acts, so a motorist’s insurance may not cover damages when a person engaging in road rage causes injury or property damage.
That’s why it’s vital to contact an auto accident attorney who can help you file a personal injury lawsuit to ensure you receive compensation for your damages. In addition to compensatory damages like medical expenses and lost income, you may be entitled to punitive damages in a road rage case due to the negligent party’s egregious behavior. An attorney will know how to collect relevant evidence and build a solid case to prove that the negligent party’s acts were intentional.
Contact An Auto Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a road rage accident, call Moore Law Firm at
Injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident can be life-changing. Serious conditions such as traumatic brain injury, lost limbs and spinal cord injury can leave you permanently disabled and affect your family’s physical, emotional and financial well-being for the rest of your lives. At Moore Law Firm, our auto accident attorneys can help you understand your rights, determine whether you are entitled to total permanent disability benefits and help you recover maximum compensation for your damages.
What Is Total Permanent Disability (TPD)?
Total permanent disability is a condition or illness that remains after a person has reached the point of maximum medical improvement after an injury. Total permanent disability impedes a person’s ability to resume their normal work and other activities. If the injury occurred due to the negligence of another, that person or entity may be liable for the injured person’s damages.
Injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputations, paralysis and blindness are common causes of total permanent disability. Psychological damage from being involved in a car accident can also lead to debilitating conditions such as PTSD, depression and anxiety that may prevent you from being able to work and perform everyday tasks.
It’s never a good idea to settle a car accident claim until you’ve completely finished medical treatment and have a concrete understanding of the extent of your injuries and the future care that may be required. Permanent total disability claims are often disputed and denied by insurance companies, or settlement offer amounts don’t even come close to covering a lifetime of medical expenses and lost income. Even if your healthcare providers have determined that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and your condition is expected to last indefinitely or lead to death, insurers will do everything they can to prove you are not permanently disabled and unable to work because of your injuries.
How An Attorney Can Help You Recover Compensation
It is vital to have an experienced auto accident attorney determine appropriate settlement amounts and take care of negotiations with insurance companies and other liable parties to ensure your rights and interests are protected. Settlements for these types of permanent disabilities must include adequate amounts of compensation for ongoing medical care (life care planning), in-home care, loss of future income and damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of companionship or consortium.
An auto accident attorney will know how to accurately value your claim, investigate all aspects of the accident and your injuries and demonstrate how permanent disability has impacted your life, your family and your ability to earn a living. If you were injured in a car accident in the course of your employment and are permanently disabled, a knowledgeable lawyer can also advise and assist you with workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) claims.
Contact An Auto Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been permanently disabled in an accident, our experienced and compassionate legal team will give you the support you need and fight to help you recover maximum compensation to take care of yourself and your family for the long haul. Call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Although advances in technology have made driving safer than ever, thousands of people perish due to the negligence and recklessness of other drivers on the road each year. If you’ve lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, our attorneys at Moore Law Firm can help you navigate the complexities of Alabama law and determine whether you are entitled to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Elements Of A Wrongful Death Claim
When pursuing a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must prove that someone else’s negligence caused the accident that resulted in the person’s death. For example, drivers must follow all traffic laws and drive responsibly because they owe a duty of care to other people on the road. In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must show how the negligent driver’s breach of duty of care led to the victim’s death.
Common causes of car accidents that can lead to serious injuries and death include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence
- Reckless driving
- Truck driver fatigue
- Car manufacturing defects
Alabama’s Wrongful Death Statute
There are specific requirements that must be met when filing a wrongful death claim in Alabama. There is a two-year statute of limitations, and unlike many other states, a wrongful death lawsuit cannot be brought by just any immediate family member in Alabama — it can only be initiated by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. In addition, a wrongful death claim cannot be filed in Alabama if the person died in another state. If your loved one was killed in a motor vehicle accident outside Alabama borders, a wrongful death claim must be filed in that state.
In most states, plaintiffs can pursue compensatory damages if they have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. In Alabama, only punitive damages are awarded in wrongful death cases. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate plaintiffs — they are designed to punish those who have acted negligently and to deter others from committing similar acts.
