Why is Texting While Driving So Dangerous?

Few people will admit it, but almost everyone has done it. You’re on the road and your text tone for your spouse or best friend goes off. It just takes a second to check, right? You look, tap back a quick response, and send it. No one gets hurt, nothing happens. These incidents are what make people think texting and driving is safe. If nothing happens the first, tenth, hundredth time, how bad can it be?

However, texting while driving is an inherently dangerous behavior that puts you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road at risk. Learn more about why you must avoid this behavior and what you should do if you are hit by a distracted driver. If you need to explore your legal options, reach out to Mann & Potter PC at 205-879-9661 to get started.

Texting and Driving Accident Statistics

Across the board, research that looks at texting and driving seems to be in agreement: texting while driving significantly increases the risk of an accident. Per the Federal Communications Commission, over 9% of fatal accidents in the United States during the last seven years were linked to a distracted driver. In 2018, more than 2800 fatalities occurred because of distracted driving. While texting and driving is a behavior that occurs across all age groups, it is most widely reported for those aged 16 to 24 years old.

Research conducted by AT&T is equally sobering. Nearly half of all drivers report texting while driving, even though almost 100% of the respondents indicated that texting while driving is unsafe. Think about that: people know texting while driving is unsafe, but roughly half of those people still choose to do it.

Checking your phone distracts you, on average, for 4.6 seconds. If you are traveling at 55 miles per hour, you could cover the entire length of a football field in the time it takes you to check your phone and get your eyes back on the road.

How Texting Distracts You

When experts look at distracted driving, they divide distracted driving tasks into three categories: physical, mental, and visual. Physical distractions are those that take your hands off the wheel and require you to use them on another task. Mental tasks are those that take your focus off of the job of driving. Visual tasks are ones that take your eyes off the road.

Which category does texting fit into? It fits into all three categories! To read and respond to a text, you have to grab your phone (leaving you with only one hand to drive), engage your mind in reading the text and writing a response, and take your eyes off the road. As a three-in-one risk, it should be obvious why texting while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions for drivers. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most common.

Statewide Bans

Many states have implemented texting bans, handheld phone bans, or a complete ban on all handheld devices while driving. While Alabama does not have a handheld device ban, it does make texting while driving illegal. At least 21 states have handheld device bans in place, and more states seem to join every year. The goal is to make roadways safer, but with nearly half of all people admitting to texting and driving—and who knows how many others who do it but don’t admit to it—it could be a long road back to safe roads.

If you are hurt in a car accident, there’s a chance that a distracted driver is involved. This information may not always be immediately available, since drivers know that texting and driving is frowned upon. However, with the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can get to the root cause of the accident and hold the liable party responsible.

Contact Us If You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident with a Distracted Driver

Have you been injured due to a distracted driver’s actions? You shouldn’t be left shouldering your medical bills and other struggles alone. We’re here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Set up your free consultation now by calling us at 205-879-9661 or getting in touch online.

How a Criminal Record Can Affect a PI Case?

A criminal conviction can have a ripple effect on every part of your life. No matter what your criminal history may contain, it is likely that you never thought about how a personal injury case could be impacted by your past. Even though a criminal record should not directly affect your personal injury claim, unfortunately, it does not always work out this way.

What Juries Look at in a Personal Injury Case

To start, note that most personal injury cases never go to trial. The vast majority of cases are settled before the case ever reaches court. However, if your case does go to court, you do need to think about how the jury may look at it.

When a case goes to court, the opposing side will take any angle they can to discredit your case and protect their client. This may include exploiting your criminal past. It is likely true that your criminal record has nothing to do with your personal injury case, but that doesn’t always matter.

A criminal history may bias the jury against you and make them think that you are inherently untrustworthy. It may also make them more likely to see you as an “unworthy” victim. This is clearly unfair. A victim is a victim, they do not have to “earn” compensation by having a flawless past. Despite this, you can expect the other side to play on the jury’s human nature and try to paint you as a miscreant.

Your attorney will likely tackle this preemptively by pushing to have the criminal history suppressed. This prevents the other side from bringing it up in court.

