Articles Posted in Pedestrian & Bicycle Accidents

Every week you participate in a group bike ride sponsored by different shops around DC. Last week, you had a bit of a scare while biking the City Explorers Ride as the cyclist in front of you hit a rock and spun it straight toward you. You veered to avoid getting struck, but as a result, lost your balance and wound up tumbling into the street.

There wasn’t much traffic and you were able to right yourself before getting run over by a car. However, you weren’t quick enough to avoid causing the three bikers behind you to tumble as well. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured this time, but it made you wonder, how you can make sure your group is riding safely for next week?

Group Riding Safety Guidelines

Biking is a wonderful form of recreational fun, and can be an extremely rewarding group activity on beautiful summer days. However, it can also be really dangerous if members of the group aren’t paying attention or following the rules of the road. You can, however, stay safe and help avoid possible collision risks by following these simple guidelines every time you and your friends go for a ride:

  • Always wear a helmet and pads. Protecting your head and limbs in case of an accident should always be your first priority, as some accidents can’t be avoided, no matter what you do.
  • Always follow traffic and bike lane rules and laws. Bikes are considered road vehicles and are therefore subject to normal traffic laws, even when riding in groups.
  • Keep your eyes on the road. Although it may be tempting to solely focus on the rider ahead of you, you need to maintain a constant 360-degree awareness at all times
  • Don’t automatically “follow the leader.” Make your own educated decisions; don’t fall into the trap of blindly following the person ahead of you and of expecting his decisions to protect you. Be responsible for your own safety and follow the rules.
  • Keep a safe distance. Although you may not want to lose the group, your safety is more important than catching up. If you feel uncomfortably close or uneasy about your proximity to traffic, slow down to create a safe perimeter.

Participating in group recreational activities such as bike riding should not only be fun but safe as well. Follow these rules and tips to make sure your outing doesn’t end in catastrophe.

Already been injured and need advice about your bike accident claim? Contact us today for more information about how our experience and knowledge can help you and your family get the justice and compensation you deserve.

You and your family were watching Fox 5 last night and saw an interesting story about how traffic deaths and injuries have been steadily declining since 2000. After the story ended, your husband turned to you and made a joke about how since the roads are getting safer, you no longer had to ride your bike like an 80-year-old grandma hauling a wagon full of babies.

Although he thought he was funny, and you know perfectly well how cautiously you ride. Does that mean that perhaps you should be less concerned about bike accidents, since traffic deaths are decreasing?

Traffic and Bicycle Fatalities Compared, 2003–2012

Within recent years, traffic fatalities have been slowly but steadily declining; however, the percentage of bicyclist fatalities within the overall traffic deaths has been tragically growing. The statistics reported here, taken from research done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, illustrates the consistent rise in percentage of bicycle deaths over the past ten years.

  • 2003: Out of 42,889 traffic fatalities, 629 were bicyclists (1.5 percent of the total number of fatalities)
  • 2005: 43,510 fatalities, 786 bicyclists (1.8 percent)
  • 2008: 37,423 killed, 718 bicyclists (1.9 percent)
  • 2010: 32,999 fatally injured, 623 bicyclists (1.9 percent)
  • 2012: 33,561 killed, 726 bicyclists fatally hurt (2.2 percent)

As a result of this increase, bicycle precautions and accident prevention have become even more important. In Virginia alone, the average percentage of bicycle deaths is 1.4 percent and the Centers for Disease Control averages bicycle injuries to occur once every eight minutes (approximately 70,000 injured each year). Therefore, the next time you decide to take your bike out for a ride, make sure you’re taking the proper safety precautions (including use of helmet, pads, and other safety gear), as well as following all traffic and pedestrian laws. Remember, although it may not be protected like one, your bike is still considered a traffic vehicle and subject to all traffic and safety laws.

Don’t be a statistic! Pay attention, follow bike safety guidelines and share this page with your loved ones to help promote safety awareness to decrease bike accident injuries and fatalities.

