Using Technology to Minimize the Risk of a Motorcycle Accident

New High-Tech Developments Enhance Biker Safety

Using Technology to Minimize the Risk of a Motorcycle AccidentEverywhere you turn, things are getting smarter—your television, your appliances—and now your motorcycle. A number of technological innovations have hit the market recently, all designed to help you maximize the enjoyment of your motorcycle while helping you stay safer. Here are some of the more popular new technologies:

  • Airbags—Airbag technology is applied differently to motorcycles—it’s in the clothing you buy, rather than the bike. The most basic airbags are tethered to your bike and deploy when a cord is pulled. More sophisticated products have computerized systems that detect an impending crash.
  • Directional headlights—The single headlight on a motorcycle, pointed straight ahead, has always been less than adequate, particularly when you’re turning a corner at night. New adaptive headlights use sensors to pivot when you’re rounding a turn, so your headlights shine where you’re going.
  • Antilock braking—Slamming on your brakes is one of the least effective and most dangerous ways to try to stop your bike. Antilock brakes create a “feathering” effect by rapidly reducing and reapplying the brakes a number of times per second. Studies show that fatal crash rates are about one-third lower on bikes with antilock braking systems.
  • Electronic throttle control—This technology replaces the traditional accelerator cable with an electronic device that minimizes the risk of accidental and sudden acceleration.
  • Smart helmets—A number of manufacturers are incorporating Bluetooth technology into helmets, allowing riders to see GPS images and rearview cameras on helmet visors.

Another technology in development, but not yet ready for release, is “vehicle to vehicle” communication, which integrates sensors into a bike to accomplish two objectives: emit a signal to nearby vehicles, making them aware of the presence of the bike; and give motorcyclists notification of the presence of other vehicles nearby.

Contact Our Offices

At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than 30 years of experience to people who have suffered personal injury, including victims of motorcycle accidents. To set up a free initial consultation, Send us an e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010.

Bicycle-Car Accidents Spike Up in California

Injury Rate Highest in 25 Years

When You're in a Motorcycle Accident Caused by a Road HazardAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a number of factors have contributed to a dramatic increase in the number of automobile-bicycle collisions in California and nationwide in the last five years. NHTSA reported that the three-year period from 2016 through 2018 saw the highest rates of traffic accidents involving cyclists since the mid-1990s, as well as a higher incidence of serious and catastrophic injuries.

Authorities say the rise in motor vehicle accidents involving bicyclists can be tied to four specifictrends:

  • A significant increase in the number of miles Americans are putting on the roads;
  • Increased popularity of cycling;
  • The dramatic increase in distracted driving; and
  • The popularity of SUVs and large trucks.

Americans Are Driving More

It’s no secret to why Americans dramatically increased their time behind the wheel during the years 2016-2018. In 2016, the average price for a gallon of gas was $2.14, the lowest since 2002. Studies have long shown a correlation between cheap gas and traffic accidents. As the price of gas goes down, driving becomes more affordable, and more people drive. The more they drive, the more accidents result.

There Are More Cyclists on the Roads

Studies show that more Americans are commuting to work by bicycle. Many cities have improved infrastructure to accommodate the greater number of cyclists, but many have not.

Americans Are More Distracted Behind the Wheel

As handheld devices have become almost universal, they also have become more of a distraction for drivers. NHTSA lists distracted driving as the number one cause of crashes.

Americans Are Driving Bigger Vehicles

The number of big trucks and SUVs on the roads is increasing. Those vehicles tend to have larger blind spots, making it more challenging to see a bicycle on the road.

Contact Our Offices

At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we have been successfully representing people hurt in motorcycle accidents for more than three decades. To arrange a free initial consultation, Send us an e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010

Using Technology to Minimize the Risk of a Motorcycle Accident-old

New High-Tech Developments Enhance Biker Safety

When You're in a Motorcycle Accident Caused by a Road HazardEverywhere you turn, things are getting smarter—your television, your appliances… and now your motorcycle. A number of technological innovations have hit the market recently, all designed to help you maximize the enjoyment of your motorcycle while helping you stay safer. Here are some of the more popular new technologies:

  • Airbags—Airbag technology is applied differently to motorcycles—it’s in the clothing you buy, rather than the bike. The most basic airbags are tethered to your bike and deploy when a cord is pulled. The more sophisticated products have computerized systems that detect an impending crash.
  • Directional headlights—The single headlight on a motorcycle, pointed straight ahead, has always been less than adequate, particularly when you’re turning a corner at night. New adaptive headlights use sensors to pivot when you’re rounding a turn, so your headlights shine where you’re going.
  • Antilock braking—Slamming on your brakes is one of the least effective and most dangerous ways to try to stop your bike. Antilock brakes create a “feathering” effect by rapidly reducing and reapplying the brakes a number of times per second. Studies show that fatal crash rates are about one-third lower on bikes with antilock braking systems.
  • Electronic throttle control—This technology replaces the traditional accelerator cable with an electronic device that minimizes the risk of accidental sudden acceleration.
  • Smart helmets—A number of helmet manufacturers are incorporating Bluetooth technology into helmets, allowing riders to see GPS images and rearview cameras on thevisor of their helmet

Another technology in development, but not yet ready for release is vehicle-to-vehicle communication, which integrates sensors into a bike to accomplish two objectives: emitting a signal to nearby vehicles making them aware of the presence of the bike; and giving motorcyclists notification of the presence of nearby vehicles.

Contact Our Offices

At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we have been successfully representing people hurt in motorcycle accidents for more than three decades. To arrange a free initial consultation, Send us an e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010

Identifying the Parties Responsible for Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Who Can You Sue When You’re Hurt in a Bike Wreck?

When You're in a Motorcycle Accident Caused by a Road HazardIn the aftermath of a motorcycle accident when you’re trying to recover lost wages, medical expenses, or other damages—the most obvious responsible party is the driver whose negligence caused the accident. While the law is clear that you must prove someone was negligent in order to recover compensation, parties other than the at-fault driver may be liable for your losses.

In a motorcycle accident injury claim, as with other types of personal injury , claims the most common legal theory used to recover damages is negligence. In a negligence claim, you must show three things:

  • That another person failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances (or, in other words, “breached the duty” to act reasonably);
  • That the failure to act reasonably caused the accident; and
  • That you suffered actual losses as a result of the accident.

Besides the at-fault driver, a number of other parties may have acted carelessly in a way that contributed to or caused the accident that led to your injuries:

  • The manufacturer or designer of a product—Designers and manufacturers of consumer products—including those who make bike and automobile parts, safety equipment, and traffic lights—have a duty to use reasonable care. You may have a product-based claim if your accident was caused by defective brakes, steering mechanisms, or other bike parts, or if your injuries were made worse by carelessly-designed safety gear, such as helmets, gloves, or clothing. Any party in the chain of distribution, including the bike dealership, can be legally responsible for this kind of “product liability” claim.
  • The at-fault party’s employer—If the accident occurred while the at-fault driver was in the normal course of his or her job, the employer may have some responsibility under the legal theory of respondeat superior.
  • A local governmental body—If roadway defects caused the accident, you may have a claim against the entity responsible for maintaining that stretch of road.

Contact Our Offices

At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we have been successfully representing people hurt in motorcycle accidents for more than three decades. To arrange a free initial consultation, Send us an e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010

Sacramento Reopens to E-Scooters

City Allows Electric Scooters Back on Roads After Pandemic-Related Suspension

When You're in a Motorcycle Accident Caused by a Road HazardIn April, responding to the explosion of COVID-19 cases in California and across the nation, the city of Sacramento temporarily suspended all permits allowing e-scooters and bicycles to operate on city streets. Officials say the measure was almost unnecessary, as most e-scooter companies had already removed their vehicles from the roads, expressing concerns about public health and potential liability.

On June 22, as the state of California sought to re-open, Sacramento let e-scooter companies resume operations on city streets. E-scooter company Spin has since delivered 250 of its vehicles to the city. The city is requiring, however, that all e-scooter companies employ rigorous procedures to minimize the risk of contamination by the coronavirus. Spin representatives say they are taking the following actions:

  • Every scooter is sanitized and disinfected twice daily.
  • All scooter maintenance workers are required to wear personal protective equipment, including a mask, gloves, and safety glasses.
  • All personnel who have direct interaction with the public must also wear personal protective equipment when doing so.

Public health officials say scooters and bicycles are one of the safest ways to travel during the pandemic, as they are out in the open and don’t put commuters at risk of proximity or exposure to drivers, passengers, or other commuters. They do recommend, however, that anyone choosing to travel by e-scooter or bicycle carry hand sanitizer and carefully wipe down all surfaces of the scooter before getting on the vehicle. Spin is asking all customers to wash their hands before and after using one of the e-scooters, to wear appropriate face coverings, and to follow local government guidelines.

