Our Personal Injury and Class Action FAQ

We know that victims need fast and reliable answers in order to get full and fair payment for their injuries. In our FAQ, we offer answers to the most commonly-asked questions about injury claims, dangerous drugs cases, class action suits, and more.
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  • Why are rollover accidents so dangerous?

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollover car accidents accounted for only one percent of all crashes in the U.S. in 2017. However, they were also responsible for nearly one-third of all traffic accident deaths. All drivers should understand why these accidents are so dangerous and cause such serious injuries. Rollover accidents

    Understanding Rollover Crashes

    By the NHTSA definition, a rollover occurs when a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof at any point during a crash. There are two types of rollovers:

    • Tripped. In a tripped rollover, a vehicle comes in contact with an object or road condition (such as soft soil off the road or a guard rail), which causes the car to roll over.
    • Untripped. Untripped rollovers are less common, and they occur when uneven weight distribution causes a vehicle to tip during a turn or other maneuver. This happens more frequently with top-heavy vehicles.

    The Unique Dangers of Rollover Crashes

    Rollover crashes present risks that are different from other types of crashes. It’s more likely that a driver or passenger will be ejected from the vehicle during a rollover as compared to other accidents. In addition, most car safety structures are designed for side and front impact. The roof of the car is typically not as strong and lacks these features. This can leave passengers at risk for serious head and neck injuries when the roof sustains an impact.

    Common Causes of Rollover Crashes

    Like many other types of crashes, rollover accidents occur most often because of driver error or negligence. The most common causes of a rollover include:

    • Speeding. Approximately 40 percent of rollovers involved excessive speed, and nearly three-fourths of the accidents took place in locations where the posted speed limit was 55 mph or higher.
    • Overcorrection. A driver may panic and make a sudden, major adjustment when only a minor steering change is necessary. Coupled with speed and road conditions, this can lead to a rollover.
    • Driver distraction. Whether the driver is impaired or simply distracted, not paying attention is dangerous on the road. Alcohol is a factor in nearly half of all fatal rollover crashes.
    • Worn tires. When tires are worn, improperly inflated, or not correctly suited to the vehicle, it can increase the risk of a rollover crash.

    Our Experienced Alabama Attorneys Can Help

    If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a rollover crash, you may have the right to recover damages from the at-fault driver or another responsible party. Even if you aren’t sure if you have a claim, an experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and find the best way forward.

    At Latoff & Latoff, our lawyers are here to help Alabama car accident victims. Call our Mobile office today, or fill out the contact form on this page. You’ll talk with a member of our team who can set up a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your case.

     

  • What happens if I break a bone in a car accident?

    First and most importantly, seek medical care. Only a doctor can determine the extent of your injuries and set the best course for as complete a recovery as possible. While a broken bone is a fairly common injury, it also can be accompanied by a host of painful complications.

    Can I Take Legal Action for a Broken Bone?

    After you’ve taken steps to protect your health, it may also be possible to recover compensation through a legal claim. In Alabama, accident victims can pursue a personal injury claim against the careless driver who caused the crash. Drivers have a duty to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury to another person, and when they fail in that duty, they can be held responsible. Accident victims can obtain compensation for:

    • Medical bills
    • Lost wages
    • Property damage
    • Future medical bills
    • Future lost wages
    • Emotional distress

    Broken Bones Can Be Serious, Long-Lasting Injuries

    It may be easy to dismiss a broken bone as a minor injury. After all, kids on playgrounds across the country are sporting casts of all varieties. However, these injuries can be much more than a simple broken arm. Accident victims may face an extremely serious and complicated injury, complete with its own set of symptoms and possible complications.

    Trauma, like that experienced in a car crash, is the leading cause of broken bones. Some common accident-related bone fractures can involve the spine, pelvis, hip, leg, arm, and neck.

    Getting Back to Normal Life After an Alabama Car Accident

    These fractures can cause additional nerve and tissue damage, chronic pain, limited movement, diminished strength, and much more. Those who experience these injuries may have a difficult time enjoying life as they did before the accident, and the road to recovery can be challenging. Treatment will depend on the severity of the injury, but it may involve lengthy medical intervention, including:

    • Casting
    • Surgery
    • Medication
    • Physical rehabilitation

    Accident victims may also need to configure and use modifications to their homes and vehicles.

