New Technology Means Lighter Weight Jackets

New Fabric Still Provides Effective Protection

Guy on motorcycle

If you’ve ridden a motorcycle for any length of time, and you’ve been concerned about the risk of injury, you’re familiar with the old-style motorcycle jacket. Traditionally, those coats have been heavy-duty, constructed from leather, cordura or Kevlar. While they protected you, they added a lot of weight and could be constricting.

Dainese, the world-famous Italian designer and manufacturer of protective gear for motorcyclists, has introduced a new product that combines lighter weight premium leather with removable Pro-Armor protection pads for the shoulders and elbows, as well as insert pockets for the back of the jacket, which enhance protection.

BMW has also entered the motorcycle jacket industry with a space-age jacket that includes built-in airbags. Built in conjunction with Alpinestars (known for its airbag technology), the Motorrad Street Air uses a built-in algorithm to determine when to employ the airbags. The airbags are strategically placed within the jacket so that, upon impact or in a crash, your entire upper body will be cushioned from the full blow. It also offers airbags that protect your back and kidneys. The airbags are built to fully inflate in 25 milliseconds. The jacket is not synced to your bike, so it will work with any ride—no need to add sensors or buy a specific motorcycle. In fact, it’s just as effective on an off-road vehicle, an ATV, a scooter or even a bicycle. It’s also water-resistant.

Of course, technology like this comes at a price. A new Motorrad Street Air sells for about $1,500, but many owners say it’s well worth the price.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than 35 years of experience successfully handling personal injury claims to people throughout the state of California. For a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

Santa Monica Beefs Up Efforts to Improve Scooter Safety

Police Officers Increase Attention to Traffic Violations

An e scooter

Because of concerns about the mounting numbers of accidents involving electric scooters, the Santa Monica police department has taken steps to enhance monitoring of e-scooters. The programs targets drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and e-scooter riders. The increased surveillance of e-scooter operators began on Friday, May 10, 2019.

According to officials from the SMPD, law enforcement officers targeted e-scooter operators between 6 pm and 8 pm that night, citing riders for a range of traffic violations, including excessive speed, failure to yield to the right of way of pedestrians, failure to stop at a red light or stop sign, and making illegal turns. Officers were also instructed to ticket e-scooter operators who were driving on the wrong side of the road or on the sidewalk. Officials say e-scooter riders are required to travel in designated bike lanes and must obey all traffic laws, signs and signals.

A recent study in Southern California found that, over a twelve-month-period starting in September, 2017, 249 people made emergency room visits to two Los Angeles hospitals because of injuries sustained while riding an e-scooter. The majority of victims were scooter operators who fell while on the bike (more than 90%). Less than 5% of the victims reported wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The range of injuries included broken bones, lacerations, contusions and dislocations. Two victims ended up in the intensive care unit.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than 35 years of experience to injured people in California, including individuals injured in scooter or motorcycle accidents. We’ll listen carefully to learn the specific details of your accident, as well as your needs and concerns, so that we can take the right steps to get the results you seek. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

Learn to Brake—Don’t Be Afraid to Accelerate!

Braking Skills Build Confidence on a Motorcycle

Motorcycle brakeIf you’re a relatively new rider, or maybe an experienced one getting back on the bike after an accident, one of the biggest hurdles to fully enjoying the experience a motorcycle offers is a reluctance to hit the throttle. It’s a feeling like nothing in the world, but a part of the rush is the knowledge of the inherent danger. It’s you and machine against the elements, and a single mistake can be devastating.

You may think that the way to overcome “acceleration anxiety” is to practice using the throttle. While it always helps to have a fine-tuned sense of how your throttle will respond, a better strategy will likely be to practice your braking. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Be more willing to use your brakes—Too many riders ease off the throttle to slow down, rather than applying the brakes. That’s an inefficient way to lower your speed, with far less control than you’ll get from your brakes. However, if you’re going to use your brakes, you have to know how they’ll respond, and that takes practice. Go to a large parking lot or out for an easy ride in the country (where there will be little traffic) and practice always using your brakes to slow down. Your confidence will increase immediately.
  • Don’t jump on or clutch the brake—Many riders are afraid to brake because they do so too aggressively. Practice applying gentler, but more consistent, pressure to the brakes, so that your deceleration is more consistent. It’s also important to understand that the first squeeze on your brakes isn’t for reducing your speed—it’s to load the fork springs in a linear manner. If you squeeze only once, you won’t get maximum efficiency from your brakes.
  • Don’t simultaneously engage the front brake and the throttle—This is an old wives’ tale and not a good idea. Learn to shut the throttle before you brake and release the brake before you accelerate.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than 30 years of experience successfully handling personal injury claims to people throughout the state of California. For a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

