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Attorney Portrait Auto Accidents

5 Things Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know After a Car Accident

After a car accident, there’s a good chance that you will have to deal with an insurance company. In theory, insurance provides you with an avenue for recovery after your accident. Frequently, you must work with an insurance company to get the compensation you will need to recover the costs of property damage, injuries, etc. Unfortunately, however, actually recovering that compensation is often easier said than done.  While we wish it weren’t the case, insurance companies often try to make the claims process as difficult as possible. But the car accident attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm want to help.  By educating yourself on the type of information that insurance companies don’t want you to know, you can increase your chances of maximizing your recovery.  1. The Insurance Company Is Not Your Friend Knowing what insurance companies don’t want you to know is the first step to getting the compensation you need and deserve after your car accident. One of the first things you should know is that the insurance company is not your friend.  It’s true that insurance companies will pay out claims to compensate parties after an accident. However, an insurance company is, above all else, a business, and its primary purpose is to make money. Thus, it is important to keep in mind that the insurance company does not always have your best interests at heart. 2. You Don’t Have to Accept the First Offer the Insurance Company Gives You Another thing insurance companies don’t want you to know is that you never have to accept their first offer. In fact, you are under no obligation to accept any offer whatsoever.  Insurance companies are businesses. This means they will do nearly anything to pay out as little as possible to satisfy the claim. Insurers will not hesitate to push an undervalued settlement offer if it helps their bottom line.  A lump-sum settlement offer of any amount may seem appealing at first glance. However, don’t feel pressured to accept the first offer you receive. In fact, you are likely entitled to more compensation then a first offer would provide. The insurance company’s goal is to settle your case before you seek treatment and before the extent of your medical injuries are even known. This is because the value of your case often increases after you receive treatment and have a better understanding of the scope of your injuries.  If you receive an offer to settle from an insurance company, contact an attorney today. They can work with you to discuss your case and help you protect your right to recover the compensation you deserve.  3. You Can Get Another Examination After Your “Adverse Exam” Sometimes, an insurance company will require you to be examined by a doctor before they will pay out any benefits. This is known as an “adverse exam,” because the exam will be with a doctor of the insurer’s choosing. You will have no say in selecting the provider.  You may not be able to refuse the exam without risking denial of your claim entirely. However, you can get a second exam, by a doctor of your choosing, after your adverse exam. After having an independent examination from a different medical professional, you can use those results to ensure that you have an unbiased medical opinion.  4. You May Be Entitled to More Than Just Compensation for Property Damage Insurers don’t want you to know that, in addition to compensation for property damage,you can also receive compensation for injuries sustained in the accident. If an insurer tries to pay out only for property damage expenses, know that you may be entitled to more, including lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and cost of medical treatment. If you sustain physical injuries or incur expenses related to medical care and treatment, contact an attorney today. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you determine the full amount you could be entitled to recover.  5. An Attorney Can Help You Fight to Maximize Your Claim Knowing what insurance companies don’t want you to know is extremely important to the success of your claim. The main thing insurers don’t want you to know is that you might get better results by hiring an attorney to help you with your case.  In an insurance company’s ideal world, you would not be represented by an attorney. That’s because having an attorney levels the playing field between you and the insurance company. For many injury accident victims, an experienced attorney provides you with the best opportunity for recovering fair compensation.  An experienced car accident attorney can help you gather evidence to help prove your case, negotiate with the insurance company, and take your case to trial, if  necessary.  At the Fob James Law Firm, we know how complicated and frustrating it can be to deal with an insurance company, especially in the aftermath of your car accident. We want you to know that you don’t have to go through this process alone.  Our team of personal injury attorneys has helped countless accident victims recover compensation, and we are ready to help you too. Contact us today online or by phone at (205) 407-6009 for your free consultation to discuss your case and see what we can do for you. 

