Truly Catastrophic Parking Lot Accidents: How They Happen; How You Can Protect Yourself

In 2016, horrifying video captured the moment when Maria Cruz Gonzales-Cortes was struck by a car in a parking lot while pushing her 15-month-old baby in a stroller. Her baby lived, but 24-year-old Maria died. In Brooklyn in July of 2018, a 4-year-old was struck and killed in a laundromat parking lot while her mother tied her shoe. A driver leaving the parking lot drove over her and then fled the scene. The little girl’s mother was also injured, but recovered.

Tragic parking lot accidents are much more common than you’d think. According to the National Safety Council, at least 60,000 people are injured and 500 people die in parking lot accidents every year. In fact, according to the National Highway Safety Transportation Board, of the 1,132 children killed in car accidents in 2015, 21% of them were pedestrians struck by a car.

What Causes Parking Lot Accidents?

Distracted driving causes the majority of parking lot accidents every year. The National Safety Council finds that as many as 2/3 of drivers may be preoccupied while driving in parking lots. Many drivers use their phones while driving through parking lots, with the incorrect perception that the lower driving speed makes them safe from accidents.

How Can You Protect Yourself in a Parking Lot?

To avoid accidents in a parking lot, use common sense and put your phone down. It is never safe to drive – even in a parking lot – while you text, enter map directions or place a phone call. To protect yourself and others in parking lots, you can also:

  • Slow down and be cautious.
  • Correctly set your side mirrors and consider adding blind spot mirrors.
  • Use technology like rear view cameras, vehicle cross traffic alerts systems or parking assist systems.
  • Park as far away from other cars as possible.
  • Look for pull through spots so that you won’t need to back up when you leave.
  • Be careful of wayward carts and car doors on windy days.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and need assistance, we may be able to help. Call us at (205) 327-8311 for a free legal consultation.

Dealing with the Emotional Fallout from a Workplace Disaster

Disasters at work can be unexpected and overwhelming. For many workers, there may be an emotional toll, even if there are no outward signs of physical injury. While everyone has a different reaction to stressful events, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress are very common.

Common Reactions and Responses

According to the American Psychological Association, in the aftermath of a disaster, it’s normal to feel disoriented or unable to fully process what happened. Other common reactions include:

  • Intense or unpredictable feelings: You may find yourself feeling unexpectedly emotional or anxious. Or you might feel more irritable.
  • Changes to your normal thoughts or behavior patterns: Disruptions to your appetite and sleep are normal and you may have vivid memories of the event.
  • Sensitivity to environmental factors: You may be more sensitive to stimuli around you like bright lights, crowds or loud noises. Encountering these environmental factors may make you feel anxiety or as if the disaster is going to happen again.
  • Strained interpersonal relationships: Withdrawing more from social gatherings or loved ones can be common. You may also feel more on edge or snippy, resulting in more conflict with people you encounter daily.
  • Stress related physical symptoms: You may experience physical symptoms like nausea, stomach pains or exacerbation of existing medical conditions.

How to Cope

To cope with all of these reactions, you should give yourself time to adjust. Ask for support from friends and family or anyone you know who will listen with empathy and caring. Communicate your experience through talking to friends, writing about your experience or even creating art. You should also engage in other healthy behaviors to help cope with your stress, like healthy eating, rest, using relaxation techniques like meditation and creating positive routines, like going for a daily walk or participating in a hobby. It may also be a good idea to avoid making major life decisions at the moment.

Seek Professional Help

If you have persistent feelings of distress or hopelessness or if you feel barely able to get through the day, it may be time to seek professional help. Ask your doctor for a referral for a therapist or support group, or contact a licensed mental health provider.

At the Petro Law Firm, we hope that you never encounter a workplace disaster. But if you do, we’re here to help. If you are injured and you need legal assistance, please call us at (205) 327-8311.