Relevant Charges and Convictions

While having any criminal history can impact your case, certain types of charges can seriously endanger your chances at getting compensation. If you have charges of fraud in your history, those could indicate to jury members that you are untrustworthy. Much depends on the nature of your personal injury claim.

For example, if you are injured in a car crash caused by another party but you have a long history of reckless driving charges, the jury may be less sympathetic to you. They may believe that, because of your driving history, you are at fault for putting yourself and others on the road at risk of a crash.

How to Protect Yourself

First, be completely honest with your personal injury attorney. Many people try to hide their criminal history out of shame or fear of being dropped as a client. Hiding this information only prevents your attorney from fully protecting you and doing everything possible to poke holes in the other side’s case. If you are upfront, they can plan for the other side’s attacks and come up with viable defenses right away.

Similarly, do everything you can to assist your attorney and make your case as strong as possible. If they request specific paperwork, medical records, or other types of evidence, get it to them as quickly as possible.

In many situations, the best way to plan for an attack on your character is simply to make the case stand on its own merit. The stronger your personal injury case is, the less likely it is that your criminal record will even play a part in the decision.

Furthermore, make sure to stay out of trouble for the duration of your personal injury claim. Mistakes happen, but accruing additional criminal charges while your case is ongoing will almost certainly work against you and weaken the likelihood of you receiving full and fair compensation.

Our Team is Here to Help

When you are filing a personal injury claim with the pressure and potential stigma of a criminal record, an already stressful time can become even more challenging. Fortunately, you do not have to face this on your own. The team at Mann & Potter, P.C. is committed to building a strong personal injury case and helping you get the compensation you deserve. To find out more about how we can help you and what your legal options are, reach out to us today. Call us at 205-627-3186 or fill out our contact form to get started.

The Basics of Personal Injury Law

When someone is negligent and causes someone else to get injured, the injured person should have the right to seek compensation. However, the criminal justice system does not have the victim’s rights at the top of its priority list; its primary goal is to ensure that the wrongdoer is held accountable for any crimes they commit and that they repay their debt to society.

For victims to recover the costs associated with an injury, they must go through the civil court system. A personal injury case gives injured people the chance to seek monetary compensation for their losses.

What is the Goal of a Personal Injury Case?

While the goal of a criminal case is to punish a perpetrator for their illegal actions, the goal of a civil claim is to make victims whole through financial compensation. Part of this system involves understanding that money does not properly compensate a victim for their pain, suffering, mental trauma, and other losses. However, this is the only type of compensation that this system can offer a victim, so attorneys use a variety of strategies to determine the financial value of an injury.

Types of Accidents Covered by Personal Injury Law

A personal injury claim allows you to seek compensation for almost any injury caused by someone else’s negligence or malice. Different types of personal injury cases include:

  • Vehicle accidents, including accidents with commercial vehicles
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Injuries that occur at work but are caused by a third party
  • Medical malpractice
  • Wrongful death
  • Dog bites
  • Animal attacks
  • Defective products

The Process of a Personal Injury Claim

After an accident causing an injury, you begin your claim by retaining a personal injury attorney. The attorney digs into your accident and injuries, looks at your medical records, and figures out how much your injuries are worth.

From there, they draft a letter explaining what they are requesting for your injuries. They send this to the liable party’s insurance company. This number is just a starting point for negotiations; it is unlikely that it will be the amount you actually receive.

During negotiations, both people may bring up evidence or ideas to support a higher or lower settlement amount. If all goes well, both parties eventually come to an agreement. You sign a document that waives your right to sue in exchange for the settlement. They process the paperwork and send the check. Before you receive your money, your attorney’s fee is taken out. So are any other claims made to the money. For example, if your health insurance paid out part of your medical bills, they are entitled to recoup those costs from your settlement.

If a settlement is not agreed upon, your attorney will file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. They will have built a court case that demonstrates the other party’s duty to you, their negligence, how their negligence caused your injuries, and your losses. You then go to court and both sides make their case. The jury determines how much (if anything) you are owed by the defendant. At any point during this process, settling is still an option. The majority of cases are settled before a full trial is completed.

