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.

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.

Scooter Companies Face Class Action Lawsuit

 

Litigation Alleges Manufacturers Engaged in “Gross Negligence”

 

Scooter-CompaniesEven though they seem to be increasingly popular with commuters and the public, electronic scooters continue to be the source of legal issues for their manufacturers. In fact, a lawsuit filed in state court in Los Angeles County earlier this fall named a number of e-scooter companies as defendants and the allegations included “aiding and abetting assault” and engaging in “gross negligence.”

The California litigation, which names Bird, Lime and other e-scooter enterprises, was filed as a class action on behalf of eight individuals who say they suffered injuries because of the companies’ business practices. The injured parties (plaintiffs) contend that scooter companies have increased the risk of injury by placing scooters on public streets without any safety warnings or ways to ensure that individuals who rent or drive them are qualified to do so. They allege in their lawsuit that this constitutes a “public nuisance.”

The complaint further states that the e-scooter companies either knew or should have known that their customers were injuring others, specifically pedestrians, but took no action whatsoever to address the problem. By failing to act, they allege, the companies “assisted and encouraged” customers to engage in behavior that constituted assault.

The plaintiffs also contend that there are product liability concerns with many of the scooters— they have either defective electronics or defective mechanical parts (or both). Attorneys for the plaintiffs say there are “scores” of riders and pedestrians who have already been injured, and they have asked the court to certify a class action.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg to Schedule a Meeting

At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than 30 years of combined legal experience to personal injury victims across California, including people who have been hurt in scooter accidents. We will listen carefully to learn the unique details of your case so that we can customize our legal representation to obtain the outcome you need. Contact our office online or call 1-866-288-6010 to set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle and scooter accident attorney.

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.

A Checklist for Bikers—More Safety Tips from the Open Road

A Checklist for Bikers More Safety Tips from the Open RoadAs important as it can be to drive defensively and employ other safe driving practices, it’s just as critical that you don’t go out on the road on a bike that’s not road-ready. Here’s a checklist that you should go through every time you get ready to ride.

Before You Get on the Bike

Some of the most important safety measures come before you ever throw your leg over the bike:

  • Check the ground below your motorcycle—Is there anything suspicious on the ground—oil or gas spills or anything that’s fallen off the bike?
  • Are all your lights working properly?—Check your headlights, signals and tail lights, including high beams
  • Tires—Inspect the tread for signs of wear, and make certain there are no cracks or bulges anywhere
  • Fluid levels—Check fluid levels weekly to make certain there are no leaks and that you have ample fluids

After You Get on Your Bike

If everything looks good so far, climb on the bike and test the following:

  • Mirrors—Make certain mirrors are clean and free of cracks, and that they are properly adjusted
  • Clutch and throttle—Rev the engine and release—the throttle should snap back. Also confirm that the clutch engages smoothly.
  • Horn—Make certain it’s working correctly
  • Brakes—Before you pull onto the road, check the front and rear brakes (at a slow speed)

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring over 30 years of experience to people in and around San Francisco Bay area who have been injured in a motorcycle accident. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, Joe Nierenberg will work directly with you throughout the process.

To set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

Simple Steps for Keeping You and Your Motorcycle on the Road

Better Biking Safety Tips from the Open RoadThere’s nothing in the world that can compare to the thrill of taking your motorcycle on the open road…the power of the engine, the wind in your face, the exhilaration when you accelerate. Let’s face it…there’s also the excitement of being directly exposed to the elements. It’s a bit of a trade-off, though, as there’s less to protect you in the event of an accident. But there are many things you can do to minimize the risk of injury. Most cyclists ride for decades without a scrape, but it’s not just luck. They’re paying attention, taking specific measures to make their experience as safe as possible. Here are some simple steps you can take to make certain your memories are always positive.

  • Drive defensively—The most common response from a motorist who causes a motorcycle accident? “I didn’t see the bike.” You can’t ever assume that other drivers are aware of your presence. Be proactive…watch what other drivers are doing, stay out of their blind spots, give plenty of advance warning when you plan to turn or change direction, watch for cars that are turning or stopping
  • Improve your chances of being seen—Take steps to enhance your visibility. Wear bright clothing or reflective tape. Ride with your headlights on. Use hand signals in addition to the signals on your bike.
  • Keep your riding skills sharp—Consider taking a safety class or riding courses to keep your skills honed.
  • Obey the rules of the road—Another major cause of motorcycle accidents—bikers who take short cuts or jockey in and out of motor vehicle traffic. Stay within the speed limit, make certain you stop at red lights and stop signs, and don’t change lanes or pass in no pass zones.
  • Wear protective clothing—Sometimes you can do everything right and still be at risk. That’s why it’s important to wear the right clothing. Leather will minimize the risk of road rash, and good boots and gloves can help you avoid serious injury.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring over 30 years of experience to people in and around San Francisco Bay area who have been injured in a motorcycle accident. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, Joe Nierenberg will work directly with you throughout the process.

To set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

Common Types of Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

Sport motorcycle pov view from cockpit

According to published reports, approximately three of every four motorcycle accidents involve a collision with a motor vehicle. The others are single-bike accidents. Nearly all motorcycle accidents involve some type of injury—98% of multi-vehicle accidents and 96% of single bike crashes caused some type of injury.
Whether you’ve been hit by a car or lost control of your bike, the potential injuries can be serious, and can be caused by a variety of factors. Here are the common kinds of injuries sustained by bikers.

  • Head injury, including concussion, brain injury and brain damage, typically through contact with another vehicle, the ground or other objects, such as trees or guard rails. Evidence shows that using an approved helmet can reduce risk of death by nearly 40%.
  • Broken bones, including mostly elbows, knees, wrists, hips and shoulders. It’s also common for a biker to suffer a broken pelvis.
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement, often to the face or head, particularly when the rider doesn’t wear a full protective face mask
  • Soft tissue injury, such as muscle, tendon and ligament injury
  • Road rash, caused by bare skin being dragged or thrown across pavement or some other rough surface. Using leather outerwear or reinforced denim can prevent this type of injury.
  • Biker’s arm, where the upper arm violently strikes the ground during a falling, causing nerve damage and potential paralysis.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring over 30 years of experience to people in and around San Francisco Bay area who have been injured in a motorcycle accident. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, Joe Nierenberg Weber will work directly with you throughout the process.

To set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

Still Great Potential for Accidents and Injuries on Public Transportation!

Public transportation has improved and certainly expanded over the last several years. However, there is still great potential for accidents and injuries on public transportation. If you have been injured in a public transportation accident, an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
To help prevent an accident or injury while using public transportation the following safety tips may be helpful:
Do not rush to board a bus or subway, this way you can avoid falling or slipping and becoming injured.
As the bus or train approaches stand back from the edge of the platform or curb and stay a bit to the side to avoid being accidentally pushed or shoved off balance.
Do not try to enter a subway car when the doors are closing and ensure packages, pocketbooks and backpacks are clear of closing doors after you have entered the train.
Only use the emergency cord to prevent an accident or injury.
Do not run or walk on escalators—stand, hold the rail and face forward. Improper use of escalators can cause serious injuries.
Do not run for the bus—you can slip, trip or fall and sustain serious injuries.
Do not stand in stairwells or lean against doors while traveling on a bus—sudden stops could cause you to fall and become injured.
When boarding or leaving a bus watch for slippery surfaces, icy sidewalks or other hazards, which may cause you to fall.
A San Francisco personal injury law firm can help
Unfortunately, no matter how many advances have been made in transportation, accidents still happen and individuals can become seriously injured. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a public transportation accident contact us online or call 866-288-6010 to discuss your injury case.

 
 
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