Tag Archives: knee injury

When a biker is injured or killed, and their are no witnesses, the police and legal counsel must use other evidence to prove the case and show what happened

Ways to Prove Bike Crash Fault WITHOUT Eyewitnesses

“I never saw the biker !” says the driver. “Never heard him coming from behind,” says the cyclist. This scenario is unfortunately not uncommon. Recently contacted by an injured bicycle commuter who woke up with a brain injury after a car crash, Herndon lawyer Doug Landau was presented with a case where the victim had no witnesses. What then to do when there are no witnesses to the impact ?

When a biker is injured or killed, and their are no witnesses, the police and legal counsel must use other evidence to prove the case and show what happened
When a biker is injured or killed, and there are no witnesses, the police and the cyclist’s legal counsel must use other competent evidence to prove the case and show what happened.

Another case investigated by Landau is illustrative. The cyclist was preparing for a New England charity ride. He went on his usual safe training course, not flying through lights or stop signs, but at a pace he would have to hold for a multi-day touring event. He then awoke in a helicopter being transported to Johns Hopkins Medical Center with a fractured skull. He had no memory of any vehicle striking his bicycle. There were no witnesses to the impact. He contacted lawyer Landau.

Always eager to explore cases, races and new places "on foot," Herndon lawyer Doug Landau at the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, California
Always eager to explore cases, races and new places “on foot,” Herndon lawyer Doug Landau ran many miles at the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, California

As is his custom in bike crash cases, Landau traveled from the Herndon Law Shop and visited the scene. Donning his running kit, he ran back and forth on the block where the biker was found.

Since the cyclist had a GPS device, it was downloaded so that Landau knew the precise coordinates. The GPS data revealed that the biker’s aspect suddenly changed about a yard to his left. Then the velocity went abruptly from 14 to zero MPH.

As lawyer Landau jogged over the scene, with his tape measure and camera in hand, he could not see any potholes, ruts, grating, skid marks, yaw marks or other indicia of vehicular incident or roadway defect. But, as he continued to traverse the area he heard a sound runners and cyclists know all too well. The low, loud barking of a very large dog that had leaped off the deck to his right.

With no leash or “invisible fence,” this huge beast was at the curb in an instant. Landau sprinted to his car in world record time. When he caught his breath, he realized that the cyclist’s brain injury was not from a car crash or road defect, but from being struck by this dog. He called the bike shop where the bicycle was being stored and asked the mechanics to check for: fur, saliva, dents low to the ground, and other evidence. They called back moments later with the confirmatory information.

The bike had indeed been struck low and hard by this animal. The dog attack was not the usual dog bite, but the sheer weight of the beast was enough to knock an experienced cyclist off his saddle and onto the pavement. The dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy then became the responsible party for the biker’s harms and losses.

The case reiterates Landau’s mantra:

  1. The best lawyers always visit the scene so as to understand what happened
  2. A true trial lawyer always explores what the cyclist saw, felt, heard, smelled, etc.
  3. Counsel should always ascertain the identities of eyewitnesses. This may involve knocking on doors, putting up posters, and simply “hitting the pavement” in the vicinity of the crash
  4. A true advocate for an injured cyclist will look for technology that may help prove the case, such as:
  • a. Intersectional videos,
  • b. Nearby business or home security cameras,
  • c. GPS or other devices that record speed, direction, time, location, etc.,
  • d. “Black Box” from the truck or car, satellite location device for commercial vehicles, etc.
  • e. Cell phone, text messaging and other communication device information,

Landau has been contacted by a number of injured cyclists and other athletes who either have no memory of the accident (as was the case when Landau had his own double concussion in the Fall of 2013).  Then there are the tragic cases where the biker died from his or her injuries and thus cannot relate anything to the family’s legal counsel. The above actions, along with those set forth in Landau’s free book “10 Mistakes that can Derail Your Bike Injury Case”, can sometimes help take a case with a seeming overwhelming number of questions, and get answers that can then be used as competent evidence in a court of law.

