texting while driving

texting while driving

Man Convicted in the State’s first Texting-while-Driving Manslaughter Case

A Mobile, Alabama man was convicted in the state’s first texting-while-driving manslaughter case. Prosecutors claimed Jonathan Raynes was “fixated on his phone” flipping between Facebook, Kik, My Yearbook and the dating site Badoo in the moments leading up to the crash. Alabama State Troopers say Miranda Hamilton died after Raynes’ pickup truck crossed the centerline on Lott Road just west of Schillinger’s Road, veered into oncoming traffic and slammed into the truck Hamilton was driving.

For more info about the texting-while-driving verdict today, visit al.com.

Sometimes people are involved in automobile accidents and the use of a cell phone is a cause or a factor in the accident. If you have been in an automobile accident and believe that the other driver was using a cell phone when the accident occurred you may need an Alabama car wreck lawyer.  You should also should take the following steps to protect yourself and prepare for what is to come:

  • Stay calm and try to record information about the accident. Write down the accident time because your Alabama car wreck attorney may compare the time of the accident with the others driver’s cell phone records. Tell the police officers the time the accident occurred and ask them to write it on their report.
  • Talk to any witnesses and ask them if they observed the other driving using a cell phone. Witnesses may be able to testify to this fact.
  • When you talk to the other driver, ask them, “Were you talking on your cell phone?” Any witnesses may be able to testify that they heard the driver saying, “yes.”
  • You may request that the police officer check the other driver’s cell phone for their cell phone number as well as making a note of their last calls made and received.
  • If the other driver refuses to allow the police officer to see their cell phone, then the officer may ask them for their cell phone number.
  • Once you have received medical treatment, you should contact an automobile accident attorney. Your auto accident attorney may ask the court to legally preserve the other driver’s cell phone records and relate them to the accident time. This information can help you prove the case in court that the other driver was negligent due to cell phone usage.

Taylor Martino is a law firm serving Alabama and Mississippi. Our Alabama car wreck attorneys have more than 30 years’ experience in handling auto accident cases and we will happily provide a free case consultation. Contact our Alabama car wreck lawyers at Taylor Martino P.C. today!

 

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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Practice Road Safety

Holiday events and celebrations can be exciting times for family and friends to get together. But, get-togethers with family and friends can turn into tragedies when people are killed or injured in traffic crashes.

As the holiday season is approaching, motorists need to be mindful of actions that will make their holiday travel safer. Drivers can protect themselves and their passengers by following these holiday travel rules.

1. Before beginning any trip, have your vehicle tuned up and make sure it’s in good shape for travel. This is especially important for winter driving conditions. Vehicle safety changes based on the weather around it. If you are not sure what all to check ,take your vehicle to your local service department.

2. Make sure you and everyone in the car is properly wearing their seat belts and riding correctly in car safety seats. Remember, the rear seat is the safest place for children of any age to ride. Being on the road for long periods can cause some passengers to move their safety belt or even remove it. Make sure you check frequently to assure proper use.

3. Have flexibility in your travel plans. Having flexibility allows for unexpected events that may arise in different areas. This gives you plenty of time to reach your destination and not feel rushed. Rushed driving causes more accidents.

4. Stay fresh and alert when driving. Take plenty of breaks and do not push yourself to meet an unrealistic schedule. If you get tired, pull off the road.

5. Don’t speed and follow all traffic safety/driving rules. Use the correct lanes, signals, and other driving courtesies to notify other drivers of your intentions.

6. Lastly, don’t drink and drive. Don’t use your cell phone while driving.

All in all, there are several ways you can practice road safety while driving this holiday season. Taylor Martino wants everyone to be safe, buckle up and obey the law. Happy Holidays!

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Alabama-Car Wreck-Injury- Mobile-AL-Car-Accident-Lawyer

If you have been in an Alabama Car Wreck and sustained injury by an uninsured driver, you are required by Alabama Law to put your insurance company on notice of the wreck. You are required by your insurance policy to do it promptly after the wreck. Some policies have time limits, and if you go beyond a time limit, you may not be allowed to use your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your policy. Why is this important? It is important because if you are injured, and hit by a driver who does not have any insurance coverage, or doesn’t have enough, then you can use your uninsured motorist coverage if you purchased it. But, if you did not timely put your company on notice, your company will try to get out of providing the coverage for you on your policy.

Alabama-Car Wreck-Injury- Mobile-AL-Car-Accident-Lawyer

Many people are concerned that using their uninsured motorist coverage will make their premiums go up , but if the wreck was not your fault, and you have not had repeated claims on your policy, then your premiums should not go up. After all, you have paid for this coverage over the years, and you should use it when the time comes that you need it.