What You Can Recover in a Personal Injury Case

You may be able to recover several types of compensation in a personal injury case. Types of damages include:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Future lost wages
  • Mental trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Statute of Limitations

Each state has laws regarding the statute of limitations for a personal injury case. In Alabama, you must file a case within two years of the date of your accident. If you miss this deadline, you will be unable to recover compensation. If your claim is against the government, you must meet even stricter deadlines. A claim against a municipality has a six-month statute of limitations, and a claim against a county has a one-year statute of limitations.

Mann & Potter, P.C. is Here to Help with Your Personal Injury Case Have you been injured due to someone else’s negligence? You may be able to get compensated for your losses. To discuss your case and plan your next step, contact Mann & Potter, P.C. online.

How Will the Coronavirus Affect My Personal Injury Case?

In case navigating a personal injury claim wasn’t challenging enough on its own, now you have to do so in the middle of a serious pandemic. Luckily, you’re not alone. Many others are in the same boat as you right now, and there are hard-working attorneys ready to help you explore your options and get what you deserve.

A lot depends on the specific details of your case. However, there are several ways that the pandemic could affect your case and its timeline.

Insurance Companies Are Jumping On COVID-19 to Limit Payouts

To start, you should expect a tougher fight with the insurance company as you try to negotiate a settlement for your injuries. Insurance companies are difficult to work with in the best of times, and right now, they are pushing back even harder. They face serious losses to their bottom line as people cancel insurance to save money or downgrade their policies. They stand to save a lot of money if they can convince victims to accept paltry settlements.

Additionally, many courts across the country are closed or running at minimal capacity during the pandemic. Insurance companies know this, and they know that most victims don’t want to wait months or years for a court award. They use this information to get the upper hand during negotiations and try to convince you to either accept less or take your chances in court.

This is just one reason that it’s important to have an experienced personal injury attorney that you trust. They have substantial experience working with insurance adjusters, so you definitely want one fighting for you as you try to get a settlement.

Anticipate Delays and Follow Your Attorney’s Lead

Delays are inevitable right now, but a skilled attorney can minimize delays and help you get through this time with minimal stress. If your case goes to court, you may have to wait until county courts reopen and accept new filings before you can fight the insurance company for compensation.

Most personal injury claims never get this far. Most are settled out of court. Because of this, it’s important to be patient and follow your attorney’s lead. The insurance company handling your claim could be overloaded at this time as people report accidents, seek payouts, and try to downgrade their coverage to save money. Your attorney knows this and can help you understand the timeline and prepare for potential delays.

Factors That Could Complicate a Personal Injury Case

Certain factors could make your case much more complicated. If any of these apply to you, talk to your attorney and figure out your next steps.

  • The liable party is now broke. COVID-19 has economically devastated many people. If you were in the process of suing the liable party and they have lost a substantial amount of money, your recovery options may be limited. Discuss this with your lawyer, as many individuals still have assets that can be used to pay damages.
  • The liable party canceled their insurance policy prior to the accident that injured you. If your claim occurred after the COVID-19 crisis started, consider the fact that some people canceled their car insurance policies to save money as their financial situation worsened. If the person who hit you was driving without insurance, you may not be able to recover very much from them. Those who cannot afford insurance are likely to have other assets that could be used to compensate you after an accident.
  • You are unable to get medical care because of closed clinics. Personal injury cases depend heavily on medical evidence. With many clinics and hospitals closing except for emergency cases, you might have a hard time finding a medical professional to assess and treat your injuries. If this is the case, your attorney may be able to connect you with a care provider that is working through the pandemic.
  • Your work closed because of COVID-19 and you’re not sure if you are entitled to lost wages in your claim. This is one of the unique situations caused by a pandemic that has shuttered much of the economy. This may depend on the type of work you do, whether or not they have work-from-home options, and whether or not they are paying impacted workers during this time.

With an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side, you can navigate the claims process with confidence and ease. While it may be more difficult to settle a claim during a pandemic, it certainly isn’t impossible. If you’re looking for a lawyer who is up to the challenge, contact Mann & Potter, PC today. Call us or reach out online to discuss your options.

Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The COVID-19 pandemic has left some of the world’s busiest streets nearly empty. Photos of downtown Chicago, Times Square, and Paris at dinner time show just a few stragglers. You might think that this means that streets are safer for pedestrians, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Many of the drivers that remain are engaging in more reckless behavior, and a lot of them are distracted due to current circumstances. Because of this, it is important to be as careful as possible while getting your steps in.

