6 Sources of Holiday Injury

Serving Clients in Birmingham, Shelby County, and throughout Alabama

Ice isn't the only source of Serious Injury over the holidaysThere might be 12 days of Christmas, but the list of potential hazards that accompany the holiday season is unfortunately much longer. If someone else’s carelessness harms you or your family over the holidays, our Alabama personal injury attorneys can provide experienced assistance to build your case.

Whenever the weather changes, it’s important to adjust your habits in kind. No matter how safe you are, though, another person’s recklessness could still put you in danger. The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can bring a host of unique obstacles, including:

Car Accidents

Bad weather and increased alcohol consumption at holiday parties can increase the risk of a collision with another vehicle.

Slick Surfaces

If walkways and floors aren’t properly maintained, ice, snow, and slush could lead to a slip-and-fall accident. Property owners and maintenance workers have a responsibility to clean up slipping hazards in a timely fashion and warn visitors about the danger.

Food Poisoning

Grocery stores and specialty markets see huge rushes around the holidays. Improper storage and handling of food items can lead to salmonella and other serious foodborne illnesses.

Fire Danger

If a space heater, fireplace, or electronic device malfunctions, overheating and sparking can occur, possibly causing severe burns and smoke inhalation.

Decorating Injuries

Hanging up lights and other items can result in falls, electrocution, and more. Though sometimes attributed to clumsiness, defective products like a faulty ladder or poorly insulated wiring might also be the cause.

Unsafe Gifts

A variety of new items come into our homes over the holidays, and not all of them will be properly constructed or packaged. Be on the lookout for dangerous toys, kitchen utensils, appliances, and more.

All of these situations have one thing in common: Oftentimes the harm to you and your loved ones is the result of negligence on the part of another person or business. Our attorneys will need to review your case to make specific recommendations, but you might be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, property damage, and more through a personal injury claim.

To schedule your free consultation, please contact Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates or call (205) 545-7475 today. Our personal injury attorneys serve clients throughout Alabama.

Parking Lot Accident Injuries

Serving Clients in Birmingham, Shelby County, and throughout Alabama

On the day after Thanksgiving, shoppers in search of bargains will race to stores and malls throughout the Birmingham area. Though the crowded aisles in the shops might seem like the most dangerous place to be on Black Friday, congested parking lots also have the potential for car accidents and serious injury.

In fact, 25% of car accidents on Black Friday happen in a parking lot, according to data gathered by Progressive Insurance. Collisions between vehicles in parking lots can end in property damage and possibly minor injuries, but contact between a vehicle and a pedestrian in a parking lot is still extremely dangerous.

Have you been struck by a car? Talk to our Birmingham injury lawyers for free to begin building your pedestrian accident claim.

Even at low speeds, pedestrian accidents can cause severe harm to the person on foot, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Brain injury
  • Trauma to the back, neck, and spinal cord
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Internal injuries

The worst parking lot accidents usually happen when a driver is backing out of a space and fails to notice pedestrians walking behind the car. When this happens, victims can be knocked down and run over, which can lead to serious injuries and even death. Tragically, small children are at a significant disadvantage in these situations, even if the driver is diligently checking the rear-view for foot traffic.

Whether you’re a driver or pedestrian on one of the year’s biggest days for shopping, it’s important to be alert in any situation where traffic is involved. Slow speeds and confined spaces don’t necessarily reduce your risk of an accident.

If you or someone you love was injured in a parking lot collision, please contact Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates or call (205) 545-7475 today for a free evaluation of your case. Our car accident lawyers serve clients in communities throughout Birmingham.

Compensation for Medical Expenses in Child Injury Cases

Serving Clients in Birmingham, Shelby County, and throughout Alabama

Each November, National Family Caregivers Month salutes the 40% of Americans who care for family members who can’t take care of themselves. Though the word “caregiver” might bring elderly loved ones to mind, families must often come together to provide care for a child with physical or mental disabilities, too. If your child suffered severe harm because of someone’s misconduct, our Birmingham personal injury attorneys can pursue compensation on your family’s behalf.