Because plaintiffs are only allowed to pursue punitive damages in wrongful death lawsuits, evidence of the deceased’s pain and suffering is generally inadmissible in an Alabama wrongful death lawsuit. However, if a personal injury lawsuit was filed while the victim was still alive, evidence of their pain and suffering may be admissible in a wrongful death case, which can add a significant amount to any punitive damages that may be awarded. These complex details and elements of wrongful death claims are challenging to navigate, so it’s vital to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can advise you on the best course of action to recover compensation for the loss of your loved one.
If you’ve suffered the loss of a loved one and you are wondering whether you’re entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit, call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 28 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents involving drunk drivers every day in the United States. Drunk driving accidents can result in serious injuries or death to other motorists, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians. If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in an a collision with a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, our personal injury attorneys at Moore Law Firm can help you understand your rights under Alabama drunk driving accident law and help you recover maximum compensation for your damages.
Alabama DUI Law
In Alabama, a driver over the age of 21 with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher can be charged with a DUI. For underage drivers, the BAC limit is 0.02 percent. Although a first-time DUI conviction is a misdemeanor crime, a driver convicted of a DUI can also face a civil lawsuit if they cause property damage, injury or death to others while driving under the influence.
Recovering Damages In A Drunk Driving Accident Case
Even if the driver who injured you has been convicted of a DUI, you must still prove your civil case in order to recover compensation. The defendant’s attorney or their insurance company will use various strategies to deny liability and minimize your damages, so having a personal injury lawyer to represent your interests is essential to protect your rights.
Your attorney will establish and document the full extent of your injuries and work to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages. If you have lost a loved one due to a drunk driver’s negligence, your attorney may pursue a wrongful death action. In addition to compensatory damages, a drunk driver may be liable for punitive damages, which are used to punish the negligent party and deter them and others from committing similar egregious acts.
Your lawyer will examine the defendant’s criminal history and conduct a thorough investigation, which may include reviewing police reports and court documents from the criminal DUI case and interviewing any witnesses to the accident. Your personal injury attorney will also evaluate all of the defendant’s assets and determine the most effective course of action to recover compensation from the defendant’s insurance company.
In drunk driving accident cases, third-party liability claims are often known as Dram Shop claims. Dram Shop claims assign liability to bars, clubs, restaurants and even hosts of private parties for continuing to serve an intoxicated person, which puts others in harm’s way. Seeking the counsel of a seasoned personal injury lawyer who has experience handling cases involving Alabama drunk driving accident law and Dram Shop liability is a must in order to hold all responsible parties accountable for your injuries and losses.
Contact An Experienced DUI Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in an accident with a drunk driver, call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
At Moore Law Firm, our auto accident attorneys have seen the devastating impact injuries sustained in a crash with a drunk driver can have on victims and their families. Although state laws are designed to hold intoxicated drivers accountable, like many other states, Alabama also has dram shop laws, which allow injured parties to seek compensation from a third party such as a business or individual who provided alcohol to someone who was clearly intoxicated.
Recovering Damages From A Third Party
Most auto accident cases involve two parties — the injured person and the negligent party who caused injury to that person. However, if a bar, nightclub or restaurant provided alcohol or drugs to a person who was visibly intoxicated, they may be liable for any harm that was caused under a concept known as vendor liability. Individuals who provide alcohol or drugs at a private party or event may be subject to social host liability. If you’ve been hurt in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to recover compensatory and punitive damages from a third party, but proving fault in a dram shop case is often challenging.
The law doesn’t apply to every situation where someone serves alcohol to a driver who ends up injuring someone. Typically, dram shop laws do not permit an intoxicated person who is injured to seek compensation from the vendor or host who provided the alcohol or drugs. To recover damages, the victim must prove that the driver was served alcohol despite the fact that they exhibited signs of intoxication. An experienced auto accident attorney will understand how to properly investigate the facts of your case and create an effective litigation strategy to demonstrate fault in a DUI dram shop case.
Types Of Damages
Under Alabama law, you are entitled to seek actual and exemplary damages in a dram shop claim. Actual damages compensate injured victims for measurable losses such as medical expenses, lost income and damaged property.
Also known as punitive damages, exemplary damages are not designed to compensate an injured party for their injuries and losses. The purpose of exemplary damages is to punish the defendant for their carelessness or egregious actions and deter others from committing the same type of act.
