If you watched the news or been online in the past few week, you have like heard of a new game that is being played by millions of people around the world known as Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go is a new and wildly popular app that was designed to be used with people’s smartphones and utilizes augmented reality, a technology that augments the real world with computer-generated enhancements. The app broke the Apple App Store’s record for the number of downloads during the first week it was available and has some 9.5 million active daily users according to some estimates.1
If you have not tried Pokemon Go, this all may sound very confusing. For the uninitiated, here is a brief explanation of the way in which the app operates. Users control an avatar in the game by moving around the real world. The app uses the locational tracking functionality of smartphones to place the avatar on a map that is analogous to the player’s real world location. The player goes through the real world looking for Pokemon, which are fictional creatures that they can capture and train. When they are in range of a Pokemon, their phone uses the camera function to superimpose an image of the Pokemon character on an image of the real world, which they can then capture by throwing Pokeballs at it. Furthermore, players can visit “Pokestops” and “Gyms” in order to collect game-related items and battle with other players.
Because taking your avatar through the Pokemon Go world requires you to move through the real world, many players look down at their phones as they are walking from place to place in order to make sure they are heading in the direction of the Pokemon they are trying to catch. If you have noticed people in the area looking at their phones more than normal and then stopping to flick their screen repeatedly, it is very likely that you are watching someone playing the game.
Whenever a person is looking at his or her phone, it is taking their attention away from their surroundings. Recognizing this fact, the game’s maker has placed a conspicuous warning on the game’s startup screen reminding players to be careful and to always be aware of their surrounds, but not all players are heeding this advice.
Pokemon Go was released on July 6th of this year. According to a report published on CNET, not a week later, a man in Auburn, New York crashed into a tree while playing the game, marking perhaps the first accident caused by a driver distracted by Pokemon Go. While no one was injured in that accident, so long as drivers are using the app, there is a risk of a serious injury-causing accident occurring due to distracted driving.
Fortunately for people who are injured by distracted drivers, the fact that a driver was distracted and caused an accident is usually sufficient to recover compensation. While Pokemon Go and other smartphone-based activities can certainly result in significant distractions, distractions can also occur in much less high-tech ways. Some of the more common examples of driver distractions that can lead to accidents include the following:
People who were distracted when an accident occurred may be reluctant to admit that fact to law enforcement or the other parties involved in the accident. For this reason, it is critical for victims to retain an attorney in order to make sure that their legal rights are protected.
If you have been injured by a driver who was using their smartphone or otherwise distracted, you should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as you can. At the Levin Law Firm, we are committed to helping people who have been injured by the negligence of another person to recover for their losses. Best of all, we offer free consultations and will charge you nothing in legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. To schedule your free case evaluation with a skilled Philadelphia car accident lawyer, call our office today at 215-825-5183 or send us an email through our online contact form.
Labor Day weekend is always the mark that the end of summer is near. School has started, the weather is about to get cooler, and the majority of Americans have a three-day weekend to celebrate how hard they work the rest of the year. Many people planning short trips, outings, or parties to mark the holiday with their families and friends. Unfortunately, along with the food, family, and fun comes the risk of accidents and injuries over the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
The following are only some examples of why the risks of accidents and injuries may increase over this holiday weekend, so you can be aware of the risks and work to prevent injuries whenever possible. If injuries do occur, you should discuss your legal options with an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident.
Holidays are a prime time for drunk driving and the accidents that result from intoxicated drivers. Holiday gatherings tend to involve alcohol and, during long holiday weekends like Labor Day, many people drink all afternoon and into the evening. Whether a person is at a family barbecue or a bar, they should never ever consider getting behind the wheel of a car after having too much to drink. Not every driver makes the responsible decision, however, and accidents and injuries can happen.
The increased risks for drunk driving are demonstrated by a more concentrated effort on the part of law enforcement and government agencies to deter and catch drunk drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsors national enhanced drunk driving enforcement1 during the end of summer through the Labor Day weekend. “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” will kick into gear from August 17th to September 5th this year, spreading safety awareness and increasing law enforcement presence to try to prevent drunk drivers. These efforts cannot prevent all drunk driving, so you need to be as aware and safe as possible over this weekend to prevent accidents.
Another favorite pastime over Labor weekend is to head out and enjoy the water on one of the last summer weekends. Many swimming pools close after this holiday weekend, so many pools have large crowds during this time to end the season. Crowds can increase the hazards and decrease the supervision in or around swimming pools, which can lead to drowning or near-drowning accidents.
In addition, many families and groups of friends take off to spend the weekend on lakes and rivers. Boats, jet skis, tubes, and other water sports equipment are fun and relaxing yet they always bring the risk of injuries. Spend the day on the water often involves drinking and music and other forms of entertainment, which can make it easy to become distracted and ignore safety measures. Drunk, distracted, or inexperienced boat drivers can often be involved in boat accidents that can injure many people on board the boat. Anytime water is involved, there is the risk of serious drowning incidents or other traumatic injuries.
