Our Blog

Fall is in the Air… It’s Time to Pay Property Taxes

If you are a homeowner in Alabama, you likely received a letter in the mail notifying you that it is time to pay your property taxes. In Alabama, property taxes are due October 1st and are delinquent if not paid by December 31st.

If you don’t pay your taxes by the end of the year, your property could be subject to late penalties or a tax sale which occurs every spring. To avoid these problems, make sure you pay taxes on time and claim all exemptions available to you. Property taxes can be paid in person at the courthouse, by mail to the County Tax Assessor’s office, or you may ask your mortgage company to mail your property taxes for you.

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Tips for Being a Defensive Driver

Defensive driving is the practice of anticipating the dangers associated with driving, watching out for mistakes of other drivers and consciously looking for ways to avoid accidents. By becoming a defensive driver, you can learn to anticipate and react when another driver makes a mistake behind the wheel. Take a look at our infographic to learn more and contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Martinson & Beason if you or a family member have been involved in a car accident.

Click on the image below to view the full infographic

Tips for Being a Defensive Driver

Click to view the full infographic

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Martinson & Beason Announces New Associate

Will Pylant Joins the Firm

Will PylantMartinson & Beason, P.C. is pleased to announce Will Pylant has joined the firm as an associate attorney. Will’s primary practice areas include estate planning & administration, elder law, probate, real estate, and corporate law. He has previously worked with the firm as a clerk and runner.

Will Pylant holds a B.A. from the University of Alabama where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was on the Dean’s List and President’s List. While at UA, Will was active with student government, having been elected as SGA Executive Vice President his senior year. He was a member of the honor societies Omicron Delta Kappa, Blue Key, Order of Omega, and Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honorary. Upon graduation, he was recognized by the Alumni Association as one of ten outstanding seniors for contributions made to the University. He was also a member of the Alpha Tau Omega social fraternity.

Will received his Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University where he was a Caruthers Fellow, Research and Writing Editor for the American Journal of Trial Advocacy and President of the Cumberland Republicans. Additionally, he was also the Scholar of Merit (best paper) in Constitutional Law II and American Law Practice and Procedure.

He is active in local politics, having served as an intern in the Governor’s office, the campaign aide and driver to Mayor Battle, and as a United States Page appointed by Senator Richard Shelby. He has assisted with several other successful local campaigns.

In his spare time, Will enjoys spending time with his friends and family playing softball and tennis. He attends Cove Methodist in Hampton Cove, and is a product of Huntsville City Schools, having graduated from Huntsville High School in 2010 as class president.

Join Us for a Diaper Shower

Join Martinson & Beason, P.C. in collecting diapers for families in need! The firm is teaming up with Rocket City Mom, WHNT News 19 and the Food Bank of North Alabama for the Great Diaper Drive 2017. As part of the Great Diaper Drive, Martinson & Beason will host a diaper shower October 13th from 9:00-5:00. We’re asking attorneys, staff, and clients to help us collect diapers for the new Diaper Bank at the Food Bank of North Alabama.

Martinson & Beason shares Rocket City Mom’s commitment to ensuring every baby has a clean diaper. With diapers and wipes averaging about $100 a month for a baby, the cost can quickly deplete the limited resources of low-income families in our area.

Many are also surprised to learn that diapers are not covered by government assistance programs. Unfortunately, because of this, some families are forced to reuse disposable diapers or leave babies in wet diapers, leading to poor sanitation and health. You may be wondering why not cloth diapers. This year’s drive focuses on disposable diapers because the vast majority of daycare centers require disposable diapers and many low-income families have limited access to cleaning facilities.

In addition to Martinson & Beason’s diaper shower October 13, diapers can be dropped off at any Madison County Wal-Mart between October 9th and 20th. Rocket City Mom is hosting a Diaper Blitz Day on Thursday, October 19th at the Madison Wal-Mart on Highway 20. If you’re interested in hosting Diaper Shower for your group, check out this resource page.

M&B Partner Morris Lilienthal on the Maximum Lawyer Podcast

Maximum Lawyer LogoMartinson & Beason partner Morris Lilienthal was recently a guest on the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, which is hosted by attorneys Jim Hacking and Tyson Mutrux. The podcast is a tool for law firms looking to grow and build their practices by offering valuable information on automation, practice management, and marketing.

During the interview, they discuss Morris’ career, the history of Martinson & Beason and the operation and marketing of a multi-practice firm and various marketing strategies.

Listen to the interview here.

Jim Hacking is a St. Louis, Missouri attorney who is recognized as an expert in the field of immigration law. Tyson Mutrux is a top rated St. Louis personal injury and criminal defense attorney.

The Maximum Lawyer Podcast is available on Google Play Music and Apple Podcasts.

Madison County Car Accident with Drunk Uninsured Driver Reaches Settlement

Top-rated Huntsville personal injury attorney Morris Lilienthal recently resolved a car accident claim on behalf of a family that was struck by drunk driver while traveling on US Highway 72. The wreck occurred when the drunk driver pulled out from an intersecting road striking the passenger side of our client’s SUV.

