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Why Helmets Are So Essential In Motorcycle Accident Cases

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Have you recently suffered from a motorcycle accident in which you were not the negligent driver? Were you wearing a helmet during the accident? If not, you run the risk of potentially losing your case. Why?

Liability Requires Negligence

Negligence is one of the main influences in deciding liability in a motorcycle accident case. If the driver of the vehicle that struck the motorcycle was driving too fast for conditions, ignored signal from the motorcyclist, or was passing in a no-passing zone, they were driving in a negligent manner. As a result, this behavior makes them liable for the injury.

However, negligence can also be passed on to the driver of the motorcycle. For example, if they were driving too quickly, failed to signal, or otherwise drove in a dangerous way, the judge may decide that they were liable. One controversial point that upsets many motorcycle drivers is the influence that wearing a helmet can have on liability decisions.

Failure To Wear A Helmet May Be Negligent

When you fail to wear a helmet while driving your motorcycle, contributory negligence may be argued by the defendant. What does this mean? It means that many of your injuries were caused by the lack of a helmet. Many judges consider improper helmet safety a negligent behavior and are likely to either negate some of the costs of the lawsuit or eliminate them completely.

This is particularly true in the case of states that have mandatory helmet laws. A lack of a helmet is seen in these states as just as negligent as driving too fast, failing to use turn signals, or drinking before driving. Judges may actually throw out these cases if the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet.

If you are worried about your motorcycle accident lawsuit because you weren't wearing a helmet, please contact us today. We can help you build a case that will negate your lack of helmet and get you the money you deserve.


Common Causes of Motorcycle Freeway Collisions

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Riding your motorcycle down the freeway, speeding along can be an exhilarating experience, but that doesn’t change the fact that it can be a dangerous place for vehicles, motorcycles in particular.  Due to a motorcycle’s slim profile and exposed nature, not only can they go unnoticed by drivers, but if a collision does occur, motorcycle drivers are significantly more at risk for serious injury. This means that a crash that could lend to a few scrapes in a car driver could end up seriously maiming a motorcycle driver since they are not encased in that protective shell.

Common causes of freeway motorcycle accidents include:

  • Driving at unsafe speeds
  • Driving while distracted
  • Failing to check blind spots
  • Driving too closely to other vehicles

Aside from the negligence of other drivers, motorcycle crashes can often be made worse by defective motorcycle parts and poorly functioning safety equipment. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, motorcycle riders may be entitled to a substantial sum from monetary damages in order to cover medical bills, vehicle damages, rehabilitation expenses, and even pain and suffering. However, these damages are only available to you if it is the other driver’s fault. If it was found that a motorcycle driver was driving recklessly, then the other driver, in turn, might seek damages.

If you were in a motorcycle accident on the freeways around Los Angeles, contact us today. The personal injury lawyers of Freeman & Freeman believe in sharing the road and make sure the victims are taken care of when that doesn’t happen.

Smart Motorcycle Helmet Promises to Help Reduce Risk of Accidents

Monday, August 11, 2014

A motorcycle helmet is the most effective and potent tool that a motorcyclist has in helping reduce the risk of accident. After all, Thousand Oaks motorcycle accident lawyers believe that it's very important that motorcyclists reduce the risk of accidents, because they are at a much higher risk of being injured, compared to the occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash.

A new motorcycle helmet, however, doesn't only help reduce the risk of a fatality in an accident by helping protect the skull during impact, but also provides additional tools to help the motorcyclist prevent a crash in the first place.

The smart motorcycle helmet is called the Skully AR-1 helmet, and according to the founder, the idea for the helmet was literally his dream. One night, he dreamt of a helmet that would have GPS functionality, would provide him with HUD directions, and would even let him know exactly what was behind his motorcycle. He woke up in the middle of the dream, spent an hour looking for a prototype of this helmet, certain that something like this probably existed somewhere in the world.

Now, his dream is becoming reality. The Scully AR-1 is not just any motorcycle helmet. This helmet includes an elaborate and sophisticated network of microprocessors, sensor systems, and is equipped with a Heads-Up Display. The helmet includes GPS navigation facilities to aid motorcyclists, and the Heads-Up Display helps motorists get directions, without having to look away from the road.

The whole point of the helmet is to make sure that the motorcyclist is paying 100% attention to the road, and does not have to take his hands off the handle bar or his eyes off the road at any point in time. The system also includes a rearview camera system that gives the motorcyclist a complete 180° view of the scene behind the rider, functioning similarly to a rearview camera system on a car.

Fact: Motorcycle Helmets Save Lives

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

In California, the number of people being killed in motorcycle accidents dropped substantially in the years after mandatory motorcycle helmet laws were introduced in the State. The decline was as substantial as 40%. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that motorcycle helmet laws save lives, many states around the country are actually considering repealing their helmet laws.

According to an infographic that was published recently in the New York Times, motorcycle fatalities seem to increase substantially in the months after the repeal of motorcycle helmet laws without any exception. The infographic specifically focused on Texas and Arkansas, which decided to repeal their motorcycle helmet laws in 1997. As soon as those laws were repealed, the state saw a substantial increase in the numbers of people being killed in motorcycle accidents. The laws were repealed as a result of pressure from motorcycle advocacy groups.

Several other states have also followed suit. For instance, Florida recently changed its laws to require that only riders below 21 wear helmets while riding. The number of fatalities in that state has increased since that change. Many of those new fatalities involved motorcyclists who were not wearing helmets at the time of the accident.

Similar changes occurred in Pennsylvania in 2003 and Michigan in 2012. Currently, there are 19 states in the United States that have universal helmet laws, and of these, at least eight are considering laws that will change the requirement that all motorcyclists wear helmets.

According to a study conducted by the University California-Los Angeles, motorcycle fatalities in the state of California actually dropped by 40.3% from 1991 to 1993. The state transited from the lack of a motorcycle helmet law to implementation of helmet laws for all riders during this time. It was estimated that 239 deaths were prevented as a result of the law.

BMW Motorcycles Recalled Due to Fire Risk

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

BMW North America has announced a recall of thousands of motorcycles due to a possible defect that could cause a fuel leakage and a fire.

The recall is affecting approximately 50,184 model year 2005-2011 R-model motorcycles, 2005-2012 K-model motorcycles, 2010-2011 S 1000 model motorcycles and 2006-2010 HP 2 motorcycles. According to the company, there is a defect in these motorcycles that could cause cracks to develop in the fuel pump flange, and as a result, the flange may leak fuel. This could easily pose a serious fire risk.

All owners of the motorcycles that are included in this recall are being asked to visit their local dealers to either replace the pump, or reinforce the flange free of charge.

Riding a well- functioning, well- maintained motorcycle is key to staying safe when riding. Motorcyclists are already at danger of being injured in accidents, caused by other motorists’ negligence, and adverse road conditions, and other factors. Riding a motorcycle that is not 100% safe to ride simply increases your risk of being involved in an accident.

However, it must be noted that most motorcycle accidents that are recorded in the United States every year are not caused due to defective or malfunctioning motorcycle components. Several studies have established that the biggest factor in motorcycle accidents is the failure of motorists to yield to a motorcycle. Motorists often fail to look out for motorcyclists, especially at intersections and other busy areas, and the result is very often a collision that leaves the motorcyclist seriously injured.

Motorcyclists may be at a higher risk of being injured when they are involved in an accident with an automobile, compared to the people in the car. With more motorcycles in California roads now, motorists must take greater precautions and look out for motorcyclists on the road.


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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.