Besides driving and water, celebrations and long weekends can come with the risks of many other types of accidents and injuries. Only some of these recreational accidents involve the following:
Many of these accidents happen because of someone else’s negligence. If another party caused your injuries, you have the right to recover for your losses and hold them liable for their negligent actions. This Labor Day, please take as many home and recreational safety precautions3 as you can in whatever type of celebration you choose. However, if you are injured, it is important to know your legal rights.
If your holiday weekend is marred by an accident and injuries, you should not delay in calling a skilled personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia. At The Levin Firm, we have helped many clients and their families to obtain full compensation for the injuries and losses they have sustained in a wide variety of accidents. We will always stand up for your rights to recover for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, among other losses and will work for the most favorable settlement or award possible in your case. If you would like more information about how we can help you, please call 215-825-5183 today.
With a new school year just a few weeks away, many people in the area are preparing to send their child off to start a brand new academic year. The start of the school year often involves many new experiences: new friends, new teachers, new subjects to learn, and sometimes even an entirely new school. Unfortunately, it may also expose your child to the risk of injury during their commute to school, particularly if they are starting a new school or are at an age when you feel that it appropriate and safe to allow them to get to and from school on their own.
Fortunately for parents, there are certain things that you can do to make sure that your child’s walk or bike ride to school is as risk-free as possible. These include the following:
Unfortunately, accidents are bound to happen even under the best of circumstances, and it is impossible to reduce the risk of injury for anyone who commutes anywhere to zero, no matter how much want to. In the event that your child is injured on the way to or from school, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that his or her legal rights to recover compensation are protected. Some of these include the following:
If you or your child has been injured in an accident that you think may have been caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you should speak with an attorney as soon as you can. In many cases, victims are able to recover compensation for a variety of losses, including their medical bills, lost income, loss of future earning potential, property damage, and physical and emotional pain and suffering, among others. To learn more about how a skilled Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can help you, call The Levin Firm today at 215-825-5183 or send us and email through our online contact form.
A hot new trend making its way across the United States has finally arrived in Philly: bike-sharing. Bike-sharing programs are currently active or in pre-launch stages1 in numerous cities in the country, and Philadelphians have been hearing about the possibility of their own bike-sharing program for years. Finally, on May 1, 2015, the bike-sharing program in our city went live, run by the company Indego. While bike-sharing immediately proved popular in Philly—with 8,000 riders in the first week alone2—there are some safety concerns and necessary preparations of which all bike-sharers should be aware.
Indego has placed 67 kiosks around Philly holding a total of 500 bright blue bicycles among them. Anyone can rent a bicycle from one kiosk, ride around the city, and return it to the nearest kiosk that is convenient for them. There are three different options for renting bikes from an Indego kiosk:
A nominal fee will allow Philadelphians and visitors alike to use bicycles to get from place to place, exercise, or simply explore the city.
Though bike-sharing is a widely viewed as an excellent addition to Philly, the biggest concern regarding the program is the safety of riders. Many people who decide to rent bikes may be relatively inexperienced riders, which can create a high risk for accidents especially if they are riding on busy streets. Riders may also be at additional risk of injury because Indego bike rentals do not include one very important safety item—helmets.
Bike-sharing programs have long addressed the fact that they do not provide helmets as part of their rentals. First, they would have to provide a variety of helmet sizes to accommodate all riders. Having this many helmets available can be unwieldy and would increase the necessary size of the kiosks, possibly limiting their locations. Additionally, many people may have hygiene concerns wearing helmets that other riders have worn in the same day. It would be nearly impossible for the helmets to be properly sanitized between each use.
Simply because Indego does not provide helmets with the rental bikes does not mean that bike-sharers should not wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet anytime you ride a bicycle is imperative to limit the chances of suffering a traumatic brain injury should you fall off your bike or be involved in a collision. A traumatic brain injury (TBI)3 can occur due to any type of bump or blow to the head. TBIs can range from minor concussions to major and irreparable brain damage, though even relatively minor brain injuries can require medical attention and treatment.
The United States Department of Transportation4 reports that wearing a bicycle helmet limits the risk of brain or head injuries by 85 to 88 percent, making it the primary way to avoid TBI and even death should a bike accident occur. For this reason, absolutely everyone should wear a helmet when riding a bike, even if they are bike-sharing.
Additionally, if you are considering bike-sharing with your family, you should be aware that Pennsylvania law5 requires all children under the age of 12 to wear a helmet while riding a bike. There are not exceptions for bike-sharers to this law, so if you do not provide helmets for your kids, you are not only putting them at risk of injury but also may receive a citation from law enforcement.
In short, everyone participating in Philly’s new bike-share program should be certain to think ahead and bring a helmet to wear. If you do not own helmets, you can often rent them from bicycle shops around town.
