Takata airbags recall

Millions of vehicles are now under recall due to faulty airbag inflators manufactured by Takata. Many of these faulty inflators are in Honda vehicles. Serious injuries and at least 13 deaths are blamed on the Takata airbags.  We are investigating these claims.  If you or a loved one has been injury by a Honda airbag, call us to see if we can help.

Pokemon Go and the Dangers of Distracted Driving

pokemon

Chances are you have heard about the new app called “Pokemon Go” that has exploded onto the app scene. While many have been enjoying the highly interactive game safely, a news report that a man caused a huge car wreck by stopping on the highway to catch-em-all went viral and definitely spurred some interesting conversation in our office. Luckily this report has been found to be fabricated but the false story did highlight the real dangers that exist with playing cell phone apps while driving. It won’t be long before someone is injured by someone trying to catch Pikachu scurrying across their dash. This action is not only dangerous, but it also exposes you to civil and potentially criminal liability. If you cause physical injury to another while you were playing a cell phone game and driving, you would expose yourself to a lawsuit for not only negligent conduct, but also wanton conduct which carries the penalty of punitive damages. You may also face criminal charges for reckless endangerment for creating a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another. Additionally, under Alabama law, it is illegal to text while driving. At this time, it is not illegal to use a cell phone app while driving. In fact, some apps, such as a GPS app, can aid a person’s driving. However, you might not know is that all novice drivers in the state of Alabama are banned from cell phone use while driving regardless of the manner of use. A novice driver is defined as a driver who is 16 or a 17 year-old licensed within the prior 6 months. Remember to encourage your friends and family to drive safe and refrain from distracted driving. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a car wreck call Hodges Trial Lawyers today!

Should I Pay my Copay

One question that is often asked by new clients is whether or not they should pay the co-pays when they visit a doctor after a wreck. We often have clients say that they should not have to pay these co-pays because the person who caused the wreck should pay them. Ultimately, the responsible party will end up paying for those co-pays in the settlement regardless of whether you pay them now or wait to pay them later.

We recommend that you pay your co-pays and outstanding medical bills if you are able. If you refuse to pay your co-pays because you want the other side to pay them, the only person it can hurt is you. When an insurance company makes an offer to settle a case, they are considering the out-of-pocket expenses you incurred for your medical care, which includes your co-pays and deductibles. The settlement offer will not change if these bills are paid or unpaid. So you are not increasing your offer by leaving these bills unpaid.  Therefore, there is no gain for you to leave these bills unpaid. However, there are potential negative effects that could occur to your credit score if these bills remain unpaid.  If the insurance company stalls the case, which is common, these debts will remain unpaid and your medical providers may decide to send the bills to collections. This will affect your overall credit score negatively because you will have bills listed as unpaid and sent to collections. Given enough time this can become bad debt and be reflected on your credit score. It is not uncommon to see clients credit scores lower by a small amount if they choose to not pay their co-pays.

We understand that not everyone is financially able to pay their co-pays and outstanding deductibles after a wreck. We have methods we use to try and delay medical providers from sending debts to collections while we attempt to settle your case. So if you find yourself injured after a wreck come talk to the lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers and we would be happy to discuss your options!

Perhaps you or a loved one has taken or been prescribed Xarelto in the past and suffered excessive bleeding or death due to the drug’s effects. Many doctors prescribe Xarelto to prevent blood clots in patients that have undergone surgery that in turn limits their mobility. Some patients have suffered harm after a joint replacement or other major surgery due to complications caused by the drug. The most serious problem that can result from taking Xarelto is internal bleeding which can require additional surgery to resolve. The current litigation is against the drugs manufacturers Bayer and Johnson & Johnson claiming that they failed to warn consumers about the risks of the drugs. In some cases, medical malpractice can occur if the physician has failed to take notice of risks or has been persuaded by a drug company.  If you feel that you or a family member has been wronged by or injured by Xarelto then the attorneys at Hodges Trial Lawyers will be happy to discuss your legal options regarding this bad drug.

Is your head restraint set up properly?

Is your head rest correct?

If you are like us, you have probably never given a second’s thought to the location or height of the head restraint in your car.  Jeremiah recently attended a seminar on the physics of a car crash and learned about the importance of the head restraint in a car crash.  It really changed our perception of this safety device that we previously mostly ignored.

The top of your head restraint should aligned with the top of your head.  If your head restraint is too low, it essentially acts like a fulcrum in certain types of car crashes.  A head restraint that is too plush or too soft is also not effective.  Most people, if they adjust their head restraints at all, do so for comfort.  Make sure yours is set up for maximum protection in a wreck.  You hope it will never happen to you, but if it does, you want to be prepared.

Uber in Huntsville: What You Need to Know

Uber X - A great value?

It is important for our readers to know how car insurance works when ride-sharing and a wreck occurs.  It is important to know the different risks you may face when choosing between using Uber or a taxi cab.

There is currently no Alabama law requiring ride-sharing drivers to carry insurance above and beyond traditional personal car insurance.  Generally, personal car insurance will not cover a ride-sharing driver  in the event of a wreck.  Personal auto insurance policies typically exclude coverage when using a vehicle as a business service.  If a ride-sharing driver has only their personal automobile insurance, he or she may be personally liable for damages caused.  Ride-sharing drivers should check with their company and/or their insurance agent to make sure they have coverage.

Similarly, if a passenger is involved in a wreck caused by the ride-sharing driver with only has a personal automobile insurance, the driver likely has no insurance.  This is often remedied by the ride sharing company, but you want to do your research to be sure.  Make sure the company provides coverage for its drivers and UM/UIM coverage as well.  Be safe and educated on the risks of driving or riding with these cutting edge services.

Dangers of driving during the winter and spring

Winter Driving in Alabama

Over 1.3 million car accidents (23%) in the United States occur due to weather-related incidents. As we finish the last bit of winter weather, here are some dangers to be aware of as you are driving.

Icy roads can be a dangerous factor when driving. The ground stays cold longer, so even if it’s not freezing outside, the ground could still be cold enough to form ice. Black ice is even more dangerous because it looks like a wet road, but it is actually quite slick and could cause problems for drivers. To avoid troubles with icy roads, make sure to drive slowly and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so you do not rush.

Winter is also a time to be aware of your tire pressure. Atmospheric changes can cause the pressure in your tires to decrease, leading to accidents. Make sure you check your tires’ pressure before you head out.