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.

Understanding the True Costs of Buying a New Motorcycle

Buying-a-New-Motorcycle

Thinking about buying a motorcycle? Want to feel the wind in your face as you hit the open road? Before you do, it’s important to understand the true, or real, cost of buying and owning a motorcycle. It’s more than just the price tag on the bike. Here are the many things you need to include when you tally up what you’ll actually be paying.

  • The purchase price of the bike—even if you are paying for the bike over time, you’ll need to start with the full purchase price.
  • Interest payments—Unless you paid cash outright for your bike, you’ll also have monthly interests payments (they’ll be a part of your total monthly payment)
  • License and permit—If you are under the age of 21 in California, you must have a completion certificate from the state’s motorcycle rider training course before you can get a license to ride a motorcycle. If you are 21 or older, you can submit to a driving test in lieu of the training course.
  • Taxes and dealer fees—You will pay sales tax on the purchase of a bike, and may incur certain dealer fees.
  • Repairs and maintenance—Even with a new bike, you’ll have maintenance expenses—things like an oil change or other routine items. You can also expect to start to incur repair expenses—the more you ride, the more likely you’ll need to make some repairs.
  • Insurance—In California, you are required to have a policy of insurance on your motorcycle.
  • Fuel costs—Even though a motorcycle gets far better gas mileage than a car, you’ll still have to gas up to get around.
  • Protective riding gear—A good helmet, gloves, boots and protective jacket/pants are a key component to minimizing injury when you ride a bike. This equipment can literally cost you thousands of dollars.

It’s important to understand the true cost of a bike before you buy one, as the expenses can mount pretty quickly. You don’t want to get in a position where you need protective equipment, but you don’t have a lot of resources, so you look in the bargain bin for your boots, gloves, leathers or helmet.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have more than 30 years of experience helping people in California who have been hurt in motorcycle accidents. To set up a meeting, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call us at 1-866-288-6010. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation.

Gathering Evidence after a Motorcycle Accident

Evidence-after-a-Motorcycle-Accident

How to Make the Best Case for Full and Fair Compensation

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you have the right to sue for any losses you’ve suffered, from wages and income to unreimbursed medical expenses to loss of companionship and consortium and physical pain and suffering. But it’s rarely an open and shut case—you need compelling evidence to convince a judge and jury that the defendant acted unreasonably and that you suffered damages as a result.

There are a number of ways to gather the necessary evidence to prove your case:

  • The testimony of witnesses—If there was anyone traveling with you or any bystanders who saw the accident, you’ll want to get sworn statements from them as soon as possible after the accident. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that their memories will fade, or that that they may die or move away. Your attorney can prepare an affidavit for a witness to sign, but your lawyer will also want to schedule a deposition, where a court reporter can document the testimony.
  • Physical evidence—This can include photographs of the scene of the accident, skid marks, damage to vehicles or injuries suffered by anyone. Your lawyer will typically have a professional conduct a forensic inspection of the crash site.
  • Expert testimony—It’s pretty common practice to retain an accident reconstruction expert, who can gather data from the crash and reconstruct exactly what happened. A good expert will be able to use existing data to determine speed of any vehicle, whether the vehicle operator applied brakes at all and whether vehicles stopped at lights or stop signs.
  • Police reports—The police report can also provide valuable evidence.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

Contact our office by e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010 to schedule an appointment with an experienced California motorcycle accident lawyer. We have protected the rights of injured bikers in California for more than 30 years. We know that every accident has unique circumstances. We carefully investigate the facts and circumstances of your accident, so that we can aggressively pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries.

What to Look for in a Motorcycle Helmet

What-to-Look-for-in-a-Motorcycle-Helmet2

California has one of the strictest helmet laws in the country. The statute not only requires that all motorcycle operators wear a helmet, but mandates that passengers do as well. In fact, a passenger wearing a helmet can be ticketed for riding on a bike with an unhelmeted driver.

Because it’s a piece of gear that you need to have, you want a good understanding of what’s available and what you want to see in a motorcycle helmet.

