What are the potential dangers to welders from the welding process, in particular, stainless steel welding?

Chromium is a naturally occurring element found in stainless steel, electrodes, and filler metals. These materials are all commonly used in welding processes. During welding, the intense heat turns this metal into a gas.

This gaseous form of chromium is known as hexavalent chromium, and has serious health risks for individuals exposed

A few weeks ago, we posted a blog post about the difference between a criminal case filed by a prosecutor’s office and a civil case that is filed by the victim of a crime. In both types of cases, the defendant is potentially liable for the harm they caused, with the difference between the two types of cases coming mostly from whose rights are being vindicated. In short, a criminal case seeks to punish the defendant for a wrong committed against society as a whole, whereas a civil case is focused on the particular victim of that specific crime.

GavelGenerally speaking, if an Alabama crime victim hopes to obtain financial compensation for the harm they have suffered, they will file an Alabama personal injury lawsuit. This post discusses a booklet designed to help Alabama crime victims and will describe several of the steps involved in filing a civil case. Of course, it is strongly advised that anyone considering filing an Alabama personal injury lawsuit reach out to a dedicated personal injury attorney prior to doing so.

When to File a Personal Injury Case

In general, Alabama law requires that a personal injury case be filed within two years of the injury. However, if the accident victim was a minor at the time they were injured, the claim will generally not expire until two years after the victim’s 19th birthday.

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When someone’s negligence results in another’s death, the estate of the accident victim is entitled to pursue a claim for compensation against the at-fault party through an Alabama wrongful death lawsuit. Alabama Code section 6-5-410 governs Alabama wrongful death lawsuits, and provides that any person or corporation can be liable for the death of another caused by any “wrongful act, omission, or negligence.”

Legal BindersAlabama’s wrongful death statute is unique in several ways. First, as noted above, the family of the deceased is not entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim. Instead, only the personal representative of the deceased can initiate the claim. Of course, there is no law preventing a family member from being named as a personal representative.

The second way in which Alabama handles wrongful death cases differently is the availability of damages. In most states, wrongful death plaintiffs can pursue compensatory damages for the loss of the deceased. However, Alabama provides only for punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to accomplish two goals: to punish the defendant who was found to have acted negligently, and to deter similar conduct by other parties. Any punitive damages awarded in an Alabama wrongful death lawsuit are paid to the heirs of the deceased, and are not made a part of the estate, as is the case in other states.

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Within the next three years, two Japan-based auto-manufacturers are expected to begin construction of a $1.6 billion factory in the Huntsville area. The good news is that the factory is expected to bring upwards of 4,000 jobs to the greater Huntsville area once the factory is fully operational. However, lawmakers and advocacy groups have expressed concerns that the state’s existing traffic laws and infrastructure may need tweaking in order to support the increased burden the factory will place on the area’s highways.

Highway InterchangeAlabama Traffic Laws Rated as Middle-of-the-Road

When followed, strict traffic laws can prevent Alabama car accidents. However, over time, as a city grows, its population increases, and the type of traffic on the roads changes. When this happens, existing traffic laws may need to be amended and new laws passed to accommodate a city’s changing needs.

According to a recent study conducted by a traffic-safety advocacy group, Alabama was one of 31 states that received a “yellow” rating regarding its traffic laws. The study ranked each of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia as either “green,” “yellow,” or “red,” based on the traffic laws currently on the books.

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When someone is a victim of a crime in Alabama, they may have several avenues to seek compensation for their injuries. One method of pursuing compensation is by participating in a criminal prosecution against the offender. Importantly, criminal cases are brought not by the accident victim but by the government. Thus, the focus is not necessarily on providing the victim of a crime with compensation but on punishing the behavior of the defendant.

Helping Crime VictimsThat being said, criminal courts in Alabama do have the ability to order an offender to pay restitution to a crime victim. However, restitution is limited by the defendant’s ability to pay. Additionally, the Alabama Crime Victims’ Compensation Commission provides monetary compensation to crime victims if they meet certain criteria. Compensation awarded by the Commission may include medical and dental care, prescriptions, psychiatric care and counseling, rehabilitation, moving expenses, travel expenses, limited property reimbursement, future economic loss, lost wages, and funerals. However, the Commission will not issue compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering.

In order for a victim of a crime to obtain compensation for their pain and suffering, the victim must file an Alabama personal injury lawsuit. Unlike a criminal prosecution, civil cases are brought by the crime victim, which therefore allows the crime victim to have more control over the case. Importantly, the burden of proof in order to establish liability in a civil case is less than is required to prove an offender guilty in a criminal trial.

