Law Blog


2019 Scholarship Winners
Posted on: May 23rd, 2019 by J. David Greene

                                 

On May 8th, we held a banquet to present our five scholarship winners with their award. This was the first year for our scholarship program, and we are so thankful for the participation and opportunity to give back to our community. Our top five winners each received a scholarship in the amount of $2,000. Pictured above are Kristen Abney of Mobile Christian School, Allie Glover of Baker High School, Marquis Powell of B.C. Rain High School, Abigail Fancher of Saraland High School, and Kriston Davis of Baker High School. 

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Summer Driving Tips
Posted on: May 9th, 2019 by Cody S. Poe

Summer is here, and that means more people are out on the roads visiting family and going on vacations. With all the added traffic, that means more of a possibility for car wrecks to happen.  Driving during the summer months really can be that much more dangerous. The Fourth of July is the deadliest day to drive, and August is the deadliest month. So, safety is a really big issue when considering your summer driving plans.

Before you leave on a road trip, be sure to take the necessary steps to ensure your car is as safe as possible. Check all your fluids, tire pressure, and your brakes. Also, make sure that all your lights and windshield wipers work. Throughout the year, people might put off doing these things, but they could potentially save your life.  

To avoid the hazard of distracted driving, let the passenger control the radio, GPS, and answer phone calls or text messages.  As the driver, your responsibility is to keep your eyes on the road, and even glancing down for a second could be a costly mistake.

It’s also really important to know when to stop.  Be sure to take breaks every couple hours, walk around, get a cup of coffee, etc. Sometimes, you might even need to find a safe place to get a few hours of sleep. It’s extremely important not to drive when you’re tired. Not only are you putting your own life at risk, but everyone in your car and everyone who’s sharing the road with you. 

If you are involved in an accident on vacation, call 911 as soon as possible, and make sure that an accident report is done. Secondly, seek medical attention. Then, be sure to call an attorney that handles car wrecks. Even if you are out of state, Greene & Phillips can handle your case, and we are available 24/7.

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Big Truck Accidents
Posted on: April 16th, 2019 by Charles J. Barber

Crashes involving large trucks can be some of the most dangerous, causing very serious injuries and sometime even death. Trucking accidents happen far too often and we come across them every day. Typically, the injuries to the victims are severe, and sometimes fatal. It’s very unfortunate that these types of accidents happen as much as they do, but there are so many commercial drivers that do not follow the rules and regulations of regarding these massive vehicles.

Thankfully, there any laws and regulations in place to try and prevent the number of large truck accidents. Truck drivers have to keep detailed log books of their routes, and they are limited on the number hours they can drive within a certain period of time. Although, even with laws in place, accidents still occur.

If you or someone you know is injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, seek medical attention immediately. Your health is the most important thing in any accident. Second, be sure that everything is documented. The police should responded to the accident and make a detailed report. Also, be sure to take pictures. And of course, do not take any calls from insurance companies or the trucking company without consulting a lawyer first.

In the unfortunate event that someone is killed as a result of an 18-wheeler crash, there are certain processes the families of the deceased have to go through and it can be very overwhelming for them. Given the amount of stress and grief they are already facing, having the right team of attorneys, like Greene & Phillips, can provide a lot of relief. You can always call us at (251) 300-2000, or come by our office anytime. You never need an appointment to meet with a lawyer at Greene & Phillips!

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Mardi Gras Biking Tips
Posted on: February 13th, 2019 by Joshua T. Morgan

During Mardi Gras Season, one way to beat the traffic and parking issues is to pump up your bicycle tires for a quick and easy ride downtown.  There are a lot of misconceptions about where someone should ride their bicycle.  But the law is pretty clear. A bicycle should be considered like any other vehicle and travel down the road with the flow of traffic, in the far right lane, and as close to the fog strip as you deem safe. Never ride against traffic, and never ride in the center turn lane. And if the sidewalk is crowded, it can be very dangerous for pedestrians if you ride there. 

