Spring Refresher on Alabama Bicycle Laws

Alabama Bicycle Laws

Maybe Alabama bicycle laws are the last thing on your mind, but, it’s that time of year again. Birds are singing, bees are buzzing and buds are blooming. It’s a good idea to brush up on the most important Alabama bicycle laws, to keep you and everyone around you safe and sound, before you head out though. If you’re like many people, you’re also bringing your bike out of storage, and getting ready to hit the trails for another year of outdoor adventure and fun. Look around as a driver for the 2-wheeled too!

Alabama Bicycle Laws Basics

  • Remember your helmet! In Alabama, it’s a legal requirement that every cyclist or passenger on a bicycle who is under 16 must wear a helmet. However, as bicycle accident lawyers in Alabama that see lots of bike accidents, we’d recommend that anyone who gets on a bike protects their head with good quality gear.
  • Alabama doesn’t specifically have vulnerable user laws, which are traffic laws that favor the most vulnerable party in any accident situation. Even if we did though, you should still exercise caution on the road. Pain happens no matter who’s right of way! Stay safe.
  • Keep right! The law is very clear that cyclists should stay as close to the right of the road as possible, under all circumstances.
  • Don’t forget that distracted driving laws apply to bike users as well as drivers. Don’t use electronics while biking.
  • Never ride on pavements, but if there is a dedicated bike trail, remember that you must use that trail.
  • Remember that cyclists must adhere to stop signs and most other road signs, just like car, truck and motorcycle operators.
  • Alabama laws view bicycles as vehicles. Operating one while under the influence of alcohol functions like a car.

Even if you are a safe and careful cyclist, there’s always a chance that you will be in an accident. Bike safely.

Bicycle Accident Lawyers in Alabama Can Help

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a bicycle accident, and you were not breaking any Alabama bicycle laws, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You may be entitled to compensation for other costs damages or losses. Contacting bicycle accident lawyers in Alabama is the best way to find out for sure.

Call (256) 533 5000 to speak to bicycle accident lawyers in Alabama. Call any time for a free consultation. We arrange meetings during our office hours to discuss specifics.

Huntsville Car Accidents, Child Passengers & Injury Claims

 

Huntsville passenger injury attorneys

As Huntsville passenger injury attorneys, we know that sometimes, accidents happen. Even so, a properly fitted safety seat ensures that your child’s protection in the event of an accident. Other safety recommendations, discussed below, will also help protect you, your child, and other passengers should an accident occur. Don’t be lazy. Protect your child from danger.

Preventing Injury During an Accident

In observance of Child Passenger Safety Week, use these safety tips:

  1. Make sure your older child is using the proper vehicle restraints. Your child must wear a vehicle safety belt when riding in a car once they are 6 to 15 years of age.
  2. Car seat, booster seat, or safety belt? Make sure you have the right car seat for your small child.
  3. Use the right car seat based upon your child’s age and weight. Alabama law requires that children be secured in an industry standard and approved safety seat restraint appropriate to their age until 6 years old:

Babies who are newborn or under 20 pounds: secured in an appropriately configured rear-facing convertible car seat or a static rear facing infant car seat until a year old or weigh 20 pounds.

Children 1 to 5 years of age, and weighing between 20 to 40 pounds: secured in a forward facing car seat or an appropriately configured, forward-facing convertible car seat until they weigh over 40 pounds or five years old.

Children 5 to 6 years of age, or weighing 40-plus pounds: secured in an industry-approved car booster seat.

Other child passenger safety recommendations:

  • Your child should always ride in the back seat of a car, whether in a safety seat device or simply wearing a seat belt.
  • Don’t place a rear-facing car seat in the front passenger seat if there’s an active airbag on that side.
  • Use a lap-and-shoulder-belt combination to restrain your child in a booster seat.
  • Do not place shoulder restraints behind your child’s back or under an arm.
  • Once your child is four feet, nine inches tall, they can use a lap-and-shoulder-belt combination.

