Victims of sexual abuse suffer serious psychological and sometimes physical injuries, especially when the abuse extends over a long period of time and involves multiple incidents. For some, seeking justice against their abuser is a daunting and overwhelming experience. The New York Legislature passed a new law that extends the state’s statute of limitations to provide victims of child sex abuse more time to pursue legal action against the perpetrator. The new law allows victims of sexual abuse to seek legal recourse until they are 55 years old, whereas the prior law only gave victims until the age of 23.

The new law also includes a so-called “look-back window” for adult victims of abuse that were unable to assert a legal claim under the prior law to bring their case within one year. This means that the individuals with a claim that expired under the previous statute of limitations have an opportunity to assert their claim. It is critical that these individuals speak to an experienced abuse lawyer to understand their rights and whether the new look-back window applies to their situation.

Also, when it comes to bringing legal action against a public institution in New York, plaintiffs are not required to present a notice of claim within 90 days after the alleged abuse occurred. The prior law did not require victims to submit a notice of claim to private organizations. Victims are also now able to seek misdemeanor charges against an abuser until their 25th birthday and they have until their 28th birthday to seek felony criminal charges.

There are many important procedural aspects of an Alabama car accident lawsuit which can be overwhelming for the uninitated. Throughout the proceedings, there are opportunities for each party to seek a ruling from the judge that may have a substantial impact on the outcome of the case, including motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment. Ensuring that the judge rules fairly on any motions that have the ability to end the litigation is a major step in protecting your rights. At Reeves Law Firm, we will stand by you throughout the entire process and help you to obtain the outcome that you deserve.

Recently, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals considered an appeal in a car accident lawsuit. The plaintiff alleged that she was hurt when a vehicle driven by the defendant and owned by his employer crashed into the rear of the vehicle that she was driving. She sued these defendants for negligence, wantonness, and negligent entrustment of the vehicle to the employee-driver.

The jury trial began and after the plaintiff finished presenting her side of the case, the defendant moved for judgment as a matter of law on all of the claims against them. This type of motion asks the court to conclude that the plaintiff has not met the burden of proof and that based on the evidence presented, the plaintiff cannot win. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion and dismissed the case. It concluded that the plaintiff’s evidence, including her own testimony, did not establish a link between the accident and the injuries that she sustained.

A key aspect of some tort claims involves preserving evidence. There are rules regarding how parties must go about maintaining records or locations that are important to the case. When a party destroys or alters this evidence, the other party can seek relief from the court in order to ensure that any proceeding litigation is fair to both sides.

In a recent case, an auto company purchased a commercial property that included a body shop on the premises, with auto repair, paint, and bodywork capabilities. The buyer also created a company to run the auto repair shop. A commercial property company entered into a lease with the buyer for the body shop and had a paint booth created. It hired another company to operate the paint booth equipment once it was finished. Soon thereafter, the auto shop suffered a fire that rendered it a total loss.

The buyer sued the seller, the paint booth operation company and other individuals, alleging that they acted negligently and wantonly in creating the fire that destroyed the facility. The paint booth operator alleged that the buyer decided to have the remains of the auto repair shop and equipment destroyed following the fire. It argued that this destroyed key evidence in the case regarding the allegations from the buyer that it was responsible for the fire and that it should have been given notice that the demolition was imminent so that it could have inspected the premises with experts to help build its defense. The paint booth company moved for summary judgment on these grounds.

Knowing which parties to include in a lawsuit and ensuring that you have alleged the right causes of action against each party can be difficult, especially if you recently experienced a car accident resulting in Alabama personal injuries for the first time. At The Reeves Law Firm, we have handled numerous car accidents on behalf of Decatur and Huntsville residents and have the experience it takes to ensure that your lawsuit is approached carefully and thoroughly.

A recent case discusses a situation where a party sought leave to amend its complaint to add a different defendant.  In that case, a woman suffered injuries in a car accident.  She had an insurance policy that included underinsured-motorist (UIM) benefits. The woman notified her insurer that she and other driver’s insurer had settled her claim against that driver for the driver’s policy limits of $25,000. The woman’s own insurer did not consent to the settlement and paid the woman $25,000. The woman then died. Her insurer brought a claim against the other driver seeking reimbursement of the $25,000 in UIM benefits that it had paid to its own insured.

The other driver filed a motion to dismiss, or for summary judgment in the alternative, alleging that because the woman had died her personal injury claim was exhausted and that her insurer could not maintain a claim against the other driver because it sued as a subrogee of the woman. The UIM insurer disputed this claim and argued that the claim survived the woman’s passing and that it had a right of reimbursement from the other driver’s insurer, not from the other driver as an individual. The insurer sought leave to amend its complaint to add the other driver’s insurer as a defendant, which the trial court did not rule on.

Two Alabama residents were featured in New York Times article “They’re Falsely Accused of Shoplifting, but Retailers Demand Penalties: Walmart and other companies are using aggressive legal tactics to get the money back, demanding payments even when people haven’t been convicted of wrongdoing.”

