This weekend brought a terrible tragedy to Boston. A young woman operating a moped was struck and killed by a so-called Duck Boat. Events like this should make everyone take a moment to try and appreciate how precious life is. And if you’re a parent, like me, that feeling is heightened.
None of us truly knows what tomorrow holds, and the stark truth of that statement is brought into focus when an accident like this occurs. Most mistakes that take place on a day in, day out basis have no consequences, thank God. But every once in a while a mistake has catastrophic consequence. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victim’s family. It’s hard to even conceive of receiving such a phone call.
After representing families who have endured similar fates, I can tell you that the responsible parties need to be held accountable. When you hear about an accident such as this, most people’s immediate reaction is to merely blame the operator of the vehicle that struck the victim. It’s been our experience, however, that someone needs to look deeper to find all responsible parties.
Truth be told, you can never really tell at the outset where the investigation will lead, but the need to drill down is there. Does the company skimp on safety; are their employees properly trained; was the vehicle in proper working order; are undue expectations placed on the drivers to meet schedules or deadlines, etc. It is as true as it is tragic to recognize that no law suit can ever bring a life back But thoroughly and aggressively investigating each detail will almost always bring about change that may save another’s life.
I was speaking to a client yesterday and he told me that his mother was hit by a car while in a crosswalk. He then told me that she never took down any information from the driver because she “ didn’t think she was hurt badly.”
It’s now been several months and she very much regrets that decision because her pain an limitation has gotten progressively worse.
This happens often and I have a theory on it: I think that when someone is involved in an accident their adrenaline is pumping and the first thing we as humans do is take a quick inventory. In other words: Am I bleeding; did I break anything; can I walk; etc. If all seems well, we want to ignore what just happened and hope that everything is ok.
The truth is that you really don’t know what you will ultimate feel. Once the adrenaline subsides and the you relax pain and problem often sets in. Even then, people think that they’re just sore and it will pass. But it’s very difficult to discern between expected soreness and injury.
The best thing to do in these situations is to be on the safe side. Just jot down the other person’s name, address, phone number, and license plate (provided it’s a car accident). If you go home and truly do feel ok, go about your life and thank God that it wasn’t more serious. But if you do wind up feeling badly or learn that you actually were injured, you’ll be in a better position to pursue due compensation.
Now that the nice weather is returning, the streets will again soon be filled with bicyclists who are out to get fresh air and/or get back in shape. Biking is more popular than ever. One study reveals that between 2000 and 2009, the number of bike commuters grew 70% across the entire United States.
Returning to an outdoor lifestyle after enduring a typically frigid New England winter is a special if fleeting experience. As any New Englander knows, a return to the outdoors is something that is treasured and earned with patience and endurance during the many cold, dark days that preceded. You’ll want to ensure that you are safe as you enjoy the return of summer and by observing a few simple tips, you can increase your odds
Most experts agree that bicyclists should alwayswear a helmet. Your chances of surviving an accident are exponentially increased if you take care to wear a safety helmet. Today, there are many to choose from . You should do some preliminary research before you buy. You should hold your vanity in check. Remember that the helmet that looks best on you may not necessarily be the safest.
Bike on the road in the same direction as traffic. Bicycles are considered “vehicles” and are usually expected to observe the same traffic controls as cars. This means you need to “stop” at a stop sign, etc.
Whenever possible, get off the beaten path. You’ll find that the beauty of your surroundings increases proportionally to the decrease in traffic.
Make sure your bicycle is equippedwith a light, a mirror, a bell and a water bottle. The light will increase your visibility; the mirror will allow you to see vehicles that are approaching your position; the bell will remind those traveling in proximity that you are nearby; and the water will keep you hydrated on those humid New England days.
Refrain from wearing headphones. You should use all of your senses while biking.
Be aware that even motorists who make active use of their mirrors still have to contend with blind spots. Avoid finding yourself in an area where a motorist can’t see you.
Wear bright, reflective clothing and bike in a straight, predictable path. The more steady and visible you are, the less likely you are to be in a collision.
Don’t become distracted by your phone. Texting or prolonged talking while biking is a recipe for disaster.
Learn and use hand signals. Like driving a car, you want to “telegraph” what your intentions are before you actually turn.
Make sure your bicycle is in good repair. It is wise to have your bike “tuned up” at the end of the biking season to make sure that everything is working as it should.
Observing these simple tips will keep you safe, enhance your biking experience and give you piece of mind.