Articles Tagged with “bicycle accident”

Boston Attorney Ronald E. Gluck specializes in personal injury cases.

Attorney Ronald E. Gluck was interviewed by Boston Magazine about the truck crash that killed his client, the late Dr. Anita Kurmann. Gluck said he had to wait 20 months after the truck’s collision with the cyclist to obtain the video surveillance from the Boston Police Department. While the Boston Police Department found the truck driver was not responsible, Gluck said his investigation found the truck driver caused his client’s death. Gluck negotiated a financial settlement with the truck driver and his insurance company on behalf of Kurmann’s estate in June 2017.

Attorney Ronald E. Gluck is speaking about the video footage of the 2015 truck crash that killed his client, Dr. Anita Kurmann.

Twenty months after the fatality occurred, the Boston Police Department completed its investigation and concluded that the truck driver was not responsible for the cyclist’s death. The video footage, which came from a traffic camera at the intersection where the tragedy occurred, was in the hands of the police the day the incident occurred.  Yet, the Kurmann family and their attorney had to wait twenty months to see the video and to obtain any witness information from the police department, Gluck said.  Multiple subpoenas sent to the police were met with a refusal to produce the information until the police concluded it investigation.

These are the days when children just want to be outdoors, riding their bikes. We want them to enjoy the experience and always, always wear a bicycle helmet.

Breakstone, White & Gluck recently made bicycle helmet donations in Westborough, Lexington and Dorchester as part of our Project KidSafe campaign. We are committed to protecting young cyclists and are now in the fourth year of our campaign. Along the way, we have donated over 10,000 bicycle helmets to children who need one, with support from community groups, bicycle safety organizations, police departments and schools which organize bike helmet giveaways.

Wearing a properly fitted bicycle helmet is the best way for cyclists to protect themselves against head injuries from falls and bicycle accidents. Under the law, anyone who is 16 years of age or younger in Massachusetts is required to wear one while riding.

The family of Dr. Anita Kurmann, who was tragically hit and killed by a truck last summer in Back Bay, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver and the trucking company. Attorney Ronald E. Gluck of Breakstone, White & Gluck filed the lawsuit on behalf of the family in Suffolk Superior Court. The Boston Globe reported on the case on May 19, 2016.

Read The Boston Globe article, “Family of cyclist killed in Back Bay last year sues truck driver.”

 

The Westwood Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Committee distributed 125 bicycle helmets to children at Westwood Day over the weekend. Despite the cold and rainy day, families turned out and the committee distributed the helmets in a little more than two hours.

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Breakstone, White & Gluck donated the bicycle helmets as part of our Project KidSafe campaign.

Attorney David W. White is a Westwood resident and participated as a member of the Westwood Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Committee.

Breakstone, White & Gluck recently joined the fifth graders at West Somerville Neighborhood School as they graduated from the CYCLE Kids program. Our firm was proud to donate 400 bicycle helmets this year to Somerville elementary school students participating in CYCLE Kids. We made the donations as part of our Project KidSafe campaign.

Attorney Ronald Gluck handed out new bicycle helmets to the 34 students who received certificates of completion at the West Somerville school. The certificates were handed out by Somerville Community Police Officer Marianne Manfra and physical education teacher Neil Holloway, who coordinate the program.

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Photo: Attorney Ronald Gluck hands a helmet to a fifth grader who completed the CYCLE Kids program at the West Somerville Neighborhood School.

Our attorneys partnered with the Framingham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to bring helmets to the community.

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Photo from left to right: Officer Garret Coffin, Det. David Loureiro, attorney David White of Breakstone, White & Gluck, and Ed Kross, member of the Framingham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

Crowds packed the Framingham High School gym for the fourth annual Framingham Earth Day Festival on Saturday. There were 70 vendors offering products and services related to promoting an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Breakstone, White & Gluck participated by donating 150 bike helmets to help children ride safely.

Bicycling

After a long, hard winter, cyclists are finally enjoying a taste of spring weather. All across Massachusetts, bikes are being pulled out of storage, tuned up, and taken back out on the road.

Boston celebrates the return of the nation’s premier bike-sharing program, Hubway, which is celebrating its third season in town. The program has now expanded from Boston to Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline. And today, to celebrate opening day for the Red Sox, Hubway is having a Rolling Celebration ride through the cities.

