The Life of a Missionary-Lawyer-Judge-Father

My blog has long been a source of information regarding a variety of legal situations, such as DUI and drug arrests. However, I finally got the opportunity to sit down and talk about my life, and was surprised to learn that my own childhood was interesting enough to create a book. What seemed so normal for me has been a great way to talk about my faith and upbringing in a missionary family who lived and ministered in and around Nicaragua during some of the most tumultuous years this nation has faced.

Book Information

Please visit my product webpage to find more information about my book and other products as they become available. Bookmark the site to get access to new books and releases as soon as they are available!

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Basic Personal Injury Information

Thousands of people suffer every day from a wide variety of medical issues not caused by a disease or chronic illness. Many suffer in pain and silence, never realizing that they should be seeking compensation from the person, company, manufacturer, business, or corporation that caused the injury to begin with. They pay thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of dollars on medical bills, rehabilitation bills, ongoing therapy, prescription medicines, lost wages, and much more.

Do not be one of those people any longer! Let us help you decide whether your case should be presented to a judge for consideration for compensation as soon as possible, so that you can get back to healing and living as close to a normal life as you can. We deal with the insurance companies, individuals, and other attorneys for you, and work hard to avoid ever having to step foot in the courtroom by settling before the trial even begins.

We have decades of experience dealing with personal injury claims! Our friendly team, including a licensed paralegal, professional attorney, legal secretaries, and legal assistants can help you file your claim and get the compensation that you are entitled to receive for your injury. We are well versed in Alabama and Georgia personal injury laws and know how to deal with insurance companies and attorneys for the other parties.

You are not limited to filing for yourself! Some people believe that they can only file a claim for themselves, but there are other people that you can help get compensation for, such as a spouse, child, dependent, or other loved one. It depends on the situation, so be sure to contact us to find out what options you have, especially if you are caring for someone who was hurt due to the carelessness of another.

Injuries do not have restrictions! There are no specific parts of your body that have to be injured in order for you to file a claim against an insurance company, individual, place of business, manufacturer, retailer, restaurant, or other place of business. From the top of your head to the soles of your feet, never overlook the importance of a healthy body and sound mind.

The law limits the time that you have to file your claim! Strict statutes of limitation govern personal injury claims, and your time begins ticking as soon as you are hurt. In many states, like Alabama and Georgia, you have only two years to file your claim, so be sure to act quickly to avoid risking the permanent loss of your right to compensation. Once the lawsuit has been filed, we can work with you to decide the right amount of compensation, based on insurance coverage, medical debt, ongoing debt, lost wages, and compensation for your pain and suffering.

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Product Liability Cases

In the state of Alabama, and in the United States in general, manufacturers and designers are held liable if something they create, design, sell, produce, or manufacture harms someone in any way, from defective products to lead issues and so on. These are known as product liability claims, but the case is not limited to toys or food. This is actually a very broad spectrum label, “product,” since it can literally be anything, although most attorneys use this case label only for personal property items.

Types of Product Liability Cases

Product liability cases are not lumped into one big category and left for the judge, defense attorney, and opposing attorney to work out. There are a few subcategories that make dealing with the case easier for all parties involved, although most attorneys prefer to settle these types of cases out of court. Like most attorneys, we work hard to keep you out of the courtroom, working to get you the most favorable settlement possible in your type of case. These subcategories often include, but are not limited to:

  • Warranty breaches
  • Negligence dealing with products
  • Strict liability
  • Consumer protection

These subcategories are then further broken down in order to make the case manageable for everyone, and in order to determine a basic dollar amount that attorneys can begin negotiations. The manufacturer’s attorney will have limits that he/she/they can make settlements from, and we work hard to get the money that you deserve for personal injuries, medical bills, long-term care, lost wages, and more.

Breaking out the Subcategory

Once the subcategory is determined for a particular case, it can be classified according to the situation, depending on the case particulars. For instance, a breach of warranty case often deals with a specific violation, denial, or claim not honored in a warranty agreement between a buyer and seller, such as telling someone that they can bring something back in a specific time frame (buyer’s remorse situations) and not honoring the written warranty or promise.

