Cyclist Rendered Quadriplegic After Crash with Parked UPS Truck

Even parked trucks can present danger to cyclists.  There are rules as to where commercial vehicles can stop absent extenuating or emergency circumstances.

Even parked trucks can present danger to cyclists. There are rules as to where commercial vehicles can stop absent extenuating or emergency circumstances.

Can an injured victim ever win a case against a parked vehicle ? Having tried a case in the Alexandria Circuit Court where the innocent Plaintiff lost sight in her eye as well as other injuries and received a favorable jury verdict, Herndon crash injury lawyer Doug Landau knows under the right facts the answer can be “yes.”

In a case recently tried to a jury verdict, a middle aged man was riding his bicycle. He was cycling along a 2-lane rural, nonresidential roadway when he collided with the back of a UPS truck that was parked partially on the road. The biker suffered injuries resulting in incomplete quadriplegia.

In addition to seeking reimbursement for his medical bills, both past and future, the bicycle rider also sought past and future wage loss. He had been earning about $60,000 a year, but is now unable to work. The permanently injured biker filed a lawsuit against UPS, alleging negligence and negligence per se.  “Negligence per se” is when the Defendant has violated a safety rule that was intended to protect the class of people of which the Plaintiff is a member, and that violation is a cause of the Plaintiff’s injuries. In this case, the Plaintiff’s lawyers sought to hold UPS responsible under this doctrine of “Negligence per se” for its driver’s violation of the state Transportation Code.

The Texas Transportation Code prohibits drivers in nonresidential areas from leaving their trucks on the main part of a highway unless it is impractical to do otherwise. The plaintiff alleged that the Defendant endangered others on the road by failing to train its drivers on applicable parking laws in an effort to promote driver efficiency in order to avoid needless and avoidable injury.

The Defendant argued that the Plaintiff should have avoided the truck. Under Virginia law, the Defendant would likely have won the case under either the doctrines of “Contributory Negligence” or “Assumption of the Risk.”  However, under the law of the state of Texas, the case was allowed to be submitted to the jury. The jury awarded about $9.36 million, finding the Plaintiff 50% at fault, suggesting that the injured biker’s lawyers did a great job in prosecuting this lawsuit. The case is on appeal, so it will be interesting to see what the Appeals Court does with the jury’s verdict in favor of the injured cyclist.

First Responders Need to Know Your Medical Needs on the Roads AND the Trails

Rescuers at Red Rock Canyon needed vital medical information about a fallen hiker. Having a RoadID or other visible accessory can be a life saver !

Rescuers at Red Rock Canyon need vital medical information about a fallen hiker. Having a RoadID or other visible accessory can be a life saver !

An emergency arose while hiking yesterday in Red Rock Park outside Las Vegas that brought home the point that it is important to have your medical information “at your finger tips.” A hiker in the “Ice Box Canyon”section of this wonderful Nevada park had fallen and been seriously injured. First responders were dispatched to bring the park visitor down to the road, so that transport to the closest hospital could be effected. Extraction from the canyon would require several people to carry the stretcher, which would take some time, as they were deep into the park. If the hiker was unconscious, concussed, delirious, confused or otherwise unable to speak, then if they had any special medical conditions (i.e., diabetic, medication allergies, taking special prescription medicines, wearing a pacemaker, etc.) it would be vital for the rescuers to know.

That is why Doug Landau wears his Road ID wristband with his own unique health information and contacts on it, in case of just such an emergency. Lawyer Landau recommends that anyone hiking, running, biking, blading, etc. in remote areas, or even with friends, wear their special medical information in an easy to find place in case of an accident on the trails, roads or elsewhere. It’s a modest cost for peace of mind, protection and possible “accessorizing.” He has seen wristbands, ankle bands, shoe lace tags and “dog tags” used to alert medical personnel to special physical conditions in emergencies.