How Social Media Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

Birmingham Accident Injury ClaimSocial media can often have a negative impact — especially when it comes to a personal injury claim. While social media allows us to share life news, exchange family pictures, and keep up with friends and loved ones, it also provides opportunities for embarrassment and self-harm. Many a potential job has been lost to party pictures that prospective employees posted on Facebook.

Oversharing can also damage your injury claim after an accident. To learn more about injury claims, contact Petro Law Firm today to speak to an experienced injury lawyer today.

Be Careful About What You Post

After sustaining injuries in an accident, be very careful about what you post on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, if you expect to file a claim with insurance or sue for injury. It’s too easy to release the wrong information, or information that may hurt you during litigation. Rather than post willy nilly, you’re better served if you consult with an experienced local attorney first. Let them advise you on what information you can safely release — and what should remain private.

The Insurance Can Use Your Social Media Posts Against You

Today’s insurance companies are very aware of social media, as well as its potential for saving them money. In an era when people put everything online, an adversary’s social sites are the first places researchers check for information. Posting photos or videos of your injuries, describing them, or making specific claims can hurt you. Worse, information or images that seem to counter your claims can be used against you in court to force you to accept a smaller claim — or no claim at all. It’s no wonder that Facebook and Twitter get a good scouring by the enemy, and heaven help you if you post photo stories to Snapchat. The other guys will do their best to find evidence you’re faking or exaggerating your injuries.

If you’ve injured a foot, don’t discuss that mile-walk you just finished or the number of steps on your FitBit for the day. If you’ve hurt your back, it’s not a good idea to play soccer and then post pictures of it. The insurance company can use any appearance of health against you. Whether the insurance company is another driver’s, a litigant in a store injury claim, or the government, they will not hesitate to use social media evidence against you. If you have an injury claim pending, don’t try to be strong and not act injured. Be logical and realistic.

All of Your Posts Can Be Considered Public

Everything you post on a public venue is, well, public — meaning that anyone can use anything you post for or against you. There’s no reasonable assumption of privacy, as there might be with a personal journal. With a little forethought, that should be obvious… but the way we use social media today, often as bulletin boards for friends and family, makes that easy to forget. But you have to remember: once something’s online, it never goes away. Ignore this, and your own words or images may be used against you in your case — no matter how you set your privacy settings, even if your Facebook page is meant only for friends and family.

Just as bad, an insurance company may look for posts you’re tagged in on other people’s social media sites. During the discovery process, they can also make a reasonable demand to see your private social posts, ones otherwise hidden from most people. One way or another, the opposing insurance company will obtain the data they think they need. That means you need to take extra precautions not to accidentally shoot your claim in the foot — so to speak.

You May Want to Shut Down Your Accounts

After your injury, your best option is to stop posting altogether. You may even want to close your social media accounts until after the case is complete. If you can’t or don’t want to, simply don’t post anything about your injury. Don’t post details of your treatment. Don’t post what you’ve discussed with your lawyer or anyone else about your case. And don’t post any information regarding fault — and no photos of any kind.

We Can Help You With Your Injury Claim

Injured in an accident in the Birmingham area? Contact an injury lawyer at Petro Law Firm. We can advise you on all aspects of your injury claim, including how to handle your social media in the interim.

Call us before you post about your injury on social media. Don’t let a casual social post torpedo your personal injury claim.

What Should You Do If Your Child Got Seriously Hurt At A Neighbor’s House?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 3.4 million children receive injuries in houses.

Often those injuries can occur at a neighbor’s residence and be serious. Among the common causes are falls, dog attacks and playing with dangerous objects.

In addition, often children are victims of what is known as an attractive nuisance. Children become easily fascinated. The classic example is the brightly colored swimming pool. It can “lure” children to the neighbor’s property.

Of course, the parents’ instinct is to obtain immediate help for the injured child.

However, parents must also be concerned if their child’s injury could have been prevented. The issue is: Is the neighbor negligent? That is, were conditions in the house unsafe or, as the old saying goes, “an accident waiting to happen.” The condition could have been as simple as a sharp knife within the child’s reach. Or, as complex as uneven stairs.