Keep in mind that Alabama has no buyer’s remorse laws in regards to vehicles, unless you get something in writing stating that you have a specific time frame (i.e. 30 days) in which to decide whether you want to keep the vehicle.

Result of Product Liability Claim

In some cases, the claim’s resolution can have long-lasting effects, such as recalls of particular products or implementation of new rules for designing future products. This is how lemon laws, widespread recalls, and similar rules come to be in existence. One example of this would be the McDonald’s coffee case so familiar to most people, where the corporation was sued after a defendant was injured by hot coffee in an unlabeled cup. Now, the restaurant has specific cups for handling hot beverages, clearly marked for safety purposes to avoid future injuries.

These laws are put into effect to protect consumers and manufacturers alike, in addition to saving money on court costs, judge/attorney fees, and similar costs. Although it does not necessarily decrease the number of lawsuits regarding product liability, it does serve to protect both parties in case of similar claims or problems at a later date. Contact us right away to begin building a case that best meets your needs, helping you get the compensation that you deserve!

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Winter Vehicle Safety Tips



Winter often leads to high crime rates, as more people are willing to leave a vehicle running or start a vehicle in the driveway in order to warm up the car before heading out. Criminals that operate by chance, commonly known as opportunistic criminals, grab opportunities such as this to steal vehicles, including any and all personal belongings inside. There have even been cases where children or pets are stolen accidentally—and sometimes on purpose—when they are left inside a running vehicle.

So how can you avoid this problem? Here are a few easy tips for keeping your vehicle safe during the winter months:

  1. Avoid the impulse to turn on the vehicle before you are ready to leave in order to let it warm up, especially if you are in a high crime neighborhood, unless your car is in a closed garage. Take a coat or blanket in order to keep warm, but sit inside the car if possible while it warms. if you have no alternative, warm up the car while watching from a window for thieves or suspicious persons.
  2. It is always a good idea to have a few things in your trunk or backseat in case of problems with the vehicle on icy roads. If you have an accident, you will need a few items until help can get there, and these would also come in handy if the snow becomes too deep or the road too icy to drive. These include: blanket, flashlight, gallon of clean drinking water, non-perishable food items, emergency road flares, and a laminated document listing allergies or medical conditions, including the medicines you take daily, for emergency reference. Keep this in a safe place, such as your glove box, but make those you love aware of its’ location.
  3. Plan extra time to arrive at your destination when you know that the weather is snowy or icy. When you are in a rush, you may make decisions that lead to horrible outcomes, such as your car being stolen. You cannot plan for everything, and sometimes bad things happen even with the best of planning, but you can do your part to help keep your property safe.
  4. Keep your keys with you at all times! Whether you are running in for a quick stop or just dropping something off, turn off the vehicle and take your keys with you. Lock the doors if it will be more than 30 seconds! Do not make it any easier for potential criminals than you have to, and by locking the doors you make it that much more difficult for your vehicle to be stolen.

If you or someone you love is facing charges such as Grand Theft Auto, it is essential that you allow someone to fight for your rights! We are licensed to practice law in Alabama and Georgia, and offer more than twenty years of combined experience in a wide variety of practice areas. Do not wait until you are facing a lengthy prison term to get the help you need!

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Brain Injury Lawsuits: Information and Resources

An injury to the brain can cause more problems than most other types of injuries, and outside of the spinal cord, these kinds of injuries can be more life altering as well, from loss of motor skills or paralysis to long-term coma. One of the most common causes of brain injury is an accident, such as a motor vehicle accident. Not wearing a seatbelt is a very frequent cause of serious brain injuries during a crash, but you cannot always control the situation.

Primary Causes of Brain Injury (Outside of Birth Defect)

Driving under the influence (of alcohol or drugs), more often referred to in the legal world as a DUI, charges are a primary factor in a motor vehicle accident, especially if serious bodily injury such as brain damage is a result. This is considered an aggravating factor in a DUI case, and can lead to additional penalties during the sentencing phase if the defendant is found guilty. If someone you love was injured due to someone driving under the influence, you deserve to be compensated on his or her behalf, whether it is a spouse, child, parent, sibling, or other loved one.

