Archives for January 2014

Make the Best Choice for Your Motorcycle Helmet

Motorcycle Helmet
California law requires motorcyclists and their passenger to wear helmets that meet federal safety standards. By wearing such a helmet, a motorcyclist avoids getting a ticket, a fine and potentially a serious injury. A helmetless motorcyclist involved in an accident is three times as likely to suffer a brain injury as a motorcyclist wearing a helmet. If you’re involved in an accident but not wearing a helmet, it may impact your legal claims against the responsible party.

A motorcycle helmet has four main components:

  • Outer shell, which deflects and reduces the impact from the outside,
  • Inner EPS (Expanded PolyStyrene, a high-tech Styrofoam) liner, which softens and absorbs the energy during a crash,
  • Retention system, which can be a chin strap or something more complex, which helps keep the helmet on the rider’s head, and
  • Comfort liner, a layer of soft fabric which adds to fit of the lid, enhances moisture wicking and provides a comfortable feel to the face and ears.

Helmets can be separated into five large categories: half helmets or brain caps, ¾ or open-face helmets, flip-up or modular helmets and no-face helmets. The brain caps are the least safe and the full-face helmets are the most secure.

The helmet is by far the most important piece of protective gear for a motorcyclist, so buying one that really shields your head is critical. Safety standards are all about function and have nothing to do with fashion. So whatever helmet you might choose, make sure you get one that complies with California law.

Getting a helmet that fits properly is essential for two reasons: a fit helmet (properly strapped) has very little chance of coming off in a crash and it ensures minimal movement of the head inside the EPS shell during the impact. Motorcycle helmets come in multiple sizes, usually starting with XS and ending up at 2XL. Some manufacturers also offer a choice in outer shell dimensions for an even better fit and a more accurate size-to-weight ratio. One of the best ways to zero in the right helmet is to first measure your head. This gives a preliminary hint as to which size you should be looking into. All manufacturers have sizing charts so you’ll have an easier time finding your helmet this way.

The internal padding must provide a snug fit over the head, face and ears without leaving empty spaces. If putting on a helmet requires too much effort try the next bigger size. After putting it on, adjust the strap and try to rotate your head while keeping the helmet in place with your hands. If you can see the inside of the ear pocket after this maneuver, the helmet is too big. If your skin moves slightly with the helmet, then you’re getting close.

For a good fit, you should not be able to insert a finger between your head or face and the liner. If you can do this easily you may want to look for another shape. If you’re getting a premium helmet, you might ask for different cheek pads.

Before you hit the road with your motorcycle, get the right helmet to protect yourself. We’d rather see happy, healthy motorcyclists on the road than severely injured ones in our office. However, if you are injured in an accident, contact us for a free consultation. Though a motorcyclist needs to protect him or herself as best as they can, accidents still happen.

The personal injury attorneys at the Weber & Nierenberg law firm are well-experienced in motorcycle accidents, as well as bus, truck, and pedestrian accident cases, and will work hard and competently to obtain complete compensation for your injuries and losses. Call 866-288-6010 today.

Not So Secure Security

Security Gaurd
When you enter a public place, like a hospital or mall, you are entrusting your security to that entity. Sometimes that trust can be misplaced.

The San Francisco Examiner reports that some security duties at San Francisco General Hospital are carried out by civilians who are only required to take an introductory, weeklong course in law enforcement, not the highly technical training that sheriff’s deputies receive, according to hospital records obtained by the newspaper.

The Examiner reports sheriff’s deputies do much of the patrol duties at the hospital, but those tasks are also carried out by “institutional police officers,” or IPOs, who are not certified peace officers, according to the Sheriff’s Department. During one recent two-week period, IPOs worked 17 percent of patrol shifts at S.F. General, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Other duties are carried out by Sheriff’s Department cadets who are also civilian employees.

Recent revelations detailing a series of mistakes concerning a missing patient and the later discovery of her body has raised questions about the effectiveness of all hospital security staff, including IPOs. The lawyer representing the patient’s family told the Examiner the fact that these undertrained security staff members could have contributed to the breakdown is disturbing.

The Sheriff’s Department doesn’t have much confidence in IPOs, at least in terms of their future. When the IPOs retire or leave their jobs, the Sheriff’s Department has and will continue to fill the positions with deputies, according to the Examiner.

Unlike deputies or police officers, IPOs are not certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, the Examiner reports. But they do carry firearms and can make arrests while on duty as “limited-function peace officers.” The training required to become an IPO is limited to a 40-hour introductory policing course.

Being a security officer is not an easy job. One has to balance being friendly and helpful to the public while being alert to dangers and appropriately responding to them. This is an example of the City of San Francisco trying to save money by not having the most trained people holding very important jobs (which include carrying firearms and the ability to arrest people).

Hospitals are responsible for the safety and well being of their employees, patients and visitors. They are places that reflect our too often violent society. According to estimates by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2,637 nonfatal assaults on hospital workers occurred in 1999, a rate of 8.3 assaults per 10,000 workers. This rate is more than four time higher than the rate of nonfatal assaults for all private-sector industries, which is two per 10,000 workers.

Without proper training security officers may over react to a situation and harm someone without good cause or not do enough and allow someone to fall victim to a crime (in this instance, a patient disappeared and was later found dead, the exact circumstances are unknown).

If you or a loved one have been injured due to the poor security of a business or organization, contact our office for a free consultation. Organizations and institutions need to held accountable for the security, or lack thereof, they provide.

The personal injury attorneys at the Weber & Nierenberg law firm are well-experienced in premises liability cases, automobile accident cases, including those involving wrongful death, as well as motorcycle, bus, truck, and pedestrian accident cases, and will work hard and competently to obtain complete compensation for your injuries and losses.

Locations & Contact Information
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1 Sansome Street, Suite 3500 San Francisco, CA 94104
P. 415-788-3900

1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1800 Oakland, CA 94612
P. 510-663-6000