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 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