Motorcycle Accidents

What should I do after a car accident injury?

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 What should I do after a car accident injury?

 

You first need to make sure that you get appropriate medical attention.

As soon as you’ve done that, you need to make sure that the vehicle is secured and is not destroyed. That’s especially true if your vehicle has been totaled for any reason because an insurance company will come along and sell it for scrap before you know what’s going on.

So, you need to notify the appropriate persons, whether it be the place to where your vehicle is towed or your insurance company, and tell them: “Secure my vehicle so that we can investigate it to make sure nothing is wrong.”

If you’ve received a catastrophic injury of any kind, even if you think it’s your fault, you need to contact a lawyer and you probably need to contact a product liability lawyer. People like us can evaluate whether your vehicle played any role in that accident or crash; people like us can evaluate did anyone else play a role in that accident or crash. And whether we’re simply giving you advice or whether we’re taking your case, after coming to lawyers like us who investigate these things, you’ll leave with clarity about what’s happened and what you should do next.

Combating Technology with Technology

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Vehicle Safety Technology Attorney - The Cooper Firm

5 Apps to help you stop texting while driving

It is extremely important to drive safe considering your life and the lives of others are at stake. As much as drivers do not intend to drive distracted, the alert saying you received a new message or call can spur a habitual action of reading the text or answering the phone call.  With drivers taking their eyes off the road for an average of 23 seconds, there is plenty of time for an accident to occur.

No text or call is worth putting someone’s life at risk. With the way our smartphones are glued to our hips, it may be best to use technology to combat technology. There are several new apps that will help you drive without distractions as well as encourage safety while you are behind the wheel.

  1. DriveSafe Mode – (Free)  DriveSafe Mode sends an alert through email if your phone is being used while driving. Although it doesn’t block any incoming calls or text, nor does it block the user from using their phone, it does help parents to keep track of whether their child has been using their phone while driving.
  2. AT&T Drive Mode – (For Android and Blackberry Phones) – (Free) AT&T created an application that locks your phone when you are moving more than 25 mph. It will then send an auto response message of your choice to the caller or texter. When you speed is below 25 mph for more than five minutes the app will then show you your missed calls or messages.
  3. DriveSafe.ly – (For Blackberry and Android) – (Free) This app combats texting while driving by reading your text message, phone call, or email aloud. This prevents the driver from reaching from their phone. It also automatically responds to the recipients automatically or by voice using hands free.
  4. tXtblocker – ($6.99 monthly) This app will block text messages while you are driving and at certain locations, such as school, work, or home. It is a great application for parents who want to control phone usage or need GPS tracking.
  5. Textecution – (For Androids) – ($29.99) When your GPS detects that you are going a certain speed it will disable the phone and sent an automated text reply. You can override this function if you are a passenger or riding a bus through the account administrator who can override the app.

All of these applications are good resources to combat technology with technology. Although it can be beneficial, technology can also be very dangerous. Make choices based on safety, and always remember that “It can wait.”

Do You Have Full Uninsured Motorist Insurance Protection?

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Cobb Personal Injury Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Uninsured Motorist Insurance Protection

Many insurance companies are not offering you full uninsured motorist insurance protection, even under the existing law.  Here is how uninsured motorist coverage works. If you are injured in an accident which is not your fault, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for all harm caused.  The driver who caused the accident, however, may not have enough insurance.  This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes into play.  If the driver does not have enough insurance coverage, you may be able to use your uninsured motorist coverage to pay for the losses you have suffered as a result of the accident.

Unfortunately, most Georgians do not know how uninsured motorist coverage works and their agents do not adequately inform them of the need to purchase full uninsured motorist coverage.  Insurance companies and their agents tend to offer full liability insurance coverage and, at the same time, minimum uninsured motorist coverage. For example, when a consumer sits down and talks with an agent about buying “full” insurance coverage the agent will often times recommend that the consumer purchase $100,000.00 in liability insurance coverage and, as an afterthought, $25,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage.  Under this scenario, the consumer is insuring himself in the amount of $100,000.00 in the event he causes an accident (as an aside, $100,000.00 is really not enough liability insurance coverage).  If the consumer agrees to purchase the policy with $100,000.00 in liability coverage, the consumer also has the option to buy $100,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage. Georgia law allows consumers to purchase uninsured motorist coverage up to the amount of their liability coverage. This is what every consumer should do, but most do not do.

Insurance companies and their agents do not make nearly as much money on uninsured motorist coverage because the coverage is so cheap.  Because it is cheap, consumers should purchase this coverage, but because most do not know how uninsured motorist coverage works, they simply reply upon their agent to sell them the minimum uninsured motorist coverage.

I cannot tell you how many times I have had clients come in who have been seriously injured and that they have “full” coverage, only to find out they were fully covered in the event they caused an accident, but were not fully covered when the uninsured driver caused an accident which injured them.

