How to Get Compensation After a Public Transit Accident

Charles Pitman

Get help from a North Alabama auto accident lawyer

In the United States, more than 30 million people utilize the services of public transit to get them where they want or need to be, according to the American Public Transportation Association. And the number continues to grow along with many types of public transportation as more options for travel have become available. According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were617,883 unlinked direct bus trips covering over three million passenger miles during 2015 in Huntsville, Alabama alone.

Public transit helps reduce the number of vehicles out on the road. Which in turns also helps reduce the potential for being part of a car accident, especially for those who commute daily. Millions of people safely use public transit each day. However, while the odds of being in an accident are lower, public transit accidents do occur. And when they do, the results sometimes can be catastrophic with traumatic injuries and even fatalities. Here is what Charles Pitman, a North Alabama auto accident lawyer wants you to know about your rights for compensation if you recieve injuries in a public transit accident.

What Modes of Transportation Fall Under Public?

Almost any means of transportation where the public pays a fee for its use can be a form of public transit. This includes municipal transit authorities, like Montgomery’s M Transit System, Birmingham’s MAX Transit, Mobile’s the Wave Transit System or Huntsville’sDepartment of Parking & Public Transit that operates:

  • Shuttle buses
  • Handi-Ride paratransit services
  • CommuteSmart commuter services

Public transit also covers over forms of public transportation including:

  • Trains
  • Subways
  • Trolleys
  • Airport shuttle buses
  • School buses
  • Taxis
  • Limousines
  • Rideshares
  • Air carriers
  • Commercial bus lines
  • Ferries
  • Cruise ships
  • Amusement park rides

Duty of Care for Common Carriers

Businesses or individuals that have proper licensing and charge a fee to transport passengers are referred to as common carriers. Further, they have to abide by the strict regulations set through state and federal law. These rules aim to prevent injuries to their passengers, referred to as “duty of care.” This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Ensuring that qualified, properly trained and licensed personnel are hired to operate public transportation vehicles.
  • Vehicles are properly inspected and maintained, including their motors, engines, and other machinery.
  • Vehicle design flaws are continually monitored and corrected as soon as vulnerabilities are found or announced.
  • Providing security when necessary to protect the health and safety of their passengers.
  • Lastly, ensuring that exits and entryways remain safe for passengers by providing adequate lighting and keeping them free of obstructions and moisture.

Common Causes of Public Transit Accidents

Public transit accidents most commonly various forms of:

Collisions

Collisions with other vehicles or stationary/solid objects, such as bridge abutments, utility poles, or guardrails can occur, in addition to train derailments. Because of the size and multi-passenger nature of public transit vehicles, passengers can easily find themselves jolted or thrown around the inside of the vehicle. This is because of lack of safety restraints and protective features like the airbags found in most cars. In some instances, the driver or operator of the carrier vehicle might be at fault, but many of these accidents occur because of the negligence of another driver, including:

  • Failure to maintain a safe speed
  • Reckless or careless driving
  • Ignoring traffic signals
  • Distracted driving, e.g. texting or talking on phone
  • Falling asleep while driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to properly maintain vehicle

Slips and Falls

Transportation carriers cannot control the weather or protect their riders from their own clumsiness, but they need to have appropriate systems in place to help minimizeslip and fall injuries. This includes:

  • Having personnel available to immediately mop up areas where water or other fluids have accumulated
  • Providing anti-slip mats or all weather carpeting in areas that are prone to wetness
  • Keeping up with winter weather information to immediately take action if icy conditions are predicted to keep exits and entryways de-iced
  • Curtailing passenger service until dangerous weather conditions pass to ensure safe transportation of passengers

Criminal Acts of Others

It is nearly impossible for carriers to anticipate the actions of others and provide passengers with 100 percent protection from criminal acts. However, they are responsible for having security measures in place to make reasonable attempts to protect their passengers. This includes:

  • Maintaining adequate security with trained security guards in terminals
  • Conducting thorough background checks on their employees
  • Installing security and surveillance cameras in vehicles and in terminals