Need more information on bike accident injuries or claims? Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re here to help answer your questions, address your concerns and give you the peace of mind you need. Call now for advice and claim help.

After weeks of agonizing physical therapy and traction, three surgeries, and the assistance of a wheelchair, you’re finally able to get out of bed by yourself and begin to address how you’ll be paying for the towering medical bills on your table.

You’re facing enormous challenges as a victim of a pedestrian accident.

With help from your family members who witnessed the incident, you’re able to say that the Chevy that hit you was definitely at fault. According to witnesses, the driver never even attempted to slow down as he approached the Wisconsin and M intersection and wound up plowing right into you.

You know that you need to file an injury lawsuit, but you’re not sure how to go about it. Since the fault is obvious, is it really worth getting a lawyer, or should you just file on your own?

Why It’s Worth Getting a Good Lawyer for Your Injury Claim

Filing an injury claim on your own can be extremely frustrating and bewildering. Insurance companies actually rely on this confusion, aggravation, and frustration, in hopes that it will discourage you from filing at all. If you do go ahead and file, the insurance lawyers hope their superior knowledge of the law will help them browbeat you into accepting a tiny settlement just to get the case over with.

However, by securing an experienced lawyer to help you with your case, not only will your frustration decrease, but the chances of receiving a higher settlement increases enormously. A good lawyer can:

  • Provide information and experience to help you understand the process.
  • Identify multiple sources that contributed to your accident, such as the other motorist, uneven sidewalks, faulty pedestrian signs, etc.
  • Use his experience with insurance companies to level the playing field and identify any insurance tricks that you may not be aware of.
  • Help you get a larger settlement to cover not only your present care but any future care you may require as well.
  • Give you peace of mind that someone else cares about your injury and is willing to fight for you.

Allow our knowledge, skill, and understanding to convince you that you don’t have to go through this alone. We’ll fight for you to not only get the compensation you need for your recovery, but also the justice in which you’re entitled. Call today for a free consultation and review of your case.

Still not sure if you want legal help? Feel free to browse our site for more information or read our client testimonials to see firsthand how we could help you.

As of two minutes ago, it was a lovely day. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, you just finished your last day of work before a three-day weekend. Life was good as you were peddling down Pennsylvania Avenue on your sparkly new bike, when all of a sudden, a maniac came barreling down Madison and cut you off at the intersection. You had to squeeze the life out of your brakes and nearly go up on the curb to narrowly avoid crashing into him, while he sped off as if he had done nothing wrong.

It’s amazing how 30 seconds can completely change your mood. Now, you’re not just angry; you are shaking from rage. At this rate, you’ll probably cause an accident as a result of nearly missing one. So how do you go about regaining control of your bike, your body, and your serenity before it’s too late?

Relaxing Your Biker Rage to Avoid an Accident

When your upset, irrational thoughts, adrenaline and revenge scenarios tend to flood your head, making it difficult to pay attention to anything else. Although this is a natural reaction, it can be extremely dangerous while riding a bike, especially in traffic or populated areas. This is why it is extremely important to know how to calm those thoughts and center your attention on what is going on around you, in order to avoid a potentially traumatic accident.

  • Breathe. Although it may sound trite, taking a few deep breaths is the fastest way to slow down your heart rate, stop adrenaline, and calm frustrations
  • Regain your 360-degree focus. Instead of replaying the upsetting incident, keep your focus on the world around you. If you have to, you can always replay the incident when you’re safely at home, but focusing on your surroundings now will not only ease your anger and help you forget about the frustrations, but it will also help protect you from any further surprises.
  • Rely on your maneuverability. Realize it is easier for you to stop, maneuver, and control your bike than it is for a motorist to control a 3,500 pound car. Although you may be annoyed, the fact is you can safely maneuver around objects more easily than a car, so instead of getting angry, adjust your speed or direction and let it go.
  • Don’t escalate the situation. Don’t shout obscenities or hateful remarks at cars. Although it may make you feel better, if you have to vent, wait until you’re in a safe place and not surrounded by stressed-out motorists in fast-moving metal cages.