Statute Of Limitations In Personal Injury Cases
Alabama sets a deadline of two years from the date of the accident for filing a personal injury claim. If you fail to take action within this designated time frame, the court most likely will not consider your claim. Seeking counsel from a personal injury attorney right away is vital to ensure that a drunk driver is held accountable for your damages. Your attorney will also determine whether a dram shop or social host liability claim is worth pursuing.
Contact An Auto Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, our personal injury attorneys at Moore Law Firm can help. Our skilled and compassionate legal team is committed to fighting for your rights and helping you recover the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call 251-445-7602 to schedule a consultation.
There’s nothing like the feeling of hitting the open road on a beautiful day. Exercising caution and staying safe while riding your motorcycle can help prevent accidents and save lives. These five simple motorcycle safety tips from our accident attorney at Moore Law Firm can help keep you safe and sound when you’re out cruising the streets.
- 1. Don’t buy more bike than you can handle.
When shopping for a motorcycle, choose one that fits you, both figuratively and literally. You should easily be able to rest both feet flat on the ground when seated, and handlebars and controls should be within close reach. If a bike feels too heavy, it probably is.
- 2. Take a riding course.
A motorcycle safety riding class will teach you techniques such as how to perform evasive emergency maneuvers. Many insurance companies offer a discount if you take an approved safety course, and in some states you may be allowed to skip the test part of the licensing process.
- 3. Wear the proper gear.
Even if it’s not required by law in your state, making sure you and your passengers wear a helmet when riding can save your life. Serious head injury is one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries and fatalities in motorcycle accidents. According to the National Highway Transportation Association (NHTSA), helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. High-visibility protective gloves, jackets and boots provide protection from serious injury should you fall or become involved in an accident. Wearing this type of gear will also help you stand out to other drivers.
- 4. Stay alert and practice caution.
Hazards such as oil, sand or wet leaves can cause a bike to slide unexpectedly. Ruts, potholes and other defects in the road can pose a serious danger when on a bike, so keep an eye out for these things at all times. Don’t tailgate — keeping a safe following distance is vital to make sure there’s plenty of stopping distance and time for you to react to other vehicles and obstacles in the road. Avoid the dangerous practice of lane splitting — most drivers do not expect a motorcycle to drive between them at any time, let alone in slowed or stopped traffic.
- 5. Don’t drink and ride.
Motorcyclists more likely to die in an alcohol-impaired crash than those driving other types of vehicles. In 2016, 26 percent of motorcyclists who sustained fatal injuries had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or above. In single-vehicle crashes, the rate of fatal injury was 37 percent, according to the NHTSA. For your safety and the safety of others on the road, avoid alcohol when riding your motorcycle.
If You’ve Been Injured, Contact A Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Although these motorcycle safety tips can help you avoid injury, accidents do happen. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a motorcycle crash, our accident lawyer can help. Call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Pubic slip and fall accidents often happen when a property owner, business, governmental agency, university or public school fails to properly repair or maintain their property. At Moore Law Firm, our slip and fall accident lawyers have recovered compensation for hundreds of clients who have been injured on public property.
Slip And Fall Accidents And Premises Liability
Slip and fall accident claims are usually based on a legal concept known as premises liability. Regardless of whether it’s a private business or public entity, property owners must exercise reasonable care to make sure that their premises are safe from dangerous conditions. If a person is injured due to the owner’s failure to prevent or repair a dangerous condition, they may be liable for any injuries that occur.
Steps To Take After A Public Slip And Fall Accident
After any accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as you can, even if your injuries seem minor. Many symptoms may not show up until days or weeks later, and documenting your injuries with a health care professional can provide valuable evidence should you decide to file a personal injury claim. If you’ve been seriously injured, call 911 so you can receive the care you need right away.
Report your accident to the person in charge of the property where you fell, and ask to file a formal report. Some businesses and most governmental agencies have policies and notification procedures to follow and forms to complete that will document your accident and injuries. Obtain and keep a copy of the report. If law enforcement responded to your accident, get a copy of the police report as well.
Gather evidence and information. Jot down notes surrounding everything you can remember about the incident. Take photos or videos of the area and your injuries. If there were any witnesses, get their contact information and statements.
