Tag Archive for: AL personal injury

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Head Injuries Are Nothing to Brush Off

Chris Wilson, a Jefferson County deputy sheriff, was thrown from his motorcycle in 2004. Landing on his head, he broke his neck and back. He also received a traumatic brain injury that put him in a coma for five days and in recovery for years.

To this one story, however, there is a good ending. Wilson has made great progress and is planning a bicycle ride across Alabama to raise awareness for traumatic brain injuries.

Head injuries are commonly caused by car and motorcycle crashes, as well as by slips, falls, sports collisions and other accidents. Understanding more about head injuries enables us to understand the potential symptoms and empowers us to get medical treatment as soon as possible.

The brain is protected by the hard bone of the skull on the outside and a protective layer of fluid on the inside. Together these provide some natural protection for the brain. Nonetheless, even a seemingly small head injury can still cause damage.

One of the most common types of head injuries is called a concussion, when, as a result of a blow to the head, the brain strikes the inside of the skull causing bleeding or bruising. Common symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble with cognitive skills such as memory, thinking and balance
  • Loss of energy
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Abnormal changes to mood
  • Abnormal changes to sleep patterns

Other more serious types of head injuries can cause permanent damage to the brain, impede daily function, and even cause death. Fortunately, simple preventative measures like wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle or motorcycle and buckling up in the car can greatly increase your chances of getting out of an accident in one piece.

If you have received a head injury, get medical care immediately. If your injury was caused by someone else, our experienced personal injury attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation.

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What if I Am at Fault, Too?

Alabama’s contributory negligence law and its effect on your case

Every driver has a responsibility to others to drive carefully. As a general rule, if a driver breaks that duty through careless driving and, as a result, injures someone else, the driver is liable to the victim for damages. There is, however, a major exception to this rule in Alabama: contributory negligence.

Contributory negligence is a legal defense available to the defendant. If the defendant can prove that the plaintiff in a lawsuit (the injured person) was at fault in the accident, then the plaintiff may not be able to recover any damages at all from the defendant.

If the defendant’s conduct rose far above the level of negligence and constituted wanton conduct that demonstrated flagrant disregard for the safety of others, however, then contributory negligence will not prevent the plaintiff from winning compensation.

In a civil case in Mobile last year, the jury asked the judge to define contributory negligence. According to the plaintiff’s family, Roosevelt Jones was driving out of the Greater Gulf State Fairgrounds when a gate crashed through his windshield, killing him. The defense contended that because Mr. Jones scored a 1.0 percent on a blood alcohol test, he contributed to his death. Therefore his estate was not entitled to the $4 million in compensation they sued for. The family noted that Mr. Jones was traveling at two or three miles an hour and could not have affected the gate. This case fairly shows the lengths a defense team will go to keep from losing such a case.

When an accident case comes to our office, we carefully dissect every aspect of the case, interviewing witnesses, searching for video evidence, and studying the medical records, accident scene, and vehicles involved. If you have been in an accident, or lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, our personal injury attorneys may be able to help you.

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Truck Accidents and Their Causes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that there are more than 3,000 fatal crashes and 100,000 other crashes involving large trucks in the United States each year. Considering the huge number of trucks on the roads transporting needed goods throughout the country, a significant number of accidents are inevitable. Nonetheless, an awareness of the common causes of truck accidents can help us to avoid them.

The FMCSA conducted an important study in 2007 on truck safety which emphasized a number of factors that are still helpful today:

  • Driver exhaustion. With pressure to make deadlines, driving drowsy is more common among truck drivers than other drivers. Given the size and weight of a large truck, the danger is magnified.
  • Truck driver error. Though many trucks have signs communicating that their drivers have limited visibility on the side, many car drivers do not realize this. Truck drivers often cannot see other drivers making common driving techniques are more difficult, leading to more mistakes.
  • Error by other drivers. When a car driver stops short, swerves, or does something dangerous on the road, another car may be able to avoid the hazard. Because of its size, a truck is much slower to respond and is therefore more likely to crash in these situations.
  • Drug use. Two of the top ten factors cited by the FMCSA involved prescription and over-the-counter drug use. The long hours of a truck driver’s lifestyle often lead to a lack of exercise and an intake of unhealthy food. Many truck drivers suffer from obesity and other health related ailments. The medications they take to treat these ailments are a significant risk factor in trucking accidents, along with illegal substances taken to keep them awake and driving when they should be resting.

If you have been in an accident involving a truck, contact us for a consultation and review of your case to see how we can help get you the compensation you deserve.