North Alabama auto accident lawyer

Important Info About Filing an Injury Claim

If you suffer injury as a passenger on some mode of public transportation, you have a right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses, including medical expenses or loss of income. Some of the most common injuries that occur in a public transit include:

  • Back injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Bruises, scrapes and cuts

In some cases, more serious injuries could occur depending on the severity of the accident, such as:

  • Head injuries, including concussions
  • Bone fractures
  • Herniated disks
  • Permanent scarring
  • Limb amputations
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Death

Tort Claims Act Comes into Play with Public Transit

Unlike a personal injury claim that one would make against a private citizen or business that might be negligent in causing an accident, claims related to public transit accidents are much more complicated. As a result, injury claims for public transit under state and federal governments fall under the Tort Claims Act.

If you or a loved one suffers injury in a public transit accident, the Tort Claims Act requires you to complete and submit specific forms that differ from the forms generally filed for other personal injury claims. And you must file these forms within a specific time period with no exceptions. Failure to file these special forms within the specified time limit could exclude you from seeking your right to compensation.

Standard Statute of Limitations Do Not Always Apply

Depending on the municipality, state, or type of public transit accident, the standard statute of limitations might not apply. In some instances, you might have to file a claim for your injuries in as little as 30 or 60 days. To protect your rights for compensation, it isrecommended to consult with a North Alabama auto accident lawyer as soon as possible to avoid any potential mistakes or delays in filing legal documents.

Your Responsibility as a Passenger

As a passenger, you are responsible for mitigating your damages to prevent further injury when involved in a public transit accident. This includes seeking immediate medical care for any injuries suffered in an accident. You should also use common sense to avoid injury from hazards you might encounter during your use of public transit, such as avoiding wet or icy areas around terminals.

Injured Party Must Prove Negligence Occurred

Just as you would in a regular personal injury case, you would need to provide sufficient proof that the public transit entity was responsible for your injury because of their negligence. But, because public transit carriers must provide a higher standard of care, the amount of evidence required, and burden of proof is not as much as a standard personal injury case.

However, despite the lower standard of proof, it is always a good idea to provide your North Alabama auto accident lawyer with as much evidence as possible. Evidence that is most commonly helpful in a public transit injury case includes:

  • Police or incident reports
  • Records of weather conditions at the time of the accident
  • Photographs at the scene on the day of the accident depicting your injuries and then several days after the accident
  • Statements from witnesses or fellow passengers
  • Any written notes you may have taken regarding the accident

You Need an Experienced North Alabama Auto Accident Lawyer on Your Side

Public transit accidents can be serious enough to cause traumatic injuries, and in some cases, fatalities. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an accident, you need a North Alabama auto accident lawyer who has the experience to navigate the special handling of public transit accidents. Call Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law at (256) 533-5000 to schedule your free consultation. Our office is open Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm. However, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your call. Or we can chat with you anytime via our website’s LiveChat feature. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about any fees unless we win your case.

 

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. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Save Yourself and Others with Defensive Driving

Charles Pitman
Alabama car accident lawyer

Contact a Alabama car accident lawyer today.

Driving in a defensive manner has the potential to save your life as well as the lives of other motorists. Unfortunately, plenty of drivers operate motor vehicles in an aggressive manner, resulting in unnecessary drama and auto accidents. If you are the victim of such an accident, do not feel as though you are powerless. Our Alabama car accident lawyer will help you obtain the compensation you need to rebuild your body and your life.

You Have the Power to Prevent Most Accidents

The decisions you make on the road dictate your safety as well as the safety of surrounding drivers and passengers. If everyone were to drive defensively, there would be few, if any, accidents. The truth is a surprising number of people drive aggressively even though they are civil off the road.

You can do your part to keep the roads and highways safe by driving at or below the posted speed limit and taking as few risks as possible. Though you will never be able to control the behavior of others, you can watch other drivers closely and react in a defensive manner. Anticipate others’ actions and you really will prevent accidents.