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Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Birmingham

If you watch television or drive on the highway, you have undoubtedly seen advertisements for Birmingham personal injury lawyers. But what, exactly, is a personal injury case, and how can a personal injury lawyer help you? These are questions that many people have. The personal injury attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm are here to answer your questions and provide the help you need. If you have never been involved in a personal injury accident, you may not even know what the term means. Nevertheless, personal injury accidents happen much more frequently than you might imagine, potentially putting you at risk of being involved in one yourself. If you sustain injuries in a personal injury accident in Birmingham, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. With money on the line, it is important to be able to recognize what types of personal cases exist and what you need to do to recover the compensation you deserve. What Is a Personal Injury Case? A personal injury case is at its core a “negligence” action. The legal definition of negligence is a failure to act with a reasonable level of care that an ordinary person would have exercised under similar circumstances. To win a negligence case, you must be able to prove four elements: Another person owed you a legal duty to act reasonably under the circumstances; That person breached his or her duty by failing to act as a reasonably prudent person would have under the same circumstances; You suffered actual damages; and The other party’s breach was the cause of your damages. Put simply, any time someone’s negligence causes you harm, you may have a valid personal injury claim. What Are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Birmingham, Alabama? You might not realize it, but personal injury accidents can occur virtually anywhere at any time.  They can happen on the highway, in the grocery store, at the park, or even at the doctor’s office. Some of the most common types of personal injury cases include: Car accidents, Commercial trucking accidents,  Dog bite cases,  Medical malpractice,  Products liability, Premises liability, and  Wrongful death cases. If you think any of the above types of personal injury cases apply to you, contact an attorney today to discuss your claim. What Are Typical Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases? A personal injury claim provides injury victims with an opportunity to recover monetary compensation for their injuries from the at-fault party. This monetary compensation that the law imposes is referred to as “damages.” Knowing what types of damages are available in personal injury cases is critical, to help ensure you recover compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages. The types of damages for which you can typically receive compensation in personal injury cases include:  Property damage,  Ambulance costs,  Surgery expenses,  Hospital stays,  Prescription medications,  Lost wages or loss of earning capacity,  Pain and suffering,  Disfigurement, and  Mental anguish and emotional distress. If you have suffered any of the above damages due to the negligent actions of another, you may be able to recover compensation for some or all of your losses. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you assess your damages and fight to maximize your recovery. What to Do After a Personal Injury Accident in Birmingham If you have sustained injuries in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, contact a personal injury attorney today.  Hiring an experienced attorney is one of the best steps you can take to get the compensation you need and deserve. The Birmingham injury attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm have been helping accident victims in need for years. We work each day to obtain justice for our clients, and we hope we can do the same for you. Contact our team today for your free case review and see how we can help.

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Attorney Portrait Motorcycle Accident

What You Need to Know About Riding a Motorcycle in Alabama

Motorcycles are one of the most exciting and thrilling modes of transportation. However, they are also one of the most dangerous.  Whether you are an avid motorcycle rider or someone looking to get your license, it is important to have a basic understanding of motorcycle laws and regulations so that you can stay safe. The motorcycle accident attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm have extensive experience helping motorcycle accident victims in need. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.  Motorcycle Laws and Safety Requirements in Alabama: An Overview Before you get out on the road, it’s important to be familiar with relevant Alabama motorcycle laws and regulations.  Do You Need a Motorcycle License in Alabama?  A question that people frequently ask is, “Do you need a motorcycle license in Alabama?” The short answer is yes.  Until recently, the state of Alabama did not require a special license in addition to a regular driver license) to operate a motorcycle. Now, however, you must obtain a Class M license. How to Get a Motorcycle License in Alabama The process of obtaining a motorcycle license in Alabama is relatively simple if you know where to start.  To obtain a Class M motorcycle license in Alabama, you must:  Be age 14 or above for a restricted Class M license, or age 16 or above for a non-restricted Class M license; Pass a motorcycle knowledge test designated by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency; or  Complete a motorcycle safety course offered by the Alabama Motorcycle Safety Program.  Once you complete the requirements, you will be granted the same rights as a driver of any other vehicle on the road.  Motorcycle Helmet Requirements Under Alabama law, you must wear a protective helmet while riding your motorcycle.  Your helmet must: Be specifically designed for motorcycle rider and passenger use; Have a hard exterior shell of non-shatterable material;  Have a firmly secured shock absorbent cradle for the head to support the helmet and maintain separation between the head and exterior shell; Contain impact-resistant, absorbent padding or cushioning material; and Have a permanently attached adjustable chin strap to hold the helmet in place, which the rider must have on at all times while the motorcycle is in motion. It is important to follow these requirements. Failure to comply with these regulations is not only dangerous, but also subjects you to a fine of up to $100 and up to 180 days in the county jail.  What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Alabama If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities as a motorcyclist in Alabama, or if you have sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact an attorney today. While hiring an attorney may not be the first thing on your mind after an accident, an experienced lawyer can be extremely beneficial to your case.  Having an attorney in your corner can be crucial in your fight to get the compensation you need to recover, so don’t wait. The motorcycle attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm has been helping motorcyclists in Alabama for years, and we hope we can do the same for you. Contact us today, online or by phone at (205) 407-6009, to discuss your case and see how we can help.

