Archives for February 2013

Somber Tone Characterizes 2012 Marin Walk/Bike To School Event

Middle School Student’s Death Brings Home Bicycle Safety Issues

Child on Bike

The death of 12-year-old Hailey Ratliff, who was killed while riding her bike home from school in September, cast a pall over the annual Marin County bike and walk to school event. Organizers insist, however, that it tragically illustrates the importance of the Safe Routes to School program, and the need of parents and officials to embrace efforts to provide safe travel to and from school. Wendi Kallins, program director for Safe Routes to School, told reporters that “it means we have to be even more dedicated to safety and remind children and parents to take safety precautions.”

The Safe Routes to School program, formerly a grassroots campaign, is now administered by the Transportation Authority of Marin. The program seeks to get schoolchildren walking and riding to school, rather than riding in parents’ vehicles. Organizers point to child obesity rates that are at all-time highs, as well as statistics that show that nearly 30% of drive time traffic is parents taking their children to and from school. The Marin program began in 2000 with nine schools and now boasts more than 50 participating schools. The program has expanded across the United States and is now administered by transportation departments throughout the nation.

The program seeks to use tax revenues to provide additional crossing guards, as well as school education programs and capital improvements, such as the construction or repair of sidewalks. The unfortunate death of Ratliff has not dissuaded officials from advocating for the Safe Routes to Schools programs. Dianne Steinhauser, head of the local transportation authority, told reporters that the accident was not “an indication that the program is not valid overall. This was just a real unfortunate tragedy.”

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Daly City woman struck by SF Muni bus over weekend dies

Eileen Barrett, 72-year-old Daly City, California, resident hit by a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus near Lake Merced. She passed away on Monday, February 18th.MUNI Bus Eileen Barrett was struck by an outbound 18-46th Avenue bus at about 4:30 p.m. at Lake Merced Boulevard. Although doctors initially thought she would survive this catastrophic accident, despite having been transported to a hospital with serious injuries, she did not make it. As is standard protocol for these kinds of accidents, the bus operator was expected to undergo drug and alcohol testing. San Francisco authorities expressed their condolences to the family and friends of Eileen Barrett and stated that a full investigation as to the cause of this accident is underway. Full article.

In many instances, an insurance company or public entity will dispute who is at fault for an accident of this measure. If the settlement offer is insufficient, a lawsuit may be filed to take your case to trial. Under California, a surviving spouse, children or parent has up to two years to file a wrongful death claim. The case does not necessarily have to be completed within this two year time period, however, it must be filed in the appropriate court before the time period ends.

At the law firm of Weber & Nierenberg, our attorneys work hard to help those who have lost loved ones seek justice. We are personal injury lawyers with offices throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including Oakland, San Rafael and San Jose. Our wrongful death attorneys have handled many types of wrongful death claims. You can feel confident in and comfortable with our ability to vigorously protect your interests. Even if you are not certain that you want to file a wrongful death claim, you may have questions that our attorneys can answer.

To discuss your concerns or just gain an understanding of your rights regarding a wrongful death claim, please contact our office by calling: 1-866-288-6010. The attorneys of Weber and Nierenberg have spent their entire career (almost 70 years of combined experience) representing injured persons exclusively. Our law firm offers a free initial consultation and represents clients on a contingency basis in wrongful death claims.

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