Scooter Enthusiasts Advocate for New Licensing and Regulation

Proponents Emphasize Safety Aspects

new licensing and regulationScooters and other electronic vehicles have taken the country by storm, but the reactions have been mixed. Some cities have banned them altogether or placed strict limits on the number of vendors and scooters in the community. Other municipalities have implemented extensive regulations regarding use and licensing.

The original electric motorbikes or scooters (now known somewhat colloquially as neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVS)) are designed to reach maximum speeds of about 25-30 miles per hour. New technology has led to the development of electric scooters that can go 45 mph or even faster.

Now, some e-bike advocates are calling for consideration of national regulation and/or licensing of two-wheeled electronic vehicles (EVs). They note that while cars, trucks and motorcycles all have national standards that must be met, the smaller EVs are mostly without regulation. Depending on the locality, the same two-wheeler might be classified (and regulated) as a bicycle, moped, electric bicycle, motorized bicycle or even a motorcycle. Vehicles that are legal in many states are outlawed in others.

Proponents of national regulation argue that it would create a clear set of safety standards that all manufacturers would have to meet. In addition, it would allow for the regulation of such vehicles according to their top rate of speed, with safety guidelines or requirements that correspond. They point to the current Department of Transportation and NHTSA certifications that apply to motorcycles, noting that those programs have prevented manufacturers from selling unsafe bikes in the United States.

Scooter advocates also propose a new type of license—an “urban electric motorbike” license. To obtain such a license, an applicant would need to complete safety and driving programs geared specifically to two-wheeled electronic vehicles.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have advocated for the rights of personal injury victims in California for more than 30 years, including people injured in motorcycle accidents. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your accident, as well as your needs, so that we can tailor our counsel to get the results you seek. Send us an e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims-Establishing Cause

Recovering Compensation after a Motorcycle Accident-Step Two

Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims-Establishing Cause

In an earlier blog, we looked at the first requirement to successfully recover damages after suffering injury in a motorcycle accident-the breach of the duty of care. It’s not enough, however, to show that a defendant ran a stop sign, veered into your lane or otherwise failed to act as a reasonable person. Once you’ve demonstrated breach of duty, you must next show that the breach “caused” an accident.

Defining Cause

As the laws governing personal injury have evolved, two different types of cause have developed. Both must be shown before you have a right to recover for your losses.

The first type of cause-actual cause-is typically the easiest to prove. Also Known as “but for” cause, it simply requires that you show that the accident would not have happened “but for” or in the absence of the breach of duty. Often, unfortunately, it’s too easy to make a case for “but for” cause, even if the likelihood of the accident happening was minimal, based on the act of the defendant. For example, assume that a motorist runs a red light and hits a car. That car veers across the road and hits a fire hydrant. The water from the hydrant runs four blocks downhill and into the path of your motorcycle. You lose control of your bike and suffer an injury. There’s clearly “but for” cause-if the motorist had not run the red light, you would not have had a motorcycle accident.

This is where the second type of cause-proximate cause-comes into play. Proximate cause asks whether or not the event was reasonably foreseeable as a consequence of the wrongful act. In the example given here, was it reasonably foreseeable that water would run four blocks downhill and into your path? There’s no hard and fast legal principle, though, that determines what is “reasonably foreseeable.” That will ultimately be determined by a jury.

Contact the Law Office of Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have protected the rights of motorcycle accident victims in California for more than 30 years. To set up a free initial consultation, Send us an email or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

Motorcycle Accident Injuries –The Duty of Care

Recovering Compensation after a Motorcycle Accident -Step One

The Duty Care

When you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident because of the wrongful act of another person, you have a right to pursue damages-compensation for your losses. Though you can bring legal action if another person intentionally caused you harm, motorcycle accident claims are typically based on a legal theory of negligence.