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Attorney Portrait Motorcycle Accident

What Is a Good Settlement Amount for a Motorcycle Accident in Alabama?

In any car or motorcycle accident, the amount of damages varies widely. Because of this, it is hard to pin down an exact average amount. A good settlement for one case will not be a good settlement in another. The best way to estimate the value of your individual claim is to talk to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. What Variables Drive the Cost of Motorcycle Accident Settlements? There are many variables that affect what a good settlement will be in a given case. Some factors that will help determine what a good settlement is include the following.  Damages The extent and seriousness of the damage caused by an accident will have a major impact on potential settlement amounts. Medical costs The nature of any physical injuries is one of the things that will most affect your settlement. An injury could require an emergency room visit, an ambulance ride, or rehabilitation. These will all increase medical costs, which will drive up total damages. Lost wages  A physical injury can lead to lost wages or even a loss of earning capacity. If your injury has forced you to take time off work or will limit your ability to work in the future, this can increase your damages. Non-monetary damages A traumatic accident can result in significant pain and suffering, for which you are entitled to damages. It can also lead to psychological issues that affect your life. Any of these factors will increase your total damages. Property damage The total value of property damage will also drive the settlement amount. A motorcycle could be lightly damaged or totaled entirely. Other personal property may have been damaged as well. The extent of such damage and the initial value of the vehicle(s) or other property will absolutely affect the settlement amount. Fault In Alabama, the question of who is at fault in a car or motorcycle accident is essential to any settlement. Damages can be recovered only if a driver is not at fault. If a driver is shown to have been partially at fault, they cannot recover damages due to Alabama’s rules on contributory negligence. Therefore, a motorcyclist who is struck from behind by a vehicle as they are speeding dangerously in and out of traffic lanes will likely not be able to recover damages. Punitive Damages In Alabama, some extraordinary accidents will drastically increase the amount of a settlement. Alabama law awards punitive damages only in extraordinary circumstances. In the case of car and motorcycle accidents, this may include cases of wrongful death. Punitive damages may also be awarded if the party at fault intentionally or recklessly causes the accident.    If punitive damages are sought, Alabama law allows for awards of up to $1.5 million, or three times the total amount of damages, whichever is greater. If punitive damages come up in the case of a motorcycle accident, the potential settlement amount goes up quite a bit. Contact Our Alabama Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today If you have been in a motorcycle accident, call our motorcycle accident lawyers at Fob James Law Firm today.Fob James Law Firm gets results. Because our firm focuses on motor vehicle accidents, we provide a level of expertise that other firms do not. Our firm’s goal is to take client service to the next level by litigating fast and aggressively. To ensure this, our team is available 365 days a year at any hour of the day. Call us today.

