Posted On: January 27, 2010

Birmingham Injury Lawyer Update: Unseasoned Hunters Most at Risk in Alabama Tree-stand Accidents

Hunting season is a time for many Alabama residents to take some time and enjoy nature and the out of doors. Residents of large cities, such as Tuscaloosa, Mobile, Huntsville and Birmingham, as well as smaller towns and communities, can find themselves a quiet place to hunt here as well as in nearby states. But as an Alabama personal injury attorney, I know that hunting does not come with a guarantee of safety.

Whether a hunter uses a bow, rifle, shotgun or any other weapon, accidents can and often do happen, even to seasoned hunters. Fatal or life-threatening gunshot wounds are common, as are “friendly-fire” incidents. Surprisingly, tree-stand accidents apparently take one of the largest tolls on younger and many times less-experienced hunters around our state.

According to a recent article, hunters between the ages of 15 and 34 years old are most likely to suffer serious injuries in tree stand-related incidents. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Injury Sciences provided data collected from the 2000-2007 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Based on their research, the center reported that the number of Americans engaging in hunting has remained stable over the past 10 years -- 12.5 million hunters were registered as of 2006. In the study presented online in the Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection and Critical Care, researchers reported that men were twice as likely as women to be injured in a hunting accident.

In this same study, the data collected apparently showed that there were 46,860 reported injuries related to tree stand use between 2000 and 2007. Of these injuries, the most common were fractures usually of the hip or lower extremities. Injuries to the trunk, shoulder and upper extremities were less common. Head and spinal cord injuries were even less common, but still frequent enough to be considered significant.

Hunters between the ages of 15 and 24 years old had injury rates of 55.7 per 100,000; those hunters in the 25- to 34-year age range averaged 61 injuries per 100,000. Hunters over 65 years of age had injury rates of only 22.4 per 100,000.

It has been suggested that younger hunters may have higher injury rates because they may be more willing to take risks. Additionally, they may have less exposure to safety information and spend more time hunting than older hunters. In any case, safety campaigns to remind hunters to use safety harnesses and to be certain that tree stand equipment is well-maintained could help prevent future injuries.

Young hunters most likely to be injured using tree stands, study says,, January 4, 2010

Tags: Accidental Shooting, Alabama personal injury attorney, Birmingham Injury Lawyer, Death, Fall, Firearm Safety, Fracture, Friendly Fire, Gun Deaths, Gunshot Wound, Hunting Accident, Personal Injury, Spinal Cord Truama, Traumatic Brain Injury, Tree-stand Injury

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Posted On: January 13, 2010

Birmingham Injury Lawyer News: Alabama Boy Severely Injured in Hit-and-Run Traffic Accident

It only takes a moment of inattention for a car crash to turn a passenger into a victim of another senseless traffic accident. Here in Alabama, automobile crash injuries and deaths are commonplace. As a Birmingham personal injury attorney and parent myself, I cringe whenever I hear of a youngster being involved in a car or truck collision. Even coming home from school or riding to a play date with friends, auto accidents can happen in a neighborhood or on the highway.

A recent news story out of Huntsville shows how seemingly callus some people can be. The accident in question left a little boy laying in the hospital apparently in serious condition. According to news reports, a family was riding together in their car on Saturday, December 26, when it was hit by another driver who then drove away and fled the scene. The parents have since made a public appeal that the hit-and-run driver come forward and own up to what he or she did.

Emergency workers arriving at the scene treated members of the family, including little Jacob Austin. The boy’s injuries were such that he was transported to the pediatric intensive care unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children. At the time of the article, Jacob was hooked up to various monitors, a feeding tube, a ventilator and an oxygen supply.

Police reports show that the crash occurred on Highway 53 at Burwell Road. The force of the crash jammed the passenger door shut, which made it difficult to get Jacob out right away. According to the news, the boy’s father, Ronnie Austin, tried to pry the car door open while his mother, Denise, jumped over the front seats to help get him out. Reports indicate that the father remembered seeing a red Ford Explorer briefly before it left the scene.

The little boy was treated for a broken jaw, a fracture behind his eye, lacerations on his liver and kidney, and a sheer brain injury. However, doctors did not know the extent of the brain injury at the time of the report.

Family Pleads For Driver In Hit and Run To Come Forward,, December 31, 2009

Tags: Alabama Injury Attorney, auto accident, Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyer, brain truama, defective equipment, driver error, excessive speed, head injuries, hospitalization, infant, injured child, negligence, passenger car, pediatric ICU, serious injury, spinal column injury, traffic accident, traumatic brain injury

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