The Basics of Defensive Driving

Defensive driving starts with wearing a seatbelt. Do not start your engine until your seat belt and the belts of all passengers are fastened. Even adjusting your mirrors to the proper angles qualifies as defensive driving. Once you start driving, keep your focus on the road as opposed to your phone, radio and other distractions.

Leave at least 2-3 vehicle lengths between your car and the one ahead. If there is not enough space between your vehicles, you are that much more likely to rear end the vehicle in front of you. It also helps to have an escape route. Constantly evaluate your driving situation to pinpoint areas where you can safely pull over and avoid an accident.

Perhaps most importantly, defensive driving is centered on monitoring your speed. Do not drive faster than the speed limit for any reason. If you find it difficult to keep up with the flow of traffic, drive in the right-hand lane. Keep your speed at or around the posted limit and you will find it is that much easier to react to other drivers’ actions.

How Defensive Driving Will Help Your Case

A focused driver who keeps his attention on the road is that much more likely to avoid an accident. However, defensive drivers are also more likely to prevail in a court of law. If opposing counsel cannot prove you were distracted, it will be difficult to pin responsibility for the accident on you.

Alternatively, if the other side can present text message or cell phone call records that prove you were using your phone at or near the time of the accident, it will be that much easier to characterize you as a reckless driver. Furthermore, if you made any attempt to escape harm’s way and your attorney can present evidence to prove your evasive actions, your case will have that much more merit.

Injured in a Car Accident? Our Alabama Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

You deserve compensation following a car accident that is even partially the fault of another driver or institution. Our Alabama car accident lawyer is a phone call away. Give us a ring at (256) 533-5000 to schedule an initial consultation. Our office hours are 8-5 yet we are happy to field your call 24/7. If you prefer to contact us online,click the Live Chat feature on our homepage.

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. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Don’t Mind Your Manners: Sorry and Other Things that can Hurt You after an Accident

Charles Pitman
accident litigation assistance

Contact us today to learn more about how saying sorry can hurt you in accident litigation.

Car accidents are certainly unfortunate events. Yet, saying something as simple as “I’m sorry” can make the situation that much worse. Furthermore, posting on social media or attempting to cut a deal with the insurance company can ruin your chances of obtaining proper compensation.

Your best course of action is to say nothing to the other parties involved in the accident. Document the accident, obtain medical care for your injuries and immediately reach out to our attorneys to pursue accident litigation.

Why You Should Never Apologize After a Car Accident

Even if the car accident was fully or partially your fault, it is a major mistake to apologize. If you apologize for any aspect of the accident, you are admitting fault. This admission of guilt can be used against you in a court of law and ultimately sabotage your case. It does not matter if you were even 1% at fault for the accident; apologizing for such slight fault really can prevent you from obtaining compensation.

Instead of apologizing, your best course of action is to pull out your smartphone. Then, document every aspect of the accident. Turn on your video recorder to capture video of the damage. Record witness statements and obtain audio of the other driver just in case he or she admits fault. Above all, do not lose sight of the fact that neither party has access to all the facts. Even if you think you are partially at fault, you might eventually learn something (or someone) else caused the accident. So, do not apologize!

Do Not Post on Social Media After Your Accident

The other driver’s auto insurance company and attorneys will go as far as checking your social media pages after the accident. If you post anything about the accident, describe you daily activities or add pictures to a photo album that show you actively enjoying life, it will be that much more difficult to obtain compensation for pain, suffering, injuries, lost wages etc.

Even if you set your social media to a private setting, it is still possible for others in your network and friends of friends to access your page and get the word out about your activities following the accident. Something as simple as posting about taking a nature walk following your accident can make it appear that you are not in pain.

