Law Blog


Lawsuit Misconceptions
Posted on: January 30th, 2019 by Stephen M. Collins

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 resolution 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 the claim. Adjusters deal with claims everyday and know that the average person doesn’t have the experience to know what they are entitled too. Having a personal injury attorney to advocate for you can be very helpful and reduce the amount of stress from the accident or injury.  For personal injury attorneys, filing a lawsuit occurs when it’s the best or only option. Most times, we try reaching resolution with the insurance 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.  We have injury attorneys available to meet with you, and you never need an appointment.

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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 the lawyer has handled your type of case before, and has a proven track record. Be sure to ask about what kind of verdicts and settlements they've had, and also what kind of system is 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 to meet with an injury attorney 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.  We have had clients who were seriously injured from wrecks 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.

One option to avoid driving while intoxicated is to designate someone in your group to not drink any alcohol all night and let them take you home. If a designated driver is not available, call a cab or download a ride sharing app (Uber of Lyft) to take you home.

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver there are several steps you want to make sure you take.  Call the police immediately.  The police will conduct an investigation and make a determination if the driver was impaired. Second, make sure to talk to a lawyer that handles auto accident cases involving DUI. Injury cases involving drunk drivers are oftentimes more complicated than other types of cases.  Sometimes the establishment serving the alcohol can be held responsible for serving the individual if he or she is already visibly intoxicated.  Conducting an investigation and securing any evidence (i.e. closed-circuit cameras) is crucial to prove liability.

If you were involved in a drunk driving related incident 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 injury attorneys who can meet with you during your lunch break or anytime between 8 and 5pm.  You can also find us online at GeenePhillips.com.
 

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

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) affect millions of Americans, and sometimes obtaining the benefits of these programs can be difficult. Social Security Disability (SSDI and SSI) is a government program for monetary and insurance benefits for those that cannot engage in any substantially gainful activity. If you have applied for Social Security Disability, and have been denied benefits, you have a very limited period of time to file an appeal. 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 and medical documentation to prove your disability. At the hearing, an experienced attorney will frame your case in its best light to prove to the administrative law judge that you are unable to work.

The Social Security Disability office is constantly busy so it may take a year or two before a hearing date is set to actually hear the appeal. Requesting a hearing as soon as possible will help secure an appeal date quicker.  If you have been denied Social Security, or have any further questions, stop by our office at 51 North Florida Street or call us at (251) 300-2000.  You will meet personally with an experienced disability attorney.
 

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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.

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 very important to get medical treatment as soon as you can after your accident.   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 and vehicles may need to be independently investigated. 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. You may come by our office at 51 North Florida Street and meet with an injury attorney.  You never need an appointment. 
 

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Vehicle Recalls
Posted on: October 17th, 2018 by Stephen M. Collins

The news recently has been full of stories about faulty parts on vehicles that have been recalled. To find out the most up-to-date recall information for your vehicle, you can go online to recalls.gov, or you can go to the manufacturer’s website and put in your VIN number. Also, your local dealer will be able to tell you what recalls are available for your vehicle.  Again, this is a very important fix for your car or truck, and it affects a wide range of vehicles from 2000 onward.  You should not have to pay anything to have a recall fixed. 

The most common recall we hear about concerns faulty airbags.  It is especially important to get these recalls fixed right away because airbags are meant to save lives. When a faulty airbags deploys, there have been instances of shrapnel exploding from the airbag injuring drivers and passengers. If your vehicle is affected, it is very important that you get this problem fixed as soon as you can, so that in the unfortunate event that your airbags deploy, they are able to do their job and protect you. Airbags are supposed to help, not hurt.

If you were involved in an accident where your vehicle’s airbag deployed, and you were injured by shrapnel, you should contact a personal injury lawyer that handles product liability cases.  At Greene and Phillips, we have experience helping our clients recover money for their injuries due to faultily designed products.   It’s important to call a lawyer as soon as you can after an incident like this, because important evidence can be harder to obtain the longer you wait.

If you have any further questions, or think you may have a case, call us at 251-300-2000, or stop by our office at 51 N. Florida street.  We have a team of injury lawyers ready to help you.


 

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Pedestrian Rights and Safety
Posted on: September 25th, 2018 by Stephen M. Collins


Did you know that a pedestrian is killed every 96 minutes from a traffic related accident? That equates to over 5,000 deaths per year! In Alabama, vehicles must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within a crosswalk that are in the same half of the roadway as the vehicle, or when a pedestrian is approaching closely enough from the opposite side of the roadway to constitute a danger. Also, if a traffic control device such as “Walk”/ “Don’t Walk” sign is in operation, pedestrians may only cross between two adjacent intersections in a marked crosswalk, and may only cross an intersection diagonally if authorized by a traffic control device.