    Get the Help You Need for as Full a Recovery as Possible

    Facing this difficult road to recovery on your own is a daunting task. This can be especially true in Alabama, which follows strict rules concerning fault in car accidents. With an experienced injury lawyer, however, it may be possible to obtain compensation that can help you get the treatment you need and the financial support to remain stable during this difficult time. At Lattoff & Lattof, our attorneys are here to help you protect your rights and achieve as complete a recovery as possible. Call our Mobile office today or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Find out how we may be able to help and what to do next.

  • Is it okay for me to post on Facebook and other social media sites after a car crash?

    woman using social media on smartphone and laptopWith the advent of social media and smartphones in every pocket, information travels quickly these days. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and many other sites and apps allow people to easily chat, upload pictures, or share text with friends, family, and the entire internet at large. But the truth is that social media is not your friend when it comes to a car accident. Here’s why you should be wary.

    Avoiding Social Media After a Crash

    After a car accident, the insurance company and defense counsel for the person who caused the crash are both going to be looking for any information they can use to deny your claim, weaken your case, or decrease the damage award. Your attorney has probably already advised you not to give a recorded statement to the opposing insurance company at this point because anything you say to the defense can only be used to hurt your case. The same goes for posting online. If you post about your accident online, the defense may be able to:

    • Legally gain access to your social media accounts. This includes any public accounts you have so that they can look for any information that may hurt your case, however innocent you think your post was.
    • Download evidence against you for use in court. Not only does this include any pictures you took before or after the accident, but it can also include photos of you that other people have taken since the accident. It also can include any of your text posts, stories, timelines, check-ins at businesses or other locations, and even conversations between you and your family, friends, or followers.

    The defense will be looking for any evidence it can find to devalue your case. Even a seemingly innocent timeline post or photo taken by a friend could be used against you if the defense thinks it can use the photo to minimize the effect of your injuries, or to try and pass some or all of the fault for the accident onto you, however unfairly.

    The best solution is often to delete your social media accounts while the claim is pending. If that’s not possible, have a discussion with your attorney about social media use and what’s appropriate to post—and what you should avoid talking about until the case has been settled or won.

    Get Legal Help After an Accident

    If you have legal questions or concerns about your accident and would like to learn more about how an attorney can help your case, contact the attorneys of Latoff & Lattof today. Based in Mobile and serving the entire state of Alabama, we offer free consultations for those who have been severely injured in car accidents and are seeking legal help. Contact us by phone or use our online contact form to get started with your claim today.

  • Why do e-cigarettes explode?

    There are a variety of reasons. The irony is that electronic cigarettes were invented as a potentially safer way for smokers to get the nicotine they crave. It hasn’t quite worked out that way.

    Since e-cigarettes were introduced in 2007, the market for these devices—also known as vape pens—has grown to nearly $2 billion a year, with over 2.5 million users in the United States. During the same period, though, there were a steady stream of news reports about e-cigarette fires and explosions. Those events have hurt property and people, including incidents of:

    • Scorched and burned furniture
    • House fires
    • Fires set on public buses, airplanes, and private vehicles
    • Facial burns and scarring
    • Tongue damage
    • Lost teeth
    • Chemical burns
    • Burns on the thighs, hands, groin, or other parts of the body when a vape pen explodes in a pocket

    The Battery Is the Problem

    An e-cigarette functioning properly doesn't produce flame, fire, or smoldering ash. The device uses a miniature battery to vaporize a water-based liquid, producing steam rather than smoke. The user then inhales this steam.

    Small, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are the industry standard for these devices. There's not a legal requirement that a nationally-recognized testing laboratory approve the battery or other components of the e-cigarette. Many manufacturers cut costs by failing to submit e-cigarettes for safety testing.

    In a 2014 study of e-cigarette fire and explosion risks, the U.S. Fire Administration found that defective battery incidents were uncommon. Most of the events happened when the battery was being charged, but about 20 percent occurred when the e-cigarette was in use or simply being carried by someone. In some cases, the cause of battery failure seems to be related to incompatible USB ports when charging the battery.

    However, the U.S. Fire Administration is careful to note that lithium-ion batteries contain flammable or combustible liquids, and there's a history of these batteries failing in other electronic devices. When an electronic cigarette battery fails, its unique cylinder shape can propel the device across the room “like a bullet or small rocket.”

    Dozens of other e-cigarette fire and explosion events have been reported since the U.S. Fire Administration study was completed. An April 2017 survey of burn centers across the United States found at least 300 incidents that required hospitalization.

