Articles Posted in Personal Injury Legal Theories

Ford Motor Company is recalling nearly 1.4 million cars in North America because the steering wheel can detach from the steering column as drivers are on the road and could easily lose control. The flaw has already been linked to two accidents and one injury, with more injuries expected.Ford-fusion-300x200

Drivers have revealed harrowing stories for months to NHTSA about the steering wheels that became inoperative on the highway.

“While driving on (the) interstate, steering wheel came loose and car veered off interstate. I regained control but steering wheel is still loose. Repairs will cost beyond my means at this moment,” a driver in Harriman, Tenn., reported Tuesday.

Generally, in an Alabama personal injury claim, a plaintiff has to prove duty, breach of duty, foreseeability, and causation. However, the doctrine of inherently dangerous activities states that in cases in which the defendant should have reasonably anticipated that an injury would result due to an inherently dangerous activity, the defendant cannot insulate itself from liability by hiring a subcontractor to perform the dangerous job.  In other words, the defendant may be liable for damages resulting from the injury even if its subcontractor was negligent. This rule of law has been stated:  “It is also generally recognized that one who employs a contractor to carry on an inherently or intrinsically dangerous activity cannot thereby insulate himself from liability.”  And, of course, if the defendant does take part in an inherently dangerous activity, or the defendant uses a dangerous instrumentality, the defendant must be reasonable in exercising due care.

PesticidesFurther, if a defendant uses an instrumentality that threatens serious danger to others, it must be kept in good condition. In addition, if a defendant knows or should know a particular instrument is so defective that its use involves an unreasonable risk of harm to others, the defendant may be liable for negligence. For example, the Alabama Legislature has recognized that insecticides and pesticides are intrinsically dangerous and has adopted laws regulating the sale and distribution of those products. The use of such products may give rise to a heightened responsibility on the defendant’s part to exercise due care if it is engaged in the application of insecticides or pesticides.

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Under Alabama law, all individuals seated in the front seat of a vehicle are required to wear seat belts while the vehicle is in motion, although there are some exceptions to the law. The next question is whether this law affects an individual’s ability to recover compensation in an Alabama car accident case if the person was not wearing a seat belt when a crash occurred.

SeatbeltThe Seat Belt Defense in Alabama

Under Ala. Code 1975 32-5B-7, failing to wear a seat belt “shall not be considered evidence of contributory negligence and shall not limit the liability of an insurer.” What this means is that an individual’s failure to wear a seat belt cannot be used against him as evidence of contributory negligence. It also cannot be used against the plaintiff as evidence of the plaintiff’s failure to mitigate damages.

Contributory Negligence in Alabama

Alabama follows the doctrine of contributory negligence, which often comes up in car accident litigation. It is one of the few states that follow the doctrine of “pure contributory negligence.” That means that if the plaintiff is found to be negligent, then the plaintiff cannot recover any damages.

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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

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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Semi-trucks are necessary in today’s economy. Indeed, these large trucks carry goods back and forth across the country on the nation’s highways. Most of the time, these trucks are operating on wide roads with high speed limits. However, as truck drivers approach their destination, they are usually required to operate their fully loaded trucks on city streets that are much narrower, slower, and tighter. This can present a challenge to even experienced Alabama truck drivers.

Semi-TruckNotwithstanding the challenge, semi-truck drivers are responsible to operate their rigs in a safe and responsible manner at all times. This means on all types of roads and in all types of weather conditions. When a truck driver’s negligence results in an Alabama truck accident, anyone injured in the accident can pursue compensation for their injuries through an Alabama personal injury lawsuit.

Proving an Alabama Truck Accident Claim

In order for a plaintiff to successfully bring an Alabama truck accident case, they will need to establish that the truck driver’s negligence resulted in the accident that caused their injuries. While this sounds simple in theory, there can be many roadblocks that arise along the way.

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Being an emergency responder is a dangerous job for a number of reasons. However, the leading cause of death among emergency responders has consistently been traffic-related accidents. Most often, these Alabama car accidents occur when an emergency responder is working road-side while assisting a disabled vehicle or responding to the scene of an accident when another motorist clips one of the stationary vehicles, causing a chain reaction in which anyone nearby has a high probability of being injured.

Road HazardThis concern over the safety of emergency responders has led every state legislature – including Alabama’s – to implement a move-over law, requiring motorists to take certain precautions when approaching emergency responders on the side of the road.

The Alabama move-over law protects the following people:

  • law enforcement officers;
  • wreckers and tow-truck drivers;
  • utility workers; and
  • garbage and recycling collectors.

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