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Commuting by bicycle in a densely populated city is a common and sensible way to save money on auto expenses and parking, and many DC residents use a bike to run errands or get to work each day. Using a bicycle in a crowded city like Washington DC can be dangerous. July was especially deadly for bicyclists in the District, as three fatal accidents occurred. In the most recent incident, a woman was killed after she was struck by a semi-truck and pulled under the wheels near a construction site.

According to a local news report discussing the most recent bicycle fatality in the city, the victim was cycling to work at her job with the State Department when she was hit by a large commercial truck and run over. The truck that hit her was involved in a road construction project nearby. The article notes that the truck involved in the crash did not have a guard to prevent someone from being pulled under the truck. Such a guard is required for vehicles registered in DC, though the truck at issue was registered in Maryland, so it’s unclear whether any enforceable regulations were being violated.

How Can Motorists Avoid Bicycle Accidents?

DC drivers need to be extra attentive and careful when driving near bicyclists. This is especially true in areas with construction or road closures, because bike lanes are often reduced or eliminated during construction, and bicyclists must be allowed to use a full lane without fear of being hit by a car. Unfortunately, these recent fatal accidents demonstrate that many drivers are not paying enough attention. Bicyclists who are hurt or killed by a negligent driver may be entitled to significant compensation for their injuries and loss.

While many car accidents are the result of reckless driving or disobeying traffic laws, sometimes, drivers are rendered unconscious or unresponsive because of a medical emergency. Medical emergencies can range from choking or fainting to even more severe emergencies such as strokes, heart attacks, or seizures. Car accidents involving medical emergencies can be serious and often fatal, as nearby pedestrians and other cars are not aware of the sudden loss of control by the individual experiencing the medical emergency.

In a recent news report, a Washington D.C. car accident occurred when a pickup truck ran a red light before hitting a male bicyclist and ultimately careening off the road and crashing into a firework stand. The accident occurred in Northeast D.C. around 5:30 p.m. near Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave Northeast and Minnesota Avenue. The police officers on the scene stated that they believed the driver of the pickup truck experienced a medical emergency when the crash happened. Both the male bicyclist and a man standing behind the firework stand were pronounced dead according to the police. The police stated that nobody else was killed or injured during the accident.

How Can D.C. Accident Victim Prove Another Driver Was at Fault?

When it comes to Washington D.C. car accident cases, defendants claiming to have experienced a medical emergency that led to a car accident have the option to pursue an Act of God defense. An Act of God defense in Washington D.C. offers a defense when the force of nature is uncontrolled and uninfluenced by humans and could not be prevented or avoided. Such a defense is difficult to successfully deploy and both parties need to examine the at-fault driver’s medical records to determine several issues. (1) Did the driver have pre-existing medical conditions, (2) was the driver taking medication for their condition, and (3) were any medical restrictions in effect at the time of the accident? Establishing if a medical emergency did in fact occur, and if so, to what degree it was foreseeable, and what steps the at-fault driver took to mitigate the risk of medical emergencies is vital to arriving at a proper result for a plaintiff’s claim. Successfully defeating a defense revolving around a medical emergency potentially involves proving that there were symptoms of the medical emergency that the at-fault driver negligently ignored, ultimately causing the accident.

On a typical day, drivers and pedestrians share the road with various emergency vehicles such as police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances. Emergency vehicles may have to maneuver their way through heavy traffic to respond to an incident, which requires other drivers to be alert and prepared to safely move to the right and allow the vehicle to pass by. It is not surprising that when emergency vehicles are responding to other incidents, there’s a risk that they may instead collide with other cars, motorcyclists, or pedestrians on the road. According to the National Safety Council, in 2020, 180 people died in crashes involving emergency vehicles. Drivers and pedestrians should be alert and aware of their surroundings so that they can pay attention to when emergency vehicles that share the road with us.

In a recent news report, a man on a motorcycle was seriously injured after he was struck by a firetruck in Northwest D.C. According to the report, D.C. Fire and EMS crews were responding to a fire when they collided with a motorcyclist. The accident occurred at the intersection of 3rd and E streets in the Judiciary Square neighborhood. While no one on the fire truck was injured, the driver was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. An internal investigation is taking place to determine the cause of the crash.

In a busy city like Washington, D.C., it is common to hear an emergency siren blaring or to see emergency lights flashing, signaling a need for drivers to safely yield so that the emergency vehicle may pass by. Unsurprisingly, emergency response vehicles may be traveling at high speeds to respond to an incident, and sometimes these vehicles may provide little to no warning to give drivers enough time to decide how best to proceed. In some situations, if an accident occurs with an emergency vehicle, the emergency vehicle may decide either not to stop so that they may continue responding to their original emergency situation, or they may decide to stop briefly to give the other driver enough time to get identifying information.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generate over 250 million tons of trash annually. Garbage trucks are an integral part of society; however, like many other large vehicles, these trucks can pose a serious hazard to Maryland drivers. The fundamental nature of trash collection and garbage trucks makes it difficult to predict when and where a driver will stop. Although sanitation workers provide an essential service, their negligence can result in serious injuries to other drivers, passengers, cyclists, or pedestrians. Those who suffered injuries in an accident with a Maryland garbage truck should contact an experienced attorney.