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When someone is involved in a serious Alabama car accident, the chances are they have to deal not just with the physical injuries and property damage caused by the accident, but also with the mounting medical expenses and the loss of income due to time spent away from work. Additionally, an accident victim’s life may not ever be the same, even post-recovery.

Insurance ContractAfter a car accident, an accident victim may be able to seek compensation for the injuries they sustained in the accident through an insurance claim. In Alabama, all drivers must maintain a base level of liability insurance to cover the costs of injuries caused by that driver’s negligence If the at-fault party has an insurance policy, the claim will initially be through the at-fault driver’s policy.

Some drivers, however, fail to obtain insurance despite the legal requirement they do so. In other situations, a driver has insurance, but the injuries sustained in the accident are very serious, warranting compensation above the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. In the event of an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, an accident victim may be able to file a claim with their own insurance company.

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When someone is injured in any kind of Alabama accident, the injured party is entitled to seek compensation from the party they believe to be at fault for their injuries. However, all personal injury cases in Alabama must be filed within a specified amount of time, as outlined in the relevant statute of limitations. It is incredibly important that personal injury plaintiffs comply with the relevant statute of limitations that governs their case, or the case may be dismissed without ever being reviewed on its merits.

Stop WatchEssentially, a statute of limitations provides the time frame in which an accident victim must file their case. As long as a case is filed by the time the statute of limitations expires, the case will be considered timely, even if the case is not ultimately resolved until after the statute of limitations has expired.

Under Alabama Code § 6-2-38, any lawsuit seeking compensation for personal injuries or wrongful death must be filed within two years of the injury or death. In many cases, determining when the statute of limitations expires is a straightforward task; however, that is not always the case. For example, under Alabama Code § 6-5-482, a claim of medical malpractice is generally subject to a two-year statute of limitations; however, if the plaintiff does not discover their injury until a later date, the statute of limitations can be tolled, or extended, until six months after the plaintiff’s discovery of their injury.

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One of the most common questions asked by victims of Alabama truck accidents is whether the trucking company that employs an allegedly at-fault driver can be held liable for the actions of the truck driver. As is the case with many legal questions, the answer is “it depends.”

Semi-TruckThe legal term respondeat superior refers to an ancient Latin phrase that roughly translated means “let the master answer.” Respondeat superior is a type of vicarious lability, meaning the doctrine allows one person to be held liable for the acts of another third party. Other types of vicarious liability include a parent’s responsibility for the actions of their minor child or a car owner’s responsibility for the actions of those they allow to use their car.

In modern day personal injury law, respondeat superior refers to a legal doctrine that allows for accident victims to hold an employer liable for the negligent acts of an employee in certain circumstances. Under Alabama case law, an accident victim must establish several elements in order to hold an employer liable for the acts of an employee. While this case involved a doctor who the plaintiff claimed was liable for the negligent acts of a nurse, the rules outlined by the court in its opinion have since been applied broadly by Alabama courts.

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In Alabama, all motorists owe a duty of care to those with whom they share the road. Generally speaking, this duty requires that motorists follow all traffic laws as well as posted traffic signs and traffic control devices. At its core, the duty placed on Alabama drivers merely requires they take due care when operating a motor vehicle.

Lumber TruckWhen a driver causes a car accident due to some negligent act, anyone injured as a result of the accident is entitled to pursue a claim for damages against the at-fault driver. When most people think of this type of claim, they assume that the at-fault driver was previously unknown to them; however, in many cases, a passenger is injured due to the negligence of the friend or relative driving the car.

Initially, this may seem like an awkward or uncomfortable situation, and indeed, in some cases it can be. However, it is important for accident victims to realize that most Alabama personal injury cases involving car accidents are defended not by the driver themselves but by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

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In a recent case, Alabama’s supreme court considered an Alabama truck accident case in which the jury found in favor of the plaintiff after a woman was killed after colliding with a tree on the side of an Alabama road.

Dump TruckThe Trial

According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the plaintiff alleged that two employees of the defendant’s company were driving separate dump trucks when one of the trucks caused the woman’s truck to leave the road, where she collided with a tree and died. The woman’s estate brought a lawsuit against the employer, based on the negligence of either of the employees.

At trial, a witness testified that on the day of the crash, a white dump truck passed him traveling in the opposite direction, that the white dump truck operated by the defendant’s company was not entirely within its lane, and that he had to move over to allow the truck to pass safely.

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