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.

The Hurt Study—A Look at Motorcycle Accidents in Southern California

Motorcycle-Accidents

Study Helps Officials and Bikers Make Riding Safer

More than 35 years ago, Harry Hurt, a researcher at the University of Southern California, conducted an extensive study of nearly 4,000 motorcycle accidents in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. That study is still used today to teach motorcyclists about the potential risks on the road and the things they can do to make their time on the bike safer.

Some Basic Findings of the Hurt Study

Professor Hurt found that about three of every four motorcycle accidents involved a collision with another vehicle (almost always a passenger car), and the remainder were caused by a collision with some other object or loss of control of the bike. As a general rule, mechanical problems were not a meaningful factor in the accidents, accounting for less than 3% of the crashes.

Hurt found that, when the crash involved another vehicle, the driver of that vehicle was twice as likely to have violated posted right of way than the biker. The other driver was at fault in approximately 2/3rds of all motorcycle-car accidents, with the most common type of collision coming when an automobile operator makes a left turn into the path of a motorcyclist traveling straight. One of the most often-cited reasons for a collision involved the failure of the other driver to detect and recognize the presence of a motorcycle on the roadway.

In single bike accidents, the most frequent cause was operator error, usually the result of excessive speed, over-braking or taking a turn too wide.

Hurt found that the vast majority of motorcycle accidents happen on short trips along city streets, and that weather is rarely a factor in a motorcycle crash—about one in every 50 motorcycle crashes results from inclement weather.

Contact the Proven Personal Injury Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than three decades of combined experience to injured people in California, representing clients who have been hurt in any kind of motorcycle accident. To set up a confidential consultation, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call us at 1-866-288-6010. Your initial interview is without cost or obligation.

California Lets Adult Scooter Operators Ride without Helmets

Ride-without-Helmets

Governor Brown Signs Bill to Remove Helmet Requirement

If you’ve joined the thousands of Californians who have embraced scooters as a way to get around town, there’s good news—you won’t be required anymore to bring along and wear one of those pesky helmets—at least, not after January 1, 2019, when the new law goes into effect.

On September 18, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed new legislation that waives the helmet requirement for anyone 18 and over operating a scooter in the state of California. Proponents of the bill say that, as a practical matter, it eliminates the requirement for virtually all scooter operators, as most dockless scooter companies don’t all minors to use their vehicles. Under the legislation, there are minimum requirements that apply throughout the state, but local communities still have the option to impose tougher restrictions.

Advocates for the bill called it a common-sense response to the unique factors that affect scooter rentals. Most medium-to-large cities in California have seen an influx of scooter companies, such as Bird and Lime, making electric vehicles that can be picked up and dropped off at almost any location. Scooter enthusiasts say that, because the scooters cannot travel at high rates of speed, the risk of injury is significantly less. In addition, they contend that requiring riders to wear helmets dramatically reduced the inclination of customers to spontaneously opt for a scooter as means of transportation, as most folks don’t carry a helmet with them at all times.

The new law also includes another significant provision unrelated to the use of helmets. Under existing law, scooters were not allowed on roads with posted speed limits in excess of 25 miles per hour. Under the new law, that has been changed to 35 miles per hour.

Contact the Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, our attorneys have more than 30 years of experience helping personal injury victims across California. We know that every fact situation is different. We’ll take the time to learn the details of your accident, so that we can tailor our efforts to get the results you want. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney.

The Top Mobile Apps for Bikers

Go Digital to Enhance Your Riding Experience

It may not be something you immediately associate with riding a motorcycle—how you can be safer and have more fun using mobile apps on your phone or other device. But there are a number of useful mobile applications for bikers. Here are some of the best:

  • Eat Sleep Ride—Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? That’s the focus of this “all in one” motorcycle app. The developers of this great tool looked at all the different types of apps motorcyclists have been using over the last few years and worked to combine them in a single place. The app allows you to track, save and share rides and gives you a wealth of data, including average and top speed, elevation and lean angle. It also has a feature called “Crashlight,” which detects if you have been in an accident and sends an emergency message to pre-selected contacts, giving them your exact location.
  • Best Biking Roads—If you’re looking for new places to ride, this is the ideal app, with nearly 10,000 routes recommended by other motorcyclists. Some even include photos and videos.
  • RoadTrippers—This app helps you plan multi-day rides, with information about lodging, places to eat and local attractions. The app has more than one million points of interest.
  • Waze—To help you anticipate potential road congestion or other problems, use Waze, which uses information provided by other drivers in real time to help you get to your destination as soon as possible.
  • FuelLog—With this app, you can track not only miles per gallon, but also vehicle maintenance costs. The app will help you determine gas costs per ride, per month or per year, as well as total distance driven. FuelLog is available only for Android devices.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have more than 30 years of combined experience helping 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.

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.

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.

 
 
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