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Ferguson and Ferguson Blog


Car Accident Claims: Do I Need My Own Lawyer?

Nov 17

Car Accident Claims: Do I need my own lawyer?
A car accident is serious business. If you suffered property damages or injuries, you will need to make a claim for compensation. The insurance claims process is not always easy to maneuver without legal experience. If the claim is not settled with an insurance company, you face the prospect of filing a car accident lawsuit. The laws and court proceedings associated with these types of lawsuits are complicated.
You likely have many questions when it comes to dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. If one of these questions is whether you should hire an attorney to represent you in your case, read on to find out the benefits a personal injury attorney could bring to your claim.

Maximizing Compensation
A common misconception is that retaining a DC personal injury lawyer in a car accident case lowers the total amount of money you receive in the case. A personal injury attorney does usually charge a contingency fee when it comes to a car accident case, meaning that the lawyer is paid a percentage of the settlement or judgment received in your case. However, you may take home more in your pocket if you hire an attorney to represent you.
Retaining an attorney nearly always increases the amount of money a person receives in a personal injury settlement. Although you end up paying attorney fees, you may receive a higher offer when your attorney negotiates a settlement on your behalf. An experienced attorney knows how to value a claim, and how to negotiate with insurance companies to get you the most compensation possible.

Avoiding Mistakes
Because of the complexity of negligence law, and associated insurance claim processes and court proceedings, mistakes are remarkably easy to make. Indeed, there are some mistakes that are so serious they can result in the end of your case.
The statute of limitations represents a law that must be followed in your case, or your case will go nowhere. All states have a statute of limitations. This is a law that establishes a specific time frame during which a car accident lawsuit must be filed. The failure to file a lawsuit within that time frame results in you forever being precluded from pursuing a lawsuit to obtain compensation for damages and injuries.
Retaining an attorney may be key to protecting you from avoiding mistakes. This includes avoiding serious mistakes that can cause the permanent ending to your pursuit for just and necessary compensation.

Claims Against You
Even if you have been injured in a car accident, someone else may be able to bring a claim against. You could be sued, even as an injured person. Avoiding becoming the subject of a lawsuit, or a countersuit, in a car accident case represents another reason why you should consider hiring a lawyer. If you end up being sued, a lawyer may be the best way to ensure that your rights and interests are properly defended.

Negotiating a Settlement
A skilled, experienced attorney is in the best position to negotiate a settlement of your case. A reality of the U.S. judicial system is that the vast majority of accident cases are settled through negotiation and never go to trial. For this reason, your own rights and interests are best protected when the negotiation process is undertaken by a skilled lawyer.
When it comes to retaining a car accident attorney, the first step is to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer. As a general rule, a car accident lawyer does not charge a fee for an initial consultation.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C.Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into auto accident cases.

Truck Accident Attorney

Nov 01

What to do After a Truck Accident in Alabama

If you or a loved one is involved in a truck accident in Alabama, you need to know what to do to protect your rights. Trucking companies have attorneys and investigators on call in case of an accident. When you have had an accident with an eighteen wheeler, you need to immediately gather and preserve evidence against the trucking company.

Here is a list of some of the actions you should take after a truck accident. Understand, some of these actions cannot be performed if you have suffered a serious injury. If possible, make sure to do the following things to protect your rights.

  • 1. Stop your vehicle as soon as possible. Never leave the scene of an accident without stopping. If possible make sure you are not parked in a danger zone where you could be hit again.
  • 2. Call 911 or an ambulance if injured
  • 3. Contact the local police department and report the trucking accident.
  • 4. If you or one of your passengers is injured, immediately seek medical attention. In many situations you may not be aware of your injuries. Be sure to tell the doctor what happened during the accident and discuss all symptoms.
  • 5. Do not attempt to talk with the truck driver regarding the accident or your injuries.
  • 6. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of all drivers, parties and witnesses at the accident scene. Also look for any videos that may be available of the accident scene.
  • 7. Take photographs of the accident scene, tires, skid marks, property damage to the vehicles and your injuries. Take a picture of the trucks tag and USDOT number. If you are not injured, you should get a copy or picture of the other driver’s license, truck registration information, contact information, and insurance card. Take a picture of the truck and the drivers picture if possible.
  • 8. Report the accident to your insurance company. Failure to notify the insurance company can result in a denial of coverage. Talk to your attorney before giving a written or recorded statement.
  • 9. Do not argue with the police or driver regarding fault.
  • 10. Get a copy of the police report.
  • 11. Call an attorney before you talk to the other companies insurance adjuster.
  • 12. Never automatically accept the first estimate or offer you get on your vehicle.
  • 13. Keep a diary.
  • 14. Finish all medical treatment and follow all doctors orders.
  • 15. Keep copies of all receipts, wage information, accident reports and other documentation.