We’ve handled many bicycle accident cases over the years, and a common thing we hear from the defendant is “I never saw him,” or “I didn’t see him until it was too late.” Those drivers were still responsible for the accident, but making sure you are as visible as possible is of extreme importance. One way to ensure visibility, is to wear lights.  If you are riding your bike at night, it’s the law that you have a light on the front of your bike, as well as the back of your bike.  You can pick these up at any sporting goods store or bike store in town. The other thing you can do is wear brightly colored clothing, or even a reflective vest.  Many drivers have experienced coming up on a bicyclist who is wearing dark clothing or doesn’t have any lights on, and you really can’t see them until it’s almost too late. Helmets are required by law for anyone under 16, but really anyone riding a bicycle, especially during Mardi Gras, should consider wearing a helmet. Another important thing to remember is a bike lock.  There are a lot of bikes stolen during parades at Mardi Gras.  So make sure you lock your bike up to something secure with a strong lock, that can’t be easily broken. 

Some other tips for using bicycles this Mardi Gras season is to avoid bicycling drunk. You could end up hurting someone, and possibly get a ticket. Also, make sure to get off your bike and walk it if you are navigating through dense crowds 

In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a bicycle related accident, be sure to call 911 and have the police write an accident report. Next, seek medical treatment at an ER or Urgent Care facility. If you are bicyclist and a vehicle hits you, you have grounding to seek damages from the driver’s insurance company.  And as always, be sure to call a lawyer that handles this type of case. At Greene & Phillips, there are no up-front fees to hire one of our attorneys. We only get paid if we are able to get money for you. 

If you think you may have a case or you have further questions, we can be reached by phone at (251) 300-2000, on our website at www.GreenePhillips.com, or feel free to drop by our office anytime at 51 North Florida Street. You never need an appointment!
 

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Lawsuit Misconceptions
Posted on: January 30th, 2019 by Charles E. Davis

We often hear people say, “Well, you know, I’m not the suing type.. I don’t want to be that person.. I don’t sue people.” But what people should understand is that in injury cases, your initial act is not to sue anyone. We do what we’re able to reach a fair settlement without having to go to trial. When people hire attorneys for personal injury claims, what they’re really doing is hiring an advocate to deal with the insurance company for them. They’re just pursuing the insurance coverage that the other driver or property owner pays to have.

Hiring an attorney can be very beneficial if you want to pursue a claim. Personal injury attorneys deal with insurance companies on a daily basis and know exactly what to ask, what to send, and how to handle them. Adjusters know that the average person doesn’t really know everything they are entitled to, or really anything other than what the adjuster tells them regarding their claim. Having a personal injury attorney to advocate for you can be very helpful and reduce the amount of stress from the accident or injury.

If someone has a personal injury case, and the liable party has insurance coverage, we’re usually able to speak to them and send them what is required in order to reach a settlement. Settlements are meant to prevent cases from going to litigation and instead of presenting a case in front of a judge, attorneys present the facts and evidence to the insurance adjuster and negotiate until they feel they’ve reached an amount that is fair for the client. In most instances, the act of filing a lawsuit is not necessary. For personal injury attorneys, filing a lawsuit occurs when it’s the best or only option. But most times, we try reaching settlements with the companies before litigating the case.

If you have a claim you would like to pursue, or have any further questions come by our office anytime, or call us at (251) 300-2000 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Wrongful Death
Posted on: January 15th, 2019 by Britt V. Bethea

Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a loved one, but when someone else’s negligence is the cause of death, a very difficult situation can become so much worse. Wrongful death is when someone receives serious injuries that lead to their death due to the negligence of someone else and through no fault of their own.  It may be a car accident, large truck accident, or even an industrial accident. But the result is that someone is killed in that setting, and it isn’t their fault.