Final child passenger safety considerations:

  • Never place your small child closely in front of an air bag. Children under the age of 13 can be seriously injured or killed if they’re struck by an airbag. Infants in rear facing car seats have been injured or killed by an airbag. To be safe, all infants and children under the age of 13 should ride (properly restrained) in the back seat. Save your child from harm.
  • Check for properly fastened belts. Once your child outgrows their booster seat, show them how to properly put on and take off a seat belt. Also, show them how to position it correctly.

Call Huntsville Passenger Injury Attorneys

Were you or your child injured in a car accident? Call us at (256) 533-5000 and speak to one of our Huntsville passenger injury attorneys as soon as possible. Our office hours are 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, but we are available 24/7 to take your call.

Huntsville Personal Injury Lawyers Talk Safety Over the Easter Weekend

Easter Basket

It’s Easter weekend! Are you going to an Easter egg hunt, complete with canine friends? Or are you driving to church, or visiting family? Unfortunately, any of these events could lead to injury because of someone else’s negligence. If that happens, our Huntsville personal injury lawyers can get you the justice you deserve.

Sometimes It’s Not Enough to Just “Be Careful”

Our legal team has represented a variety of Alabama personal injury cases. So we know that just being careful is not always enough to stop you or your children from being injured through no fault of your own. Unfortunately, even on Easter weekend, accidents happen.

That being said, let’s take a look at some common Easter weekend injuries:

  • Slip and fall injuries. Easter egg hunts are loads of fun. But it’s easy to have a slip and fall accident. Uneven ground, gopher holes, slippery grass, and other safety hazards can mean a twisted ankle or more serious injury.
  • Dog bite injuries. Dogs and people don’t always mix. If someone’s canine bites you or your child during the Easter festivities, you may need the services of our Huntsville personal injury lawyers.
  • Traffic accidents. If you’re on the road this Easter, another motorist’s negligent driving could result in an accident that leaves you or your passengers with serious injuries. Our Huntsville personal injury lawyers know how to deal with the responsible party’s insurance company and lawyers; they’ll get you the compensation you deserve.

Your Responsibilities

In many cases, you can prevent injury altogether. In general, if you can avoid injury, you have a responsibility to do so:

  • Tread carefully on slippery or uneven surfaces.
  • Take note of any warning signs posted about animals.
  • Practice defensive driving.

Not All Personal Injuries Qualify for a Lawsuit

Alabama personal injury cases can be very difficult to prove. Turning to our Huntsville personal injury lawyers will help ensure that your rights are protected and you have a strong, valid case.

They will check to make sure that:

  • You couldn’t have known that the dangerous situation existed beforehand.
  • You couldn’t have taken steps to avoid it.

In addition, they will check to make sure that the injury was serious enough to warrant medical attention and caused damages such that you deserve compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering.
  • Lost wages.
  • Medical expenses and treatments needed as a result of the injury.

What to Do If You Are Injured

  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • Make sure medical personnel carefully document injuries

Getting medical help right away may reduce the amount of damage done by the injury and may prevent more serious injury. The documentation medical personnel provide about your injury will also help our Huntsville personal injury lawyers prove your case in court or during settlement negotiations.

Are You a Personal Injury Victim? We can help!

The Huntsville personal injury lawyers at Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law are available to assist you 24/7. Contact us online or call (256) 533-5000 to set up a free consultation. There’s never a fee, unless we win your case.

Rental Car Crash? Contact Alabama Car Crash Attorneys and Take These Steps

Man on Cell Phone After Car Accident

If you are involved in an accident, the best Alabama car crash attorneys are here to help you emerge with justice. Unfortunately, rental car accidents happen.When you rent a car the last thing on your mind is an accident. Your thoughts are centered on your upcoming trip and what you’ll do once you reach your destination.

Here is what you should do immediately after your rental car accident:

Remain Calm. Do not let your rental car accident spur a nervous breakdown! Stay cool and calm. Breathe deeply. Do not panic. Maintain a level head and take a look back at your passengers to ensure everyone is conscious and able to exit the vehicle. Try to look around the vehicle to ensure everyone can safely open their doors.