Contact Our Offices

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have provided comprehensive legal counsel to injured people throughout California for more than 30 years, including victims of motorcycle accidents. Send us an e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010 to schedule a free initial consultation.

When You’re in a Motorcycle Accident Caused by a Road Hazard

Recovering Compensation for Your Injuries in California

When You’re in a Motorcycle Accident Caused by a Road HazardAccording to statistics, approximately three of every four motorcycle accidents involves a collision with another vehicle. Single vehicle crashes result from a variety of causes, including biker carelessness, excessive speed, substance abuse, and road hazards.

A study commissioned by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found that about 75% of motorcycle accidents caused by roadway hazards can be prevented. Though many road hazards can cause or contribute to wrecks, the most common adverse roadway conditions tied to motorcycle crashes are the following:

  • Uneven road surfaces or potholes, often in construction areas;
  • Roadway debris, such as sand, gravel, rebar, cones, signs, or other materials;
  • Oil or water on the roads; and
  • Poor or limited traffic visibility from side roads due to trees, bushes, vegetation, or other obstructions.

Determining Who’s Responsible for Your Injuries

The first step in pursuing compensation for injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident is determining who caused the crash. If one of the at-fault parties is a private individual, you’ll likely pursue damages by filing a personal injury claim based on a theory of negligence. You’ll need to show that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care, thereby causing the accident that led to your losses. But what if the accident was caused, in whole or in part, by the failure of a governmental body to maintain the roadway?

As a general rule, government entities (including the state of California) are immune from liability for personal injury claims unless explicitly authorized by statute. Under the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA), the state of California can be sued when someone suffers injury in a motorcycle accident as the result of the government’s failure to properly design or maintain a public roadway. Before an injured person can file a lawsuit, though, CTCA requires that the claim first be filed against the public entity within six months of the accident. The public entity then has 45 days to either accept or reject the claim before a lawsuit can be filed.

Contact Our Offices

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have provided comprehensive legal counsel to injured people throughout California for more than 30 years, including victims of motorcycle accidents. Send us an e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Eye Injuries a Serious Risk for Scooter Operators

University Study Shows Increase in Facial Trauma

Eye Injuries a Serious Risk for Scooter OperatorsResearch at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) indicates that as the popularity of electric scooters has risen dramatically, the number of scooter injuries has skyrocketed as well, with a significant portion of them involving trauma to the head and face, particularly the eyes. The study, conducted over a 12-month period in late 2018 and early 2019, looked at injuries suffered by scooter-accident victims who sought treatment at two UCSC emergency rooms. The report found that many patients coming into the emergency room with scooter-related injuries had complex facial fractures to bones around the eyes, and many had serious eye injuries as well. Nearly all had some type of facial fracture (over 90%), with most of those being complex fractures. About 75 percent needed hospitalization, and one in four required surgery. Of those who participated in the study, two of every three underwent an eye exam. Doctors found retinal hemorrhaging and numerous lacerations involving eyelids. One patient experienced temporary blindness because of pressure inside his eye. None of those who suffered injury were wearing a helmet

Under California law, electric-scooter operators over the age of 18 are not required to wear a helmet. Though studies in other parts of the country indicate that the mandatory use of helmets dramatically decreases the number and severity of head injuries among scooter operators, such laws have not been enacted. Opponents say requiring helmet use would be a significant disincentive to use of electric scooters—people will choose to rideshare or walk instead

Contact Our Offices

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have effectively represented personal injury victims throughout California for more than three decades, including victims of vehicle accidents. Contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 1-866-288-6010 to set up a free initial consultation

Wearing a Helmet While Riding a Motorcycle

Can You Recover Compensation When Someone Else Causes You Injury but You’re Not Wearing a Helmet?

Wearing a Helmet While Riding a MotorcycleCalifornia, like many other states, requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet while operating a bike on the road. You can receive a ticket for failure to do so. But what happens if you’re on a motorcycle and another motorist causes an accident that leaves you injured? Are you precluded from seeking damages because you weren’t wearing a helmet?

The Impact of Not Wearing a Helmet on a Personal Injury Claim

Fortunately, the fact that you weren’t wearing a helmet does not automatically prevent you from filing a lawsuit for your injuries. It may, however, limit the amount that you’re able to recover.