If you are involved in a collision while riding a bike around Philly due to a negligent driver, the driver should be held responsible for your injury-related losses. At The Levin Firm in Philadelphia, we are committed to helping injured bicyclists recover, so please call our office at 215-825-5183 for a free consultation.
As reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 50,000 bicyclists suffered injuries in traffic-related accidents in 2012 alone. Many of these injured bicyclists naturally wonder: how can I hold a driver responsible for my injuries? Your first step after a bicycle accident should always be to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney for free. A lawyer can advise you on whether or not you have the right to recover depending on the facts of your particular case.
Often, drivers collide into bicyclists because they are not paying attention, not following traffic laws, or acting in an otherwise negligent manner. Not surprisingly, most drivers will not readily come forward and admit that they were distracted or failed to yield or made some other type of mistake. For this reason, identifying negligence in a bicycle accident often requires further investigation and analysis.
One sign that often helps determine who was at fault in a bicycle accident is the type of collision that occurred. The four most common types of bicycle accidents are as follows:
The type of collision that occurred can speak volumes as to the potentially negligent acts of the driver involved, and a Philadelphia bicyclist accident lawyer can help you recover whenever possible.
Bicycling can be a healthy and cost-effective way to get around Philadelphia, and our city is known as one of the more “bicycle-friendly” cities in the country. Unfortunately, thousands of people each year are injured while riding, sometimes seriously. When bicycles and motor vehicles get into accidents, the injuries can range from minor bumps and bruises to much more serious injuries that could permanently affect your quality of life and ability to live independently. As a result, it is extremely important that anyone injured in a Philadelphia bicycle accident consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
One of the most dangerous kinds of accidents that can happen to bicyclists is being rear-ended by a truck or car. Rear-ended cyclists could potentially be thrown from their bikes or even run over by other vehicles, potentially resulting in disastrous consequences. Fortunately for victims, bicyclists that are rear-ended may be able to recover for their losses by filing a Philadelphia personal injury lawsuit. In addition, Pennsylvania law presumes that a driver who rear-ends another person is at fault for the accident, making recovery after a rear-end bicycle accident likely. Some of the more common reasons that cars and trucks rear-end bicycles include the following:
These and other causes of bicycle accidents could indicate negligence on the part of a driver who rear-ends a bicyclist. The best way to determine whether you have a claim is to discuss the circumstances of your case with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney. After a bicycle accident, it is important that victims seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries may not develop symptoms for some time after an accident, and having them diagnosed by a professional can significantly help in establishing legal liability. Finally, be certain to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident, as any delay may jeopardize your ability to recover.
Many accident victims suffer life-altering injuries that can require extensive treatment or even leave a person permanently disabled and unable to ever return to life as usual. One type of injury that can be particularly devastating and difficult to deal with is an injury affecting one or both eyes. Many eye injury victims suffer partial or total vision loss that may be either temporary or permanent. Even temporary vision loss can have a severe effect on a person’s life, requiring expensive medical care and keeping a person from working or performing everyday life activities. If you received an eye injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to receive significant compensation for your losses.
Eye injuries commonly occur in several different types of preventable accidents, including the following:
Such accidents can cause corneal abrasions or lacerations, ruptured globes, damage to the surface of the eye, hemorrhaging, or damage to the optic nerve. Such injuries often may require emergency medical care, visits to an ophthalmologist with experience in eye trauma, surgery, therapy, and more. Sometimes, eye injury victims require ongoing monitoring of their eyes since traumatic injuries can lead to scarring, glaucoma, or other complications down the road.
Many eye injury victims face piles of medical bills from lost income from time missed from work. Additionally, most eye injuries are extremely painful and make life very difficult if their vision has been affected. If you bring a legal claim, you may receive compensation for your financial losses, as well as non-financial losses such as pain and suffering.
Thousands of bicyclists can be seen on the streets of Philadelphia every day. Philadelphians may choose to ride bicycles to commute to work, to save money on gas, to avoid parking challenges, to stay physically fit, or simply for recreation. No matter what their reason, however, bicyclists are at risk of serious collisions and accidents every time they decide to ride. Even if a bicyclist wears a proper helmet, the rest of their bodies are left almost completely unprotected in the event of an accident. For this reason, bicyclists often suffer extremely serious and sometimes life-threatening injuries if they are involved in an accident.
Though motorists are expected to “share the road” with bicyclists, many drivers do not pay proper attention or use enough caution. Other reasons may also contribute to serious accidents for bicycle riders. Some common reasons for bicycle accidents include the following:
These are only a few examples of how other parties may act in a negligent fashion to cause a bicycle accident. If a driver or other party’s negligence caused you injury, that party should be held responsible for their actions and you deserve to receive a fair settlement.
If you have been the victim of an accident while riding a bicycle and you believe the accident was someone else’s fault, you deserve to be fully compensated for any accident related losses or injuries.
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