Reach out for Help. If anyone is injured, dial 911 right away. The rental vehicle can always be repaired yet the clock is ticking on injuries to your friends, family and other human beings.

Document the Details of the Accident. Use your smartphone to take pictures and video of the accident scene. Document the damage to the vehicles involved, injuries suffered by individuals in the accident and the area in which the accident occurred. If you don’t have a smartphone, use pen and paper to draw a picture of the accident including the area in which it occurred. Be as detailed as possible.

Write Down the Other Driver’s Information. Obtain the other driver’s name, license plate number, vehicle make and model and automobile insurance information.

Flag Down Witnesses. If there is anyone in the area, flag them down and ask them if they witnessed the accident. Even if they witnessed a part of the accident, their testimony might help your cause down the road. Record the names and contact information of everyone who witnessed the accident in its entirety or portions of the accident.

What you should do in the day following the accident:

Obtain a Police Report. A police report is necessary even if no one is injured. Call the police to have a police accident report generated. This is important documentation of the accident that must be submitted to your auto insurance company when making a claim.

Contact the Rental Car Company. The next step is to contact the rental car company. This will be a difficult phone call to make but it is an absolute necessity. Keep in mind that rental car companies have been through similar situations before. Rental car company employees know about the inevitability of automobile accidents. They might set you up with a replacement vehicle. Furthermore, the phone call will get the ball rolling on the rental car vehicle’s repairs.

Contact Your Auto Insurance Company. This is another difficult phone call to make. Tell your auto insurer and/or your credit card company about the accident. The party you call hinges on where insurance was purchased. Discuss the details as to what, exactly, the insurance covers.

Alabama Car Crash Attorneys are Ready to Help

A rental car crash is a dramatic event that has the potential to alter your life for years or even decades to come. Do not attempt to travel this road alone. Our Alabama car crash attorneys are here to help you navigate the complicated and intimidating legal maze. Reach out to us at (256) 533-5000. Our office is usually open from 8 AM to 5 PM and we will answer your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Five Common Auto Accident Injuries We Have Seen as Auto Accident Attorneys in Huntsville

Man on Cell Phone After Car Accident

If needed, you should contact auto accident attorneys in Huntsville. Millions of people are injured every year in auto accidents throughout the United States. Injuries range from minor scrapes and bruises to life-threatening injuries that have long-term consequences. Any injuries sustained in an automobile accident should be looked at by a doctor as soon as possible. We have seen many different injuries as auto accident attorneys in Huntsville.

The Five Most Common Injuries Sustained in Automobile Accidents

  1. Brain damage. Any jolt to the head or neck can cause temporary or permanent brain damage. And car accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. Mild brain damage can often heal itself within a few days or weeks. But, traumatic brain injuries are different. They cause permanent damage that will last for the rest of the victim’s life.
  2. Spinal cord injuries. Four out of every ten spinal cord injuries are caused during an automobile accident. That makes it the leading cause. When a car suddenly stops or accelerates due to a collision, it can cause the head and neck to stretch and snap back. Whiplash is a common occurrence. However, more serious injuries can cause temporary or permanent paralysis.
  3. Leg and knee injuries. Many accidents cause damage to the lower part of the vehicle. It is not uncommon for accident victims to sustain damage to the knees, ankles or toes. Injuries range from minor ones like scrapes to major ones such as amputations.
  4. Chest injuries. The chest is a particularly vulnerable area of the body during an accident. The seat belt can leave a deep bruise across the entire chest. Drivers are susceptible to steering wheel injuries. Severe collisions can cause the car to crumple around the passengers, causing compression and impact injuries to the chest region. Sternum and ribs are vulnerable to bruising and breaking
    in any automotive collision.
  5. Soft tissue injuries. The skeleton is encased in many forms of soft tissue including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. During an accident, soft tissues all over the body can sustain bruising, sprains, or tears. Some injuries are minor while others can be life-threatening.