Parents owe it to their child and the safety of all others who visit that house to determine negligence. That requires four documentation steps. Parents must take them simultaneously when getting aid for the child or soon afterward. They are:

  1. Photograph the child’s injuries, including from different angles. Since digital ones tend to be the clearest, use a smartphone.
  2. Take multiple photographs of what might be called “the scene of the crime.” This should be done immediately. The neighbor might not allow parents inside the property later. Moreover, there could be attempts to cover up negligence. For example, the neighbor later puts a gate around the pool.
  3. Monitor and record the child’s emotional states. The injuries could include emotional trauma.
  4. Do not discuss any aspect of this injury with the neighbor. As one hears continually on television shows, “anything you say can and will be used against you.” For instance, in shock, parents may blurt out, “Well, Johnny is clumsy.” That single statement can undermine or reduce the compensation in a legal action.

Negligence is a complex legal matter. In addition, the amount of reimbursement for medical bills, financial provisions for long-term care and damages for pain and suffering are also complex. Parents should seek the guidance of a lawyer.

If you believe your child has been injured by negligence in a neighbor’s house, let the skilled attorneys at Petro Law Firm help. Contact them now at 205-327-8311 or Mark@PetroLawFirm.com.

Why auto Accidents are Especially Dangerous to Those With Existing Medical Conditions

In Alabama, reports Drive Safe Alabama, an auto accident injures a person every 11 minutes.

Those involved in the crash may not even realize they have been injured. Frequently shock triggers the release of endorphins. Those morphine-like hormones can block the sensation of pain and emotional distress. Therefore, the victims do not feel the need to be  “checked out” by medical personnel.

That is not only dangerous. It could be fatal, soon after the accident or in the long-term.

Among the reasons why is that whatever blows the body-and-mind-absorbed could worsen existing medical conditions. Essentially, existing conditions are diseases and disorders which were present prior to the accident. Examples include spinal fusion, arthritis, heart arrhythmia and post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD).

So, yes, after an accident, victims should seek an immediate medical evaluation at the scene. Following that should be a comprehensive medical assessment at the actual medical facility.

During both of those, they must brief the medical personnel about the existing conditions. That is for two reasons.

One is to receive any appropriate treatment. For example, a history of back trouble might require the body to be immobilized before transport to the hospital. Without that, the injured might wind up paralyzed.  That might especially be the case if the crash inflicted added damage to the spine.

Secondly, existing conditions can make the claims for payment of medical expenses by insurance and for reimbursement for pain and suffering more complex. Those at fault could attempt to prove no correlation between the accident and the worsened medical condition.

Therefore, there will be an extensive inspection of medical records.  Victims need to have the emergency medical staff provide treatment details. Those records are absolutely necessary. On a continuing basis other healthcare personnel rendering treatment will also have to furnish those.

It is the responsibility of the injured to review those for accuracy. That reaches way back to what had been recorded in diagnosing and treating the initial diseases and disorders. Errors have to be corrected.

Injured accident victims owe it to themselves to have a lawyer guide them through the maze of documentation. It could be financial suicide to deal with insurance companies and defense attorneys on their own.

If you or a loved one have an existing condition you believe was worsened in a car accident, let the skilled attorneys at Petro help. Contact us now for a free consultation 205-327-8311 or Mark@PetroLawFirm.com.

Post Car Accident Symptoms: What to Expect

post car accident symptomsNot all car accident injuries show up immediately — in fact, you may suffer unexpected post car accident symptoms indicating an undetected injury days later. Car accidents, no matter how minor, are traumatic. Brain chemicals may keep you from feeling all the effects of an accident at first.

How can you tell if the pain you’re suffering now is from post car accident symptoms? In this article, we’ll help by reviewing symptoms that may show up late, and explain why it’s important to keep an eye out for those symptoms.

