Law Blog


Seat Belt Laws in Alabama
Posted on: March 11th, 2020 by Stephen M. Collins

Did you know that everyone in a vehicle traveling in Alabama must wear a seat belt? The state’s seat belt law used to apply only to those in the front seat, and minors in the backseat. However, under a bill approved by the Alabama Legislature during its last session, the rule was expanded to cover anyone who is riding in the back seat as well.


While seat belt usage has grown in recent years, with the national rate at 90% in 2018, fewer people take the time to buckle up in the back of the vehicle. Law enforcement officials say that this is a mistake. According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, 60% of the people who died in traffic accidents in the state in 2017 weren’t wearing seat belts. Seatbelts alone are credited with saving over 15,000 lives last year.


The new law is a secondary violation, so a ticket can only be issued if the driver was pulled over for another reason.
The bill was named after Roderic Deshaun Scott, who died in an accident on I-65 between Montgomery and Birmingham in 2016. Roderic was a student and athlete player at Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery. Roderic was one of three students in the back of the car who were not wearing their seatbelts, and was ejected from the vehicle.


With the new law passed, it is now not only important to buckle up everywhere in the car, it’s the law. If you’ve been injured as a result of a car accident, or if you have any further questions regarding Alabama’s seat belt laws, come by our office anytime or call us at (251) 300-2000.
 

 

 

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Alabama's New Road Rage Law
Posted on: January 29th, 2020 by Stephen M. Collins

It’s now against the law for Alabama drivers to stay in the left lane for too long. As part of the Anti-Road Rage Act, passed by lawmakers during the last legislative session, vehicles cannot stay in the leftmost lane of the interstate for more than a mile and a half without passing another vehicle.

The bill was sponsored by Representative Phillip Pettus, who is a retired state trooper. While there are some exceptions to the new rules, drivers will be fined $200 if cited for the violation.

Exceptions to the law include: congestion that prevents the driver from driving in the right lane, bad weather and road hazards, exits or toll payments on the left, law enforcement and first responders who are on duty, and construction that forces traffic left.

According to some studies, as many as 80% of drivers feel angry when a driver in the left lane refuses to move over. The new law is designed to cut down on road rage incidents by requiring drivers to move over if they are not moving faster than the car in the right lane.

According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that examined police records nationally, there are more than 1,200 incidents of road rage on average reported per year in the United States. Many of these incidents have ended with serious injuries or even fatalities.

If you’ve been injured as a result of a road rage accident or if you have any further questions regarding the Anti-Road Rage Act, feel free to come by our office anytime, or call us at 251-300-2000.

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Halloween Safety
Posted on: October 28th, 2019 by Charles J. Barber

With Halloween just three days away, now is a good time to plan ahead to make sure that your family has a fun, yet safe, holiday. Here are some easy reminders to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable time trick-or-treating.

Make sure your children never go alone, and always follow pedestrian safety rules. Look before you step, and only cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible. Make sure you are obeying traffic signals such as WALK/DON'T WALK signs, and looking both ways before you cross the street. 

Costumes can also play a role in Halloween safety. Make sure your children’s costume fits well, and doesn’t drag the ground in order to prevent tripping. If possible, stay away from the use of masks and costume contact lenses as they can hinder eyesight. Consider the use of makeup and decorative hats as a safer alternative. Also, if a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure that it is not too sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if they stumble or trip.

It’s also a good idea to double check your home to ensure safety for trick-or-treaters. You should remove debris from the porch and front yard, or anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes, and lawn decorations.  Be sure to fill in any holes or low areas. You should also check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs. Leaves should be swept from sidewalks and driveways. Also, make sure to restrain all pets.

Some other great reminders to make sure everyone stays safe is to carry a flashlight with fresh batteries, and a fully charged cell phone for good communication. Only approach houses that are well lit, and never enter a stranger’s home. If older children plan to go trick-or-treating alone, review a route that is acceptable to you and agree on a specific time for them to return. And then once you are home, inspect all candy and treats before you consume them. Throw away anything that is unwrapped or spoiled, and don’t eat anything that is homemade from someone you don’t know.
 

