The Importance of a Post-Accident Investigation

Whether you’ve suffered injuries in a car crash, fall, or workplace accident, a thorough investigation will likely need to take place. An accident investigation is a crucial step in your quest for compensation, which is why it’s important to work with your attorney as they gather more information about your accident and injuries. Learn more about why these investigations are so crucial and how they can help you.

Choosing the right attorney can help you make the most of your personal injury claim. Call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661 to start your claim.

Determining the Cause of an Accident

A comprehensive investigation can help attorneys and insurance companies get to the root cause of an accident. This is obviously important, as relying on eyewitness testimony isn’t a reliable way to assign fault and figure out liability.

Consider, for example, a workplace accident. An employee might claim that a piece of equipment malfunctioned when they were using it as intended, causing deep cuts to the tendons in their hand.

An investigation might look at the piece of equipment and video footage of the work environment. When investigators discover that the equipment was tampered with by a contractor brought in to perform a specific task, that gives the employee a chance to bring a third-party claim against the contractor.

Assigning Fault

The flipside of figuring out the cause of an accident is assigning fault, and that’s really at the heart of a personal injury claim. Once investigators figure out what went wrong, they can determine who caused things to go awry.

For example, consider a car accident. A driver runs a red light and crashes into someone crossing the intersection from the right. They claim that they did brake but that their brakes didn’t work, a fairly common excuse used by negligent drivers.

Since this is such a common excuse, insurance adjusters may ignore their testimony and put blame on the driver who ran the light. But if an investigation shows that the brakes truly did stop working without warning, that would shift liability to the manufacturer or repair shop, protecting an innocent person from a lawsuit.

Identifying Systemic Problems

Many of the benefits of an accident investigation personally benefit the victim. However, there are also widespread benefits for society as a whole. If you follow the example of a car with faulty brakes, consider that there are thousands of that same vehicle on the road. How many of them have faulty brakes and the owners don’t know it yet? Accident investigations that uncover this type of information get the ball rolling on recalls and other actions that force corporate accountability.

Investigations also identify trends in human behavior that can help prevent future accidents. Imagine that research came out showing that car crashes caused by distracted driving increased more in one year than they did in the ten years prior. Such an alarming jump could highlight to public safety officials that they should focus on this behavior and spend more time on education efforts to discourage distracted driving.

Securing Fair Compensation for Victims

At the end of the day, an accident investigation helps the victims get the full and fair compensation they deserve. Once a victim’s insurance company or attorney can pinpoint the cause of an accident and the liable party, they can negotiate a proper settlement. This is a huge relief for victims, who may have been watching medical bills and other unpaid expenses pile up as they wait to return to work.

While the time spent waiting for an accident investigation may seem unnecessary, remember that it ultimately benefits you. The more evidence your attorney can gather for you, the better chance they have of recovering the compensation you deserve.

Choose Mann & Potter for Your Injury Claim

Not sure what your next step is after a car crash, slip and fall, animal attack, or other accident? The team at Mann & Potter is ready to talk to you about your legal options and help you get started on your personal injury claim. Take the first step right now by contacting us to set up a free consultation. Give us a call at 205-879-9661 or reach out to us online now.

What Happens If I Wait to Go to the Doctor After an Accident?

You’ve been hurt in a fall, a car crash, or another type of accident. But do you really need to go to the doctor? Maybe you’re experiencing some minor soreness, or you don’t even think you’re injured. Even if you think you’ve made it out of your accident without injury, you absolutely need to go to the doctor as soon as possible. Your health and your personal injury claim depend on it.

If you’re not sure where to start on your personal injury claim, the team at Mann & Potter is here to support you throughout this process. Call us at 205-879-9661 to schedule a consultation now.

Seeking Medical Attention Right Away is the Best Option

Ideally, you should get checked out by a doctor within 72 hours of being involved in an accident. This is important for both your health and your personal injury claim. This doesn’t mean that you should go to work, take care of home tasks, and finish other items on your to-do list before going to the doctor. In fact, going to the doctor should be your top priority after an accident.

Waiting Too Long Risks Your Health

First and foremost, waiting too long to get checked out is detrimental to your health. You truly have no idea if you are injured—even if you aren’t experiencing pain or any other issues, you could have serious injuries lying in wait.