Why Post Car Accident Symptoms Might Take a While to Appear

Mature has programmed your body to continue to function even after severe injury, so you can get out of harm’s way, seek help, and recover in a safe place. Your brain and body pump out chemicals like adrenaline and endorphins that block pain and delay shock, keeping you lucid and alert… for a while.

Once those chemicals fade, new symptoms may start to appear, sometimes long after a doctor has cleared you. Suddenly, you can find yourself in severe pain.

Soft Tissue Injuries

These are common after an accident, even if you were restrained or padded by airbags. Soft tissue damage can include injuries to interior organs, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. In addition to collision with the interior of the car, sudden stops can cause injury due to stress on your joints. You’ve heard of whiplash, which occurs when neck muscles are damaged because the head suddenly moves forward, then back.

Soft tissue injuries result in limited mobility due to swelling and pain. Sometimes they can take weeks to manifest fully, and because they’re invisible on X-rays, insurance companies may not take you seriously. They’re also harder to document, but do your best to get them accurately diagnosed as soon as they occur.

Concussions

A concussion occurs when your brain forcefully strikes the inside of your skull as a result of outside trauma. The results sometimes don’t show up immediately. A severe concussion may result in obvious disorientation or unconsciousness, but there are also subtler symptoms to look for:

  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of energy
  • Cloudy thoughts
  • Trouble remembering new things
  • Inability to concentrate
  • A pattern of sleeping too much or too little after the accident

Seek medical help immediately if you have any of these symptoms after a car accident, just in case.

Go to a Doctor Even If You Don’t See Immediate Symptoms

Any serious car accident deserves a visit to the doctor, no matter how well you feel. If nothing else, the doctor can tell you what red flags to look for that may indicate delayed injuries. If you experience any post car accident symptoms, even after a fender bender, make an appointment or go to the emergency room. That pain you feel may be due to an injury that didn’t register earlier. In addition to possibly saving your life, this will help you document all your injuries for insurance purposes.

Don’t Sign on the Dotted Line Yet

You may hear from a sympathetic claims adjuster after the accident, who offers you a few hundred dollars for that seat belt bruise or banged knee if you’ll just sign a release. Don’t do it. First of all, you may be injured worse than you realize. Second, if they’re willing to offer money, you may have a case for a larger claim. Wait until you’ve been fully examined by a medical professional before agreeing to anything, and wait for as long as your doctor recommends you should, just to be sure something new doesn’t suddenly manifest. Once you’ve signed a release, it’s too late.

Call a Personal Injury Attorney Before You Settle

At Petro Law Firm, we specialize in helping injured Birmingham residents like you get the damage rewards you need to make you whole. If you have post car accident symptoms, you deserve to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact us online, or call us for a free consultation.

Important Steps to Take Following an Automobile Accident in Alabama

A car accident often happens when you least expect it, leaving you feeling stressed or shocked. Knowing the important steps to take following a car accident can save you a lot of headache down the road. Brush up on our 6 steps below to remain calm  and prepared if an incident ever does occur.

  • Move to Safety

To prevent further damage from oncoming vehicles, move your car away from the road, if possible. If you cannot move your car, turn it off and move yourself out of harm’s way while you wait for police or emergency personnel to arrive. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of the incident ahead. Distracted driving by passing drivers can lead to further incident, so be sure you are in a safe spot.

  • Check for Injuries

Check yourself and other drivers, passengers and pedestrians for minor or serious injuries. Call for an ambulance if necessary. If you are injured, do not leave your vehicle. Keep your seatbelt fastened and wait for help to arrive.

  • Alert the Police

A police report is an easy way for insurance companies to gather accurate information following an accident. Depending on your insurance company policy, a police report may be required to file a claim. Even if you are not sure that a police report is necessary, you may choose to file one as a precaution.

  • Take Photographs of the Scene

Names, insurance information and license plate numbers are important, but photographs and details from witnesses are just as crucial. Take clear photos of all vehicle and or property damage, any injuries, as well as photos of other people involved or at the scene.