Take Extra Care at Crosswalks

Crosswalks, designed to improve pedestrian safety, are some of the most dangerous places for pedestrians to be. Consider the “walk” button that pedestrians often have to push to trigger a walk signal; some communities have deactivated and blocked off these buttons to prevent the unintentional spread of germs on them. This means that pedestrians have to hope that drivers are paying attention and that they’ll look before turning into a jogger or biker. If you have to use crosswalks, keep an eye out for those turning across your walkway and be prepared to wait if they don’t notice you.

Avoid Busy Roads

Though the pandemic has left many roads empty, there are still pockets of congested traffic—particularly around hospitals, grocery stores, and other essential businesses. If at all possible, redirect your routes so you avoid these areas. Additionally, a number of states have experienced protests in response to safe-at-home or shelter-in-place orders. Stay up-to-date on local news and traffic reports as traffic tends to be gridlocked by aggressive drivers. This combination creates serious danger for pedestrians just trying to get to work or get some exercise.

Know Your Community’s Busy Hours

As you spend more time walking around, you may get a feel for when the roads are busy and when everything tends to quiet down. There are still quite a few essential workers heading into their places of business every day, and you should try to stay off the roads during this time. Keep in mind that these workers may be under enormous stress. They are likely worried about being exposed to COVID-19 as part of their daily work. This creates a situation where distracted driving is nearly inevitable. Save your walks for quiet times and try to avoid walks when people are going to work or coming home from work.

Take Extra Precautions at Night

Nighttime walking is generally more dangerous than daytime walking, and that is even more true now. The risks of distracted driving go up dramatically at night, since people tend to take fewer precautions and assume that the roads are empty. Additionally, nighttime walks put you at risk of encountering a fatigued driver. If you must walk after dark, attach reflective strips to your clothes, stay on roads that have sidewalks, and don’t use headphones. You want to stay completely aware of your surroundings.

Assume Every Driver is Not Paying Attention

This tip may sound like overkill, but it’s one that can truly save your life. As a pedestrian, you are at greatest risk in any accident. Because of this, you have to take every precaution possible to protect yourself. When you’re walking, you don’t know which drivers are paying attention and driving safely and which ones are distracted by bad news, overwork, or stress. The solution: just assume that every driver is distracted or fatigued. Waiting until you know it’s safe to cross the road protects you from reckless, fatigued, or distracted drivers.

Make Sure You Have a Charged Phone and Identification

No matter how many precautions you take, accidents do happen. If you end up being the victim of a pedestrian accident, you must be able to call for help and get the care you need. Even if you’re just going out for a few minutes, keep identification on you at all times and ensure that your phone is charged. While most drivers stop and do the right thing when they cause an accident, hit-and-run accidents do happen, and pedestrians are often left picking up the pieces.

If you go on walks frequently, consider using the “share location” feature available on most smartphones to let a family member know where you are when you’re out. This way, they are able to call for help if you don’t come home as expected or if you are hit by a car and you’re unable to call emergency services.

Walking is one of the best ways to stay healthy, especially in a time when our immune systems need all the help they can get. By following these tips, you can stay safe. If you are hurt in an accident, you deserve experienced legal representation to help you recover your losses. Call Mann & Potter, PC today to discuss your case.

Injuries on the Factory Floor—Can I Sue My Employer in Alabama?

Factory employees are at high risk of injury, due to the intense physical labor they do and the dangerous machinery they work with on a daily basis. If you have been injured at work, you may wonder if you can sue your employer to cover your medical expenses and your lost income. Learn more about your compensation options in Alabama.

In Most Cases, You Cannot Sue Your Employer

In almost every workplace injury case, you cannot sue your employer in Alabama. In fact, the workers’ compensation system was developed in part to prevent injured employees from taking legal action against their company.

This is even the case when your employer is at fault for your accident. Poor training, inadequate upkeep of machinery, or failure to enforce workplace safety rules are all ways your employer can cause your injury but still be protected from a lawsuit.

