Even if you’ve been driving for decades, the excitement of being behind the wheel rarely loses its charm. American ingenuity perfected the automobile, so it’s no surprise that we love to drive. In Birmingham alone, there are eight cars for every 10 adults.
Once you earn your driver’s license, the Alabama DMV won’t test you on your behind-the-wheel knowledge again, unless for some reason your license is revoked. Most of us think we do a stellar job of obeying the traffic laws, but there are a few we are just plain forget to follow.
Here are some traffic rules that might have slipped your mind (more…)
Pittman Dutton & Hellums is pleased to announce that Leigh King Forstman was highlighted as one of the area’s leading female attorneys by Avvo, a well-respected attorney ranking system.
Forstman is among the list of distinguished companies, which you can find here. You may also find interesting the history of Birmingham’s female attorney community. For example, it’s been 21 years since the Women Lawyers Section of the Birmingham Bar Association was founded.
Avvo ratings are calculated mathematically based on a number of factors deemed important in the search for an attorney. It’s independently calculated and cannot be “bought.”
This is the latest distinction for Forstman, who has been practicing law for nearly 25 years. She was previously selected for the 2011 Inaugural Edition of the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers in the field of Civil Trial Practice. This was because of her AV rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory – the highest possible rating.
Pittman, Dutton & Hellums, P.C. is pleased to announce that three attorneys were recently selected for inclusion in the 2015 list of Super Lawyers and one attorney was selected for inclusion on the Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list.
Super Lawyers, published by Thomson Reuters, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The four-step selection process is quite rigorous. No more than 5 percent of attorneys in a state ever make the list. To achieve this an attorney must first be nominated by peers, undergo a twelve point independent research process, and pass through peer evaluation all before the final step of selection.
Lee Pittman, Tom Dutton and Chris Hellums have all been named on this prestigious list as Super Lawyers. This is the eighth consecutive year for Lee Pittman and Tom Dutton to be included and is the fourth consecutive year for Chris Hellums to be included.
Jon Mann has been recognized by other Super Lawyers as a Rising Star. To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. While up to 5 percent of attorneys in a state are named Super Lawyers, only 2.5 percent are named to Rising Stars.
Super Lawyers Magazine will feature this list and the profiles of each attorney selected, and issues will be sent to attorneys in the state or region as well as the ABA-accredited law school libraries.
Pittman Dutton & Hellums has been practicing law in and around Birmingham for decades. Birmingham is the city that we know and love, and we’re proud to call it home.
We’ve put together a handful of questions to test how much you know about Birmingham. A few of them are hard, so if you don’t know them, consider it a learning opportunity. At the bottom, you’ll find the answers and a little bit of backstory to broaden your Birmingham knowledge.
Which actor on the TV hit Friends is originally from Birmingham?
- Jennifer Aniston
- Matthew LeBlanc
- David Schwimmer
- Courteney Cox
The Birmingham Airport (now the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport) opened in 1931. At the time of the opening, flight to Los Angeles took how long?
Who has been mayor of Birmingham since 2010
- Patrick Cooper
- Larry Langford
- Bernard Kincaid
- William Bell
Which is the tallest building in downtown Birmingham?
- Thomas Jefferson Hotel
- Wells Fargo Tower
- Regions Center
- AT&T City Center
What former secretary of state was born in Birmingham?
- Madeline Albright
- Colin Powell
- Hillary Clinton
- Condoleeza Rice
Vulcan, the enormous, historic iron statue in Vulcan Park and Museum, is named for the Roman god of what?
- The sea
The Answers. Don’t Cheat!
- The Friends star who was born here is Courteney Cox. She was born in 1964 just outside Birmingham in Mountain Brook, where she went to public schools and lived until college.
- Back in 1931, a flight from Birmingham to L.A. took 19 hours. Can you imagine?
- William A. Bell has been mayor since 2010. He also briefly served as interim mayor in 1999, following the 20-year tenure of Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr., the city’s first African American mayor.
- At 454 feet tall, the Wells Fargo Tower is the tallest building in Birmingham, and it has been ever since it was built nearly 30 years ago. (For the curious, the second-tallest building is Regions-Harbert Plaza.)
- The former Secretary of State born in Birmingham is Condoleeza Rice. She was born in a segregated Birmingham in 1954. Her family’s time in Birmingham and later in Tuscaloosa showed her how ugly racism was in that time. When she was eight, one of her friends was killed in the infamous 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church – one of our city’s darkest moments.
