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Steps To Take After A Wrongful Death

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.

What To Do If You’ve Been Hurt In A Rideshare Accident

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.

When You’re Injured As A Passenger In A Car Crash

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.

How Attorneys Prove Truck Driver Fatigue

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.

FMCSA Regulations

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.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

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