Hire an Attorney

If you or a loved one have been in a truck accident, you should contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. If you have been injured in a truck accident in Alabama, call today to get your free consultation with truck accident attorney Randy W. Ferguson. Call 256-534-3435 to discuss your case.

Slip and Fall Attorney

Oct 25
Slip and fall picture

Slip and fall

What to do After a Slip and Fall Accident in Alabama

Have you recently suffered an injury from a fall or accident in a business or public area in Alabama? Slip and fall and trip and fall cases are won and lost every day by people just like you who don’t know what to do after being injured. Fall cases can be severe and cause life changing injuries. We see victims every day who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and broken bones. In Alabama, merely owning or occupying land does not make that person liable for injuries sustained on the property. There must be some form of negligence on the part of the owner or occupier of property before there can be any premises liability. What you do immediately after a fall will determine if you are compensated for your injuries, or are stuck paying medical bills you cannot afford to pay. If you are injured in a fall, and someone else is responsible for your injuries, make sure to follow these simple rules to protect yourself. If you or a loved one have questions, talk to an injury attorney about your case before its too late. Consultations are free. Call 256-534-3435.

What to do after a Slip & Fall

If you are involved in a slip & fall or trip & fall in Alabama, you should:

  • Call for help and notify authorities
  • Do not make any detailed statements concerning accident
  • Get names of owners and managers of property
  • Get names and phone numbers of witnesses
  • Take good pictures of clothes, scene and injuries
  • Save shoes and clothing
  • Seek immediate medical attention if injured
  • Follow all doctor’s orders
  • Don’t exaggerate injuries
  • Request FMLA at work if needed
  • Stay off social media
  • Call an experienced Alabama slip-and-fall attorney
  • Do not give recorded statements to insurance adjusters
  • Keep a diary of all of the information

Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Alabama

If you have sustained injuries from a fall, you must be able to prove what caused you to fall before you get compensated. Dangerous conditions that cause slip and fall accidents frequently result from poor design or improper maintenance. Other hazards are created by the presence of slippery surfaces and substances, such as areas with food spillage or water leakage. Was your slip and fall caused by one of the following:

  • Wet, Slippery, or slick floors
  • Poor lighting
  • Water, ice or snow
  • Uneven floors, pavement or surfaces
  • Cracks in sidewalk or flooring
  • Stairs
  • Debris or objects in aisles
  • Potholes
  • Curbs
  • Elevators
  • Loose carpeting
  • Faulty handrails
  • Not paying attention
  • Flip flops or sandals

Medical Treatment and Damages Recoverable

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you must get medical treatment for your injuries. A company that causes you injuries may be liable for a wide variety of damages that an accident can cause, including but not limited to the following:

  • Disability and Disfigurement
  • Future Medicals
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages
  • Loss of earning capacity damages
  • Mental and Emotional Distress
  • Out of Pocket Expenses
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Property Damage

Free Consultations

If you or a someone close to you have suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall accident, or if you have questions about your legal rights following a slip and fall accident, a Alabama premises liability lawyer at Ferguson & Ferguson can help you determine if you have a case. At Ferguson & Ferguson, we handle all of our premises liability cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing unless we win your case. Call now for your free consultation and to speak directly with a lawyer about your case. Call us anytime at (800)752-1998. Call now.

Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Oct 24

What to do After an Alabama Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle accident on road

Motorcycle accident attorneys

Every day hundreds of motorcycle riders are injured or killed by negligent drivers. In Alabama alone, there were over 24,000 motor vehicle accidents in 2015. More than 10,000 people were injured or killed in those accidents. Alabama averages around 100 deaths involving motorcycle riders each year. Have you been injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident in Alabama? Do you have questions? Clients often call us frustrated after they have attempted to handle their own motorcycle accident claim. Just avoiding these mistakes will increase your chances of successfully recovering in your motorcycle case. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Decatur or Huntsville, Alabama, call now. Call 256-534-3435 or 256-350-7200. We offer no obligation, FREE CONSULTATIONS to all motorcycle accident victims. If you are unable to come to our office, we can visit you at your home or hospital room. We also offer the only Lowest Fee Guarantee in Alabama.