- Vulcan is the Roman god of fire and the forge. The statue is a nod to the city’s historic roots in the steel and iron industries. It is the largest cast iron statue in the world, and it weighs a whopping 120,000 pounds.
Who We Are
Pittman, Dutton & Hellums is a Birmingham personal injury law firm. We have repeatedly been honored for our record of success across the state. If you need to speak with an attorney, you can call us at (866) 515-8880.
This year is on pace to be a record-breaking one for auto recalls. The record was set last year, which saw 64 million vehicles recalled for safety problems. That number is shaping up to be easily surpassed by the end of 2015.
This year’s recalls are spearheaded by the largest recall in American automotive history: the 34-million-vehicle recall of automobiles with airbags from the Japanese company Takata, one of the world’s largest airbag suppliers. The vehicles were recalled for defective airbags, and they represent about in every seven cars on the road in the U.S.
Motorists were killed by airbags that could explode when deployed, launching shrapnel into the driver’s seat. More than 100 injuries and six deaths were linked to the faulty airbags.
According to the New York Times, complaints about Takata for rupturing airbags had been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as far back as 2001.
Honda was the automaker most affected by the Takata recalls, with about 4.5 million affected vehicles. BMW, Dodge, Chrysler, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Ford, Mazda and Infiniti all have models on the recall list as well.
Although research is still being conducted into why the airbags were so faulty, it’s believed that heat, age and humidity all contributed to the dangerous airbags. The inflators have a chemical in them that can become unstable in moisture. The airbags can rupture and harm someone, even if the accident is just a simple fender-bender.
The National Highway Transportation Administration announced it would hold a public information meeting regarding the airbag recalls on October 22.
Volkswagen Engulfed in Scandal
Another major recall may soon be coming: Volkswagen has received a lot of unwanted publicity after the Environmental Protection Agency said the automaker installed illegal software in its diesel-power cars in order to evade standards for reducing smog. At least 11 million vehicles are affected.
Volkswagen is accused of installing software that would keep emissions within legal limits only when the vehicle was being tested. The EPA said that, in normal circumstances, those controls are turned off and the cars emit up to 40 times as much pollution as allowed under the Clean Air Act.
The full picture of this is still to be seen, but Volkswagen is expected to pay billions of dollars as a result of this deceit. The company’s CEO resigned just days after the scandal came to light.
Other Notable Recalls
Here are some of the other major recalls that we have seen so far in 2015:
- General Motors agreed to pay a $1 billion fine to settle a federal investigation into defective ignition switches that killed at least 124 people. Some victims’ relatives and auto safety advocates had complained that no GM employees were criminally charged in the case, saying the fine was the equivalent to a slap on the wrist for the wealthy company. GM recalled more than three million vehicles, most of which were sedans, to replace the switches. The switches could shut off unexpectedly, cutting power to the engine and leaving drivers suddenly stranded with no power steering, power brakes or functioning airbags – a horrifying situation to imagine.
- Toyota recalled roughly 421,000 RAV-4 SUVs because water dripping onto the windshield wiper link can cause corrosion. This wears at the wiper link joint, and in some cases could result in the separation of the wiper link from the wiper motor crank arm, rendering windshield wipers useless and making driving potentially dangerous in certain weather conditions.
- Fiat Chrysler, which owns Dodge, recalled 1.7 million Ram trucks because of defects. One of those defects included a wiring harness that could short-circuit and inadvertently deploy an airbag. The carmaker said it discovered certain trucks may have steering wheel harnesses that wear down because of contact with a spring. This wear can cause the short-circuiting, which could lead to the airbag deployment. Only a few injuries, and no deaths, were reported because of the defect.
- BMW recalled about 8,000 cars because they were potentially programmed with software that inadvertently renders the front side marker lights to not work. This happens in conjunction with the headlights and parking lights. This makes the cars less visible at night.
What to Do When Your Vehicle is Recalled
There were thousands of other cars recalled this year. These recalls included carmakers from all across the world. The defects ranged from moderate to severe. But no matter how large or small a recall is, any problem with an automobile has the potential to cause serious harm.
Consumer Reports has some good advice on what to do if your vehicle is recalled. And if you or a loved one has been injured by an automobile defect, we know what you care most about is getting your life back to as close to normal as possible.
At Pittman, Dutton & Hellums, we can help you do this by pursuing a successful car accident claim. Our car accident and product liability attorneys are deeply experienced with these cases.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a car defect, contact us at (866) 515-8880 or contact us online.