Do not speak to the property owner’s insurance company. Whether it’s a private business or a public entity, do not give a statement to or sign anything from their insurance company without speaking to experienced slip and fall accident lawyers first. Insurance companies often try to offer minimal settlement amounts in personal injury claims or may even deny your claim altogether.
Contact A Slip And Fall Accident Attorney
In a slip and fall claim, you must prove that the property owner’s negligence caused your injuries. These types of cases can be multifaceted, especially when a government entity is involved. That’s why it’s essential to seek the counsel of knowledgeable slip and fall accident attorneys who understand the complexity of proving negligence and are experienced in filing personal injury claims against governmental agencies.
It’s important to keep in mind that Alabama has a two-year statute of limitations on claims against private individuals, and businesses, local, state and federal government agencies have strict procedures and deadlines for making personal injury claims, which may limit the amount of damages you’re entitled to receive. Our slip and fall accident lawyers will ensure that your claim is filed in an accurate and timely manner and help you understand the ins and outs of the laws surrounding government negligence.
At Moore Law Firm, our slip and fall accident lawyers can help you recover maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages. Call 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Many truck drivers love what they do. Seeing the country while cruising the open road sounds like a blast, doesn’t it? Trucking is one of the most important — and dangerous — jobs in the United States, and driving a big rig means that your life and the lives of others are in your hands every time you get behind the wheel. These seven truck driving safety tips from our accident attorney at Moore Law Firm can help keep you safe, happy and healthy on the road.
Safety Tips For Truck Drivers
- 1. Keep A Close Eye On Blind Spots
Truck accidents are most likely to occur when other motorists are driving in your blind spots. These areas are typically off to the side right in front of the cab, immediately behind your side mirrors and directly behind your truck. Motorists in other vehicles are often unaware of these blind spots and may drive dangerously close to them. Always exercise extreme caution and look twice to avoid accidents when changing lanes or turning.
- 2. Obey The Speed Limit
Specific speed limits for trucks are posted for a reason. Following the speed limit, especially in work zones and hilly or mountainous areas, can prevent thousands of accidents and fatalities each year.
- 3. Take It Slow On Curves And Ramps
There are times when driving way below the posted speed limit is crucial. A large truck can easily tip over if you take curves too fast. Slow down on exit ramps to ensure that you have plenty of stopping distance to avoid hitting whatever may be in front of you.
- 4. Slow Down In Bad Weather
Inclement weather is responsible for almost one-fourth of all speeding-related truck driving accidents. If you’re driving in the rain, reducing your speed by a third can save lives. In snow and ice, reducing your speed by half can keep you and others much safer on the road. It’s also important to allow more time for maneuvering in bad weather. Signal well in advance before changing lanes or turning. If the weather makes it unsafe to drive, pull over in a safe place.
- 5. Load Cargo Properly
Always follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations when loading and securing cargo. Remember that the higher you stack your freight, the more drag on the truck. If you can, stack cargo lower and spread the freight evenly through the full space of the truck for improved handling and your fuel economy.
- 6. Keep Up On Proper Maintenance And Repair
Give your truck a thorough once-over every time you get on the road. Check fluid levels and ensure that your brakes, horn, lights and mirrors are in good working order before you begin your journey. If anything seems awry, have it checked before attempting to drive.
- 7. Take Good Care Of Yourself
Getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising and relaxing during your down time will help you feel more refreshed and at ease, which makes for safer driving habits when you’re behind the wheel.
If You’ve Been Injured, Contact A Truck Accident Attorney
While these truck driving safety tips from our accident attorney can help keep you safe, serious accidents and injuries still happen. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident, call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
At Moore Law Firm, our motor vehicle accident attorney has seen the devastating consequences of injuries caused by distracted drivers. Sometimes distractions are unavoidable, but there are many things you can do to keep your focus on driving and keep yourself and others safe.
What Is Distracted Driving?
When a driver engages in a secondary activity that interferes with the primary task of driving a vehicle, it is considered distracted driving. There are three categories in which driver distraction typically falls:
- Visual — averting your eyes from the road
- Physical — removing your hands from the steering wheel
- Cognitive — taking your attention away from the actual task of driving
Secondary task distraction takes a driver’s attention away from driving. This type of distraction includes using a smartphone, putting on makeup, eating, smoking or dealing with pets or children in the vehicle.