The formations and colors of Nevada's Red Rock Canyon make for a scenic hike, drive, bike ride or run

The formations, topography and colors of Nevada’s Red Rock Canyon make for a scenic hike, drive, bike ride or run

Ever a fan of Desert exploration, Landau noted that Red Rock Canyon’s unique geologic features, plants and animals represent some of the best examples of the Mojave Desert. Visitors enjoy the extensive trail system. Guided hikes are available through RRCIA. Not a fan of downtown Vegas, Landau was keen to explore the outlying area, just as he did last year when the family camped in Death Valley. Colorful Red Rock Canyon is located 17 miles West of the Las Vegas Strip. The area is 195,819 acres and is visited by more than one million people each year. Red Rock offers a 13-mile scenic drive, more than 30 miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, nature observing and visitor center. For more information about Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, click here.

Landau was visiting his daughter, who is a teacher with the Clarke County School District as a member of the Teach for America program, and a Masters student at UNLV. TFA is a national teacher corps of recent college graduates who commit two years to teach and to effect change in under-resourced urban and rural public schools throughout America.

Safety Sport Clothing — Are You Seen?

 RUseeN's Michelle Gallen shown with VTS & MTS Super Series sponsor Doug Landau at the Washington DC multisport expo.


RUseeN’s Michelle Gallen shown with VTS & MTS Super Series sponsor Doug Landau at the Washington DC multisport expo.

“What what were you wearing when you were hit by the unsafe driver while you were jogging, biking, or rollerblading ?”

Michelle & Doug shown with low light conditions and a flash, (as with headlights on a car ), at the same exhibitor's booth at American University.

Michelle & Doug shown with low light conditions and a flash (as with headlights on a car ), at the same exhibitor’s booth at American University.

This is one of the first questions Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau asks a new client. If the insured biker, jogger, or rollerblader was wearing dark clothing or camouflage, and the lighting conditions were poor, then the defendant driver may have an excuse and avoid responsibility altogether.

High visibility clothing is becoming ever more important, as the speed of bikers, rotors, rollerbladers, and vehicles increases. One of the reasons lawyer Landau attends the annual MultiSport Expo in Washington, DC is to learn about the latest product improvements in technical apparel and sports equipment. One product line that impressed the Landaus immensely was the reflective apparel company RUseeN.

This Reading Pennsylvania company’s motto is “Be proactive ! think safety and visibility!”

This is a message long espoused by Oakton area lawyer Landau. Anyone who has seen Doug race anywhere in the country knows that he is pretty easy to spot in a crowd, and from a far distance, even in low daylight conditions. “If you are going to be wearing a windbreaker, or tights, why not ensure that you can be seen and your clothes are made of high visibility, reflective materials?” he asks.

The consequences of being “invisible ” to motorists could be catastrophic. In one jury trial Landau attended in the Fairfax County Circuit Court, a young runner was struck, not just once, but twice, by two different vehicles, neither of which saw him. He was wearing black pants and a camo jacket at night.

RUseeN has the gear you need to be observed, and safe. They can be reached at 610-777-1289.

If you or someone you know has been injured while cycling, jogging, rollerblading, walking, or doing anything outdoors, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Racing in Williamsburg; Colonial Road Runners Club Puts On Some of the Best Races in Virginia

"Small World Department:" USAT&F-NJ's Terry Mullane won his age group & saw Doug Landau's shirt from the Cross Country National Championships, which he helped direct !

“Small World Department:” USAT&F-NJ’s Terry Mullane won his age group & saw Doug Landau’s shirt from the Cross Country National Championships, which he helped direct !

In town to meet with lawyers in order to help an injured cyclist and to feed two dozen William & Mary students, Doug Landau also found time to participate in another wonderful Williamsburg Virginia area running race. The 21st Annual Queens Lake 5K Run at New Quarter Park was put on flawlessly by Rick Platt and the Colonial Road Runners Club. This Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix Event benefitted the Colonial Road Runners Scholarship Fund

Fast Williamsburg area runner & CRR regular, Jenn Primich, a VCU interventional radiology Technologist, not only won her age group, but kept running another several miles after the race !

