Author Archive for Hodges Trial Lawyers

Expungement of Criminal Records: Do I Qualify?

For the first time in Alabama, recent changes in the Alabama legislature can provide a way for persons charged, but not convicted, of non-violent felonies or misdemeanors to expunge or essentially erase those charges.  Historically, all criminal charges, including dismissals and acquittals, remain on your public record.  For many individuals, this can hinder employment opportunities and other types of litigation.  With the new expungement laws, traffic violations, municipal ordinances, misdemeanors and violations may be erased if the charge was dismissed with prejudice, the person was found not guilty, the charge was dismissed without prejudice and two years have lapsed or the charge was given a no-bill by the grand jury.  Additionally, non-violent felonies may be expunged if the charge was dismissed with prejudice, the person was found not guilty, the charge was given a no-bill by the grand jury, the person successfully completed a diversion program or the five years have lapsed after the charge was dismissed with prejudice.  For more information on whether you may qualify for expungement and the procedural requirements, please contact Kourtney Ballew at Hodges Trial Lawyers.

Hodges sues drunk driver, settles for policy limits

Our firm filed suit against a drunk driver that rear-ended our client while severely intoxicated.  In fact, the defendant driver was so drunk that she registered a 0.19 blood-alcohol level.  This is more than double the legal limit of 0.08 and is considered a “Super DUI.”  Our client suffered personal injuries, missed time from work, and had property damage.

We were able to recover full compensatory damages and punitive damages for our client.  Our client was pleased that her personal injury lawsuit was resolved via out of court settlement, as opposed to lengthy litigation and trial.  As always, we are thrilled if our client is thrilled.

McFalls forces State Farm to pay fire claim

Our client suffered smoke damage to his condominium when a neighbor’s home caught fire.  State Farm paid for the initial cleanup, but once State Farm realized the extent of the damage the silence became deafening.  State Farm refused to be a good neighbor and, unlike in the commercials, did not “magically appear” out of thin air to help its insured.  So our client came to us and Tim filed suit against State Farm to seek his client’s full damages.  Ultimately, Tim was able to force a good settlement for our client.  We are always pleased when clients get what they deserve.

Know your insurance: Collision coverage

This is another part of our series of helping our readers better know their auto insurance coverage.  Collision coverage will pay for the repairs to your car.  If your car is totaled in an accident, collision coverage will pay for the value of your car.  Collision coverage is a great way to protect yourself in the event that you are hit by an uninsured driver or you cause a wreck.  Collision coverage gives you the ability to fix your car in a wreck which protects you being in a situation where you have to buy a new car out of your own pocket.  If you have a more expensive car or a relatively new car, collision insurance can help get you back to where you were before any damage to your car.  If you have a lien on your car, this type of coverage is generally required to protect the lienholder.  Generally collision coverage is a smart decision for you to purchase unless the car has very minimal value and you are in a position to purchase a new car regardless of whether that car is totaled.

How to help your Social Security case: Going to the Doctor

Social Security Disability cases regularly take an extremely long time to be set for a hearing. One of the ways that a person seeking disability benefits can help themselves is by seeing their doctor on a regular consistent basis.  This is often difficult for clients because they do not have health insurance or have limited funds that make it costly for them to go to the doctor.  However, Administrative Law Judges are often extremely skeptical of claimants who complain of debilitating pain yet do not seek consistent medical treatment for this pain.  Judges often ask questions such as “If the pain is so bad, why didn’t you see a doctor?”  Similarly, judges will often hold it against the claimant when they see in the record where doctors recommend that the patient return in a month for a follow-up and the patient does not return for additional treatment.  So one of the easiest ways to help your case is to get consistent medical treatment.  This not only helps your credibility with the judge, but it also builds a written record of your condition and how it has progressed over time.  More than that, it allows you to get the treatment you need to at least keep you comfortable while you’re fighting your ailments.