What Caused Your Motorcycle Accident

You have had a motorcycle accident. Do you know who was at fault? Some causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Accidents with distracted, intoxicated or fatigued drivers who didn’t see or stop for the motorcycle
  • Accidents caused by drivers who are speeding and who lose control of their vehicle or who are unable to stop in time before hitting a motorcyclist
  • Accidents resulting from drivers who fail to yield the right-of-way to motorcycle riders when the rules of the road require him or her to yield
  • Motorcycle crashes resulting from drivers who misjudge the speed of a motorcycle rider or who do not accurately judge the distance between their car and the motorcycle
  • Crashes caused by drivers who don’t see a motorcycle rider
  • Accidents caused by tailgating drivers
  • Defects in the motorcycle itself
  • Weather
  • Driver error
  • Animals
  • High blood alcohol levels are a major problem among motorcycle operators.

What to do After a Motorcycle Accident

When you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Alabama, the other driver’s insurance company is probably working hard to deny your claim. Make sure to do the following:

  • Immediately file an accident report with the police, sheriff or highway patrol, if the agency has not done so at the scene.
  • Write down the name, address, insurance information, vehicle license number and driver’s license number of any and all persons involved in the accident. Record names, addresses and telephone numbers of all witnesses.
  • Obtain photographs of the accident scene, all vehicles involved (before repairing) and any visible injuries to the parties involved, such as cuts, bruises, and scars.
  • Call your insurance company.
  • Keep damaged property.
  • Do not discuss the accident or your injuries with anyone, with the exception of your doctor and your attorney.
  • Do not consent to a recorded statement or sign any document without first reviewing it with your attorney. Innocent statements made by you attempting to assist an insurance adjuster can easily be misinterpreted and used to deny or minimize your recovery.
  • Immediately seek medical attention and tell your doctor the nature and extent of your pain and injury, and how the injury occurred.
  • If your loved one is killed, you must do an administration of their estate.
  • Hire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, not a television or billboard attorney you will never meet in your case.
  • Track Your Expenses.
  • A strong claim clearly outlines the financial impact of your accident. Keep records of your:

    • medical bills,
    • mileage driven to doctors’ appointments,
    • rental car expenses,
    • time away from work,
    • and any other expenses your accident has caused.

Free Consultation

After a motorcycle accident, what you do can change the outcome of your case forever. Our motorcycle accident lawyers understand how a fatal accident can impact your family. We also understand how suffering an injury in a motorcycle wreck can be devastating. If you are unable to work, or have lost a loved one, you should not have to worry about how you are going to pay your bills and take care of your family. That is why we are here to help you. When you need to know your motorcycle accident rights, call 256-534-3435 or 256-350-7200.

What to do After a Work Accident in Alabama

Oct 06
injured worker

Injured Worker in Alabama

What to do After a Worker’s Compensation Accident in Alabama

Thousands of Alabama workers are injured and killed each year in Alabama. Employers are quick to tell the injured workers that their workers compensation insurance adjusters are on their side. Nothing could be further from the truth. The insurance adjuster is not on your side. Instead, the adjuster is trying to pay you as little as possible. If you have been injured at work, you should talk to an experienced workers’ comp lawyer today. We offer no obligation, FREE CONSULTATIONS. We also have a LOWEST FEE GUARANTEE. Home and hospital visits are available if you are unable to come to our Huntsville or Decatur office. Call 256-534-3435 or 256-350-7200. We are here to help you.

Seven Things to do After a Work Injury

If you are injured at work in Alabama, make sure you do the following:

  • Report All Work Injuries Immediately. Many employers discourage the filing of accident reports because of insurance premiums. You should not wait to report an accident. You must notify your employer within five (5) days of your accident, or you cannot recover workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Seek Medical Treatment with an Approved Provider. You cannot go to your own doctor for treatment. You must treat with an authorized medical provider. If you treat with your personal doctor, you will have to pay the bill.
  • Be Honest with Your Doctors. Your doctors want to help you, but they also are under pressure from the insurance company to get you back to work as quickly as possible.
  • Follow the Doctor’s Orders and Treatment Plan. Your employer may want you to go outside your work restrictions. Don’t do it. If you return to your normal job against restrictions, you are hurting yourself and your case.
  • Don’t Post on Social MediaPosting pictures of you doing activities and talking on social media can destroy your case.
  • If you are Unhappy with your Doctor, Get Second Opinion.
  • Talk to an Attorney. Insurance companies do not offer top dollar to unrepresented workers.

