The Importance of Having Motorcycle Insurance in California

How Proposition 213 Affects Your Right to Compensation After an Injury

The Importance of Having Motorcycle Insurance in CaliforniaIn California, as in other states, all motorists (including motorcycle operators) must carry a minimum amount of insurance. Nonetheless, many drivers, including bikers, either fail to obtain the necessary coverage or carelessly let their policy lapse. Obviously, if you have no valid insurance policy in place, you can’t look to an insurer to cover your losses after an accident. In California, Prop 213 also may prevent you from recovering damages in a lawsuit, even if another party was at fault.

The Effect of Prop 213 on a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim in California

Prop 213, known as the Personal Responsibility Act of 1996, bars uninsured drivers from recovering a general damages award in certain circumstances. General damages typically include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of companionship or consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. Prop 213 states the following:

  • An uninsured motorist can never collect general damages, regardless of fault.
  • An uninsured motorist may be able to collect compensation from an at-fault party’s insurer for medical bills and other out-of-pocket losses.
  • Passengers on or in a vehicle driven by an uninsured motorist may collect general damages in a lawsuit.

Exceptions to the Rule

The driver of an uninsured vehicle may still be eligible for general damages when the accident occurs under the following circumstances:

  • The uninsured vehicle is owned by the driver’s employer.
  • The accident occurs on a private road.
  • The vehicle involved in the accident is uninsured, but the driver has insurance on another vehicle.

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have more than 30 years of experience successfully handling a wide range of personal injury claims, including injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents. We will takethe time to learn the details of your accident, as well as what you need to be fully compensated for your losses. Contact us online or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

The California Motorcycle Safety Program (CMSP)

California Highway Patrol Administers Training for Bikers

The California Motorcycle Safety Program Statistics support what most motorcyclists already know—there’s an inherent risk to riding a motorcycle on California’s roadways. While the best you can do to protect yourself from the carelessness of other drivers is to pay close attention at all times and to drive defensively, you can sharpen your own skills and minimize the risk of injury.

Pursuant to California law, the California Highway Patrol has the responsibility for administering the state’s official motorcycle safety and training programs. The 15 hour Motorcycle Training Course (MTC) is a requirement for bikers under the age of 21. You must complete the program to get the motorcycle endorsement for your California drivers license. The basic program includes five hours of classroom learning and 10 hours on the road. A premier program is also available, with 7.5 hours in the classroom and 13.5 hours on the road.

The MTC is not limited, however, to new and younger bikers. In California, to receive your Class M1 or M2 (motorcycle) operator’s license, you must either complete the MTC or take a driving test at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Many older bikers choose to complete the MTC, so that they can waive the motorcycle skills test.

The DMV estimates that, through 2019, more than 1.2 million bikers have participated in the California Motorcycle Safety Program. The California Highway Patrol also offers advanced skills and safety training programs, encouraging motorcyclists to be lifelong learners.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than three decades of experience with personal injury claims to men and women across California. We understand that every situation is unique, so we’ll take the time to listen and learn, so that we can help you seek full and fair compensation for all your losses. Contact us online or call us at 1-866-288-6010 to set up a free initial consultation.

Los Angeles Pulls Uber Scooter Permit

Uber Scooter PermitThe city of Los Angeles has temporarily suspended rideshare giant Uber’s permit to rent scooters and bicycles city-wide. LA officials say the company opted not to obey city rules regarding data sharing. Uber operates its scooter and bicycle rentals through a subsidiary named Jump. According to a spokesperson for the city of Los Angeles, Uber is the only one of eight licensed vendors to intentionally ignore the data-sharing provisions. Uber has indicated that it will file legal action against the city rather than comply with data-sharing mandates.

Lawmakers in Los Angeles say data sharing is a critical component of efforts to maximize safety and minimize the risk of congestion and increased traffic problems. They say the information allows them to accurately and efficiently track the number of scooters in use, as well as where they are parked, so that streets and sidewalks don’t become impassable. Uber, however, says the rules raise significant concerns about the privacy rights of its customers and potential misuse of personal data.

City officials counter that their privacy and confidentiality standards are such that those concerns are unfounded. They insist that the data collected is about only the scooters and bicycles and has nothing to do with the riders. Jump currently has a permit that allows it to rent as many as 5,500 scooters and bikes. The entire city allows just over 36,000 dockless vehicles on the roads.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg for Proven Representation

At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we have provided comprehensive counsel to personal injury victims in California for decades. We provide an individualized approach to every claim, taking the time to learn the details of your accident so we can develop the best strategy 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.

The MIPS Technology and Motorcycle Safety

The MIPS Technology and Motorcycle SafetyWhen you get on a motorcycle, you assume an inherent risk. In fact, for many motorcycle enthusiasts, that’s part of the allure. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want to take reasonable measures to maximize your safety.

There’s a technology for helmets called MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) that allows the helmet to slide relative to your head. MIPS technology has been scientifically proven to add more protection when your head is violently rotated, as can happen in a motorcycle accident. First used in helmets for horseback riders, MIPS replicates the movement of your brain’s cerebrospinal fluid, which your body employs as a natural defense against similar types of impact.

Accident statistics indicate that the bulk of head injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents result from the skull’s angled impact, usually with the ground. The MIPS technology was specifically designed to mimic and enhance the protection your body offers in response to such blows. The technology comes in the form of an insert that can be installed between the interior padding of your helmet and the EPS liner. To know whether a helmet has the technology, look for a yellow decal about the size of a dime.

Manufacturers of MIPS technology say helmet companies initially were reluctant to include it due to fearing that motorcyclists would not want to pay extra for the increased safety. They liken MIPS to the early days of airbag vests and jackets, which initially were dismissed by many riders who either failed to see their value or questioned their effectiveness. Those airbags are now becoming mandatory in some forms of motorcycle racing.

Contact the Experienced Lawyers at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring decades of experience to injured people in California, including people hurt in motorcycle accidents. We understand that every case is unique, and we will take the time to get the details of your accident so that we can employ the appropriate strategy to achieve the results you seek. 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.

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.

Get Ready to Ride

A Maintenance Checklist to Get Your Motorcycle Road-Ready

Get Your Motorcycle Road-ReadyThere are many factors that contribute to your safety on a motorcycle, but one of the most important is consistent, thorough and regular maintenance of your bike. You may already have some miles in this summer, but it’s never too late to run through a checklist to make certain your bike operates at peak performance.

If your motorcycle’s been idle for more than about six weeks, it’s usually a good idea to drain the fuel tank (including the carburetors) and put in new gas. While you’re at it, check the oil to make certain the level’s where it should be. Check the battery, too—it’s the most common problem with a bike that’s been in the garage for the winter.

Before you pull out onto the road, check your brakes. Look at the pads, check the lines and make certain you have plenty of fluid. Do a couple of loops in the driveway, testing the front and back brakes individually, listening for scraping or squealing and confirming that they respond properly.

Look at your tires, too. If there’s any evidence of cracking or dry rot, put new tires on before you hit the road. Make certain your tire pressure is good, too. Low pressure can make handling the bike a challenge.

Your gear is also a part of good maintenance. Make certain your helmet, jacket and gloves are in good shape and will provide the protection you need.

Lastly—do a little personal maintenance as well. If it’s been a while since you’ve been on the bike, take a couple easy laps around the block first. Re-acquaint yourself with all the controls, from the throttle to the brakes to the steering.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

Contact us by e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010 to schedule an appointment with an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney. We have fought for the rights of injured motorcyclists in California for more than 30 years. We understand that every accident is different. We will fully investigate the details of your accident, so that we can aggressively pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries.

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.

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.

 
 
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