Safety First: Sharing the Road
Out of the 32,000 people who died last year on the nation’s roads, more than 4,000 were related to motorcycle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). For motorists, the failure of a driver to see a motorcyclist in traffic is the primary cause for an accident. These Top 3 Tips are preventive measures for motorcycle safety:
Since not all motorcycles are the same, and range from touring bikes to cruisers to sport bikes, the owner’s manual is your new best friend. It will provide the specifics on how to understand and maintain your bike. There are, however, some general basics to follow. The front brake on a motorcycle supplies about 70 percent of the stopping power, which is why it’s important to use it every time you slow down. Also, always apply the front and rear brakes simultaneously. Slow down before you enter a turn, being sure that you look as far ahead, through the turn, as possible. Also, keep your feet on the pegs and grip the gas tank with your knees. Lean with the motorcycle by pressing the handlebar in the direction of the turn and maintaining slight pressure on the handlebar. Regular preventive maintenance is key.
The Right “Gear”
Good body protection can help reduce injuries if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident. This includes protective gear like over-the-ankle boots or shoes with non-skid soles, full-fingered gloves, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, long pants (denim or leather), and an appropriate Department of Transportation-approved helmet. Also, keep abreast of the latest in safety courses and certifications. Plus, be sure to have the proper license to operate your motorcycle.
Learning Disabilities, Developmental Issues, and Brain Injury
Consumers have long been aware of the dangers of lead in toys and household items. Laws restricting lead use in items manufactured for children have lowered parental concern about safety issues. Even cheap children’s jewelry and toys are thought to be safer in recent years, but in many instances, lead has been replaced by cadmium in these products.
Cadmium is a toxic metal that holds the number seven slot in hazardous materials ranked by the United States Center for Disease Control. Tests show many of the toys manufactured in China over the past several years contain dangerous levels of cadmium, but Chinese factories may not be alone in their use of the metal. Personal injury attorneys in California, and around the country, are beginning to take note of this issue as strong evidence points to some of these products as causing developmental issues, learning disabilities and brain injury in children.
Associated Press Investigations in Product Liability
In 2010, the Associated Press conducted tests on a variety of jewelry and toys. Over one hundred items were purchased from retailers throughout California, Texas, Ohio and New York. Testing indicated that many of the items contained unsafe levels of cadmium. Cadmium levels as high as 80 to 90 percent appeared in a variety of bracelets and other jewelry for girls. The AP findings sparked a number of recalls based on elevated levels of cadmium.
The First Five Questions ~
Personal injury cases range from auto accidents to medical malpractice to product or premises liability to other torts resulting in catastrophic injuries. The commonality amongst all of these cases is that a legal duty was breached which resulted in harm and caused financial, physical and emotional distress. In such situations, it is important to select a seasoned attorney who is aggressive, committed and dedicated to empowering you and your case. To find the right legal counsel, here are 5 important questions to ask an attorney:
- Do you specialize in personal injury cases?
Select an attorney dedicated to practicing injury law. You will receive access to a network of industry-specific experts, an attorney who is well-versed in this discipline and one who possesses a true passion for his area of specialty. This allows an attorney to focus dedicated resources and expertise on a case. If you are the victim of a personal injury, a claim will generally entitle you to damages, including past and future medical costs, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering.
- How many cases like mine have you taken to trial or settled?
This answer is indicative of an attorney’s level of experience and skill set as well as knowledge of cases similar to yours. Also, ask about the attorney’s success rate record with trials vs. out-of-court settlements. Most tort cases settle prior to trial. Those that don’t are presented in court to a judge or jury who will determine and award damages. The attorney should have a track record of winning cases which are similar in nature to yours, as well as resolving them through negotiation. It’s also important to have the attorney explain recommendations, based on details of your case.
Protect Your Health and Your Legal Rights ~
If you’re involved in any kind of vehicular accident, there are certain rules you should follow. Some of these rules are required by law, others are there to protect your rights. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in an auto accident, a bicycle accident, a motorcycle accident, or are hit by any one of them while walking down the sidewalk as a pedestrian. These rules apply in all situations. While you should always consult with a personal injury attorney for legal advice immediately following any accident, you also need to know, in advance, what to do in case of an emergency.
- Remain as calm as possible. Being involved in an accident is almost always an emotional experience. You may be afraid of potential consequences. You may also be in pain. However, staying as calm as you can is in your best interest. You will be less likely to say or do something that could be detrimental should legal proceedings result.
- First, if anyone was injured in the accident, call 911. “Anyone” means yourself and passengers in your vehicle as well as other drivers, and passengers in other vehicles. Emergency personnel should be contacted even if the injuries seem minor. Second, call the police so the facts of the accident can be documented. In most instances, a single call to 911 will likely dispatch both the police and paramedics. (Note: In certain instances, the police may refuse to come or prepare a report.)
- Even if you believe the accident was entirely your fault, do not make any statements to that effect. Doing so can have serious legal consequences, and might even affect your insurance coverage. You are not obligated to provide this information before obtaining legal advice.