Defective or damaged products can also lead to brain injuries, and this type of lawsuit happens frequently in the United States. Sometimes, extra precautions are necessary to prevent this type of injury from happening again, and in other cases improved or additional legislation or safety measures are the expected result. An accident or injury claim is serious, and we work hard to keep it out of the courtroom by using techniques such as settlement agreements.

Finally, negligence or medical malpractice can also be a cause for a brain injury, especially if the person affected recently had surgery, or the injury could have been the result of a problem during the birth. Doctors may have years of schooling and experience before they reach you or your loved one, but they are still human and are capable of making serious mistakes that have terrible consequences. This is another common lawsuit, but it can take years to settle even with decades of experience due to insurance claims and the legal process.

Your Claim is Limited…

Cases like this operate under a statute of limitation, and in the states of Alabama and Georgia you have just two years to file a claim for personal injury. After that time, you lose this opportunity and the case will not be acceptable to present in court. Sometimes, the timing is a little different for auto accidents, but the difference is often less time rather than extended time length in these cases.

Do not wait until time is running out to start your claim, since there is much work to be done and you want to get the process started as soon as possible. Schedule your initial consultation today, and let our team of dedicated professionals begin building your case right away!

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Motorcycle Accidents in Alabama

Although there are hundreds of motorcycle accidents in Alabama every year, thousands of people still choose to operate a motorcycle on a daily basis, even as a primary vehicle for a single person. Because so many people continue to operate a motorcycle even with the rising trends in larger vehicle purchases, the numbers of people being seriously hurt or even killed in motorcycle accidents also continues to rise. Here are some sobering statistics that may make you decide to park your motorcycle:

  • Slideouts—sliding into a crash—are the primary cause of accidents and injuries for motorcyclists, often because the driver overcorrected or over-braked
  • Drinking and driving accounts for thousands of accidents statewide, and the statistic is only marginally lower for motorcycles than for other types of vehicle
  • Helmets, or lack thereof, are the biggest determining factor in the severity of injuries when a motorcycle is involved in an accident

While the number of injuries stays steady or rises each year in most parts of the United States, increased safety precautions and applicable safety laws have begun to reduce the number of fatalities each year due to motorcycle accident. This does not indicate that the number will continue to drop, but simply that 2009 was a better year for motorcyclists than many prior years. Only time will tell whether that number continues to decline.

Typical Injuries

Obviously, the severity of injuries has the potential to be significantly worse during a motorcycle accident than during a passenger vehicle accident since the driver and/or passenger have far fewer protections against the road and other hazards during a motorcycle accident. Common injuries, aside from death, include, but are not limited to:

  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Broken bones
  • Skull fractures
  • Joint injuries

Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or someone that you love were injured in a motorcycle accident, you will need someone on your side to fight for compensation. Medical bills, rehabilitation, ongoing medical treatment, follow up visits, loss of wages, lost time with family and friends, and pain/suffering contribute to serious income deficits and time that cannot be recovered with the ones that you love. You may even have lost someone special due to a motorcycle accident, whether it was a parent, spouse, child, close relative, or someone similar.

We have decades of experience fighting for people just like you who have been involved in motorcycle accidents. Let our expertise work for you, fighting to receive the compensation that you are entitled to! It takes a lot of detailed and in-depth work to develop an accident injury case, so consult with us early in order to begin building a successful strategy in your case.

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Social Security and Disability Claims in Alabama and Georgia

Regardless of whether you were injured or born with a disability, filing for these benefits can be challenging. The same is true for social security benefits, with many complicated forms to fill out and send to the right place and many deadlines for filing, sending, returning, and filling out specific documents. Without strict adherence to Alabama state law, you could lose your opportunity to make a claim for disability or social security benefits.

 

There are three governmental branches that relate to social security and/or disability benefits in the United States, each with separate regulations and requirements for filing a claim on your behalf or someone else’s. We understand which cases should be brought before which branch, and what constitutes a legal claim for disability/social security benefits in the states of Alabama and Georgia. The three branches are:

 

  1. Federal Social Security Administration (or SSA),
  2. Social Security Disability Insurance (or SSDI), and
  3. Supplemental Security Insurance (or SSI)

 

A Complicated Task

 

The laws are different for adults than they are for children, and we understand the complexities of both sets of regulations. Our decades of experience dealing with social security and disability benefits in Alabama—and Georgia—are invaluable when you are dealing with a government agency with the sole goal of denying as many claims as possible to cut down spending. Their job is to protect the thousands that have a legitimate claim against decreased benefits due to more claiming monies that they are not entitled to claim. Let us help you present your case so that you are taken seriously!

