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Hoover Alabama Legal Blog

How many pedestrians are killed annually?

Alabama drivers know the dangers that come from weather, road conditions and other drivers on the road that contribute to many thousands of accidents each year across the U.S. Pedestrians should know that they are at risk as well, and not just while they are crossing the street.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrians accounted for 15 percent of total traffic fatalities in 2015, more than 5,000 of 35,000-plus total traffic deaths and a 10 percent increase from 2014. Those numbers reflect only accidents resulting in property damage and injuries and do not include those that occurred in driveways, parking lots or on private property.

What to do if you’re involved in a car accident

Being involved in a car accident can be an extremely stressful experience, which is why all Alabama drivers should be well-informed on the proper steps to take after an accident occurs. Esurance.com offers insight on the proper steps for handling auto accidents, which can prevent further injury and offer protection in the event negligence is claimed.

Move to Safety

How does conveyancing work in Alabama?

The process of transferring a property from one person to the other is more commonly known as conveyancing. Since this can be quite a complex process, an attorney usually acts as a middleman between both parties to ensure that they are both on the same page, and so that no disputes arise or escalate.

If you are buying or selling a property in the state of Alabama, it is important that you understand some of the intricacies of the law before you start. There is quite a lot of terminology that can be overwhelming at first. By taking the time to understand these terms, you will be on the right track to successfully partaking in the transfer of property process.

Reviewing the pros and cons of short sales

Like many Hoover residents, your vision of your dream home might not match the one you are currently living in. The trouble is that many such homes are outside of their dreamer's price ranges. It is for this reason why short sales are often so attractive. You might see a palatial home listed at an insanely low price on a short sale and wonder what the catch is. Countless people have come to us here at Somma & Macon PC with the same question. We tell them that there might not necessarily be a catch, yet a short sale is still not something that you want to jump into without thinking. 

Essentially, a short sale occurs when a homeowner cannot recoup the amount he or she owes on his or her home in a sale. In such a case, the lender must agree to accept whatever price the home can net and then simply absorb the loss. In such a case, you might indeed be able to get into a very nice home at well under what you might normally be required to pay under other conditions. Plus, buyers are often scared away by short sales, so you might face less competition for the property you are considering. 

Judge rules in favor of store following frozen-pizza induced fall

Slip-and-fall cases in Hoover can be unique in that they typically need to involve some level of negligence or oversight on the part of a property owner in order to be valid. A good example might be a spill on a floor that creates slick conditions that the property owner is aware of, yet fails to address in a timely manner. Yet what about those cases that many might view as being simple accidents. The victims in such cases might have legitimate claims that the owners of the properties they were injured on failed to maintain safe conditions, while those same properties respond by saying that the victims did not exercise sufficient care. 

Such were the claims being made by both sides of a slip-and-fall lawsuit that was recently argued in Pennsylvania. The plaintiff was a woman injured after tripping over a pallet containing cases of water at a local grocery store. She claims she was unable to see the pallet, yet not so much because it was not in plain view, but rather because she too focused looking for frozen pizza. The store (the defendant in the case) responded by saying that pallet was clearly visible and that the woman was at fault for simply not paying attention. 

Intestate succession in Alabama

People work throughout their entire lives in Hoover accumulating assets with the hope that they will be able to better their own lives, as well as those of their children. Yet even with the desire to benefit their future generations in their minds, many do not place anywhere near the same effort in seeing to their estate planning. In fact, according to information compiled by Gallup, as of 2016 only 44 percent of American adults even had a will. This prompts the obvious question of what happens when one dies without a will? 

If one should die without a will, his or her estate is said to be "intestate." At this point, it becomes subject to the intestate succession guidelines set forth by the state. These can be found in Sections 43-8-41-42 of Alabama's Probate Code. The decedent's surviving spouse and issue (direct descendants) are identified as his or her immediate heirs. If one has a surviving spouse but no issue, then intestate succession guidelines mandate that the entirety of his or her estate will go to surviving spouse. If there are issue (or the decedent is survived by his or her parents), the surviving spouse's share of the estate is administered as follows: 

  • The first $50,000, then one-half of the remaining estate if the surviving issue are also the issue of the surviving spouse
  • One-half of the estate if one or more of the decedent's issue are not that of the surviving spouse 
  • The first $100,000, then then one-half of the remaining estate if the decedent has no issue, but is survived by his or her parents

Do you know why indoor slip-and-fall accidents take place?

From an office building to a shopping mall to a grocery store, you never know where trouble is lurking.

The potential to be part of an indoor slip-and-fall accident is very real. For this reason, you should be careful about where you're walking and how you're avoiding trouble. 

What does Alabama's zero tolerance law mean?

For underage drinkers in Alabama who think one beer is not enough to make them a candidate for a DUI ticket, here is some bad news. The standard 0.08 blood alcohol concentration, which is the legal point of intoxication, is much lower for those under 21. For you, it is 0.02 percent.

That means that the single beer you had a little while ago could very well land you in jail, saddle you with a heavy fine and pull your driving privileges as well, according to FindLaw. To be "impaired" is not a requirement of receiving a DUI if you are under 21—if your BAC is 0.02 percent, you are deemed intoxicated, just as an older driver with a BAC of 0.08 percent.

Aspects to consider when buying commercial property

No matter the ultimate goal, purchasing commercial real estate is a major life step for most who call Alabama home. For one, there comes the challenge of finding the right property; then, many buyers hit obstacles in the inspection process. Sometimes, buyers do not know the proper questions to ask in the first place. Below are some quick tips property hunters can refer to when jumping through the hoops of this exciting process. 

42Floors shares some accessible pointers on buying and owning commercial property, first informing readers that it can be essential to know the basics. This includes the purpose of the property, what buyers might expect in the future and navigating a financial plan. Other questions potential buyers can consider include: 

  • How much work will the property take?
  • What kind of location is necessary?
  • What skills or knowledge are required to get the job done?

Things to know when buying a home

As Alabama's houses continue to increase in value, a plethora of buyers have hit the market in search of a new place to call home. Of course, there can often seem to be a million tasks to check off the list when searching for the perfect place. What are average price trends? How does one jump over the mortgage obstacles? With of all of the questions most potential buyers usually ask, there are a few pointers to help make the search for a new home a successful one.

In an article on the country's housing market, Forbes first states that research on current housing trends can be paramount to a successful house hunt. After 2008's housing market crash, there has been a general increase in housing markets across the nation, with most prices rising between 5 and 6 percent on average. Forbes also points out that, in prior years, home prices have remained at around 3 percent; therefore, recent years have reflected quite an unusual growth. One more factor to keep in mind involves location: Forbes urges readers to become acquainted with the housing market in their specific communities to best determine the right fit for a new home.

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