Fast Williamsburg area runner & CRR regular, Jenn Primich, a VCU interventional radiology technologist, not only won her age group, but kept running several more miles after the race

Looking for a fast time after last week’s lackluster performance, lawyer Landau hoped to take advantage of the flat out-and-back course with loop into Queens Lake residential neighborhood. Like other Colonial Road Runners events, the Queens Lake 5k was contested in a scenic woodland setting along asphalt paved roads near the Colonial Parkway, in York County. The 5 km course was USATF certified 5K and billed as “one of the fastest courses in the Williamsburg area.” While managing to average exactly 7 minutes per mile, Landau was runner up in his age group.  There were quality runners in every division, so the Herndon Reston area lawyer did not even crack the top 20 !

When a Bike Falls Apart, What Does the Government Do ?

Bike injury lawyer Doug Landau maintains that when a product is defective when it leaves the manufacturer, it is incumbent upon the bike maker, supplier and even the retail shop to get the word out and prevent needless injury

Bike injury lawyer Doug Landau maintains that when a product is defective when it leaves the manufacturer, it is incumbent upon the bike maker, supplier and even the retail shop to get the word out and prevent needless injury

When bicycles fall apart or bike components break, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) issues a recall in order to try to prevent future injuries and losses. One of the most dangerous defects is when the bicycle’s fork setter tube or handle bars break. This causes the rider to lose control of the bike immediately, and impact with the pavement often results in traumatic brain trauma as well as orthopedic and permanent facial injuries.

Last April, Felt Bicycles expanded a recall of its bikes because of this very problem. According to the Bicycle Retailer, the original recall applied to about 2,100 triathlon and road bikes — model year 2009 Felt B12, B16 and S32 bikes. The bikes were recalled because their steerer tubes could break. Felt had received 18 reports of the forks breaking, including 5 reports of injuries. The forks were manufactured abroad. The manufacturer is ADK Technology Ltd. in China. The company is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to expand the recall to include 2008 model year bikes, models S22 and S32, and the 2010 model year S32, B12, B14 and B16 bikes. The expanded recall involves an additional 1,200 bikes. Consumers were told to stop riding the bikes and to contact their local Felt dealer or call Felt toll free at (866) 433-5887 or online at feltracing.com.

  • However, who is in the best position to warn the purchaser of these bikes ?
  • Who should be responsible for preventing further harms and losses ?
  • Shouldn’t the manufacturer, supplier and seller bear the cost of preventing further injury once a defect is discovered ?

The CPSC advised that consumers should immediately stop using the recalled bicycles and contact their local Felt Bicycles dealer for a free inspection and steerer tube replacement. But what about those who have already been injured ? A recall is not going to help heal their injuries or reimburse them for their losses. Unsafe consumer products can cause mayhem on the roads. Bikers entrust their health (and lives) to the bike shops and bicycle manufacturers. Bike manufacturers and suppliers need to take immediate and adequate steps to make sure their products are safe.

If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of a bicycle crash and there are questions about what laws apply when the bike is defective, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

Perfect Day for W&OD Trail 5K; Falls Church Virginia Race Showcases One of Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority’s Best Assets

Friends of the W&OD Trail hosted a safe, fun event Sunday at the Falls Church American Legion Hall. Herndon W&OD Trail user Doug Landau won the 50-59 age group and then ran to the East Falls Church Metro Station to take the Silver Line to the Reston Wiehle Station near the Law Shop

Friends of the W&OD Trail hosted a safe, fun event Sunday at the Falls Church American Legion Hall. Herndon W&OD Trail user Doug Landau won the 50-59 age group and then ran to the East Falls Church Metro Station to take the Silver Line to the Reston Wiehle Station near the Law Shop

Joining other runners and walkers on a Sunday afternoon, Herndon Virginia lawyer Doug Landau enjoyed the sunshine and opportunity to run on the W&OD Trail in Falls Church. The Walter L. Mess W&OD Trail 5Km in Falls Church Virginia drew participants of all ages. The 7th annual race, held in memory of W&OD Trail founder Walter Mess, went off with runners crossing the Route 7/Leesburg Pike overpass (which almost counts as a “hill !”), turning around and passing the American Legion Hall starting area, then making another U-turn before returning to the finish line. It is one of the few running races (other than those held on airport runways, tracks or beaches) where you could see the competition nearly the entire way !