 

Information You Will Need

 

Our social security/disability claim expert Greg Schroer

When you schedule your initial consultation, our team of professionals will work with you to decide what documents, statements, and information apply to your specific case. Most likely, you will need a letter from your doctor stating that you are unable to work, medical records to back up the claim, your complete work history, and other supporting documentation. If the right documents are not filed, including this type of evidence to back it up, your claim could be denied!

 

 

Who Can File For Benefits

 

The law does not require that you file only on your own behalf, but also on behalf of a disabled child, current or former spouse, parent, special needs child, or widow/widower claim. It can be discouraging to be denied, but this is very common for a first attempt at a claim, and we are here to work with you through every step of the legal process. This includes all necessary appeals that relate to your social security or disability claim.

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The Death Penalty in Alabama

No one likes to think about the ultimate punishment that can be handed down by the court system in any state that still supports it. The threat of death can be a terrifying thought for any defendant, but those who are realistically faced with the death penalty for a capital crime are going through something complicated and horrifying. The only crime that is worthy of the death penalty—known as a capital crime—in the state of Alabama is intentional murder.

Methods of Execution

Only two methods of execution are utilized in the state of Alabama currently, and in many cases a prisoner gets the small gratification of choosing between the two. For most, the more humane method of lethal injection is chosen, and many states, including Alabama, use this as a primary method of execution. It is considered the best choice amongst the methods of execution utilized over the centuries, although some states have abolished the death penalty completely.

The other method is the more gruesome electric chair method, often used as a prop or significant factor in horror movies and crime dramas. This method is rarely used in any state these days, but the last person to be put to death via electric chair in Alabama was Linda Block in 2002. These days, inmates choose the lethal injection option, with no electrocution executions in the United States since 2005.

A Lethal Cocktail

There are three drugs that make up a lethal injection. The three work together to make the execution run as smoothly and painlessly as possible for the prisoner, witnesses, and the prison personnel, so that the experience is not as horrifying as in years past. The drugs are:

  • Sodium thiopental. This is used to induce unconsciousness within seconds of administration.
  • Pavulon, or pancuronium bromide. This drug paralyzes specific parts of the body, including the respiratory system.
  • Potassium chloride. The third drug induces cardiac arrest, causing death.

A Shocking End

For those who choose the grisly electric chair, death comes in the form of overstimulation to the heart and all internal organs. The prisoner is not conscious after the first shock, which causes brain death, and death comes relatively quickly thereafter. Some states consider the electric chair to be a form of cruel and unusual punishment, such as Nebraska, others allow it only when other forms are considered to be unconstitutional, like Arkansas, and a few, like Alabama, use it as a second choice for those who do not like the idea of lethal injection.

Hand and Associates

Over the last two decades, we have worked hard to achieve a high success rate, and more than 90% of our clients have received a much better than expected sentence or case resolution. Do not play with your life, get someone on your side, fighting to protect your future, as soon as possible. Contact us early in the case to begin building your defense strategy.

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Guide To Commonly Used Legal Terminology Part 1

There are a lot of words, phrases, and terms that are used very often in legal cases, most of which are nearly incomprehensible to the average American. You may have heard some of them, but may not realize what they mean or how important each may be to your case. We are very familiar with legal terminology in the United States due to more than twenty years of experience in practicing law in Alabama and Georgia. To help you better understand your situation, here is a brief guide to commonly used legal terminology, and how it may affect your case.

Burden of proof is one of the most important phrases in any case. It refers to who has to prove to the court that you are guilty as charged. If this cannot be satisfied, then you cannot be convicted. When the state has the burden of proof, they must prove their claim. In cases where you have the burden of proof, you have to prove your innocence in the given case. For instance, in DUI cases, the prosecution (state) has the burden of proof. You do not have to prove that you are innocent; they have to prove that you are guilty.