Moreover, the Solid Waste Association of North America (“SWANA”) released a statement expressing concern about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data that indicates a 15 percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2021. The data is consistent with SWANA’s findings showing a high level of third-party fatal accidents involving waste collection vehicles.

Although Maryland is one of the number of states to enact Slow Down to Get Around laws requiring drivers to move over or slow down when passing waste and recycling vehicles, these accidents continue to pose a serious risk to motorists. For instance, Maryland reports described an accident involving an 83-year-old woman who died after being run over by a garbage truck. According to reports, the woman was crossing the road when a trash truck struck her while backing up.

Car crashes oftentimes lead to both property damage and physical injury, and they can be especially devasting when a vehicle catches fire. Fires may erupt in the aftermath of a car accident for numerous reasons. These reasons include leaking fuel tanks and lines, as well as electrical system failures. In addition to navigating property damage claims as a result of collisions, victims of these types of car accidents may experience injury as a result of the fire, such as burns or exposure to toxic fumes.

In a recent news report, three vehicles were involved in a car accident in Washington D.C. this month. The accident occurred in Southeast D.C. at the 2300 block of Southern Avenue SE at about 7:45pm. First responders arrived to the scene of the accident to find two people trapped inside one vehicle and a third person trapped in another vehicle. Two men and one woman were taken by helicopter to trauma centers. Two of the victims were in critical condition while one was in serious condition. As a result of the accident, at least one of the cars caught on fire. An investigation is taking place to determine what led to the crash.

How to Obtain Evidence To Establish Fault in Car Accidents

Obtaining evidence from the scene of a car accident is an important part of building a case when injured due to a car accident. Establishing fault after a car accident is a critical component to being able to successfully recover damages, but establishing fault can be especially tricky when an injured party must also navigate medical bills, insurance claims, and pain management. In addition, injured parties may have little memory of the accident or may not have been able to take photographs or take information down at the scene of the accident.

If you were injured recently in an accident because of another party’s negligence, recklessness, or carelessness, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation against them. Before you proceed, however, it is crucial that you understand the basic elements of a Washington, D.C. personal injury lawsuit—namely, how fault is allocated between the parties and how it will affect the success of your claim.

According to a recent local news report, at least four people were injured after a vehicle crashed into a hotel lobby in northwest Washington, D.C. Local authorities reported that the accident took place mid-morning when a vehicle drove into the lobby through the glass façade of the Yotel hotel on New Jersey Avenue. Although there were no structural integrity issues observed in the hotel building following the accident, four patients were transported to local hospitals for treatment of their injuries, with at least one of them suffering from serious injuries. A separate individual was also treated on the scene for minor injuries but declined to be transported to the hospital. The accident remains under investigation as the immediate cause of the crash into the hotel is unknown.

How is fault determined in Washington, D.C. personal injury lawsuits?

Washington, D.C., like other parts of the United States, has unique laws and rules governing personal injury claims. Although specific differences such as the time available for a statute of limitations or the elements required to successfully file your initial personal injury claim are important, understanding the fault rules in D.C. could provide you with a clearer picture of the potential success of your claim—and whether you should bring a lawsuit at all. Washington, D.C. follows a fault framework called the “contributory fault” rule for claims that involve personal injury cases. This means that if an injured person is found to have shared fault or contributed to the accident taking place in any way, they will be prevented from recovering compensation against the at-fault party entirely.

Among the various configurations that an accident can take place in, perhaps the most dangerous is the head-on collision. When a head-on collision happens, it can be devastating because both vehicles are usually moving at rapid speeds and the force of the two cars crashing frequently results in significant injuries or in severe crashes, death. Understanding the common causes of these accidents can help you avoid them as a proactive driver.

According to a recent local news report, a major accident involving a Metrobus and van left five people injured, one dead, and another in critical condition. Local authorities reported that the Metrobus and van collided head-on and the van driver, a separate passenger, and a boy were trapped in the wrecked vehicle. The van crashed into the front driver’s side of the bus and was extensively damaged and crumpled following the accident. After officials pulled everyone from the van, the separate passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. The boy was taken to the hospital in critical condition and the bus driver and the bus’s four passengers had minor injuries and were also treated at local hospitals. The circumstances leading up to the accident remain under investigation.

Where Do Head On Accidents Happen the Most?

