California Jury Awards $21.5 Million in Motorcycle Injury Claim

Improper Lane Change Determined as Cause of Accident

A California jury returned a verdict in a motorcycle accident claim determining that the injured biker’s losses totaled $21.5 million. The man was injured in 2017 on the 405 Freeway in southern California. According to trial testimony, the defendant, who worked for a car dealership in Irvine, changed lands without signaling and hit the plaintiff, who was traveling northbound. The impact of the collision threw the plaintiff off his bike and into the path of another vehicle.

According to his attorneys, the plaintiff suffered serious and permanent injuries as a result of the accident. The parties could not agree on a reasonable amount of compensation for the injuries, so the case went to trial.

Witnesses testified at trial that the defendant suddenly shifted from the high occupancy vehicle lane and sideswiped the motorcycle. In addition to the driver of the motor vehicle, the plaintiff sued the car dealership that employed him, alleging that the driver was “unfit and incompetent” to perform the work he was hired to do and that the dealership was negligent in hiring and training him. Under the legal theory of respondeat superior, an employer can be liable for injuries caused by an employee, provided the employee was performing duties that were part of his job at the time of the accident. The driver was delivering a car for his employee at the time of the crash.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg for Proven Representation

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have successfully protected the rights of personal injury victims in California for decades, including those of people injured in motorcycle accidents. We take an individualized approach to every claim, learning the details of your accident and tailoring our counsel to get the outcome you want. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

The Smart Helmet—The Next Step in Motorcycle Safety

The Power of Technology Applied to Your Motorcycle Helmet

The Smart Helmet—The Next Step in Motorcycle SafetyWe all know about smartphones, and most of us are becoming familiar with the applications of smart technology to appliances, security systems and other aspects of our lives. Now smart technology has been integrated with a motorcycle helmet. The result is a helmet that provides instant access to data and lets you effectively track critical information about your rides.

The cutting edge smart helmets are fully integrated with Bluetooth® as well as a technology known as Mesh Intercom™. These systems make a number of functions relatively easy:

  • You can make hands-free phone calls, provided you have coverage.
  • You can listen to music, changing tunes with voice commands.
  • You can get GPS instructions piped in through your helmet.

The Mesh Intercom system lets you communicate with other riders through intercom, rather than phone. It has two settings—open mesh, which allows essentially limitless communications with riders within a mile of you; and closed mesh, where you can speak live with up to 16 other participants within a range of five miles.

Most of the high-end smart helmets include HUD (head-up display), a technology that projects information on the inside of a windshield or helmet visor. With the fully integrated systems, you can see everything you need to know, from speed to temperature gauges, by looking straight ahead. It’s all on the inside of your visor.

There’s also a prototype of a smart helmet that connects to Amazon’s Alexa and has both front- and rear-facing 2K cameras. The helmet also includes an anti-fog visor, a waterproof design and wireless charging. Product developers expect this helmet to be on the market within a year.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have more than 30 years of experience successfully protecting the rights of personal injury victims in California. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 1-866-288-6010.

The Motorcycle Airbag Jacket/Vest—Does It Really Work?

Will an Airbag Jacket/Vest Actually Protect You from Injury?

The Motorcycle Airbag Jacket/Vest—Does It Really Work?It may surprise you to learn that the first patent application for a motorcycle airbag vest/jacket was filed in Europe in 1976. The concept is pretty straightforward—the airbag is contained in a vest or jacket that you put on over your other riding clothes. At the most basic level, the jacket/vest has a lanyard or cable that is tethered to your bike. If you fall off, the lanyard pulls a pin, which punctures a CO2 tube and inflates the jacket/vest, typically in less than 1/4 of a second. On the other end of the spectrum, there are airbag jackets that don’t need to be attached to the bike, but which have built in sensors to detect an accident.

Do Airbag Vest/Jackets Actually Minimize the Risk of Injury?

A number of studies have shown significant promise for the motorcycle vest/jacket airbag systems:

  • Car and Bike conducted a two-year study of one of the basic models that attaches to the bike with a lanyard. They reported no incidents of accidental deployment. They also had a rider who lost control of his bike on a wet road. The vest immediately deployed, and the rider walked away without as much as a bruise. He was even able to reuse the jacket.
  • Honda ran tests that found the airbag reduced forward momentum by more than 60%, which reduced head trauma by more than 80%. Honda concluded that the airbag systems wouldn’t make it completely safe to ride a motorcycle, but could mean the difference between minor injuries and a serious, catastrophic or even fatal accident.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg for Experienced Legal Representation

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have spent decades fighting for the rights of injured people in California, including people hurt in motorcycle accidents. We understand that every case is unique, and we will take the time to learn what happened to you, so we can take the right steps to get the outcome you want. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

The Benefits of Joining a Motorcycle Club

Reasons for Looking into a Local Motorcycle Group

The Benefits of Joining a Motorcycle ClubThough motorcycle groups have a bad reputation, it’s like most things—it’s the exception to the rule that gets most of the publicity. Most authorities believe that the criminal motorcycle gangs account for about 1% of all organized biker groups. Far more common are clubs that bring diverse members of a community together for organized rides, events and interaction.