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Attorney Portrait Dog Bite

Average Settlements for Dog Bite Claims in Alabama

Insurance companies and police departments track dog bite cases. It is clear that dog bites are not uncommon nor underestimated in importance. Alabama courts and insurance companies order payments and settlements to dog bite victims regularly. Do not underestimate the pain and suffering caused by dog bites. If a dog owned by another person has bitten and harmed you, seek legal representation. Your lawyer will file a dog bite claim, seek compensation for your injuries, and hold the dog owner accountable. The Average Settlement from a Dog Bite in Alabama  The average settlement from a dog bite in Alabama is over $43,000 according to a national tracking of dog bite data. That being said, average dog bite settlements vary drastically since they depend on a number of factors. Alabama Dog Bite Laws Affecting Dog Bite Settlements Every state has laws allowing a person injured by a dog bite to seek justice under certain conditions. Section 3-6-1 of Alabama Statutes regulates dog bites in our state. This law says, in part, that if a dog bites or injures any person who is at a location where they have a legal right to be, the owner of the dog is responsible for the costs and perhaps even the trauma from the attack. However, the statute does not end there. Numerous Alabama court cases address dog bites and help interpret dog bite laws. When you hire an experienced dog bite attorney for your dog bite claim, they will evaluate all legal considerations. These may include: Finding out who owns the property where the bite occurred; Determining the legitimate owner of the dog and who controlled the dog at the time of the incident; Investigating whether the dog owner had previous knowledge of the animal’s dangerous nature; Analyzing trespass laws applicable to the case; Reviewing existing homeowners or renters insurance for the parties involved; and Determining the likelihood of a contributory negligence argument (an argument that the victim was one of the causes of the accident). The legal and insurance implications are elaborate. An attorney needs to hear your side of the story, then apply this information to those facts. The lawyers at Fob James Law Firm are ready to begin the process of helping you get the compensation you deserve. What to Do If You Are Bitten or Attacked by a Dog Here at Fob James Law Firm, we are concerned about the health, safety, and legal rights of citizens of our community. If a dog has bitten you or someone you love, please seek medical care. Medical attention is urgent if a stray dog bit you, you have multiple bites, or you are experiencing psychological trauma.  Also, report the incident to the police. You can call 911 or the non-emergency line if the situation is under control. Once you feel safe, contact us. You have a right to be compensated for your injuries. We want to help you. Please do not agree to settle your claim with the dog owner without first speaking with us. We will investigate the reports and handle all settlement and legal actions so you get the compensation that you deserve Contact Our Alabama Dog Bite Lawyers Today If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, call our dog bite lawyers at Fob James Law Firm Today. Our practice focuses on personal injury cases in Alabama and Florida. We have significant experience in dog bite cases and traumatic injuries. We don’t use case managers. We focus on each client. When you hire us, we commit to giving you the highest level of legal representation. For a free case review, contact us today.

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Attorney Portrait Articles

How to Deal with Insurance Companies After a Car Accident in Alabama

The most important thing to remember when considering how to deal with an insurance company after an accident is not to let the insurance company intimidate you. If you understand your rights and have a strong advocate at your side, you will be in a better position to hold your own against the insurance company and recover the compensation you deserve. How Can I Protect My Interests After a Car Accident? After an Alabama car accident, the insurance company will try to make you feel like you have to settle your claim on their terms. The insurance adjuster will be happy to answer your questions, and they may seem helpful. But you have to remember that they work for the insurance company. Insurance companies have experienced lawyers and negotiators on their side. You deserve to have the same advocating for you. If you have suffered injury in a car accident in Alabama, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at the Fob James Law Firm to help you deal with the insurance company. How Much Should I Settle for After a Car Accident? After your accident, the insurance company may offer you a quick settlement. You should never accept a settlement offer without first consulting with an attorney. The amount you should settle for after a car accident depends on your individual circumstances. When another driver is at fault for your accident, they may be liable for any losses or damages you suffer, including: Medical expenses, Hospital bills, Rehabilitation expenses, Medications, Property damage, Lost wages, Pain and suffering, Emotional trauma, Disability, and Disfigurement. Some of these losses are easy to calculate using documents like medical bills and pay stubs. While your physical pain and emotional anguish are no less real, they may be more difficult to quantify. Keep in mind that the extent of some injuries are not known until weeks or months after the accident. You may need to be treated by specialists before your injuries can be diagnosed and whether your injuries are permanent may not be determined until after substantial treatment. Experienced car accident attorneys have methods for estimating your damages. They also know how to support your damages claim with testimony and evidence. After you have shared the details of your accident and damages with your attorney, they will be able to help you estimate what a fair settlement would be for you. Should I Talk to the Other Insurance Company After an Accident? Soon after your accident, the other driver’s insurance company may reach out to you and ask for a statement. You may feel pressured to comply, but you have no obligation to speak to them. Keep in mind that the insurance company can use anything you say against you. If you already have an attorney when the insurance company reaches out to you, simply give the adjuster your attorney’s contact information. If you do not have an attorney, politely inform the adjuster that you are in the process of interviewing attorneys and you will get back to them when you have representation. It’s always wise to speak to an attorney as soon as possible after an accident, especially if you have suffered any injuries. Once you have an attorney, they can handle all communications with the insurance company. This way you won’t have to worry about how to deal with the insurance company after your car accident. Contact Our Alabama Car Accident Attorneys Today The Fob James Law Firm has over 40 years of experience advocating for injury victims in Alabama. We know how to deal with an insurance company after a car accident, and we are ready to fight for your right to compensation.We are dedicated to providing personal attention to all of our clients. To that end, we take on fewer cases than other Alabama law firms to make sure we have the necessary time and resources to devote to all our clients. Call or contact us today for a free consultation, and learn how we can help with your accident claim.

