All posts by Law Shop

An injured triathlete's legs are recuperating as he is relegated to the couch after being struck by a car on Dry Mill Road in Loudoun County, Virginia. While biking around Leesburg is popular with athletes training for Ironman events, unsafe motorists can cause season-ending injuries by failing to drive defensively.

Dry Mill Road Bike Crash Caused by Car Pulling Out into Ironman Cyclists’ Path

An injured triathlete's legs are recuperating as he is relegated to the couch after being struck by a car on Dry Mill Road in Loudoun County, Virginia. While biking around Leesburg is popular with athletes training for Ironman events, unsafe motorists can cause season-ending injuries by failing to drive defensively.
An injured triathlete’s legs are recuperating as he is relegated to the couch after being struck by a car on Dry Mill Road in Loudoun County, Virginia. While biking around Leesburg is popular with athletes training for Ironman and other multisport events, unsafe motorists can cause season-ending injuries by failing to drive defensively.

While training for upcoming Iron Man triathlon competition, a biker had left Reston, Virginia in order to get a long ride out in Loudoun County.

He was riding first in a group of three, on the downhill grade on Dry Mill Road.  Conditions were dry and clear.  His high-end carbon bike was in perfect working order.

Then suddenly, and without any warning, a car pulled out from a new housing development in order to beat the truck that was behind the biker. There was no sound, no lights, and no yelling from the car.

There was no time to do anything.

The cyclist, who was an experienced racer, triathlete, and Reston Bike Club rider, remembers hitting the car, flying through the air, and being conscious of the entire event.  The biker, an elite athlete accustomed to the pain of an IronMan competition, experienced excruciating pain in both hips and legs. In his own words, it was “crazy pain”.  He remembers — and was haunted by — the sound of his body hitting the car.

This August 2015 Dry Mill Road crash left the cyclist writhing in pain as his friends called for help.

The Loudoun County Sheriffs were called to the scene and the Defendant was charged with “Reckless Driving.” A court date was set for the traffic citation in the General District Court of Loudoun County, Virginia.

The Defendant contested the charges at the Leesburg Courthouse, and while the investigating officer and cyclists testified, the Loudoun County judge could not find the evidence necessary for “Reckless Driving.”

As the prosecutor did not seek the lesser charge of “Failure to Yield the Right of Way” or “Improper Driving,” the Defendant did not have to pay any fine or courts costs at all!

The team at the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU could not believe that this Defendant was found “not guilty.” The transcript from the Loudoun Traffic Court was read and re-read in disbelief.

Following the crash, the Plaintiff was transported by ambulance to INOVA Fairfax Hospital where he was diagnosed as having suffered a severed artery in his right leg, along with significant contusions and abrasions to his entire body, including his hands, back, and arms.

Although he was wearing his bike helmet at time of incident, his bike was crushed and even his carbon bike shoes were broken, something his lawyer Doug Landau had never seen before in all of the bike crash cases he has investigated.

The client’s PTSD symptoms post-crash, and being couch-bound (he could not ascend the steps in his own home initially), his mental outlook took a nose dive as well. His two teen aged kids and wife had to take over many of his household activities.

The Herndon bicyclist suffered in excess of $41,000 in damages, not including additional medical treatment costs or lost wages as a Global Senior Technical Architect.

However, the elderly Defendant driver carried the minimum liability coverage required for motorists in Virginia, $25,000. According to lawyer Landau, the biker’s case was worth much more than $25,000, so he sought compensation for the man’s injuries under the Herndon cyclist’s own Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage.

Since the Herndon Ironman had a $50,000 UIM policy, Landau was able to get an additional $25,000 for his injured client and friend.

The ABRAMS LANDAU team hired an investigator to do an assets search to see if the unsafe Defendant driver could pay a judgment in excess of the low policy limits. Determining that he could not, the case settled for the combined policy limits of $50,000.

This case underscores the need to have the proper levels of insurance to protect your loved ones and yourself.

In addition to the personal injury settlement, the Herndon bike rider had a property damage claim of $14,540 for his bicycle, equipment, and clothing. This claim was settled after the liability insurance adjuster recovered from his shock when Landau’s office sent the evidence of the costs of the expensive equipment this Triathlete lost in the crash.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a bike crash and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Fatal biking accidents caused by unsafe drivers claim the lives of innocent bikers. While the Courts cannot bring back the fallen bicycle rider, they can asses responsibility and help pay for what was taken from their families.

