Distracted Bicyclist Causes Major Injuries

Last Friday our firm was able to conclude a distracted driver case involving a bicyclist and pedestrian. The case was settled after a year of hard work and for payment of the bicyclist’s insurance policy limits of $300,000.

Our client, a retired physician, was jogging. Without warning, he was struck from behind by a bicyclist traveling at a high rate of speed. It was reported that the bicyclist was looking down at the Fitbit on his wrist (a device that monitors heart rate, speed, and distance) and collided into the back of our client who was safely jogging along the side of the path. Our client experienced severe injuries including a fractured hip and open fracture of the elbow.

bike distracted rider case 2       bike distracted rider case 1

Our client understands firsthand the need to help raise awareness as to the dangers of distracted driving. He authorized us to share his story and these photographs depicting his injuries. The question that needs to be asked by anyone engaged in distracted driving is as follows:

“If this much damage can be done by a inattentive bicyclist, how much harm can be done by a two ton vehicle being operated by a distracted driver?”

The fact of the matter is that too many people are injured or killed each year because of distracted driving. When it comes to automobile collisions, 4,000-6,000 deaths and 400,000 to 600,000 injuries happen each year.

Furthermore, during every single second of the day in the United States, more than 600,000 vehicles are being operated by drivers with mobile electronic devices in their hands. If that’s not startling enough, most people are surprised to learn that the average time a distracted driver takes his or her eyes off the road is about 5 seconds. At 55mph, that’s the equivalent to traveling the distance of a football field blindfolded.

These numbers don’t reflect distracted driving incidents involving boats, bicycles, planes, skateboards, and other modes of transportation.

Please visit this outstanding website to learn more about how you can help raise awareness as to the dangers of distracted driving EndDD.org

Also please see our two recent episodes on TheShow.Live where we discussed this issue with police officers and friends [show #1] [show #2]

If you’d like to support the efforts of our amazing community to help stop distracted driving, please share this information and your story on social media. We’re using #EndDD.

Thank you for supporting our community’s efforts to stop distracted driving. Also, a very big thanks to our client who gave us permission to share his story and pictures.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

We hope you find this updated information useful and if so, please lead by example and share with your family and friends.

Click here to instantly read our April newsletter!

distracted driving



We’ll be discussing this topic live on Blab (live video show) on Monday at 11am PST (2pm ET). Watch and participate by clicking here or below!

Other related articles and videos here at Streaming.Lawyer

What Is More Dangerous For A Child- Guns or Swimming Pools?

gun safety and swimming pool safety, injuries and deathsReady For a Big Surprise?

I recently read the New York Times Bestseller (2005), “Freakonomics”.  The book studies the riddles of everyday life.  It discusses and shares answers to questions like: What is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?  What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?  How much do parents really matter?

The answers to most of the questions REALLY surprised me.  One that jumped out at me is that on any given year, there is one drowning of a child for every 11,000 residential pools in the United States.  What this means is that in a country with 6 million pools, roughly 550 children under the age of ten drown each year. Another more recent study not in the book points out that 10 people a day die from drowning in the United States.

Together with my partner, Lisa Wilson, we’ve represented many people involved in drownings. In the drowning cases I handled and because of the experts I’ve engaged and research I completed, these numbers were something I knew about.

Here’s what I didn’t know.

Each year, there is 1 child killed by a gun for every 1 million-plus guns.  Again, in a country with an estimated 200 million guns (at the time of the 2005 book), this means that roughly 175 children under ten die each year from guns.

Swimming Pool accidentsLooking at the numbers, the likelihood of death by pool (1 in 11,000) versus death by gun (1 in 1 million-plus) isn’t even close.  Children under the age of ten are far more likely to die in swimming accidents that by guns.

Sure, the book is a few years old and the numbers may be slightly different today, but they should grab your attention. Parents and any other adults charged with child safety at pools need to be much more diligent. The facts demand it!

P.S.-  The picture of my son and I was taken a few years ago by his grandfather after a morning at the local indoor firing range. Although we’re having fun for the photo, safety always comes first.  I’m holding a 357 Smith & Wesson and Garrett has his grandfather’s .50-Cal Smith and Wesson. Both guns are unloaded and our fingers are not on the triggers. Safety first!

Mitch-and-Dad-back-in-the-day-400-300x249Related Post: Swimming Pool Drownings!

