What to Do if Your Vehicle Breaks Down on an Interstate Highway

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A road trip is such a wonderful opportunity to bond with your loved ones.  There’s nothing like the open road and the breathtaking sceneries that you get to see along the way.  However, unexpected things can happen during your trip.  For instance, your car suddenly breaks down while you’re driving along the interstate highway.  No need to worry because we’ve got some helpful tips for you:

What to do first

Gently take your foot off the accelerator.  Don’t brake hard.  Carefully maneuver your car toward the breakdown lane or the side of the road.  If you are on an interstate, then try to reach the exit.  Remember to signal your intentions to the drivers behind you.  If you need to change lanes, watch your mirrors and the traffic around you.

Once you’re off the road, make sure your car is visible.  Place reflectorized triangles behind your car to alert the other drivers.  You can also use emergency flashers.  Is it getting dark?  Turn on the interior dome light.

wheel after tire explosion

Flat Tire

If you have a flat tire, make sure that you can change it safely away from the traffic.  Change the tire as you normally would.  Take note to prioritize safety over your schedule or whatever concerns you might have.  Although, if your vehicle is beyond repair, then you need to get professional help.  Don’t try to flag down other cars.  Instead, raise the hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it on a window so truck operators or police will know that you need help.  Do not stand behind or next to your car.  If your vehicle is in the roadway, then stand away from the car while waiting for help.

Out of Traffic

If your vehicle is safely out of traffic, then wait inside the car and lock the doors.  You may then use your cellphone to call for help.  However, if someone approaches you and offers help, then partially open the window and tell them to call the police.  Watch out for police officers or other emergency personnel.  All major roads and interstate highways are patrolled regularly.  Some highways even have special “call-for-help” phones that you can use.

More safety tips

Avoid walking on an interstate especially during harsh weather conditions.  Although, if you can get to a source of help on foot without risking your personal or physical safety, then try the direct approach.  Remember to avoid the traffic and walk on the right side of the road.  Don’t attempt to cross a high-speed, multi-lane roadway.

interstate map

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Even if you regularly maintain your car, breakdowns can still happen.  Be sufficiently prepared and keep an emergency toolkit in your car at all times.  A mobile phone is the most important component in your emergency kit.  It is your lifeline to help.  A well-stocked kit also includes:

  • Maps
  • Water and paper towels
  • Nonperishable food, drinking water, and medicines
  • Basic repair tools and duct tape
  • Emergency blankets, towels, and coats
  • A first aid kit
  • A flashlight
  • A phone charger/extra battery
  • Flares and white flag
  • Work gloves and change of clothes
  • Extra windshield washer fluid
  • Jack and ground mat
  • Jumper cables

Lastly, always remain calm and don’t panic.  Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a  safe and memorable trip.

 

What to Do if Your Uber Driver Is Involved in an Accident

How to Handle an Uber Collision

It’s no secret that Uber drivers have taken over our roads. You can find them everywhere. Since 2009 there are more than 75 million people who have used Uber. What makes them so popular is the fact that they are very convenient and cost-effective. However, they can also be risky and dangerous. Take note that vehicular accidents can have a significant impact on the rest of your life.

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So what do you do if your Uber driver gets involved in an accident with you in the car? What you can do next depends on whether the Uber driver was acting as your driver or another person’s driver, and whether it occurred while they were “on the clock” or not. This guide focuses on what happens if you’re a passenger in an Uber when it’s involved in a car crash.

What To Do After an Uber Accident

You must always make sure that everyone is okay after any vehicular accident. This also applies during an Uber crash. Furthermore, if you require medical attention, then you should be sure to get it right away. Don’t forget to call 911 if you’re uncertain as to whether anyone needs urgent medical attention. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry in the end.

Uber crashes are similar to other car accidents in a lot of ways. You have to know what to do after any car accident. However, there are specific things you can do in an Uber accident. You should:

Morgantown Car Accident Image
Morgantown Car Accident

Call the police

It’s very important to call the police to the scene so they can create a report after an Uber accident. Make sure to stay at the scene with the Uber driver so you can also talk to the police officers. Don’t get tempted to get another ride and leave the scene. The police need to talk to everyone involved in the incident to get an idea of what happened and why. Usually, they’ll also include their opinion about who was at fault in the crash in their report.