Has your child been hurt? You might be entitled to compensation for medical bills and more. Speak to our Birmingham lawyers to find out if you have a personal injury case.

Child injuries can have many different causes, from birth defect or trauma to a car accident. When a child is severely hurt, parents, siblings, and other family members often have to pay a significant financial and emotional toll to provide adequate care.

At Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates, our Birmingham lawyers are committed to helping families in Alabama find justice, especially when a young child suffers serious injury. If another party caused your child’s injuries through negligence, you might be entitled to compensation for multiple aspects of ongoing care, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Prescription medications
  • Surgery costs
  • Physical therapy
  • At-home care, such as hiring a nurse
  • Wheelchairs and other adaptive devices
  • Home modifications to accommodate your child’s needs

Our Alabama law firm believes that children and their families shouldn’t have to shoulder the burdens of a serious injury alone. We will investigate the details of your case and take appropriate action against the party responsible for your child’s injuries.

Each personal injury claim is different, so it’s important to speak with caring attorneys who have experience. Please contact Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates or call (205) 545-7475 today to schedule your free consultation at our office in Birmingham.

Truck Accidents and Drowsy Drivers

Serving Clients in Birmingham, Shelby County, and throughout Alabama

Anyone who is sleep deprived can lose focus or fall asleep at the wheel. However, as bad as collisions involving cars can be, truck accidents caused by fatigue are often catastrophic.

Has your family been devastated by a truck accident? Speak to our attorneys in Birmingham for free today for guidance in your case.

In Alabama and elsewhere, fatigue is a leading cause of 18-wheeler collisions. This shouldn’t be the case: Truck drivers are required to follow regulations known as “hours of service rules” so they can be well-rested enough to operate their rigs safely.

Truck drivers are limited to 11 hours on the road per day and must maintain a 70-hour maximum work week. Unfortunately, shipping deadlines, pressure from employers, and a host of other factors can compel truck drivers to break the rules to complete a haul in less time, putting themselves and others at risk.

If you or someone you love was injured in an Alabama truck accident where driver fatigue is suspected, the attorneys at Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates will investigate all relevant information to build your case, including:

  • The driver’s logs
  • Bills of lading for received or delivered cargo
  • Trucking company records
  • The presence of alcohol or controlled substances which could result in drowsiness

Drowsy driving is fundamentally reckless behavior that often leads to collisions resulting in severe injury and death. Due to the demands of their occupation and the abuse of federal regulations, truck drivers have a significant risk of falling asleep at the wheel and causing an accident.

If you and your family were harmed in a tractor-trailer collision caused by fatigue or other forms of negligence, our truck accident attorneys in Alabama will aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve. Please contact Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates or call (205) 545-7475 today for a free consultation.

Medication Errors: Who Is Responsible?

Serving Clients in Birmingham, Shelby County, and throughout Alabama

Every eight minutes a child suffers from some sort of medication error. According to a new study in the journal Pediatrics, drug errors among children 6 and under have increased over the last 10 years. Though drug-related injuries often occur due to medical malpractice, the study found that most adverse reactions happened due to mistakes in home administration.

Was your child or loved one harmed by drug error? Our Birmingham medical malpractice lawyers can help — free consultation.

When a child or anyone else is sick, parents and other members of the family often struggle with a great deal of stress, increasing the potential for mistakes in the use of medication. However, negligence among medical professionals can also pose a serious threat to the care and recovery of a sick loved one.

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care personnel can carelessly expose patients to medication errors in a variety of ways, including:

  • Prescribing the incorrect medication
  • Wrong dosage
  • Failing to take the patient’s medical history, current medications, and drug allergies into account
  • Not advising the patient of potential risks and side effects

Medical providers have a duty to maintain an acceptable level of care when prescribing and administering medicine. If you or a family member suffered harm due to drug error, you might be entitled to compensation for aggravation of your condition and additional injuries through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The Birmingham lawyers at Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates are committed to protecting the rights of medical malpractice victims so they can recover from medication errors and truly begin getting better. Our attorneys are particularly passionate about assisting victimized children and their families.

