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Huntsville Personal Injury Law Blog

Family of fallen football player awarded $1.2 million in lawsuit

With fall fast approaching, many in Madison may be looking forward to college and professional football. However, despite the popularity of football in the U.S., recent discoveries showing how playing the sport may put participants at a greater risk of suffering serious brain injuries has caused alarm in many circles. Included in these are those tasked with regulating football at the highest levels in the country. Recent class action lawsuits filed by both former professional and college football players have made some headway in raising awareness of this issue, yet for the most part, individual judgments awarded to players and their families have been few and far between.

A recent case involving the death of a player at a Maryland college has changed that. The $1.2 million awarded to the family of the fallen player represents the first major settlement involving in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The lawsuit centered on the treatment (or lack thereof) of the player, who had complained of headaches during practice after suffering a concussion. It was reported that the player’s coaches dismissed his complaints, even going so far as to accuse him of whining. After resuming team drills, the player collapsed and later died. Three members of the school’s coaching staff, along with the companies that manufactured and sold the helmet the player had been using, were listed as co-defendants with the NCAA.

Wrongful death lawsuits awards in Alabama

When news of a wrongful death lawsuit being filed in Madison first begins to spread, people may assume that the plaintiffs in such a case are in for a large payday to compensate for losses that they suffered. However, Alabama is unique from other states in that it does not allow for compensatory damages to be awarded in wrongful death lawsuit. In such a case, one can only hope to collect punitive damages.

Alabama law states that in cases where a plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages, the amount of such damages is not to exceed $500,000, or $1.5 million in cases involving personal injury. However, the same statute also says that this damages cap does not apply to cases involving wrongful death. Therefore, it is possible that a jury could potentially award those bringing such an action in excess of that amount.

Single car crash off HWY 45 kills two teens

Most in Madison may assume that a person carrying others in his or her vehicle owes them a duty of protection and safety. They may perceive that to include driving safely, and ensuring that all of the vehicle occupants are wearing seatbelts or safety restraints. Should one be involved in an accident, then that assumed duty of protection may translate to him or her being held liable for any injuries that his or her passengers may have suffered. Yet is that really the case? Furthermore, what if one or all of the vehicle occupants were not wearing their seatbelts?

Such is believed to have been the case in a recent crash that happened off of state HWY 45. A Chevy Corvette carrying two teenagers apparently veered off of the road and ran into a tree. Investigators are still looking into how the teenage boy driving the car may have lost control of the vehicle. Both he and his female passenger were reportedly not wearing seatbelts and were thrown from the car in the collision. The two were later pronounced dead at the scene.

What are the potential complications of an electrical injury?

If you happen to work in the electrical industry in Madison, or do construction work in or around high voltage areas, your risk of suffering an electrical injury or electrocution may be quite high. Yet your familiarity with your work may cause you to overlook that danger that it poses, or worse yet, agree to work in areas where you are not provided with adequate protection. Perhaps your attitude may change were you know the heavy toll that an electrical injury can exact.

Most use the terms “electrical injury” and “electrocution” interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the two. Electrocution refers to electrical injury plus death. According to information shared by the Chicago Electrical Trauma Rehabilitation Institute, exposure to electrical current is the fourth leading cause of death at the workplace.

What companies must follow Alabama’s worker’s compensation law?

If you are injured on the job in Madison, you may assume that your employers workers’ compensation coverage will help pay for your accident-related expenses. Yet what if you go to speak with your boss about filing such a claim, only to then find out the your company does not offer such a benefit? Most believe that all companies are required by law to carry some form of workers’ compensation insurance. In reality, the decision of whether or not a company must carry workers’ compensation coverage is made by individual state governments. While Alabama does have a workers’ compensation law in place, it may not apply to all employers.