Why Hire an Attorney

If you were injured at work in Huntsville or Decatur, Alabama, you need an experienced workers compensation attorney on your side. We offer no obligation, FREE CONSULTATIONS to all injured workers in Alabama. Call 256-534-3435 now. We can help.

Mistakes That Ruin Your Car Accident Claim in Alabama

Sep 28
Car Accident

Auto Accident

What Not to do After an Alabama Auto Accident

Every day hundreds of drivers in Alabama are involved in collisions. Most of those drivers have no idea what to do after an accident. Before you or a loved one has an accident in Alabama, you should know how to avoid common mistakes made by other car accident victims. These mistakes are very common and very easy to make. Clients often call us frustrated after they have attempted to handle it themselves. Just avoiding these mistakes will increase your chances of successfully recovering in your Alabama case. If you have been injured in a car accident, please contact us today for a no obligation, FREE consultation. We can talk to you on the phone or if you are unable to come to our Decatur or Huntsville office, we also offer home and hospital room consultations. We also offer the only Lowest Fee Guarantee in Alabama. Call now. Call 256-534-3435 or 256-350-7200. We are here to help.

Common Mistakes Made by Accident Victims

If you have been injured in a car accident, you are not dealing with an individual, you are dealing with an insurance company. Do not ruin your case by doing the following:

  • Giving a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster. They are not interviewing you to help you. They do hundreds of interviews, and are watching out for their company’s best interest.
  • Taking a quick settlement check before you no the severity of your injuries. If you cash the check, you have lost your right to recover later on.
  • Signing any document for the insurance company, including HIPPA forms, without consulting with an attorney.
  • Failing to get the proper medical care and treatment for your injuries. Waiting to get medical care endangers your health and the true value of your case. If you can’t afford treatment, hospitals cannot refuse treatment. Do not skip appointments.
  • Getting too much or unneeded treatment. Going to doctors too much or doctor shopping can hurt your case. Go to a reputable doctor and follow their orders. Do not rely on pain pills for treatment.
  • Going to a doctor or chiropractor who has a side deal with your lawyer. We are constantly hearing about certain television and billboard attorneys sending many if not all of their clients to certain chiropractors who send them for diagnostic tests paid for by out of state companies. These attorneys have deals cut with chiropractors, funding companies, diagnostic centers and facilities to provide free treatment until the case settles. Insurance companies and their adjusters are not stupid, and they know which television and billboard attorneys are running these injury mill type treatment scams. An attorney or your family doctor doing a legitimate referral is fine, as long as their is no secret deal with your attorney.
  • Hiring an attorney based on a cheesy television ad or billboard. Attorneys are not better because they advertise on television or on billboards. When you hire an attorney, you should know who you are hiring, and who really is handling your case. Many of the television and billboard attorneys do not handle cases, and only refer you to someone else in their firm or someone they have an agreement with to handle cases. Read reviews and research attorneys before you hire anyone. If the attorney does not talk to you on the phone before he is hired, you can bet they will never talk to you or return your calls after they are hired. Insurance adjusters watch television and see billboards, and they know the difference between an attorney that handles injury cases, and attorneys that only advertise they handle injury cases. Which one do you want on your side?
  • Posting pictures, videos and other information on social media.
  • Failing to get a free consultation. There is no reason to not take advantage of a free consultation. If you have a bad case or a good case, it is better to be told now before its too late.

Alabama Car Crash Attorney

If you were involved in an auto accident, you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Our car accident attorneys are experienced Huntsville auto accident lawyers who are prepared to review your case. Please call our office at (256)534-3435 now. We can help.

