From August 2014

Safeguarding against swimming pool accidents

Desert pool photograph
Desert Pool by D. Ferris. All rights reserved.

Unfortunately, swimming pool accidents tend to be catastrophic. All of us are too familiar with the stories we hear about children drowning in a swimming pool. Obviously the best safeguard to prevent against this is never to allow children to be left alone and unsupervised in a pool or spa. Children should always be supervised by an adult. It makes no difference whether they can swim or not. A wrongful death accident is not uncommon if children are left unsupervised in a pool.

Another common swimming pool accident results in paralysis. This is caused by diving into a shallow swimming pool and striking the bottom of the pool with one’s head. The dive can be either off the edge of the pool or off a diving board. Diving boards should not be installed on swimming pools. The only place a diving board should be located is in a pool specifically designed for diving. Only then can one be reasonably assured the water will be deep enough. Unfortunately diving accidents tend to result in quadriplegia injuries. This occurs because ones head strikes the bottom of the pool breaking the diver’s neck and resulting in quadriplegia.

Another common injury involves the spa. Hot water and alcohol, drugs or medicines do not mix. People under medication or intoxicated should avoid the spa. Also, long exposure the hot water can cause nausea and dizziness or fainting. Elderly people and pregnant women should avoid the spa.

If a swimming pool or spa accident should occur,

Dial 911 or the emergency number posted on the signage around pool/spa area. Ask if anyone in the pool area is familiar with CPR and if so administer CPR immediately.

If an accident should occur, after medical attention has been administered, photograph the entire pool area, including all signage, safety equipment, and all gates into the pool/spa area. Pay attention to signage on the entry gates. If there are any witnesses, obtain names addresses and all contact information from them.

Attorneys Angelo & Di Monda understand the need for quick action in a pool/spa accident. The pool/spa premises should be inspected immediately to verify conformity with all state-mandated safety signage and equipment. All pool accessories such as diving boards need to be immediately photographed, measured and model numbers and manufacturer names noted. It’s critical that this inspection take place as soon as possible after a swimming pool for diving accident. Any delay in inspecting the premises may result in changes to equipment and all signage which will make it more difficult to prove any negligence on the part of the pool owner.

Common motorcycle accidents and the injuries caused by them

big intersection
Source: Creative Commons

I have logged hundreds of thousands of miles on a motorcycle.  I’ve driven on city streets, rural back roads and interstate highways. There were many times I’ve had to take evasive action to avoid a motorcycle accident.  Cars and trucks often don’t see motorcycles. That’s a simple fact. When they do, the small headlight on the motorcycle just doesn’t seem to register with the driver of a car. Some of them think that because the motorcycle is so small that they could just turn in front of it and somehow the motorcycle can avoid them.

Left Turn Accident: One of the most common motorcycle accidents is the left turn accident. This is when a car or truck turns left across oncoming traffic and either hits the motorcyclist or the motorcyclist hits the turning vehicle. This accident is usually a cause of serious injury to the motorcyclist. That is because the motorcyclist is usually driving at or near the speed limit and is thrown off the motorcycle, sometimes over the car, striking their body either on the car or on the pavement. It’s not uncommon for serious head injuries, concussions, broken bones, broken legs, or a paralysis injury to occur from this type of accident.

Right Turn on Red: Another common accident is when a motor vehicle makes a right turn on a red light and either doesn’t see the motorcycle or believes it could turn in front of it. This usually results in the car running the motorcycle off the road or striking it broadside and knocking it over. This type of accident usually results in a broken leg to the motorcyclist or worse a severed leg.

Lane Splitting: Lane splitting in California is another source of injuries to motorcyclists. This can happen at any speed. At low speeds and traffic it’s common for cars changing lanes to drive into a motorcycle while it is Lane Splitting. This results typically in broken legs. At higher speeds a motor vehicle changing lanes will cause serious damage to a motorcycle and serious injury to the rider.  Any high-speed accident on a freeway can be fatal or, result in paralysis.

Vigilance is the only way to avoid a motorcycle accident. Motorcyclists must pay careful attention to other vehicles in the left turn lane. Lane splitting, though legal, is problematic and must be done with the utmost caution.

6 steps to take right after a motorcycle accident

There are two kinds of motorcycle accidents. The ones you can walk away from, and the more serious ones that result in an ambulance trip to the hospital.

In today’s post, we are going to focus on the less serious kind. And leave the serious motorcycle injury ones for another separate discussion.

Step 1. Call emergency services if necessary. If you require medical care please seek medical attention immediately. Any delay in seeking medical care will be used against you by the insurance company. There’s a tendency for bikers in accidents to shake it off and say “I’m tough,” but don’t do it. If you act strong and act as if you’re not injured, the insurance company will use that against you. They will claim that you were not really injured or else you would have sought medical attention immediately.

Step 2. After calling emergency services, stand as close to the accident scene as possible and review it in your mind. If you’re able, take a 360° photograph of everything surrounding the accident scene. You’re doing this to document the accident scene from as many angles as possible and show all damage to your motorcycle and all vehicles. The photographs are also to show all people standing around (potential witnesses) and other vehicles and their locations.

Show the relationship of all vehicles to any landmarks, such as stop signs, traffic lights, street lines, crosswalks etc. Any photograph that will help to accurately locate the vehicles on the street before they are moved at the accident scene may be critical to your case. Make sure to take photographs that show any passengers inside any of the other vehicles involved in the accident. Photograph the license plates of any vehicles that may have stopped as they may be witnesses.

Step 3. Exchange insurance and drivers license information with the other drivers. Get names, addresses and telephone numbers of all witnesses and any information you can from all witnesses to the accident.

Step 4. Do not give out any information concerning how the accident happened. This applies to the other party and to any witnesses.

Step 5. When the police arrive, cooperate in their investigation. Answer all their questions thoroughly and honestly without volunteering any unnecessary or gratuitous information. Anything you say will be put in a police report and may be used against you in a Civil or Criminal action. Therefore carefully consider how you respond to police questions.

Step 6. Speak to an attorney before speaking to an insurance company. You may hear from an insurance company before you have an opportunity to speak to an attorney. That conversation with the insurance company will be recorded. The insurance company is not your friend. If an insurance company representative telephones you, you have the right to tell them that you do not wish to speak to them until you speak to your attorney. We strongly suggest that you speak to an attorney before speaking to an insurance company. Hire an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Do not delay.

Here’s our firm’s motorcycle injury page for more information about us, or call for a free consultation at 1-84-INJURYLAW (1-844-658-7952).