Everyone gets upset once in awhile. It’s perfectly natural to lose your temper, get flustered, or upset by an inappropriate, illegal, or dangerous action of another. However, don’t allow that anger to control you, your ride, or your safety; otherwise you could wind up in an ambulance, a courtroom, or a morgue.

Need more information on bike injuries, causes, and claims? Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to discuss your case, who may be at fault and, what compensation you may be entitled to for damages. Don’t hesitate a moment longer—call now!

Thankfully, the warm weather is here to stay; which means you and your husband can dust off your bikes and finally attach the bike carriage your parents got you for Christmas. However, although you’re really looking forward to going on family rides to Rock Creek, you’re still not sure about the safety of these carriages.

What additional safety steps can you take to ensure your child is safe while riding in his bike carriage?

Precautions for Your Child’s Protection

Accidents can happen out of nowhere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still protect your little ones. Taking proper bike carriage precautions when riding with your children can not only ease your mind but could also save their lives.

  • Always protect your child’s head with a well-fitted helmet when going for a bike ride.
  • Elbow and knee pads can offer additional protection in case the carriage tips or falls over.
  • Provide your child with a working whistle or horn to alert you if his carriage becomes detached or he spots any other potential problems. Make sure he knows it should only be used in case of emergency so as not to distract you.
  • Avoid high traffic areas and bumpy roads to limit your odds of a vehicle collision.
  • Go slowly—especially when going up- and downhill—to avoid any potential bumps or issues that may rattle the carriage. Slow speeds can also help you identify possible problems before they strike.

When it comes down to it, your family’s safety and wellbeing are your greatest concerns. Don’t put them in jeopardy by not following simple bike riding safeguards. No matter where you’re going or how long the ride is, protecting your children is a must.

Make sure your family and friends are also protected by sharing this page with them via Facebook, or tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about a recent accident. The consultation is free, so the only thing you have to lose a chance for a good settlement.

That evening, you didn’t get home until after 9 p.m. However, as soon as you walked through the door, your daughter, dressed in her usual gothic mourning attire and looking like an ink blot, frantically asked you if the two of you could go for a walk—she’s been having “issues” at school and needs to talk. So, you threw your bags down, grabbed your leather jacket, and both of you headed out into the night.

She began telling you her problems while slowly walking backward down the sidewalk. As you approached the intersection and she back-stepped into the crosswalk, high beams suddenly came out of nowhere, careening straight toward her. You grabbed her arm and pulled her back onto the curb just in time. The car whizzed by (without even slowing down), apparently completely oblivious that your daughter nor you were even there.

One of the worst issues that drivers have at night is visibility; this is, coincidentally also one of the biggest problems that cause nighttime pedestrian accidents as well. Poor weather, darkened streets, and bad night vision can make you virtually invisible to a driver going 30 mph. If you’re wearing a black jacket or dark clothes, you might as well be a camouflaged ghost-ninja; drivers won’t have a prayer of seeing you until it is too late. This is why, if you choose to take a walk before or after daylight hours, you need to take extra precautions to make yourself visible to potential traffic.

Must-Haves for the Nighttime Walker

  • Light colored or reflective clothing: something that will catch the eye of a driver
  • Flashlight, pen light, glow stick, headlamp, or any other light-emitting device. Drivers will be less likely to mistake you for an animal or inanimate object if they see a moving light
  • A walking buddy. Not only will a friend provide a second pair of eyes to help identify potential risks, but animated movements and noise resulting from a conversation can help alert motorists of your presence

Drivers have enough problems at night, especially when drowsy, distracted, or in a hurry to get home, without having to worry about something they can’t even see. Make sure you’re taking the proper precautions to be actively visible in order to avoid a fatal accident, even when those precautions may not be the most flattering (e.g., glow sticks or a headlamp).

Already been injured and need advice about your pedestrian injury claim? Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to discuss your options, as well as show you how our experience and hard work can help you and your family be seen, heard, and compensated for the injuries you sustained.