Here are some of the benefits you can get from a motorcycle club:

  • Increased skills on your bike—It’s like anything…when you hang around with people whoare good at what they do, it can rub off on you. If you’re a bit of a novice, you can quickly develop skills tagging along with veteran riders. Many clubs have regular skills training and workshops. At a minimum, you’ll probably put more time in on your bike, and that almost always makes you a better rider.
  • Share your passion in a structured environment—It’s pretty much a given that most motorcyclists are rugged individualists. That can often make it difficult to find a sense of community when you need it. In addition, that “lone rider” mentality can make it hard tomake a difference in your community and the world. With a bike club, you get the structure you need to create opportunities for harmonious gatherings, a place where you can really feel like you belong.
  • Camaraderie—All those values that mean a lot to you—trust, respect, loyalty, community—they’re at the heart of a motorcycle club. Your fellow club members will be like family.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we offer decades of experience to people in California who have suffered any type of personal injury, including motorcycle accident victims. We’ll learn the details of your accident, as well as your needs and concerns, so that we can take the right steps to get the outcome you need. Contact our office online or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

Los Angeles Police See Dramatic Increase in Scooter Citations

Number of Tickets Up Nearly 2000%

Los Angeles Police See Dramatic Increase in Scooter CitationsMotorized scooters have become a part of life across California, and police officers in most cities, including Los Angeles, are taking a more aggressive approach to protect the safety of citizens. L.A. officials say that, during the first six months of 2019, officers have issued more than 800 citations to scooter operators, ticketing them for more than 900 different infractions. Officers wrote 249 tickets in June alone, compared to just 13 during the same time period last year. In fact, more than 500 tickets have been given since May 1, 2019.

City officials note that about two of every three citations were for illegally operating a scooter on a sidewalk. Paul Koretz, a Los Angeles city councilman, acknowledged that the city government has been concerned about the safety of citizens. He called riding on sidewalks “the most dangerous violation” committed by scooter operators and said, “If you are riding a scooter on a sidewalk, you will get a ticket.”

According to California law, scooter operators may not be on sidewalks under any circumstances. They may ride in the street if the speed limit is 25 miles per hour or slower, and can always use the bicycle lanes.

The city cited data collected by the Los Angeles Fire Department showing that, in accidents involving scooter riders, the scooter operator was at fault more than half of the time. The LAFD has reported more than 160 accidents thus far in 2019 involving electric scooters, including approximately 60 incidents where at least one person was taken to the hospital.

If you are cited for riding on the sidewalk, you can expect to fine of $197, in addition to court costs and other processing fees.

Officials say the major scooter companies, such as Bird and Lime, have put stickers on all their vehicles advising riders not to ride on sidewalks, but the measure has done little to change actual practices.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than three decades of experience to injured people in California, including persons hurt in scooter or motorcycle accidents. We’ll learn what happened to you, as well as your needs and concerns, so that we can take the right steps to get the solution you need. Contact our office online or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

California Legislature Still Debating E-Scooter Regulations

New Law Not Expected until 2020

E-Scooter Regulations The California Assembly has put two different bills aimed at regulating the so-called “micro-mobility” industry on hold until at least next January, as legislators gather more information about potential concerns and options. Assembly Bill 1112 and Assembly Bill 1286 are both “in a holding pattern,” according to one of the authors of AB 1112, assembly-woman Laura Friedman.

AB 1112 gives California municipalities the authority to prohibit the use of e-scooters if they can demonstrate legitimate concerns about potential violation of the California Environmental Quality Act. As recently as two months ago, an earlier version of the same bill would have banned cities from taking such action. The current version of the bill gives cities the right to establish maximum numbers of e-scooters, charge and collect fees from vendors, and even mandate that operators make scooters available in certain neighborhoods.

Acknowledging that there’s not enough information to make a good decision now, the California Senate Government and Finance Committee has called for at least two “informational” hearings this fall, where more can be learned about issues such as liability, data collection, and shared mobility.

Currently, the use of e-scooters is governed on a municipal level, with a wide array of regulatory measures in place. Many such regulations already contain provisions similar to those in the proposed state-wide legislation, including caps on fleet sizes, access in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and data collection.

Much of the debate in the California legislature has centered on the data issues. Most municipalities that already have e-scooter regulations require real-time sharing of data about scooter locations, maintenance and other issues. E-scooter companies say some of those requirements pose potential legal concerns about right to privacy.

Contact Our Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than three decades of experience to injured people in California, including people hurt in scooter or motorcycle accidents. We’ll listen carefully to learn exactly what happened to you, including your needs and concerns, so that we can customize our counsel to get the outcome you seek. Contact us online 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.

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.

Bird Files Lawsuit Against Beverly Hills

 

E-Scooter Company Seeks to Overturn Ban on Rental Scooters

Beverly-HillsMotorized scooter pioneer Bird has brought legal action in Los Angeles Superior Court, asking the tribunal to strike down a ban on the bikes enacted by the city of Beverly Hills six months ago. In the wake of the ban, the city has impounded more than 1,000 scooters. Calling any ban in California “illegal,” Bird’s chief legal officer promised a progressive review of bans imposed in other cities across the Golden State.

Bird has seen the demand for its motorized bikes skyrocket in California in the last 12 months, but the company has encountered repeated challenges from cities that were unprepared for the onslaught. In addition to Beverly Hills, other cities that have taken action to ban the scooters include Ventura, West Hollywood and El Segundo.

On the other hand, a number of municipalities, including Long Beach, Los Angeles and Santa Monica, have developed pilot programs that allow the motorized scooters on city streets. However, those ordinances require that Bird and other scooter companies obey parking laws and share data with the cities.

In its complaint, Bird alleges that Beverly Hills broke California laws, including a statute that ensures equal rights for drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists and motorized scooter riders. The lawsuit also alleges that Beverly Hills took property without due process of law, noting that Bird had to pay more than $10,000 to reclaim its scooters. In addition, the legal action contends that Beverly Hills violated environmental and open meeting laws.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

We offer over three decades of combined experience to people in California who have been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness, including men and women injured in any kind of motorcycle accident. For a private consultation, contact Weber & Nierenberg online or call us at 1-866-288-6010. Your initial meeting is free of charge.

 
 
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