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

Podium at First Multisport Race of the Year – After 6 Month Hiatus, Lawyer Landau Lands on Top

At Racine Multisports' Hagerstown DUathlon, Herndon lawyer Doug Landau wound up on the podium with an age group win
At Racine Multisports’ Hagerstown DUathlon, Herndon Virginia lawyer Doug Landau wound up on the Maryland podium with an age group win

Usually Herndon triathlete Doug Landau would have many miles in the saddle outdoors before the first multisport race of the season. But with only Thursday night’s Reston Bike Club ride and a winter’s worth of indoor CompuTrainer classes at HPC under his belt, lawyer Landau was pleasantly surprised with his performance at the Hagerstown DUathlon Saturday morning. On April 1st Landau got his clearance from the Fairfax Family Practice Concussion Center. Prior to April, he had avoided riding his bike and inning outside on the roads. While he put in many hours in the pool, running and swimming, weight room, soft turf fields and snowy trails, he only ran on hard surfaces in well-monitored road races. This athlete attorney’s patience and careful recuperation is paying dividends. In addition to a number of running race podiums this winter for age group, masters, grand masters and overall prizes, it looks like lawyer Landau is returning to his winning ways in multisport competition.

After a hectic week coaching middle schoolers, giving out bike helmets and managing a multistate injury and disability law practice, Doug Landau finds multisport racing "relaxing".  Landau notes, "Exercise and racing are my Ritalin"
After a hectic week coaching middle schoolers, giving out bike helmets to elementary schoolers and managing a multistate injury & disability law practice, Doug Landau finds multisport racing “relaxing”. Landau notes, “Exercise and racing are my Ritalin”

Having ridden his bicycle for the first time just once this week outdoors since his double concussion just prior to the USAT DUathlon National Champiomships last Fall, Herndon triathlete Doug Landau lined up at this Maryland race looking to see where his fitness coming off the bike would take him. The Racine multisports event took place in and around the Marty Snook Park, and had a Run-Bike-Run format. The Racine folks did an excellent job with coordinating a 5k, kids race and the Duathlon on a gorgeous spring day. While Landau was breathing harder than usual during the first run, where he was passed by over a third of the field, once he got on his bike, things seemed to go better. Passing a number of athletes, the Herndon injury lawyer was able to finish both runs in under 7 min./mile pace and the bike faster than 20 mph. Complete results click here.

He ended up winning his age group, and felt so good afterwards, that he and his wife went biking in DC to see the cherry blossoms ! Landau will be taking a fortnight off from racing, next lining up at the Westfields Triathlon, where he won prize money last year in freezing conditions. He hopes to better his time, overall placing and even stick around for the awards ceremony this year !

National Park Places Moratorium on Biking and Running Races in Death Valley

Running and biking in Death Valley takes a special kind of dedicated endurance athlete.  Competing in one of the hottest venues on Earth requires training, commitment and intelligent planning for a safe race.   (Photo by Jenna Hertz)
Running and biking in Death Valley takes a special kind of dedicated endurance athlete. Competing in one of the hottest venues on Earth requires training, commitment and intelligent planning for a safe race. (Photo by Jenna Hertz)

After enjoying a half-marathon length training run through the dry, dusty Los Virgines hills, I came across LADailyNews report regarding the moratorium on National Park Service permits. Death Valley National Park placed a moratorium on cycling and running competitions until it can determine how safe they are. This action was announced despite the fact that race promoters have held 89 events in the park since 1990 without serious incident. According to spokesperson for race promoter/sponsor AdventureCorps Chris Kostman, “There have been no deaths, no car crashes, no citations issued, and only a few evacuations by ambulance after Continue reading

Protecting Professional Hockey Players' Heads

The use of helmets in hockey prevents brain injury; when all players have head protection, there is no competitive advantage to those on the ice who are not so attired, according to Herndon sports injury lawyer Doug Landau
The use of helmets in hockey prevents brain injury; when all players have head protection, there is no competitive advantage to those on the ice who are not so attired, according to Herndon sports injury lawyer Doug Landau

Baseball pitchers can get beaned by hardballs that can cause devastating facial and brain injuries.  Likewise, professional ice hockey players face injury from fast flying pucks, stick wielding opponents, hard ice and checks into walls and plexiglass.  Virtually every country in the world has some workplace safety regulations.  So it is no surprise that there is safety regulation in professional sports in the United States

The National Hockey League (“NHL”) required its newly acquired players to wear helmets starting in 1979, but it exempted veterans, the last of whom played without them until 1997. Cornell economics professor Robert Frank wrote about the economics of safety for the New York Times using the NHL protective headgear as an example.  Helmets are required in the National Hockey League, but that’s a fairly recent development. According to Professor Frank,