Take note of everyone’s contact information

Make sure to get everyone’s information about who was involved in the incident, including your Uber driver, the other driver, and any other passengers. Since it’s difficult to determine who is at fault right away, collecting everyone’s contact info will be important.

Report the incident

You must also report the accident to a few key entities such as:

 

  • Uber (so they’ll report it to their insurance company)

 

  • Your insurance company

 

  • The other driver’s insurance company

 

It’s highly recommended that you make all of these reports right away just in case any of these insurance coverages apply. Most insurance companies have time frames in which you have to make a claim after an accident, and if you don’t act fast, you could waive your ability to get money for your damages and losses.

Seek Medical Attention After an Uber Crash

Please visit a medical facility on the day of your accident as soon as possible.  Never tell the police and insurance that you are not injured if you are not 100% sure you are perfectly okay after the collision.  Any statements will be used against your claim later on if you are experiencing after effects from the collision, and if you don’t quickly seek medical attention for your injuries, this will also be used to prove that you weren’t really injured.

In America, there are millions of people who use Uber daily. Accidents involving Uber drivers occur almost every hour of every day. That’s why it’s a must to have basic knowledge of the legal and insurance issues that will affect you if you’re ever injured in an accident with an Uber driver – either as a pedestrian or a passenger, bystander, or the other driver.

 

How to Teach Your Kids Bike Safety

In the midst of this pandemic, bike riding has shown a resurgence for both children and adults.  In some urban areas, biking is replacing the public transit commute, and it is nearly impossible to even find a bicycle for purchase.  In and around Morgantown, West Virginia, we have a great network of rail trails for bike riding enjoyment.

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Here are some of our best tips for helping your kiddos to keep it fun by keeping it safe:

Teaching Kids Bike Safety

Do you love cycling and do you want to make it an integral part of your family’s routine?  Biking with your kids is an excellent way to get them comfortable on a bike.  However, it’s also vital to ensure that they have a strong understanding of bike safety so you’ll feel at ease when they go out biking on their own.  Here are some tips on how to teach your children bike safety so your kids are ready to take on the world, one bicycle lane at a time.

Making bike safety gear fun

As a minimum requirement, safety gear for riding a bicycle is a nice set of lights for when it’s dark.  A lot of people also opt to wear helmets and hi-visibility clothing.  Make the process of safety gear fun by offering your children various options and allowing them to choose their suit. 

Practicing off the bike

Practice hand signals with your kids at home.  It’s crucial to practice hand signals so that your child feels comfortable riding with you on busier streets.  The goal is to make hand signals second nature.  It doesn’t have to be in-depth, but occasional “pop quizzes” when you’re chilling at home will keep the signals fresh in their minds for the next bike ride.

Road Rules

Learning bike safety early helps foster a lifetime of safe bike riding.  Before your kid starts riding, make sure that you teach him/ her the rules of riding.  

Bicycle riders must know how to use hand signals.  These signals are used to let car drivers know what a bicyclist intends to do.  Here are some basic hand signals:

  • Stopping: left arm bent down at the elbow 
  • Right turn: right arm extended straight out or left arm bent up at the elbow
  • Left turn: left arm extended straight out

Before pulling into the street at an intersection, a bicycle rider should always:

  • Stop, look left, and then right. Look left again.
  • Look back and yield to the traffic coming from behind.

As a general rule, kids under ten years old should ride on the sidewalk, not on the road itself (even in the bicycle lane).  However, you can use your best judgment to ascertain whether your kid is ready to ride on the road.  Do make sure that he or she has the skills and knowledge required to keep safe to avoid a bike accident.

More bike safety rules:

  • Bicycles should always be ridden in the direction of traffic and never against it.  They should also be ridden on the right side of the road.
  • Bicycle riders should always look out for cars coming out of parking spaces, parking lots, and driveways.Bike riders must understand and follow all traffic lights, crossing signals, and street signs.
  • Young kids should always walk their bikes through intersections.

