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When to Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident in Birmingham

If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You should contact a lawyer soon after receiving proper medical treatment for your injuries. The personal injury legal process can be stressful and intimidating. Working with a lawyer can help to minimize your stress levels so you can focus on your rehabilitation. Additionally, a lawyer can file your case within the statute of limitations and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.  Statute of Limitations A statute of limitations provides the time frame during which you must file your case. Failing to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires prohibits you from filing it. Statutes of limitation are important to understand because you may not feel the effects of your injury until some time has passed after the accident. The statute of limitations for most Alabama personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident. However, there are some notable exceptions. Minors and Mentally Incompetent Persons If you were a minor at the time you suffered your injury, you have two years from the date you turn 19 to file your case. If incapacitated at the time of the injury, you have two years from the date a court declares you mentally competent to file your lawsuit. Lawsuits Against Government Entities Another exception arises when the defendant’s employer is a town, city, or county and was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident. In these cases, you must file a written notice of claim before you can file a lawsuit. If the defendant is a city or town, you must file a notice of the claim within six months of the accident. If the defendant is a county, you must file a notice of claim within one year of the accident. Hiring a personal injury lawyer soon after your accident can help ensure that your case gets filed on time. Compensation You Could Receive The compensation you could receive for injuries sustained during a car accident can be in the form of economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic Damages Economic damages are most commonly awarded to plaintiffs in accident cases. Examples include lost wages and medical expenses. Non-Economic Damages Non-economic damages are compensation for mental and emotional pain. Examples include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress. Punitive Damages Courts award punitive damages in cases where the defendant’s conduct went beyond ordinary negligence. The State of Alabama caps punitive damages at the greater of: Three times the sum of economic and non-economic damages, or  $1,500,000. Their purpose is to punish the defendant and deter others from performing similar conduct. Why Hire the Personal Injury Attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm? If you’ve suffered injuries resulting from a car accident in Birmingham, our aggressive personal injury attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm will handle every aspect of your case with your best interests in mind. We’ll give your case the one-on-one attention it deserves. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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Attorney Portrait Auto Accidents

How to Get a Copy of Your Birmingham Accident Report

If you get into a car accident in Birmingham, the responding police officer usually creates a report that includes the involved parties and details of the accident. This Birmingham accident report plays a crucial role in your claim and often determines how much an insurance company offers you. How Do I Get a Copy of My Birmingham, Alabama Accident Report? If the Birmingham Police Department responds to your crash, there are several ways you can pick up your Birmingham, Alabama accident report. The Records Division allows you to purchase reports online, in-person, or through the mail, while the Alabama Department of Public Safety allows you to order reports over the phone, through the mail, or online. Related: How to Read a Birmingham Accident Report Online To obtain your Birmingham accident report online, visit the Birmingham Police Department website and fill out a Public Records Request form. To get your report, you will need the following information: Name of the drivers involved; Location of occurrence; Date of occurrence; and Case number. Birmingham, Alabama accident reports cost $5.00 per copy. Before you order the report, make sure to contact the Records Division at 205-254-6308 to make sure the report is available.  The Department of Public Safety also offers a Uniform Traffic Accident Report through the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency website. Search for your report using the information listed above. Keep in mind that it takes up to 10 business days from the date of the crash for accident reports to be available online. Each PDF copy of your Birmingham accident report through the ALEA costs $17.00. Injured in an accident? We can help with a free-case analysis Begin Free Case Review Here In-Person To get your Birmingham accident report in-person, you need to visit the Birmingham Police Department Headquarters at the following address: Birmingham Police Department Headquarters1710 1st Avenue NorthBirmingham, AL 35203Phone: 205-254-6308Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.Get Directions Each copy of your Birmingham accident report costs $5.00. The Birmingham Police Department also notarizes accident reports for $6.00. By Mail or Over the Phone To get your report by mail, you may mail a certified check or a money order to the Birmingham Police Department or to the Alabama Department of Public Safety. If you order through the Birmingham Police Department, include identifying information on your accident and a return address. Make sure to send your request to the address listed above. If you order a Birmingham, Alabama accident report from the Department of Public Safety, you must fill out a Crash Report Request Form. Make sure to include the names of drivers involved, the location/date of the accident, and the driver’s license number of each driver. Print the form and send it to the following address: Alabama Law Enforcement AgencyCrash ReportsP.O. Box 1471Montgomery, AL 36102-1472 Birmingham accident reports from the Department of Public Safety cost $15.00 per copy. If you want to order your report over the phone using a credit or debit card, call the Department of Public Safety at 334-242-4241. Contact an Experienced Birmingham Car Accident Attorney Today If you suffer injuries in a car accident, you need an attorney that aggressively fights for you. At the Fob James Law Firm, our Birmingham car accident attorneys provide the attention your case deserves. Since we take fewer cases, we have more time to focus on you. If you need help obtaining your Birmingham accident report or would like a free consultation, give us a call at 205-728-2474 or contact us online.