For example, internal bleeding is not always immediately apparent. It becomes more noticeable over a period of hours or days as the abdomen becomes tender and purple. In a situation like that, waiting to go to the doctor could truly mean the difference between life and death.

Even if your injury isn’t one that’s potentially fatal, you put your health at serious risk by delaying a trip to the doctor. Broken bones, whiplash, and strains or torn muscles all worsen when victims try to get right back to normal. By putting additional pressure on your body, you could make your injuries worse and actually delay the healing process. Some injuries, if left too long, can actually become much worse so that a full recovery is no longer possible.

The best-case scenario is that you go to the doctor, find out that you do not have any injuries that require treatment, and get a clean bill of health. In that case, you’re just out a little bit of time and a copay. On the flip side, delaying and then finding out you have a serious injury could cost you your health.

Waiting Too Long Weakens Your Personal Injury Claim

If you plan on filing a personal injury claim, it is crucial to go to a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. The more time that passes between your accident and your medical checkup, the easier it is for the insurance company to discredit your injuries.

Imagine that you get in an accident and decide to skip a checkup because you don’t have time. A week later, the pain you were experiencing right after the accident is now much worse. You go to the doctor and find out you have a severe case of whiplash.

At that point, the other party’s insurance company could easily claim that your injuries are the result of something that happened between the accident and the time of your checkup. They may even insinuate that you only got checked out because you got injured after the accident and thought that you could get it paid for by the other person’s insurance.

The less time that passes between the accident and your medical checkup, the easier it is for your attorney to tie the injury to the accident. Make it a priority.

Explore Your Legal Options with Mann & Potter

The quicker you connect with a personal injury attorney, the sooner you can rest easy and know that your case is in good hands. At Mann & Potter, our goal is to fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve while you recover from your accident. Set up a consultation with our team right now by calling us at 205-879-9661 or reaching out to us online.

Sun Glare Accident: Who’s Liable?

Nothing causes quite as much panic as bad weather when you’re driving. Whether you hit a patch of black ice, get hit by an intense thunderstorm, or are suddenly blinded by the sun, it’s hard to stay calm. When inclement weather leads to a crash, it can be difficult to determine who’s liable. If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by sun glare, it’s important to talk to a personal injury attorney and explore your options.

The team at Mann & Potter is here to help you figure out if you may be entitled to compensation. Learn more now by calling us at 205-879-9661.

Liability for Sun Glare Accidents

You may assume that there is no liable party when bad weather causes an accident. After all, no one can control the weather or hold Mother Nature liable for damage caused. However, this is not always correct.

Each driver is responsible for taking the proper precautions to avoid weather-related accidents and plan for the possible dangers on the road. In snowy weather, this might mean driving with winter-ready tires and driving much slower than the speed limit. In rain, this often means using your windshield wipers and leaving plenty of space between you and other cars. When there is sun glare, this involves limiting your sun exposure.

The laws in Alabama are similar to those in many other states. In general, the person liable for a sun glare accident is the person who is temporarily blinded and/or inhibited by the bright sunlight and hits another vehicle or person. If you hit a car because of a sudden bright glare beaming through your windshield, this might seem unfair—how are you supposed to predict that?

However, the law is clear. When you drive, you are supposed to prepare for potential hazards that may occur. This means driving slowly enough that you can react safely and appropriately to the glare of the sun, especially when you are driving during a time of the day when bright sunlight commonly pops up on the route you are taking.

Limiting the Risk of Sun Glare

You may not be able to undo the damage caused by a crash, but you can do your best to prevent crashes caused by bright sunlight by learning more about driving safety. To prevent sun glare accidents, use these tips in your daily driving:

  • Choose sunglasses that limit sun glare. Polarized sunglasses can protect your eyes and maximize visibility on even the sunniest days.
  • Keep your windshield wipers clean and free of debris so they don’t leave blinding streaks on your windshield.
  • Drive more slowly on sunny days. This way, even if you are affected by sun glare, you are less likely to hit another driver or pedestrian.
  • Try to avoid driving during peak sunlight hours.
  • Make sure your windshield is clean while driving. Streaks and debris can worsen the effects of sun glare.

Compensation in Alabama

If the other driver hit your car because of sun glare, you’re likely relieved to find out that they are probably liable. However, that doesn’t mean that it will be easy to get the compensation you deserve. The other party’s insurance company may attempt to deny liability, especially if sun glare is the cause. Blaming the weather is a common tactic to get out of paying.

