Texting While Driving Causes Increase in Accidents

Women gets pulled over for texting while driving in Baltimore

Whether you like to admit it or not, we have all picked up the phone at least once while behind the wheel. Texting while driving has become such an issue that in most states there is a law prohibiting the act. Not only is texting and driving a way to put yourself at harm, but you are also risking others lives when you decide to pick up the phone while behind the wheel. In fact, in the year 2018 there were 4,367 texting-while-driving related deaths. Every death that happens as a result of texting and driving could have been avoided if the driver just put their phone away.

Why Are Drivers So Distracted in The First Place?

In order for you to stay focused on any task, the given task needs to have your full attention. Because our phones contain so much of our life and have so much activity, they can be extremely distracting. Not too long ago, we all had phones to make calls and texts. Now, our phones are a constant barrage of notifications from emails, social media accounts, and other apps resulting in people of all ages being distracted by their phones at a higher rate than ever.

What You Can Do To Stay Focused on Driving

When it comes to staying focused on driving, it is important to know that you need to free yourself of any distractions that could potentially take your eyes off of the road. Below are some steps you can take to rid yourself of any distractions that your cell phone may cause.

  • Silence your cell phone: If you want to ultimately rid yourself of distractions from your phone, your best bet is to silence it or set it to where you can’t receive any calls or texts until you reach your destination. Knowing that your phone can’t receive any notifications while driving will free your mind from wanting to keep checking it. On another note, make sure it’s not on vibrate as the sound of it vibrating may make you want to check on it.
  • Glove Compartment: Another step you can take is to place your phone in a glove compartment before you start your drive. Knowing that you have your phone in a hard to reach location will keep you from wanting to grab it and check it.
  • Designated Phone Person: If you are driving with someone or with a group of people, choose a passenger that can hold your phone and respond to any texts or calls you may receive.

As a Driver, It’s Your Duty To Be Safe

One thing you need to remember is that as a driver, it is your responsibility to stay safe and distraction-less while driving. Not only will you be putting your life at risk, you are also putting passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers’ lives at risk, too. If you feel the need to pick up your phone while driving, pull over before picking the phone up.

If you’ve been in an accident as a result of texting while driving, Contact Nicholas Parr Law to discuss your options.

Why You Need a Police Report After a Car Accident

A woman calls Nick Parr law after a car accident

Did you know that the average number of vehicle accidents each year is averaged out to around 6 million crashes? It is always important to know what steps you should take immediately after a car accident. One of the most important things you need to do immediately after a crash is to contact the police. Due to the severity of the crash, the people involved may not be capable to reaching out to the police, so it is also important that if you witness a crash, you contact the police as well.

Why Are Police Necessary After a Car Accident?

A lot of people falsely assume that if the wreck is minor, contacting the police may be unnecessary. In any vehicle accident, regardless of the severity, police should be contacted immediately. When the police arrive, it is important to clearly and truthfully state every detail about how the accident occurred. After the officer has made his/her report, it is important that you ask to obtain a copy of the report so that you may have handy in case it’s needed in the future.

What Does a Police Report Consist of?

When a police officer is filing a report on an accident, they have to include quite a few details, so that the report remains concise. The type of information that will be logged is the date and time of the accident, the location of the accident, any damage that has been done to both vehicles, any injuries either party obtained from the accident, as well as any witness reports from bystanders who witnessed the accident.

What if I am at Fault?

If you are at fault in the accident, it is still important for you to contact the police. Leaving the accident scene without calling the police as that could be considered a hit-and-run and can lead to serious consequences. It is important to contact the police and obtain a report so that the opposing party doesn’t try to fake any injuries as a result of the wreck that you are responsible for. If they do try and fake any injuries and you have a police report, it will make it easier for you to fight your case and prove that you are not at fault for the injuries.

Conclusion

Remember, a lot of injuries don’t occur immediately after a car wreck. With adrenaline levels high after a crash, you may not feel injured right away. By filing a police report, you will be able to come back and report any injuries you may feel after the wreck. You want to make sure and file a report in case your car starts having internal issues shortly after the wreck. If you find yourself in any sort of car accident, regardless of severity or fault, it is always important to contact your local authorities and file a report. This police report will always come in handy regardless of the situation that you are put in after the car accident.

COVID-19’s Impact on Your Personal Injury Case

COVID-19 virus impacts personal injury claims

With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, many people are questioning how the pandemic can impact their personal injury case. If you are in the midst of a pending personal injury case, read on to find out how you can get the most out of your case during COVID-19.

Medical Treatment is Still a Must

This should be an obvious first step, but if you were injured, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible to obtain documentation. During pandemics, hospitals and places of treatment are the last places any person wants to be due to the fear that they may catch something by seeking medical treatment. Furthermore, during a pandemic, hospitals are usually overrun by multitudes of patients, and beds and resources are scarce, making it hard to get the care and documentation needed for your case.

In order to get the most from your case, you must seek the medical treatment necessary for your injury. You don’t want to skip out on any treatment that is necessary due to a fear of catching any other sickness. If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you tried to get treatment, but were unable to due to crowds, contact your lawyers and keep them aware of your situation, so they can keep everything documented. It is always optimal to keep your legal team in the loop and the lines of communication open.

Courthouse Schedules and Procedures Are Changing as a result of COVID-19

With COVID-19 spreading at such an alarming rate, many courthouses around the country are either closing temporarily. If you have a pending personal injury case, you may find that it will be prolonged due to closures and lockdowns. Sadly, there isn’t much you can do about this other than keeping in contact with your lawyers.  

Most Important: DON’T WAIT TO CALL

In any case, the worst thing a client could do is wait to contact a lawyer until things get better. By waiting to contact a lawyer, you are only dropping the case value and thus, increasing the chances of losing your case. Yes, times are pretty scary at the moment, but we are still a phone call away. If you were recently injured, you want to call a lawyer as soon as you can. I cannot stress this enough– DO NOT WAIT TO CALL. 

In Conclusion

If you were injured, get your medical treatment and call your lawyer as soon as possible. The longer you wait for your treatment and the longer you wait to contact a lawyer, the less value your case is going to carry. If you want the compensation you deserve, then you need to take the necessary steps to show that your case is a priority. You will only be taken as seriously as you treat your own case. 

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!