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COVID-19 In Alabama Nursing Homes—Questions You Need To Ask

If your loved one resides in an Alabama nursing home, do not assume that the nursing home is adopting best practices to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) among its residents and employees. As COVID-19 spreads, now is the time to be vigilant, thorough, persistent, and prepared. Below are questions you should ask your loved one’s nursing home to address problems we are witnessing across the southeast. Reach out to our Alabama nursing home abuse attorneys if you have any questions or need help with your claim. Are you testing all residents? COVID-19 is highly contagious, and nursing homes are Petri dishes. The most at-risk population are senior citizens with pre-existing conditions, i.e., the quintessential nursing home resident. Many carriers of COVID-19 are asymptomatic and do not get tested. Thus, nursing homes should test every single resident and employee for COVID-19 regardless of symptoms. We are seeing cases where a resident or employee with no or minor symptoms tests positive for COVID-19 after a random test is administered by the county. But for the random test, the infected person would not have been tested and his or her infection would have remained unknown.  In one instance, even after residents and employees tested positive for COVID-19 (after random testing), the nursing home failed to test other residents and employees unless they demonstrated the symptoms reflected in the CDC’s general population testing guidance. This is insane for obvious reasons—carriers of COVID-19 are both asymptomatic and symptomatic and high-risk nursing home residents can contract COVID-19 from both types of carriers.  You should demand that your loved one’s nursing home test all employees and residents. In the event, the nursing home argues they do not have enough tests, ask how it is obtaining tests and what measures it is taking to obtain tests (e.g., requests made to the governor’s office; county health officials; private vendors). Ask if they have ordered or have access to new testing equipment approved by the FDA, including, for example, the new equipment available from Abbott Labs. What is your protocol after an employee or resident tests positive? Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 should be immediately removed from the facility and placed in a quarantine protocol. The employee should test negative before returning to work. Any nursing home resident that tests positive for COVID-19 should be immediately removed from the nursing home facility and sent to a hospital for treatment and quarantine protocol. Ask the nursing home which hospital will treat infected residents and make sure that the hospital is equipped to handle elderly COVID-19 patients. At a minimum, every employee or resident that encountered the infected individual or was located in the individual’s building should be immediately tested.  Are you allowing residents infected with COVID-19 to return from the hospital who have not tested negative? It goes without saying that infected residents should not return to nursing homes unless they have recovered from the virus and tested negative. Unbelievably, Jefferson County, Alabama has instructed nursing homes to take back residents who are still infected with COVID-19. This is idiotic and reckless beyond belief. In the event, your loved one resides in a nursing home located in Jefferson County or Birmingham, Alabama, ask the nursing home to immediately notify you if it allows any infected resident to return prior to testing negative. If the nursing home says that it must take residents back prematurely to comply with the government, ask what safety and quarantine measures are in place to protect non-infected residents. Keep in mind that even if infected residents are quarantined in a separate wing, employees or others could transmit the virus from the quarantined area to the non-quarantined area. Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Lawyer in Alabama If you believe your loved one has died or been infected with COVID-19 because of the negligence or recklessness of a nursing home, hospital, or county health department, please call (205) 407-6009 or send a message to the Alabama nursing home attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm. We are ready to investigate your case and help in any way we can.