“Many players had believed that they could see and hear better Continue reading

Double the Races, Double the Distance, DUathlon Championships Drawing Near

Lawyer Landau runs his best when he is early for a race and has time to warm up, scout the course and get his nutrition and liquid needs. For the Santa Monica 5,000 in Southern California, his daughter made sure he got to the start on time !Last week lawyer Landau ran his longest race, over twice the distance of the 5 Kms. races he has been competing in since he returned to running in April. With the”Valley of the Moon VIntage Harvest Festival  Sonoma vineyard 12 km. under his belt, the adventurous attorney signed up for the competitive Santa Monica 5,000. This race awards prize money, has a field of over 1,500 and draws top runners from all over the world. But the Herndon injury lawyer had his sights not on the best Southern California racers, but on testing his DUathlon fitness by running the last 3 miles of the 10 km race as well. In other words, Landau would have about 20 minutes between the end of the 5km and then catching the field at mile 3 in the 10km, since this was a “point to point” course finishing at the Santa Monica Pier.  If he could pull off this “double” then it would demonstrate his DUathlon training was progressing toward the October 26th USAT National Championships in Oro Valley, Arizona.

Landau managed a 20:43 in the first leg, averaging 6:41/mile, and then 7:23 for the 2nd 5 km. Later that night, after visiting with family on the Left Coast, he hopped a “red eye” so as to be in Court in Manassas Virginia the next morning with a Warrenton family that was struck by a drunk driver near Nissan Pavilian. The “on the go” lawyer then traveled to New Jersey on Wednesday, participated in the second session of a Mediation in Connecticut and then celebrated his sister’s charitable giving award in New York City before hopping a late night train back to Washington, D.C., where he attended an anatomy course for lawyers presented by the Trial Lawyers Association of DC. Notes Landau, “the best trial lawyers, like the best runners and cyclists, are always trying to improve, test themselves and stay on the cutting edge of their field.”

Lorton DUathlon Challenges Athletes on Pohick Park Trails

Bishops events prize winners from the DUathlon in Pohick Park Virginia to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society include (R-L): womens masters and overall winner Brenda Allen, of Charlottesville, Virginia, who also has the most points, male or female, in the Bishops Events Multisports Series; 3rd place male and first place male in the Multisport Series Doug Landau of the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU; and, Eve Baker, of Triangle Virginia female runner up, of Baker Editing Services
Bishops events prize winners from the DUathlon in Pohick Park Virginia to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society include (R-L): womens masters and overall winner Brenda Allen, of Charlottesville, Virginia, who also has the most points, male or female, in the Bishops Events Multisports Series; 3rd place male and first place male in the Multisport Series Doug Landau of the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU; and, Eve Baker, of Triangle Virginia female runner up, of Baker Editing Services

For the second time this season, Doug Landau raced to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (“LLS”) in a challenging Duathlon presented by Bishops Events in Virginia’s bucolic Prince William County.  Part of the Bishops Events Series, this Run-Bike-Run event to support LLS featured a challenging 5km cross country course at Pohick Bay Regional Park that racers had to traverse twice, with a curvy, hilly bike ride on jogging trails that went to Gunston Hall and Mason Neck State Park.

Before the race even started, Lawyer Landau had not one, but TWO flat tires.  However, rather than being out of the race before it started, Landau had brought two sets of wheels (as well as an extra helmet, shoes and other gear).  “Just like an injury trial, Social Security Disability or Workers Compensation Hearing, I always try to anticipate problems and come over-prepared, rather than under-prepared !”  noted the Herndon Virginia acident lawyer.

After overcoming his mechanical issues and starting the race on time, the Herndon injury attorney kept to his plan of using this event as a hard training day in preparation for the US National Championships in 5 weeks.  While Lawyer Landau managed to work hard to come out of the woods in second place after the first run, he was passed by several strong cyclists.  Committing himself to a hard run, Landau managed to finish up in 3rd place overall, (official results) with a negative split on the 2nd run !  This was only the second time this year he has run a 10km. in competition.  His run time was good enough to be listed as third all time for this course, and he is currently the first place male in the multisport series standings!

Credit for a fun event goes to the folks at Bishops Events, the DCRRC timers and all the volunteers.  In addition, fellow competitors were very helpful before and after the race, especially runner up female Eve Baker of Baker Editing Services, who, in addition to “Saving wayward apostrophes since 2004,” also serves in our nation’s armed forces.

