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Criminal law -- driver charged for deadly bicycle accident

An ongoing criminal investigation led to the recent arrest of an Alabama man. He is charged with a misdemeanor DUI, but a spokesman for the police department in charge of the investigation said it is likely that upgraded or additional charges will be filed soon. Although he was initially arrested and booked in a city facility, he will be recharged and processed at the county level as a matter of criminal law. He later posted his $1,000 bond and is no longer in police custody.

Authorities believe that the 27-year-old man was intoxicated at the time of the fatal accident on Oct. 8, 2019. He allegedly struck a bicyclist while driving, killing the cyclist. After being arrested for misdemeanor DUI, he submitted to a toxicology test. The results of that test are still pending.

Any type of negligence in a nursing home is unacceptable

When a family makes the choice to put someone they love in a nursing home, it is likely because they are no longer able to help that person meet certain needs. This may include medical care, supervision and other types of support. Usually, a family will do extensive research to ensure they are making the right choice for their loved one.

It is devastating to learn that a nursing home did not live up to the standards you expected. Nursing home abuse often comes in the form of neglect, and this can cause innocent patients to suffer physical and emotional harm. If you suspect your loved one experienced some type of mistreatment at a nursing home, you do not have to figure out what to do alone. Your family could have grounds to move forward with a civil claim.

Serious car accidents cause serious injuries

Experiencing a car wreck can be extremely traumatic. Serious injuries are common, and although victims may suffer a wide range of physical traumas, recovery can be very difficult. Here are just some of the injuries associated with serious car accidents.

A head injury is one of the most serious injuries a person can suffer in a car wreck. These injuries can be mild or severe, ranging from things like concussions to traumatic brain injuries. These injuries may result in things like cognitive issues and victims often need long-term, ongoing care. A head injury is usually -- although not always -- the result of a victim hitting his or her head on a dashboard, window or steering wheel.

Pedestrian fatalities rise across the country

The National Highway Safety Administration just released its report compiling data on fatal motor vehicle accidents since 2008. The news is not good. While fatal injuries to passengers inside vehicles is on the decline, the rate of pedestrian fatalities and those outside of vehicles has skyrocketed.

In Alabama, the number of pedestrian deaths is up 60%, more than any other state. Officials want to understand why more pedestrians are involved in fatal accidents. In some cases, motorists get out of their vehicles after an accident or a breakdown. They may assume other drivers see them, but this is not always the case, especially at night. Last year, 76% of fatal pedestrian accidents occurred after dark, which is a 5% increase over the previous year's national data.

Unique family law concerns when divorcing during retirement

Just like there is no age limit for falling in love and getting married, there is also no age limit when it comes to divorce. Whether a couple is only a few years into their marriage or have spent decades together, an unhappy marriage is an unhappy marriage. Virtually all divorcing couples in Alabama will have to deal with many of the same issues. These include things like property division and alimony. However, couples who are past the age of 50 will have some unique family law concerns.

It is true that divorce can often impact a person's financial stability. Divorcees who are at least 50 years old are generally hit harder than younger adults, especially women. The average woman who gets divorced after age 50 experiences a 45% decrease in her standard of living, while the average man will only see a 21% drop. Women who divorced after turning 50 and are now 63 years of age or older have the highest poverty rate in the United States.

How Alabama family law handles child custody

Couples have plenty to consider during divorce. From property division to spousal support, it often seems as if there are more and more matters to deal with around every corner. Parents face even more hurdles to finalizing their divorces -- child custody. Here is how child custody is treated under Alabama's family law.

Parents do not always have to battle over child custody in court. There are many parents who are able to work out custody agreements between themselves. Although this type of agreement still has to be approved, most courts will end up honoring the agreement. Parents who were not able to come to an agreement or could not agree to work together can still go to court, where a judge will decide what is in the child's best interests.

What factors can increase DUI penalties?

If police arrest you on suspicion of drunk driving, your situation may already be bad. The embarrassment and inconvenience of a traffic stop and arrest may pale in comparison to the effects of a conviction. A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol can mean fines, license suspension and the potential for spending time in jail.

These are just the beginning of the possible consequences for a first-time DUI. Unfortunately, there are factors that can make that bad situation even worse. The circumstances surrounding your arrest may lead to more severe penalties and even the potential for a felony charge against you.

Family law: Why you should consider a prenuptial agreement

Alabama couples usually spend months planning and coordinating their dream weddings. However, this planning process is usually missing an important family law tool -- the prenuptial agreement. Even if the idea of a prenup seems scary or like something that is only for the very wealthy, most couples could truly benefit from creating this type of agreement.

Just behind infidelity, money problems are the biggest cause of divorce. Even though financial troubles are such a significant issue, many couples do not ever discuss money before getting married. Couples who choose to create prenuptial agreements cannot avoid these difficult and even uncomfortable conversations. This can create a strong foundation for ongoing communication during marriage, especially when it comes to money.

Can certain songs cause car accidents?

While some people may prefer to drive in silence, listening to music while behind the wheel is quite common. It might even be difficult to find a driver who does not have the music on at least some of the time. Unfortunately, recent research shows that certain types of music could lead to car accidents.

Researchers interested in whether music influences driving habits conducted a study using a driving simulator. The simulator showed a six-lane motorway that study participants had to navigate. Participants either drove in silence or were exposed to a number of different popular songs across various genres. On average, participants switched lanes 20 times during 70-minute periods. When participants listened to songs with higher tempos, the number of average lane switches doubled.

Who can be held responsible for a drunk driving accident?

Most people in Alabama know that it is dangerous to drink and drive, but not everyone takes it as seriously as they should. This means that you could be at risk for serious injury even if you are a conscientious person who uses a designated driver or refrains from drinking while out. Injuries from a drunk driving accident can be, and quite often are, severe. Holding the responsible party liable for such an accident is important.

When a drunk driver injures another driver, passenger, or pedestrian, he or she can be held accountable. While you might understandably be dealing with emotional trauma from the accident, you may need help to access resources to help your recovery, both physical and mental. This is often accomplished through a personal injury claim.

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