Alabama Pedestrian Accidents

Sep 27
Pedestrian Sign

Pedestrian Crossing Sign

Pedestrian Accidents in Alabama

Pedestrians are seriously injured and killed every day in Alabama. In fact, in Alabama hundreds of pedestrians have been injured and killed by negligent drivers. Cases of distracted driving are underreported because it’s often difficult for police to prove. My most recent pedestrian accident client is a UAH student who was hit coming from class. He was hit by an assistant professor in the middle of the day in a crosswalk. My most recent Birmingham pedestrian client was also hit in the middle of the day in a crosswalk. In both cases brakes were not applied until after they were hit. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident that wasn’t your fault, talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer to find out if you have a case. Our pedestrian accident lawyers in can guide you through the legal process while explaining your rights and protecting your family’s future. We have helped thousands of injured clients, and we know that when there are serious injuries, immediate action needs to be taken. We offer no obligation, FREE CONSULTATIONS. We also have a LOWEST FEE GUARANTEE. Home and hospital visits are available if you are unable to come to our Huntsville or Decatur office. Call now. Call 256-534-3435 or 256-350-7200. We are here to help.

Causes of Alabama Pedestrian Accidents

Among the more common causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Eating
  • Talking to passengers and not paying attention
  • Texting or talking on the cell phone
  • Speeding
  • Putting on makeup
  • Not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks
  • Failing to obey traffic signs and lights
  • Failing to use a turn signal when turning or changing lanes
  • Driving too fast for weather or traffic conditions
  • DUI
  • In a hurry to get somewhere

Alabama Pedestrian Laws

A Alabama personal injury lawyer can help you understand state pedestrian laws. Alabama pedestrian laws are designed to protect motorists and pedestrians on the state’s roadways. Drivers and pedestrians should do the following:

  • Pedestrians should obey traffic control signals, signs, and pavement markings when crossing streets.
  • When traffic-control signals aren’t in place or in operation, drivers should yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, slowing down or stopping so pedestrians can cross roadways within crosswalks.
  • If there are no crosswalks, signs, or signals at mid-block locations, pedestrians should yield the right-of-way to vehicles.
  • Pedestrians are not allowed on expressways or interstate highways.
  • No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close it is impractical for the driver to yield.
  • Drivers emerging from or entering alleyways, buildings, private roads, or driveways shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians on adjacent sidewalks.
  • Pedestrians should use sidewalks where they are provided and safe to use. When sidewalks are not provided or are unsafe to use, pedestrians should walk facing traffic.

Damages in Alabama Pedestrian Accidents

In a Alabama pedestrian accident claim, you may be able to recover financial compensation to cover such economic costs, as well as non-economic damages you have suffered, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral costs
  • Lost wages
  • Loss in quality of life
  • Assistive medical devices

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in an accident, let one of our pedestrian accident attorneys get you the compensation you deserve. The costs associated with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and a wrongful death can be significant. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to discuss your case. Call us in Huntsville or Decatur, Alabama now. Call 1-800-752-1998 or 256-534-3434. We are here to help.

Expungements in Alabama

Aug 30
expungement

expungement

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EXPUNGEMENTS IN ALABAMA

Were you charged with a criminal offense in Alabama? Were your charges dismissed, nolle prossed or were you found not guilty? Did you complete a pre-trial diversion program? If yes, you may be eligible to have your charges expunged. Expungement means to purge or remove any information of past criminal charges from law enforcement records or any other official database that may be in possession of the information. If you are considering an expungement, you need to contact an Alabama expungement attorney as soon as possible to see if you qualify to have your charges expunged.

What are the Benefits of Having my Record Expunged?

People are often surprised to find out that even though their case was nol prossed, dismissed or they were found not guilty of the offenses, the arrest will show up on a background check and impact your future. When a prospective employer sees that you were charged with crime, they often throw your application in the garbage or don’t even consider hiring you. It is not unusual for an employer to terminate your employment if they find you have a criminal record. Many companies have policies in place that prevent them from hiring you at all. Many companies in Huntsville who are contracting with the federal government can’t even consider hiring you. In this economy you need every advantage you can get, and you do not need a arrest holding you back from a good job. You do not want neighbors, employers, parents of your children’s friends, or a military recruiter having access to your criminal record. Even though you made mistakes being foolish or perhaps just at the wrong place at the wrong time, we can fix your record. Take the necessary steps now to get your criminal record expunged.

Can my Charges be Expunged Automatically by the Courts?

There is no procedure in Alabama to automatically expunge your record, short of hiring an attorney to file a petition for expungement on your behalf. There are no circumstances where a judge or prosecutor can expunge your case automatically in Alabama.

Am I Eligible for Expungement in Alabama?

