Bicycle Accidents in Maryland

man rides his bike through baltimore

There is freedom in riding a bicycle to work every day in Maryland. Apart from the cool wind in your hair, there is also the satisfaction in knowing that this little bit of exercise can help improve your cardiovascular function and decrease all-cause mortality, and it’s good for the environment, too.

Maryland is a bike-friendly state and is striving to stay that way. In The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly States (BFS) program, the state has managed to stay in the top 15 out of 50 states. From ranking 35th place in 2008, it held 14th place in 2019. 

However, while society has been supportive of cyclists, in general, a cyclist is at a severe risk of serious and sometimes life-threatening injuries in an accident because a bicycle does not offer the same level of protection as a car does.

Accidents In Maryland

If you’re a cyclist, you know the feeling when a car zooms past you at high speeds, nearly brushing against your elbow. There is a good reason why your heart pounds in such instances. 

According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), the state saw an average of 816 bicycle-/pedalcycle-related crashes annually between 2013 and 2017, with more than 80% resulting in death or injury. More than 85% of these crashes happened in the Baltimore and Washington Metropolitan areas and more than 60% occured in the warmer months (between May and October).

Risks of Not Knowing the Laws

Maryland law considers bicycles as vehicles. Apart from separate lanes for cyclists, there are rules in place for their protection, such as mandatory helmets for people below the age of 16 and many more. 

It’s important to know the state’s bicycle laws, as in the event of an accident, these will help determine if you will receive compensation or not. It’s worth noting that Maryland follows the contributory negligence rule, which denies you any compensation if you are found to be even marginally at fault for the collision.

Why You Need an Attorney

When you or someone you know gets involved in an accident, the incident can be too traumatizing to be able to respond properly. If there is a legal issue involved and you want to seek compensation, it is better to have an expert by your side to guide you through the process. (Remember that getting involved in accidents is always a costly affair. A UC San Francisco study states that medical costs associated with non-fatal bicycle crashes have steadily climbed by $789 million per year.)

A lawyer will be able to provide a professional take on the situation, to understand what happened and present the evidence in court. There have been many cases where the reason for the accident was the recklessness of the driver of the vehicle. A moment of negligence because of checking messages on the phone, changing the radio station or running a red light can all lead to accidents.

If you or anyone you know want to discuss your situation with a professional, please call Nick Parr. My team and I can help you with your personal injury claim and get you the compensation you need.

With Toxic Toys, Kids Suffer

a collection of plastic toys, lead poisoning, toxic toys

Parents always look out for their children’s safety, but could danger be lurking in your homes, specifically in your kids’ toys? 

Chemicals in Toys

You might think it crazy for toys to contain dangerous chemicals, but it’s true. With the deluge of plastic toys in the market—mostly from China—there’s a big chance that your child could be in danger of playing with a hazardous toy.

Here are just a couple of chemicals found in kids’ toys and their associated health risks.

Lead

A stabilizer of plastic toys, lead can be found in imported products. Paint used in toys can also contain lead, especially old or antique toys and collectible items made before 1978 when lead was banned in the U.S. 

Children who put their toys or hands in their mouths are at a high risk of lead exposure; children 6 years old and younger are the most vulnerable. Lead exposure can result in impaired growth, hearing problems, anemia, behavior issues, lower IQ or learning predicaments, and hyperactivity; in rare cases, it can even lead to seizures, coma and death. Most children don’t show any symptoms, so a blood lead test is necessary to know for sure. 

In Baltimore, children living in old houses and apartments, i.e., those constructed before 1950, are at an even higher risk for lead exposure. Although cases of lead poisoning in the city have decreased significantly since 2000, the paint used in some of these buildings may still harbor lead and continue to pose a health issue to this day.

Flame retardants

Chemicals that delay ignition or prevent the spread of fire can be found in a wide range of products, including mattresses, furniture, children’s toys and other plastic items.

In 2017, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning against organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs), a chemical group linked to hyperactivity in children, decreased IQ and learning deficits, impaired memory, hormone and immune disorders, and cancer. 

OFRs escape from products into the environment as household dust and are ultimately absorbed, ingested or inhaled by humans. Consumer Reports states, “Studies have suggested that more than 97 percent of U.S. residents have measurable quantities of OFRs in their blood,” with children having three to five times more OFRs than adults in the same household. 

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), another flame retardant, can be found in children’s toys and other everyday plastics like kitchen utensils. According to Ensia, a magazine powered by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, PBDEs were phased out a decade ago but continue to affect us today through their presence in products made from recycled plastics. 

PBDEs can disrupt hormones, adversely affect children’s brain development, and more. These chemicals are released into the air and onto dust and can be absorbed into the body through breathing contaminated air or touching dust.

What You Can Do

Toxic toys are indistinguishable from those that are safe; both look the same and are similarly priced. Dangerous chemicals don’t make production cheaper but appear in toys because they may be necessary in the chosen manufacturing process. 

Lawmakers are pushing to ban toys with dangerous chemicals, with a recent bill citing “100 chemicals deemed ‘of concern’.” As a parent, opt for wooden and cloth toys which are both good for children and the environment. Alternatively, always check the labels of toys to see if they have been sufficiently tested and avoid products without the manufacturer’s contact information. Buying products from reputable American brands is always a safe option.

If your child was harmed by a toxic toy, Nicholas Parr Law can help you pursue legal action to seek justice and compensation from liable, negligent parties. Talk to us today!