Driving-related inattention occurs when you look down at the speedometer, check mirrors, or glance behind or away before changing lanes or parking.
Non-specific driver inattention happens when a motorist looks away from the roadway but at no specific object, person or activity.
Drowsiness can also be considered a distraction, as it involves closing your eyes, yawning and even falling asleep at the wheel.
Distracted Driving Leads To Thousands Of Injuries And Deaths Each Year
According to the NHTSA, distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives in 2016 alone. Failing to keep your attention on the road can lead to accidents such as head-on collisions, sideswipes and rear-end collisions that can cause serious injury and death.
There are countless ways in which drivers may be distracted by things inside or outside of their vehicle, but smartphones, GPS and other electronic devices have caused many people to become more even more distracted when they’re on the road. Some top causes of distracted driving and motor vehicle accidents include:
- Talking on the phone
- Texting or checking social media
- Using GPS devices
- Using the radio, CD and DVD players
- Talking with other passengers in the car
- Operating vehicle controls such as windshield wipers, lights, heat and air conditioning
- Eating or drinking
- Gawking at car accidents, billboards or other objects
How To Avoid Distracted Driving
Putting in the effort to pay attention while driving makes the roads safer for everyone. These tips can help keep your focus on the important job of operating your vehicle:
- Put your phone away. If you do need to answer a call or text, pull off the road and stop at a safe place.
- Learn how to use your car’s features such as windshield wipers, heat and CD player/radio without taking your eyes off the road.
- Enter an address or location in GPS before you get on the road. Make sure audio turn-by-turn directions are on and easy to hear.
- Keep conversation calm, cool and collected while driving.
- Don’t let your pets or children distract you while driving — if you need to deal with someone or something, pull over.
- Don’t eat or drink while driving.
- Make sure you get plenty of sleep before driving. If you’re drowsy on the road, find a safe place to rest.
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in an accident with a distracted driver, our motor vehicle accident attorney can help. Call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents can be catastrophic, and you may feel confused and in shock. Knowing what to after a motorcycle accident can help you get a handle on the situation and protect your rights. Following these steps from our motorcycle accident lawyer at Moore Law Firm can help to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your damages.
- 1. Dial 911
If you are able, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately. Even if you think you are not injured, many symptoms of serious injury can take days or weeks to appear. Check to see if anyone else is injured, and give first aid if possible. It’s also important to call 911 so the accident is documented by law enforcement. A police report provides vital evidence that can back up your account of the incident.
- 2. Get Out Of The Road
If the location of your bike is unsafe, move it to the side of the road. If your motorcycle does not pose a hazard to you or others, leave it where it is, stay at the scene and wait for police to arrive.
- 3. Collect Information And Evidence
Get all contact and insurance information from everyone who is involved in the accident, including driver’s license information and make, model and license plate numbers of all vehicles involved as well. Ask any witnesses for their statements and contact information. Take pictures of the scene, including damage to your motorcycle and other vehicles. Include photos of your injuries, signs, traffic signals, road conditions and anything else that might be relevant to the accident. If you can, jot down notes about how the accident happened while it’s fresh in your mind.
- 4. Contact Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company and give a factual account of what occurred. Answer their questions honestly, but don’t admit fault in any way. Insurance companies often try to offer an inadequate amount of compensation or deny claims altogether, which can leave you stuck with costly accident-related expenses down the road. Do not give a statement to any other party’s insurance company representatives or sign anything without speaking to a qualified motorcycle accident attorney first. Once you’ve provided a statement, they may try to assign blame to you for causing the accident.
- 5. Contact A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries such as amputation, compound fractures, and brain, neck and spinal cord injuries that require lifelong medical treatment. A motorcycle accident lawyer will be well-versed in both local and state motorcycle laws and ensure that your rights are protected. A legal team will investigate the facts of your claim and know which type of relevant evidence to collect to back up your claim.
Contact A Knowledgeable Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one is a motorcyclist who’s been injured in a crash, our motorcycle accident lawyers can help. Call Moore Law Firm at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.