To begin building your medical malpractice case, please contact Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates or call (205) 545-7475 today for a free consultation. Our Birmingham lawyers serve clients throughout Alabama.

5 Financial Tips for Life After Divorce

Serving Clients in Birmingham, Shelby County, and throughout Alabama

Divorce is never easy for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for women who must leave the role of stay-at-home mom to reenter the career world. Many female clients express concern to our Birmingham divorce attorneys about this newfound need to be financially independent.

Are you an Alabama woman in the middle of a divorce? Contact our Birmingham divorce lawyers to start securing your financial future.

According to U.S. Census data, a woman’s income drops by 37% after divorce. Considering the financial and lifestyle changes that occur with the end of any marriage, it’s important to have a plan in place to support yourself and your children before the divorce decree is final.

At Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates, we pride ourselves on providing clients the support and guidance they need in times of trouble. If your divorce from your husband was recently made final, here are some ways to begin building financial security:

  • Consider your skills: Anything you did as a wife and mom, even volunteer or school work, could become a stepping stone to a paying job
  • Educate yourself: Whether you have a degree or not, local colleges and adult learning programs could help you get the knowledge and training you need for a position
  • Network: Women’s groups, professional associations, and other organizations give you the chance to meet other working women – possibly even employers
  • Think about your friends: People you know might have already been through divorce – talk to them about how they made the transition and support themselves
  • Don’t depend on spousal maintenance: Alimony and child support are generally temporary and can’t substitute for your own income

Securing your financial future after divorce is critical not only for providing your kids a stable home but also helping you flourish in your new personal and professional life.

For committed, compassionate representation in your divorce case, please contact Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates or call (205) 545-7475 today for your free consultation. Our attorneys serve clients in Birmingham and throughout the state of Alabama.

Why Is Infant Mortality So High in Alabama?

Serving Clients in Birmingham, Shelby County, and throughout Alabama

Was your child injured during birth? Talk to an Alabama Medical Malpractice Lawyer todayThe United States has a higher infant mortality rate than any of the other 27 wealthy countries, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control. A baby born in the U.S. is nearly three times as likely to die during her first year of life as one born in Finland or Japan. That same American baby is about twice as likely to die in her first year as a Spanish or Korean baby.

Was your child injured by poor care at birth? Contact Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates to begin building your medical malpractice case.

Despite health care spending levels that are significantly higher than any other country in the world, a baby born in the U.S. is less likely to see his first birthday than one born in Hungary, Poland, or Slovakia. Or in Belarus. Or in Cuba, for that matter.

The U.S. rate of 6.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births masks considerable state-level variation. If Alabama were a country, its rate of 8.7 infant deaths per 1,000 births would place it slightly behind Lebanon in the world rankings.

We’re the wealthiest nation in the world. How did we end up like this?

The differences arise after infants are sent home. Poor American families have considerably less access to quality health care than their wealthier counterparts.

Comment by Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates, LLC:

We review potential medical malpractice cases almost daily. Many of our clients have suffered horrific injuries or death due to a lack of proper medical care. This is particularly true in our rural counties, where our hospitals do not have sufficient resources to properly care for their patients.

Nevertheless, Governor Bentley refuses to expand Medicaid despite the fact that the federal government would pay 100% of the cost of the expansion for the first three years and 90% after that. According to a University of Alabama study, the expansion would provide Medicaid coverage for 300,000 more state residents and would also provide the state nearly $1 billion in tax revenue.

As David Bronner, CEO of Retirement Systems of Alabama, said of the decision to not accept Medicaid expansion: “Politics is taking precedence over the poor.”

Governor Bentley’s refusal is irresponsible. According to published reports, it has resulted in the closure of at least 12 rural hospitals and more than a dozen more may fail over the next two years.

The Alabama Hospital Association, the Business Council of Alabama, AARP Alabama, and the Alabama Primary Health Care Association have all voiced their support for expanding Medicaid in the state.

In our firm we see too much malpractice already. Our state does not need more people injured and killed due to the lack of care received by the poor.