Pedestrians need to avoid entering a crosswalk in which vehicles of either direction are in close proximity. But, they also must yield the right-of-way to vehicles when crossing outside of a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. It’s always important to stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings at all times.

If a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, they should seek medical attention immediately. Then, be sure to call the authorities, and make sure an accident report is done. It is extremely important to make sure that everything is documented. Then, speak with a personal injury attorney to see how they will be able to help you. It costs nothing to hire a personal injury attorney at our firm.  At Greene & Phillips, we work on a contingency fee basis. That means that we don’t get paid unless we are able to get you money.

If you have any further questions, we are always available by phone at (251) 300-2000, or you can stop by our office anytime at 51 North Florida Street in Mobile.

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Industrial Accidents
Posted on: September 13th, 2018 by J. David Greene

Industrial plants and mills provide great jobs for many people in our area. The Mobile area has many large industrial workplaces from chemical plants, steel mills, gas and petroleum plants, manufacturing plants, and ship building. Because of the inherently dangerous nature of industrial industries, there are risks of injury to employees and third parties.

 

If you are injured in an industrial accident, seek medical attention immediately.  Make sure your manager is aware of the injury and that the appropriate forms have been filled out. Also, see if you can get witness statements from any of your coworkers that saw what happened. If you have a way to document the accident with pictures, do that too.  Sometimes companies do the wrong thing, and try to cover up details of the accident, and threaten their employees to not talk about the accident, so it’s important to recover as much evidence as soon as you can.

 

In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one is involved in an industrial accident, it’s very important to hire a law firm that has previously handled this type of case. Industrial accidents can be very complex. There can be extensive investigations, third party responsibility, defective product issues, several different insurance companies, workers-comp issues, and more.  A lawyer that isn’t experienced with this type of case could easily miss one of these issues and cost your case thousands, or even millions, of dollars.

 

Should you have any questions about industrial accidents, or think you may have a case, stop by our office at 51 N. Florida Street to meet personally with an injury attorney, or call us anytime at (251) 300-2000. At Greene & Phillips, you owe us nothing unless we are able to get money for you.

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Maritime Accidents
Posted on: September 7th, 2018 by J. David Greene

Living near the coast, we know that a lot of Mobile area citizens work on maritime vessels or offshore rigs. But what qualifies an accident to be labeled a “maritime accident”? A maritime accident is any accident involving a ship or other marine craft. Some examples are vessel collisions, faulty design, capsizing, explosions, falling overboard, oil rig accidents, and even shipyard accidents. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has declared that commercial fishing alone is the most dangerous job in the country.

 

With the known dangers of this industry and profession, regulations have been put into place to protect maritime workers. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, is a federal statute that regulates maritime commerce in U.S. Waters.  The actual wording of the law says that all “seaman” are covered.  But, over the years, that definition has been narrowed to someone who works on a vessel that is navigable waters. It includes a section on Seaman’s rights which lays out the steps and restrictions for injured maritime employees to recover compensation for their injuries from their employers. 

 

Should you have further questions about maritime accidents or think you might have a case, please call our office at (251) 300-2000.  You may drop by our office anytime at 51 North Florida Street to meet personally with an injury attorney.  Call or come by anytime, you never need an appointment.

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Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Posted on: August 20th, 2018 by Will G. Phillips

                                

Liability insurance is a requirement by law, but unfortunately not everyone plays by the rules. Uninsured Motorist, or UM, covers your injury costs if you are hit by someone without insurance.  Underinsured Motorist, UIM, covers you if you are hit by someone who may have insurance, but not enough to cover your injury expenses.

 

Alabama law requires every driver to have at least $25,000 in liability insurance.  With the minimum amount of liability insurance, if you cause an accident, your insurance will pay up to $25,000 toward the injury or property damage of the vehicle or person you hit.  Unfortunately, many people do not have liability insurance.  A recent study showed that one in four vehicles are not insured. If an uninsured driver hits you and causes damage, you will most likely be left with the bill if you do not have uninsured motorist insurance.

 

Many times we are asked if uninsured motorist insurance is a requirement on your policy. You do have the option to waive UM/UIM coverage when you purchase your auto policy. However, if you choose not to have it, you might find it difficult, if not impossible, to cover your losses from an accident with an uninsured motorist. It is some of the least expensive insurance you can buy, and depending on your policy, many times it only costs you an additional $15-20 every six months.

 

In order to be protected from uninsured drivers, make sure you have included UM/UIM coverage on your auto policy. The higher the limits, the better. The next thing you can do is practice defensive driving. Always be cautious of other drivers. Plan ahead for the unexpected, watch your speed, always use your turn signals, and keep a safe distance. If you have any further questions, or would like one of our injury attorneys to review your auto insurance policy, please feel free to stop by our office at 51 N. Florida Street anytime, or give us a call at (251) 300-2000.

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