Archives for August 2018

Motorcycle Accident Injuries—Does There Have to Be a Collision?

In situations involving a “near collision,” where the wrongful act of another motorist causes you to take evasive action, there’s a big difference between the potential consequences when you’re on a motorcycle or an automobile. With an automobile, it’s much easier to maintain control of the vehicle and you’ll be protected by a few thousand pounds of steel. On a motorcycle, though, your only option may be to lay down the bike, putting you in direct contact with the roadway.

If you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident where there was never any contact with another driver, can you still sue that person for injuries suffered? The answer is a clear “yes.”

Legal Responsibility for “No Contact” Motorcycle Accidents

There is no requirement that there be any actual contact between the at-fault party and a person injured in a motorcycle accident. Instead, a personal injury claim for losses sustained in a motorcycle accident will almost always be based on a legal theory of negligence. To successfully recover under a theory of negligence, you need to prove three things to a judge and/or jury:

  • That the at-fault person breached his or her duty of care—Under the law as it has evolved, all persons must exercise “reasonable” care in all their daily endeavors, whether it’s driving a motor vehicle, maintaining real property, or designing or manufacturing a product. In a lawsuit, a jury will review the facts as supported by the evidence and make a determination of whether or not the defendant exercised an appropriate amount of care. If not, the jury will move on to the second element of negligence.
  • The failure to exercise reasonable care “caused” an accident—Causation has two parts—actual cause and proximate cause. Actual cause requires a showing that the accident would not have occurred “but for” the breach of the duty of care. Proximate cause requires that the injured party show that the injuries sustained were reasonably foreseeable as a consequence of the breach of the duty of care.
  • There were actual losses—The plaintiff (the injured party) must also show that he or she suffered some actual loss, whether it’s property damage or personal injury. Personal injury can include lost wages and income, medical bills, loss of companionship or consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, our attorneys bring over 30 years of experience to injured people in California, including men and women who have been hurt in motorcycle accidents. For a private consultation, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call us at 1-866-288-6010. There is no charge for your first meeting.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Awareness of Causes Can Help Keep You Safer on the Road

If you love to ride a motorcycle, there’s good news and bad news. The good news—the number of fatalities tied to motorcycle accidents went down in 2017—approximately 300 fewer deaths resulted from bike crashes. The bad news—it’s still pretty dangerous out there, as nearly 5,000 people lost their lives while riding motorcycles last year.

But there are ways that you can improve the odds and keep yourself safe on the roads. One of them is knowing the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:

  • Head-on collisions—This is the single most frequent cause of a car-motorcycle collision. In fact, head-on collisions account for almost 80% of all car-bike wrecks. Compare that with 5%–the percentage of accidents caused when a motorist strikes a biker from behind. The message? Always keep your eyes on the road ahead of you and always be prepared to take evasive action if a motorist improperly fails to yield.
  • Motorists making left turns—The left turn from another motorist is also a significant cause of bike accidents. It can happen in a number of situations—where you intend to drive through an intersection and the other motorist turns in front of you; where a motorist turns left without a turn signal while you are passing; or where a motorist turns left as you attempt to overtake. To avoid these types of accidents, be careful not to pass or overtake another vehicle near an intersection, and always pay attention to oncoming cars at an intersection.
  • Accidents involving lane splitting—When you drive between lanes in slow traffic, there’s also an increased risk of collision.
  • Road hazards—On a motorcycle, there’s much greater risk of loss of control if you hit a pothole or loose gravel.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have fought to protect the rights of injured bikers in California for more than three decades. We know that every accident is different, so we’ll take the time to carefully learn the details of your case, so that we tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. Contact our office by e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010 to arrange a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney.

 
 
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