What exactly is uninsured motorist coverage? Let’s look at an example: if you are hit by a driver who has only $25,000 in liability coverage on their policy, and your damages from the case including lost wages and medical bills total $50,000, then you should use your uninsured motorist coverage to help pay the claim. If you have $25,000 in UM coverage on your policy, then you would be entitled to add that on top of the at-fault person’s coverage to help pay for your damages. It is called “stacking” and you are entitled to stack your UM coverage on top of the at-fault insurance driver’s coverage if your damages warrant stacking. You should check your policy to see if you have “added on” or “excess” UM coverage. If you do, you can stack it. If you bought “reduced by” then you won’t get to add your UM to the at fault insurance company’s coverage. The take home point here is to check your policy to make sure you don’t have “reduced by” UM coverage, and if you do, change it by calling your agent to “added on” UM coverage. Also, you should buy the highest amount of UM coverage you can afford, as this may someday be needed if you are hurt badly in a wreck.

If you have been in an Alabama Car Wreck and Sustained Injury by an Uninsured Driver, contact an experienced Mobile, AL Car Accident Lawyer TODAY!

RICHARD H. TAYLOR
Taylor Martino, PC
51 St. Joseph Street
P. O. Box 894
Mobile, Alabama 36601
OFFICE: (251) 433-3131
FAX: (251) 433-4207
richard@taylormartino.com

Dangerous ET-Plus guardrails

Ed Rowan, Esq. of Taylor Martino, P.C. recently met with an expert engineer, Dr. Brian Pfeifer of BEC Consulting about his extensive experience investigating potential defective designs and installation of guardrails and barriers along highways and interstates. His specialty is roadside safety and analysis of maintenance of traffic issues.

The sole purpose of guardrails and barriers is life safety – to protect us from a hazard that is on the other side of the guardrail or barrier in case of a crash such as trees, embankments, and other structures. All across the United States, there currently exists a potentially defective end cap installed on guardrails (called the guardrail terminal) – this is an endcap called the “ET-Plus” manufactured by Trinity Industries. This end cap does not collapse when a car impacts it, but rather has the potential to cut the car into pieces and the rails have speared through the driver or passenger-side doors, into seats and through the vehicle floors. This particular guardrail endcap has been the subject of a recent $680 million verdict in Texas and the company faces at least 40 product liability lawsuits nationwide over its ET-Plus product.

A recent study conducted by the University of Alabama-Birmingham concluded that a redesigned version of the ET-Plus guardrail system places motorists at a higher risk of serious injury or fatality than its previous version. The study examined eight years of data for injury and death crashes in Ohio and Missouri involving five different guardrail end terminal designs. The study found that the ET-Plus design was 3.95 times more likely to produce a fatality than its predecessor, the ET-2000 design. In addition, the ET-Plus guardrail was 1.45 times more likely to produce a severe injury. The study was funded by The Safety Institute and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

If you were seriously injured in a crash and there was a guardrail or barrier involved, there could very well be a defectively designed and/or installed guardrail or barrier that did not serve its one and only purpose – to protect you.

Please contact Ed Rowan at (800) 785-8755 or at ed@taylormartino.com for a free and confidential consultation.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P. C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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The lawyers of Taylor Martino, PC understand an accident can occur from time to time. They are unavoidable. Since we can’t plan when they will happen, here are some helpful tips to know what to do when you are involved in a motorcycle accident.

First things first.

Make sure everyone is okay. Remove yourself and passenger from high traffic areas to the nearest curb or median. After accessing the situation, it might be best to call for medical assistance. Even if you think you do not need assistance at the time, your adrenaline rushing could hide the fact something is injured. 

After checking on the welfare of you and your possible passenger, the next phone call you need to make is to the police. Filing a police report will come in usual for your insurance and possibly litigation.

Notify your insurance company.

Call your insurance company and report the motorcycle accident as soon as you can. They need to know what has happened to begin working on behalf of you. Your insurance provider will be able to tell you what is required, especially if you are still on sight of the accident.

Photograph as much of the situation as possible.

Now that most everyone has the ability to use their cell phones and snap a few photos, this shouldn’t be a problem. Without putting yourself in harms way of other traffic, get as many angles of the motorcycle crash as you can.

Moving the Motorcycle.

Once the police officer gives you the okay and you have discussed everything with your insurance company, move your motorcycle out of the road or street. If the vehicle is unable to be moved, call a tow truck to come pick up the damaged vehicle. Be sure to keep copies of all receipts for the tow company or any other expenses related to the collision.

Insurance exchange.

Police officers in the State of Alabama usually require each driver involved to fill out a form containing a name, insurance information and other contact information needed.

If the police officer does not give you the information, ask the other driver involved to supply you with their name, driver’s license number, insurance company and policy number.

Sketch out the accident.

Often times, if there is litigation it doesn’t take place until several weeks or months later. Drawing out the situation is a good idea because it could help you remember the accident and how the collision happened.

DO NOT Supply guilt.

Whether your insurance company or the other drivers. Do not admit guilt in the accident. If the opposite driver’s insurance company contacts you for a statement, refer them to your lawyer. Insurance companies usually record any questioning they propose and it could be used against you even if you aren’t saying anything wrong in your mind.