When Should You Call Auto Accident Attorneys in Huntsville

If you are in an auto accident, your first priority should be to seek medical attention for any injuries you sustain, no matter how minor they seem. Your health needs to be top priority. Your next priority should be to call auto accident attorneys in Huntsville.

Specifically the Law Offices of Charles G. Pitman. You can reach us at (256) 533-5000. Our office hours are between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., but we are available any time of day or night to take your

call. We offer free consultations on any accident.

Back to School Safety Tips from Huntsville Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

School Sign

Drivers should always keep a close eye out for pedestrians, but when kids head back to school, it’s especially true. They sometimes walk to and from school or to a nearby restaurant or store after school lets out. The following tips from the Huntsville pedestrian accident attorneys at Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law will help you know how to protect pedestrians as well as yourself:

Look out for pedestrians at all times

Pedestrians can’t always be counted on to cross at designated crosswalks or at intersections, so you’ll need to be aware at all times. This is especially true of kids, who can be more unpredictable and may not always be paying attention.

Slow down around schools and neighborhoods

Most schools have a posted speed limit of 15 mph in a school zone. Fines are steep for disregarding the law, since speeding around a school is very dangerous behavior. By slowing down, you’ll be able to see pedestrians more easily and be able to stop more quickly. And it also helps to be equally careful in neighborhoods where they might be kids playing.

Be especially vigilant during bad weather

Bad weather can lower visibility, so you should be extra vigilant when you’re driving under these conditions. Make sure you’re driving with your headlights on, pay close attention to what’s ahead of you, and drive slowly enough to be able to stop quickly if you need to.

Don’t block crosswalks

When you’re stopped at a crosswalk, make sure to leave enough room so no part of your car is in or too close to the crosswalk. If you’re blocking the crosswalk, you could force pedestrians to go around your vehicle and be put in a dangerous situation.

Watch out for school buses

When you’re behind a school bus, be prepared to stop and give enough space to disembark safely. It’s illegal to pass a school bus that has its “stop” arm out, and in most cases, you must stop for the school bus even if it’s on the other side of the road in Alabama, since children may be crossing the road after they get off the bus. The only exception is if you’re on the opposite side of a divided highway of at least four lanes.

Get help from Huntsville pedestrian accident attorneys

If you’ve been hit by a car, you may have serious injuries that can affect the rest of your life. You may face large medical bills, and lost wages. You may even loose the ability to walk. A personal injury attorney can help represent you and ensure that you get the money you deserve.

If you’ve been in pedestrian accident, call the Huntsville pedestrian accident attorneys with Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law at (256) 533-5000. Our office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., but we’re available 24/7 when you need help.

Should I Contact a Huntsville Car Accident Lawyer?

Man holding Neck

When you’re involved in a car accident, you’ve experienced a traumatic event. The problem is that your body might not know it right away. See a doctor as soon as you can after the accident has occurred, and then contact a Huntsville car accident lawyer about your case. Survival instincts and “fight or flight” responses diminish awareness of bodily injury until after the fact, sometimes only after a significant amount of time has passed. That’s why you should never dismiss the possibility of injury right after an accident has occurred.

Why Aren’t Some Car Accident Injuries Apparent Immediately?

The following are just three reasons why car accident injuries may not appear immediately:

  • “Fight or flight” response. During a traumatic event like a car accident, your body and mind instantly kick into survival mode. Your body utilizes your innate “fight or flight” response, pulling together its resources to keep you focused. At the same time, it necessarily blunts distractions like pain that might hinder your ability to handle the crisis and remove yourself from danger. For our ancient ancestors, the crisis might have been running away from a saber-toothed tiger. For you, it’s a car accident, which a Huntsville car accident attorney can help you with.
  • Even “low speed” crashes can cause injury. A fender bender at five miles an hour can’t cause significant injury, can it? Low impact crashes can still cause soft tissue injury. “Soft tissue” refers to anything that’s not bone, and includes ligaments, tendons and muscles. Car accidents generate significant force even at low speeds. When your vehicle “stops hard” or stops suddenly on impact, your body keeps moving. If you’re wearing a seat belt or other restraint, you are prevented from coming out of your seat, but your body still moves violently against the restraint during the crash. The resulting stress on joints and other delicate areas of the body can still cause significant injury.
  • Soft tissue injuries can take days or weeks to appear. Soft tissue injuries are common in car crashes; the most common of these is whiplash. In this, the head is thrown violently back and forth during impact, injuring the neck muscles.Because soft tissue injuries don’t show up on X-rays, they often aren’t immediately diagnosed, and the symptoms of injury can take days or weeks to appear.