“Dangerous Driver” Kills Cyclist

Fatal biking accidents caused by unsafe drivers claim the lives of innocent bikers. While the Courts cannot bring back the fallen bicycle rider, they can asses responsibility and help pay for what was taken from their families.
Fatal biking accidents caused by unsafe drivers claim the lives of innocent bikers. While the Courts cannot bring back the fallen bicycle rider, they can assess responsibility and help pay for what was taken from their families.

An Ohio cyclist was killed when he was struck by a vehicle driven by a 64-year-old man who had recently been advised his poor eyesight made it unsafe for him to drive.

The family of the 19-year-old cyclist filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver claiming he was a “dangerous driver who knowingly endangered the community.”

Abrams Landau, Ltd. has had cases in which the defendant driver had restrictions to night time driving and pinned our client to another car, causing permanent damage to her knees.

When a driver operates a vehicle in violation of their restrictions, or drives despite not having a valid operator’s license and a crash occurs, there may be additional ramifications.

If you or someone you know or care for has been injured in a crash involving another driver who posed a known danger on the roads, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Young, inexperienced drivers pose a special danger to bikers lawfully on the roads. When errors by new drivers cause injury to innocent bikers, the police must determine "fault" and responsibility for causing the crash

Young Driver Knocks Church Worker Off Bike in Potomac Maryland

Young, inexperienced drivers pose a special danger to bikers lawfully on the roads. When errors by new drivers cause injury to innocent bikers, the police must determine "fault" and responsibility for causing the crash
Young, inexperienced drivers pose a special danger to bikers lawfully on the roads. When errors by new drivers cause injury to innocent bikers, the police must determine “fault” and responsibility for causing the crash

Out for a pleasant bike ride on a quiet DC suburb road, a secretary at the National Cathedral was struck and knocked off her bicycle by a young motorist in too much of a hurry.

In May of 2015 the Plaintiff was traveling on her bicycle within the curb/bike lane on Oaklyn Drive, heading to Falls Road in Potomac, Maryland, when, without any warnings, the Defendant struck her from behind with his car.  The road has good visibility, a 35 mile per hour speed limit and no defects that would cause a car to swerve and hit a cyclist.

Police and ambulance were called to the scene.  The Plaintiff was transferred by ambulance to Suburban Hospital where she received treatment and diagnoses of a compression fracture of her L1 Lumbar Vertebrae; cervical spine connective tissue injury; and sprained left ankle, in addition to cuts and abrasions to various parts of her body and face.

The Defendant was cited with “Negligent driving vehicle in careless and imprudent manner endangering property, life and person” along with “Failure to control vehicle speed on highway to avoid collision”.

The insurance company for the driver let the team at the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU know that their insured was contesting liability.  On the Maryland court web site, lawyer Landau could see that the driver was fighting the ticket and that a Court date had been set.

The insurance company was going to try somehow to pin the blame on the cyclist who was run off the road by their unsafe driver !  And, since she was not riding in a peloton and no other cyclists or joggers were heading in the opposite direction at the time, there were no eyewitnesses to counter the story the young man was now giving to his insurance company.

The cyclist, a member of a very fit family of athletes, was training to go on a 60th birthday bike ride. She was hoping to realize her dream of cycling through 5-6 National parks, including Glacier National Park in Montana. She had purchased a bright red Janus Specialized road bike, and was riding regularly. Unlike bike racers who ride low in the “aero position,” the cyclist was sitting upright, not trying to break any records and easily visible to drivers who were paying attention. Was the young man distracted, on his cell phone or texting?  How could he not see a biker in the bike lane on a familiar biking road as he approached his home ?

The cyclist had medical bills of almost $10,000, and she also had lost wages from her job at the National Cathedral as the result of the crash and the necessary medical care afterwards.  As the biker has returned to work and her usual activities, the case settled prior to filing the lawsuit, for her lost wages, medical expenses, physical pain, inconvenience and mental suffering.

If you or someone you know has been injured while riding a bike and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Are Trampoline Parks Safe?

Ever since a fatal accident at the University of Miami where personal injury lawyer Doug Landau was a law student, in which a youngster was killed when an amusement ride came loose, Landau has been suspicious about the safety of rides, carnivals, etc.

A recent case in Texas is more evidence of the danger posed by these kinds of attractions.

In this case, a teenage boy visited a trampoline park with two of his friends.  The boy and his friends — all minors — forged their parents’ signatures on the waiver required to enter the park.