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Attorney Portrait Dog Bite

How to Report a Dog Bite in Alabama

A dog bite is medically dangerous and emotionally traumatic. In many situations, injuries from the bite lead to a personal injury legal case. If a dog bites you in the state of Alabama, there are several things you should do to fully report the incident.  We suggest that you immediately report the dog bite to the police. As part of this step, gather information about the incident. You should also report the bite to a medical professional. Finally, be sure to contact an attorney to represent you in your dog bite case. Report the Dog Bite to the Police For your safety and the safety of others, call 911 to immediately notify the police if a dog owned by another person bites you. You should also call 911 if the dog owner or person in control of the dog is threatening you. You can call the non-emergency local police number in Alabama if the incident is over and you do not feel in danger. Either way, file an official police report to report a dog bit in Alabama. Be sure to get the report number. Take Photographs at the Scene Pictures help in explaining facts in a report. If you can safely do so, take pictures at the scene of the dog bite incident. These should include photos of: The dog(s) involved, Your injuries, The surrounding physical location (buildings, yard, etc.), and The dog owner/person in control of the dog. If you can’t take pictures at the scene, take a picture of your injuries as soon as you can. Get Information About the Dog and Its Owner In a car accident, you may know to gather information at the scene as you wait for the police. In a dog bite situation, you also need to collect information. This includes: The name of the owner of the dog;  The name of the person in control of the dog, if it is someone other than the owner; The name and breed of the dog;  The name of the dog’s veterinarian; and  The dog’s animal control license number.  Sometimes a dog owner tries to leave the scene without sharing their information. If this happens, take a picture of them and the dog if you can. Seek Medical Attention Along with reporting your dog bite to Alabama law enforcement, you should report your dog bite to a doctor. Evidence of your medical care is part of your legal case and dog bite report. Also, a physician can decide if you need additional medical care. You should seek emergency medical care if you have a serious injury, such as several bites or lots of bleeding, or if a stray dog bites you. Your safety is a priority. Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer  Contact an experienced dog attack lawyer after a dog bite incident. Under Alabama law, you can seek compensation if a dog owned by another person bites and injures you. A dog bite is not a minor incident in our state. It is a legal case, and you should have representation. Begin the process by reporting the dog bite. Then reach out to Fob James Law Firm.  Alabama law places a lot of responsibility on dog owners. If their dog bites someone, there are ramifications. In serious cases, the police may charge them with a crime. Animal control will contact them, and they may have new licensing rules to follow. Your focus must be to protect your rights and stay safe. Report a dog bite and seek legal representation even if the dog owner asks you not to. Fob James Law Firm: Your Dog Attack Lawyers Fob James Law Firm will represent you in a dog attack case. With over 40 years of experience advocating for victims, our attorneys know what it takes to obtain a higher settlement. We give you the attention and compassion you deserve after an injury or loss. We take fewer cases than other personal injury law firms in Alabama, so we can provide the utmost care to your situation. Although we have the resources of a large personal injury firm, we serve you with the attention  of a smaller firm. We care about your safety and your rights. We will help you get the compensation you deserve. If a dog bite or dog chase injures you, do not wait. Contact us for a free case review.