Some symptoms of soft tissue injuries include:

  • Pain that gets worse with movement;
  • Swelling;
  • Redness, bruising in the area; and,
  • Loss of mobility, function, and/or weakness in the area

What Should You Do Right After an Accident?

See a doctor. See a doctor right after the accident, even if you don’t think you need to. He or she can begin to diagnose and document injuries, even if you don’t feel them yet. You can get treated right away, and doing so can also provide evidence for your case.

DON’T settle or sign a release. The other driver’s insurance company might try to get you to settle or sign a release waiving your right to sue immediately after the accident. Don’t. Injuries (or their extent) not be apparent yet. If you settle or waive your right to sue, you’re out of luck once injury symptoms appear.

Contact a Huntsville car accident lawyer. You’ll need a Huntsville car accident attorney to represent you during negotiations so that you’re compensated fairly for any injuries you may sustain.

In an Accident? A Huntsville Car Accident Lawyer Can Help!

Call us at (256) 533-5000 to speak to an experienced Huntsville car accident attorney right away. Don’t wait! Our office hours are 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, but we are available 24/7 to take your call.

Car Accidents & Tire Blowouts: What to Know

Tire Blowouts

Contact us today if you are the victim of a tire blowout related accident!

National Tire Safety Week teaches drivers about the importance of tire maintenance and safety. The other goal is to prevent major issues like tire blowouts. It also serves as a reminder to check your tires, including pressure, tread, and overall condition.

Ensuring your tires are in prime shape helps prevent tire blowouts. Unsafe tires cause a majority of accidents. Most people drive around carelessly. As car accident attorneys in Huntsville, we recommend you take five minutes every month checking your tires. Who knows, it may save your life.

Check Your Tires; Prevent tire blowouts

Many different factors can cause tire blowouts, but the result is the rapid loss of tire pressure.

Blowouts often cause you to lose control of your car and potentially crash. Properly maintaining your tires helps you avoid blowouts. It takes no time to save your life.

Maintenance should include:

  • Checking tire pressure with an appropriate tool.
  • Check that tires for proper inflation at least once a month.
  • Have a service technician check your front end alignment often.
  • Check pressure, even if you have a monitoring system. Tires under-inflated even by as much as half may not appear flat.
  • Rotate your tires around every 5,000 miles to ensure uniform wear.
  • Watch tire tread depth to ensure proper road grip.
  • Look for damage and uneven wear, like smooth spots or high and low areas.
  • Check your spare tire from time to time. Spare tires age even when not used. Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website for other tips to help you maintain your tires.

Crash Stats

Tire problems increase your risk of a tire-related crash, especially under-inflation and tread wear. A study performed by the NHTSA reinforced the importance of proper tire maintenance. Driving a car or truck with under-inflated tires increases risk of being involved in a tire-related crash by triple. Always check your pressure!

Under-inflated tires handle sluggishly, take longer to stop, stress the tire and cause heat buildup. Combined, this can lead to tire failure, including blowouts.

Most tire-related accidents occur when you drive on worn treads and the likelihood of an accident jumps from 2.4% to 26%, stated a 2012 NHTSA study on tread depth.

Surprisingly, half of all tire-related crashes involve a single auto. Also, 69% of single vehicle accidents were tire related. In total, the NHTSA stated that 9% of all crashes in 2013 were tire-related crashes. Yearly estimates back this data up.

With 11,000 tire-related accidents each year and almost 200 people dying in those crashes, safe driving has never been more important. With proper care, safe driving becomes a breeze and stress disappears.

