Ice and snow swept across the east coast and mid-Atlantic earlier this week, and Washington, D.C. was no exception. Although officials were initially expecting only a few inches of snow, the snowstorm brought in more than a foot instead. Blanketing everything outside in a layer of white, the snow may have been pretty to look at and play in initially—but posed some significant safety and visibility concerns for drivers.

According to a recent news report, the recent snowstorm in Washington, D.C. left hundreds of vehicles stuck overnight on I-95 south of Washington. I-95—a 40-mile stretch of highway—is one of the busiest travel corridors in the United States. The highway came to standstill overnight after a snowstorm swept through and led to hundreds of accidents.

While some people abandoned their vehicles, others spent the night on the highway instead. Over the course of 24 hours, state troopers moved from vehicle to vehicle, providing supplies. Tow trucks also helped by dragging disabled vehicles out of the snow. Among the drivers who stayed, many were trapped without any food and water and only in the clothes they had in the car. Others chose to abandon their vehicles, walking about a quarter-mile from the highway to nearby businesses for relief. Authorities responded to more than 1,000 crashes and 1,000 disabled or trapped vehicles.

This holiday season, families who celebrate or observe Christmas, many families get their children to participate in holiday activities or traditions such as writing letters to Santa about their holiday wish lists. What happens, however, when a cute idea or activity turns into a dangerous hazard?

According to a recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a “letters to Santa” mailbox sold at Target was recently recalled. On December 10, 2021, the CPSC recalled the Bullseye Playground brand letters to Santa mailbox, citing that the mail slot on the box could be sharp and pose a laceration hazard. According to the agency, roughly 174,300 were sold in stores and consumers can seek refunds directly from the store. Across the country, Target received nine reports of sharp mail slot openings and seven incidents of lacerations. Of these seven incidents, three lacerations required medical attention.

Unfortunately, because these mailboxes were sold nationwide, Washington, D.C. residents should remain vigilant if you or your loved ones or friends purchased these items. Because many items in addition to these mailboxes often also have faulty designs or manufacturing defects that could cause injury to consumers, it is important to know what your options are if you are ever injured by a product you purchase.

Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are becoming increasingly common in Washington, D.C. Many accidents are occurring as children are walking to school, along with at night once it turns dark. As safety is a number one concern for most people—politicians, parents, and D.C. citizens alike—implementing safety measures to reduce pedestrian accidents is a must. Below are some proposals to make the D.C. streets safer and reduce pedestrian accident deaths, along with what to do if someone is involved in a pedestrian accident.

The below proposals have been recommended after a nine-year-old child was injured in Southeast Washington, D.C. last week. The child was crossing the street when she was struck by a car outside a church by an oncoming vehicle.

Proposals in D.C. City Council

Various members of the Washington, D.C. city council have proposed bills to address pedestrian deaths and injuries. One proposal is the “Walk Without Worry Amendment Act” which will create more raised crosswalks and intersections throughout the city. A raised crosswalk is a ramped speed table to reduce vehicle speed. Raised crosswalks help to reduce pedestrian accidents as it is easier for drivers to see pedestrians—both during the day and at night—and thus fewer incidents occur.

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With the holidays in full swing, more foot traffic is only natural. Whether people are bustling to add finishing touches to their holiday gatherings and decorations or rushing to buy gifts for their loved ones and friends, things are always more chaotic this time of year both on the sidewalks and the streets. Whether you plan to get around this holiday by car, foot, or some combination of both, it is crucial that you remain vigilant and proactive to keep yourself and others safe.

According to a recent local news report, a nine-year-old boy is on life support after being hit by a car. Local authorities reported that the boy was leaving school on a Friday afternoon when he was hit. Police noted that the boy was attempting to cross the street to meet an adult but was not in a crosswalk when he was hit. He was found unconscious and not breathing on the scene when authorities arrived. The driver stayed on the scene following the accident and is cooperating, but it is unclear if speed was a factor in the accident. The accident remains under investigation.

Every year, pedestrian fatalities comprise approximately 20 percent of all traffic deaths in Maryland. In addition, nearly 3,000 Maryland pedestrians are injured and 400 are struck by vehicles annually. Among individuals who are at the highest risk of getting into a pedestrian accident, pedestrians who are between the ages of five and fifteen are at the greatest risk of injuries. In fact, nearly 30 percent of injured pedestrians are under the age of 15.

Many consider Washington D.C. “America’s Front Yard”, as the nation’s capital is home to many iconic memorials and museums. Every year, millions of people visit Washington D.C. to commemorate legacies, make their voices heard, and learn about our nation’s history. The vast amount of visitors at monuments and museums often leads to heavy vehicle and foot traffic. Although these institutions take steps to prevent injuries, the measures do not always address the extent of hazards and dangers that these places pose to guests, visitors, and employees.