Cutting a Deal with the Insurance Company is a Mistake

Insurance company representatives start with low-ball offers in the immediate aftermath of an accident that appears to be the fault of their driver. It is best to leave discussions with the insurance company to your attorney. This way, you can focus on recuperating and returning to work while your attorney ensures you are provided with a suitable payout. Insurance companies are much more likely to provide a lucrative offer to an attorney than a comparably green driver who attempts to represent him or herself in negotiations.

Accident Litigation Might be the Solution

Do not assume your auto accident is simply the result of bad luck. Our legal team is here to review the facts of your case and pursue accident litigation. Charles Pitman Injury Attorneys will fiercely advocate on your behalf to obtain the compensation you need and deserve following this unfortunate accident. Give us a call at 256-533-5000 to schedule a consultation. Our office is typically open from 8-5; we will take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So, don’t wait! We look forward to hearing from you.

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. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Debunking Common Motorcycle Myths

Charles Pitman
Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer

Contact a Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer today.

Debunking Common Motorcycle Myths

As an experienced Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer, Charles Pitman has a firm grasp on what it means to be a motorcyclist in Alabama. Motorcycles can give riders a sense of freedom on the road, but they also expose motorcyclists to increased risks. Maximize your enjoyment and reduce your risks by keeping yourself in the know as far as these common motorcycle myths.

Myth 1: Leather is for Fashion

Sure, stylish leather clothing can make you look the part when you take a cruise on your motorcycle, but it is not all about fashion. Leather is extremely useful when it comes to avoiding road rash in the unfortunate event of a motorcycle accident.

When you use leather clothing to protect your skin, you are preventing the serious risks that come from skin damage. Leather is better than denim and just about every other material at keeping you out of harm’s way on your motorcycle.

Myth 2: Other Drivers See You

It would be nice to believe that other motorists are constantly aware of your surroundings, but unfortunately, this just is not the case. Some drivers are excellent at paying attention on the road, but any Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer can tell you how many times negligent drivers cause accidents.

Some people fail to check their surroundings completely before they make lane changes or turns, and this creates danger for all the other drivers around them, especially those who are on motorcycles. Even large vehicles can get lost in blind spots, and that is especially true for motorcyclists. Bikers are always looking for ways to help other drivers notice them before it is too late, which leads to the next myth.

Myth 3: Loud Bikes Save Lives

Some people believe that motorcycles are only loud because the owner wants to show off, but most motorcyclists believe their loud exhaust systems will help other drivers notice them. Unfortunately, a Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer normally notices within their first few years that noisy bikes cannot help prevent accidents. There are a few possible reasons for this:

  • Motorcycle exhaust systems push their noise to the rear, so other drivers will not hear you until you have already passed them. This does not help drivers notice a motorcycle in their blind spot.
  • The noise can be very distracting for whoever is driving the motorcycle, and the constant roar of a loud bike numbs the senses enough to decrease awareness.
  • People are naturally on edge when they drive, and loud noises can make the problem even worse. Sometimes other drivers will become panicked or even aggressive because of a noisy motorcycle, and this leads to bad decisions that ultimately cause accidents.

Normally when motorcyclists choose a louder machine, they are doing it because they want to keep themselves safe. That seems to make sense until you see the things a Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer must deal with. The fact of the matter is that bikes with modified exhaust systems are more likely to be involved in accidents than stock motorcycles.

Myth 4: Helmets Block Your Sight and Hearing

Some motorcyclists think a helmet will limit their seeing or hearing in a way that can lead to crashes. Research shows that this is completely inaccurate. Riders who wear helmets are less likely to have an accident than riders who do not. There could be a few reasons for this, and the most likely is that riders who wear helmets are more aware of the dangers of riding a motorcycle, so they are more careful. In many cases, a helmet can also keep wind out of your eyes and ears, so you will see and hear better.

Even if a helmet cannot help you prevent an accident, it might save your life. Helmets absorb energy, so they help keep your head safe. This ability to reduce force also helps helmets prevent other injuries like broken necks. People who use helmets with their motorcycles are less likely to experience both head trauma and broken necks.

