Delayed Injuries from a Car Accident

Many people believe that any injuries they suffer in a car accident will be immediately visible. That’s why so many people initially deny medical care or an ambulance, only to later find out that they actually need treatment. Some injuries don’t cause symptoms until hours or days later.

Keep an eye out for these dangerous symptoms after a car accident. To discuss your legal options after a car crash, call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661 and set up a consultation.

Headache

Headaches are very common after a car accident, but in some situations, they indicate serious injuries. Traumatic brain injuries often happen during car accidents, leaving victims with concussions or more serious health issues. If the brain strikes the inside of the skull or develops a bleed, you could experience sudden, painful headaches that do not go away with painkillers or other treatments.

Sudden Changes in Mood and Behavior

Another symptom that may indicate a traumatic brain injury is rapid changes in mood. While some moodiness or jumpiness is to be expected after a car accident, sudden mood swings that aren’t caused by anything could be indicative of a brain injury. TBIs may cause damage to the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that governs decision-making and emotional regulation. When this area of the brain is damaged, people may struggle with impulse control, emotional control, and appropriate behavior. These symptoms are definitely worthy of medical attention.

Fatigue

Again, much like headaches, fatigue is common after a car accident. Your body releases a ton of adrenaline during an accident to block out pain and allow you to either fight or flee. Once that adrenaline surge is over, your body needs some time to recover. So, one or two naps in the days following your accident may not be anything to worry about. However, if you find yourself sleeping constantly, feeling tired no matter how much sleep you get, or needing multiple naps every day, this could be an issue that requires medical attention.

Neck and Back Pain

After a car accident, you’re almost guaranteed to experience some neck and back pain. It should get better relatively quickly, though. If it doesn’t, you may have some serious injuries to tend to. When this happens, try to figure out exactly where the pain is coming from. Is it localized or is it spread across your entire back and neck? Pain in this part of the body may indicate spinal cord damage or a slipped disc. Both of these injuries get worse with time and require medical attention, which is why it’s important to seek medical care as soon as possible after a crash.

Abdominal Pain

One of the most worrying symptoms you can experience after a car crash is abdominal pain. Most injuries are physically visible, but internal bleeding is not. By the time internal bleeding is detected, it may be too late. Abdominal pain, swelling, bloating, or cramping may be a sign of internal bleeding. You should also look for bruising around this area. Internal bleeding can be fatal, so it’s important to seek medical care as soon as it is suspected.

The Importance of a Prompt Medical Checkup

It’s understandable that some car accident victims aren’t in a rush to seek medical attention. Between copays and deductibles, even a basic checkup can be expensive. However, you don’t want to take unnecessary risks with your life and health. Whenever you are hurt in a car accident, take the time to get thoroughly examined by a medical professional. You have no idea what injuries could be hidden, causing irreparable damage to your health and wellbeing. This allows you to get the care you need right away.

Turn to Mann & Potter for Your Car Accident Claim

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. The team at Mann & Potter has handled a wide range of personal injury cases, and we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Schedule an initial consultation right away by calling us at 205-879-9661 or filling out our online contact form.

What You Should Know About Accidents Caused by Defective Auto Parts

Car accidents are usually traced back to human error on the part of one or both drivers. In fact, that’s what most people assume when they are involved in a car accident. However, this isn’t always the case. Some accidents are actually caused by a third party who wasn’t even present at the scene of the crash.

Defective auto parts have been linked to a growing number of crashes over the years, and without an attorney, you may not know how to prove a defect or how to claim compensation from the manufacturer. If you’ve been hurt in an accident and you suspect a faulty part is to blame, let us help. Call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661 to learn more about your options.

Defective Components Commonly Linked to Accidents

While any car component can be faulty, some are far more likely to cause crashes. Commonly reported defective auto parts include:

  • Airbags
  • Tires
  • Brake and acceleration systems
  • Car seats
  • Steering systems
  • Axles
  • Seatbelts
  • Roof supports

The injuries sustained by an individual depend largely on which part fails and where it breaks. A faulty tire falling apart on a residential road with a speed limit of 25 MPH will cause a much more minor accident than if the same were to happen on the freeway.

Defective parts may also finally fail because of an accident, rather than failing spontaneously. When this occurs, liability may be split between multiple parties. Similarly, some parts’ defects do not become apparent until there is an accident.

Consider, for example, a faulty seatbelt. When there is no pressure on it, the seatbelt appears to be functioning properly. During a minor crash, though, the seatbelt fails to restrain the rider and causes them to suffer a serious traumatic brain injury. While the driver who caused the initial crash is partially at fault, the manufacturer of the faulty seatbelt is also liable to some degree.