Information shared by the Alabama Department of Labor shows that any company employing more than five people must carry workers’ compensation insurance. The exception to this rule (other than businesses with fewer than five employees), is in the case of contractors. What are some examples of contracted employees? They may include:

  •          Farm workers
  •          Household domestics (i.e., nannies or maids)
  •          Transportation workers who work as owner-operators sponsored by common carriers

Coping in the aftermath of a spinal cord injury

If you have recently joined the ranks of those in Madison who have suffered spinal cord injuries, you likely have a great deal of concern regarding your future. Many of those in your position come to us here at The Law Firm of Johnston, Moore, and Thompson seeking assistance in securing the money needed to help pay for their treatment and rehabilitation. Yet beyond the financial impact that your spinal cord injury has on you is the toll that it exacts both physically and mentally. Learning to cope with the physical limitations that your injury has left you with can be just as important as earning compensation to pay for your expenses.

One of the first steps in coming to grips with your condition is understanding that you are not alone. According to the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems, an average of 12,500 people suffer injuries similar to yours every year. Therefore, you should know that there is support out there from other spinal cord injury victims if you need it.

Lawsuit filed after restaurant employee killed during robbery

Oftentimes in Madison, a crime may be seen to be simply a tragic event. That tragedy may be compounded even further if it results in someone’s death. However, for those close to the deceased, the term “tragic event” may be difficult to accept if they believe that measures that could have been taken to prevent it. They may concede the fact that whoever perpetrated the crime chose to do so on his or her own, yet at the same time was essentially aided in the ability to do so by the negligence or inaction of another. In such cases, those believed to have displayed such negligence may not face criminal charges, yet could find themselves having to deal with a wrongful death lawsuit.

A group of property owners in Florida are currently facing such a lawsuit after the employee of a restaurant located on the property was shot and killed during a robbery. The lawsuit, filed by the victim’s family, alleges that the building’s owners failed to maintain a safe environment for its occupants, omitting security measures such as cameras and motion detectors. They also allege that the alley where the young man was killed was poorly lit, and that overgrown shrubbery kept areas of the alley hidden from view. They also point to the fact that another crime was committed at the same location just three months earlier should have alerted the owners to these dangers.

What should you do if you were a passenger in a car accident?

You, like many Madison residents, may be quite proud of your driving skills and the fact that they have allowed you to stay relatively safe on the road. Statistics seem to show, however, that the likelihood of you being able to completely avoid any car accident issues in your lifetime may be quite low. In fact, the Alabama Department of Transportation reports that as recently as 2012, car accidents were reported at an average of every 246 seconds in the state. In some cases, your involvement in an accident may not be as a driver, but rather as a passenger. If that happens, how are you to get your accident expenses covered?

Your first step would be to file a claim to the liability insurance of the driver who was at fault. Yet what if your accident expenses exceed the amount of liability coverage offered through that driver’s policy? Rather than being stuck with bill, you may also be able to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance to cover the remaining amount.

Worker injured in construction accident on college campus

Many in Madison may be aware of the fact that construction work ranks among the most dangerous careers in America. Any number of accidents may happen at a job site, from equipment malfunctions to structural failures. However, while such spectacular accidents are typically the ones that make the news, many construction site incidents are much simpler in their nature. For example, one may not rank falls as one of the foremost risks that construction workers face. However, depending upon the size of the project being developed, workers may be asked to perform their jobs hundreds of feet off of the ground. Realizing this may make the dangers posed by falls from heights much easier to comprehend.

A construction worker involved with a building project on the campus of Kansas State University was recently hospitalized following such an accident. While the exact details of the incident were not reported, it was confirmed that the man suffered his injuries during a fall. The cause of the accident is currently being investigated. The condition of the construction worker himself is also unknown.

Career-related risks for contracting occupational illnesses

Worker’s compensation is typically a benefit that most in Madison would likely associate with a workplace injury or accident. There are, however, many cases where rather than causing injury, one’s job can literally make him or her sick. While being “sick of work” is a common joke thrown around many working environments, occupational illnesses may actually present a real risk to employees in certain industries.

Alabama state law defines an occupational disease as one acquired as a result of a person’s employment due to hazards that are both unique to a particular industry and in excess of those determined to be incident to his or her line of work. For example, one catching the flu from a fellow coworker in an office setting may not meet this definition. Yet one contracting an illness due to the unique environmental or epidemiological conditions of an individual job or assignment could potentially qualify him or her for worker’s compensation.