The Department of Transportation has clear standards for which kinds of helmets are best. Use one of these helmets to protect your head, and your chance of a fatal accident will decrease dramatically. Most motorcycle accidents occur at low speed, so the biggest concern is how far a rider falls before hitting the ground. Your head is the farthest thing from the ground, and is also vulnerable to injury, so it needs the most protection.

Myth 5: Highways Are More Dangerous

This myth seems like it should make sense, because faster speeds are so much scarier than slow speeds. Take it from your Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer: the highway is safer for motorcycle riders. As we discussed under the last myth, most motorcyclists have accidents at lower speeds.

Part of this is because people are generally going straight on a highway, so the biggest danger is during lane changes. On city streets, however, other drivers are constantly joining and leaving the flow of traffic. When you get your motorcycle on the highway, you have less of a chance of trouble from pedestrians and cross streets.

Myth 6: You Should Lay Your Bike Down During a Crash

Some motorcyclists try to tell their Huntsville motorcycle injury lawyer that they intentionally wiped themselves out to avoid a crash. This may be less embarrassing than admitting to losing control of the bike, but it is a huge mistake. You should almost never intentionally lay your bike down to avoid a crash.

If you lay your bike down, you are going to slam into the ground. You may even end up pinned under another vehicle, or you could slide into a barrier. If you have enough time to think about putting your bike on the ground, just try to avoid the accident instead.

Myth 7: Drivers Ignore Motorcycles

Unless you come across an especially crazy motorist, there is no reason to believe they do not care about your safety. Motorcycles are more likely to be involved in accidents, but that is only because they are often harder to see. You can help correct this problem by making yourself more visible.

It can be hard to find bright colors when you pick out your motorcycle gear, but there are always options. Even if you wear dark leather clothes to protect your body, you can find a brightly colored helmet. Use your motorcycle’s high beam, too, especially when it starts to get dark outside.

Myth 8: Big Bikes Are Safer

Motorcycle riders feel safe on bigger bikes sometimes, but the size of the bike will not help protect you very much. Sometimes a big bike can do exactly the opposite, because it is heavier and harder to steer. If you are not sure how big of a bike to get, keep in mind that smaller options are easier to handle, which helps you avoid accidents. This is especially true for beginners.

Huntsville Motorcycle Injury Lawyer

The best attorneys in Alabama are confident in their ability to win your case. Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law offer free consultations, so there is no fee unless we win your case. When an accident occurs, we believe our clients need reliable help without the fear of being charged for the wrong services.

We want to be your North Alabama motorcycle injury lawyer. You can reach the Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law by calling (256) 533-5000. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., but we are available 24/7 to take your call. You can alsocontact us online, where we use a LiveChat to get you the answers you need in a hurry. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, reach out to us as soon as possible so we can give you the help you deserve.

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. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Useful Facts You Should Know About Alabama Car Accidents

Charles Pitman
Alabama car accident attorney

Charles Pitman is your local Alabama car accident attorney that will work to get you the settlement you deserve.

Thinking about crashes is never fun, but it is part of the job for an Alabama car accident attorney. We take the time to do our research, because we want you to recover from life’s unfortunate events as quickly and completely as possible. Understand the risks of car accidents, and you will be able to deal with incidents more successfully.

Damage and Loss from a Car Accident

Aside from stress, there are three main problems that people have to deal with after a car wreck:

  • Property Damage
  • Injury
  • Death

The good news for everyone is that property damage is the most common effect of an accident. Any damage can be costly, but it is still far less upsetting than death or injury. Unlike harm to a human being, property can be repaired or replaced. However, your local Alabama car accident attorney can help make you whole whether your car, home, or body suffers damamge because of an accident.

Where Do Car Accidents Happen?

To put it simply, accidents are more likely to happen where you spend the most time driving with your guard down. It seems obvious, but some people do not realize it. The majority of accidents occur within a short distance of where the driver lives. Even when you are only running a short errand, it is extremely important to be careful on the road. You may be comfortable with the traffic flow in your area, but that does not mean other drivers are.

