Whether you are a road cyclists or a mountain biker, your bicycle will inevitable come into contact with mud, grime and other abrasive materials that will speed up the deterioration of your ride.

Bicycle maintenance can seem intimidating, but by incorporating a few simple steps in your riding routine you will greatly improve the performance and safety of your bike.

At Bergener Mirejovsky, we are committed to bike safety awareness. Several members of our team are seasoned cyclists and mountain bikers who advocate accident prevention. They have helped put together this list.

  1. Clean: Dirt and grime gums up your bike and will make bike maintenance difficult. Knocking off caked on dirt and debris should be the first step in your bike care routine. You should remove the rest of the muck with a rag and warm water. Resist the urge to hose down your bike, it may damage sensitive bearings.
  2. Examine: Now that your bike is clean, you can catch small problems before they become serious. Noticing a wobbly wheel, fraying cables, and deep kinks in hydraulic brake hoses early may prevent an accident or more extensive repair. Make sure your lights are in working order.
  3. Lubricate: Check to see if your bike chain is dry. If it is, lubricate it with oil or grease recommended by your local bike shop. Keeping your bike properly lubricated will protect moving parts of your bike from excessive wear and corrosion.
  4. Tire Pressure: Give your tires a quick squeeze. Low tire pressure will not only hurt the performance of your bike, but can lead to rim, tube, and tire damage.
  5. Store Properly: The way you store your bike will have a big impact on the potential wear and tear. Ideally, keep your bike somewhere that is dry and away from direct sunlight such as your garage.

This list may be obvious, but each step should be a regular part of your bicycle riding routine. We want your bike to be in pristine condition every time you go out and ride. This will enable you to respond to road hazards quickly and effectively.

For more information, visit the bicycle accident page on our website. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call us today for a completely free consultation at 1-800-881-2021.

A 60-year-old San Diego man was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Route 94 late Friday night. The driver of the Volvo 850 sedan was incarcerated following the crash on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving.

The driver struck a curb and two trees along the highway, after making an unsafe maneuver to the right while traveling at a high rate of speed, reported a CHP dispatcher.

CHP and San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed that the car’s restrained passenger died at the scene due to fatal injuries sustained in the crash.

Although authorities have not confirmed the cause of the crash, a CHP dispatcher said the driver was arrested after the crash on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.

Drunk drivers pose a danger to the passengers in their car as well as everyone in proximity to the road. Whether intoxicated or driving distracted, there is never an excuse for endangering the lives of other people. It is important for victims of negligent drivers to understand their rights in order to start their road to recovery.

At Bergener Mirejovsky, our personal injury attorneys understand the financial and emotional toll the loss of a loved one has on a family. We have dedicated ourselves to helping the victims of negligent drivers understand their rights and options moving forward.

If you or a loved one have been injured or experienced a loss as a result of a negligent driver, call 1-800-881-2021 to speak with an attorney. Consultations are always free and we are happy to inform you of your options after an injury 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Distracted driving has been getting a lot of media attention recently. And with good reason. In many respects, driving distracted can be even more of a problem than driving drunk. In 2011 twice as many accidents were caused by distracted drivers than by alcohol.

Normally, when we talk about distracted driving, the conversation tends to focus on text messages, talking on the phone, and dealing with other new and complex technologies.

This is appropriate and the division of a driver’s attention caused by phones and electronics is a dangerous trend that must be taken seriously.

Considerably less time, however, is spent discussing the role children can play in diverting the attention of a driver from the road.

This is unfortunate because it means that parents, by paying attention to their kids, are actually putting those children in serious danger.

Particularly disturbing is an Australian study which determined that kids are 12 times more distracting to drivers than talking on the phone. Fussing with a child’s toys, or picking a bag of snacks off the floor is not worth risking a traffic accident and potentially serious injuries.

Other findings of the study are of equal cause for concern. In a 16 minute trip, the average parent spends three minutes and 22 seconds not watching the road. Men are distracted by their children even more than women, taking their eyes off the road more frequently and for longer periods of time than women.

New mothers are especially distracted. This distraction is coupled with the fatigue new mothers experience (sleeping an average of less than five-and-a-half hours per night). In light of this, it’s not surprising that ten percent of new moms have had an accident while driving their baby. This is almost three times the normal accident rate.

Feeling the desire to safeguard your children is easy. But knowing how to do it is sometimes a little trickier. At Bergener & Associates we have compiled a few tips and tricks to help you keep your loved ones out of harms way and combat distracted driving:

As accident lawyers, we regularly see the sobering effects that distracted driving can cause to you and your loved ones. If you have been injured due to a distracted or otherwise negligent driver you deserve to be taken care of.

Our personal injury attorneys can do the heavy lifting and make certain you get fair compensation so that you can focus on what’s most important, your recovery. Call us at 1-800-881-2021 for a free consultation. Our accident lawyers can help you determine if you have a case and assist you in understanding your rights.

