Jimmy Max Causey, 67, of Morgan, Georgia, died in a wreck involving a wrong-way driver on Interstate 65 in Birmingham, Alabama.  The crash happened on the morning of Sunday, February 23, 2020, involving Causey’s car and a southbound pickup truck headed the wrong way on I-65 near University Boulevard.  Causey died at the scene.  Three other people were injured in the crash and taken to the hospital.

What’s next for Causey’s family and others that were injured?
Farris, Riley & Pitt’s Marketing Director, Chelsie King interviews Attorney Ken Riley.

CHELSIE KING: Ken, our hearts go out to this gentleman’s family. More often than we would like, our law firm sees fatal auto accidents like this. How does the family know if they need to hire an attorney or not?

KEN RILEY: You are right, we have represented many clients who lost a loved one in an auto or truck wreck and it is always a life shattering event for the family. Not all victims of an auto or truck accident need to hire an attorney; however, in this situation, I would recommend that this family be well represented. Wrongful death cases are unique in Alabama in that any financial recovery passes outside of an estate and to family members by statute. Also, the measure of damage in Alabama is punitive in nature – in other words, the family is not compensated for the loss of life, but rather receives a punitive damages award to prevent and deter future similar conduct and punish the wrongdoer. In this case, we have a driver that was driving down the wrong side of the road. Had that person been drinking? Is there another party that could be held responsible? Those are questions that an experienced attorney will investigate.

Also, what if the person who caused this tragedy is uninsured or underinsured? What then? That is where the value of an experienced attorney will come into play. A good attorney will identify ALL sources of insurance available to the family. In these situations, if the family takes a quick settlement from the liability insurance company, they very well may close a technical door that may have allowed additional recovery.

CHELSIE KING: The family needs to find an experienced personal injury attorney. How do you recommend they find the best attorney for their loved one?

KEN RILEY: I suggest that when hiring an attorney, look for someone who is respected by insurance companies. They must be respected for trying cases if the insurance company is unwilling to be fair. It may be in our clients’ best interest to settle their case, but when insurance companies are not offering what our client is entitled to, we will take their case to trial.

CHELSIE KING: So, should someone who is looking for an attorney find that information on their website?

KEN RILEY: Yes, some of that information will be mentioned on their website on testimonial pages or case result pages, but you can also call the law firm and ask about their recent verdicts. That information is public knowledge.

CHELSIE KING: The accident happened on I-65 near University Boulevard. I drive that stretch of road daily and it can be very congested with drivers crossing four lanes trying to exit the interstate. Even without the truck headed the wrong way, it is a dangerous curve of the interstate. Have you represented other clients with accidents in that area?

KEN RILEY: Off the top of my head, I know we have been hired by four to five clients in the past few months with different accidents at the University Boulevard Exit or the 3rd Avenue North exit. As you said, it is a congested area with traffic merging or exiting across four lanes of traffic. Distracted driving plays a major role in these wrecks. There was also some recent road work that was completed, which may contribute to the confusion in the area. All of these things need to be considered.

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