To successfully bring a negligence claim, you must prove three things:

  • That the defendant (person who engaged in wrongful actions) failed to act as a reasonable person would
  • That the failure to act reasonably “caused” an accident
  • That you suffered actual losses as a result of the accident

As personal injury law has developed, a duty has been established. That duty requires that all people, in all actions within society, govern their conduct as a reasonable person would. That applies to driving a motor vehicle, maintaining property, and designing and manufacturing products, among other acts. As applied to motorcycle accidents, it can mean that a motorist has a duty to take reasonable care to be aware of the presence of motorcyclists and to avoid acts that would pose an unreasonable risk of harm to bikers, such as failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, making unsafe lane changes, traveling too close to a motorcycle or speeding.

The law, unfortunately, does not provide a great deal of guidance with respect to what is considered “reasonable.” That is typically determined by a jury, on a case-by-case basis, though juries are bound to some degree by “past precedent,” or prior decisions.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than three decades of experience to individuals who have suffered injury in California in a motorcycle accident. We understand that every situation is different, so we’ll take the time to learn exactly what happened to you, as well as your needs, so we can implement the best strategy to get the outcome you want. Contact us online or call us at 1-866-288-6010 to set up a free initial consultation.

Bikers Against Child Abuse California (B.A.C.A.)

Bikers Against Child Abuse California (B.A.C.A.) Works to Protect Children

A Group of Motorcycles

Founded by a licensed clinical social worker, this group of bikers raised nearly a million dollars nationwide in 2013 for a number of charities. The club enforces a well-defined set of criteria for its members, requiring fingerprinting and an extensive background check for admission to its ranks.

As a part of its mission statement, B.A.C.A. identifies as its primary objective the creation of “a safe environment for abused children.” Club members are committed to working with local and state mental health and child protective services to take concrete steps to protect children who are at risk. The organization has a specific process for support of abused children, as well as intervention, if necessary. Here’s how it works:

  • The club has a designated contact person (“liaison”) who takes calls from referring agencies or individuals
  • A “recognized authority” must make a determination that the child is still frightened by his or her environment
  • The B.A.C.A. liaison confirms that the case is being processed within the legal system
  • The liaison contacts the family and organizes a ride to meet the child in his or her home (or some other location where the child will feel comfortable)
  • Club members meet with the child, providing a club vest, bumper stickers and other gifts
  • The child is given the name and phone number of the two B.A.C.A. members living closest to him/her. The child may then call those members anytime he or she feels afraid.
  • A.C.A. members also escort children who feel unsafe in their homes or neighborhoods, ride by the children’s homes on a regular basis, support children in court proceedings, attend interviews, and stay with children when they feel alone or scared

Contact Our Offices

At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than three decades of combined experience to people in California who have suffered a personal injury. To arrange an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010. There’s no cost for your initial consultation.

Who’s Responsible When There’s an E-Scooter Accident?

E-Scooters: Who Is Responsible When There’s an Accident?

Allocating Liability for E-Scooter Injuries

Bird Electric Scooters

E-scooter and dockless scooters are rapidly becoming a common site on the roadways across California, after some initial concerns by a number of municipalities. Earlier this year, Los Angeles County dropped its order to remove from public streets, and other local governments have started to follow suit. Unanswered, though, is the key question—who pays when someone is injured in an e-scooter/dockless scooter accident?

If you’ve rented one of the scooters using your phone, you know that there’s a lengthy waiver that you are supposed to read before getting on the motorized bikes. That would seem to imply that most, if not all, of the responsibility falls on the rider. While digitally signing the waiver may impose some responsibility on the rider, there are always exceptions to the rule:

  • The negligence of others — Simply signing a waiver does not make you absolutely liable for any injury you suffer. If, for example, you can prove that your injury was caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence, that person can be held accountable. For example, if the scooter was not properly maintained, you can still bring a lawsuit against the company that provided the scooter, regardless of a waiver. In addition, if a homeowner or business owner leaves debris in the road, causing an accident, you may be able to recover damages from that party.
  • Poorly maintained roadways — What if you hit a patch of loose gravel or lose control of the scooter after hitting a pothole? The rules vary from municipality to municipality, but you may be able to bring legal action against the local government for negligence.