You have to make sure that your child understands basic bike safety and knows how to care for their bike.  Doing so puts them at a lower risk for bike-related injuries.  If you have younger kids, then monitor them at all times when they are riding.  Tell your older kids to check in with you if they are out on their own.

Pack water and a small first aid kit:

Also, if they are taking off for a long ride, make sure they have water bottles and a small first aid kit containing bandages.  You don’t want them to have to use socks to stop the blood should a mishap occur on the trail!

 

How to Teach Your Children How Avoid Being Bitten by a Dog

We recently settled a case for a client who was visiting a friend.  She reached over to pet their small dog and was horribly surprised when the little dog lunged forward and bit her on the nose.  The teeth were sharp and the bite deep, and the injury to her face required plastic surgery and left a permanent scar right in the center of her face.  We ended up settling the case for nearly $200,000.

Even though our client got a great financial result, you really don’t want your child to go through the pain, trauma, and possibly lifelong fear of a dog bite.

Here is a copy of our recent dog bite lawsuit client’s review of our firm:

What an amazing team! Jeff was extremely helpful, compassionate, and understanding to my situation, and circumstances. He was very proactive and dedicated in his representation. Excellent, and proficient communication through out the process. I would highly recommend Jeff for anyone needing representation. Thank you!

How to Teach Your Child to Avoid Getting a Dog Bite

adult black pug
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A dog is a great pet for any family. They are loyal, playful and they can also protect your loved ones. However, they sometimes get triggered or provoked and their natural instinct is to bite. Accidents like dog bites can be easily prevented. The key is to teach your kids how to properly interact with your dog. Here are some useful tips:

The First Meeting

The initial interaction between your kid and your new dog takes place during visits to a breeder or shelter. Yet, once the dog moves in, he needs some time to adjust to his new environment. It’s vital to talk to your children about helping your dog feel comfortable in your home. Your kids should:

Give the dog some space. An excited kid can easily make a dog feel overwhelmed before he’s comfortable with accepting attention. Allow your dog to sniff around the house to get acquainted with his new abode.

The dog should be the one to initiate interaction. If the dog’s arrival is his first meeting with your kid, tell him/ her to be still, and hold out a closed fist for your dog to sniff. If the dog responds positively, then let your kid touch him. However, if the dog seems nervous or shy, explain to your kid that the dog is still adjusting to his new home. Furthermore, tell your kid that with a little patience and love, they will become best friends in no time.

Teach your children that even a small dog can have a fierce bite!

What Not to Do

It’s also equally important to explain to your kid what not to do with any dog, new or otherwise. There are certain behaviors to avoid to prevent stress and possible injuries to both the child and dog. The following are some things to avoid:

Do not run and shout

Whether during play or out of fear, a shrieking, running kid triggers a dog to chase and bite.  

  • Do not hug/ squeeze the dog

The dog may not perceive it as an affectionate gesture. He could feel threatened, especially if the kid’s face is near his. Instead, tell your child to kiss his/ her own hand and gently pat your dog with the “kiss”. Remember that toddlers won’t know the difference between a soft pat and a strong thwack. Therefore, you must carefully supervise them.

  • Do not play rough

Some children see dogs as hobby-horses. A dog may tolerate such disrespectful behavior, but he shouldn’t have to. A child should also not wrestle, straddle, or lie on top of the dog. These certain actions can elicit a painful reaction such as biting.

  • Do not tease a dog

Kids sometimes like to see dogs react to being poked, blown at, or other forms of teasing. They must learn from the start that teasing is cruel and can be dangerous if your dog retaliates.

  • Don’t disturb a sleeping or eating dog

Food aggression in dogs should not be tolerated but kids should also learn to let dogs eat in peace. Furthermore, pestering or startling a sleeping dog can trigger an angry or fearful reaction. Tell kids to leave sleeping dogs alone.

Even though dogs of a breed can vary greatly in temperament, please don’t buy a dog for your family of a breed that is known to have a higher than average propensity for attack.

Pit Bull Bite and Attack Statistics