Photos from the scene are the best proof of damages and even the cause of the accident, and will help you if any false claims are made. Having photographic evidence from the scene can help you prove your claim to the insurance company involved. If you are injured, take photos at the scene if possible, as well as the days following the accident, as some injuries may not be immediately evident.

  • Collect All Necessary Information

It is important to document as much information from the scene as possible. Write down the date, time and location of the accident. Collect the other driver’s name, driver’s license number and contact information, as well as insurance and policy numbers if possible. Don’t forget to document the make, model and year, and license plate number of all vehicles involved. If there are eyewitnesses, gather their contact information as well.

Remember to write down the name of the responding officer and his/her contact information. Ask when the police report will be available, and be sure to pick it up from the police station when possible. Never admit to any wrongdoing or blame others after the accident, as there is often confusion and shock, and the details may not be clear. Tell the details as you recall them, but do not speculate.

  • Go to the Doctor

It is important to go to the doctor following an accident, even if you feel fine. You may not be aware that you were injured until the initial shock of being involved in a car accident wears off. Oftentimes, injuries from minor accidents are not apparent or visible until hours or days later.

At Petro Law Firm, we hope you’re never find yourself in a car accident. However, if the situation does arise, we’re here to help. If your car accident is complicated and you need assistance, call us at (205) 327-8311.

Request our free book, “The Truth About Personal Injury in Alabama Secrets Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know.” 

Three Things to Know If You’re Injured on the Job

Does This Situation Sound Familiar?

You’re injured on the job and suppose to get Workers’ Comp but you keep running into
roadblocks. Bills are piling up, and no body’s looking out for you, except us. Petro Law Firm will
clear the path to the benefits you deserve. Call us to get your claim back on track.

(1) What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ Compensation is a benefit provided to workers who are injured on the job. The
benefits you may be entitled to include medical care, wage replacement while you are taken off
work, compensation for permanent injuries, compensation for vocational loss and loss of
earning capacity, and vocational retraining.

The key to any Workers’ Compensation Claim is to get well and to get back to work. However,
often the insurance companies will delay or deny benefits or make it difficult as possible to
access these benefits.

It is important, if you are injured and feel that you are not being properly treated, that you
consult an attorney. Let him provide you a professional perspective on your case and advise
you what it is that needs to be done.

The most important thing to do immediately after you are injured on the job is to notify your
supervisor of your injury. Often times an employer will try to use delay in notification as an
excuse to deny your claim.

(2) Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ Compensation Benefits can be broken down into three fundamental areas. It’s your
health, your job, and your financial security.

The most important benefit is your access to health care. The employer has to provide you with
medical care and pay for the medical care, including mileage reimbursement for travel to and
from medical treatment appointments.

If you’re unable to work while you’re healing from your job-related injury you are entitled to
Temporary Disability Benefits. It’s a benefit that will pay you two-thirds of your lost wages for
the period of time you are off work.

Ultimately your financial settlement will be based on the amount of Permanent Disability. After
the doctors have released you from medical care, they address Permanent Disability as a
disability you will not recover from. If you have a Permanent Disability and are unable to return
to work in any capacity, then you will be entitled to Permanent Total Disability Benefits. If you
have a Permanent Disability, but are able to return to work, then you will be entitled to
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits.

(3) Costs of Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

A Workers’ Compensation Attorney is one of the most affordable attorneys you can have in any
field. Alabama laws limit attorney fees to 15% in workers’ compensation cases.
The Workers’ Compensation Attorney will not charge you for the medical care you have
receive, nor will he charge you for the Temporary Total Benefits you receive. His attorney fees
are essentially based on the financial settlement from the Permanent Benefits at the end of the
case. If there is no recovery, there are no attorney fees.

