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Jasper Personal Injury Law Blog

Recent texting traffic death latest in series of road fatalities

A recent, fatal Cullman County crash is calling attention to the escalating number of traffic fatalities occurring on Alabama roadways. According to, authorities believe texting and driving was a likely factor in the accident that killed a 28-year-old woman and sent another motorist to the hospital with serious injuries.

The mid-afternoon accident occurred when the woman who lost her life in the incident struck another truck, leading to the woman’s death at the scene. Alabama State Troopers responded shortly after the crash occurred, but few other details about it are available, as it remains under investigation.

Are nursing home residents at risk for Legionnaire’s disease?

If you have a loved one living in an Alabama nursing home or long-term care facility, you should know about a growing and potentially deadly problem affecting residents at many such facilities throughout the United States. Legionnaire’s disease can arise when people breathe in small droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria, which can cause serious lung infections that often result in pneumonia.

Per WSFA, about 80 percent of Legionnaire’s disease cases develop in continuing care facilities, and about 10 percent of those affected by the disease ultimately die from it. The fatality risk is significantly higher for those who develop the disease while living in a nursing home or continuing care facility, with about 25 percent of those affected dying as a result of the bacteria. Just how severe your loved one’s risk of developing Legionnaire’s disease is depends on a variety of factors, among them his or her state of health and whether the water system in the residential home is improperly sterilized, sanitized and maintained.

The truth about motorcycle safety

Whether you already own a motorcycle or are just thinking about getting one, you've probably heard quite a few myths about them, ranging from one extreme (they're just like fast bicycles!) to the other (they're exceptionally dangerous!). The truth, as is usually the case, is somewhere in between, and with proper safety and caution, riding a motorcycle can be an enjoyable activity and method of transportation.

Motorcycle myths

Summer holidays a danger for motorcyclists

Memorial Day is a notoriously dangerous time for motorcyclists across Alabama and the United States, and the recent holiday was only the first in a series of summer occasions that often lead to a spike in motorcycle fatalities.  Per CBS News, the number of lives lost on motorcycles in the U.S. doubled between 2009 and 2015, and there are several factors that may be contributing to this increase.

Part of the problem is likely due to the fact that today’s motorcyclists and other motorists on the roadway have far more distractions fighting for their attention than those of the past. From texting behind the wheel to relying on in-vehicle navigation systems to get from here to there, today’s road travelers face new dangers that may prove especially dangerous for those travelling on two wheels. So much so, in fact, that the number of motorcycle fatalities per the number of miles travelled was 27 times higher for motorcycle riders than it was for those in regular passenger cars.

Semi-truck side guards could save lives

Sharing Alabama’s roadways with large trucks is an unavoidable reality for most motorists, and when cars and commercial trucks collide, cars frequently find themselves on the losing end. Recent test results involving semi-truck side guards indicate that these relatively simple enhancements have the potential to save numerous lives, and some are pushing for new mandates that would require all semi-truck companies to install them on their fleets.

Per CNN Money, “under-ride,” which occurs when a car rear-ends a commercial truck and makes its way under the truck’s trailer, is a factor in about half of all fatal accidents involving cars and large trucks. Safety advocates and experts at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety believe that making it a requirement for commercial trucks to have side guards could prevent many of these fatalities, with one 2012 study indicating the safety features could reduce the risk of injury in about 90 percent of side crashes involving cars and semi-trucks.

How prevalent is sexual abuse at nursing homes?

When you make the difficult decision to place your loved one in an Alabama nursing home or continuing care facility, you will probably choose a residence where you believe he or she will receive adequate care and remain free from any form of abuse or neglect. Regrettably, however, this is not always the case, with McClatchy DC noting that sexual abuse at American nursing homes is largely kept under wraps, making it hard to determine just how common it truly is.

Part of the issue in assessing the prevalence of sexual abuse at nursing homes lies in the fact that reporting systems used to track sexual abuse complaints do not typically separate claims of sexual abuse from other forms of abuse your senior or disabled loved one may experience. However, one federal program found that there were almost three reports of sexual abuse at long-term care centers made each day for the last 20 years, amounting to more than 20,000 allegations of sexual abuse at such facilities during that same period.

Alabama’s workers’ compensation law ruled unconstitutional

Big changes may soon be on the horizon for Alabama’s workers’ compensation system. Per, a circuit judge based in Jefferson County ruled one of the state’s existing workers’ compensation laws unconstitutional, and time will tell whether the ruling will be upheld by other courts and judges in the state.

Under the state’s current workers’ compensation law, those injured on the job cannot receive more than $220 per week in workers’ compensation benefits, and attorneys representing injured workers cannot claim more than 15 percent in attorney fees. Attorneys in the case noted that the $220 limit was set in 1987, at a time when the amount was appropriate, given the cost of living, poverty level and typical wages associated with that period. Nowadays, attorneys argued, the amount should be closer to $500.

Beware of distracted drivers!

When you obtained your first valid driver's license, you were likely especially cautious behind the wheel. New and inexperienced drivers are typically very alert and attentive to their surroundings as they traverse Alabama roadways. As time goes on, however, most motorists tend to relax their standards, which can lead to serious driving problems and an increased risk of injury. Distracted driving is highly problematic in Alabama and nationwide, and all drivers (novice or experienced) should be aware of such dangers in order to keep themselves and all who share the roads safe.

No matter how well you adhere to posted speed limits and traffic regulations, there's little you can do about the way someone else drives. Understanding the three basic types of driving distraction, however, may keep you on the lookout for potential trouble, and possibly help you avoid a collision.

When are AAA’s 100 “deadliest days” of summer?

Memorial Day is on the horizon, and that means more teen drivers across Alabama and the United States will soon join you on the roadways. It also means more fatalities will likely follow, if recent statistics are any indication, and the potential dangers are so severe that AAA deemed the 100 days immediately following Memorial Day the “deadliest days of summer.”

Because so many teens are out of school and joining you on the road, your risk of an accident increases, and not just because of driver inexperience, although that, too, is a likely contributor. Teen drivers are increasingly practicing unsafe driving behaviors including texting, which studies show enhances the risk of a crash by 23 times. Teens are also engaging in other distracted driving-related behaviors that endanger you and everyone else on the road, with distracted driving actions playing a role in nearly 60 percent of accidents during those 100 deadly days.

Alabama State Troopers reveal 2017 motorcycle crash stats

Alcohol and speed were factors in a recent Autauga County, Alabama, fatal motorcycle crash, again highlighting the importance of staying vigilant on the roadway during the spring and summer seasons now that motorcycles are increasingly taking to the streets. Per WSFA,  statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicate that motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to die in accidents than motorists driving other types of vehicles, further driving home the importance of donning protective gear.

To date this year, Alabama State Troopers saw 87 non-fatal injuries result from motorcycle crashes within state borders, and 12 motorcyclists have lost their lives on Alabama’s roadways. Of those 12 fatalities, eight resulted from single-vehicle crashes. Nationally, alcohol is a major contributing factor to motorcyclist fatalities, with drinking and driving linked to 43 percent of motorcycle deaths from coast to coast.


The Sapp Law Firm, L.L.C.
1923 Third Avenue South
Jasper, AL 35501

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