Why Do Car Accidents Happen?

Some car accidents are bound to occur, but you can significantly reduce your chances of an incident if you practice good driving habits.

For example, using a cell phone while you drive will make you about four times as likely to get into a crash. If you check your phone for even five seconds on the highway, you can travel nearly 1/10 of a mile without looking at the road. No call or text is as important as your life, so exercise restraint, and wait until you get out of the car to use your phone.

Drinking and driving is another common and unnecessary cause of accidents. A taxi or an Uber ride is far less costly than the financial and emotional burden caused by a drunk driving accident. If you ever get into an accident with an intoxicated driver, make sure the police come to the scene, and contact your Alabama car accident attorney as soon as you can.

In addition to drinking or texting while driving, speeding causes a significant number of accidents. Speed limits are carefully determined to protect drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. The best way to stay safe is by paying attention and following the rules of the road.

Let Our Alabama Car Accident Attorney Fight for You

The hardest working lawyers in Alabama are confident in their ability to help you get the settlement you deserve. At Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law, our goal is to make excellent legal services available to everyone. We offer free consultations and we only get paid after you do. That means there is no cost to you unless we win your case.

When you need a lawyer in Huntsville, AL, trust a firm that hasexperience with car accidents. Charles Pitman is your local Alabama car accident attorney that will work to get you the settlement you deserve. Contact us at (256) 533-5000 as soon as you can after the incident occurs. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, but we are available 24/7 to take your call. We also have a LiveChat on our website, so do not hesitate to get the answers you need.

 

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. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Labor Day Safety Tips from our Huntsville Personal Injury Attorney

Charles Pitman
Huntsville personal injury attorney

If your Labor Day leads to injury, Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law have the Huntsville personal injury attorney that is always ready to fight for your rights.

Labor Day is the unofficial last day of summer. Most people are going to try to squeeze in the last of their summer activities this weekend. Between weekend getaways, running around from sale to sale, or barbecues with friends and family, Labor Day weekend is sure to be a busy one for many people.  But it is also a time when you should be aware that your risk of being a victim in a traffic accident could increase. There are many more people on the road than usual due to the holiday. Charles Pitman, a Huntsville personal injury attorney suggests these following safety tips to keep you and your family safe this holiday.

Be Careful Out on the Roads

Data from the National Safety Council (NSC) shows that there was an 18 percent increase of Labor Day traffic fatalities based on the averages recorded for the prior six years. But Alabamians are already at more risk than people who live in other states. According to areport from security company Safewise, Alabama has been ranked as the second deadliest state for driving. During 2016, there were 21.3 deaths per 100,000 people from car crashes. 6.6 deaths per 100,000 people from crashes involved an alcohol/drug impaired driver. Considering the national average is 11.6 deaths per 100,000 people in car crashes, even on a good day you are at risk for being in acar accident in Alabama.

Safety Steps

With Labor Day, you can expect to see more people out on the roads than usual. And unfortunately, it has become common to expect an uptick in drunk driving during a holiday weekend. As a driver this holiday weekend, you need to do your part to make the roads safer by:

  • Not driving distracted, including no texting or making calls without a hands-free device while you drive.
  • Not driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Instead, get a ride from someone who is sober. Or call for an Uber or Lyft to make sure you get home safe.
  • Wearing your seatbelt and making sure yourchildren are restrained in seats that are appropriate for their age, height, and weight.
  • Getting plenty of rest before the trip and taking breaks to prevent fatigue while driving.
  • Keeping track of your teens’ driving habits. Make sure they are observing the rules of the road and not texting or under the influence while driving.
  • Making sure your vehicle is in good shape before heading out on the road bychecking your tires and brakes for any problems and ensuring your turn signals and lights are all properly working.