    Product Liability Claims for E-Cigarette Injuries

    A manufacturer offering a product for sale has an obligation to see that it doesn't hurt people in the course of normal use. The manufacturer can be held legally liable:

    1. If a product is designed improperly.
    2. If the process for manufacturing and inspecting the product sends a defective item to market.
    3. If the manufacturer fails to warn consumers of particular dangers associated with the product, or fails to include complete instructions for consumers using the product.

    Because of the high number of injuries caused by e-cigarette lithium-ion batteries, many consumers have filed lawsuits against vape pen manufacturers. Cases have cited all three of the reasons listed above for why the manufacturers should be held responsible for the resulting injuries. Plaintiffs have demanded compensation for losses such as:

    • Medical expenses
    • Lost wages
    • Pain and suffering
    • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
    • Emotional distress
    • Diminished quality of life

    If you were injured by a defective e-cigarette or battery, find out your legal rights as soon as possible. There's a time limit for filing claims for personal injuries caused by defective devices. Use the contact information on this page to reach the experienced product liability lawyers at Lattof & Lattof. Your initial consultation with our legal staff is absolutely free of charge.

    The attorneys at Lattof & Lattof  maintain a nationwide practice for product liability claims. This means we can work with you even if you live far away from our home office in Alabama.

  • Is there a link between Roundup® weed killer and cancer?

    Maybe.

    The villain here—if there is one—is a chemical called glyphosate. Glyphosate is a powerful herbicide that can kill both grasses and broadleaf plants. Since glyphosate was introduced in 1974, it's become one of the most important commercial herbicides on the market. Today, more than 700 products contain some version of the chemical, including Roundup weed killer.

    Roundup was the first product with glyphosate to be marketed. It's one of the most important products sold by Monsanto Company, a giant agribusiness conglomerate based in Missouri. Roundup is widely used to control weeds on all levels of production, from commercial farms and municipal landscaping to home vegetable gardens and lawns. Roundup and other glyphosate products represent about 10 percent of Monsanto’s revenue, as Roundup is the second most widely used lawn and garden weed killer in the United States.

    Glyphosate has become especially controversial recently. In 2016, scientific tests detected the weed killer in a wide variety of popular foods, including cookies, crackers, cold cereals, and chips. Glyphosate has also been found in honey, soy sauce, flour, and human breast milk. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not regularly tested for glyphosate residues in produce or human tissue.

    The Health Risks From Glyphosate and Roundup

    Initially, investigators thought that there were only minor risks from pure glyphosate. Contact with the chemical may cause skin, eye, nose, or throat irritation. Swallowing glyphosate can cause nausea and vomiting, and there have been deaths due to deliberate ingestion of the weed killer.

    However, Roundup contains other ingredients that help glyphosate enter plants. Those extra ingredients are trade secrets, but researchers believe they also make Roundup more dangerous to human health. Follow-up assessments call into question the safety of glyphosate itself. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

    In June 2017, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment announced that glyphosate would be added to the state’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Implementing that decision was delayed because of court challenges by Monsanto but became effective in July 2017.

    The EPA announced plans to convene a panel of scientific advisors to study the question of whether Roundup causes cancer. However, the October 2016 meeting was canceled and hasn't been rescheduled.

    Today, a growing number of lawsuits claim Roundup causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). This is a group of about 60 cancers that develop from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. While the cancer originates in the blood, it may develop in any part of the body. The varieties of NHL seem to have little in common other than their origin in the bloodstream.

    Common symptoms for non-Hodgkin lymphoma include:

    • Anemia
    • Enlarged lymph nodes
    • Fatigue
    • Fever and chills
    • Hard lumps in the armpit, neck, or groin
    • Night sweats
    • Pain in the chest or bones
    • Shortness of breath or cough
    • Weight loss

    Treatment for NHL depends heavily on the specific subtype of cancer, the type of lymphocyte that was its source, and how aggressively it's spreading.

    Do You Need Help From a Toxic Tort Attorney?

    The attorneys at Lattof & Lattof are based in Mobile, Alabama, but we provide legal counsel for toxic tort cases across the United States. At this time, we are accepting Roundup-related medical claims from all 50 states. If you were exposed to Roundup and later were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or any other cancer, you may be eligible for substantial compensation.

    Similarly, if you have a relative who died from cancer after exposure to Roundup, your family may be able to hold Monsanto responsible for marketing a toxic product.

