A new mobile app is sweeping the nation and its name is Pokémon Go. For those of us that experienced it first hand, Pokémon first landed big in the U.S. back in the 90s and captured the imaginations of children far and wide. The franchise has come back around, and this time it’s making its first smart phone debut.

The premise is simple and the series’ tagline: catch ‘em all. Players are tasked with collecting all the 151 types of pocket monsters, or Pokémon, and the mobile game has its players do this by exploring the real world. Using the phone’s GPS, players explore an augmented reality of the real world. They track down the nearby monsters and catch them as they appear transposed onto what the phone’s camera sees. The game itself is innocuous, excluding a recent security concern regarding an error in what account information is available to the game.

What has been causing some real world pressures though has been player behavior. This is in line with typical concerns of smart phone usage, especially with operation while driving. The allure of catching Pokémon at any time has led to some overeager players to attempt to play the game while driving, with sometimes disastrous results. It’s not just driving either. There have been cases of players straying into traffic, trespassing, and even walking off cliffs in pursuit of wild Pokémon. Some local governments are even considering passing regulation specifically targeting the game.

Many of us learned to bike as kids, and many of us continue to do so.  I know I don’t get to ride nearly as often as I’d like There is no reason to not to try and brush off those pedals and go for a spin, but if you’re over the age of 45, try not to push it too hard. The Journal of the American Medical Association found that the injuries sustained by bicyclists over the age of 45 increased by 23 percent, nearly a quarter more over their younger peers.

As with many statistics, this news should be taken with a grain of salt. There are always a multitude of factors that can result in skewed values. For example, there is actually an increase in the number of bicyclists over the age of 45, and an increase from there of cyclists who engage in sport cycling. It is not entirely risk born of age, and if anything the American people are showing that age really is just a number as they take to a pair of wheels. Still, our bodies aren’t always what they were before, and we need to be aware of our limits. If you’re biking to try and get back in shape, remember that you won’t get back there all at once. It takes time and practice. For everyone out there, remember to be safe. Wear a helmet, stay alert, ride with traffic, and obey the law. Stay safe and have fun out there!

If you or a loved one have been injured in a collision while biking or driving and need legal consultation, contact us at 202-296-0666.

Are you a  parent with a busy work schedule? Have you been putting your child into a daycare to provide them with a safe, nurturing environment while you make ends meet? If you are shopping around for a good daycare, or want to reevaluate your current one, there is some information you should be armed with.

We know children get hurt – it’s just something that is going to happen. They’re exploring, pushing their boundaries, getting used to their bodies. There will be stumbles and bumps and scrapes – and, of course, there will be crying. When an accident is more than just a boo-boo, it is normal to start wondering if you made the right choice. Much of protecting your child at daycare comes from your first choice of where to send them.

Before committing to a location, you should visit the center on multiple occasions both on tours and while there are children present. You want to see firsthand how the daycare runs. While you’re there, keep an eye out for industry credentials, get in touch with the other parents for their opinions. When you get back home, seek out third-party references.

When thinking of muscle cars, safety is typically not the first thought. We think about speed, thrill, speed, excitement, and danger with these vehicles, and it shows.  Muscle cars have  higher insurance rates, increased scrutiny by police, and are involved in a higher proportion of collision.  People don’t think about this when buying these cars. Yet with all these risks, are car manufacturers doing all they can to preserve the riders? You would think that a type of car that experiences increased instances of high speed collisions would have beefed up safety measures to protect the driver, but do they? The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has found the leading models to be lacking.

IIHS put the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang through the crash course to stack them up against more typical cars and each other. While the Mustang outperformed the others when it came to safety, none of them were able to secure the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK. The Camaro lacks available front crash prevention system, and unexceptional roof strength. The Challenger had immediately concerning results. In the Small Overlap Frontal Crash Test, where the vehicle is crashed into a wall’s edge with a point of impact at about the driver’s side headlights, the driver’s side front wheel was pushed back into the foot well. The crash test dummy could not be extracted without removing its foot.