If you are a Massachusetts bicyclist, now is a good time to review some important rules and regulations, as well as some important insurance tips: 

Roads. You can travel on the side of the road or in the middle of the lane. Up to two cyclists can ride abreast in a lane. Many communities also offer designated bike lanes and shared lanes. Turns to the left can, and should, be made from the left-most lane. 

Cars. Cars must give you the right of way; they cannot turn left in front of you unless it is safe to do so; they may not make a right turn in front of you if they have just passed you; they must pass at a reasonably safe distance, or wait until it is safe to do so. 

Sidewalks. You are allowed to ride on sidewalks outside business districts, unless prohibited by local regulations.
Pedestrians. Remember to give pedestrians the right of way and warn pedestrians you are overtaking or passing them. You should have a bell or horn on your bicycle, and there is nothing wrong with a friendly “Passing on your right.” 

Bike Helmets. Helmets are required for cyclists ages 16 and younger in Massachusetts, but they are also an important tool for riders of all ages. Head injuries are among the most serious injuries a cyclist can sustain in a bike accident. In 2009, 630 cyclists died in the United States and 91 percent were not wearing helmets, according to the Insurance Highway Safety Institute.

Bike Lights and Reflectors. If you ride in the dark (one-half hour after sunset or one-half hour before sunrise), make sure your bike has lights and reflectors. You must have a white light facing forward and a red light facing backward. Cyclists must have reflectors on their pedals or reflective material around their ankles. You can have as many lights as you like.

Bike Maps. Bike lanes and bike paths may offer safer travel options. Call your local town or city hall and ask if they produce a bike map so you can plan your route. These two are available online: Somerville Bicycle Map and the Boston Bicycle Map.

Bike Parking. You are allowed to park your bike in a bike rack or anywhere on a sidewalk or road, but your bike cannot obstruct pedestrians or motor vehicle traffic. See this map for Boston Bike Parking.

Bike Accidents. If you are in an accident, the most important step is to obtain medical care, even if you do not initially think you are seriously injured. If you are able, take pictures of the position of your bike and the car at the accident scene. Later, file a report with the local police department. Under the law, you must notify the police for any accident involving serious injury or over $100 or greater in property damage. 

Protect Yourself With Adequate Insurance. Believe it or not, insurance on your own car may protect you if you are in an accident. Your car insurance may provide uninsured or underinsured coverage for serious injuries. Read our article, What Every Massachusetts Bicyclist Needs to Know About Car Insurance. Your homeowner’s policy may provide coverage for property damage. 

Other Massachusetts Bicycling Resources
MassBike
What to Know About Cycling in Boston
Boston Bikes
City of Cambridge Police Page on Bike Safety
Somerville Bicycle Committee

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As it finally cracks 50 degrees and Massachusetts residents get their first taste of spring, everyone is heading outside. Enjoy the nice weather tending to the yard and pedaling your bike, but don’t forget to avoid personal injuries.  Here are some ways you and your family can avoid personal injuries:

Swimming Pool Safety

On a hot humid Boston day, a swimming pool can be an oasis.  However, swimming pools can be hazardous for young children.  Adults should keep a close eye on children, whether in or near the water.  Home pools should be surrounded by a fence that is at least 5 five feet high and self latches.  When not in use, the pool fence should be locked.  Keep the area around the pool free of clutter that can cause someone to trip.  Poolside rescue equipment- such as 10-12 foot rescue pole and a ring buoy with line-should be kept close by.  Keep a life vest close by and outfit all poor swimmers with a life vest.  Be aware that the suction from pool drains can entrap swimmers underwater. Finally, keep pool chemicals in a safe place, out of reach of children.

Lawnmower Safety

Lawnmower safety starts with the proper shoes. Although it feels great to slip into sandals after months in boots, always wear sturdy shoes when operating a lawnmower along with eye and hearing protection. The next rule of lawnmower safety is to survey the yard for sticks, stones, and other objects that can go flying when struck by a lawnmower blade.  Use a mower that will stop moving forward and will stop the blades’ movement if the handle is released.  Wait for the blades to stop before crossing a street or trying to remove the grass catcher or discharge chute.  Start and refuel motors outside on the yard, rather than in the garage.  Finally, never let children under 12 operate a handheld mower or under 16 operate a ride-on mower.

