Know your bike laws in Alabama!

Fall is a great time of year in Alabama to get out on your bike and enjoy the cooler weather.  Whether you’re the serious cyclist or the weekend warrior, it’s important that you know the Alabama laws that apply to bicycles.  So here are a few of the important laws to know when riding your bike during this fall season.

  • The Rules of the Road that apply to Motor Vehicles also apply to bicycles, including traffic signals, speed limits, etc.
  • If you’re under 16, you have to wear a helmet
  • If riding at night, you must have a white headlight and a red back light
  • You must stay on the right side of the roadway and use designated bike paths when provided on the road
  • You are not allowed to cling to vehicles
  • You cannot carry a package that would prevent you from having one hand on the handlebars

These are some of the important bike laws to know in Alabama.  Violating any of these laws can result in a costly ticket and may put you in harm’s way.  So follow these laws and enjoy your bike rides while you take in the beautiful outdoors that Alabama has to offer!

Update: Love for Ansley

We have had an outpouring of support and concern for Ansley, the little girl that is so bravely fighting a very rare and very serious medical condition.  People called and wanted to donate, wanted to help with fundraisers, and wanted to know more about her.  Ansley is really doing well especially considering her circumstances.  We continue to keep her in our thoughts and prayers.

We also want people to know that a local business, Yard Garden Hammocks, saw our newsletter and wanted to help with its own fundraiser.  If you have been looking for hammocks, outdoor furniture, and yard decor please go to www.YardGardenHammocks.com and use the promotional code HELPANSLEY when you checkout.  Yard Garden Hammocks is donating thirty (%) of the proceeds directly to the family to help offset the financial costs they are facing.  See Facebook.com/HodgesTrialLawyers for more information.

Wrongful Death Suit Filed Over Legionnaires Outbreak

A lawsuit has been filed over an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease at a medical facility in South Whitehall Township in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. The families of two men who contracted the disease, along with one of the men who survived, have filed a lawsuit against the medical facility alleging wrongful death and negligence. The lawsuit also names as defendants Integrated Health Campus, the management company which operates and maintains the potable water system at the campus, and a property management company. 

UM/UIM Coverage is SUPER IMPORTANT!

We were recently retained to represent a very nice lady that was catastrophically injured in a car wreck caused by a drunk driver.  We sent letters of representation to the tortfeasor’s insurance carrier and our client’s automobile liability insurance carrier.  We have just been informed by the liability insurance carrier that our client allegedly rejected UM/UIM insurance.  Make sure you understand the ramifications of being catastrophically injured by a driver with no insurance or not enough insurance.

No one wakes up in the morning expecting to get seriously injured in a car wreck.  Worse yet, those that get hurt in an automobile accident expect that the other driver will have adequate liability insurance.  Unfortunately, this is often not the case.  Protect yourself by carrying $250,000.00 in UM/UIM coverage on each of your vehicles.  If you cannot do that, make sure your UM/UIM limits match or exceed the liability coverage that you carry on your car.  Do not wait until it is too late!

Pool Safety: Protecting your children

The weather is finally starting to heat up and that means the summertime pool parties have arrived.  We’re providing you with some pool safety tips to help prevent injuries from happening this summer.

 1.       How to prevent children from drowning.  Drowning is the most obvious danger and children age 1-4 have the highest drowning rates.  Here are some easy ways to prevent that.  When small children are swimming, an adult with CPR training should be no more than arms length away from the child and actively supervising the child.  A large percentage of drowning events occur in with parents nearby where adults are simply not paying.  Contrary to how it’s depicted in television, drowning is a silent event that does not include the splashing and thrashing that we have come to see.  It is also important to clear the swimming area of pool toys once you are done swimming to prevent temptation for the child to go back in the water on his/her own.  As anyone with kids knows, they can disappear in an instant, and the last place you want them to go alone is in to the deep end of a pool to retrieve an inflatable raft or other pool toy.

 2.       Pool chemical safety.  The Poison Control Center receives as many as 10,000 reports of exposure to chlorine in pool chemicals annually with two in every five cases involving children under the age of 6.  Another 4,000 cases are reported for respiratory and eye irritation, usually from improper storing, mixing or use of pool chemicals.  The solution: Store pool chemicals separately in a dry location away from heat or sunlight (a top shelf of a kitchen cabinet is a safe location out of the reach of children).  Also, do not mix chlorine-based products because any mixture with an acid can release a deadly chlorine gas.  Also, consider a “natural swimming pool” which disinfects a pool without the use of dangerous chemicals such as chlorine.