The event was generously hosted by American Legion Post #130, which is located right at the Trail, and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. Having an indoor facility in which to change, stretch and eat was a bonus. Doug Landau was dropped off by his daughter and was able to win the 50-59 age group, finishing 12th overall. Though his time was unimpressive, it was his first local 5km in over 3 months, and he is preparing to run faster this coming weekend in Williamsburg.

After the W&OD 5km (3.1 mile) race, Lawyer Landau was even able to jog from the race site to the East Falls Church Metro Station and enjoy a ride on the Silver Line to the Reston Weihle Station. The Trail provided a safe route, away from cars and trucks, all the way to the subway station. The safety of the runners and walkers during the race was the result of the efforts of the W&OD Trail Patrol, Boy Scout Troops 349, 681, and 895, and the Falls Church Police. Another Northern Virginia Park Authority Trail event, “Friends of the W&OD 10K” in Vienna Virginia, Saturday, August 1, at 6:30 PM.

For complete information: www.safetyandhealthfoundation.org/friends

 

 

The Trial of a Great Athlete & Archer, Robin Hood — in Herndon, Virginia

None other than Robin Hood stood trial for assault and theft at Crestview Elementary School in Herndon, VA.

None other than Robin Hood stood trial for assault and theft at Crestview Elementary School in Herndon, VA.

What famous athlete — a skilled archer and swordsman no less — recently stood trial in Herndon, Virginia on charges of assault and theft?

It was none other than Robin Hood, a.k.a. Robin of Loxley, being charged with with the very serious crimes of assault on the Sheriff of Nottingham and theft of the sheriff’s jewels.

Mr. Hood was being defended by Herndon Trial Lawyer Doug Landau. Fairfax lawyer David Hirsch was counsel for the prosecution, and Judge O’Flaherty was in fact the judge.

Asked by the Fairfax Bar Association to volunteer his time teaching judicial process to students at Herndon’s Clearview Elementary School, Landau thought a mock trial would be a great way to engage the students and teach them about Virginia’s legal system.

Landau was able to adroitly show that the incriminating evidence of the arrow retrieved from the sheriff’s cloak had the initials “RH,” whereas his client’s legal name was “RL” for “Robin of Loxley.” Secondly, the rule of Nottingham is “finders keepers” and Robin “found” the box of jewels in the forest. Under Landau’s cross examination, the sheriff, who was state’s evidence, could not identify who actually shot the arrow, or even who of the Merry Men was running around the forest at midnight. Furthermore, Landau put Friar Tuck and Maid Marian on the witness stand, and they both testified that the jewels had belonged to the church, and were stolen by the sheriff. Therefore, Robin Hood cannot steal from the sheriff what was not the sheriff’s property!

At the end of the trial, Judge O’Flaherty charged the jury, and instructed them that under Virginia law their verdict must be unanimous. If it is not unanimous it is “a hung jury”.

Just like the students Landau has worked with at Rachel Carson Middle School in Herndon, these Crestview students took their jobs very seriously. The jury retired, selected the foreman, argued the facts, and returned with a unanimous verdict.

The result? Landau’s client, Robin of Loxley, a.k.a. Robin Hood, was found not guilty of all charges!

Road Construction Near Herndon VA Law Firm Abrams Landau

Runners, cyclists, walkers, and motorists are used to dodging traffic obstacles. But road closures present all sorts of problems, not the least of which can be a parking shortage!

At the office of Abrams Landau, Ltd. located in Historic Herndon, there is road construction going on — right in front of our building.

If you are visiting our office in the near future, please be aware that there is plenty of free, covered parking very close by. You may park in the municipal parking lot underneath the new City Hall, adjacent to the Fortnightly Library and Courthouse buildings. Click here to access driving directions to the garage.

As you can see from these photos, the town is tearing up the street in a big way!

Road Construction in front of Abrams Landau in Herndon VAWe apologize for any inconvenience. If you need assistance, please call our office at 703-796-9555. Road Construction in front of Abrams Landau office in Herndon VA Road Construction in front of Abrams Landau office in Herndon VA

Mid-Atlantic Multisport Season is Underway – Summit & Expo Draws the Best DC, Maryland & Virginia Triathletes to Compete, Learn & Improve

After racing around the track barefoot & stripping off his dry wetsuit, Doug Landau won his heat at the DC Multisport Expo's Transition Race at American University

After racing around the track barefoot & stripping off his (dry) wetsuit, Doug Landau won his heat at the DC Multisport Summit’s Transition Race at American University

Running bare footed around the American University track in his wetsuit Saturday morning was how Herndon triathlete Doug Landau started his jam-packed weekend !