If this is the situation you are in, you can get compensation through the workers’ compensation system. The primary benefit of the workers’ compensation system is that you do not have to prove that your employer was at fault or prove that you were not at fault for the accident that led to your injuries. It is designed to protect employers and employees alike.

What About Co-Workers?

In many cases, co-workers are partially at fault when employees get hurt. When one factory employee doesn’t do proper safety checks, engages in horseplay, or uses equipment incorrectly, they put everyone else on the line at risk.

As frustrating as it may be, you cannot sue a co-worker if you are injured at work in Alabama. Even if they are obviously and personally responsible for causing your injury, you cannot sue them. You must get your medical expenses and lost wages covered through the workers’ compensation system.

Who You Can Sue for a Workplace Injury?

While you cannot sue your employer or co-worker, there are other parties that may be held liable for your injuries. If there are subcontractors working on the factory floor with you and their negligence leads to your injuries, you can file a personal injury suit against them. This is because they are not directly employed by your company, so they do not enjoy the protection of the workers’ compensation system.

If you travel for work and get in an accident, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the other driver if they were responsible for the crash. This can get challenging when medical bills are piling up and you’re not sure whether to file for workers’ compensation or focus on a personal injury suit, so it is important to work with an attorney early to learn more about your options.

Product manufacturers may also be liable for workplace accidents. This is more likely in factory settings than many other work environments, simply due to the sheer amount of equipment present on a factory floor and the fact that much of it is capable of serious damage. If a faulty part caused your injuries, you may be able to file a third-party suit against the manufacturer. Faulty product suits are an option for products that are made incorrectly, products with design flaws, and products that are marketed incorrectly.

What to Do Next

Regardless of who caused your workplace accident, you should contact an attorney to discuss your options as soon as possible. In many cases, you can get what you are owed with a simple workers’ compensation case. This covers medical expenses and lost wages and is often enough to cover your losses during this time. In situations involving a third party, a personal injury suit may be your best option. Set up a consultation with a lawyer with experience in workers’ compensation and personal injury cases to figure out what your next move should be.

Mann & Potter, PC is Here to Help

The team at Mann & Potter, PC is committed to helping clients get the compensation they deserve after an accident. We know how overwhelming it can be to navigate the legal system after a serious injury, and we are here to help every step of the way. Schedule your consultation now by calling us at 205-627-3186 or filling out our contact form. We look forward to serving you!

The Role of an Expert Witness in an Injury Case

If you are pursuing a personal injury case to hold someone else accountable for their negligence, you may be wondering how much evidence you need to prove your case. It’s not just the quantity of evidence you possess, but also the quality of your evidence. That is why expert witnesses are so important. Their expertise, education, and experience make them extremely valuable voices to have in the courtroom. Find out more about how expert witnesses help your case and the types of witnesses your lawyer may hire.

Types of Expert Witnesses

The term “expert witness” is a general one that refers to anyone with enough professional expertise to comment on the facts and circumstances of your case. They are not someone who has direct experience with your accident or with you. They come in as a completely neutral third party to provide their insight.

Depending on the type of injuries you have sustained and the type of accident that caused them, your attorney may recommend several different types of witnesses:

  • Medical professionals. A medical professional with extensive experience in the type of injuries you have sustained is obviously an excellent choice for an injury trial. They can comment on your prognosis and recovery needs and paint a picture of what your life will look like as you heal from your injuries.
  • Life care planners. Professionals in this field focus exclusively on the impact an injury or accident will have on a victim. They assess the losses that an individual will suffer as the result of an accident and figure out how those losses will impact their earning ability, life expectancy, mental health expenses, disability, and need for physical or occupational therapy.
  • Mental health professionals. Accidents often leave victims with a significant amount of trauma that they have to spend years or decades working through. A mental health professional is helpful in detailing how an accident could impact a victim’s ability to live independently, work full-time, care for their family, and engage in other tasks. They may also explain a victim’s need for counseling or other treatment options.
  • Accident reconstruction experts. In car accident cases, awards often come down to the facts of an accident. Those facts are almost impossible to prove without full dashcam coverage. An accident reconstructionist can fill in those gaps and figure out exactly what happened to make a crash occur in a specific way. Their knowledge of physics and engineering allows them to analyze evidence and devise drawings, models, and replicas that show how an accident occurred.
  • Economists. If an injury impacts someone’s ability to work or limits their growth opportunities, an economist can be a helpful expert witness. They can attest to how an injury may impact an individual’s earning ability and determine how much income they’re likely to lose over the course of their career.
  • Manufacturing and engineering experts. In personal injury cases involving faulty products, manufacturing and engineering experts are an excellent resource. They may highlight flaws in a product’s design or creation and explain how those flaws may lead to injury.

