Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Why do you need to give your medical records to your attorney when you file suit for an Alabama car wreck case?

Clients often wonder why we will need to get their medical records when they hire us to either file suit for a car wreck case or they want for us to negotiate with the insurance company.

We understand the questions about this because our medical records are private and in everyday life we understand that we do not have to give out our medical records.

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One unfortunate reality in Alabama is if you have a potential personal injury or wrongful death claim due to someone else’s negligence, you will likely be solicited in an unethical manner by lawyers.

The typical way is an “investigator” will contact you to say he has some wonderful information from the police officer, from the paramedic, etc. and he wants to share this with you. But you will need to meet with his lawyer, who is the greatest Alabama car wreck/truck wreck/train wreck lawyer around.

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STLToday.com has posted an interesting article about a Maryland hospital’s ban on photographing or videotaping of births. Meritus Medical Center, in Hagerstown, MD, even requires cell phones and cameras be turned off and only allows photographing to begin after the medical staff have given the okay.

The hospital is trying to protect both its patients and staff. The medical staff won’t be distracted by electronics and can better focus their attention on the safety and health of the mother and baby. Also, hospital staff really don’t want to be popping up on Facebook and YouTube videos, so their privacy is being protected as well.

This hospital’s reasoning is backed by a variety of lawsuits, of which video can be used as evidence. For example, in 2007 a baby was born in the University of Illinois Hospital with permanent shoulder injuries. The video the baby’s father took in the delivery room showed the midwife using “excessive force” and the family was paid $2.3 million in damages.

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USA Today has posted an article about a recent Supreme Court ruling that says car company Mazda can be sued for not having certain safety equipment in some of their vehicles, even though the vehicles met the government’s safety standards. The decision allows a lawsuit over a woman’s death in 2002 to progress forward.

Ms. Than Williamson was sitting in the middle seat of the second row of a 1993 Mazda MPV and was wearing her seatbelt, but it was only a lap belt. Upon collision, Williamson’s body “jackknifed” around the lap belt, killing her. Her family is suing Mazda because the middle seat was not equipped with the standard 3 point seatbelt that is required for the outboard seats, even though the lap belt met federal safety requirements.

Mazda argued it was immune from lawsuits because the government in 1989 gave it a choice of a lap or three-point belts in the middle rear seat. A suit forcing them to use lap-and-shoulder belts, it argued, would invalidate the choice offered by regulators.

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Boston.com has posted an article about how many doctors that drug companies hire to be the spokesman for a drug actually have “questionable’ records. Drug companies say that they hire the “most respected doctors in their fields for the critical task of teaching about the benefits and risks of their drugs.”

But an investigation by ProPublica has brought to light that many doctors who are on drug companies’ payrolls have been accused of “professional misconduct”, lacked credentials as researchers or specialists in area of the specific drug, or had been disciplined by state boards.

A review of physician licensing records in the 15 most populous states and three others found sanctions against more than 250 speakers, including some of the highest paid. Their misconduct included inappropriately prescribing drugs, providing poor care, or having sex with patients. Some of the doctors had even lost their licenses.

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The Georgia Injury Lawyer & Attorney Blog has posted a startling article, originally from FleetOwner.com, about how car accidents, including medical costs and productivity losses, in the year 2005 cost the US $99 Billion…which roughly averages to a $500 bill to each licensed driver in the country.

Here’s some of the number breakdown:

-“Costs related to fatal motor vehicle-related injuries totaled $58 billion. The cost of non-fatal injuries resulting in hospitalization amounted to $28 billion, and the cost of injuries to people treated in emergency departments and released was $14 billion. “

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In years of representing countless personal injury victims from car wrecks, this is one of the more common questions.

Clearly there is an accident. Clearly the other driver ran into the back of you. Clearly you were hurt and went to the hospital.

You gather your medical bills and send those to the adjuster for the guy who smashed into the back of your car.

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Plaintiff Lawyer Trial Tips has posted a helpful article with some tips on how to proceed when telling your story in front of a judge or jury in court.

Start the story with the defendant and not the plaintiff:

When a series of focus studies were done across the country the outcome confirmed what was already an accepted fact. That fact is that people apply “availability bias” as listen to a story and immediately begin to fill in the blanks by asking themselves questions about the behavior of the activity they are told about. They immediately raise issues in their own mind about the conduct of what went on focusing on negative possible factors that might explain what happened. If you start your story by talking first about the defendant’s conduct, the Jurors will construct their understanding of the case in the context of the defendant’s behavior. Questions about why the defendant did or didn’t something that caused it to happen are raised as you describe the conduct. You want the initial focus on the negligent conduct of the defendant.

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The LaBovick Injury Law Blog has posted an article highlighting the need for drivers to be extra cautious when sharing the road with bicyclists, particularly in the summer months.

In an effort to promote roadway safety for Bicyclists we are sharing important stats involving bicycle accidents:

There are 73 to 85 million bicycle riders in the US, including 45 million over age 6 who rode more than six times in 2008.

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Depositions are a critical part of an Alabama injury lawsuit such as a car wreck or products liability type of case. Depositions are a part of discovery but are the only type where the party (plaintiff or defendant) is required to answer without help from their attorneys.

When?

Depositions take place after the lawsuit is filed and normally after written discovery has been exchanged. Normally both the plaintiff and defendant are deposed the same day in a car wreck case – bigger cases (truck wreck, product liability, medical malpractice, etc) typically involve longer depositions so the depositions will take place over a period of days.

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