Decatur Car Accidents are Devastating—Let us Fight for You.
Picture this: As you lay on your towel, soaking up as much sun as you could at the Point Mallard Waterpark, the topic of car accidents never once crossed your mind. Little did you know, throughout the next few weeks your brain would be full of that exact thought. However, in this specific moment your mind was full of summertime thoughts: diving boards, splashing kids, waterslides, ice cream cones, and the smell of tanning lotion.
It was the best weather of the summer—not a cloud in the sky. You had wanted to get out to Point Mallard all summer; at last, today was the day. With the waterpark being your second favorite spot in all of Decatur, Alabama, you knew that the only thing that could make this day better was to visit your first favorite place—Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ. As the sun went down and it was time to fold up your towel, your stomach began to rumble. Your summertime thoughts quickly turned to one specific thought—Big Bob’s beef brisket—car accidents still not occupying any part of your brain. This would soon change.
It was after you left the waterpark and started to head toward Big Bob’s that the incident occurred. As you were stopped, waiting to turn onto Murphee Road, a car was quickly approaching you from behind, although it was not until the last second that you looked into your rearview mirror to see them approaching. Your eyes locked into your mirror as you realized that they did not have their eyes on the road, but instead they appeared to be rummaging for something in their glove box. Before you could even comprehend what you were seeing—bam. The impact. Their car smashed into the back of yours, forcing you into the center of Murphee. Lucky enough for the both of you, there were no cars coming at the moment, so you had a chance to get your car out of the way.
Questions began to race through your head as you got out of the car. Was this car accident somehow your fault? What do you do if you are injured? What if they don’t have insurance?
Very little people know the correct steps to take following a car accident, but the steps are very important.
At Martinson & Beason, P.C., we can help answer those questions as well as teach you about the correct steps to follow.
Immediately following any vehicle collision, the first thing to do is to check on yourself and your passengers.
Even the smallest collisions can cause serious injuries, so it is imperative that you check to make sure that everyone is okay. Health and safety should come before anything else, so it is important to make sure that everyone is okay, including the driver and any other passengers from other cars involved.
- Once you have determined that everyone is okay, it is time to call the police. Many people think that the police do not need to be informed in certain scenarios. It is always a good idea to call the police, even if you do not think that you need them in order to solve the issue. Chances are that you will not know the other driver, so you cannot know for sure that you can trust them not to just drive off or give you false information. With the police present, both drivers can feel more confident about the situation.
- After calling the police, the next step is to exchange information. This includes many different types of information, including name, personal phone numbers, car information, and insurance information. While some information that you should ask for may seem unnecessary, it is better to have it and not ever use it than to need it later and not be able to contact the other driver. While these specific details should be given to the other driver, it is very important not to admit fault, even if it was obviously your fault. This information can be used against you in the future. Even an apology can act as someone admitting fault, so stick to the details that need to be exchanged, without telling the other driver that the accident occurred because of your negligence.
- Next, talk to any witnesses. Get their information as well. Witnesses can make or break a case, especially if neither driver claims fault. If anyone was in the vicinity during the accident, talk with him or her and get that person’s information. This could help you immensely in the long run.
- After all information as been exchanged, take photos of the area. Take more photos than you think that you need. These photos should include things like damages to the car, weather conditions, road signs, current traffic, and anything else that could have possibly contributed to the accident.
After you return home, it is important to not discuss the accident at length to anyone. Even if the accident was very obviously the other driver’s fault, speaking prematurely can result in an outcome that is not as good as it could be. The first person that you should talk to is an attorney. Hiring an attorney can help you figure out all of the next steps.
Different offers may occur, such as an early settlement. If you have hired an attorney—which we advise you do—speak with them before you agree to any settlement offers, even if you think that they are better than you expected. Chances are, if the other party tries to reach an early settlement, it is because they think that you could earn more if the lawsuit was taken to court. Speak with your attorney before accepting anything.
Being in a car accident can be very scary, and when the adrenaline is pumping, you may forget what steps should be taken. At Martinson & Beason, P.C., we are here to help. We can answer many more questions that you may have. We want you to get back to your normal life as quickly as possible with the settlement that you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident in the Decatur, Alabama area, or elsewhere in Morgan County, do not hesitate to contact us today. We want to help you.
Decatur, AL Personal Injury Attorney
Decatur, while being a great place to live, is the location of many preventable, tragic accidents.