Injured? You Need a Huntsville Personal Injury Attorney on Your Side

Despite your best efforts to avoid being in an accident, you cannot control the actions of others on the road. But remember, you and your loved ones do have a right to compensation if you suffer injuries because of someone else’s negligence. But it is not a fight you should have to go through alone. Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law have the Huntsville personal injury attorney that is always ready to fight for your rights. We know accidents do not always happen during normal 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. office hours. Because of that we are ready to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Do not delay, call (256) 533-5000 toschedule your free consultation. There is no fee unless we win your case. Don’t delay. Our team is standing by to help you. So, contact us today!

 

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.

Nashville Passenger Injury Attorneys Discuss Car Seats

Charles Pitman
Nashville passenger injury attorneys and car seats

Contact us so we can answer your questions about car seats and more.

The week of September 17-23 has been designated as Child Passenger Safety Week. It’s a good time to review car passenger safety for your children to make sure they are safe whenever they are traveling in a motor vehicle. At Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law, our Nashville passenger injury attorneys would like to remind you that it’s also a good time to review what you should do if you’re involved in an accident and have a child safety seat.

Keeping Your Kids Safe

You should always follow the most recent NHTSA recommendations for car safety seats. Smaller children should remain in rear-facing child seats for as long as possible. Once your child is over 2 or has reached the maximum height or weight for their rear-facing seat, they can move to a front-facing seat. Many front-facing seats will allow you to continue to use it until your child reaches 50 to 85 pounds. Once your child outgrows his or her front-facing seat, they can move to a booster seat until they reach 100 pounds or outgrow the seat’s maximum recommended height.

Always make sure to properly fasten your child into their safety seat. If your child no longer uses a safety seat, make sure they use a seat belt. All children under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat of your vehicle.

NHTSA Recommends Replacing Child Car Seats

If you’ve been in car crash, you might need to replace your child’s car seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends replacing child safety seats after a moderate or severe car crash. This also includes booster seats for bigger children, in addition to infant and toddler safety seats.

You might not realize that your car’s insurance policy covers your child’s safety seat. Most insurance companies will cover the cost to replace your child’s safety seat or booster seat. To be reimbursed for your child’s car seat, it must meet NHTSA’scriteria for car seats.

Consideration for Minor Car Crashes

The NHTSA now recommend that you do not need to automatically replace a car seat if your accident was a minor crash. Aminor crash means:

  • No visible damage to your child’s safety seat;
  • You could drive your car away from the scene of the crash;
  • No one in the crash sustained any injuries;
  • No airbags deployed during the crash; and,
  • The vehicle door closest to the car seat received no damage.

When in doubt, we recommend replacing your child’s car safety or booster seat. This will help ensure that proper protection of your child in the event of another accident.

Nashville Passenger Injury Attorneys Who Care

A serious car accident can be catastrophic, but when achild receives seriously injuries, the tragedy compounds. You may face expensive medical bills and years of physical or occupational therapy, depending on the severity of your child’s injury. Whether the negligence of another driver or a manufacturer’s defect with his or her car safety seat or booster seat caused the injury, you deserve compensation for the rough road your family will face.

The Nashville passenger injury attorneys at Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law will help you in your time of need. Call to schedule your free consultation at any time at (615) 422-2222. Our normal offers hours range 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

We take your call 24/7.

Huntsville Car Accidents, Child Passengers & Injury Claims

Charles Pitman

Huntsville Passenger Injury Attorneys

Huntsville passenger injury attorneys know that sometimes, you may need to use their services. Even so, a properly fitted safety seat is one of the best ways to ensure that your child will be protected 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.

Preventing Injury During an Accident

In observance of Child Passenger Safety Week, which occurs September 17 through 23, 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 they are 15 years old, are as follows:
  • Newborn babies or babies under 20 pounds must sit 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 must be secured in a forward facing car seat or an appropriately configured, forward-facing convertible car seat until they weigh over 40 pounds or are five years old.
  • Children 5 to 6 years of age, or weighing 40-plus pounds must sit in an industry-approved car booster seat when they weigh at least 40 pounds or five to six years old.