Hire Skilled Car Accident Attorneys in Huntsville

When injured in a tire-related crash, contact car accident attorneys in Huntsville at the offices of Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law at 256-533-5000. We are available 24/7 for a free consult.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only.

Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.

This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Youth Drivers & Summer Car Accident Stats

Car accident

In a car accident with a teen? Contact us today to get the best representation.

Car accidents in and around Huntsville are one of the highest causes of teen deaths in the area. And as summer approaches, more free time will result in an uptick in the number of car accidents involving young drivers. While new drivers are considered to be more dangerous anyway due to lack of experience, their tendency to be involved in car accidents really tops out over the summer months.

The Tragic Truths About Youth Drivers

According to the Do Something Organization,16-year-olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age. Do Something’s statistics show that 56% of teens said they talk on the phone while driving. The organizations stats also show that 16 and 17-year-old driver death rates increase with each additional passenger.

These stats clearly highlight the unfortunate truth: distractions plague young drivers. These numbers also show the importance of parents and guardians setting rules for young household drivers to help reduce the chances of a Huntsville auto accident.

Affected By a Youth Car Accident?

If you or someone you know or love has been involved in a car accident with an inexperienced younger driver, our legal team is here to help. Our team understands the complexities of Alabama auto accident laws. We work with insurance companies and parents of young drivers after a car accident; we can take care of you.

Why You Need Huntsville Car Accident Lawyers

After an accident caused by a young driver, you don’t want to hire just any personal injury lawyer. You want to hire a personal injury law firm with experience in handling Huntsville youth driver-related auto accidents. In other words, protect your rights and receive the most compensation for pain, suffering, and other damages.
At Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law, we have that experience. Contact our skilled Huntsville auto accident attorneys for a free case evaluation. Call (256) 533-5000 anytime day or night; we are available 24/7 to take your call.

How to Keep Your Elderly Mom Safe from Falls

Elderly Woman on Floor

Falls can happen at any time, especially for older people. In fact, falling is the top cause of injuries and deaths for older adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls can cause issues such as broken bones and head injuries making it harder for an older person to take care of their daily activities or continue to live on their own.

In honor of Mother’s Day, our Huntsville personal injury lawyers suggest that just as your mother has always looked out for you, you can look out for her. Help Mom avoid falls with the following tips:

Check her medications

Some medications can cause dizziness or other symptoms that could make your mom more likely to fall. Talk with her about any possible side effects, and if needed, help her talk to her doctor about changing medications or lowering the dosage.

Make sure she sees her eye doctor regularly

Older people can be more likely to have conditions such as glaucoma that interfere with the good vision needed to help avoid falls. Make sure your mom sees her eye doctor at least once a year (more regularly if she’s experiencing a problem) and wears her prescribed glasses.

Make sure her home has adequate lighting

Your mom will need plenty of light throughout her house, especially at the top and bottom of stairs. Hallways and outdoor pathways should also have good lighting, and she should be able to easily reach a light before getting out of bed at night to go to the restroom.

Look for hazards in her home

Check your mom’s home for hazards that could make her slip or fall, including clutter, mats that slide easily when she walks on them, or loose steps. Fix these problems for her, or hire a handyman to do so.

Help her stay active

Staying active can help your mom improve her balance and flexibility, which will decrease her chances of falling. Exercise programs are available for any age and ability level, including some that are specifically designed for seniors. Tai chi and yoga are two particularly helpful types of exercise that can help increase balance and flexibility.

Get assistive aids if needed

As you spend time in your mom’s home, notice if she needs aids installed in her bathroom, such as grab bars in the shower, tub, or near the toilet. You can also help her get a good quality cane or walker if she needs it for added stability. There are stores that cater to older people that can provide you with all the answers about aides.

When to Get Help From Our Huntsville Personal Injury Lawyers

If your mother suffers a slip or fall due to negligence of a property owner or medical service provider, contact our Huntsville personal injury lawyers for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (256) 533-5000 to give you the help you need.