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Attorney Portrait Auto Accidents

Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases in Birmingham

Being injured in a car accident is a frustrating experience. You have likely lost time from work in addition to paying for medical bills and car repairs.  Understandably, you want to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and receive compensation for you for your damages. However, you don’t have an unlimited amount of time to pursue a claim. There is a statute of limitations for suing over a car accident in Alabama. If you need assistance pursuing a claim for damages resulting from a car accident, let our experienced Birmingham car accident lawyers help. What Is the Statute of Limitations in Alabama for Car Accidents? In general, you have only two years to file a lawsuit for a car accident claim in Alabama. If you wait until the statute of limitations has passed, the court will likely bar you from recovery. That means you will collect nothing for your injuries, physical damages, or pain and suffering. It’s not uncommon for the defendant’s insurance company to drag out the claim, hoping you’ll miss the statute of limitations. If you are in negotiations with their insurance company beforehand and miss the deadline, they are not obligated to pay you anything even if you were close to a settlement. That is one reason why it’s essential to contact an attorney at the start of your claim. At Fob James Law Firm, we will handle all negotiations and ensure a lawsuit has been timely filed. Alabama Car Accident Settlement Process The time it takes for a car accident claim to resolve is different from case to case. It depends on a lot of factors, including the facts of the accident and the severity of your injuries. Cases involving relatively minor property damage and injuries could resolve in as quickly as two to three months. Cases involving serious injuries, significant time off work, and even future disability could take a year or longer to resolve. However, cases with disputed liability or other aggravating circumstances may not settle before the statute of limitations expires. These cases require filing a lawsuit. The time it takes to resolve in litigation will vary. If the defendant’s insurance company doesn’t agree to settle, we will prepare to take your case to trial. That could be another year or more away. Speaking with one of our Birmingham car accident attorneys can help you understand your specific case’s timeline. Pitfalls and Things to Look Out for When Suing over a Car Accident in Alabama When you attempt to handle your own car accident claim, there’s a higher chance of making mistakes along the way. While some of these may be minor, others can jeopardize your entire case. Some potential errors include: Not seeking medical treatment quickly after the accident; Waiting too long to file a claim or lawsuit; Not getting enough documentation of your damages; Giving a recorded statement to the defendant’s insurance company; Settling your claim for the first offer; and Hiring a lawyer that doesn’t specialize in auto accident cases. When you retain our firm right after the accident, we can help you avoid these pitfalls. Your attorney will explain the importance of seeking medical treatment early on. We can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf so you aren’t coerced into making a statement that can be used against you. We will also make sure the insurance company doesn’t delay your claim or try to get you to resolve it for far less than it’s worth. Contact a Birmingham Car Accident Attorney If you need assistance with a Birmingham car accident claim, let Fob James Law Firm help. We have decades of experience assisting clients just like you. We understand the tactics insurance companies use and know all the ways to fight them. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. Our goal is to protect your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.

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Alabama Motorcycle Safety Laws: Helmet Laws

