Archives for September 2012

Motorcycle Safety and Lane Splitting

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is when a bicycle, scooter or motorcycle travels in between vehicle lanes. It also refers to two-wheeled vehicles that drive around vehicles traveling in the same direction only at a slower speed. Generally, lane splitting occurs during traffic jams. Two-wheeled vehicles have the ability to maneuver in and out of stop and go traffic through lane splitting.

California is the only state in which lane splitting is legal. However, if a California Highway Patrol officer believes that your actions are not safe, you could potentially be ticketed for an unsafe lane change. At the same time, California Highway Patrol officers also lane split.

Comparative Fault and Bias Against Motorcycles

If a motorcycle or other two-wheeled vehicle is involved in an accident while lane splitting, the biker could potentially be considered partly responsible, even if another driver caused the crash. This is known as comparative fault, and could result in a reduced recovery. Bias against motorcycle drivers may be another reason that a motorcyclist may be judged partially responsible. Countering this prejudice and protecting the injured person’s rights is what an experienced personal injury attorney will do. A personal injury case’s outcome may depend on such representation.

Issues to watch out for when lane splitting:

  • You can split a lane but are not allowed to ride on the line between the two lanes.
  • You can pass someone while sharing the same lane, but are not allowed to drive more than five miles per hour than the car you are passing.
  • Pay attention to mirrors sticking out or car doors suddenly opening.

The Hurt Report on Causes of Motorcycle Accidents noted that fatal rear-end motorcycle crashes in California are 30 percent less than in other states of similar climates that do not allow lane splitting. Some people use this data to support the argument that lane splitting actually improves the safety of motorcyclists by reducing the incidence of rear-end crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does concur that lane splitting does slightly reduce rear-end crashes.

Lane-Splitting and Personal Injury Claim Questions? Talk to a San Francisco Bay Area Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured in a bike accident, motorcycle crash or other accident, whether you were splitting lanes at the time or not, the law firm of Weber & Nierenberg, with offices in northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area, will work to protect your rights.

If you do choose to work with one of our attorneys, we charge you nothing unless we win you compensation, at which point we will be paid. This is called contingency representation. Call or email today to schedule a free, private consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer: 1-866-288-6010.

Bay Area Motorcycle Hit And Run Crashes and Compensation

Hit And Run Crash

In California, a hit–and-run accident is charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. The charge becomes a felony if someone is injured in the crash and the other driver leaves the accident scene.

The threat of the law does not prevent tragic accidents like the one in which 26-year-old Colin Roche was killed in a Riverside crash after he lost control of his motorcycle and was run over by a car on March 28, 2012. The driver of the other car then left the scene and has yet to be apprehended.

Even worse, there are drivers who intentionally try to hit motorcyclists. In 2011, George Lopez Jr., age 51, was killed when the driver of a paratransit van purposely swerved into a group of Hells Angels Club motorcyclists on Interstate 580.

In many accident injury cases, however, San Francisco drivers simply do not see bikers. According to the Hurt Report on Causes of Motorcycle Accidents, the predominant cause of motorcycle crashes result from drivers who do not see motorcycles or who notice them too late to avoid a crash.

Overall, the number of accidents per 100,000 people has dropped by nearly 23 percent since 1992. And yet, in 2009, 4,092 motorcyclists were killed in accidents. Many of these crashes were preventable.

If you or a loved one has been seriously harmed in a hit-and-run accident, you may be entitled to file a claim against the person at fault for injuries and damages related to the crash. Speaking with an attorney who is experienced in personal injury law can help you understand your rights and how to proceed forward with a personal injury hit-and-run accident claim.

If the driver has not yet been apprehended, you can still potentially obtain compensation if you have an underinsured or uninsured motorists clause on your own insurance policy.

How to Protect Your Rights After a Hit and Run

  1. Note as many details as you can about the accident, including description of the car that hit you.
  2. Note the location of the accident.
  3. Get the names, phone numbers, emails and addresses of any witnesses.
  4. Stay where you are. Do not go after the other driver. After an accident, you may have a rush of adrenaline that will cause you to take risks or actions that you normally would not. The shock may also prevent you from feeling any injuries.
  5. Call the police immediately.
  6. File an accident report with the police. You will need this report to move your insurance claim forward.
  7. File a car accident claim with your insurance company.
  8. If the driver of the other car is not found, you may file an accident claim with your own insurance company if you have underinsured or uninsured motorist’s coverage.

Talk to a San Francisco Bay Area Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have suffered serious injuries or your loved one died in a hit-and-run accident or any other type of crash, you need an attorney experienced in personal injury who knows how to fight for your rights. The attorneys at the Weber & Nierenberg law firm, with offices in northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area will provide you with the personal attention you need and the legal guidance you can count on. Call to arrange a free evaluation today at 1-866-288-6010.

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

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