The city, with its many festivals (most notably the Alabama Jubilee and the Racking Horse World Celebration), river port, and manufacturing industries, is a busy, hectic place. Because of this, accidents happen with unfortunate frequency. These accidents include motor vehicle accidents (involving cars,trucks, motorcycles, and pedestrians), slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, accidents involving defective products, and other kinds.
According to the CDC, accident-related injuries result in more than 29 million visits to the emergency room throughout the U.S. In addition to the millions of injuries, motor vehicle accidents cause more than 30,000 deaths, falls cause more than 27,000 deaths, and other incidents cause another 127,000 deaths.
Like many other Decatur residents, you or a loved one may have been injured in an accident. Your injuries may have required hospitalization and even surgery. You may be taking medication to manage the pain. The injuries, if serious enough, may require therapy or rehabilitation. In addition, you’ve had to take sick leave or have missed work in order to visit the doctor and recover. Your car may be damaged or even totaled.
An accident-related injury is life-altering. You are worried about your financial security. You may be struggling to support yourself and your family. You are under a significant amount of stress, as you try to deal with the aftermath of an accident while still going through the healing process. And now, you need to know what happens next.
During this difficult time, it’s hard to know where to turn and what to do.
Fortunately, you have options.
If your accident was caused by another person or party, filing a personal injury claim may allow you to get the compensation you need and deserve.
There is one critical thing to note, however, under Alabama’s harsh contributory negligence law, a person who is even 1 percent at fault for his or her accident will be barred from pursuing a case. If you are not sure if you could be considered at fault for your accident, you should contact an attorney. (Often, determining fault is not as cut and dry and you might think it would be, making a consultation with a lawyer so important. To learn more about contributory negligence, please visit our page on the topic.)
In addition to who is at fault, one of the other most important questions you need answered is how much your claim may be worth. If, for example, your injuries were relatively minor, the compensation that you may receive from a claim may not be worth the time and expense that you put into pursuing a claim. On the other hand, if your injuries resulted in significant medical bills and lost income, pursuing a claim may be in your best interests.
An accident injury claim may compensate you for both economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses include the following:
- Medical bills (including for hospitalization, surgery, visits to the emergency room and doctor, prescriptions, etc.)
- Property damage (for example, the damage to your car sustained in a car accident)
- Lost income (including income lost due to missed work as well as future income lost due to any long-term effects of your injuries)
Non-economic losses include those below:
- Pain and suffering (determined by the extent of your injuries, the number of days your recovery has taken, testimony from friends and family or a mental health professional, etc.)
- Loss of consortium (or loss of companionship)
To find out more about the compensation you may receive from a personal injury claim, please read our firm’s What Is My Claim Worth? page.
When you make a claim, you deserve to receive fair compensation.
However, you should know that what the insurance company offers you may not always be fair. An insurance company is a business and may give you a low-ball offer in order to save money on your claim. (While disappointing, it’s a fact of the industry.) This is why having a personal injury attorney on your side can be incredibly helpful. With a professional advocating on your behalf, it sends a message to the insurance company and to the defendant that you are serious and will not be taken advantage of.
At Martinson & Beason, P.C., we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve. In fact, we have been doing this for people like you since 1937. We believe in fighting for the rights of injured individuals, and we are committed to doing so.
We represent people injured in a range of accidents, including those involving motor vehicles, falls, defective products, medical mistakes, and more. We’ve successfully helped many people not only in Morgan County but also throughout Alabama. (You can read about some of our successful past cases on our Verdicts and Settlements page.) The attorneys at our firm have the experience, knowledge, and resources to handle your case.
We understand how stressful and traumatizing an accident can be, so we will be there for you every step of the way. We will answer your questions and give you the guidance you need to make the best decisions for yourself and your family. And we will do everything we can to get the best possible outcome in your case.
Decatur, Alabama Wrongful Death Attorney
It can be hard to accept that your loved one suffered a wrongful death. It’s difficult enough to deal with the immense loss without having to confront the fact that someone else’s negligence or carelessness caused the death of your family member or friend. However, our wrongful death attorneys have found during our years of helping families that getting justice for lost loved ones can help alleviate some of the pain and suffering.
Through a wrongful death claim, you can make sure that the negligent, careless person does not escape responsibility for causing your loved one’s death. In your claim, you can seek punitive damages penalizing the negligent party. With just compensation obtained from your claim, you’ll be able to pay for the costs of your loved one’s medical treatment and funeral.
After the death of your loved one, it’s critical that you discuss your claim with an attorney as soon as you are ready. The Alabama statute of limitations only gives so much time to file a claim: two years generally, six months if the claim involves the city, and one year if the claim involves the county.