 3.       Learn and teach basic lifeguard techniques.  You don’t have to become a certified lifeguard to keep your children safe in a pool.  However, it is worth your time to learn how to spot drowning, how to perform basic lifesaving techniques, and how to perform CPR on children and adults.  If you’re swimming at a neighbor’s pool, there is no lifeguard on duty.  So the burden to protect young swimmers falls on you.  Once you are confident in your abilities to perform these basic techniques, train others.  The more adults that learn this valuable skill set, the safer your children will be.

 The summertime is a great time to play outside.  These basic safety tips can help keep your children safe around the pool during this exciting time of year.

Turn Lanes and How to Use Them

Maybe I just attract bad drivers, but the last few days I have been behind drivers who have stopped in the lane of travel to get into a turning lane.  Not only is this unnecessary, but it is highly dangerous.

Turn lanes were designed to allow the progress of through traffic.  When one approaches a turn lane one does not have to wait until the last moment to enter said turn lane.  The lanes were designed so that a driver can enter it rather early and proceed to do their slowing down and stopping in the turn lane.  One also should take care to ensure that their entire vehicle is within the turn lane, again, so as not to impede through traffic.

 Always remember that, for the most part, roadways were designed for progress.  Use turn lanes appropriately, enter them early, and do your stopping in the turn lane as opposed to the lane of traffic.  We will all avoid potential car wrecks this way.

Ballpark Safety Tips

It’s Little League season again and that means it’s time for a friendly reminder of how to be safe when taking the kids to the ballpark.  Here’s a few friendly safety tips for you and the family to exercise when heading to the ball fields this spring.  Some our more obvious than others, so pay attention.

1.       Make sure the kids are wearing the property safety equipment. – For the typical little leaguer, this means wearing a helmet when hitting at all times.  Similarly, catchers should wear a full equipment gear including the mask when catching pitches.  Kids are still learning at this age, so you can expect some wild pitches.  Mouth guards and cups are also advised equipment.

2.       Use Sunscreen – Whether it’s sunny or a cloudy day, those UV rays are going to get you and your kids.  So wear appropriate level sunscreen. Waterproof sunscreen is preferable because it won’t come off as easy when your kid sweats or pours water on his or her face.  Most local pharmacies carry travel size bottles around that easily fit into purses or ballbags.  Sunburn is a great way to ruin a weekend retreat.

3.       Watch for flying objects! – You’re at a ballpark, likely with multiple games going on at once.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Balls may come at you from multiple directions.  So if you hear someone hollering heads up, pay attention!

4.       Peanuts and Crackerjacks aren’t for everyone – Peanut allergies are becoming more and more common. So before you share a bag of peanuts with your kid’s teammate, make sure you clear it with his/her parents.  You don’t want to start an allergy attack at a little league game.  So be mindful of who you’re sharing food with.

PepsiCo Facing Lawsuit Over Cancer-Causing Chemical in Drink

A California woman has filed a lawsuit against PepsiCo Inc. alleging that they failed to warn consumers that their Pepsi One beverage contains high levels of a cancer-causing chemical. The lawsuit contends that the company was aware that a chemical used called 4-methylimidazole had caused cancer in lab mice, but failed to warn the public of the risks. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and an injunction requiring PepsiCo to either lower the levels of the chemical in the drink or place a warning label on the packaging.

10 Lots of Anesthesia Drug Recalled

A recall has been issued on 10 hospital/user lots of Etomidate Injection, a hypnotic drug used in anesthesia. The voluntary recall is due to the potential for small black particles, identified as paper shipper labels, to be present in individual vials. The ten lots of the drug were distributed Nationwide to distributors, retailers, hospitals, pharmacies, and/or clinics. The drug manufacturer has not received any reports of adverse events related to the contaminated drug.

How Do You Properly Use A Double Turn Lane?

Have you ever had to make a turn and there was an inside and an outside turn lane?  We all have.  Have you noticed the dotted white lines from those turn lanes into the intersection?  Those lines are a guide to inform the drivers in the inside and outside turn lanes as to which lanes they may turn in to.

Did you know if you are turning from the outside turn lane into a four lane road you may take either of the outside two lanes when you make your turn.  If you are turning from the inside lane into a four lane road you make take either of the two inside lanes.  However, you are not supposed to use the inside turn lane to take the outside lanes and vice versa.  Not only is this considered an improper turn, which could garnish you a ticket, but it could also cause a traffic accident.

The more we know about driving safety, the better drivers we become!