Liability in Dangerous Drug Cases

Serving Clients in Birmingham, Shelby County, and throughout Alabama

If you or a family member suffered devastating side effects after using a medication, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Our Birmingham defective product lawyers can provide knowledgeable support for your claim and guide you toward resources for seeking justice.

Hurt by a dangerous drug? Talk to Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates for free today to begin building your case.

Cases involving dangerous and recalled drugs are complex and often involve taking action against major pharmaceutical companies. Considering the number of prescription drugs and generic equivalents currently available, even knowing which company to sue can be overwhelming.

Generally, manufacturers could be liable in a dangerous drug suit for the following reasons:

  • Errors in manufacturing or packaging the medicine
  • Unsafe side effects, especially if consumers aren’t warned
  • Improper marketing of the medication

The Alabama Supreme Court recently became the first court in the country to rule that the makers of brand-name drugs can be held liable for failing to warn about potential side effects if a patient is injured by another manufacturer’s generic version of their product. Federal law requires labels on name-brand and generic medication to be identical, so the court reasoned that the liability for misrepresenting the medication can be shared by multiple manufacturers.

Determining the responsible party is only one aspect of a dangerous drug or other defective product claim. Qualified legal counsel can handle complex elements of your case while you and your family focus on healing.

Please contact Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates or call (205) 545-7475 today to take the first step in building your defective product claim. Our lawyers proudly represent clients hailing from Birmingham and other areas of Alabama.

How Bad Weather Can Make Truck Accidents Worse

Serving Clients in Birmingham, Shelby County, and throughout Alabama

Hurricane season hits Alabama at the beginning of each June and normally ends in October. September and October tend to see the most precipitation. While heavy rains and gale-force winds can take a toll on the Gulf Coast, hurricane conditions pose another major threat: bad driving conditions.

Here’s a visual look at the impact truck accidents and hurricane weather can have on Alabama drivers:

Alabama Truck Accidents hurricane weather infographic

Collisions involving tractor-trailers already have a high likelihood of catastrophic injury. Combine an out of control rig with wet roads, high winds, and reduced visibility, and the aftermath of a truck accident can be even more devastating.

If you were injured in a truck accident anywhere in the state of Alabama, please contact Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates or call (205) 545-7475 today to schedule a free consultation with our compassionate personal injury attorneys.

Prevent Nursing Home Abuse on National Grandparents Day

Serving Clients in Birmingham, Shelby County, and throughout Alabama

Sunday, September 7, is National Grandparents Day, an observance dedicated to celebrating family connection to the past and close relationships with our aged loved ones. The attorneys at Jonathan W. Gathings would also like to mark this holiday by taking the opportunity to remind people in Alabama and elsewhere of the importance of recognizing nursing home abuse.

Originally, National Grandparents Day was created to “champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes.” Regularly visiting elderly loved ones isn’t just a way to raise grandma and grandpa’s spirits and bring the family together – it’s also a good way to spot abuse or neglect at a care facility sooner rather than later.

Do you believe your loved one is being mistreated in a nursing home? Stop the abuse now: Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates represents abuse victims and their families in communities around Birmingham and throughout the state.

Whenever you visit, bear in mind the signs of nursing home abuse. Some seniors are too frightened or ashamed to speak up about what they’re enduring, so be on the lookout for changes in your loved one’s:

  • Physical health: Bed sores, chronic illness, and injuries could indicate neglect, abuse, and/or denial of your family member’s prescription medicines and medical care
  • Emotional state: Abused elders often act depressed or on edge, and might act out around certain staff members
  • Living conditions: Lack of cleanliness, unsafe walkways, and insufficient security put your loved one and other residents at risk

Whether you’re visiting grandparents in a nursing home this weekend or any other time of year, we hope your family enjoys quality time together. However, if you suspect that elders are being mistreated and your loved one is at risk, get the family member to safety as soon as possible.

To build a nursing home abuse claim against negligent or malicious staff or management at the facility, contact Jonathan W. Gathings & Associates or call (205) 545-7475 today to arrange your free consultation. Our attorneys are proud to represent seniors and their families in Shelby County and other communities throughout Alabama.