Intro to Our Firm

My name is Mark Petro, and I’m the principal attorney at the Petro Law Firm, an award-winning
law firm that represents injured workers. I’ve been in practice in Birmingham, Alabama since
1989. I have handled hundreds of workers’ compensation cases over the years in Birmingham
and throughout the entire State of Alabama. We will treat you with the dignity and respect you
deserve, keep you advised of the status of your case, educate you on the legal process, and we
will ensure that your claim settles for the highest possible value. This is how we help insure
your financial security.

Contact Us Today to Schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session!

www.petrolawfirm.com
(205)327-8311
2323 2nd Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203

*30 DAY CLIENT SERVICE SATISFACTION GUARENTEE*

At Anytime During The First 30 Days of Our Representation Agreement You Are Not Completely
100% Satisfied With The Way We Treat You And The Way We Are Handling Your Case You Can
Ask Us To Return Your File With No Fees And No Expenses Owed And No Questions Asked.

“From the first time I spoke with Mark he always had time to talk to me about my concerns. He
never rushed me off the phone and he explained everything to where I understood and knew
exactly what was going on in my workers’ comp case. I sent emails Mark responded to those in
a timely manner. Mark truly cares and works for his clients. I will recommend him to anyone I
know who needs the best Workers’ Comp attorney in Birmingham. Thank you is not enough to
cover all he did on my case.” – Gwendolyn Handley

Tips for Negotiating a Car Accident Insurance Settlement

car accident insurance settlementThe car accident insurance settlement process can be complex. Insurance companies often try to settle for as little as possible. It requires legal knowledge as well as negotiation skills.

You deserve to have all your losses compensated. Work with an experienced car accident lawyer after a wreck to make sure the insurance company respects your rights to compensation. Call Petro Law Firm for help obtaining a car accident insurance settlement.

Car Accident Insurance Settlement Process

After a wreck, contact with the insurance company can be intimidating. The insurance company usually has a team of lawyers on its side, and their goal is to settle your claim for as little as possible. By becoming familiar with the car accident insurance settlement process, you can feel more secure about your situation after a crash.

Conduct an Investigation of Your Losses

Before asking the insurance company for a car accident insurance settlement amount, you should determine how much you have lost as a result of the wreck. This requires you to total your economic and non-economic damages. This may include the following:

  • Past, present, and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of relationships with your family
  • Property damage

Once you have determined how much you have already lost and how much the wreck will cost you in the future, you can begin the negotiation process with the insurance company. You may have to work with economists, expert medical providers, and others who can help you understand exactly how much your car accident claim may be worth.

Send a Demand Letter

The first step your accident attorney will take in seeking a car accident insurance settlement is sending a demand letter to the insurance company. The demand letter will state the details of your wreck and establish liability with their client. Then, your attorney may request a specific amount of money for settlement of your claim. It is unlikely that the insurance company will accept this initial offer; however, it will work towards an acceptable car accident insurance settlement.

The Insurance Adjuster Will Make an Offer

Whether you send a demand letter to the insurance company or not, the insurance adjuster may make you a car accident insurance settlement offer. However, this offer will likely be much lower than your original requested amount in the demand letter. If you didn’t send a demand, the amount will likely be much lower than you deserve. Insurance companies often make low-ball car accident insurance settlement offers initially in an attempt to make the claim go away.

You May Receive a Reservation of Rights Letter

The insurance company may send you a reservation of rights letter informing you that they are conducting an investigation of your wreck. The insurance company may also attempt to limit their responsibility by stating that their participation in negotiations and an investigation does not mean the insurance policy covers your situation. Do not be intimidated by this letter. You can still get a car accident insurance settlement by proving their client was liable for your injuries.

Ask the Insurance Company to Justify Their Low Offer

You do not have to accept the insurance company’s offer of a car accident insurance settlement. Instead, you can ask the insurance company to justify why their offer is so low. The insurance adjuster may present you with specific factors that were used to establish the car accident insurance settlement offer. Then, you can respond to these specific factors will information about the actual cost to you.