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Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions in Alabama

If you sustained injuries in a rear-end collision in Alabama, you may have the right to recover compensation from the party who hit you. These potentially serious accidents are a growing problem for Alabama motorists. Both drivers and passengers can sustain catastrophic or life-threatening injuries. You may require extensive medical treatment and recovery, preventing you from working or engaging in your normal activities. Many victims sustain long-term or permanent disability. To learn more about what causes most rear-end collisions in Alabama, or for help recovering the compensation you deserve, talk to a Birmingham car accident lawyer at the Fob James Law Firm. What Causes Most Rear-End Collisions in Alabama? According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, driver errors were a contributing factor to at least 114,734 total traffic crashes in Alabama in 2018, rear-end collisions being one of the most frequently occurring types of collisions. The following are the leading causes for most rear-end collisions in Alabama: Tailgating, Misjudging the distance required to stop, Speeding, Impaired driving, Tired or fatigued driving, Distracted driving, and Losing vehicle control. Other factors that can cause or contribute to rear-end crashes include weather factors (such as wet roads) and vehicle component failure (such as faulty brakes). Roadway obstructions, third-party vehicles, and drivers who fail to yield or who pull into traffic unexpectedly can also contribute to rear-end collisions. Injured in an accident? We can help with a free-case analysis Begin Free Case Review Here Rear-End Motor Vehicle Crash Stats in Alabama According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions are the most common type of motor vehicle crashes. In fact, the number of rear-end crashes that occur each year in the U.S. is about the same as the number of angle crashes, sideswipes, and head-on collisions added together. In 2019, more than 56,000 rear-end crashes occurred in Alabama, resulting in thousands of incapacitating injuries and fatalities, according to the University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS). Data from the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) indicates that rear-end vehicle collisions pose a growing threat to Alabama motorists. No matter how carefully you drive, you can’t control the actions of other motorists on the roadway. What Kind of Injuries Result from Rear-End Alabama Accidents? Being struck from behind by another vehicle can lead to catastrophic or life-threatening injuries. Some of the most common injuries that result from this type of collision include: Neck injuries, Spine injuries, Facial injuries, Head injuries, Fractures, Dislocations, and Internal injuries. Even a seemingly minimal impact can cause whiplash—a complex injury involving the bones, nerves, and soft tissue of the neck and upper spine. Many victims do not develop symptoms of whiplash and other injuries for days or weeks after a collision. If you were hit from behind by another vehicle, seek medical attention immediately and then contact an Alabama car accident lawyer. What Are Your Legal Options After a Rear-End Car Accident? If you suffered injuries in a rear-end collision, a legal concept known as no-doubt liability may apply to your claim. In cases of no-doubt liability, the courts assign fault to the driver of the rear vehicle. Alabama, however, recognizes the doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that if you are found to have negligently contributed to the accident–even 1%–your claim may be denied. As a result, the rear vehicle’s driver (or his or her insurance company) will frequently argue that you contributed in some way to the crash. Insurance carriers routinely deny claims on the false assertion that you contributed to the accident. For this reason, even when the rear vehicle’s driver is clearly at fault, you may need an accident attorney to aggressively advocate on your behalf. Rear-end collision attorneys can help victims pursue compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. If your attorney cannot obtain an acceptable settlement from the insurance company, you may be able to pursue compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. You may have the right to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic losses. Talk to an Alabama Car Accident Lawyer for Help Fighting to get the compensation you deserve for your car accident injuries can be challenging. The experienced car accident lawyers of the Fob James Law Firm can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation or to speak with one of our Alabama rear-end collision attorneys.

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Common Causes of Trucking Accident Injuries in Birmingham