    We offer free consultations to discuss your case and decide whether you have a valid claim. To speak with one of our lawyers, use the contact information on this page.

     

  • Nursing home staff were slow to respond to my mother’s call for assistance because they were busy with other residents. She fell and got hurt. Could the nursing home be liable?

    Yes, the situation that you describe could be evidence of nursing home neglect.

    Nursing homes have a legal responsibility to provide appropriate staffing for nursing home residents. Staff members may be doing their very best to attend to each resident’s needs. However, if the nursing home creates a situation where the number of residents per staff number is too large, then staff members may not be able to take care of each resident within a reasonable amount of time and the nursing home itself may be negligent.

    A full investigation would need to be done to determine if your loved one was hurt due to nursing home negligence or just an unfortunate accident.

    What to Look for During the Investigation

    During an investigation into potential nursing home understaffing, you and your loved one’s attorney are going to want to find out:

    • How many staff members were on duty and how many residents were in the facility at the time your mother fell.
    • What steps the nursing home took to find and hire staff members.
    • Whether the nursing home offered a competitive pay rate for staff members that was consistent with similar facilities in the area.
    • Whether the nursing home is a for-profit company and might be looking to lower staffing costs to maximize profits.
    • How staff members were trained.

    If there is any evidence of understaffing, then you are going to want to take the next step and help your mother get a fair legal recovery.

    Make Sure Your Loved One Has the Legal Representation She Deserves

    The nursing home is going to fight back against any allegations of negligence. The facility’s attorneys will argue that your loved one’s injuries were just an unfortunate accident that happened despite the reasonable care that the nursing home provided.

    It is up to your loved one to prove that the nursing home was negligent and failed to provide her with reasonable care. However, she does not have to meet this burden alone. Instead, she has the right to work with an experienced Alabama nursing home abuse lawyer who knows how to investigate potential neglect cases, gathers relevant evidence, and makes persuasive arguments to get injured nursing home residents the fair and just recoveries that they deserve. To learn more about how we can help your loved one during this difficult time, please contact us today via this website or by phone.

     

  • My parent fell in a nursing home. Is this nursing home neglect?

    A fall could be the result of nursing home neglect. In order to know for sure, however, a full investigation would need to be done to determine why the fall occurred.

    How a Fall Could Be Caused by Neglect

    Falls are a common cause of significant injury and death among the elderly. While some falls are just unfortunate accidents, other falls could have been prevented if nursing homes provided reasonable care to residents. While the cause of each nursing home fall is unique, some common reasons for nursing home falls caused by neglect include:

    • Failing to check on residents often enough to meet their needs. This may lead to some residents who need assistance trying to get out of bed or to move on their own.
    • Failing to warn residents of wet floors.
    • Failing to maintain an area free from slip or trip hazards.
    • Failing to assess residents’ fall risks and develop individual plans to prevent residents who are at risk of falling.
    • Failing to account for medication changes that could leave a resident dizzy or unstable.
    • Failing to have proper bed rails or other protective equipment to prevent falls.

    When you first hear of your loved one’s fall, it is impossible for you to know what caused it.

    But, it’s Important to Find Out

    An experienced Alabama nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer can investigate what happened and determine if your loved one was hurt due to nursing home abuse or negligence. If the evidence indicates that your loved one was hurt because of the nursing home’s negligence, then an attorney can represent your loved one and help her get the fair and just recovery that she deserves for the injury that she should never have had to suffer.

    To learn more about protecting your loved one’s rights after a nursing home fall, please contact us directly to schedule a confidential consultation. Together, we will protect your loved one’s legal rights and help her live with the dignity that she deserves.

     

  • Are there any risks associated with testosterone replacement therapies?

    Testosterone replacement therapy may sound like just what you need. The promise of increased energy and an increased sex drive are enticing, but they may come at a significant price for men who experience lower testosterone levels due to normal aging.

    The Risks of Heart Attack and Stroke

    In January 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told the public that the agency was investigating the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death in men using testosterone replacement therapies.

    These low-T medications include, but are not limited to:

    • Androgel.
    • Androderm.
    • Axiron.
    • Bio-T-Gel.
    • Delatestryl.
    • Depo-testosterone.
    • Fortesta.
    • Striant.
    • Testim.
    • Testopel.