The day before the boys went to the park, employees had discovered a large tear in one of the trampolines, at the base of a portion where kids are allowed to run up one side and slide down the other. Unfortunately, the only warning device placed was rope-like stanchions (like those used to form lines at the movie theater) that were placed only on the side where the tear was located. Kids coming from the other side could not see the hole and stanchion on the other side.

There were no signs warning of the hole. The park management claimed it verbally warned customers of the hole, but the boy’s attorney collected evidence from other customers that they received no such warning.

The boy ran up the summit on the side opposite of the hole and stanchion and slid down into the hole where he fell three feet and struck his head on the concrete floor under the trampoline.

He was in the hospital for 3 days and was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury.

His lawyers were able to persent past medical and future medical costs, plus physical pain and mental anguish – both past and future.

The jury founded the trampoline park grossly negligent and awarded $11.5 million to the injured teen — the largest jury verdict ever against a commercial trampoline park in the U.S.

Lawyer Landau commends the injured boy’s team of lawyers for zealously pursuing justice in this case.

If you or someone you know has been injured at an amusement park, carnival, trampoline park, or other amusement facility and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

While the Green Lizard bike shop in Herndon no longer uses CompuTrainer indoor training systems for its year-round classes, the CT method of using your own bike to train for wattage is emphasized at this Northern Virginia bike shop's Kickr sessions

CompuTrainer Blue Flywheel Recall

While the Green Lizard bike shop in Herndon no longer uses CompuTrainer indoor training systems for its year-round classes, the CT method of using your own bike to train for wattage is emphasized at this Northern Virginia bike shop's Kickr sessions
While the Green Lizard bike shop in Herndon no longer uses CompuTrainer indoor training systems for its year-round classes, the CT method of using your own bike to train for wattage is still emphasized at this Northern Virginia bike shop’s Kickr sessions

Competitive cyclists are always looking for ways to improve their strength and gain speed.  No one knows this better than athletes’ lawyer Doug Landau, who has used CompuTrainers extensively for this purpose.

However, he cautions riders to carefully check equipment and also be on the lookout for any recalls or known defects.

Recently CompuTrainer manufacturer RacerMate issued a recall on the CompuTrainer Blue Flywheels due to a risk of injury.

According to the recall, “The blue flywheel can shatter while in use and throw metal pieces into the air. This poses a risk of injury from impact to the rider and any bystanders.”

The recall applies only to blue flywheels manufactured prior to 2008.  Flywheels manufactured after 2008 are silver, and are not impacted.

If you have an affected trainer you should stop using it immediately and contact RacerMate:

  • by phone: 800-522-3610 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday
  • online at www.racermateinc.com and click on Support to access the Blue Flywheel Recall form.
  • by email at sales@racermate.inc

If you or someone you know or care for were injured while using a defective sports training product, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

7th Annual Cycle Fest Charity Ride

We are pleased to share this note from the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC NV).

Hello fellow cyclists,

Please join us on Sunday, September 11, 2016 for our 7th Annual Northern Virginia Cycle Fest Charity Ride.

For the past 6 years we have supported our military and first responders through our annual charity ride and this year we will continue that tradition. We are planning to make this year’s ride an opportunity to remember those who lost their lives on that very sad day — September 11, 2001 and remember those military who continue to defend our country.

This year’s ride will depart and return to Molon Lave Vineyards, situated in the middle of 50 acres of land, south of Warrenton. The ride begins at 8:30 am and offers four ride options:

  • 20 miles
  • 40 miles
  • 62 miles
  • Advanced 62 miles

We are continuing to reach out to our Wounded Warriors local contact in order to receive up-to-date information on their corporate structure and veteran support. Our ride will acknowledge the great importance and responsibility we have in taking care of our veterans who have served us so proudly.

If you registered for last year’s October 4th ride and requested that your registration be transferred to this year’s ride, we will send out an e-mail confirming the transfer within the month.

We hope to make this a very memorable day for all. Please share this with fellow riders.

For more information visit: http://www.jccnv.org.

Faulty Zip Line Kit Recalled – BYA Sports

Bring Your Adventure (BYA) Sports has recalled approximately 5700 60-, 75-, and 90-foot cable Skyline Zipline Kits due to a fall hazard.

The recall states that, “A crimp in the zipline can fail allowing the cable to pull free or become slack while in use, posing a fall hazard to the user.”  Injuries have been reported.

If you have this zipline kit, immediately stop using it and contact BYA Sports:

Call BYA Sports collect at 303-443-0163 from 8 a .m. to 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday, or online at www.byasports.com and click on the Recall Information tab for more information.