A capital crime is one punishable by the death penalty. In the state of Alabama, this refers only to intentional murder with 18 aggravating factors present. The two forms of execution in Alabama are lethal injection (primary) and electrocution in very rare cases.

Due process refers to your constitutional right to a fair, speedy trial in the US. You are guaranteed an impartial trial, and if this is violated, it could result in an appeal, dismissal, or acquittal.

One of the most important terms used is evidence. Whether it is a document, eyewitness testimony, test result, or expert testimony, the evidence for or against you can make or break the case, without regard to the type of case or nature of the charges.

A felony is one of the more serious crimes that can be committed in the state of Alabama. There are many different types of felonies, encompassing crimes dealing with everything from violence to drugs. Repeat offenses can also be felonies, even if a first offense is only classified as a misdemeanor.

When the state is ready to try a case against a person, you will receive notification from a grand jury. This is called an indictment. Normally indictments are reserved for felony cases, but there may be some exceptions depending on the individual charged, the circumstances, and the charge.

In order to try a case against someone, the person/entity must have jurisdiction over them. For example, a judge will have jurisdiction over a specific region and those who are charged with crimes in that jurisdiction are under his jurisdiction.

Contact Us

Do not wait until you are convicted to find an attorney to fight for you. Contact us early in the case and begin building a successful defense strategy right away!

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Capital Crimes in Alabama

Capital crimes are among the most serious offenses in the United States, since the consequence of a conviction is usually the death penalty in states that still allow this type of ultimate punishment. Alabama is one of several states that have not abolished the death penalty, so it is very important to know what constitutes a capital crime in Alabama in order to be aware of what you could be facing.

Once you know what a capital crime is, you will have a much greater appreciation for the people who fight on your side to protect you against receiving this terrible punishment whenever possible. We have achieved more than 90% success rate at helping our clients achieve a minimal sentence, dropped charges, dismissed cases, or acquittals in all types of cases, from capital crimes to misdemeanors and other charges. Your future, your freedom, and even your life could be at stake, so do not wait until it is too late to get professional help from one of our professional criminal defense attorneys!

What is a capital crime in Alabama?

Only one crime constitutes as a capital crime in Alabama right now according to state law, and that is intentional murder with at least eighteen aggravating factors. There are several different situations that classify as intentional murder, including but not limited to the following:

· Murder committed during the course of a rape, arson, burglary, hijacking, kidnapping, or robbery, or during any act of sexual abuse

· Killing any law enforcement individual on duty, from state troopers to local police officers or sheriff’s deputies

· Killing someone while you are already incarcerated for life

· Murder for hire, or in order to receive any form of compensation

· Killing more than one person

· Murdering any person associated with public office if the reason behind the murder was related to the official position in any way

· Any murder committed within 20 years of a previous murder conviction

· Killing someone who is willing/able to testify against you during a separate proceeding

· Death of any person under the age of 14

· Deaths related to vehicles, such as reckless driving (gross) or firing a weapon into a vehicle

· Deaths due to firing a weapon inside or outside your home and striking someone

There must be eighteen aggravating factors present according to Ala. Stat. Ann. 13A-5-49, including one or more of the following aggravating factors as defined according to the same statute:

1. “The capital offense was committed by a person under sentence of imprisonment;

2. The defendant was previously convicted of another capital offense or a felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person

3. The defendant knowingly created a great risk of death to many persons

4. The capital offense was committed while the defendant was engaged or was an accomplice in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing, or attempting to commit, rape, robbery, burglary or kidnapping

5. The capital offense was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest or effecting an escape from custody

6. The capital offense was committed for pecuniary gain

7. The capital offense was committed to disrupt or hinder the lawful exercise of any governmental function or the enforcement of laws

8. The capital offense was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel compared to other capital offenses

9. The defendant intentionally caused the death of two or more persons by one act or pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct;

10. The capital offense was one of a series of intentional killings committed by the defendant”

The article is solely informative in nature, and should not be construed as legal advice or counsel. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation and begin building a defense in your capital crime case today!

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