For compassionate, expert support from an experienced Decatur, AL wrongful death lawyer, contact Martinson & Beason, P.C. We will put all of our experience, skill, and resources to work to get you the compensation and justice to which you are entitled. We represent families in Decatur, Morgan County, Limestone County, and the entirety of Alabama.
Lawyers for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
You did everything right: you were driving responsibly, you were wearing a helmet and perhaps even protective clothing, and you were visible to the cars around you. Yet out of nowhere, a car cuts you off and nearly runs you off the road. Sound familiar?
If you’re a motorcycle rider in Alabama, the above scenario probably does. The advent of distracted driving—talking on a cell phone or texting while driving—is not just a major hazard for the nation’s drivers of motor vehicles; it’s an even bigger problem for the motorcyclists on our highways.
More often than not, the drivers of cars and trucks do not share the roadways well with motorcyclists. Motorcycles can be hard to see, and many drivers cause accidents by performing driving maneuvers without properly checking the lanes around them for motorcycles. This problem is only compounded by talking on a cell phone or texting, which takes too much of a driver’s attention away from driving and increases the chances that an accident will occur.
This is why it’s so important for you, as a motorcyclist, to be vigilant and drive safely to reduce your risk of a crash. And if you are involved in an accident with a distracted driver or another at-fault driver, Martinson & Beason, P.C. can assist you. Our skilled Decatur, AL motorcycle accident lawyers have helped numerous people in Decatur, Morgan and Limestone counties, and Alabama over the years, fighting for compensation for their injuries.
Email our firm or call (256) 533-1667 to get experienced legal help.
Decatur, AL Truck Accident Attorney
The statistics surrounding truck and 18-wheeler accidents are frightening:
- The number of truck accidents is going up—from 276,000 in 20101 to 287,000 in 2011.2
- The number of people injured in truck accidents also increased between 2010 and 2011—from 80,0001to 88,0002
- Large trucks are more likely to be involved in fatal, multiple-vehicle accidents2
- The drivers and passengers of motor vehicles are more likely to be injured or killed than the drivers of large trucks2
- In Alabama, 95 fatal crashes involved large trucks in 20112
If you’ve suffered an injury in a truck accident, these statistics are more than just numbers. They’re personal. You are now living a nightmare that you may have thought could never happen to you. With bills from your medical treatment piling up, time off work causing lost income, and the pain of your injury preventing you from enjoying daily activities, it can seem like your whole world is falling apart.
That is where the experienced Decatur, AL truck accident attorneys come in. At Martinson & Beason, P.C., we are here to help you through this extremely difficult time. Our primary goal is helping you get the compensation you need to end your financial difficulties. We can work with you throughout the entire claims process, fighting for your right to a fair recovery.
Contact our firm or request an appointment today. We’ve successfully helped numerous people in Decatur, Morgan and Limestone counties, and Alabama. During your free consultation, we’ll explain your options and let you know how we can help you.
Decatur, Alabama Xarelto Injury
Decatur, Alabama is known for an economy based on “manufacturing, cargo transit, and hi-tech industries such as General Electric, and the United Launch Alliance” as well as for its family-friendly environment. The city government page calls Decatur a “progressive business environment.” This is largely due to the hi-tech industries, including over two dozen Fortune 500 companies. The port city has actually grown to be the busiest on the Tennessee River.
Amidst the growth, another steadily growing population has been the aged and elderly. Parents continue aging even as the children grow, hold down jobs, and raise kids of their own. The health of our parents and aging loved ones matters as much to Morgan County residents as it does to anyone. So when a potentially dangerous drug like Xarelto is introduced to the stream of commerce, everyone suffers, especially the people closest to those feeling the effects of the drug.
What are some side effects of a drug like Xarelto?
Xarelto is marketed as “a prescription medicine used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation, not caused by a heart valve problem.” The risk of blood clots increases with this type of condition. The real danger is the increased risk of stroke that occurs when the blood clot forms in a person’s heart. The clot that forms in the heart can travel to the brain, where it causes a stroke. Like any side effect, the risk should be discussed with a medical professional.
Xarelto should not be used by everyone, but some users are more vulnerable than others. Some may encounter a higher risk of bleeding if someone takes:
- Aspirin or aspirin-containing products
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Warfarin sodium (Coumadin®, Jantoven®)
- Any medicine that contains heparin
- Clopidogrel (Plavix®)
- Other medicines to prevent or treat blood clots.”