Our investigation revealed the at-fault driver had been drinking at his son’s house where he’d consumed more than 12 Busch Beers. Due to his intoxicated state, the drunk driver failed to yield the right of way by pulling out on to US 72 causing this accident. Following the crash, our clients were all transported by ambulance (HEMSI) to Huntsville Hospital.

As is often the case, the drunk driver was a repeat offender that did not have any automobile insurance. Our background search revealed he didn’t have any assets to pay a judgment. As such, we then considered available uninsured motorist coverage. In this case, our clients were a husband and wife and the father of the husband. It should be noted the father did not reside with the son and daughter-in-law. The plaintiffs’ SUV was insured with State Farm so we opened an uninsured motorist claim with State Farm for all 3 claims.

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Caregiving Isolation

Elder CaregiverCaregiving for an elderly or disabled loved one is oftentimes a stressful and time-consuming duty, which can end up taking over the caregiver’s life. This task is already difficult and strenuous enough, especially for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, but in many cases, full-time caregiving also leads to social isolation that makes life nearly unbearable for them.

A recent New York Times piece highlights this issue by telling the stories of several women with the sole responsibility of caring for their disabled and elderly loved ones. These individual anecdotes reveal the miserable aspects of caregiving and the struggle of severe social isolation that caregivers often face. Not only is the social isolation itself painful to endure, but it can also lead to physical and mental health problems for the caregiver later in life.

These stories of caregivers all follow a familiar pattern. The caregivers, daunted with the overwhelming responsibilities of taking after a loved one, leave everything else in their lives behind. Caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s is both physically and emotionally draining, as those patients require almost constant care and attention and they also commonly are more difficult to care for with memory loss and behavioral issues. Caregivers find themselves in a situation in which they can hardly have a moment to themselves, much less time to spend with friends or for leisurely activities. One woman in particular, who was caring for her husband with dementia, eventually found herself unable to even go to the salon, as she was no longer able to take him with her when she went. [Read more…]

Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

elderly care in nursing home - doctor with patientWhen it comes to early signs of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, most people look to memory loss as the earliest indicator of the disease. However, recent studies have shown that there is a different symptom that appears long before the onset of memory loss. Many scientists now believe that the earliest sign of Alzheimer’s is problems with navigation, and this symptom may appear long before a possible diagnosis of the disease.

According to the Huffington Post, patients involved in the study used a computer program to attempt to navigate through a virtual maze in which they used patterns and landmarks to solve. Those with preclinical Alzheimer’s, which refers to patients who are not diagnosed but show early signs of the disease, struggled significantly with navigating and learning the maze.

This study suggests that doctors may be able to detect initial stages of the disease by assessing difficulties with patients’ navigational skills and their ability to assess and understand new surroundings. These problems with navigation may manifest themselves in two ways, “learning an established route and in finding their own way to new landmarks.”

While this study has been eye opening to doctors studying Alzheimer’s disease, they still need further research and more experiments before this discovery can be applied to diagnosing the disease. However, hopefully, this an indication that in the near future, doctors will be able to diagnose and begin treating Alzheimer’s much sooner in patients with early symptoms.

5 Tips To Help Prevent Dementia

healthy foodsAlzheimer’s is one of the nation’s most devastating diseases, which affects more than 5 million Americans and stands as the 6th leading cause of death in the country. Furthermore, recent studies have revealed that the number of citizens suffering from this disease has steadily been increasing, as the population of elderly Americans increases. Alzheimer’s is a truly frightening disease for those who are approaching upon senior citizenship; however, there are several lifestyle changes, as indicated in a recent AARP report, that can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s in the future, or slow down the progression of the disease for those who already suffer from it.

1. Walking

Studies have shown that adding regular walks to your daily routine can increase brain function and lower blood pressure. Those with vascular impairment, which is the second most common cause of Alzheimer’s, performed better on cognitive examinations and more improved brain functions if they walked on a regular basis. Going on hour-long walks can reduce the effects of vascular impairment and ward of the symptoms of dementia, while also improving your physical well-being. [Read more…]

School Traffic Laws You Need To Know

School Bus Stop SignAs schools in Alabama start back over the next few weeks, school buses will return to the roads and school zone speed limits will go back into effect in the mornings and afternoons. Therefore, it is important to understand the specific rules regarding both of these changes before adjusting back to the school traffic routine for your safety and the safety of school children on the roads.

There is often times uncertainty among drivers regarding the specific rules on stopping for school bus stops on the roads, especially if the driver is on the opposite side of the road from the school bus when it stops. According to the Alabama Code, drivers on both sides of the road are required to come to a complete stop while a school bus is stopping to load or unload children from the vehicle. Drivers must remain fully stopped until the school bus resumes motion. Failure to comply with this rule may result in a fine of up to $300 for the first conviction. [Read more…]