In the event you, or someone you know, is involved in a motorcycle accident, we hope you remember these steps. Remember, stay calm and collected so you can take the necessary actions needed in such situations.

Richard H. Taylor, Esq.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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Even though the state of Alabama requires all driver’s to be covered by insurance, this is not always the case. If you are in a car accident and the other driver does not have insurance, you might need these helpful tips to make sure you get coverage for your injuries and damages.

Call the Police.

In any instance of a collision, you will want to call the police and file a police report. The police will document the specifics of the accident which you will need later when you file your claim.

Exchange Information with the Other Driver.

Usually in the State of Alabama, the police officer will require each driver to complete a form asking for all pertinent information, such as the driver’s name, contact, license number, plate number, etc. If the police officer does not, you should gather as much information from the other driver as possible.

Notify Your Insurance Company.

According to Alabama’s Uninsured Motorist Law, every insurance policy includes uninsured motorist coverage. You need to file a claim with your insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage. Be sure to file soon after the collision happens to ensure your insurance company will cover the event. Some insurance companies have a time limit set between the time of the accident and how long you have to file. If you miss the time limit, you might not get coverage.

If you are afraid of making a claim on your insurance because you are afraid of premiums going up on your coverage, usually this does not happen. If the accident is not your fault and you do not have a previous history of having a number of collisions, your premium should not be affected.

How It Works.

Usually in an accident, the guilty party’s insurance is required to cover your expenses. In the case the guilty driver does not have coverage, your uninsured motorist coverage fills in the gap to cover your medical bills and other damages. If you are unsure of the complete uninsured motorist coverage you have, check with your insurance provider. Usually, the coverage is for family members involved in the collision as well.

If you believe you are not being fully covered correctly, an experienced injury attorney can review your policy and help find other forms of coverage needed.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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Pascagoula man awarded $2.3M settlement

Pascagoula, Mississippi — A 52-year-old Pascagoula man who was in a collision with a Laurel trucker in Gautier in 2004 was awarded $2.3 million as a settlement from G.B. “Boots” Smith Corp.

According to court records, on March 3, 2004, at 1 p.m. Robert Reynolds was driving a fully loaded dump truck north on Gautier-Vancleave Road, just before the Interstate 10 overpass. Reynolds worked for Mallette Brother’s Construction in Vancleave at the time. A 74-foot long, 22-wheel truck and trailer pulled across both northbound lanes and caused a collision, court records reflect.
“That crash resulted in the collapsed the driver’s side cab of the dump truck, pinning him inside,” said Richard Taylor, Reynold’s attorney who is based in Mobile.
“Mr. Reynolds was rescued by Gautier Fire Department paramedics using the Jaws of Life,” Taylor said. “In and out of consciousness, he was transported to Ocean Springs Hospital for initial treatment of many serious and painful injuries.”
Taylor said, “Six years and multiple operations later, Mr. Reynolds’ case against the J.B. ‘Boots’ Smith Corp. of Laurel was settled in June through a Gulfport arbitration for $2.3 million dollars. He’s already received the money.”
Reynolds was awarded lost wages, medical expenses and funds for permanent disability, according to court records. “His injuries were painful to the point he’s had 22 spinal taps to block the pain,” Taylor said. “All examining physicians agreed that he could no longer be employed as a truck driver and could only work in jobs considered sedentary. This disability was considered to be permanent. In addition, Mr. Reynolds will require at least one knee replacement surgery in the future. Mr. Reynolds’ life had been altered negatively and permanently.”
Taylor said before the crash Reynold’s wife was attending to nursing school.
“They have three children at home,” Taylor said. “He was the primary bread earner. She had to quit nursing school to take care of him and had to work cleaning houses. To make it worse, the family lost their home in Hurricane Katrina and had to relocate to Mobile. Finally, after six years long years “G.B. “Boots” Smith Corp.” must pay as there is no right of appeal.”

 

 

Joseph Toomey and his mother are suing General Motors, Mobile County, Prichard and others for an unspecified amount of money as a result of the November 2007 crash that left the 17-year-old Satsuma High School football star paralyzed.

Toomey, 16, at the time, was driving a 1999 GMC Jimmy that overturned on Kushla McLeod Road in Prichard. The roof caved in, breaking the teenager’s neck and leaving him a quadriplegic, the lawsuit states. The lawsuit says in part that GM was negligent because the roof collapsed, and the seat belt Toomey was wearing allowed too much body movement. It says the county and Prichard were negligent because a sign that had warned of the curve where the crash occurred was hanging upside down the night of the crash, thus pointing in the opposite direction of the curve.

Richard Taylor, attorney for the Toomey family, said Toomey was obeying the speed limit and had not consumed any alcohol prior to the crash. Taylor said the truck was going 25 to 30 mph when the accident occurred.

Richard H. Taylor, Esq.
TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602

Toll Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel: 251-433-3131
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