Charges that qualify for expungement includes the following:

A non-felony charge (a misdemeanor criminal offense, a violation, a traffic violation OR a municipal ordinance violation) may be expunged if one of the following criteria are met:

  • the charge was dismissed with prejudice
  • the charge was no billed by a grand jury
  • the defendant was found not guilty of the charge
  • the charge was dismissed without prejudice more than two years ago, has not been refiled, and the defendant has not been convicted of any other felony or misdemeanor crime, any violation, or any traffic violation, excluding minor traffic violations, during the previous two years

A non-violent felony charge may be expunged if:

  • if the charge was dismissed with prejudice
  • the charge was no billed by a grand jury
  • the defendant was found not guilty of the charge
  • the charge was dismissed after successful completion of a drug court program, mental health court program, diversion program, veteran’s court, or any court-approved deferred prosecution program AND more than one year has passed from the successful completion of the program
  • if the charge was dismissed without prejudice more than five years ago, was not refiled, and the petitioner has not been convicted of any other felony or misdemeanor crime, any violation, or any traffic violation, excluding minor traffic violations, during the previous five years
  • ninety days have passed from the date of dismissal with prejudice, no-bill, acquittal, or nolle prosequi and the charge has not been refiled

How do I File for an Expungement?

There are numerous documents that must be produced, requested or filed to do an expungement, including the following:

  • Envelope made out to Alabama Law Enforcement Agency – Records & Identification Division, P.O. Box 1511, Montgomery, Alabama 36102-1511
  • Cover letter explaining what you are sending them
  • Copy of Application to Review Alabama Criminal History Record Information(2 witnesses or notarized)
  • If you have an attorney send in a Authorization to Release Criminal History
    Record Information and Release of Liability (this allows them to send it to your attorney)
  • $25.00 money order or cashiers check made out to ALEA Records and Identification Division(may cost to get)
  • Copy of your fingerprints taken by an authorized law enforcement agency($5-$10.00 at most sheriff/police departments).
  • Copy of photo identification:(A valid unexpired United States state-issued photo driver license or photo ID (non-driver) card; or
    a valid unexpired United States Active Duty, Retiree or Reservist military ID card (DD Form 2 or 2A); or a valid unexpired United States Military Dependent ID card (for spouse or children of Active Duty Military personnel); or a valid unexpired United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Documentation, which may include either: or a Certificate of Naturalization N-550, N-570, N-578; or Certificate of Citizenship N-560, N-561, N-645: or a valid unexpired United States Passport; or a valid unexpired Foreign Passport which meets the following requirements: or a foreign passport must contain a Valid United States Visa or I-94 to be used as a primary proof of identification; or a foreign passport, not issued in English, must be translated and accompanied by a Certificate of Accurate Translation. Passports are not acceptable if un-translated into English and/or expired.(make sure it is readable)

After you receive your criminal history information documents, you must file in the Circuit Court of the county in which you were previously charged with the offense. You must file the following:

  • Prepare Petition For Expungement of Records. You must serve on page 4 of the Petition everyone involved in your case so that all records are expunged) Serve the jail where incarcerated, sheriff/police chief/state trooper, district attorney, court clerk of city if a city charge, clerk of circuit court when filed
  • Do a cover or information sheet to file with Petition.(Name, address, phone #, email address, date of birth, social security #) Some counties do not require this form
  • With your Petition you must file either a certified record of arrest from the appropriate agency for the court record you seek to have expunged or a certified record of disposition, or a certified record of the case action summary from the appropriate court for the court record I seek to have expunged; and a certified official criminal record obtained from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA)(Case action summaries are the easiest to get from the court where you were concluded your case, and usually cost $5-$10.00) If you appealed your case from municipal court to circuit court, go to circuit court to get disposition.
  • When you file your Petition, you need a copy for each person you are serving(ex. sheriff, DA etc.) and a copy for yourself.
  • Take all of your copies with attachments and a $300.00 check to the circuit clerk and file the Petition. Stamp all copies and serve each person.(I leave check blank until I get to the clerk’s office in case that county has additional charges)

How Long Until my Case is Expunged?