Swimming Pool Drownings

Swimming Pool Drownings and Deaths Orange County CaliforniaDrowning is a Fast and Silent Killer

Lisa and I were both fortunate to grow up with swimming pools and we truly appreciate how much fun they can be, especially on a hot summer day. Here’s a picture of me being tossed by his dad way back in the day at the Saddle and Surrey Ranch. I’d like to think that to this day, I still show the same level of enthusiasm when I answer ready for trial :-)

With Summer just around the corner, we think it’s important for you to know how dangerous swimming can be and what steps can be taken to avoid injury and drowning. The tragic cases we’ve helped families with over the past 3 decades compelled us to write and share this post.

A Tragic Drowning Case

Most people are not aware of the fact that drownings happen quickly, is usually silent, and can happen to anyone. We’ve represented very good and responsible Orange County families who have tragically lost children to drownings in a backyard pools, Jacuzzis, and public lakes. Without exception, they never saw the tragic drowning coming.

Before we share specific safety tips, we want to share the tragic case of an 18-year-old high school senior, and sport star, who drowned in Lake Mission Viejo. A family lost a beautiful son and brother who was in excellent shape, a high school track start, and in the prime of his life.

California drowning casesIn fact, this young man was so talented and such a good athlete that he was on his way to college on a full track scholarship.  At the time of his death, the victim was swimming with friends and with lifeguards present.

While swimming out to a floating dock on the lake, our client’s son experienced severe cramping. His cousin who was swimming near him saw the young man raise his hands for a moment and then within 10-20 seconds, sink under the water. There was no sound. The lifeguards failed to pay attention and were not even aware their was a problem despite the victim’s cousin screaming for help (unlike the movies, in real life most drowning victims don’t scream- more on this below).

This particular loss raised our awareness of just how quickly a drowning can take place and how it can happen to anyone. It truly is a silent and fast death!

Here Are The Facts In Pool Related Drownings

Submersion incidents involving children usually happen in familiar surroundings. Statistics show that sixty-five percent of the incidents happen in a pool owned by the child’s family and 33 percent of the incidents happen in a pool owned by friends or relatives.

Seventy-five percent of the submersion victims studied by CPSC were between 1 and 3 years old; 65 percent of this group were boys. It is noted that toddlers, in particular, often do something unexpected because their capabilities change daily.

Most victims were being supervised by one or both parents

Forty-six percent of the victims were last seen in the house; 23 percent were last seen in the yard or on the porch or patio; and 31 percent were in or around the pool before the accident. In all, 69 percent of the children were not expected to be at or in the pool, yet they were found in the water.

Submersion incidents involving children usually happen in familiar surroundings. Sixty-five percent of the incidents happened in a pool owned by the child’s family and 33 percent of the incidents happened in a pool owned by friends or relatives.

Pool submersions involving children happen quickly.  A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone. Seventy-seven percent of the victims had been missing from sight for 5 minutes or less.

Survival depends on rescuing the child quickly and restarting the breathing process. Seconds count in preventing death or brain damage.

Child drowning is a silent death. There’s no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble.

(According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in a comprehensive study of drowning and submersion incidents. The study involves children under 5 years of age in Arizona, California, and Florida)

Swimming Pool DrowningsSafety Steps

Watch All Swimmers– Keep a close lookout while everyone is swimming. [Fun story- this picture taken about 5 years ago is of our son in the front right and his now high school girl friend on the left].

Use Barriers– Please note that the following barrier recommendations are the result of identifying key parameters that typically contribute to child drowning in backyard pools. These recommendations are the minimum steps you can take to make your home a safe place for your child. Barriers are not childproof, but they provide layers of protection for a child who strays from supervision. Barriers can give parents additional time to locate a child before the unexpected becomes a reality. Barriers include a fence or wall, door alarms for the house, and a power safety cover over the pool. Barriers also may be used to protect children from accessing hot tubs and spas. Use the following recommendations as a guide.

Fences and Gates– Install a fence or other barrier, such as a wall, completely around the pool. If the house is part of the barrier, the doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with an alarm or the pool should have a power safety cover. Alarm and cover details are below.

The fence or other barrier should be at least 4 feet high. It should have no foot or handholds that could help a young child to climb it. Vertical fence slats should be less than 4 inches apart to prevent a child from squeezing through.