Concerns about liability for injuries have led to a new and burgeoning market for trip insurance, where scooter renters can opt to pay an additional fee for coverage for losses.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we offer over 30 years of combined legal experience to people who have been hurt in e-scooter/dockless scooter accidents in California. We will take the time to learn the details of your accident, as well as your needs, so that we can tailor our counsel to get the outcome you seek. Contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 1-866-288-6010 to talk with an experienced California motorcycle/scooter accident lawyer. Your first meeting is without cost.

Women’s Biker Clubs Thrive in California

 

Female Groups Strong across the State

 

Women Biker ClubsIt’s a familiar image—a woman riding on the back of a motorcycle. But more and more across California and throughout the nation, women are bucking that trend, taking the handles of their own bikes. And, more and more, they’re forming their own clubs, where they can share interests, socialize and even raise money for charities and their communities. Here are some of the top Women’s Motorcycle Clubs in the Golden State.

  • Lost Girls Motorcycle Club—Operating out of Visalia, these women have sponsored the annual Lost Girls Breast Cancer ride for more than a decade, raising more than $100,000 for breast cancer research and treatment. Learn more on their website.
  • Curve Unit—These bikers raise money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation with an annual ride in October. They’ve taken a monthly ride through the Bay Area for more than 15 years.
  • Ghetto Girlz Motorcycle Club—These women started the club back in 2009 to promote a sense of family for women of all backgrounds, and now have Chapters around the world, including Ireland, New Zealand and Fort Wayne, Indiana. A number of their members have been inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. They’ve raised money for the Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Once In A Lifetime and Homes for Our Troops, among other charitable organizations.
  • Devil Dolls Motorcycle Club—Founded as a Harley club for women in 1999, this group now allows a variety of American and European bikes. The group boasts a diverse membership, including old-school bikers, community activists, professionals and moms. Their members hail from across the west coast and they have a sister club in Sweden.

Contact the Law Offices of Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have over 30 years of combined experience protecting the rights of people in California who have suffered needless personal injury, including men and women hurt in motorcycle accidents. To schedule an appointment, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010. Your initial interview is without cost or obligation.

Government Studies Scooter Safety

 

CDC Looking at Dockless Scooters

 

Studies Scooter SafetySurprising even industry analysts, dockless scooters have become the rage in municipalities across the country, with industry leaders Bird and Lime making their motorized crafts available in more than a hundred cities in just over a year. With the proliferation of scooters, though, officials have seen a dramatic rise in scooter accidents, some involving serious injury and even death. The federal government has now decided to take a closer look at safety issues tied to the devices.

The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), headquarted in Atlanta, announced earlier this week that it will be investigating health and safety risks associated with the motorized bikes. The study will look at usage and crash statistics in Austin, Texas. Officials plan to examine emergency room data and EMS calls from a 90 day period, running from September through November of 2018. They’ll be investigating the causes of scooter accidents and seeking to identify preventive safety measures.

Concerns have mounted nationwide as the number of scooter-related injuries has spiked. A hospital in Salt Lake City reported a 161% increase in scooter-related trauma in just a year. Riders have died in motor vehicle accidents across the country, including Washington, DC and Dallas.

Concerns about the safety of scooters has led many cities to curtail usage, including San Francisco, where officials issued a temporary ban, then issued operating licenses to only two companies. Santa Monica officials have also struggled to accommodate the low-speed vehicles, identifying specific sections along city streets designated for scooter parking.

Contact Our Offices

At Weber & Nierenberg, we offer more than three decades of collective legal experience to people who suffered any type of personal injury in California, including individuals hurt in scooter accidents. We will take the time to learn exactly what happened to you, as well as what you need to fully compensate you for your losses. For a free initial consultation, Contact our office online or call 1-866-288-6010 to schedule an appointment with an experienced California motorcycle/scooter accident lawyer.

 
 
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New Technology Means Lighter Weight Jackets

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