Here’s how it works. Like all other states, California applies the concept of comparative negligence to cases where there is negligence on the part of both parties to a personal injury claim. Under California’s “pure comparative negligence” approach, the jury first determines the full extent of losses suffered by the plaintiff (person filing the lawsuit) and then determines the extent to which the plaintiff’s own carelessness or negligence contributed to the injuries suffered. The total damage award is reduced by that percentage.

If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet, it’s likely that the jury will consider your failure to do so evidence of carelessness or negligence. Accordingly, if you suffer head injuries—cuts, bruises, or traumatic brain injury (TBI)—and the jury determines you wouldn’t have sustained those injuries had you been wearing a helmet, then you may not be able to fully recover for those losses. Under the California pure comparative negligence statute, though, you will always be able to recover something, unless the jury finds you to be 100% responsible for your injuries.

Contact Our Offices

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have effectively represented personal injury victims throughout California for more than three decades, including victims of motorcycle accidents. Contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 1-866-288-6010 to set up a free initial consultation.

Scooter Injuries Increase Dramatically Nationwide

UCSF Study Documents Rise in Mishaps

Scooter Injuries Increase Dramatically NationwideA recently released report from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), which looked at data from 2014 through 2018, found that the number of injuries sustained in accidents involving e-scooters more than tripled over the four-year period. The study found that scooter-related injuries went up by 222% and hospital admissions rose by 365%. Nearly a third of the confirmed injuries involved head trauma or traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The Numbers

Researchers documented approximately 40,000 e-scooter-related injuries throughout the United States over the four-year-period of the study, with the number of injuries escalating each year as e-scooter usage increased. The study found that e-scooters were used for nearly 40 million trips in 2018 alone. Of those who suffered injury, most were men (around two-thirds) and more than half were between the ages of 18 and 35. After TBI, the most common injuries were fractures (27%), scrapes and bruises (23%), and lacerations (14%).

The study also concluded that the actual numbers are likely higher, as many people injured in scooter accidents choose not to seek treatment for their injuries.

California’s Efforts to Reduce the Number of Scooter-Related Injuries

In an effort to address concerns about e-scooter safety, California legislators have put certain measures in place:

  • E-scooters have a 12-mile-per-hour speed limit.
  • E-scooters may not be ridden on sidewalks.
  • If ridden on a street with a speed limit higher than 25 miles-per-hour, the e-scooter must be in the bike lane.
  • E-scooter operators may not carry packages while in motion.

Contact Our Offices

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have more than 30 years of experience effectively handling personal injury claims in California, including motorcycle accidents. Contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 1-866-288-6010 to set up a free initial consultation.

No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents

Can You Recover Damages If There’s No Collision?

No-Contact-Motorcycle-AccidentsIt’s an all too common occurrence—you’re out on the road on your motorcycle and a distracted or careless motorist turns into your path. To avoid a collision, you lay the bike down or veer and lose control. You suffer injuries when you hit the pavement, and your bike is damaged, but there was no contact with the motor vehicle. Can you still pursue compensation for your injuries and losses? The answer is generally yes.

The Legal Basis for a Personal Injury Claim

There’s no requirement that there be impact between your bike and another vehicle for you to have a valid claim for damages. Most personal injury claims are based on the legal principle of negligence. Under this rule, everyone in society is deemed to have a duty to act reasonably at all times, including while operating a motor vehicle.

To establish liability for negligence, you must prove three things in court:

  • That the defendant (the person from whom you are seeking compensation) failed to meet the standard of care reasonably expected—Another way of saying this is that the defendant “breached the duty of care.”
  • That the breach of duty caused an accident—You must show that the accident would not have happened if the defendant had acted reasonably and also that your injuries or losses were reasonably foreseeable as a consequence of the breach of duty
  • That you suffered actual losses as a result of the accident—If your losses are covered by insurance, you cannot recover them from the defendant. In addition, if you have property loss, but the property has no value, you cannot recover damages for it.

In a no-contact accident, then, the court will look at the facts of the case and apply these standards. Did the motorist carelessly turn into your path or cause you to take evasive action? Did that carelessness cause you to lay down the bike or lose control? Did you suffer actual losses as a result?

Contact Our Offices

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have protected the rights of personal injury victims throughout California for more than 30 years, including victims of motorcycle accidents. Contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 1-866-288-6010 to set up a free initial consultation.

 
 
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Using Technology to Minimize the Risk of a Motorcycle Accident

New High-Tech Developments Enhance Biker Safety Everywhere you turn, things are getting smarter—your television, your appliances—and no... [Read More...]