Families of wrongful death victims can often receive money damages for the loss of their family member. These damages include lost income and pain and suffering. The court can also award compensatory and/or punitive damages. Compensatory damages pay for things like medical bills, property damage, etc. While punitive damages are awarded to deter companies or individuals from the unsafe practices that caused this accident. All wrongful death cases are senseless and should not have happened, and there is no amount of money that can bring that loved-one back, but at least in many cases the family can be taken care of.

Typically, there is no intent to kill in a wrongful death case. A wrongful death case will be a civil suit filed by the victim to recover money damages from the at-fault party. Typically you can’t sue for a murder, but there may be instances where you have a criminal and civil case for the same incident. Manslaughter and murder are criminal charges would be brought against responsible parties by the district attorney's office. These are court cases that determine if the at-fault-party will experience jail time.    

In Alabama, you’re required to have a lawyer involved to file a suit in a wrongful death situation.  That’s why it’s crucial to find a lawyer that handles this type of case as soon as you can after the accident resulting in the death of your loved one. There is important evidence that becomes increasingly difficult to obtain the longer you wait after the accident. The plaintiff must be able to prove that a company or individual was negligent, and in other words, they had a duty to provide a safe environment, and if they failed to do that, then the family is owed compensation for their loss.

The lawyers at Greene & Phillips will thoroughly investigate the facts of the case, by talking to witnesses, recovering any surveillance footage, and reconstructing the accident scene through sophisticated software. We’ll work closely with local law enforcement and prosecutor’s office to gather the information we need to make your case strong.  We then we go after the responsible parties and make them pay. At Greene & Phillips, the consultation is completely free and there is no risk.  You won’t owe us anything unless we get money for you.

If you have further questions, call our office at (251) 300-2000, or stop by our office at 51 North Florida Street anytime.

 

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Hiring a Local Lawyer
Posted on: December 26th, 2018 by J. David Greene

With so many lawyers to choose from in our area, it’s hard to know who is the best choice after you’ve been injured. The first thing you should ask a lawyer before you hire them is, “Are you from the area?” Having someone that is living and working here in Mobile can make a big difference in your case. There is also a convenience factor to this, as in you don’t want to have to drive a long way to meet with your lawyer. There’s a comfort factor about being able to  sit down face to face with your attorney to answer any questions you have, and for him to know the full extent of your injuries.  

After an injury, legal issues can be very complicated, and solving those issues often involve knowledge of local practices, rules, and regulations.  An attorney from outside of Mobile isn’t going to know as many of the factors that could affect your case. You want a lawyer who has a strong knowledge of the Mobile community, so that he or she can see all the unique angles to your case. Also, familiarity with local courts can be a very important part of hiring a local law firm.  Attorneys who try cases before local judges will have a distinct advantage over those who haven’t.  A local attorney will have developed a rapport with the judges and their staff.

Last, but definitely not least, you will want to make sure they have handled your type of case before, and have a proven track record. Be sure to ask about what kind of verdicts and settlements they have had, and also what kind of system they have in place to handle your case. It is important to hire an attorney who has a lot of experience with your type of case so that they are able to truly help you.

If you have any further questions about this topic, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (251) 300-2000, or come by our office on Florida Street anytime. You never need an appointment at Greene & Phillips.

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Dangers of Drinking and Driving
Posted on: December 11th, 2018 by Will G. Phillips

This is a very festive time of year, and some people may have a little too much to drink before getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.  We have had clients who were seriously injured from accidents involving drunk drivers.  Many of these accidents were severe, with injuries being catastrophic, and far too many of them have resulted in death. Drunk driving accounts for approximately one-third of all traffic related fatalities, so it’s a very big problem.  Here in the south, many times alcoholic beverages are a big part of the culture, but we don’t have the transportation infrastructure in place to make alternatives to arriving to our destinations safely.  Often times, we don’t put enough pressure on our family and friends not to drive while intoxicated. 

One option is to avoid driving while intoxicated is to pick someone in your group that agrees not to drink any alcohol all night, and let them take you home. But if you can’t find a designated driver, call a cab, or download the Uber or Lyft apps on your phone to take advantage of either of these ridesharing services.  