Herndon Kids Triathlon a Hit !

Tiny triathletes stream in with streamers at the Herndon Virginia Kids Triathlon; after dismounting their bicycles safely and removing their helmets after racking their bikes, they would run out from the Herndon Community Center to the W&OD Trail
Tiny triathletes stream in with streamers at the Herndon Virginia Kids Triathlon; after dismounting their bicycles safely (and removing their helmets after racking their bikes), they ran from the Herndon Community Center to the W&OD Trail

A triathlon transition area with: streamers, training wheels, balloons on bike seats and fenders is an unusual sight in the multisport world. But in children’s triathlons, these sights and the smiles of the participants are what make it fun for volunteers, spectators and pint-sized racers. This morning’s Herndon Kids Triathlon had perfect weather, lots of local volunteers, cheering parents and grandparents.

Volunteer, sponsor and sports safety advocate Doug Landau poses with a triathlete and parent who came from Richmond Virginia to participate in the Herndon Kids Triathlon
Volunteer, sponsor and sports safety advocate Doug Landau poses with a triathlete and parent who came from Richmond Virginia to participate in the Herndon Kids Triathlon

Hosted by the Herndon Community Center on Ferndale Avenue, and open to children from 6-16, this event was an excellent introduction to multisport racing.  The distances of the indoor pool swim, W&OD Trail bike ride and run were set in relation to each child’s age.  This kids triathlon gives youngsters a great opportunity to compete in one of the fastest growing sports in the United States.  The philosophy is completion rather than competition.  Every participant received a t-shirt, swim cap, water bottle and medal. The ABRAMS LANDAU Herndon injury law firm, along with A-1 Cycling and Keller Williams Realty, was a sponsor of the event, and all 3 sponsors contributed volunteers on the race course.  For the second week in a row, Brian Crow, and his professional timing team from TriPerformance, did an excellent job of tracking the times of over 200 children of all different ages, skill and experience levels.  For official TriPerformance race results, click here.

Busy Day on Herndon Virginia's W&OD Trail

Taylor Love Triathlon Race Director and TriPerformance Coach Brian Crow and runner-up Doug Landau before the start of this morning's race at the Herndon Virginia Community Center. In real life, Coach Crow is much taller than lawyer Landau !
Taylor Love Triathlon Race Director and TriPerformance Coach Brian Crow & runner-up Doug Landau before the start of this morning’s race at the Herndon Virginia Community Center. In real life, Coach Crow is much taller than lawyer Landau !

With BOTH a sprint Triathlon and a Bike-a-thon going West from Herndon Virginia and benefitting worthy charities, the W&OD Trail had plenty of use this morning.  There were volunteers, police and even a shoe “try-on” tent along the popular trail.
Herndon biker lawyer Doug Landau first took part in the Taylor Love Triathlon.  After swimming at the Herndon Community Center, racers ran across the soccer field to their bicycles and headed West to the turnaround at Partlow’s in Ashburn.

Bob Lytle won the Aqua Bike; his daughter Katrina won her age group (& was 12th overall)
Bob Lytle won the Aqua Bike; his daughter Katrina won her age group (& was 12th overall) at only 16 years of age !

Returning from Loudoun County, participants in this TriPerformance event left their bikes on the racks and ran East to the Herndon caboose, where they turned around at the starting point for the Herndon Band’s Bike-a-thon !  Runners then ran on the cinder part of the W&OD Trail past Crestview and turned around to head home on the horse path to the Herndon Community Center.  Photos from the Green Lizard Bike Ride to benefit the band will be written up in a future post.

Here are some photos from today’s triathlon where Herndon lawyer Landau had the best transition combination, and second best bike and run splits, but finished in the runner up spot despite besting all of the teams. With temperatures in the 40′s, Landau lost feeling in his hands and feet at the bike turnaround, and did not get his heart rate 0r body temperature up until a mile to go in the run.  By then, the eventual winner Brian Goebel had over 5 minutes on the Triathlon Trial Lawyer.  The 42-year-old Goebel was escorted by police on the W&OD Trail, with red and white lights a flashing to warn others of his approach !  Safety for this event was further ensured by police at every major intersection and there was a pre-race bike inspection station.