MOBILE, Ala. — Crystal Thompson was at home watching the Rose Bowl parade when a county sheriff came to arrest her for shoplifting from the local Walmart.

Ms. Thompson, 43, was baffled and scared. An agoraphobic, she had not shopped at a Walmart in more than a year. She was taken to a Mobile jail, searched, held in a small room and required to remove her false teeth, something she didn’t even do in front of her husband.

Although users of vaping products, or e-cigarettes, may believe they are safer than tobacco cigarettes, the use of vaping products carries some serious risks as well. Such risks may give rise to Alabama personal injury claims, as we have discussed in other posts.One potential cause for concern is that both tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Some studies suggest nicotine could have long-term effects on children’s developing brains. Since nicotine can be addictive, it may also make children more likely to abuse other substances in the future. The amount of nicotine in vaping products depends on the product and how a person uses it.

Another risk of e-cigarette use is that it may increase the likelihood of using tobacco cigarettes. One study found that young people who used vaping products were more likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes one year later.

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In an Alabama car accident claim, a plaintiff is required to prove the damages he or she claims to have sustained in the accident. Depending on the type of case and the injuries involved, there are different types of damages a plaintiff may be able to recover. One type is compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate the plaintiff for the plaintiff’s injuries and other losses. Examples of compensatory damages include medical expenses, property damages, and lost income. They can also include compensation for a plaintiff’s pain and suffering and emotional distress.Another type of damages is punitive damages, which are available only in certain claims. Punitive damages are meant to deter harmful conduct and to punish the defendant. Since the purpose of punitive damages is not to compensate the plaintiff, an award of punitive damages is largely within the discretion of the jury. However, punitive damages are only available in Alabama in wrongful death claims or in claims in which the plaintiff proves that the defendant consciously or deliberately engaged in oppression, fraud, wantonness, or malice.

Plaintiffs who are injured in an accident are entitled to compensation for their injuries, despite any preexisting conditions or unique conditions. In other words, the defendant takes the plaintiff “as is.” That means that even if a plaintiff’s injuries are more severe than the average person’s would be, the defendant is still liable for all of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages caused by the defendant’s negligence.

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Earlier this year, an Alabama bus accident claimed one man’s life and injured dozens of others. News sources at the time reported that the bus was carrying a group of high school students from Texas who were returning from Disney World. Suddenly, the bus veered out of its lane and ran off the road, down a steep ravine. The driver of the bus was killed in the collision, and several dozen students were injured.At the time, there was no identifiable reason why the bus drifted out of its lane and into the ravine; however, the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation has recently been completed and sheds additional light on the accident.

According to a recent news report, the NTSB investigation concluded that the driver of the bus was unresponsive prior to the accident. The report bases this conclusion on evidence that there was no sign that the driver tried to brake or swerve before traveling off the road. Currently, there has not been a determination as to why the driver was unresponsive. Further supporting this conclusion was the fact that there was no sign of mechanical failure.

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In some Alabama slip-and-fall cases, defendants may argue that they should not be held liable because the hazard that caused the plaintiff’s injuries was obvious. In those cases, courts look at each party’s evidence concerning whether a hazard was perceived or should have been perceived by the plaintiff.In a recent case, a McDonald’s restaurant argued before the Alabama Supreme Court that a wet floor was an open and obvious hazard. In that case, the plaintiff slipped and fell at a McDonald’s and sued the restaurant for his injuries. The man fell after he left the restroom and was walking toward the counter. The plaintiff left the restaurant after the fall but then began experiencing pain in his back and left leg, and he went back to discuss the incident with the manager. Surveillance footage showed an employee mopping the floor in front of the counter and placing a warning sign that the floor was wet. The plaintiff stated that his fall occurred outside the surveillance footage areas and was not shown on camera.

The restaurant argued that the fall was caused by an open and obvious danger because it was obvious that the floor had just been mopped, and there was a warning sign indicating as much. However, the Court found that based on the plaintiff’s affidavit, the plaintiff did not fall on the water near the counter, but instead on a “slick spot” outside the restroom.

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As automotive safety features have increased over the past several decades, vehicles have become much safer than they used to be. And while the total number of fatal Alabama car accidents per year has dropped over the last 20 years, recently the data indicates that these numbers have begun to level off and even slightly increase.According to a recent news report, Alabama has the fifth-most fatal car accidents. Interestingly, the study looked not only at which states had the highest rate of fatal traffic accidents, but also at which times and on which days of the week the accidents occurred.

The crash data for Alabama indicate that Mondays and Fridays are the safest days to drive. Not surprisingly, the weekend days were among the most dangerous to be on the road. According to the study, the fewest accidents occurred during the hours of 4-10 a.m., with the greatest number of accidents occurring during the hours of 4-10 p.m. Interestingly, these times encompass the traditional hours of the morning and evening commutes.

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