Helmet Style

The first decision you’ll have to make has to do with the style of helmet. There are five different types available:

  • Full face—On the full face helmets, there’s a face guard that’s permanently fixed in place
  • Modular—On the modular helmet, there’s a hinge that allows you to flip the face guard up, so that you can have an open-faced helmet
  • ADV dual sport—Dual sport helmets can be full face, modular or open face, but have a peak or visor built in to shield the sun
  • Open face—An open face helmet has no face guard
  • Half shell—Half shell motorcycle helmets typically just cover the top of the head, leaving ears exposed

Helmet Features

You need to evaluate three different components of the helmet:

  • Shell material—You can get carbon fiber (the most expensive) or polycarbonate (cheaper). Both will absorb and distribute energy, but carbon fiber does a better job. A good compromise can be a fiberglass composite.
  • Helmet weight—You don’t want a helmet that weighs more than 1800 grams. Make certain the center of gravity is where it’s supposed to be or you may experience neck and shoulder pain.
  • Comfort features—There’s a whole range of additional features that can enhance your riding, from wind noise reduction systems to communications and Bluetooth stereo.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than 30 years of experienced to injured motorcyclists in California. For a confidential consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury lawyer, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call us at 1-866-288-6010. There’s no charge for your first meeting.

At Weber & Nierenberg, we emphasize personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn exactly what happened, so that we take the right steps to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to protect your rights after a motorcycle accident injury, you’ll have access to one of our partners at all times.

Motorcycle Safety Gear—A Guide for New Riders

Motorcycle-Safety-Gear—A-Guide-for-New-Riders1

So you’ve just discovered the unmatched feeling that comes from cruising down the road on a motorcycle, wind in your face. You know there are risks involved, and you want to take the right steps to maximize your safety. But the sheer number of safety products can be overwhelming. Here are some of the things to look for in safety gear, particularly if you’re new to riding.

Why You Need Safety Gear

Safety gear provides protection from a number of risks:

  • Impact with objects, such as bugs, birds, bushes and other debris—your uncovered skin, bones and organs are not designed to withstand high-speed impact with most items
  • Road rash or abrasion—If you go down and drag your body along the pavement, you can expect to lose a millimeter of skin for every mile per hour you’re traveling over the speed of 30 mph.
  • Inclement weather—You’ve probably heard the term “wind chill.” The faster you travel, the more the actual temperature drops. It might be 55 out, but the real impact on your skin could be like 25°, putting you at risk for frostbite. Good gear can also help keep you cool when it’s hot out by promoting your body’s natural cooling process—sweating.

The Types of Gear You Need

To maximize your safety, you need five items:

  • A good helmet
  • A durable jacket that covers your arms, back, ribs and internal organs
  • Riding pants made of Kevlar, leather or some similar durable material
  • Boots with non-slip soles and good ankle support
  • Gloves that stay on your hands in an accident, that protect your hands, but that also have the flexibility you need to properly operate the bike

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

For a free initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable and experienced lawyers, contact us by e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010 to schedule an appointment. We bring more than 30 years of experience to every case we take. Our attorneys know that every accident is different, so we’ll take the time to learn exactly what happened, so that we can help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses.

New San Francisco Ordinance Regulates E-Scooters

Regulates-E-Scooters

As reported in our blog posted on April 30, 2018, the City Attorney in San Francisco issued a cease and desist order earlier that month, temporarily suspending operations of a number of “e-scooter” vendors in the city and impounding nearly 70 scooters. Just over a week later, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved and added a new provision to the city’s Transportation Code, an ordinance entitled “Powered Scooter Share Parking Restrictions.”

Under the new law, a rented power scooter in the city of San Francisco may not be parked, left standing or left unattended on any street, sidewalk or right-of-way without first obtaining a permit from the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency). Before obtaining the necessary permit, scooter rental companies must:

  • Provide proof of insurance
  • Have the capacity to share trip data with city officials
  • Implement a privacy policy to protect user information
  • Provide education to persons who rent scooters
  • File a proposed service area plan (to be approved by the city)
  • Have a low-income rental plan in place

The law also states that any scooter left unattended may be considered a public nuisance and may be impounded. The city may also levy fines on the owners of the scooter.

Effective May 1, 2018, the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency has instituted a one year pilot program to determine the effectiveness of the new ordinance. During that time period, only 1,500 permit requests will be granted.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have fought for the rights of motorcyclists for more than three decades. To schedule a meeting with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg online or call us at 1-866-288-6010. Your first meeting is free of charge.

At Weber & Nierenberg, we place a premium on personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the details of your situation, so that we take the right steps to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to protect your rights after a motorcycle accident injury, you’ll have access to one of our partners at all times.

California Highway Patrol Partners in Effort to Reduce Number of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle-Accidents

In partnership with the California Office of Traffic Safety, the California Highway Patrol has developed and implemented a new motorcycle safety program, known as Have A Good Ride IV (HAGR IV). The program calls for enhanced motorcycle safety enforcement along roadways in California where bike accidents are statistically more common. Those officers will concentrate of the enforcement of those infractions that are most likely to lead to an accident, including speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, lane splitting and making illegal turns.