Generally, there is not a hearing in an expungement unless the district attorney or the arresting agency objects to your expungement. I have yet to have them object in a case. While many prosecutors will not oppose expungement under the right circumstances, they each have their own requirements to satisfy, and the courts may not sign the expungement order until the prosecutor’s office is in agreement. The district attorney often will file a motion stating that they have no objection to the expungement. Understand every district attorney does it their own way. Further, every judge and county does it their own way. In some counties one judge handles all expungements. In other counties it just depends on who gets the case. In some counties it is 45 days from the day you filed it to get an order. In other counties in Alabama, it may seem like it takes forever. Case loads vary county to county and judges in one county may do it differently than another judge in the same county. Some judges require you to do an order or motion to seal, while other judges do them themselves. Lastly, you should understand that evidence of your criminal arrest and charges are not removed on the date that the judge signs the order granting expungement. The order is forwarded by the clerk of courts to the appropriate parties including local police, local jails, the District Attorney’s Office and various agencies who must cull and remove any history of the record. It could take more than six months from the date on which the expungement order is signed for all records of your arrest to be removed.

What Happens if Someone Objects to my Expungement?

If someone objects, a court hearing will be scheduled on your petition to determine if expungement is appropriate. Witnesses will be called and the judge will determine if expungement is appropriate.

Why Hire an Attorney for an Expungement?

If your case is nol prossed by the prosecution, dismissed by the court or you are found not guilty after trial, do not assume that someone will not object to your expungement or that the charges will automatically be removed from your record. The arrest and the charges will remain on your record and be accessible by current or prospective employers, the military and the public, unless a petition is filed and an order is signed granting expungement. If you are considering an expungement, it is important that you consult with an experienced expungement attorney, who is familiar with the local practice, so that the petition can be filed correctly the first time and there will be no delays in having the records deleted. If you are considering filing for an expungement, call now for your no obligation, FREE CONSULTATION with one of our attorneys. We also offer the only Lowest Fee Guarantee in Alabama. Call now. Call 256-534-3435 or 256-350-7200. Let us wipe the slate clean.

Wrongful Death in Alabama

Aug 03
Randy W. Ferguson

Randy W. Ferguson

WHAT IS WRONGFUL DEATH IN ALABAMA?

When someone causes the death of another person in Alabama either accidently or intentionally, that person’s estate can pursue a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims are high value cases because the loss of a life is the ultimate damage. Know matter how much money the liable party may possess, there is no way to fairly compensate someone for the loss of a loved one.

A wrongful death claim in Alabama is brought pursuant to Alabama Code § 6-5-410. The state of Alabama defines a wrongful death as one that is caused by a “wrongful act, omission or negligence of another.” Alabama wrongful death law is unique and different from other states in the country for one important reason. Forty-nine states allow family members to be awarded compensatory damages in wrongful death cases. Alabama does not allow compensatory damages, only punitive damages.

If a family member has died due to the wrongful act or neglect of another, it is important to find a reputable and well-established Alabama law firm with an exceptional reputation for handling wrongful death cases. Attorney Randy W. Ferguson is your best resource to ensure you are being protected and that your family is being compensated for your loved ones death. Our wrongful death attorneys have been the preferred wrongful death attorneys in north Alabama since 1993. If you have lost a loved one because of someone else’ negligence in Decatur, Huntsville, Birmingham or north Alabama, call now. We offer no obligation, FREE CONSULTATIONS. We also have a LOWEST FEE GUARANTEE. Home and hospital visits are available if you are unable to come to our Huntsville or Decatur office. Call 256-534-3435 or 1-800-752-1998. We can help.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Alabama

The state of Alabama defines a wrongful death as one that is caused by a “wrongful act, omission or negligence of another.” The most common causes of wrongful death includes the following:

  • Car accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Boat accidents(drownings)
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Construction accidents(falls, electrocutions, crush injuries)
  • Intentional acts(murder)
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Fires
  • Planes,hot air balloons, helicopters
  • Train accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Food poisonings(e-coli etc.)
  • Defective products(drugs, machinery, medical devices)
  • Pharmacy errors
  • Medical malpractice
  • Nursing home neglect
  • Dog attacks
  • Slip and falls
  • Amusement park accidents
  • Taxi accidents
  • Work injuries(non-workers compensation)
    • Personal Representative Must be Appointed

      In Alabama, a family member cannot just file suit to recover for the wrongful death of a relative. The proper party to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Alabama is the administrator of the decedent’s estate. This means that, in order to bring a wrongful death claim in Alabama, an estate must be set up. The party requesting to be appointed by the probate court as the administrator must be bonded and must follow certain rules as the administrator of the estate. The administrator must keep meticulous financial records and must provide the probate court with receipts, bank records and a financial accounting in the case. The administrator does not get to keep the money received from any wrongful death case. All money must be turned over to the proper heirs at law in the case.