Washington, D.C. head-on collisions usually take place on two-lane roads, where both lanes have traffic moving in different directions. When a driver crosses the center line separating the two lanes and another driver is approaching from the opposite direction, they could crash head-on. Head-on accidents also happen when a driver enters a highway ramp from the wrong direction or enters a highway from the wrong side of the divider. To best protect yourself and your passengers, there are a number of steps you can take to best prevent these accidents from taking place.

The United States federal agency known as the Consumer Product Safety Commission studies the safety of products that are marketed for use in the U.S. According to the agency, property damage, injuries, and deaths related to hazardous or defective consumer products cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars each year. When a product is reported to be potentially hazardous, the CPSC will perform an investigation to determine if the product should be removed from the market by a recall. Although the CPSC has the power to enact mandatory recalls by seeking an order in federal court, the vast majority of product recalls are made voluntarily by the manufacturer. The CPSC website discusses a recently enacted voluntary recall of a childrens’ bicycle for brake-related issues.

According to the CPSC website, federal regulations require childrens’ bicycles with seat heights below 25 inches to have foot brakes on the pedals to allow children to operate the bicycle and stop safely. The recalled bicycles, manufactured by the Commencal company, only have hand brakes and are therefore not marketable in the U.S. The Commencal Ramones brand bicycles at issue were manufactured in the European country of Andorra between 2015 and 2021 and were marketed worldwide. Although the braking configurations may be acceptable in other countries, the bicycles can no longer be marketed and sold in the U.S. without modifications. According to the recall notice from the CPSC website, consumers who have purchased one of the recalled bicycles should contact the manufacturer for a free repair kit that will get the recalled bicycles into compliance with U.S. regulations once installed.

Do Companies Have a Duty to Create Safe Products?

Yes, companies that market consumer products for use in the U.S. have a duty to ensure that the product is safe for American consumers. Companies are responsible for adequately warning consumers of certain risks and dangers to their products. Some dangers or risks are too serious for a product to be marketed, and companies must work to remove or repair such products to ensure consumer safety. If a company knows of a certain hazard but fails to adequately warn consumers of the hazard and offers to repair, replace, or refund the purchase cost, the company may be liable for any harm caused by the product. Consumers who have been injured or killed by a dangerous or defective product are entitled to seek damages through a product liability lawsuit.

During the course of COVID-19, outdoor dining has become even more popular than ever before because of social distancing and public health measures. For many restaurants and businesses, incorporating an outdoor dining option has become a means of survival. Now, more than two years into the pandemic, dining outdoors is as popular as ever. For a lot of restaurants in busy metropolitan areas, however, these outdoor dining areas are often located only inches away from busy streets and often share their space with cars passing by. What happens when a passing vehicle crashes into the dining area and causes a major accident?

According to a recent local news report, two individuals died after a driver crashed his vehicle outside a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Around lunchtime on a busy Friday last week, an older driver lost control of his car and crashed into an outdoor seating area. 11 people were injured in total and eight individuals were transferred to local hospitals. Two individuals died, and at least three are facing life-threatening injuries. According to nearby witnesses, the car accelerated outside the restaurant and drove straight into the outdoor seating area. The driver responsible for the accident was seen driving through a parking lot adjacent to the restaurant at a high speed just moments before the collision. The accident remains under investigation and the driver responsible for the collision is cooperating with the authorities.

Unfortunately, this tragic collision in Washington, D.C. was not the first of its kind. With the weather warming up and more people choosing to dine outside than ever, several similar accidents have taken place around the country. To keep yourself safe, it is crucial that you understand what steps to take following an incident like this.

Vehicle-into-building and vehicle-into-outdoor dining accidents occur more frequently than many people might think. These dangerous Washington D.C. crashes can result in severe injuries to pedestrians, restaurant employees, and patrons. With growing concerns about indoor dining, many restaurants are taking over roadways. This increasing number of outdoor dining options can lead to uninformed and unaware drivers crashing into patrons.

For example, the New York Times recently published a piece on a fatal accident outside a Washington D.C. restaurant. According to an investigation, an older driver lost control of his car and slammed into an outdoor seating area at a popular Washington D.C. restaurant. The crash occurred during the Friday lunchtime rush. A witness said that the driver appeared to be driving so fast and “just slammed” into the curb and the tables. Eleven people suffered injuries in the accident, and two women died in the crash. Investigators believe the incident was an accident, and the driver might have pressed his accelerator instead of his brakes.

After an accident like this, the injury victims or their families should consult with an attorney to determine all potentially liable parties. In addition to the negligent driver, business owners may be held liable for their conduct. Business owners should be aware of the threat of accidents and ensure their customers’ safety. They can install hardware to protect their storefronts, pedestrians, and patrons. In response to the growing concern of these accidents, a company began to install bollards to protect the area from vehicles. However, there are no standard testing procedures to prove whether these posts provide enough protection.

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