Commercial truck accidents are unfortunately common in Birmingham, as our city is home to the active commercial transportation industry. If you suffered serious injuries in a truck collision, you face a long road to recovery and potentially devastating medical bills. If you can’t work, you may have no way to pay your bills or take care of your family. An experienced Birmingham truck accident attorney from the Fob James Law Firm can help. We fight to help you recover compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages. If you were involved in a semi-truck accident that wasn’t your fault, we can help—no matter what the cause of your truck accident injuries might have been. The Most Common Causes of Birmingham Truck Accidents The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) reports that, in 2018, our state experienced more than 10,000 truck accidents involving vehicles such as commercial semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, tow trucks, and delivery trucks. In those collisions, 2,629 victims sustained serious injuries and 121 truck accident victims died. The most common types of trucking accidents in Alabama are: Blindspot accidents Head-on collisions Jackknife accidents Rear-end collisions Roll-overs, and Underride accidents The most common causes of truck accidents in Alabama, according to ALDOT, are: Improper backing Excessive speed Improper passing Driver fatigue Driver impairment Tailgating Failure to yield, and Improper lane changes Other factors that frequently lead to truck collisions include: Improper or neglected vehicle maintenance, Defective equipment Roadway obstructions Poorly marked roadways, and Insufficient traffic control If you had a collision with a heavy-duty commercial vehicle, contact a truck accident lawyer as quickly as possible. Preserving evidence in these types of collisions can be challenging, and the sooner your attorney can start documenting your case, the better. Injured in an accident? We can help with a free-case analysis Begin Free Case Review Here Common Truck Accident Injuries Large commercial vehicles such as 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and semi-trucks are heavy and difficult to control under many conditions. The size and weight of these vehicles can destroy passenger vehicles and cause catastrophic injuries to the occupants. Some of the most common types of injuries that result from trucking collisions include: Fractures and dislocations Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) Neck and spine injuries Nerve damage Internal injuries Severe burns, and Lost digits and limbs Victims can sustain permanent scarring, disfigurement, and disability, requiring lifelong treatment and care. Hundreds of truck accident victims lose their lives every year in Alabama. If you or a loved one were injured—or if you lost a loved one in an Alabama truck collision—seek help from an experienced truck accident lawyer in Birmingham. Who is Liable for Commercial Truck Accidents? In a collision involving two passenger vehicles, the drivers and their insurance carriers are typically the only parties involved. In a commercial trucking accident, however, you must deal with multiple parties, depending on the circumstances of the crash. Typically, you must deal with the truck driver, the trucking company, and potentially, the cargo shipper and trucking equipment manufacturer. In addition, each party likely has their own insurer and attorneys. Determining liability for a truck accident can pose a complex challenge. Documenting the case and obtaining evidence to prove liability can be even more difficult. After a trucking accident, evidence should be preserved and a thorough investigation should be conducted before the trucking company or its insurance carrier destroys the evidence. Examples of evidence that should be preserved and investigated include: The truck driver’s logbook, which shows how long they were on the road in the past 24 hours. The truck driver’s medical certificate showing that they are cleared to drive, and The truck’s onboard computer, which will reveal key data about the crash and the events leading up to the accident. While these pieces of evidence can help prove that the truck driver or trucking company was negligent in the accident, they could be lost if immediate steps aren’t taken to preserve evidence. In most cases, you need an experienced truck accident attorney to preserve and collect evidence and to investigate these complicated incidents. Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Birmingham At the Fob James Law Firm, we understand the pain you’re experiencing, as well as the confusion and uncertainty for the future. Our experienced personal injury lawyers provide personalized representation that is tailored to your needs and the details of your case. We work hard to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact us online or call (205) 407-6009 today to learn more or to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our Birmingham truck accident lawyers.

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Do I Have a Wrongful Death Case?

If you lost a family member due to injuries caused by another party, you may have the right to seek compensation. Whether your loved one died due to injuries sustained as a result of a car accident, a truck accident, a slip and fall accident, medical malpractice, or another wrongful act, the at-fault party should be held accountable. An Alabama wrongful death attorney can help you pursue justice and financial restitution. Talking to an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to determine the viability of your case. Your lawyer can also provide you with information regarding the potential value of your claim. What Is the Alabama Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death? The Alabama statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of the victim’s death. If you fail to file court action within this period, you could lose your legal right to recover compensation for your damages. Some exceptions to the statute of limitations could affect your claim. For example, if the at-fault party is a city or municipality, you or your lawyer must file a notice of your claim within six months of the death. If you plan to pursue an Alabama county for wrongful death, you must file a notice of your claim within one year of the death in most cases. How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Alabama? The Alabama wrongful death statute of limitations leaves little room for delay. By quickly initiating a legal claim, you can protect your legal right to recover compensation. Taking quick action provides other benefits as well. The sooner your attorney can get started on your case, the better. As time passes, evidence can be lost and witnesses’ memories can fade. When you allow your attorney to start building your case immediately, you can focus on spending time with loved ones and handling the many other tasks and responsibilities you face. Who Can File an Alabama Wrongful Death Claim? Alabama law requires that a personal representative of the victim’s estate bring any wrongful death action. Because of the personal representative’s involvement, the victim’s estate must be opened in probate court.  Initiating probate proceedings poses its own set of legal challenges. Consulting an attorney can help ensure that your claim meets the state’s legal requirements. In the event that the victim was under 18, the victim’s mother or father can commence legal action. If both the mother and father are already deceased, or if neither mother or father commences legal action within six months of the victim’s death, a designated personal representative can pursue a legal claim. How Are Wrongful Death Proceeds Divided in Alabama? Although a personal representative of the victim must initiate legal action, the personal representative does not recover the settlement or jury award granted in an Alabama wrongful death action. The proceeds of the claim will be distributed to the victim’s heirs through probate..Even if the victim died with a will, the probate court will disburse any proceeds in accordance with Alabama’s inheritance laws rather than following the will. This distribution depends on whether the victim had a spouse, children, or surviving parents. An Alabama wrongful death attorney can explain how the state law applies to your case and how it could affect your potential settlement. Talk to An Alabama Wrongful Death Lawyer Today If your loved one died due to the actions of another party, talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The personal injury lawyers of the Fob James Law Firm understand how difficult this time is, and we are here to help you. We provide personalized legal representation tailored to your specific needs, and we fight to get you and your family the justice you deserve. Call (205) 407-6009 to contact us today to schedule a no-cost case evaluation with one of our Alabama wrongful death attorneys.