This is why it’s important to hire a personal injury attorney after you are hurt in a car crash. It is particularly important in Alabama, where contributory negligence can bar you from recovering damages in some cases.

Contributory negligence is the legal theory that a party that “contributes” to an accident in any way cannot recover any compensation for any injury that results from the accident. This is true regardless of how much fault they have. Even if you are found to be 1% liable for the accident, you could be unable to get compensation from the other party.

Because of Alabama’s defendant-friendly rules in personal injury cases, it may be harder to convince the other party’s insurance company to pay a fair settlement. They might be willing to take their chances in court since they only have to prove that you contributed to the accident in some small way. An attorney who is familiar with Alabama law will know and understand these challenges, putting them in a much stronger position to overcome them.

Choose Mann & Potter for Your Accident Claim

Have you been injured in a sun glare accident? It’s time to talk to an attorney to learn more about your legal options. Turn to Mann & Potter for the representation you need. Reach out online or call us at 205-879-9661 to get started.

Hazards Drivers Face at Railroad Crossings

An efficient and safe railroad makes transportation and transporting of goods faster, easier, and more affordable. However, this type of transportation also poses unique risks to pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and those who live and work near railroad tracks. As a driver, it is crucial for you to know the risks of railroad crossings and how best to protect yourself from severe and fatal accidents.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a railroad crossing accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the liable party. The sooner you connect with a personal injury attorney, the sooner you can begin exploring your legal options. Call Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661 to schedule a consultation now.

Railroad Accident Statistics

In general, train accidents have decreased over the years. This is due in large part to increased public education efforts and greater safety efforts on the part of municipal governments, railway owners, and other government entities. Of the nearly 5,500 railroad injuries that occurred in 2020, about 12% happened at railroad crossings. This represents a decrease from 18% of accidents that occurred in 2019. While these numbers are going in the right direction, it is still crucial that we continue to make these accident hot spots safer.

Pedestrians and Bicyclists

Pedestrians and bicyclists can be a serious threat to drivers at railroad crossings. A car crossing when the alarms start going off can encounter pedestrians or bicyclists who are anxious to beat the gate and get through in time. This puts drivers in the incredibly unsafe position of either having to keep driving, which means risking hitting a pedestrian or bicyclist, or coming to a sudden stop, which puts them at risk of being hit by an oncoming train. This is why so many public safety and education efforts focus on keeping pedestrians and bicyclists off of the tracks as soon as the first alarm goes off.

Malfunctioning Gates and Alarms

Malfunctioning gates and alarms are unfortunately very common, and they pose major risks to drivers. Maintaining these safety systems can be very expensive, particularly for small or rural municipalities that have limited funds. As a result, these projects get pushed to the side until a town’s left with a half-functioning railway crossing.

Gates that do not come down in time or that come down too slowly put drivers at risk of ending up in the path of an oncoming train. Alarms that are too quiet or do not make any sound can leave drivers stuck between the gates in the path of a train or cause drivers to drive through a gate, risking public property and their own safety. It is crucial for municipalities to adhere to recommended maintenance schedules for optimal safety.

Limited Line of Vision

Drivers should always have a clear line of vision when approaching a railroad crossing. This allows them to detect any oncoming trains and verify that it is safe to cross. A number of situations can interrupt a driver’s line of sight. First, the construction of new buildings or remodeling of existing buildings can block the sight of the train tracks. Second, overgrown plants and bushes can make it nearly impossible for drivers to see around a curve. Both of these situations require drivers to inch up more and more to verify that the tracks are clear, which is an unsafe position for any driver to be in.

Unsafely Parked Trains

In some places, conductors get into the habit of parking their trains on the tracks when they are done for the night. This may be a matter of convenience if the train yard is too far, or it may simply allow them to get back to the train quicker in the morning. However, this can block drivers from seeing trains approaching from the opposite direction. Additionally, drivers get used to seeing a train parked on the tracks and don’t stop to check to see if it’s moving. This gives many drivers a false sense of security and increases the likelihood of an accident.

Discuss Your Claim with Mann & Potter

Train accidents often cause severe or fatal injuries, leaving victims with financial, physical, and emotional trauma. If you’ve been the victim of a train accident, let us help. Schedule a consultation with Mann & Potter now by contacting us online or calling us at 205-879-9661.

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.