Lawyer Landau had entered the “REV3 Transition Competition” to see if he had gotten rusty during the “offseason.” This was just the first of several competitive events held at TRI-MANIA Washington DC, held this year at the campus of American University. Developed in partnership with USAT Mid Atlantic, the TRI-MANIA Summit and Expo offered the area’s best Triathletes, DUathletes, and others educational seminars, athletic competitions, and the chance to check out (and purchase) the latest bikes, nutritional supplements, and other sports gear.

The start of the Transition Race at the DC Multisport Summit at American University

The start of the Transition Race at the DC Multisport Summit

Landau signed up for the Transition Race, since he often has the best times transitioning between the swim and the bike, and the bike and the run sections of the triathlons he competes in around the country. However, he has never competed in just a transition race !

This unique track event was designed specifically for triathletes. All participants were to run 1/4 mile on the AU outdoor track, but here’s the catch… all athletes needed to start the race wearing a wetsuit and swim cap and in bare feet — no shoes.  On “GO!” athletes were to run about half way around the track to a transition area where they stripped off their wetsuit, slipped on their shoes and completed their loop on the track.  This was a timed event and the top 3 males and females were be awarded prizes.  Adding to the fun and excitement, Mike Reilly, the Voice of Ironman, was the race announcer.

How did lawyer Landau do ? Despite the cold, he won his heat, but was several seconds off the winner’s time of 1:30. “Rookie mistakes and fighting with my wetsuit cost me the win,” said Landau, who completed the circuit in 1:33 and then cheered for the relay teams.

Olympic gold medalist Sheila Taormina giving swim tips at the AU pool

Olympic gold medalist Sheila Taormina giving swim tips at the AU pool

More importantly, Landau attended the educational programming, including presentations by doctors, physical therapists, Olympic Athletes, and top National Coaches.  “The Future of Sports Medicine: Non Surgical Solutions for Chronic Triathlon Injuries” was of particular interest to Landau, as was his friend and exercise physiologist Ken Mierke’s presentation “Training by Heart Rate and Power: Managing Workout Intensity for Optimal Efficiency.” In order to get better in the swim, the Landaus attended 4x Olympian, Gold medalist and USAT Hall of Famer Sheila Taormina’s talk, and Mrs. Landau got in the AU pool for a Total Immersion swim clinic!

The Landaus also visited with the friendly folks who host the Virginia & Maryland Triathlon Super Series events, as Greg Hawkins and his crew have an exciting line-up of races and other events planned for 2015. Landau noted that, “This annual event should be on every multisport athlete’s calendar. You can learn from the best coaches and competitors, sample a wide range of sports products, and visit with the folks you see at all the races.”

Sprint Triathlon Chestnut Forks

This year’s race will consist of

  • 300 meter swim at Chestnut Forks Pool
  • 12.8 miles of cycling through Warrenton’s beautiful countryside
  • 5K run winding through Warrenton Lakes

The date is Saturday, June 20, 2015. Individuals and teams welcome!

Click here for more information.

Douglas K.W. Landau is admitted to practice in DC, VA, CT, FL, and NJ. Abrams Landau services clients in Washington DC, Pennsylvania, PA, Maryland, MD, Virginia, VA (including Northern Virginia, Fairfax county, Loudoun county, Herndon, Reston, and more), Connecticut, CT, Georgia, GA, Florida, FL, New Hampshire, NH, New York, NY, New Jersey, NJ, Maine, Massachusetts, MA, Rhode Island, RI, North Carolina, NC, and South Carolina, SC.

Information disseminated on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client or similar relationship. Please do not send us confidential information. Past successes cannot be an assurance of future success. Whether you need legal services and which lawyer you select are important decisions that should not be based solely upon this website. Please contact: Abrams Landau Ltd. at (703) 796-9555.