As you’re waiting for the traffic light to change, you notice two women on the side of the road patiently waiting for their turn to cross; you also notice that a little further down the sidewalk another pedestrian is wandering toward the crosswalk. As the light turns green you make sure the two women are still waiting as you take your foot off the brake. Suddenly, the “wanderer” appears in front of the two women, ignores the “Don’t Walk” signal, and walks straight into your car. You slam on the brakes as he takes off his headphones, slams his fist onto your hood and starts screaming at you. “What are you doing? Didn’t anyone ever tell you that pedestrians always have the right of way!?”

Your heart is beating out of your chest, you’re starting to shake and his words are ringing in your ears. He hits your car again, shakes his head at you and backs up to stand by the now bewildered women. The cars behind you are honking for you to go, but all you can think about is that even though you had the green light, and what you thought was the right of way, you could have just killed this guy.

So were you wrong? Do pedestrians always have the right of way, no matter what?

The answer is, no, they don’t.

Vehicle vs. Pedestrian Right of Way

It’s true that vehicles must always be cautious around pedestrians. In a collision, the sheer weight and force of a car will ultimately cause more damage to a person than the person will cause to the car, so it’s only practical that cars try to avoid pedestrian accidents.

However, just because drivers are more thoroughly protected and lookout for less protected individuals, doesn’t give pedestrians a free pass to just assume all cars, in any given situation, will automatically yield or stop for them. Every situation is different and in every situation, right of way for both vehicles and pedestrians is established (based on safety and traffic laws) and must be respected.

Vehicles must yield:

  • When a yield sign is posted
  • When a pedestrian is in a crosswalk or the pedestrian has the “Walk” signal to cross. Generally, when pedestrian signals say “Walk,” vehicles will have a red light and should already be stopped. Pay special attention to left turns, as pedestrians can be hard to spot
  • To blind pedestrians using a white cane or seeing eye dog
  • When exiting a parking spot or driveway

Although they have the right of way, vehicles should always pay attention to pedestrians to avoid an accident; the fault of the pedestrian won’t lessen the tragedy.

Pedestrians only truly have the right of way on sidewalks and in crosswalks, which is why if you have to cross the street it is always safest to find a crosswalk. If you’re hit while not in a crosswalk, you may be at fault.

Although you may think that, as a pedestrian, you always have the right of way, your incorrect assumption could get you killed. Make sure you always look both ways, verify that cars are stopped before crossing the street and never walk against pedestrian signals.

Do you believe your pedestrian accident was caused by a driver disregarding your right of way or failing to properly yield? Don’t hesitate any longer. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your injuries, your rights and your potential claim.

Also, make sure your family and friends don’t continue to have the wrong assumptions about who has the right of way. Protect them by sharing this page via Facebook or by telling them to contact us directly for more information.

If you watch Channel 8 or Fox 5, you know that everything in your life poses a risk. “Dirt Breaks Woman’s Leg” and “The Choking Hazards of Your Tennis Shoes” are great headlines to keep you from enjoying a walk, but you can’t live in a bubble all your life; eventually you’ll want and need to take a stroll.

But it’s okay. As long as you take proper precautions and pay attention to your surroundings, you’ll be able to enjoy your nightly jaunts again and if you’re lucky, get home in time for the next breaking news story: “The Dangers of Rain.”

Safety Steps for Pedestrian Protection

Montgomery County is a beautiful place to spend long afternoons, as long as you’re being safe. When you’re walking by yourself or with friends and family, make sure you’re alert to your surroundings and are following the basic rules of the road and sidewalks.

  • Stay aware of and alert to your surroundings. Even when you’re having a conversation, make sure you have a 360 degree awareness of cars, cracks or roots in sidewalks, and approaching pedestrians and bikes. You never know when something or someone may lose control or cause you to trip and fall
  • Never walk in the road or near the road when sidewalks are available. If you must walk in the road, make sure you’re walking against traffic so you can see any oncoming cars or potential problems. If biking, make sure you use the bike lane or stay in the right lane traveling with traffic.
  • When walking at night, dawn, or dusk, make sure you’re wearing bright colors to make yourself as visible as possible to vehicle operators.
  • Always cross at crosswalks or traffic signals. Before crossing, make sure you come to a complete stop until you are positive all drivers, bicyclists, and motorcyclists have also stopped and have seen you.