The kits, priced between $100 and $130, were sold at REI and other sporting goods stores and online at promotive.com from August 2013-July 2015.

More details can be found in the Recall Notice itself.

Sports injury lawyer Doug Landau has zip lined on professionally supervised courses, and encourages anyone thinking of using a “home” kit to carefully inspect the equipment and follow all manufacturers instructions.  Even when doing so, however, defective or faulty equipment can cause harm to innocent users.

If you or someone you know or care for has been injured while using defective recreational sports equipment like a zipline kit, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

With the help of the Town of Herndon, Fairfax & Loudoun County Police, Doug Landau will be distributing free bike helmets to students & teaching them about safe bicycling and brain injury prevention

Bike Helmet Giveaways Spring 2016

With the help of the Town of Herndon, Fairfax & Loudoun County Police, Doug Landau will be distributing free bike helmets to students & teaching them about safe bicycling and brain injury prevention
With the help of the Town of Herndon, Fairfax & Loudoun County Police, Doug Landau will be distributing free bike helmets to students & teaching them about safe bicycling and brain injury prevention

The Abrams Landau team will once again distribute free bike helmets to children at local elementary schools who could not otherwise afford them.

In keeping with his firm’s mission of “putting lids on kids,” bike safety lawyer Doug Landau is scheduled to give two bike safety presentations and distribute bike helmets at schools in Fairfax County this spring:

Landau will be joined by local police at Herndon Elementary School on May 4 to fit 110 6th graders with brand new helmets as they celebrate National Bike to School Day and Fairfax County’s Safe Routes to School  program.

“The Safe Routes to School program is a terrific initiative administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), in conjunction with our schools, to encourage biking and walking to school.  This serves the dual purpose of helping reduce traffic congestion around schools and getting kids more physically active.  It dovetails perfectly with our mission of promoting brain injury prevention through consistent helmet use when riding a bike, rollerblading, skateboarding, etc.,” notes Landau.

On May 24, Landau and his team will make a return appearance at Guilford Elementary School’s Bike Safety Rodeo in Sterling, VA, where he expects to distribute 140 helmets to students in grades one through five.

It takes lots of "hands on" helpers to properly fit each student with their FREE bicycle helmet at the ABRAMS LANDAU & Virginia Trial Foundation's brain injury prevention programs
It takes lots of “hands on” helpers to properly fit each student with their FREE bicycle helmet at the ABRAMS LANDAU & Virginia Trial Foundation’s brain injury prevention programs

In addition to brand-spanking new bike helmets, students receive information packets explaining traumatic brain injury and the benefits of wearing a helmet every time they ride.  They also receive a contract that they — and their parents — will sign committing to consistent helmet usage.  And finally, they will get a tote bag in which to carry home their new loot!

The kids will be given stickers to place inside their helmets and instructed to come back to Abrams Landau if their new headgear is lost, damaged, or outgrown.  The firm will gladly provide a replacement!

The helmets are provided by the Abrams Landau law firm, in conjunction with the Virginia Trial Lawyers Foundation.

If you know of a school or other local organization where needy children would benefit from a bike helmet giveaway, please contact Abrams Landau, Ltd. at 703-796-9555.

 

 

AN injured cyclist is looking for information & witnesses to a crash that occurred as he was crossing on the W&OD Trail in Reston, Virginia at Weihle Avenue

Crash on W&OD Trail Monday June 13

AN injured cyclist is looking for information & witnesses to a crash that occurred as he was crossing on the W&OD Trail in Reston, Virginia at Weihle Avenue
An injured cyclist is  searching  for information & witnesses to a crash that occurred as he was crossing on the W&OD Trail in Reston, Virginia at Wiehle Avenue on June 13th

W&OD Trail accident lawyer Doug Landau was saddened to learn of an accident in which a cyclist was injured on the W&OD Trail last month.

Most troubling was the fact that it was the injured cyclist who received a citation for failing to yield the right of way.

Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB)’s Bruce Wright provides an excellent analysis of the situation. His original post appeared on the FABB Blog site (http://fabb-bikes.blogspot.com/) and is reprinted here:

We learned that a cyclist was involved in a bike/car crash at the intersection of Michael Faraday Dr and the W&OD Trail at around 7:45 a.m. on Monday, June 13. The cyclist was riding through the crosswalk and a motorist drove in front of him. The cyclist struck the side of the motor vehicle. The cyclist has no memory of the crash. If you witnessed the crash on Monday, June 13 at around 7:45 a.m. or heard anything about it, please contact chairman@fabb-bikes.org.