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Operation Backpack
Posted on: August 21st, 2019 by J. David Greene

  

Recently, we partnered with Fox10 and Volunteers of America for Operation Backpack! Operation Backpack was a school supply drive to ensure that kids in our community have everything they need to start the school year. Volunteers of America set a goal of 500 backpacks, and we exceeded that by over 100! Thank you, Mobile, for your generous support.

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Dog Bites
Posted on: July 24th, 2019 by Stephen M. Collins

Even though they’re man’s best friend, a dog’s behavior can sometimes be unpredictable. In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one is bitten by a dog, you need to know your legal rights. If a dog bites you and causes an injury, the owner may be responsible and may owe you compensation for medical care, and pain and suffering.

If you have been bitten by a dog, you should immediately call the authorities and seek medical attention.  Then, you should seek out a lawyer that has experience handling this type of case. Our firm has handled a number of dog bite cases in the 21 years that we’ve been in business. If you have any questions about dog bites, you can always meet with an injury lawyer at our office on Florida Street, or call us at (251) 300-2000.  Call or come by anytime, you never need an appointment. 
 

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Hit and Run Accidents
Posted on: July 11th, 2019 by Stephen M. Collins

If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, where the at-fault driver leaves before the police come to make a report, you still may have legal recourse. Hit-and-runs can be difficult situations, but if you are ever a victim, it is very important to notify the police and make sure a report is done. Speaking with an injury lawyer as soon as you can is very important.  Investigations and evidence need to be secured as soon as possible.   Most times, a person has insurance to cover damages created by hit-and-run accidents.

A phantom vehicle accident is a wreck that is caused by a vehicle that may not necessarily hit you, but is the primary cause of the accident.  For instance, if a car pulls out in front of you and you swerve to miss it, you may miss the other car and it may drive away, but you may hit another car and experience serious injuries and have significant damage to your car.  In these cases and with the right insurance, you may still receive money to cover the cost of your injuries, lost wages, and more. 

After you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run or phantom vehicle accident it’s very important to have all your details correct. Talking with your own insurance company, without legal representation present, could end up hurting your case. It is in your best interest to speak with a personal injury lawyer who knows how to handle this type of case before you speak with any insurance company. If you’ve been injured as a result of a hit and run accident or if you have any further questions, come by our office anytime or call us at 251-300-2000.
 

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Boys & Girls Club Telethon
Posted on: June 19th, 2019 by Cody S. Poe

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of co-hosting a telethon with WKRG that benefitted the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama. We've partnered with this organization on numerous events throughout the year, and it has been a very rewarding experience. Over the course of the day, we raised $51,000! These funds will help the Boys & Girls Club fund programs they have for children both after school and during the summer.

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Crashes Involving Minors
Posted on: June 5th, 2019 by Will G. Phillips

Car crashes are a scary experience in and of themselves, but even more so if a child is involved. The first thing someone should do for a minor when they’re involved in a wreck is to seek treatment immediately. Children don’t typically express how they feel as well as adults do, so it’s important to still get them checked out by a doctor.  It’s also a good idea to meet with an attorney that has handled similar cases with minors to be sure that the communication with the insurance company is handled properly. If you have a car seat in your vehicle when a wreck occurs, even if your child is not in the seat at the time of the accident, you still need to get it replaced to ensure that the car seat is fully functioning and no parts have been damaged from the accident.

A minor’s case is handled differently than an adult's case. If you have further questions regarding this matter, please call us at 251-300-2000, go to GreenePhillips.com, or stop by our office to meet personally with an injury lawyer. You never need an appointment, and you owe us nothing unless we get you money.
 

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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, call 911 as soon as possible, and make sure that an accident report is done. Second, seek medical attention. Then, be sure to call an injury attorney that handles car wrecks. You can call Greene and Phillips at 251-300-2000 or come by anytime.  You never need an appointment to meet with one of our injury lawyers.

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