Faulty Design, Marketing, and Manuals

Not all defective auto parts cases relate to a physical part failing. In some situations, the parts are designed poorly, marketed incorrectly, or packaged with manuals that direct consumers to use or maintain them improperly. These issues are treated the same as if the parts themselves did not function as intended. When this happens, victims may be able to seek compensation from the company that designed or marketed the product, as well as the manufacturer that commissioned the design or marketing services.

Injuries Caused by Defective Parts

Defective parts can cause a wide range of injuries, from minor injuries that don’t require treatment to those that require lifelong care. Injuries commonly caused by defective auto parts include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Injuries affecting the head and neck
  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones
  • Damage to the spinal cord
  • Burns caused by vehicle parts catching fire
  • Lacerations

What to Do If You Are Injured

When an accident first occurs, you may not even know that a defective auto part is partially or entirely responsible for the accident and your injuries. That’s why it’s important to get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. While you may think that you or the other driver have complete liability for the accident, a deeper investigation may uncover recalled auto parts, defective components, and other issues.

Do not admit fault. You may believe that you caused it, but remember, an investigation may show that part of your vehicle malfunctioned and caused the crash. If you’ve already admitted fault, though, it will be extremely hard to avoid paying out compensation to the other driver. You may also be unable to recover compensation from the parts manufacturer.

Claiming compensation from a vehicle manufacturer is often more complicated and time-consuming than recovering money from an auto insurance company. Your attorney will guide you through the process and help you gather the necessary evidence to prove your case.

Contact Mann & Potter for Help With Your Personal Injury Case

Have you been hurt in a car accident and you aren’t sure who’s to blame? You need the team at Mann & Potter to investigate your accident, build a case for you, and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Get started now by calling us at 205-879-9661 or contacting us online.

The Hidden Dangers of Parking Lot Accidents

Along with the holidays and the joy of being around the people you love comes the shopping, the rushing, the crowds, the spending, and the general overdoing it, whether it’s shopping or eating.

While you carry on your busy day, pay special attention to the dangers present in most parking lots and even parking garages.

These areas are riskier than you think and every year tens of thousands of crashes occur injuring and even killing pedestrians. Around the holidays these numbers increase, according to the insurance industry, especially on Black Friday.

The actual numbers are probably even higher than reported because many people do not want to report fender benders on the chance their insurance rates may increase.

Nationally, there are more than 50,000 crashes in parking lots and garages every year that result in more than 500 deaths and 60,000 injuries, according to the National Safety Council.

Stay Safe in Parking Lots

Some of the blame is on the parking lot design itself. There are no stop signs and generally you proceed at your own risk. People may feel at ease with no traffic lights or signs and may not be thinking about pedestrians. Maybe they think of the parking lot as a time to place a call or check their phone.

Maybe there are kids in the back seat who are acting up.  Maybe the cell phone spilled on the floor of the car, along with some hot coffee. Maybe the driver didn’t get enough sleep last night.

Holiday sales bring out all sort of folks who are under stress and/or who may not be experienced drivers.

Whatever the reason, there are some things pedestrians can do when walking in a parking lot to keep them and their loved ones safe.

When walking be sure to:

* Park as closely as you can to the door of the store. That may mean that you go at hours that are the least crowded such as early morning.

* Keep eye contact with drivers as much as possible and keep your head up in general, not looking down at your phone.

* Leave children or distractions behind as much as possible.  The University of Alabama Birmingham found 67% of children ages 2 to 10 in a parking lot were unsupervised. That may include running ahead or darting out of a vehicle.

Nationally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that in one year, 5,000 children under the age of 14 were injured and 205 killed in parking lots, driveways, and private property.

* Watch for drivers who are about to back up. Practice defensive walking and look at tail lights and follow someone who just entered the drivers’ side.

* Criminals too understand that there are easy pedestrian targets in a parking lot during the holidays. Stay close to the store, walk with others, and choose places that are well-lit. When putting packages in the car, be sure to store them out of sight such as in the trunk.

When driving be sure to:

Are you likely to view parking lot time as downtime where you relax behind the wheel?  Do not.  The already hectic holidays combined with extra cars and pedestrians in parking lots are a formula for injury.

  • The National Safety Council reports 66% of drivers say they will place a call in a parking lot, text, or check their GPS. Teens are more likely to be personally grooming. About 49% of people take photos or watch videos while driving through a parking lot.

  • Keep your eyes on the rear of your car when you are about to back up. Turn your body around to check both sides and do not just rely on the rearview mirrors understanding that have reduced vision especially of smaller people.