If you’ve been injured by a vehicle that was being driven by a driver who has been drinking, there are several steps you want to make sure you take.  Of course, call the police immediately.  The police will need to give the driver a breathalyzer test and officially raise DUI charges. Second, make sure to talk to a lawyer that handles auto accident cases involving DUI. Injury cases involving drunk drivers can be more complicated than other types of cases.  Sometimes the bar where the driver was drinking can be held responsible for serving the individual if he or she is already visibly intoxicated.  Often closed circuit video can be recovered, and additional money recovered for your injuries, pain and suffering, and more.

If you were involved in a drunk driving related accident or have further questions, call us at (251) 300-2000 or stop by our offices anytime.  You never need an appointment, and we’re staffed with attorneys who can meet with you during your lunch break or anytime between 8 and 5pm.  You can also find us online at greenephillips.com
 

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Social Security Denials
Posted on: November 26th, 2018 by Stephen M. Collins

Social Security affects millions of Americans, and sometimes obtaining the benefits of this program can be difficult. In a nutshell, Social Security is a government system for monetary assistance for those with inadequate income. If you have applied for Social Security, but have been denied benefits, you only have a very limited period of time to file an appeal from the initial denial. They will typically send a letter to you explaining why you were denied.  The best thing to do is seek legal representation right away so that someone with experience can assist you in filing the appeal and requesting a hearing date as quickly as possible.

It is extremely beneficial to seek legal representation in a situation like this because the forms and the process can be quite confusing. An experienced attorney will file an appeal immediately, and send in the appropriate forms to be sure the client is taken care of. When the hearing date comes around, the attorney can help present the case to the judge in a way that most people would be unable to on their own. He or she would make sure the judge fully understands why the claimant is considered disabled.

The main thing to understand is that the appeal process takes time. The Social Security office is constantly busy so it may take a year or two before a hearing date is set to actually appeal the denial. Many people believe that is too long, but when you have the proper representation it’s usually well worth the wait. If you have been denied Social Security, or have any further questions, stop by our office at 51 North Florida Street, you never need an appointment. Or you can always call us at (251) 300-2000.
 

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Types of Car Wrecks
Posted on: November 12th, 2018 by Charles J. Barber

Every car accident is different, and the type of crash you have may determine how your case is handled in a court of law. A single vehicle accident is one where there’s understandably just one vehicle, and for whatever reason it hits a tree, or a building, or a sign.  Most often, if you are the driver of the vehicle there is not going to be much recovery that you are entitled to.  There are certain circumstances where that’s not true, including cases that involve phantom vehicles and product liability cases. If it’s one of those circumstances, then it’s worth talking to an attorney to find out if you may have a case.  If you are a passenger in the vehicle that was in a wreck, you sometimes have a case too. 

A fender bender is a low impact accident that happens when someone who’s not paying attention, or who is distracted runs into the vehicle in front of them.  Often, there’s not much damage and injuries can be minor.  The important thing to remember with a fender bender is that if there is any damage to your vehicle there very likely is damage to you.  Several days later, you may discover symptoms of whiplash or an achy back as a result of the accident. There are often times when severe injuries can result from a minor accident. That’s why it’s so important to get medical treatment as soon as you can after your accident.  We see fender bender cases all the time, and the vast majority of them are caused by the person in the rear, but there are occasions when that’s not the case. So always contact an attorney to see what your options are. 

Unfortunately, more serious accidents do occur, and the more damage done to the car often means more damage to the body. Obviously, a wreck with an 18-wheeler can be completely devastating considering the size and weight of these trucks. These cases can be very complex, and the scenes may need to be independently investigated to figure out the at-fault driver.  Of course, it’s imperative that you seek medical attention right away and make sure that an accident report is done. 

As always, if you have any further questions concerning any type of car accident, call us at (251) 300-2000, no matter what time of day it is. Or come by our office at 51 North Florida Street. 
 

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