Therefore, it is very important that you review your insurance policy to make sure that your uninsured motorist coverage is equal to your liability coverage.  If it is then you, in fact, have full uninsured motorist coverage.  If it is not, we recommend that you contact your insurance agent and let your agent know that you want to increase your uninsured motorist coverage to the amount of your liability limits.

The Rules for Riding your Bike

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Safety First - The Cooper Firm

Rules for Riding your Bike

Many people do not think that there are very many rules for riding your bike with traffic considering that motor vehicles can be much more damaging if involved in an accident, but that is not the case. A bicyclist is considered a motorist. This means that they must follow all the traffic laws. If they do not obey the laws, they can be written a ticket just like any other vehicle driver would be.

Here are some rules for riding your bike that you may not have known:

-Bikers cannot bike against the direction of traffic. Riding against traffic makes you more susceptible to blind spots of oncoming traffic.

-Signaling. Some bicycles are equipped with turning signals, but for those who aren’t, the biker is still responsible for signaling to traffic which direction they are turning in. For right turn or lane change, the biker must extend their right hand straight out. For a left turn or lane change they must extend their left arm straight out. To signal stopping, the biker must bend their right arm down 90 degrees at the elbow.

-Reflectors. In every state, it is required for a bicycle to have red lights on the back and front as well as white reflectors. It can be very difficult for a driver to see a bicyclist, so reflectors aid in making the bike more visible.

-Sidewalks. In Georgia, it is illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk if you are over the age of twelve. It can be common for vehicle drivers to be upset that there are bicycles on the road, but unless there is a marked bike lane that is where the bicyclist should be riding.

Were you aware of these rules before now? Share with us your thoughts.

There are many other laws for bicyclist. Visit your states website orhttp://www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycles for more information.

CDC reported 1 in 24 adults fall asleep while driving

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Cobb Personal Injury Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Have you ever fallen asleep while driving?

The released study from the CDC showed that about four percent of U.S. adults nodded off or fell asleep while driving at least once in the past month. Health officials feel that the number is actually much higher because some individuals do not realize they are dozing off. It makes you a little nervous to be sharing the road with these drivers.

The study showed that the drowsy driving was seen more in men, ages 25-34, in people who got six hours of sleeping or less in a night. Dr. Gregory Belenky, director of Washington State University’s Sleep and Performance Research Center in Spokane stated, “A lot of people are getting insufficient sleep.” Some studies have shown that between 3-33% of fatal crashes are caused from drowsy driving.

Some of the warning signs of being too tired while driving include being very tired, not remembering what you had passed in the last mile, and drifting into lanes or on the side rumble strips on the road.

There are ways to protect you from nodding or dozing off while driving.

1. If feeling tired, you should pull off of the road and rest.

2. Get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

3. Do not drink before getting behind the wheel.

4. Have any sleep disorders treated.

For more related studies visit the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr

The App You Need Most to Drive Safe – The SaferCar App

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Vehicle Safety Technology Attorney - The Cooper Firm

SaferCar App

Keeping up with vehicle safety can be time consuming and overwhelming, but there is a new app to help aid consumers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an app called SaferCar which helps provide consumers with safety information for driving and vehicles. The app enables its users to see recalls and complaints on all models as well as comparing vehicles and their safety features.

“Safety is our highest priority, and we’re always working to find new and better ways for people to access SaferCar, one of the most popular programs on our website,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This app takes advantage of the latest technology to ensure that consumers have the real-time information they need to buy safe, drive safe and stay safe.”

Some of the new features include:

• 5-Star safety ratings: When a consumer is shopping for vehicles they can access crash test ratings, safety information, and compare them with similar models across the board.

• Recalls and complaints: SaferCar will have automatic updates for new recalls and consumer complaints. You can also submit your complaints through the app itself.

• Safety Headlines and Alerts: Everything safety news related will be shown on the app. whenever a safety alert is posted a “push notification” can be sent through the app about it.

• Safety Help: There are many safety features you may not be aware of or be knowledgeable about. SaferCar will feature important tips and directions on how to make sure your vehicle and its occupants are safe.

The app is a great release and it is free on Apple’s iTunes Store. Development is in process for an Android compatible version. This is not the only step that the NHTSA has taken to help consumers stay safe. They also updated the www.SaferCar.gov site to help consumers stay up-to-date with specific defect investigations, recalls, and customer complaints.

Make sure you take advantage of this great free application. Just don’t use it while you’re driving.

Source: FindLaw, “NHTSA’s SaferCar App Taps Recall, Crash Test Info,” March 28, 2013.

Motorcycle fatalities rise significantly this year

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Cobb Personal Injury Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Motorcycle Fatalities Rise

As temperatures and gas prices both rise, motorcycle deaths rise as well. There was an increase of 9 percent compared to last year pushing the number of deaths to more than 5,000. This number will likely only see a further rise in years to follow as a result of the declining helmet laws in many states. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, GHSA, deaths have fallen 23 percent involving the varieties of other vehicles.