The takeaway from this test was that while the Mustang and Camaro achieved good results, but not exceptional, the Challenger had a severe fault in a crash test that accounts for 25% of real world frontal collisions. We all want to have some fun, and muscle cars certainly offer that, but do not forget to consider safety ratings when shopping for a performance vehicle. It could be the difference that keeps you alive to enjoy many more rides.

The emergency room is never a place any of us want to visit, but most of us will see the inside of an emergency room at some point in our lives. Do you also know the leading reasons why? There are seven procedures that account for 80% of all emergency room trips. The study, published in JAMA Surgery, identified the following seven procedures:

  • Partial Colectomy
  • Small-bowel resection

Bicyclists beware; DC Law says you can’t recover any damages even if you are only a little bit at fault. This means that any incident where you had even the slightest possibility of somehow preventing that situation, you can’t collect any damages from a negligent motorist.  This is made worse by a lack of understanding of bicycle law by the police, and inconsistent police review.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is trying to  fix this through educational outreach, but it can only do so much. They are pushing for the Bicycle and Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Amendment Act of 2015.  This proposed law attempts to change the law of contributory negligence.  Essentially, this amendment will prevent the cyclist’s opposing party from obtaining a complete defense due to any amount of fault on the cyclist’s part.

Recently, the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act was voted 3-0 from the committee to move on for consideration by the full D.C. Council. It explicitly protects non-motorists in its language, and will afford bicyclists greater protection. The bill includes the last clear chance doctrine, which shifts the potential for final fault onto the negligent motorist. Even if the cyclist is found to be at fault, if the motorist failed to capitalize on a last clear chance to avoid the collision, the cyclist may potentially obtain a recovery.

Drive safe. It’s a familiar saying. Car accidents rack up a lot of costs, either monetary or emotional.  Too often, it costs lives, too.

What leads to crashes? In an interview with Bethesda Magazine, Detective Cpl. David Cohen said, “…in 99.9 percent of our cases, the fatal collision could have been prevented if someone had just done something differently.” To consider them accidents, according to the Detective, is to suggest there was nothing that could have been done to prevent it. We can always take precautions to protect our own lives and property, and those of our neighbors.

When a fatal crash occurs, county collision detectives get involved.  It is their task to study the scene of the collision and analyze the factors that went into it. With calculations, simulation, and long hours, detectives gain an understanding of the crash and determine who was at fault, and if that fault is of a criminal nature. Often, investigations do not end with criminal charges being pressed, but not for the reason you might think. In about 60% of the investigated collisions, the perpetrator died in the crash.

This chart shows recent pedestrian and bicycle accident data from the District of Columbia:

DC PED Injury graphs
As you can see, pedestrian fatalities are getting more frequent and more severe.

At Lewis & Tompkins PC, we are seeing more pedestrian and bicycle accident victims.  In our experience, inattentive drivers (I’m talking to you, cell phone users)  and hectic rush hour traffic are the most frequent causes of cars hitting pedestrians and bicyclists.


According to Insurance.com, the car insurance comparison-shopping website, in the analysis of insurance claim and traffic violation data from 331 car models and more than 323,00 customers, the following is a list of vehicles that were ticketed most often, and also filed an above average count of insurance claims.  Last year’s car with the most tickets was the Subaru WRX.  It was driving by mostly 20 year old men, it fell to number 12 on this year’s list.

A survey of which car makes and models received the highest and lowest number of traffic tickets over the past two years found those behind the wheels of the Lexus ES 300, Nissan 350Z and Dodge Charger SE/SXT were ticketed most often, and also filing an above-average count of insurance claims.  From the list you can see that luxury cars received the lowest number of traffic tickets over the past two years.

It has been two years since the accident on the Beltway severed your left leg. Thankfully, your body was forced out of the way, so only your leg was crushed between your motorcycle and the highway barrier. However, even though the amputation site has completely healed, you still get periodic bouts of severe pain that lead to heart palpitations, cold sweats, and chest pain. You have an appointment next week to see a doctor at George Washington U, but you’re extremely nervous about the outcome.

Could a two-year-old motorcycle injury still cause medical complications?

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