Articles Posted in Sports Injury & Recreational Accidents

Armed with recent holiday acquisitions, increasing numbers of amateur enthusiasts are excited to explore the California skies.  Today, we return to an issue we looked at in early December: drone accidents involving commercial, recreational, and other non-military operations.  First, we look at a recent news report on the growing trend of drone safety classes and the ever-evolving network of drone laws and regulations, including rules that have taken effect since our first drone injury report.  We also look at just a few of the drone accidents reported in recent months, accidents that are probably just the tip of the iceberg as drone shift from weapons of war to everyday tools and common toys.  Our Northern California drone accident lawyer is committed to staying informed about the issues and laws so that we can help people injured by drones in Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and elsewhere in our region.

Classes and Regulations Seek to Prevent Drone Accidents

Over the weekend, The Oakland Tribune reported on the new wave of classes available for people interested in flying drones (also called “unmanned aircraft systems” or “UAS”).  Recently, 30 enthusiasts of all ages gathered at Concord’s Buchanan Field to learn about UAS safety from a retired flight instructor with more than 80 hours of drone experience.  Although the class focused on property damage, we don’t doubt that the instruction can help students avoid injury-causing accidents as well.

It is hard to miss the signs that the holiday giving season is upon us.  For many children, the top item on their list for Santa is a so-called “hoverboard.”  Although it isn’t quite the air-riding skateboard some of us remember from Back to the Future II, hoverboards offer both transportation and excitement attracting both the young and young-at-heart.  If a hoverboard is on the wish list for someone you love, or if it makes your own “Dear Santa” letter, you need to know about the growing number of hoverboard fires.  As an injury lawyer with a keen understanding dangerous product and recreational injury claims, Attorney Greg Brod can help people injured by hoverboard fires as well as other injuries caused by toys r recreational equipment.  With three offices serving Northern California, his San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and Oakland product liability law firm wants to ensure holiday gifts don’t become holiday tragedies.

The Hoverboards of 2015

First things first: What exactly are the hoverboards of 2015?  Buzzfeed, a social and entertainment news site, published a fairly comprehensive report this summer titled Everything You Need to Know About the Hoverboard Craze.  The article references multiple types of hoverboards including a mothoverboardorized skateboard and a board with a single wheel in the center.  For those looking for a “true” hoverboard (a la Marty McFly), boards that actually hover above ground are largely in the development and testing stages.

droneOne of the most controversial tools used by the military and domestic government authorities has become the season’s most in-demand gift.  Drones are becoming more powerful and more accessible, with hobbyists of all ages taking the controls.  Drones are fascinating, but drone injuries are a very real danger.  From interfering with aircraft to injuring an operator or a bystander, drone accidents happen and our Northern California drone injury lawyer is prepared to use a variety of legal theories to advocate for those injured by drones in San Francisco and the surrounding regions.

Drone Nearly Collides with CHP Helicopter Over Martinez, CA

A close call in our area last weekend highlights a potential safety threat from privately operated drones and has the California Highway Patrol (“CHP”) urging operators to take care when flying the devices.  According to ABC7, on Saturday night a CHP helicopter was working with Martinez police and flying above Highway 4 when they spotted a small red light.  The light turned out to be a drone flying at nearly the same altitude as the helicopter, approximately 800 feet, despite the Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) recommendation that drones remain under 400 feet.  Luckily, the CHP pilots, travelling nearly 100mph, spotted the drone in time and banked allowing the drone to fly by the helicopter.  CHP officials believe they have identified the drone’s operator and have turned the incident over to the FAA to determine an appropriate response.

Last week, we wrote about civil claims for recreational and sports injuries in California, including injuries arising during everything from extreme sports to recreational youth teams.  Today, we focus on the two most common defenses in these cases and how our San Francisco/Oakland recreational injury lawyer overcomes them.  Specifically, we look at waivers and the doctrine of assumption of risk in the context of sports injuries and other recreational injury cases.

Express Waivers: They Can Be Overcome

Express waivers are often Defendants’ Exhibit One in recreational injury cases.  Waivers take many forms, including agreements signed by parents enrolling children in youth sports, releases signed by participants in grueling obstacle course races, and even waivers printed on the back of ski lift tickets.  Many people do not even pursue an injury claim because they assume a waiver precludes all legal claim.  This is a mistake.

Yes, this is a post about extreme sports and if you’ve arrived at our blog looking for information about extreme sports injuries and California law, you’ll find that.  However, this post is also relevant to those who prefer simpler thrills.  The California injury law principles we discuss in today’s blog entry apply when a person is injured in any type of recreational activity from cliff-diving to Pee-Wee soccer.  Developed over many decades, these principles even apply to newly popular activities like the fast-growing arena of adult obstacle course races.  In this first of two parts, our San Francisco sports injury law firm looks at civil claims that can arise as a result of recreational injuries.  Next week, we will continue with a look at some of the most common defenses to these claims and how those defenses can be overcome.

Famed Extreme Athlete Dies in Skydiving Accident

A stunt display planned as part of the kickoff to a golf tournament in Squaw Valley took a tragic turn on Monday.  The Press Democrat reports that while two other skydivers landed safely on the greens 39-year-old extreme athlete Erik Roner fell hard and crash landed into a tree.  Roner’s parachute became tangled, leaving him dangling some 25 to 30 feet above ground.  People on the scene scrambled to help, even attempting to form a human ladder to reach Roner, but he passed away before they could succeed.  According to a fellow athlete who spoke with the paper, there was no protocol for attempting the type of rescue needed.  Given the nature of the accident, the Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation.  Roner was a famed extreme athlete known for BASE jumping and his MTV appearances in addition to his skydiving prowess.