Why Expert Witnesses Are So Important

Expert witnesses play an important part in the construction of your case. They are not invested in the outcome of a case, so they are unlikely to say something just to help you and risk their livelihood and reputation. This holds up their credibility in the eyes of the court. Their objective viewpoint and extensive knowledge make them a great resource for injury victims.

Your attorney may or may not recommend the use of an expert witness in your case. If your case is fairly straightforward, an expert witness may be unnecessary. In more complex cases or cases where a substantial amount of money is at stake, your attorney may highly recommend an expert witness.

Let Us Help You with Your Personal Injury Case

When you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s actions, you deserve compensation. We are here to help. At Mann & Potter, PC, our focus on personal injury cases makes us a fierce advocate at the negotiating table and in the courtroom. We fight aggressively for each and every one of our clients. To discuss your case in greater detail, message us online or call us at 205-627-3186.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Car accidents, slip and fall injuries, assaults, and sport injuries can all lead to spinal cord damage, with vehicle crashes causing nearly half of the new spinal cord injuries that happen each year. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, it is important to know the type and location of your injury. These two factors determine the type of limitations that an injured person has, and their prognosis.

Spinal cord injuries are typically categorized by where they occur on the spine and how complete the injury is.

The Location of the Injury

The location of the spinal cord injury determines which parts of your body are impacted. Each part of the spine houses nerves that control different parts of the body. When categorizing an injury, medical professionals will often sort spinal cord injuries into:

  • Cervical injuries. The cervical spinal cord makes up the top seven vertebrae in the spinal cord. Damage to the cervical spine often has severe consequences for victims, since it is so close to the brain. Those who suffer a cervical cord spinal injury may suffer from full paralysis below the neck or shoulder. These injuries can also be fatal.
    • Thoracic injuries. Located just below the cervical spine, the thoracic spine is comprised of 12 vertebrae. Injuries to the top part of the thoracic spine often impact the ribcage, lungs, and upper chest. Damage to the lower part often impacts balance, posture, and your ability to cough. Victims may have limited or no use of their legs.
    • Lumbar injuries. The five vertebrae below the thoracic spine make up the lumbar spine. This part of the spine bears a substantial amount of weight, so damage can seriously impact a victim’s strength and independence. Victims may lose some Orr all ability to control their legs, bear weight on their legs, maintain sexual function, or control their bowel and bladder.
    • Sacral injuries. The five bones that comprise the sacrum control the groin, hips, buttocks, sex organs, bladder, and bowel. Hip and leg function is generally impaired, but walking is possible with assistance or adaptive equipment.

The Severity of the Injury

The other primary factor used to categorize spinal cord injuries is how complete the injury is. Spinal cord injuries are considered either complete or incomplete.

Complete spinal cord injuries are more severe than incomplete injuries. In a complete injury, the spinal cord suffers permanent damage that prevents the brain from communicating with it. When this occurs, every section of the spinal cord below the injured location is also impacted. The higher on the spinal cord the complete injury occurs, the more function the affected individual will lose.

Incomplete injuries occur when the spinal cord is only partially damaged. Damage is further categorized by the American Spinal Injury Association Grading Scale. Grade injuries are complete spinal cord injuries in which a victim loses all sensory function and motor function. B grade injuries impact some sensory function and total motor function. The grades go as far as E, which is normal spine function.

Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries

If you suffered a spine injury caused by someone else’s malice or negligence, it is important that they be held accountable. A spinal cord injury can change the course of your life, requiring ongoing physical therapy, occupational therapy, pain management, nursing care, and adaptive equipment. The process of getting health insurance to pay for extensive medical care can be time-consuming and mentally draining, particularly if someone else is liable for your injuries.