 The cyclist suffered a concussion, a broken rib, and various bruises and road rash. The cyclist was unconscious when he was taken to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital, where the police issued him a ticket for failure to yield right of way.

At this location there is a very short distance between the nearest road intersection and the trail crossing. A fast-moving motorist could come upon a cyclist very quickly, which may have been the case in this situation.  Traffic volume on Michael Faraday Ct is very low, approximately 210 vehicles per day, which is much less than traffic volume on the trail. Fairfax Co recently counted trail users within a mile of this intersection and the daily totals ranged from 887 to 2709. A strong argument could be made for installing STOP signs for motorists traveling on Michael Faraday Ct.

According to the crash report, the VA code used for the citation was 46.2-826, “Stop before entering public highway or sidewalk from private road, etc.; yielding right-of-way.” There is some confusion about whether this is the proper code to use in this case. According to a VDOT report about the zig zag markings on Sterling Blvd, they commented on this confusion:

With regard to language in the Code regarding vehicles entering a public highway from a road other than a highway, § 46.2-826 states: “The driver of a vehicle entering a public highway or sidewalk from a private road, driveway, alley, or building shall stop immediately before entering such highway or sidewalk and yield the right-of-way to vehicles approaching on such public highway and to pedestrians or vehicles approaching on such public sidewalk.” Again in this case, however, bicycles are not considered “vehicles” by § 46.2-100 because “a private road, driveway, alley, or building” does not meet the Code’s definition of a “highway.” Therefore, this code provision does not appear to apply to bicyclists on the W&OD Trail.”

 

On the other hand, on June 14, 2013 the VA Attorney General’s office issued an opinion on the enforcement of STOP signs on the W&OD Trail: “Accordingly, it is my opinion that law enforcement officers may enforce against trailer [sic] users stop signs installed on the W&OD Trail if such signs represent a rule or regulation adopted by NVRPA under the Virginia Park Authorities Act.” The opinion does not state which code should be used for writing a citation.

The bottom line is be very careful when crossing road intersections. We know that most trail users don’t come to a complete stop (including Fairfax Co bike police). But if you don’t stop, and are involved in a crash with a motorist, there’s a good chance you will either be found to be at fault or the contributory negligence law in VA will prevent you from winning in civil court.

Lawyer Landau always urges caution when using the W&OD Trail, whether you are on foot, bicycle, rollerblade, etc.  After all, you don’t stand a chance if a motorist is not paying attention and strikes you!

If you or someone you know are involved in an accident on the W&OD Trail and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Top trial lawyers like Ervin Gonzalez of the COLSON , HICKS Florida law firm & Doug Landau of the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU know how difficult it can be to prove brain injury. As partners at the University of Miami, they honed their trial skills & learned to seek out objective evidence of injury & other losses.

Objective Testing for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Top trial lawyers like Ervin Gonzalez of the COLSON , HICKS Florida law firm & Doug Landau of the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU know how difficult it can be to prove brain injury. As partners at the University of Miami, they honed their trial skills & learned to seek out objective evidence of injury & other losses.
Top trial lawyers like Ervin Gonzalez of the COLSON, HICKS, EIDSON Florida law firm & Doug Landau of the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU know how difficult it can be to prove traumatic brain injury (“TBI”). As partners at the University of Miami, they honed their trial skills & learned to seek out objective evidence of injury & other losses.

If you’ve ever had a concussion, or known or cared for someone who has, then you know that objective measures seem to be lacking when it comes to diagnosing and treating traumatic brain injury (TBI).

That may be about to change.

TBI lawyer Doug Landau was intrigued by an article about a new device called EYE-SYNC.  Manufactured by SyncThink out of Boston, EYE-SYNC is a medical device used for “rapid, reliable recording, viewing and analyzing of eye movement impairment through the use of virtual reality. ”

EYE-SYNC recently gained FDA clearance for concussion testing.

Landau was further intrigued to learn that this new device is being used by some college football teams to provide a more objective analysis for concussions, as opposed to the subjective testing currently done.

Objective evidence of TBI following an accident or injury is a critical piece of an injury lawsuit or workers’ compensation case.  Often an injured victim or worker is rendered unable to work or resume normal daily activities, yet there is no clear cut way to prove the deficit to a judge or jury.

“EYE-SYNC may prove very useful for Abrams Landau clients who are suffering symptoms of TBI,” notes Landau.  “I look forward to seeing where this exciting technology goes.”

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident and is suffering from traumatic brain injury, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).