Vacation – just the word alone can bring a smile to your face and even release a tiny bit of that tension we all seem to carry in our shoulders and neck these days.  We love our work at The Brod Law Firm, but there’s still something lovely about the moment we turn on our “away messages” (of course, we always have coverage plans in place so our client service is seamless and new clients can always reach someone who can help)!  Still, as illustrated by last week’s tragedy in Seattle, vacation is not without its dangers.  Vacation accidents can be a matter of time and place, a “regular” accident that happens to occur during a trip, or they can be more directly tied to the trip itself, such as an accident involving tourist-oriented activities or other recreational endeavors.  When visitors to the Bay Area, including tourists injured in Sonoma as well as San Francisco or Oakland, are hurt due to the actions or inactions of another, our San Francisco vacation accident law firm

Duck Boat Accident Kills Four Student-Tourists in Seattle

On Thursday September 24, a duck boat tour in Seattle ended tragically leaving four dead and dozens injured.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the duck boat was carrying a group from North Seattle College across the Aurora Bridge when the amphibious vehicle suddenly swerved and crashed into a charter bus. The crash killed four international students.  A woman from Fremont who suffered a broken collarbone was among the many injured in the collision.

From the high school field on Friday to cheering on the alma matter at Saturday tailgates and watching the NFL on Sunday, for many Americans, fall means football.  While our own office certainly has its friendly rivalries, we all cheer for athletes of all ages to have success on and off the field.  As a San Francisco sports injury law firm, the Brod Law Firm believes strongly in the benefits of sports.  However, we are also very concerned about some of the dangerous health consequences that may impact professionals, weekend warriors, and young players alike including the risk of long-term brain injury from football.

Study: 96% of Studied Deceased NFL Players’ Brains Test Positive for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

On Saturday, Sports Illustrated (“SI”) reported on the continuing investigation into how repeated head trauma on the football field can impact players for their entire lives.  The article is based on a study by scientists with Boston University and the Department of Veterans Affairs that looked at the brains of deceased athletes.  According to SI, researchers identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy (“CTE”) in 96% (87 of 91) of studied NFL players’ brains footballhelmetand 79% (131 of 165) of all football players’ brains examined during the study including professional, semi-professional, and college players.

Sports is an important part of American culture, a truth that is never more evident than in the fall when baseball is moving towards its championship and football, college and professional, is just beginning.  Far too frequently, however, we are seeing stories of fans turning violent.  We love our teams, but our San Francisco sports lawyer and his team find this type of violence completely unacceptable.   Holding the perpetrators of spectator violence accountable serves the dual purposes associated with all civil injury claims – prevention of future harm and compensation for the injured.

Video Captures Assault on Vikings Fan

stadiumAs reported by ABC7, a Vikings fan was assaulted in the parking lot of Levi’s Stadium on Monday night after the 49ers beat the Minnesota team.  A video shared on social media shows a group of 49ers fans attacking the individual as he tries to crawl away.  Police are talking to the victim and looking for witnesses, including some still-unidentified people on the video.

cheer1For decades, cheerleaders were about just that – leading cheers.  They played a secondary role, bringing energy to the sidelines, drumming up team spirit, and supporting the athletes on the field.  Today, cheerleading also has a competitive side, requiring mastery of skills from the worlds of gymnastics and dance.  As competitive cheerleading grows in popularity, debates rage about whether to recognize it as a sport in its own right.  This movement is fueled by both the athleticism required for competitive cheerleading and concerns about serious cheerleading injuries.  As a San Francisco sports injury law firm, we are devoted to protecting and advocating for all young athletes, including those fighting to move from the sidelines to center stage.

Bill to Label Cheerleading a Sport Moves to Governor’s Desk

On Monday, as detailed by NBC’s Bay Area affiliate, California’s state senate unanimously voted to require the California Interscholastic Federation to treat competitive cheerleading as a sport.  Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the bill’s sponsor, says the need for safety-oriented regulations including training requirements for coaches is fueling a nationwide movement to formally recognize the sport.  AB949 will now go to Governor Brown’s desk for his signature or veto.  If passed, the bill would require the change be implemented by the 2017-2018 school year.

Some activities are reserved for the thrill-seekers among us.  These activities carry a certain level of danger, but the danger can be exponentially increased by the negligent acts of a company or individual.  While hang-gliding intimidates most of us, fans call it an almost spiritual experience.  Hang-gliding accidents are an understood risk, but it is unacceptable for this risk to be elevated by negligent or wrongful acts.  Even in the riskiest of activities, victims are not without recourse.  If a Northern California hang-gliding participant in hurt or killed because of someone else’s negligence, our San Francisco recreational injury law firm is here to help.

Sunday’s Hang-Gliding Fatality in San Francisco Part of a Tragic Trend

On Sunday afternoon, a hang-gliding accident in San Francisco claimed the life of a 69-year-old man.  Fox40 reports that the accident occurred in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.  The glider appears to have crashed into a cliff just 30 feet below the Fort Funston launch pad.   An early statement from the National Park service suggests the crash may have been caused by a mechanical failure.