Bicycle Safety

Adults and children alike should wear helmets when riding bikes.  Helmets prevent serious injuries and can keep a bike accident from being a fatal accident.  Helmets should be worn level on the head with the chin strap secured so the helmet cannot move.  Also, when purchasing a bike for your child, make sure the bike is the right size for the child.  An oversized bike can be hard to control and dangerous.

Playground Safety

Anyone who has ever fallen off a slide or slipped off the monkey bars knows there are significant risks for personal injuries at the playground.  Always keep a watchful eye on children.  If putting together playground equipment, make sure the equipment is assembled according to instructions and weighted to the ground.  Periodically check for loose, rusted, or sharp pieces.  Install safety padding, mats, or soft fill material beneath playground equipment, extending out six feet on all sides.  Do not allow children to attach ropes to the playground equipment to avoid strangulation hazards and accidents if the rope comes loose.  Make sure walls and fences are at least six feet away from all playground equipment.

For more tips on keeping your family safe this spring and summer, see the following websites:

Home Safety Council (Pool Safety)

US Consumer Product Safety Commission (Pool Safety)

Department of Transportation (Bike Safety)

HealthyChildren.Org (Lawnmover Safety)

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Good news for Massachusetts bicycle riders! Legislative changes have finally come which help protect bicyclists, and which place greater requirements on drivers of cars and trucks to prevent injuries to bicycle riders.

Bicycle riders are at risk when riding on the road for a number of reasons. First, motorists are often not looking for bicycles when driving; they are looking for larger vehicles, such as other cars or trucks, and they often simply fail to see bicycles (and the same is true, or course, for motorcycles). The risk is magnfied because cyclists are largely unprotected from serious injury if there is a crash.

The new law targets the most common types of accidents, and places new, explicit requirements on drivers to prevent these accidents. These are some of the most common accidents:

  • Drivers try to pass a bicycle when there is not enough room
  • Drivers cut back into the lane where the bicycle is operating, cutting off the cyclist
  • Drivers overtake cyclists, then turn right, right in front of them, cutting them off
  • Drivers fail to recognize that bicycles are traveling to the right of traffic–which is perfectly legal–and turn left in front of them, failing to yield the right of way
  • Drivers fail to recognize the cyclists passing them on the right, and move to the right or turn to the right without checking blind spots or mirrors
  • Drivers and passengers fail to recognize approaching bicycle riders, and open their doors directly in the path of the bicyclist

The new laws, which are part of Chapter 525 of the Acts of 2008 (click for full text of enacted statute), prohibit all of these acts, and create fines for drivers who fail to follow the law.

Hopefully the new legislation will help reduce the incidence of serious injury and wrongful death caused by collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles.

For more information on the legislative changes, please see our article, Good News for Bicyclists in Massachusetts: Important Changes in Massachusetts Statutes Favor Cyclists–Drivers Must Use Greater Care

Information

What the New Bicycle Law Means for You:  A Practicle GuideMassBike 

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Rising gas prices have led to an increased in bicycle use around the country. Unfortunately, that trend has led
to an increase in bicycle accidents as well.

Statistics are not available for the current year, but bicycle traffic is up dramatically in Massachusetts
metropolitan areas. In other areas, there is an increase as well. For example, in one California city, bicycle traffic was up 14% but accidents increased by 40%. Fatal accidents in Chicago and New Jersey were also noted to be
significantly increased this year.

The most recent crash statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority (NHSTA), through 2005, indicate that the highest rates of injury are in the 10-19 year old range, but the highest rate of fatalities is in males 35-54. Death rates were approaching historical highs in 2005. The most common causes of bicycle accidents are left-turning vehicles which fail to yield the right of way, and vehicles which overtake a cyclist, and then turn in front of the cyclist.

In a city like Boston, where bicycle transportation has historically received little attention from transportation officials, Mayor Menino has promised to make Boston more bicycle-friendly. This means the city will be adding more bike lanes to major streets. But Boston has a long ways to go, if the ratings from Bicycling Magazine are any indication. Boston has been rated the worst city for bicycling for three years. Mayor Menino’s promise is to move Boston to the “Best” column for cyclists.

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