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 13 can receive serious injuries or even killed if struck by an airbag at close range. Infants in rear facing car seats face the same danger of injuries or death by an airbag. To be safe, all infants and children under the age of 13 should ride (properly restrained) in the back seat.
  • Fasten seat belts properly. Once your child outgrows their booster seat, show them how to properly put on and take off a seat-belt. You should also show them how to position it correctly.

Call Huntsville Passenger Injury Attorneys

If you or your child is injured in a car accident, call us at (256) 533-5000 to 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.

Steps to Take Following a Rental Car Crash in AL

Charles Pitman
Man on Cell Phone After Car Accident Alabama car wreck attorneys

Contact our Alabama car wreck attorneys so your questions get answered.

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. Unfortunately, rental car accidents happen. If you are involved in such an accident, the best Alabama car wreck attorneys are here to help you emerge with justice.

Here is what you should do in the aftermath of 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.

Injured? Dial 911 right away. The rental vehicle can always receive repairs; yet the clock ticks 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.

Obtain a Police Report.

A police report must happen even if no injuries occur. 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 are cognizant of the fact that automobile accidents are bound to happen. If inoperable, the rental company must remove it from their inventory. 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 the location of the purchased insurance. Discuss the details as to what, exactly, the insurance covers.

Alabama Car Wreck 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 usually opens from 8 AM to 5 PM and we will also answer your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So, don’t wait and contact us today. 

Everyday Causes of Car Accidents in Nashville

Charles Pitman

Woman on Cell Phone in Car

No one plans a motor vehicle accident, yet the majority of them are preventable. Our Nashville car accident attorneys have put together a list of everyday behaviors that can lead to traffic collisions in .

Preventable Causes of Car Accidents in Nashville

According to Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 94 percent of motor vehicle accidents arise from “human choice or error.”  The following are the most common causes of car accidents.

1. Driving Under the Influence

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have compiled some eye-opening statistics. During the 10-year period between 2003 and 2012, nearly3,500 people died in alcohol-related car crashes in . Rate of deaths across all age groups was higher than the national average.

 

Alcohol isn’t the only substance that causes impaired driving. Other drugs are involved in approximately 16 percent of motor vehicle accidents. This includes legal drugs like painkillers as well as illegal substances like marijuana.

 

Under law, you’re guilty of driving under the influence with a minimum blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, with enhanced penalties for a BAC registering .20 or higher. A zero-tolerance policy is in effect for anyone under the legal drinking age of 21.

2. Speeding and Other Traffic Violations

Traffic laws are in place to ensure that everyone is following the same rules, reducing the risk of collision. What happens when you drive too fast, run red lights and stop signs or tailgate? You’re more likely to lose control of your vehicle or cause others to lose control of theirs.

 

Failure to observe traffic laws can also indirectly cause car accidents by inspiring road rage in other drivers.

3. Distracted Driving

Today the term “distracted driving” is most commonly used in reference to cell phone use. It actually includes any activity that keeps your full attention off the road:

 

  • Eating and/or drinking;
  • Changing the radio station;
  • Conversing with passengers;
  • Applying makeup;
  • Tending to children; and,
  • “Rubbernecking.”

 

Data from the National Safety Council reveals that has the most cell phone-related fatalities in the country. Lt. Bill Miller of the Highway Patrol has dubbed it an “epidemic.”

4. Driving in Poor Conditions

Do you adjust your driving during inclement weather? The Federal Highway Administration estimates that 22 percent of car crashes are a result of bad weather. In addition, three-quarters of those are due to wet pavement.  

 

The Department of Transportation provides real-time updates on weather conditions that may impact travel. Access TNSmartWay by visiting the website or dialing 511.

Get Assistance from our Experienced Nashville Car Accident Attorneys

Regardless of how careful you are, you can’t control other drivers. If you’re involved in a car accident, you need guidance and support to obtain the settlement you deserve.

OurNashville car accident attorneys at Charles Pitman Attorneys at Law will be with you every step of the way. Office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., but you can call 615-422-2222 to reach us anytime, day or nigh.