      Alabama Wrongful Death Statute of Limitation

      Alabama’s “statute of limitations” sets a time limit for filing a wrongful death claim in Alabama. Wrongful death cases must be filed within two years of the date of death. Even though two years seems like a long time, it can go by fast when you are having to get a personal representative appointed to file the case.

      Damages

      The damages allowed in Alabama for wrongful death have been debated and questioned for many years. In many states you can recover for pain and suffering and lost wages. Under Alabama law, damages in wrongful death lawsuits are punitive only, and imposed for the preservation of human life and to deter similar wrongful conduct. Under the Alabama wrongful death law punitive damages are more designed to punish the defendant and deter similar future negligence than it is to compensate the specific needs of the survivors. No consideration is given whatsoever to the future earnings capacity lost by the family of the victim of the wrongful death. Since the law in Alabama only allows for punitive damages, you cannot recover for medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

      Any damages recovered under Alabama’s wrongful death statute passes outside of the estate and are not subject to the payment of debts or liabilities of the decedent. Therefore, any creditors of the estate cannot touch the money received in the wrongful death case, including hospitals.

      Workers Compensation Deaths in Alabama

      Workers compensation death claims are very complicated and are different than a third party wrongful death case. In workers compensation death claims, the dependent(s) of the deceased are paid either 50% or two-thirds of the weekly earnings depending on how many dependents the deceased had at the time of his death. Benefits are paid for 500 weeks or cease upon remarriage or death of the dependent. Further, a burial expense is also paid to the dependents. If the deceased had no dependents, their estate receives a one-time ridiculous $7,500.00 payment.

      Free Wrongful Death Consultation

      At the law firm of Ferguson & Ferguson, we are always available to review your wrongful death case and analyze the facts of your potential claim, with no obligation. Call us in Decatur or Huntsville, Alabama today to see how we can help you obtain justice and get you compensation for your loss. We are available day or night to discuss your case and answer your wrongful death questions. Wrongful death consultations are always free, and if we represent you, we will not charge legal fees unless we win your case. If you have lost a loved one, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to discuss your case. Call us in Huntsville or Decatur, Alabama now. Call 1-800-752-1998 or 256-534-3434. We can help.

      Huntsville Office Location:
      303 Williams Avenue SW
      Suite 321
      Huntsville, AL 35801

      Decatur Office Location:
      401 Lee Street, Suite 607A
      Decatur, AL 35601

Who is Liable in a Rear-End Collision in Alabama?

Jul 26
rear-end collision

Rear in collision

Rear-end Collisions in Alabama

If you have been rear-ended in a collision in Alabama, you often assume the party directly behind you is at fault. However, many times the at fault party may be another vehicle behind them or a third party that has left the scene. Further, in some circumstances you might be found liable for the accident, if you pulled in front of the other driver, failed to use a turn signal, or had no tail lights. The following are some examples of why and who may be liable in a rear-end collision.

Causes of Rear-End Collisions in Alabama

Most often, rear-end collisions are caused because the driver in back is following too close. Some people and other causes of rear-end collisions include the following:

  • Texting, eating, changing radio stations, looking in mirror, animals, or reaching into the backseat.
  • Tailgating, speeding, or following too close in wet weather.
  • Drunk driving.
  • Faulty brakes
  • Driving while tired or sleepy
  • No tail lights or blinkers
  • Slamming on brakes
  • Failing to yield
  • Pulling out in front of other drivers
  • Auto manufacturers
  • Acts of God
  • Government entities or road maintenance companies
  • Animals or children in the road
  • Stalled vehicles
  • Third party drivers
  • Trash in road
  • Bars who served intoxicated drivers
  • Truck with no or poor visibility markers

How a Huntsville Car Accident Lawyer can Help

If you have been injured in a rear-end collision in Alabama, you probably have questions. An experienced auto accident attorney can help. Our Huntsville car accident attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience handling car accidents in Huntsville and Decatur, Alabama. The attorneys at Ferguson & Ferguson can help you sort through the facts of your case to determine who is liable for your damages. When you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you need to call the attorneys serious accident victims call when they have been injured. We offer no obligation, FREE CONSULTATIONS. We also have a LOWEST FEE GUARANTEE. Home and hospital visits are available if you are unable to come to our Huntsville or Decatur office. Call 256-534-3435 or 256-350-7200. We are here to help.