 

Another triathlon "newbie," Katie Baroody of Herndon, had a great swim, kicking right past lawyer Landau despite his 30 second head start like he was an inflated blowfish !  A Herndon High School graduate, Ms. Baroody finished 8th overall, won her age group & clobbered Landau again with her T-2 time !
Another triathlon “newbie,” Katie Baroody, had a great swim, kicking right past lawyer Landau despite his 30 second head start like he was an inflated blowfish ! A Herndon High School graduate, Ms. Baroody finished 8th overall, won her age group & clobbered Landau again with her T-2 time !

Loco Racing‘s Todd Stuckey did a great job as the race announcer, and Brian and Alissa Crow and their team of volunteers in both Loudoun and Fairfax Counties were all smiles and helping hands.  This is a fun race for newbies and experienced multi-sport athletes, as there were team, aquavelo and sprint categories.  And, as if predicting the unusually cold morning temperatures, the race preems included a warm plaid blanket, long-sleeved shirt and a travel hot tea mug !  Three cheers for the Taylor Love Triathlon team !

New Herndon Virginia Venue for Taylor Love Triathlon

Past winners of the Herndon Taylor Love Sprint Triathlon, Lisa Goldman & Doug Landau are seen here at the weekly Town of Herndon Farmers Market
Past winners of the Triperformance Herndon Taylor Love Sprint Triathlon, Lisa Goldman & Doug Landau are seen here at the weekly Town of Herndon Farmers Market

Previously held at the Worldgate Sport & Health Club, the Taylor Love Triathlon has moved to the Herndon Community Center, Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 6:30 AM. TriPerformance Coach Brian Crow and his excellent team of timers and volunteers will once again stage this fun fundraising event.  Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau has participated with friends in the past, and has enjoyed Coach Crow’s other events in Ashburn Broadlands and South Riding in the past.

The Taylor Love Sprint Triathlon starts off with a 400 meter indoor pool swim. The Bike Course will leave the Herndon Community Center (“HCC”) via Ferndale and heads West to Ashburn Road, turns around and returns to the HCC. The Bike Course will be supported by our terrific local police to make the trip to Ashburn and back enjoyable and safe.  The 5k run is on the roads and trail in Herndon around the Community Center West of the Landau Law Shop.

Landau has been seen training on both the cinder W&OD Trail that goes by the Herndon Community Center and the turf field at the Hutchinson Middle School near the Worldgate club in preparation for DUathlon Nationals next month.  Lawyer Landau’s goal is 70 minutes at the Herndon Community Center, before heading off to take part in the Green Lizard Bike Ride to raise money for the Herndon High School marching band.

This multisport event honors local resident and pediatric cancer warrior, Taylor Love. In her short, heroic life, Taylor has battled 2 cancers (Neuroblastoma and chemo-induced leukemia), received a bone marrow transplant, fought through kidney failure, undergone countless surgeries, pokes, tests and scans.

Sports Genes, Surgery and Performance Enhancing Drugs

WIth the recent revelations about the activities professional cyclists took to increase their athletic abilities, Reston area bike injury lawyer Doug Landau is concerned that an activity that can make one healthier was being subverted into something that unhealthy, unnatural and ultimately, unfair
WIth the recent revelations about the activities professional cyclists took to increase their athletic abilities, Reston area bike injury lawyer Doug Landau is concerned that an activity that can make one healthier was being subverted into something that unhealthy, unnatural and ultimately, unfair

Recent examination of how athletes are lengthening sports careers, achieving new records and victories have got me thinking about what is fair on the playing field. At the elementary school playground where I grew up, the games were not fun unless the teams were fairly matched. Picking sides often resulted in “the best and the worst against the 2 middle” or other forms of equitable selection. But what happens when “natural selection” and its attendant mutations give one athlete a huge advantage at birth ? I am reminded of the famous Shakespeare quote, “some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

The author of Outliers, The Tipping Point, and Blink, Malcom Gladwell, wrote about “Man and Superman: In athletic competitions, what qualifies as a sporting chance?” in this week’s New Yorker magazine. In this excellent piece, he explores athletes with unusual genetic advantages, advances in surgical techniques to extend and improve athletic performance (i.e., the Tommy John surgery), and drugs, blood banking, altitude training, etc. I commend this article to anyone interested in the current state of athletics, the health of professional sports and its participants. There is also an interesting podcast at NewYorker.com/Go/Outloud Both article and podcast are thought provoking.