Generally, property owners owe their visitors, guests, and employees a duty to keep their premises safe from dangers. However, the duty varies depending on the status of the business, the classification of the guest, and circumstances surrounding the injuries. The challenges only heighten when the injury occurs at a government building or property. Some common places where a Washington D.C. injury may occur include:

  • Supreme Court
  • Library of Congress
  • National Monument
  • U.S. Capitol
  • National Museum of the American Indian
  • Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
  • National Museum of African Art
  • National Air & Space Museum

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When a worker suffers injuries at work or during a work-related event, they may collect damages for their injuries. The workers’ compensation framework often limits an injury victim’s ability to file a claim against their employer. Unlike Washington D.C. personal injury claims, workers’ compensation law does not require the claimant to establish their employer’s fault. However, recovery through the workers’ compensation program may not cover the extent of a worker’s losses. An attorney can help injury victims determine whether a third-party lawsuit provides a viable route to relief in those situations.

Third-party liability refers to situations where an entity separate from the employer causes a workplace incident. In most situations, a victim cannot file a third-party lawsuit against a supervisor or worker. However, these claims may be appropriate in cases such as those involving:

  • Manufacturing defects;
  • Negligent drivers who cause car accidents to a worker on the job; or
  • Visitors who cause injuries to the employee.

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Pedestrian accidents can occur for many reasons: the driver’s impaired vision, lack of focus, or even taking substances while driving. When someone is hurt—or worse, killed—in a pedestrian accident, the police will investigate the incident and determine whether or not to bring criminal charges against the driver. Regardless of this decision, individuals may still want to bring a civil lawsuit against the driver. However, there are important distinctions between a criminal case and a civil, wrongful death lawsuit when someone has been killed in a pedestrian accident in Washington, D.C.

Recently in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Northwest D.C., a woman was hit and killed while crossing the street. According to a local news report, the 24-year-old was crossing a road when she was struck and became trapped under the vehicle. While she was pulled from underneath the car and rushed to the local hospital, she passed away. Police are still investigating the incident, and it is unclear at this time whether the driver of the vehicle will face charges.

In accidents like the one described above, a personal representative of a person killed in a pedestrian accident can bring a lawsuit against the responsible individual—even if criminal charges are not filed. Although there are many similarities between a wrongful death lawsuit and a criminal case stemming from the same accident, there are critical differences individuals should be aware of.

When the news involving Astroworld, a two-day music festival in Houston, broke out earlier this month, people all over the country were shocked to hear that at least eight people had been killed in the tragic incident. In Washington, D.C., music festivals, concerts, and events of similar size take place each year and bring crowds that could involve thousands of people. In the event that crowd control or event planning safety protocols fail and you are injured, understanding how you may recover and protect yourself is crucial.

Based on a recent report of the incident, at least eight people were killed and dozens were injured during Astroworld. According to initial reports, a large crowd began pushing toward the front of the stage during artist Travis Scott’s performance, and the true cause of the surge remains under investigation. There were more than 50,000 people assembled at the festival when the injuries took place. Local authorities noted that the Astroworld tragedy was one of the deadliest crowd control disasters in the United States since potentially 1979, where a similar situation in Cincinnati left 11 people dead.

Despite various reports of chaos near the stage and videos showing the crowd pleading for help, concert organizers opted to not shut down the event too quickly. Nearly 40 minutes after city officials reported that the “mass casualty event” began did concert organizers stop the event—only thirty minutes earlier than planned.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works to protect public health and promote public safety by ensuring the efficacy and safety of human and veterinary products and medical devices. The FDA approves drugs after determining that the benefits outweigh the risks; however, in some cases, the full extent of the risks does not become apparent until after many years of consumer use. While warnings may limit the amount of liability, a manufacturer has, those who have suffered injuries because of an unsafe product should contact a Washington D.C. product liability attorney.

The FDA must provide pre-clinical data to establish that the products have been tested on laboratory animals before moving on to the new drug approval process. Drug companies must report any adverse side effects, especially those that can cause life-threatening injuries such as hospitalization or congenital disabilities. Further, the FDA provides varying information and warnings to consumers ranging from medication guides, consumer medication information, nonprescription drug facts, and boxed warnings. Boxed warnings tend to follow post-market surveillance, which includes evaluating FDA’s computerized database and MedWatch. In some cases, the FDA may recall or withdrawal a medication or device.

For instance, the FDA recently told manufacturers that they must warn patients of the risk of breast implants. According to a national news outlet, regulators placed the black box warnings and told companies that they could only sell the products to medical providers who review the risks with patients before surgery. In addition to the warnings, providers must allow patients to review a new checklist that advises patients of the various risks. The checklist identifies certain types of patients who are at an increased risk for illness after implant surgery. These patients include those who have autoimmune conditions or have undergone chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Vision Zero is an initiative that aims to reduce Washington DC traffic fatalities to zero by 2024. The initiative is a part of the US Department of Transportation’s Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets. The program is in response to the harrowing number of Washington DC traffic injuries and deaths. Vision Zero’s comprehensive plan includes:

  • Improving pedestrian and bicycling safety by promoting practical actions;
  • Encouraging local leaders to take safety actions;
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