Doctors should also be advised of any of these conditions prior to taking Xarelto:
- History of bleeding problems
- History of liver or kidney problems
- History of other medical conditions
- Currently pregnant or plan to become pregnant – It is not known if XARELTO® will harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking XARELTO®. If you take XARELTO®during pregnancy, tell your doctor right away if you have bleeding or symptoms of blood loss.
- Currently breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed – It is not known if XARELTO® passes into your breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you will take XARELTO® or breastfeed.”
What can I receive if I file a products liability or personal injury claim for Xarelto injuries?
When a person is harmed by a prescription drug, this is called a product liability, personal injury, or negligence claim. This type of claim seeks to recover money damages from the injuries and side effects of taking the drug. The burden of proof lies with the plaintiff, as it does with many personal injury claims (unless the claim is a strict liability case).
So how does a plaintiff prove that the drug created the harm and not some other condition?
Here’s where the disclosures and discovery of current or previous medical conditions matters a great deal. In Alabama, contributory negligence is a legal concept that bars plaintiffs from recovering damages. Even a small fraction of responsibility that can be attributed to the plaintiff means the entire burden of financial costs remain the plaintiff’s.
The doctor’s diagnosis and recommendation to begin taking Xarelto is critical to providing proof that the pre-existing conditions did not interfere, complicate, or even create the side effects that resulted after taking the drug.
The types of financial recoveries that a plaintiff can expect are:
- Medical bills from the excessive bleeding that can result from Xarelto – These bills include any repeat visits for medical treatment, any overnight stays, emergency visits, or additional medications necessary to stop bleeding.
- Financial hardship resulting from loss of ability to work, or difficulty with working, due to the drug’s effects – Some people report a loss of income which impacts their overall financial picture. Filing a lawsuit attempts to tilt the balance in favor of retaining income, health, and losses suffered from continual internal bleeding.
- Emotional distress and hardship related to the constant care given to someone suffering Xarelto’s side effects of internal bleeding – This is considered pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
In Alabama, a plaintiff has two years to file a Xarelto products liability claim. That means that once the symptoms appear, you or a loved one has two years to recognize, document, and attempt to improve the condition with proper medical attention. Once the two year statute of limitations passes, the person suffering side effects may not file a claim.
Xarelto’s side effects are more pronounced in certain individuals. Although all blood thinners or anticoagulants prevent clotting, the blood flow can be so strong that it hurts the body’s major organs. This is the key difference between Xarelto and other major blood thinners on the market. It is because this product is administered as a single dose amount that it causes controversy. Because Xarelto is an anti-coagulant, it does not allow for clotting. Pair the anti-clotting properties with the risk for over-dosage, and the problems with Xarelto become more obvious. The drug’s manufacturer, Bayer, has been a named party in product liability cases in many states, including Alabama.
Speak to an attorney who has knowledge and experience dealing with Xarelto injuries in Decatur, Alabama. The time lost by missing a consultation may impact your lawsuit’s viability. There is no reason why excessive internal bleeding from Xarelto should be the responsibility of the drug user seeking treatment. Seek the help of medical professionals and ask for help from a Xarelto injury attorney in Decatur. Every person deserves to be as healthy as possible. Hold those manufacturers responsible for injuries caused to you or your loved ones.
Zofran Birth Defects in Decatur, AL
Like many popular name-brand pharmaceutical drugs, Zofran has delivered on its promises for relief and improved the health of patients. Zofran has been marketed by GlaxoSmithKline primarily as a nausea treatment drug for cancer patients. The relief from nausea may not seem like a big treatment, but for those receiving chemotherapy on a regular basis, the freedom from nausea is a step toward restoring normalcy. The success of drugs like these has resulted from years of word-of-mouth recommendations by doctors and peers alike, as well as the unavailability of many viable alternatives. Without more options, Zofran and other name-brand prescription drugs become household names, which can then usually translate into brand trust.
Once the public begins to trust a household prescription drug like Zofran, for example, is it any wonder that concerns about off-label uses do not raise the level of attention seen during the initial approval process? In other words, the FDA approval process is rigorous. Yet, after the FDA approval, doctors may begin prescribing these drugs for off-label uses. The public then begins to associate the drugs for these off-label, or unapproved, uses.
Perhaps you are pregnant and anticipating the arrival of your little bundle of joy; perhaps you just welcomed your new baby into this world at Decatur Morgan Hospital; or perhaps you are taking Zofran for a non-pregnancy-related issue and are concerned about possible future side effects for when the day comes that you do decide to have a baby. Whatever the situation, you need answers on this potent drug. You deserve a happy life in Decatur, Alabama and elsewhere in Morgan County—one safe from the ills of pharmaceutical companies. Contact a Decatur, AL, products liability attorney immediately with any questions you may have. At Martinson & Beason, P.C., we are here to help you.