    In March 2015, the FDA updated a previously released safety announcement about low testosterone medications. According to the March 2015 announcement:

    • Testosterone replacement therapies are only approved for men with certain medical conditions. Testosterone replacement therapies do not have FDA approval for treating men who experience the low testosterone that comes with normal aging.
    • There is a potential increased risk of cardiovascular problems for aging men who take testosterone replacement therapies.
    • Some studies show an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death related to testosterone replacement medications. Accordingly, the FDA began requiring a change in labels on these medications to inform men and their healthcare providers of the potential risk.

    Some men have suffered life-changing or fatal heart attacks or strokes without being warned of the potential side effects.

    Litigation Has Begun

    Lawsuits have already been filed against the makers and marketers of different testosterone replacement therapies. However, you may still have time to file a claim if you have been hurt or if you represent the estate of someone who died from a heart attack or stroke after taking a testosterone replacement medication. For more information about how to protect your rights and get the recovery that you deserve, please contact our experienced dangerous drug lawyers directly via this website or by phone to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.

  • My son grew breasts after taking Risperdal. Could he recover damages in a lawsuit?

    Your son may be able to recover damages in a lawsuit if he suffers from a condition known as gynecomastia after taking Risperdal. Gynecomastia is a medical condition that causes males to grow breast tissue. Risperdal increases the body’s levels of prolactin—a hormone that is found in higher levels in women. Some males who take Risperdal not only grow breast tissue but may also lactate. Gynecomastia can affect one breast or both breasts and may cause breast tissue growth that is equivalent to an adult female.

    If the condition does not resolve itself when your son is taken off of Risperdal, then he may require surgery. In the meantime, he is suffering not only physically, but also psychologically.

    And He May Have the Legal Right to a Recovery

    Your son, with your help, if he is still a minor, may have the right to make a legal recovery for the condition that he has suffered. Other males who have suffered gynecomastia are suing Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, for failing to warn them and their doctors of the potential risks associated with Risperdal.

    While a lawsuit cannot undo the physical and psychological harm that your child has endured, it can help to pay his medical costs and other expenses related to gynecomastia. It may also compensate your son for his physical pain and emotional suffering.

    You Can Continue to Protect Your Child With the Help of a Lawyer

    You allowed the doctor to prescribe Risperdal for your son because you wanted him to have an appropriate treatment for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism symptoms, anxiety, depression, a sleep disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Unfortunately, the treatment created an entirely new problem.

    However, you can continue to protect your child by getting him the medical care that he needs and by fighting for his legal recovery. Let us help you help your child. Contact an experienced dangerous drug lawyer today via this website or by phone to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.

  • How long do I have to file a personal injury case?

    Alabama, like other states, has a law known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations establishes how long you have to file a lawsuit in the state.

    In Alabama, the General Rule Is Two Years

    According to the Alabama Statute of Limitations, found in Ala. Code. Sec. 6-2-38, a person who is hurt generally has two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury claim in state court.

    In some cases, however, the statute of limitations may be shorter or longer than two years. For example:

    • The time for filing a personal injury case may be extended if the person who was hurt was a minor at the time of the injury. In most cases, a person who was hurt before his 18th birthday will have two years, beginning on his 19th birthday, to file a claim. However, any claim must be brought within 20 years of the incident that caused the injury, and further restrictions apply in some medical malpractice cases.
    • The time for filing a personal injury case may be extended if the person who was hurt was incompetent at the time of the injury. The statute of limitations may be extended if the person who was hurt was mentally incompetent or suffered another disability that prevented the person from filing a claim within the typical statute of limitations.
    • The time for providing notice of a personal injury case may be shortened if the defendant is a governmental entity. If your claim is against a municipality, the state of Alabama, or the federal government, then you may need to file notice of your claim within six months from the date of the injury.

    These exceptions can be complicated, and it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to make sure that your rights are protected.

    You Don’t Want to Miss the Deadline

    alabama statute of limitationsIf you miss the statute of limitations for your case, then you are unlikely to recover any damages for your injury. The defendant will file a motion with the court arguing that the case should be dismissed because the statute of limitations has expired—and the judge will agree to that motion. You can avoid this by making sure that you file your case before the statute of limitations expires.

    You should never worry that you are contacting a personal injury lawyer too early. The sooner that you contact an attorney, the sooner the attorney can begin preserving evidence and protecting your rights, and the sooner you may recover compensation for your injuries. Accordingly, we encourage you not to wait until you are up against the statute of limitations deadline, and instead, we invite you to contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.