On July 11, 2011, Eric Weers drove into opposing traffic on Highway 17 in Santa Cruz. He caused the crash that killed Ana Barajas, a medical technician with four children. Weers is also currently facing murder charges for deliberately driving the wrong way on the highway.

The suit filed by Barajas’ children names Weers, his father, and the Santa Cruz Community Counseling Center. At the time, Weers was living at the counseling center and undergoing treatment for schizoaffective disorder. He was driving his father’s vehicle. Weers was also under the influence of illegal drugs when the accident occurred.

The children’s attorney claims in the suit that the SCCCC was negligent in failing to provide basic standards of care for a patient with Weer’s disorder. They are experienced with helping adults who have mental health problems, as well as dealing with people struggling with addiction issues. It is not known exactly in what capacity the center was assisting Weers, but he was off of his prescription medication for a few days prior to the incident.

There are few experiences as devastating as a wrongful death of a family member. No settlement amount can bring back a lost loved one. Although it is impossible to set a price on the emotional toll of a person’s passing, there is also a financial toll on the survivors. This is especially true in a case like this one, where children have lost a parents on whom they are financially dependent. It is important to bring negligent parties to justice, and pursue their insurance companies for a fair settlement that can help provide financial security for the surviving family.

At Bergener Mirejovsky, we understand that each and every case is unique, and must be handled with aggressive advocacy and personal care. We’ve worked with many families throughout California to successfully settle their wrongful death claims.

 

Vehicle accident rates increase dramatically when it starts to rain. Southern California roads are especially susceptible to dangerous conditions when rain first hits. Because it doesn’t rain often, oil, gasoline, rubber and dirt collect on our highways. When all those sediments get wet it makes for very slippery road conditions – particularly after a long dry spell like this summer.

According to the California Highway Patrol, auto accidents increase by over 203% in the rain. This is because many people don’t change their driving habits on wet roads. It’s dangerous not to take into account the effect weather can have on your commute. Not only are the driving dynamics of your vehicle changed significantly by wet roads, but your braking power is reduced. A small puddle may seem harmless, but at 50 miles per hour it could send your car into a spin putting you and oncoming traffic at risk for a collision. Also, road visibility is worse; many drivers don’t turn on their headlights, rendering their cars nearly invisible.

Bergener Mirejovsky recommends using extreme caution when driving in the rain:
  • Allow extra time for your travels so you aren’t in a hurry
  • Keep your distance from other cars – more than you would under ideal road conditions
  • Turn on your headlights and use your turn signals
  • Brake sooner and more gradually than you would when it’s dry
  • Don’t cross running water and avoid driving through large puddles when possible
  • If you start hydroplaning, release the gas and steer straight until you regain traction, tap brake if necessary
These tips should help keep you and your family safe. It’s always better to be prepared and take as many precautions as you can. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, contact Bergener Mirejovsky for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. Call us at 1.800.881.2021 or visit www.bergenerlaw.com.

 

The family of Serenity Davis is suing Schlitterbahn Water Park after she lost part of her thumb when her hand was sucked into a wall vent. The young girl was swimming in the wave pool when her hand became trapped. The current pulled at Serenity but she was unable to free herself.

Nearby swimmers came to her aid, but when they finally freed her hand, part of the girls thumb was missing. It had been severed at the first knuckle during the extraction. People stayed with the girl, applying pressure on the wound, until emergency medical personnel arrived.

A wave pool is a swimming pool that mimics the ebb and flow of the ocean. Water is sucked in and pushed out to create real waves. It is a common fixture at many water parks throughout the United States.

In their lawsuit the family is asking for unspecified damages for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and permanent disfigurement and physical impairment. Sadly, Serenity will bear this disfigurement and handicap throughout her life; there are certain activities and professions which she will be unable to experienced due to her injury. If the wall vent is a part of the pool’s design, it is possible that the water park will be found negligent. Serenity’s tragic accident shows that the current design poses unnecessary risk of a serious injury.

At Bergener Mirejovsky, our personal injury attorneys have handled injuries to children throughout California. Children are more likely than adults to suffer complications as a result of their injuries later in life, and to experience psychological distress following an accident. It is very important to speak to an experienced accident attorney after an incident such as this, in order to recover sufficient funds to cover future needs. These are not as easily assessed for children as they are for adults, and require a skilled team prepared to litigate when necessary.

The number of sleek looking fixed-gear bikes on our roads is on the rise, potentially putting riders, pedestrians, and drivers at risk. These bicycles were originally developed for speed racing in the 1800’s. In fact, New York City’s original Madison Square Garden was built as a velodrome for the popular sport. In our century, the bikes had a resurgence among bike messengers in New York and other big cities. Fixed-gear bikes are fast and light, both traits desired by messengers constantly on the go.

However, these bikes were not designed for cruising on the roads in traffic. Regardless, they are growing more popular as a mode of transportation. Maybe you’re planning on purchasing a bike and like the hip look of the fixed-gears, or perhaps you’re are a driver in a college town – it’s important to understand the danger these bicycles can pose in an urban environment.