Use this as a guide when the release mechanism is located less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate. If horizontal members are equal to or more than 45 inches apart, vertical spacing shall not exceed 4 inches. If the fence is chain link, then no part of the diamond-shaped opening should be larger than 1-3/4 inches. Fence gates should be self-closing and self-latching. The gate should be well maintained to close and latch easily. The latch should be out of a child’s reach.

When the release mechanism of the self-latching device is less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism for the gate should be at least 3 inches below the top of the gate on the side facing the pool. Placing the release mechanism at this height prevents a young child from reaching over the top of a gate and releasing the latch. Also, the gate and barrier should have no opening greater than 1/2 inch within 18 inches of the latch release mechanism. This prevents a young child from reaching through the gate and releasing the latch.

There are a wide variety of fencing construction materials available to compliment your house and pool surroundings. Your local fence company or pool enclosure company can provide you with information and assist you in making a selection.

The weak link in the strongest and highest fence is a gate that fails to close and latch completely. For a gate to close completely every time, it must be in proper working order.

Door Alarms– If the house forms one side of the barrier, then doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with alarms that produce an audible sound when a door is unexpectedly opened. Install an alarm that can be temporarily turned off by an adult for a single opening of the door by using a keypad or switch that is out of a child’s reach.

Battery and electrically powered alarms are available. The key pad switch can be used by adults who wish to pass through the door without setting off the alarm. It should be placed high on all doors leading from the house to the pool. Affordable and easily installed alarms are available. An alarm signal immediately tells a parent that a door has been opened.

Power Safety Covers– Power safety covers over the pool may be used as an alternative to door alarms. A power safety cover should meet the requirements of the ASTM pool cover standard which addresses labeling requirements and performance. ASTM requires that a cover withstand the weight of two adults and a child to allow a rescue should an individual fall onto the cover. The standard also requires quick removal of water from the cover. A young child can drown in just inches of water.

A power safety cover is a motor powered barrier that can be placed over the water area. Motor-driven covers easily open and close over the pool. When the power safety cover is properly in place over the pool, it provides a high level of safety for children under 5 years old by inhibiting their access to the water.

Above Ground Pools– Steps and ladders leading from the ground to the pool should be secured and locked, or removed when the pool is not in use.

More Rules for Pools…

  • Instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards to young children and about the use of protective devices, such as door alarms and latches. Emphasize the need for constant supervision.
  • Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. During social gatherings at or near a pool, appoint a “designated watcher” to protect young children from pool accidents. Adults may take turns being the “watcher.” When adults become preoccupied, children are at risk.
  • If a child is missing, check the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom and surface, as well as the pool area.
  • Do not allow a young child in the pool without an adult.
  • Do not consider young children to be drown proof because they have had swimming lessons. Children must be watched closely while swimming.
  • Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
  • Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Babysitters and other caretakers, such as grandparents and older siblings, should also know CPR.
  • Keep rescue equipment by the pool. Be sure a telephone is poolside with emergency numbers posted nearby.
  • Remove toys from in and around the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children to the pool.
  • Never prop open the gate to a pool barrier.

Related Articles

Our deadly beaches: As crowds increase, so do rescues – and drownings

10 in U.S Will Drown Today: Don’t Be a Statistic

Will Your Auto Insurance Be There When It Matters Most?

“You Should Know” Newsletter (March 2016)

you_should_know_march_2016 200Chances are one in 50 you will be involved in a car accident this year… or almost guaranteed during your lifetime. You will then dig out that annoying auto insurance renewal statement you’ve been ignoring every year, confident that you have “full coverage.”

But that’s when many people realize that the “full coverage” they thought they had can still leave them exposed to runaway medical bills, lost wages or even the expenses of another party.

Before the odds catch up to you, you should know if you are covered and how best to choose a policy that will protect you when it matters most. Click here to read this month’s newsletter and learn more…

More topics in this month in the newsletter!

  • Understanding Car Insurance Coverage
  • Will Your Auto Insurance Be There When It Matters Most?
  • Protecting Yourself Against Uninsured Motorists
  • How to Cut Teen Car Insurance Costs
  • Auto Insurance: The “Full Coverage” Myth!
  • Tips for Analyzing Your Auto Policy or Buying New InsuranceClick here to read right now!