Month: July 2016

Accident Claim for Huntsville Police Officer Settles

We are pleased to announce we recently resolved a personal injury claim for a Huntsville Police Officer. Our client was working a car accident scene on I-565 in Huntsville, AL when the driver of an 18 wheeler failed to stop for the traffic for this first accident and plowed into several vehicles including our client’s patrol car. Fortunately, our client had just gotten out of her patrol car but she was forced to dive out of the way to avoid being struck by the big rig truck. Despite injuring her back in this accident, our client and another officer immediately reacted to render aid to another driver who was struck by the 18 wheeler. Since this accident occurred on the job, our client had 2 claims she could pursue, a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim against the 18 wheeler driver and trucking company. The claim against the driver and trucking company is often called a 3rd party claim, in this case we were able to make claims for her medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish and out of pocket cost. Since workmen’s comp paid for her medical bills, we’re obligated under Alabama law to repay workers comp the amount of what they paid out, this is known as subrogation.

Read more

Bicycle Safety Reminder

Bicycle SafetyMore people are riding bicycles for transportation and recreation today than ever before. Many towns and cities now have free or affordable rent-a-bike programs. As more places open up roadways that were once the exclusive domain of cars and trucks, bicyclists and motorists are sure to cross paths. Unfortunately, one Huntsville area man was struck by a car on University Drive on July 12th , according to reports by WHNT News 19. While the extent of the man’s injuries are still unknown, any accident between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist is potentially life-threatening. This particular accident occurred in the evening after dark. All westbound lanes were closed for nearly an hour. The accident is another sober reminder of the importance of alert driving – and to always be on the lookout for other people on the road.

Read more

Ardmore Tennessee Car Accident Claim Settles  

We are pleased that we were recently able to resolve an Ardmore, TN car accident claim. Our client was driving on a 2 lane road when another driver crossed the center line and struck her vehicle head on. Upon impact our client’s airbag deployed causing a severe nasal injury that required surgery. Since the wreck occurred in Tennessee, Tennessee law applied to the claim. There are several key differences in Tennessee negligence claims and tort law than in Alabama. First, the statute of limitations (“SOL”) in Tennessee on a negligence claim ie here a car accident claim is one year. The SOL is the time period in which you have to file your claim, before it would be barred. In Alabama, the statute of limitations on such a claim would be 2 years. Second, Tennessee has not yet abolished the collateral source rule as it pertains to health insurance. The collateral source rule holds that if an outside source such as health insurance pays your medical bills the jury cannot take this into consideration. This is particularly important as a health insurance carrier, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare routinely satisfy medicals for a fraction of the retail charges. For example, if you have $50,000 in retail medical bills they may be satisfied for $10,000 by your health insurance carrier and the remainder of the charges are written off. Thus, under the collateral source rule the jury does not get to know your medical bills were satisfied for $10,000. However, if the collateral source has been abolished such as in Alabama, then even though your medical bills were originally $50,000 then jury and insurance company will in reality only look at the $10,000 your required to pay back out of any recovery you receive.

Read more

Alabama Among States with Highest Rate of Fatal Car Accidents

Alabama has obtained the dubious award of fifth most dangerous state for driving, according to a report from, originally published on Between 2008 and 2014, Alabama averaged nearly 19 fatalities for every 100,000 residents. That works out to about 900 fatalities a year. The study was based on figures from the Health Indicators Warehouse (a website Developed by the National Center for Health Statistics) and the Center for Disease Control – Motor Vehicle Safety department. The study points to speed limits as one reason for discrepancies in fatalities. States with lower speed limits which are concentrated in the Northeast and West coast tended to have fewer fatalities. States in the Southeast and Great Plains tend to have higher speed limits and higher fatalities.

Read more

Importance of Relationships in the Practice of Law

Last week, Martinson & Beason attorney Caleb Ballew negotiated a favorable settlement for a young client who had been accused of a violent crime. While television programs would have us believe the relationship between criminal defense attorneys and the district attorney’s office is adversarial and strained, this is not the case in real life (at least in Madison County, Alabama, that is). Caleb and I walked to the Courthouse and climbed the stairs to the District Attorney’s Office for what I expected to be a formal and formulaic case negotiation. Instead, it quickly became clear that both attorneys were interested in serving the best interests of their clients and would accomplish this through amicable negotiation and finding common ground on the case. The issues were quickly boiled down and defense attorney and ADA alike had a symmetrical understanding of the facts of the case. They explained that while they represented opposite sides, they often work together to achieve a settlement that is fair and just for all parties. Throughout the meeting, the atmosphere was relaxed and jovial.

Read more

Do you really need a survival kit in your car?

survival kit The average American spends about 37,935 hours in their car during a lifetime. That equals out to an average of about 101 minutes spent driving each day. It is extremely important to be prepared for any situation that might require either an extended amount of time spent in your vehicle, a medical emergency, or just everyday happenings. The team at Martinson & Beason, P.C. should be contacted if any serious problems occur out on the roads in Huntsville, Alabama, but there are a few things you can do yourself in case of an emergency. In order to be prepared for anything that might come your way—whether it is caused by another driver or Alabama hazardous conditions—you should keep certain items in your vehicle at all times:

Emergency Items

First Aid Kit: This is one of the most important items that everyone should have in their vehicle. They are small enough to be stored securely in your trunk and can end up helping yourself or someone else in case of an emergency. Typical first aid kits come with adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes and ointments, gloves, gauze pads, bandages and more.

Read more