The program also includes a year-long series of public service campaigns targeted at improving safety and visibility for motorcyclists in California. The program designates May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” and addresses such issues as the use of helmets and strategies for road-sharing with other motorists.

The initiative is a response, in part to data gathered by California DMV officials showing nearly a million registered motorcycles in the state, and about 1.4 million residents licensed to ride motorcycles. Records show that, in 2017, more than 500 bikers were killed and nearly 15,000 suffered injuries in traffic collisions.

The California Highway Patrol offers training to all motorcyclists through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. There are training facilities across the state. To learn more or to find a place to enroll in the training, go to californiamotorcyclist.com.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

To arrange a private consultation with one of our knowledgeable and experienced lawyers, send us an e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010. We have more than 30 years of experience protecting the rights of injured people, including individuals who have been hurt in motorcycle accidents. We understand that every claim is unique, so we’ll take the time to learn the details of your accident, so that we can help you recover full and fair compensation for all your losses.

SF City Attorney Puts Brakes on Scooter Sharing Programs

SF City Attorney Puts Brakes on Scooter Sharing ProgramsFor the earlier part of 2018, it wasn’t unusual to walk the streets of San Francisco and see motor scooter around just about every corner. It was the result of an Uber-like application, where riders could use their phone to rent a scooter, and then could leave it wherever they were when they were done. Among the companies offering the two-wheeled vehicles were Bird, Lime and Spin. Representatives of the companies say they offer a wide range of benefits to the city, reducing traffic and pollution. Many consumers expressed appreciation for the convenience the scooters offer, as well as the ease of operating them.

But San Francisco city officials had another perspective on the scooter issue. Many in city government found them to be a nuisance, saying that they often blocked sidewalks and curbs, and that there were broken scooter strewn across the city. Citing concerns for safety of riders and pedestrians, the city attorney issued a cease and desist order on Monday, April 16. The order came after city workers seized 66 scooters on Friday, April 13, contending that the motorized vehicles were impeding traffic.

City official said that, in addition to littering the landscape, the scooters posed other dangers—many riders were observed riding on sidewalks, exceeding the speed limit or riding without a helmet.

Contact the Law Office of Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have protected the rights of motorcyclists for more than 30 years. We built our practice on a dedication to the highest levels of personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn exactly what happened to you, so that we focus our representation to get the results you want. When you retain our offices after a motorcycle accident injury, you’ll work directly with one of our partners at all times.

For an appointment with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010. Your first meeting is without cost or obligation.

California Scooter Clubs Thriving

California Scooter Clubs ThrivingMotorcycle clubs have been around almost as long as bikes themselves, offering a wide range of benefits to new and experienced riders. With the explosive growth in the sale and use of scooters over the last decade, riders of these smaller two-wheel vehicles have followed suit. From Napa to San Diego, from San Jose to L.A., you won’t have to go far to find fellow enthusiasts with whom you can enjoy a ride, or get answers to your questions. Here are some of the clubs you can join, along with their benefits:

  • The Napa Valley Scooter Club—Founded in 2003, this is one of California’s oldest clubs dedicated exclusively to scooter enthusiasts. The group has one big monthly ride, but members often gather in smaller groups for local rides and social events.
  • The Black Sheep Scooter Club—This San Francisco-based scooter club has multiple rides just about every weekend, including evening rides Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The club posts maps and sponsors events with bands and food.
  • The South Bay Scooter Posse, in San Jose—This extremely active and ambitious group has taken in some of the most breathtaking scenery in California. The posse had a 2012 ride to Yosemite, went to Mt. Lassen in 2015 and has also visited Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The group organizes road rallies and other events and offers members access to an online forum to discuss all things scooter.
  • The Northern California eScooter Club—This group is, for the most part, a virtual entity. There are no scheduled meetings, but members can connect and hook up to share rides. The club’s website if an encyclopedia of information on scooters, with information for people just considering getting a scooter, as well as seasoned veterans.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

Contact our office online or call us at 1-866-288-6010 to set up a private consultation with experienced California motorcycle and motor scooter injury lawyers. We’ll bring more than three decades of experience to your case. We take a different approach with every case, learning as much as we can about your accident and what you need to fully recover for your losses. With our highly personalized approach, you’ll work with one of our partners working at all times.

 
 
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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 diff... [Read More...]