Potential Dangers of Off-Label Use Prescriptions Drugs
One very famous (or infamous) example of off-label prescription was the prescription cocktail known as Fen-Phen. Originally intended as two separate drugs used for the short-term treatment of obesity, doctors began prescribing the combination as off-label general weight loss pills. The results of the dramatic weight-loss from both drugs used in tandem was offset by serious and debilitating heart valve injuries. So many patients have been damaged by the combination of Fen-Phen that a multi-billion-dollar class action lawsuit was filed and finally resulted in having the two drugs pulled from circulation.
Zofran was originally manufactured to decrease nausea following radiation treatment. However, cancer patients are not the only market for this type of relief. Many pregnant mothers suffer from agonizing nausea, some to the point of requiring hospitalization. Some women develop a severe form of nausea called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). According the non-profit organization, Hyperemesis Education and Research (HER) Foundation, HG is “generally described as unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids.” HG is a serious ailment that affects both the mother and the unborn fetus—which may be born with defects.
Mothers cannot take any medication while struggling to cope with the extreme nausea and vomiting of HG, or vomiting during pregnancy in general. While Zofran does not uniformly create negative side effects for every woman taking it, sufficient evidence exists showing the correlation between birth defects and taking the drug. Some pregnant women may find themselves asking whether the risks of taking Zofran outweigh the benefits. Since every woman experiences the nausea and possible other reactions to pregnancy differently, speaking with a medical professional to weigh these options makes the most sense. Notwithstanding the risks, Zofran may be the only viable option for some pregnant women who cannot gain relief by any other method. For more questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a Decatur, Alabama, products liability attorney.
Birth Defects and Zofran
The challenge during pregnancy for any woman is deciding what to ingest and what to allow in terms of environmental exposures. From allergy medications, to beverages, to lunch menus—even whether to apply sun tan lotion or chemical hair dyes—a pregnant woman makes many large and small choices throughout her pregnancy. When her body rejects even fluid or the safest of food choices, however, the difficulty then becomes how to maintain equilibrium with vital bodily functions. Hydration and nutrition become the absolute essentials to experiencing a normal balance. Because nausea prevents appetite and vomiting prevents hydration and nutrition, the threats to the still developing fetus can take their toll very quickly. A threat to the mother’s health translates to a threat to her child.
The trouble with using Zofran for an off-label use such as preventing or balancing hormones during pregnancy is that the medication can help the mother but can harm the baby. Some possible birth defects that can result from taking Zofran during pregnancy are:
- Ventricular septal defect (VSD)
- Tetralogy of fallot (TOF)
- Cleft lip/cleft palate
- Transposition of the great arteries
- Limb defects
- And more
Some studies suggest that the mother is also at risk from taking the medication during the pregnancy. Even where the harm is not immediately obvious to either mother or child, the benefit given to the mother would be immediate. Most medical professionals and parents-to-be clearly stand on the side of preventing birth defects, so being able to avoid heart defects and other birth defects in a newborn child is the optimal goal.
Legal and Medical Options
Where Zofran becomes a medical option, the mother’s health and the child’s long-term viability seem to be at odds. The question then shifts to one of utility and benefit to the mother’s health versus maintaining some long-term safety to the child’s health. Those questioning why the FDA has not pulled Zofran from the marketplace entirely should remember that the drug continues to hold clear and consistent benefits in the treatment of nausea in non-childbearing cancer patients.
Some of the legal problems lie with the manufacturers of Zofran, GlaxoSmithKline, having promoted the drug specifically for its off-label use. The drug maker was sued by the U.S. government for these practices, resulting in multi-billion dollar settlement. However, the drug’s popularity and public perception of the drug as a viable option may not have been sufficiently altered by the lawsuit. The result is that prescribing doctors may warn about Zofran’s risks, but pregnant women may feel they have no alternative, are willing to accept the risk, or are insufficiently aware of the drug’s inherent dangers.
If you or a loved one believe that Zofran may have caused birth defects, please reach out to speak to a products liability lawyer in Decatur, Alabama. You may have legal options. These types of cases are heavily based on fact and medical analysis, as well as existing medical studies, so it makes sense to work with a legal professional. Please reach out to the experienced and compassionate staff and attorneys of Martinson & Beason, P.C. to speak more about your options.