With the help of an attorney, you may be able to seek damages for your medical expenses, future medical costs, lost income, lost earning potential, and pain and suffering. Depending on whether your injury was caused by a car accident, a fall, or another type of accident, there may be multiple liable parties.

Reach Out to Mann & Potter, PC to Find Out if You Can Seek Compensation for Your Spinal Cord Injury A personal injury claim may help you cover the costs associated with your spinal cord injury and prepare for the multitude of ways in which your life will change because of your injury. You need to work with an attorney who knows how to negotiate with insurance companies, fight aggressively for clients, and make a strong case. Take the first step in your spinal cord injury claim now by contacting Mann & Potter, PC. Call us at 205-879-9661 to set up a consultation or message us online to have a representative reach out to yo

Amputation Injuries and Car Accidents

An amputation is one of the worst possible outcomes of a serious car accident. In addition to limiting your mobility and independence, an amputation injury can cause significant physical health and psychological issues for the rest of your life. If you sustain an amputation injury during a car crash, it is important to explore your legal options by consulting a personal injury attorney.

Different Types of Amputation Injuries

Amputation injuries are broken down into several distinct categories. The type of amputation you suffer determines your treatment options, prosthetic choices, and the side effects or complications you may experience. Common injuries include:

  • Above-the-knee or below-the-knee amputations
  • Knee-bearing amputation
  • Ankle disarticulation, removal of the foot at the ankle
  • Partial foot amputation, the loss of multiple toes or part of the foot
  • Elbow disarticulation, removal of the arm at the elbow
  • Above-elbow amputation
  • Shoulder disarticulation and forequarter amputations

Which Accidents Cause Amputations?

Any type of vehicle crash can cause severe injuries, but amputations are more likely in certain types of crashes. Rollover accidents are among the most dangerous for drivers and occupants, as bones may be crushed on impact or may be pierced by glass or metal. Head-on accidents are also likely to cause amputation injuries. Amputations may arise after T-bone accidents or side collisions.

Much depends on the severity of the accident and the level of impact. Amputation injuries can occur in a variety of ways. In some crashes, amputation occurs when the limb is pierced and severed by metal or glass. It may also occur when a limb is crushed by the vehicle or is otherwise so damaged that function cannot be restored. In these situations, surgical amputation may be necessary to prevent infection and save the victim’s life.

Psychological Impact of Amputation Injuries

Beyond the obvious physical damage caused by amputation injuries, these injuries often leave victims with significant emotional and mental health concerns. Phantom limb pain occurs when a victim feels pain, tingling, or numbness in the amputated part of the body. Since the sensation does not actually originate from the body, it can be difficult to eliminate the mental discomfort it causes.

Amputations also leave victims with depression, anxiety, and a feeling of helplessness. The process of learning how to move around, perform activities of daily living, and maintain independence can be frustrating for those who have suffered an amputation. The help they need from medical professionals, family members, and caretakers following an amputation can make victims feel hopeless. Additionally, many people develop body image issues following an amputation. Combined, these issues can seriously restrict a person’s independence, prevent from going out and engaging in activities they enjoy, and leave them with a lower quality of life.

Seeking Compensation After an Amputation Injury

If you undergo an amputation, the thought of compensation may be low on your list of priorities. After all, no amount of money can restore your physical health and independence. However, fair compensation can help you get the high-quality medical care and adaptive equipment you need to live a full life.

If the other driver in a crash is responsible for the accident, their insurance company may contact you shortly after the accident to discuss a settlement. Accepting a settlement right away is typically not in your best interest. In the early days of your recovery, it is difficult to know how much your injuries will cost you and how much compensation you should request.

That is where your Alabama personal injury attorney steps in. An experienced attorney knows how to assess the damage of a car accident and figure out how much compensation you deserve for your injuries, property damage, and suffering. They will also take over negotiations with the other party’s insurance company to ensure that you are treated fairly. If necessary, they will take your case to court and fight aggressively on your behalf.

Talk to your attorney about the types and amount of compensation you may be entitled to. Accident victims often seek damages for medical bills, adaptive equipment, surgical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Contact Us for Help with Your Car Accident Claim

At Mann & Potter, PC, we are dedicated to helping accident victims get what they deserve from the party responsible for their injuries. If you have been hurt in a car accident, let us take care of your legal needs while you recover. Call us at 205-879-9661 or message us online to take the first step.