Almost half of the country has a universal helmet law in place, including Alabama. All riders and passengers are obligated to wear a helmet at all times, no matter their age. Also, Alabama helmet laws set forth specifics on what is an approved helmet. These include details on the necessary exterior shell, cradle, padding, and chin strap. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) findings indicate that wearing a proper helmet can save thousands of lives every year. If you were involved in an Alabama motorcycle-related accident, you need a skilled Birmingham motorcycle accident attorney on your side. Other Alabama Motorcycle Laws In addition to following Alabama helmet laws, motorcycle riders must adhere to many other important regulations. Some of these laws include: Riders must have a class M endorsement on their driver license to operate a motorcycle; Riders must be 16 or older to obtain a class M endorsement; Motorcyclists are prohibited from riding between the lanes or between rows of vehicles; Riders must be sitting on the regular and permanent seat and cannot carry a passenger unless the motorcycle is designed for two and has the required footpegs; Motorcycle riders must wear shoes at all times; Riders can’t ride abreast from more than one other motorcycle in the same lane; Motorcyclists are prohibited from passing a vehicle in the same lane as the one they are overtaking; and Riders cannot carry anything on the motorcycle, like a package, if it prevents them from having both hands on the handlebars. Motorcyclists are also required to follow the same traffic safety laws as other motorists on the road. Failure to do so can result in an accident. What Happens If I Get Caught Not Wearing a Helmet While on a Motorcycle in Alabama? If you are caught by a police officer while not wearing a helmet, you could receive a fine. If you are in an accident while not wearing a helmet, you could be severely injured or even die from your injuries. Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Alabama Motorcycle accidents in Birmingham can happen for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of accidents we see include: Tailgating; Opening a car door into a motorcycle; Speeding; Failure to observe the motorcycle rider; Changing lanes into the motorcycle; Driving under the influence; Distracted driving; Sudden stops; Adverse weather; and Road hazards. Severe to catastrophic injuries are not uncommon in motorcycle accidents. Some injuries could’ve been reduced or even avoided entirely if the rider was wearing a helmet. There tends to be a stigma about motorcycle riders. Contrary to what most people think, motorcyclists are not always at fault in an accident. While following Alabama helmet laws, wearing proper safety gear, and taking motorcycle training can help reduce some accidents, other drivers need to watch for motorcyclists at all times. Defensive driving can also save lives. Contact Our Alabama Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, don’t attempt to pursue an injury claim on your own. Let an experienced Birmingham motorcycle lawyer assist. With decades of experience representing clients in Alabama personal injury matters, the attorneys at Fob James Law Firm can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule a free no-obligation case evaluation.

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How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Birmingham

Losing a loved one in a tragic accident or because of another’s intentional actions is devastating. We recognize it is a challenging time for you and your family.  If your family member’s death was someone else’s fault, it can be even more painful. Understandably, you might have many concerns and questions, including whether the at-fault party will be held criminally responsible. You may also want to know who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Alabama. To understand more about how wrongful death claims work, contact our skilled Birmingham wrongful death lawyers. What Is a Wrongful Death Claim? A wrongful death claim is a civil claim for financial compensation and is meant to hold the responsible party accountable for someone’s death. Wrongful death is when another party’s negligence, omission, or reckless or intentional actions cause someone to die. Because of this, they should be held accountable. In some situations, that means a criminal trial, possibly resulting in incarceration and fines. A wrongful death claim is a civil case, which results in financial compensation. To bring a wrongful death claim, you need to see whether the victim would’ve had the right to bring a claim had they survived. If the deceased would have had a personal injury claim against the defendant, you might have the right to file one for wrongful death. Alabama law is different from that of many other states regarding the type of damages you can receive in a wrongful death case. Alabama law limits you to recovering only punitive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Punitive damages do not necessarily compensate the survivors for financial losses associated with the victim’s death. Instead, it’s more about punishing the defendant for their wrongdoing and sending a message to others not to replicate the behavior. Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Alabama? Under Alabama law, only the deceased’s personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative is usually someone named in the deceased’s will. They will be responsible for probate administration and may or may not be a family member. If the deceased did not appoint someone or did not have an estate plan at all, the court will appoint someone as the estate administrator. While the personal representative is the one who files the wrongful death lawsuit, the family members will receive the proceeds from a settlement or jury award. How Are Wrongful Death Proceeds Divided in Alabama? Damages are distributed to surviving family members based on Alabama’s intestate laws. The rules on who receives what falls under a specific hierarchy based on the probate code. This can be a complicated process depending on surviving family members. You need a skilled Birmingham wrongful death attorney who can explain the order of priority in your specific situation. Contact an Alabama Wrongful Death Attorney In Alabama, the wrongful death statute of limitations is typically only two years. However, some circumstances could alter the time you have to file. That is why you must contact an experienced attorney early on. At Fob James Law Firm, we have decades of experience helping Birmingham clients recover compensation in wrongful death claims. Contact our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us help your family through this difficult time and fight to hold the responsible party accountable.

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