  • Drive slowly and not distracted. Driving in a parking lot is not time to check your phone, your makeup, or your directions.  Keep vigilant and aware and drive defensively.

  • If you have your eye on a parking space, do not let down your guard.  The focus can distract you from defensive driving.

Please avoid cutting across lots, drive slowly and use your directional signals. Be mindful that there can be small children behind your car who you cannot see.

We hope you have safe and joyful holidays and don’t let the stress of the season get to you or cause you to lower your defenses. 

If you have an unfortunate accident during the holidays, or anytime, understand that Mann & Potter is here to help. To schedule your free case consultation at our Birmingham office, message us online or call us today at 205-627-3186.

Back to School: Avoiding Accidents with School Buses

Summer has come to a close and Fall is now in full swing. This means that millions of kids in Alabama and throughout the country are back in school. We all want our kids to learn and succeed in school, and this starts with creating an environment where they can get to and from school safely.

School buses are the most common way Alabama children travel to and from school. There are more than 8,200 buses that service school districts throughout the state, and more than 375,000 kids ride them each day.

Buses are a relatively safe way for school kids to travel. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), children are 70 times more likely to arrive at school safely when traveling by bus rather than traveling by car. In addition, school bus fatalities account for less than 1% of all traffic related fatalities each year.

Although school buses are safer than most other modes of transportation, accidents still happen from time to time. Oftentimes, the risk is not so much that a child riding inside the bus will be hurt, but more so that they might get hurt when they are outside the bus. There is also the risk of serious injury to other motorists who collide with school buses, like what happened to the 17-year old high school student who was severely injured and later died when his car crashed into a school bus in August near Phenix City, AL.

If we all do our part, tragedies like these can be prevented, and we can help ensure that our kids have a safe and successful school year. Toward that end, here are five things that we as drivers can do to avoid accidents with school buses:

  1. Avoid Distracted Driving

The morning and evening rush hours can be hectic times of the day to drive. Drivers are often stuck in heavy traffic and in a hurry to get to work. On top of that, you may be trying to finish your morning coffee while you drive and respond to the latest text from your boss or coworker who needs something. This, unfortunately, is the world we live in. But that is no excuse to drive unsafely and put yourself and others in danger. 

Always give yourself plenty of time to get to work in the morning, and do not respond to texts and other electronic notifications from your cellphone. Most of these messages can wait, and if there is something you absolutely need to respond to, pull over in a safe spot and put your car in park first before sending your response.

  • Watch for Children Walking and Biking to School

Not all school kids ride the bus. Some who live closer to their school choose to walk or ride their bikes. From the moment you back out of your driveway, you need to be on the lookout for young pedestrians and bicyclists. This is especially true when you are driving through school zones.

  • Watch for Children Approaching Bus Stops

Along the same lines as the previous point, when you are driving near a bus stop, watch out for kids who are walking to the stop or already there waiting for the bus. Children are unpredictable, especially younger children, and you never know when a child will dash across the street trying to catch the bus or when they end up on the streets while just playing around with friends.

  • Drive Slowly when you are Behind a School Bus

You need drive slowly not only when there are kids nearby walking or riding their bikes, but also when you end up behind a school bus. Buses slow down and stop frequently to pick up and drop off kids, and they are also required to come to a complete stop at railroad crossings.  Proceed with caution when you are behind a bus, and always give them plenty of room to complete their stops safely.

  • Always Obey Alabama School Bus Laws

In most cases, you are not allowed to pass a stopped school or church bus in Alabama. If you are behind either type of bus or approaching it from the other direction, you are required to stop as soon as the bus raises its signal arm and remain stopped until the signal arm is lowered.  The only exception to this rule is when you are approaching a bus from the other direction on a divided four or six lane highway that contains a barrier or unpaved area which divides the directional lanes.

The state of Alabama does not look kindly on drivers who disobey school bus laws. Penalties for passing a school bus illegally start at $150 to $300 along with points on your driving record and higher insurance rates for a first offense. Multiple offenders face higher fines, loss of driving privileges, community service requirements, and other consequences. Many school districts have installed stop-arm cameras to catch offenders, so it is never a good idea to take a chance and disobey these rules.

Injured in a School Bus Accident in Alabama? Contact a Seasoned Vehicle Accident Lawyer

Even if you do your best to drive safely, bus accidents can still happen because of the negligent actions or omissions of other parties. If you or a loved one suffered injury in an auto accident in Alabama that was someone else’s fault, you need strong legal counsel by your side advocating forcefully for your rights and interests.

To schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of the experienced attorneys at Mann & Potter, call us today at 205-879-9661, message us online, or stop by our Birmingham office at your convenience.