The GHSA report showed that economic factors have contributed to the rise in motorcycle deaths in the past few years. People’s discretionary income has gone up which in turn raises the amount of motorcycles and registrations being purchased. Because gas prices are still rising, people are more inclined to ride their motorcycles than larger vehicles to save money on gas.

The lack of helmet enforcement has significantly affected the injuries of these crashes. Only 19 states require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Louisiana was the last state to enforce a helmet requirement and that was in 2004.

We encourage you, if you own a motorcycle, to always wear a helmet whether it is required in your state or not. As a driver, please be aware of motorcycles on the roads and highways.

Share the Road- Pedestrian and Cyclist Death Rates Are Rising

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Cobb Personal Injury Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Share the Road

When the weather warms up pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists are on the road more frequently. Since we do not usually see them, it can be easy to not expect them or watch for them, which in turn can lead to an accident. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind as you drive:

-Pedestrians and cyclists do not always ride or walk on the sections of the road intended for them, so do not always assume that they will be in a certain area or lane.

-Never pass a vehicle stopped in the street. The vehicle may be stopped to let a pedestrian walk and by passing the vehicle you run the chance of hitting the pedestrian.

-As a pedestrian or cyclist we are often told to assume that cars do not see you or expect you, this same rule applies to drivers. Do not assume that pedestrians or cyclists see you.

-Do not drive distracted. Distractions impair your thinking and driving abilities. When you are distracted it can be very easy to miss the pedestrian crossing the road or the motorcyclist changing lanes. Prevent an accident and potentially a death by focusing on the road.

-Always allow more distance between you and a motorcyclist or bicyclist. It can be hard to judge speed and distance between you and the cyclist.

-Remember that road conditions may not affect you as much as they affect cyclists. Keep this in mind while following them.

Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians all have the same rights and privileges on the road as you, so remember to “Share the Road.”

For more information and safety tips check out http://www.nhtsa.gov/.

What to do after a car accident

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Auto Recall Attorney - The Cooper Firm

What to do after a car accident?

Driving is probably the most dangerous thing most of us will ever do. Although you do your best to drive responsibly and defensively, it is still smart to know what to do just in case you end up in a car accident. It can be pretty difficult to remember what to do after the initial shock and surprise of an accident. The calmer you are, the better prepared you will be to handle the situation. The following is a list of tips to keep in mind if you are involved in a car accident:

1. Make sure everyone is OK. If anyone has been injured, call 911 and request an ambulance. (If you are not trained in first aid, do not move someone who is badly hurt, doing so could cause greater injury)

2. Call the police regardless of how minor the accident is. Have them right up and accurate police report of the incident.

3. Move your vehicle only if its position puts you in danger or you are instructed to move by the police.

4. Be prepared to provide the following information to the police officer:

  • Licence
  • Registration
  • Insurance Information
  • Telephone numbers; address; licence plate number

5. Be sure to gather this valuable information from the other driver.

6. If available, take pictures of the accident prior to the vehicles being moved. Be sure to include photographs of the damage to all vehicles involved in the collision.

7. Be cordial to the other driver(s), but speak only to the police about the collision. Do not spontaneously discuss your personal condition, frame of mind or anything unrelated to the accident.

8. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information.

9. If your vehicle can not be driven from the scene – be sure to gather all valuables from your vehicle prior to it being removed from the scene. Get a business card from the tow truck driver operator.

10. As yourself “How well did your vehicle protect you in this collision?” If you feel that your vehicle may have not have protected you like it should have, you may want to consider hiring an attorney.

Additionally, no matter what happened, do not admit guilt at the scene. Even if the accident was your fault, do not confess to anything until you speak with your insurance company and your attorney. If you feel you require legal representation, it is recommended NOT to provided recorded statements to the insurance company until you have spoken to your lawyer.

When Airbags Kill Instead of Protect

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Air Bag Defect Attorney - The Cooper Firm

When Airbags Kill

Even though they are designed to save lives and reduce injuries, a surprising number of Americans have been killed or injured due to problems with airbags. There were over 1.5 million vehicles with airbag recalls from Honda and Toyota this year. While there are no injuries with the most recent recall, their previous recall had at least two deaths and 20 accidents with airbags that inflate over-aggressively.

The problems with airbags seem to be in several different categories. Airbags deploy when they are not needed, they fail to employ, or they aren’t installed properly leading to aggressive openings with plastic or metal than can injure. These problems could be due to faulty sensors, incorrectly programmed, or short circuiting control systems.

Last year, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration revealed that vehicles that have been repaired from accidents have some counterfeit replacement airbags installed. Federal law enforcement have had numerous arrest for this, even of suppliers in China.

The “smart” airbags which detect the severity of a crash and the position of the passenger and adjust their inflation force have help reduce the amount of injuries. According to federal safety regulators they have saved 1,000 lives annually.

New types of airbags, including “smart” airbags are now being installed in every area of the car. They are even looking into knee-blocker airbags. With the new technology, we hope that new safety features are found and installed to prevent airbag injuries.


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