Get a Car Accident Insurance Settlement Offer in Writing

You may go back and forth several times with the insurance company in an attempt to obtain an acceptable car accident insurance settlement. You may have to use information from your investigation of your losses to show the insurance company the value of your claim. If the insurance company makes you an acceptable offer or they agree to your demands, then you should get the car accident insurance settlement in writing. Either you or the insurance company should produce a letter or document that specifically states the following:

  • Parties involved;
  • Amount of the car accident insurance settlement;
  • Specific damages the settlement covers; and
  • Date you should receive the settlement check.

Call an Attorney in Birmingham, Alabama for Help With Your Car Accident Insurance Settlement

It can be difficult to negotiate with a powerful insurance company when it comes to seeking a car accident insurance settlement. Instead of handling it alone, contact an experienced car accident attorney at Petro Law Firm today.

MOTORCYCLE SAFETY: TOP 5 WAYS TO PREVENT A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT

Riding a motorcycle is a fun and freeing form of transportation, but with that freedom comes risk. Motorcycle accidents are surprisingly common, and often not at the mercy of the rider. Visibility to other drivers, road hazards, weather and driver error all factor in to the hazards of riding a motorcycle. Check out the Top 5 ways to prevent a motorcycle accident so you can stay safe on the road and avoid a costly, or even deadly, accident.

  1. Proceed with Caution: Left-Hand Turns

Left-hand turns account for over 40% of all motorcycle crashes, and are some of the deadliest, yet preventable motorcycle accidents. The accidents occur when a vehicle turns into the cyclist at an intersection, often cutting off the cyclist and hitting them head-on, or when a cyclist turns left into a vehicle as it continues through the intersection. Look ahead and watch out for gaps in traffic. This often indicates a car is preparing to turn, and may not see you. To avoid incident, make your intentions to turn clear to other drivers, and stay aware of oncoming traffic. Use hand signals if necessary.

  1. Pretend You’re Invisible

Though it may seem unusual, one of the best ways to avoid a motorcycle accident is to behave as if other motorists cannot see you. Acting as if you are invisible prevents you from getting too comfortable on the road, therefore helping you better navigate potential incidents with other vehicles. It is easy for other drivers to miss a motorcycle in their blind spots, so avoid riding in these zones. Riding in a blind spot of a car or truck that switches lanes can be fatal. A rule of thumb to avoid blind spots is to make sure you can see the mirrors of the car in front of you—this assures you are in their line of site as well. For added visibility, wear reflective safety gear and always use your headlight, whether it is daytime or night.

  1. Watch Out for Distracted Drivers

Texting and driving is a deadly practice amongst car drivers that poses an even greater risk to motorcyclists. The slightest unintentional swerve or lane change by a distracted driver can be deadly for a motorcyclist. Stay alert by watching the wheels of the car in front of you. Oftentimes, this can give a heads-up of unplanned swerving, turning or drifting into the next lane, avoiding a costly collision. Do not ride near vehicles with a distracted driver when possible.

  1. Be Aware of Roadway Hazards

Hazards on the road pose a serious threat to motorcyclists. Tree limbs, gravel, glass and other debris can require you to swerve or cause your bike to waver, resulting in loss of control of the motorcycle. Driving at appropriate speeds can help you retain your balance if unavoidable hazards block the roadway.

  1. Expect the Unexpected

It may be easy to relax and enjoy the ride, but getting too comfortable on the road can lead to careless accidents. Motorcyclists must be prepared for sudden stops, debris in the road, and quick maneuvers around other vehicles at any time. All accidents are unforeseen, so being aware of your surroundings is crucial for your safety.

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Petro Law Firm Rider VIP Card

If an accident does occur, be prepared with the Petro Law Firm Rider VIP Card. The Rider VIP Card provides:

  • 24 – Hour Accident Hotline
  • No Recovery – No Fee For Motorcycle Personal Injury Claims
  • FREE Representation For Motorcycle Property Damage Claims
  • FREE Legal Advise to your motorcycle organization
  • FREE Home & Hospital Visits
  • FREE Insurance Policy Review