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How to Read a Birmingham Crash Accident Report

If you sustained injuries or property damage in a car accident in Birmingham, Alabama, you may need a copy of the police report to submit an insurance claim. If the accident wasn’t your fault, the police report will be critical to documenting your case. Either way, you will need to obtain a copy of the Birmingham traffic accident report. Understanding how to read it will help ensure that the report is accurate and that it contains all the relevant facts. Understanding Alabama Crash Reports In most cases, the police will use a specific form to file your Alabama crash report. This form, known as the Alabama Uniform Traffic Crash Report form, makes it easier for officers to record all pertinent information in an orderly manner. The crash report form is divided into sections as follows. Header Information At the top of the form, the officer will identify critical information about the crash. This information includes the number and type of vehicles involved, the number of injuries and fatalities, and the case or report number. Location and Time The next section allows the officer to make note of the accident location, date, and time. This information is critical as this is the portion of the form where the officer indicates what circumstances caused the crash and which party was primarily at fault. The officer preparing the Alabama collision report will assign each involved party a unit number. This reference will be used throughout the balance of the report. Information for Unit No. 1 In this section, the officer enters all identifying information for the first involved party. This includes name, address, driver license number, and insurance information. The officer will note the party’s condition after the crash and indicate whether that party appeared to be impaired by drugs or alcohol. Any impairment testing results are also included in this section. This section also contains information about the vehicle, any damage sustained, and information about any citations that were issued to the driver. Injured in an accident? We can help with a free-case analysis Begin Free Case Review Here Information for Vehicle No. 2 This section uses the same categories noted above to record information for Unit No. 2, the second involved party. Seating Position Codes This section allows the officer to note how many people occupied each involved vehicle and indicate where in the vehicle they were seated. It also allows the officer to make note of any other individuals involved in the accident, such as pedestrians, etc. Victim Information The next section of the form allows the reporting officer to list all victims of the crash. Here, the officer notes the role of each victim, describes their involvement in the accident, and notes whether they were transported for medical treatment. Narrative and Diagram This section consists of a blank box in which the reporting officer diagrams the accident as it occurred in the officer’s opinion. The officer should also include a written narrative to explain the diagram. Roadway Environment This section notes any specific roadway conditions present. It also allows the officer to note any weather conditions and other relevant information about the accident location. Investigation This section documents which law enforcement agency investigated the incident and notes the identifying information of the reporting officer(s). Truck/Bus Supplement The officer completes this portion of the report only if a qualifying commercial truck or bus was involved in the incident. Although all information on the report should be accurate, pay careful attention to the Narrative and Diagram section of the report. If you plan to pursue a claim for compensation or file a civil suit to recover damages, this section will play a critical role in documenting your case. If any aspect of this section appears incorrect, contact a Birmingham car accident attorney for help. How to Obtain a Copy of a Birmingham, AL Police Report The officer who takes your information and statement at the crash scene should provide you with a report number. Although you may be able to obtain a copy using your driver’s license number, having the report number should make the process easier for you. You can order a copy of your police report directly from the Birmingham Police Department. If you use this method, however, you must pick up the report in person and provide your ID to verify that you were involved. You can also order an Alabama crash report online from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) website. Although this method costs slightly more, you will have immediate access to a PDF copy that you can download. Or if you work with a Birmingham car accident attorney, your lawyer can typically take care of obtaining your crash report and other critical evidence to document your case. Your attorney can also explain how to read the report and go through it with you, to verify its accuracy. Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Birmingham If you have any questions about obtaining Alabama crash reports or interpreting their contents, talk to an experienced car accident lawyer at the Fob James Law Firm. We provide a free consultation for Birmingham personal injury victims. Contact us today by calling (205) 407-6009 to schedule your case evaluation.

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