Accidents with Poorly Loaded Trucks

Accidents involving poorly loaded trucks can have devastating consequences. A fully loaded commercial truck is absolutely massive in size and can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. So, a collision between a big rig truck and a regular-sized passenger vehicle can be fatal – particularly for the people in the passenger vehicle.

The Dangers Posed by Poorly Loaded Trucks

An improperly loaded truck poses a serious threat – to the person who is operating it as well as other motorists on the roadway.

The Dangers of Improperly Stacked Cargo

For example, if the cargo is not properly stacked, it can shift from one end to the other while the truck is in motion. When it happens, the driver might lose control of the truck, especially if they happen to be driving at high speed, which can result in a rollover accident. If the vehicles behind the truck fail to react quickly, they might crash into the truck as well.

Similarly, unevenly loaded cargo can also cause the trailer to lose control and swing away from the cab, resulting in a jackknife accident. If other motorists fail to brake or swerve away in time, they might crash into the truck. In some cases, the trailer – while swinging at an outward angle from the cab – could crash into other vehicles with catastrophic consequences.

Also, an unevenly stacked load can severely restrict the driver’s ability to control the truck, especially while making turns or while making sudden, evasive maneuvers to avoid an accident.

The Dangers of Not Securing the Cargo

An improperly secured cargo also poses a major safety hazard, especially to other motorists on the roadway.

For instance, if the cargo is not braced and tied down properly, it might come loose while the truck is in motion. When it happens, the driver might try to maneuver the truck to avoid the cargo from spilling out. While doing so, they might lose control of the truck and crash into other vehicles.

In some cases, the cargo might spill out of the truck and onto the road. The falling cargo might partially or fully block the view of the vehicles behind the truck, which might cause them to crash into the truck or into each other, resulting in a massive pileup.

In some other cases, the improperly secured cargo might come loose and fall onto other vehicles. It can cause the vehicles to lose control and collide into each other, resulting in a multi-vehicle pileup.

Mistakes to Avoid While Loading and Securing Cargo

  • Loading the cargo without knowing the truck’s gross vehicle weight rating
  • Stacking the cargo too close to the edge of the flatbed
  • Stacking the cargo at the back end of the trailer, causing it to push against the door
  • Loading the cargo in an uneven manner
  • Stacking the cargo too high
  • Using old or worn-out ropes to secure the cargo
  • Lack of proper restraints
  • Not securing the tarps
  • Using a small cargo net that does not cover the entire load
  • Tying down the cargo only at one end

Determining Liability in Accidents Involving Poorly Loaded Trucks

Depending on the factors or circumstances that led to the accident, the truck company, the cargo company, the truck driver, or all of them can be held liable for the damages resulting from the accident.

Generally speaking, the trucking and/or cargo company can be held liable under the following circumstances:

  • If they forced the driver to drive an overloaded truck
  • If they forced the driver to operate the truck for more than 11 hours without taking any break
  • If they failed to inspect, repair, and maintain the truck properly
  • If they failed to follow OSHA’s safety standards for loading and securing the cargo

The driver can be held liable for the accident under the following circumstances:

  • If the driver was drunk or under the influence of prescription pills or drugs at the time of the accident
  • If the driver was texting, talking on the phone, chatting with the passenger, eating, or otherwise distracted at the time of the accident
  • If the driver was speeding at the time of the accident

If the accident was caused as a result of defective parts, the manufacturer or distributor of the faulty products can be held liable as well.

Truck Accident Lawyers in Alabama

For more than 20 years, the personal injury attorneys at Mann & Potter, PC have successfully represented countless truck accident victims in Alabama. Our attorneys are highly skilled, experienced, and are rated highly by our clients as well as our peers.

If you or any of your loved ones are injured in a poorly loaded truck accident, we can assess the damages caused by the accident, file a claim or lawsuit to seek damages from the parties whose negligence or deliberate actions caused the accident, and ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries and other losses.

You can contact our firm at 205-879-9661 for a free consultation with one of our lawyers.