A fixed-gear bicycle, also referred to as “fixed-wheel” or “fixie,” can’t coast; the pedals are constantly moving whenever the bicycle is in motion. Many of these bikes don’t have brakes. Riders come to a stop by skidding, back pedaling, or braking with their feet. Though it’s possible to install hand brakes, many say that it disrupts the clean look the fixies are known for. Obviously, riding brakeless in traffic is dangerous. It’s also illegal in California, where the law states: “No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway unless it is equipped with a brake.”

Some aficionados will install brakes in discreet places, such as under the bike seat, simply to make their rides technically legal. But since these brakes are hard to access, they aren’t actually effective.

Of course skilled riders who have put in a lot of hours on their fixed-gear bikes can navigate the roads and obstacles with confidence. New riders accustomed to the common free-wheel bikes, however, will not feel immediately comfortable – even with brakes. The fixie’s inability to coast can lead to pedals scraping the road in a turn that would have been easily manageable on a free-wheel bicycle. This poses a great risk to the rider, pedestrians, drivers, as well as other bikers.

If you ride a fixed-gear bike, we hope you do so safely and respecting the rules of the road. If you operate one on the streets without a brake, be aware that it is against the law. Fixies are being targeted by many local police departments; you will be subject to fines and may have your bicycle impounded if an officer catches you riding brakeless.

For people who frequently ride in traffic, we strongly recommend the use of a free-wheel bicycle. Dual hand brakes enable a rider to respond quickly to unexpected changes in the roadways, and the free-wheel allows sharper turns to avoid obstacles.

We urge all drivers to be aware that this fall there will inevitably be a slew of college students on the streets on these fixed-gear bikes. Learn to identify them, and treat them with even more caution then you would a road cyclist. (We assume that all of our readers already share the road responsibly).

At Bergener Mirejovsky, we take road safety seriously. We have represented thousands of cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and drivers over the years. It is important that all of us share our streets safely and respectfully. If you’ve been injured in an accident, call us for a free consultation today at 1.800.881.2021. One of our skilled personal injury attorneys can help determine whether you have a claim and advise you on how to proceed.

Two cyclists have been killed in separate accidents in Newport Beach less that 24-hours apart. On Friday morning, Corona del Mar resident Sarah Leaf was fatally hit by a stake-bed truck while riding near East Coast Highway and Bayside Drive. The driver stayed at the scene of the collision and is cooperating fully with the police.

Early Saturday, Cathy Ritz, better known throughout Newport Beach as Dr. Catherine Campion, was struck from behind by a hit-and-run driver on Newport Cost Drive. The vehicle that fled is described as a black pickup truck, possibly a Toyota Tacoma. It would have sustained noticeable damage to the front-end. Dr. Campion was transported to the Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center, where she passed away later that day.

Newport Coast Drive has large, clearly marked bicycle lanes. Dr. Campion was an experienced and cautious rider who was most likely keeping to her lane at the time of the crash. It is possible that the driver who struck her was distracted or driving under the influence.

As a Newport Beach personal injury law firm, we are invested in the road safety of our local area. Our sincere condolences go out to the families, friends, and colleagues of these remarkable women.

Sarah Leaf was a 29-year-old nutritionist with offices in Corona del Mar and La Jolla. She was well loved by the clients whose lives she improved. Dr. Catherine Campion was a family practice physician. She had been a past chairman of the Family Practice Department at Hoag Hospital, and was a physician at the Newport Family Medicine group. Both Sarah and Cathy were active in helping people throughout the Newport Beach community.

Police continue to investigate the two crashes, and urge any potential witnesses to come forward. They especially need help identifying the driver involved in the second crash. Please contact the Newport Beach Police Department with any relevant information.

James M. Bergener is one of Newport Beach’s leading personal injury attorneys. Several members of our team are seasoned road cyclists and mountain bikers who understand the danger posed by negligent drivers. We are involved in educating the public about safely sharing the roads and preventing tragic accidents such as these.

Chase Brubaker, a 9-year-old boy, was struck and killed by aWalt Disney World bus on April 1, 2010. Chase was riding his bicycle at the Disney Fort Wilderness Resort when he veered off the sidewalk into the street and was run over by the rear right tire of the bus.

Several months later his mother Kelly Brubaker filed a lawsuit against Disney and the bus driver. The suit claimed that the wrongful death accident was the fault of Disney and the driver – who had worked for the company for over thirty years. The driver may have been able to foresee a risk of children biking in the vicinity of the bus, and may have been able to respond more quickly to avoid the severity of the boy’s injuries.

The auto accident lawsuit has been settled for an undisclosed sum.

There are few experiences as devastating as a wrongful death of a family member. No settlement amount can bring back a lost loved one. Although it is impossible to set a price on the emotional toll of a person’s passing, there is also a financial toll on the survivors. At Bergener Mirejovsky, we understand that each and every case is unique, and must be handled with aggressive advocacy and personal care.

We’ve worked with many families throughout California to successfully settle their personal injury wrongful death claims. From our first consultation to the final verdict or settlement, our relationship covers a long stretch of difficult road.

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