Safety is the most important thing for you and your family. Help us spread the word about defensive walking and pedestrian protection by sharing this page on Facebook and Twitter.

Already been injured? Contact us today for a free consultation and more information about your injury claim and rights.

How many times have you had a staring contest with a motorist at the intersection of 7th and Penn Avenue, or at Capitol and New York, while out riding your bike?

You think you have the right of way, but you want to make sure the motorist knows that you know you have the right of way. So you stare each other down (or at least you think he’s staring back at you) for a few seconds, until you decide to start to inch into the intersection. Then all of a sudden the motorist pushes the gas and leaves you stumbling on one foot, trying to regain control of your tipping bike, as he leaves you in the dust. Sound familiar?

Approximately 55 percent of bicycle crashes, collisions, and accidents occur at intersections, making them one of the most hazardous areas for bikers to cross. This is why it is extremely important for you to take proper precautions and follow all traffic laws to avoid life-altering intersection accidents.

Intersection Dangers: Know Them and Prevent Them

Let these tips guide you when riding your bicycle:

  • When a driver can’t see you, he can’t stop to avoid hitting you. Increase your visibility when biking by using front and rear lamps and wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing.
  • A staggeringly high number of bicycle accidents happen as a result of either the biker or the driver not paying attention to what was happening around him. Always be alert and aware of your surroundings whether you’re on a bike or in a car. Not only will this help reduce accidents, it’s also a legal requirement for all vehicle operators.
  • Accidents, distractions and, unforeseen events can occur without warning. Learning to drive and ride defensively and how to execute emergency maneuvers can help you avoid a serious and life-threatening collision.
  • A bike ride is only enjoyable if you make it home safely. Don’t risk your safety and the safety of others by disobeying or ignoring traffic laws, precautionary guidelines, and common sense. Enjoy your ride and let others enjoy an accident-free ride home.

We hope this article helped give you the information you needed, but we would be more than happy to answer any and all of your questions directly. Contact us to day for more information and to schedule a free consultation.

As the weather gets nicer, I’m sure you’ll notice an increase of bicycles on Telegraph and Eisenhower. You may not be thrilled about the idea of bikes whizzing around you on your daily commute, but no matter your frustrations, you still have to take necessary precautions for their safety as well as your own.

Precautionary Bike Lane Rules for Drivers

Bicyclists have their own set of rules in addition to common traffic laws that they must obey. However, as a motorist you have protection and size on your side, and therefore you need to take extra precautions when driving by, near, or behind bike riders.

  1. When passing a cyclist, always pass on his left. Most bike lanes are situated on the right side of the road, so if the biker is in his lane, you shouldn’t be able to pass on the right anyway.
  2. Never drive partially in front of a biker. When passing, make sure you’re completely clear before moving in front of him.
  3. Always allow at least a three feet circumference between you and a cyclist at all times.
  4. When turning, always yield to bikes; they have the right of way whether they’re turning or going straight. Failing to yield to a bicyclist resulting in a crash in which the bicyclist is seriously injured can result in a $1,000 fine and three points on your driving record.
  5. Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings; bikers can ride both in bike lanes and on sidewalks, so be wary of cyclists approaching crosswalks as well as bikes around you.
  6. Don’t open your doors in traffic without checking to see if there are any approaching bikes.

No matter how many precautions you take or how safely you drive, accidents can always happen. If you’ve been involved in a bike accident or have suffered serious injuries as a result of a negligent cyclist’s actions, contact us today for a free evaluation and consultation about your rights and possible legal claim.

As the weather turns nicer, bikers will be out in full force. Make sure your loved ones are prepared by sharing this page with them on Facebook or Twitter, or by posting the safety tips at work. You never know if and when it may prevent an accident.