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Safety: One Key to Avoiding a Motorcycle Accident

Thursday, December 21, 2017

If you are a motorcyclist, you likely know that you have to take even more precautions on the road than people driving cars or other larger vehicles. There are several things you can do as a motorcyclist to reduce your chances of being involved in a crash, whether with a vehicle, another motorcyclist, or something else.

  • Make yourself visible. Wearing bright, reflective clothing as well as having reflective devices on your motorcycle can help. You should also avoid riding in a motorist's blind spot. At times, this may mean slowing down, speeding up, or changing lanes.
  • Always give yourself enough room to ride safely. This includes giving yourself enough road to safely stop or switch lanes if the motorcyclist or driver in front of you stops suddenly. Never try to slip into a small gap in traffic.
  • Be aware of drivers and other motorcyclists around you. When needed, adjust your speed or take a different route to avoid someone who does not appear to be paying attention to others or who appears to be impaired.
  • Always use your turn signal when turning or changing lanes. Use it early, especially if you are unsure if the motorists around you are paying attention.
  • Use caution when lane splitting. California formally legalized lane splitting for motorcyclists last year. So far, we are the only state to do so. Lane splitting should only be done in stopped or slow-moving traffic. When lane splitting, follow the California Motorist Safety Program guidelines. You should not travel more than 10 MPH faster than other traffic. Avoid lane splitting when traffic is traveling 30 MPH or faster. Never use lane splitting as an excuse to weave unsafely between lanes of traffic, and always watch for motorists who may not be watching for you.  
  • Wear protective gear. In California, all motorcyclists are required by law to wear at least a helmet. Other protective gear, such as gloves, a heavy jacket, long pants, and boots, are also important. While protective gear will not prevent an accident, it can reduce your chances of being seriously injured if you do crash.
  • Never ride impaired. Some people assume this means not drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs before riding. It is about more than that, though. Even over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs could impair your judgment or influence your reaction time. If you are unsure how a medication is going to affect you, avoid riding your motorcycle until you are sure you can do so safely. Even riding while tired could increase your chances of being in an accident.
  • Be aware of road conditions. When possible, avoid traveling on poorly-maintained roads. Watch for potential road hazards, including debris. If other motorists appear to be slowing down or weaving around something, anticipate that there might be something on the road, and be ready to react appropriately.
  • Be aware of weather conditions that might impact your riding ability. Fog can make it harder for others on the road to see you, which means you may want to give yourself extra space. Wet roads may also cause a riding problem. While icy roads are rarely an issue in our area, slow down and make the appropriate accommodations if you are riding in an area where you may encounter slick or icy roads.
  • Maintain your motorcycle. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and in good condition, and make sure your lights are working properly.

While being a safe motorcyclist will reduce your chances of being involved in an accident, you cannot control the actions of others on the road. Unfortunately, drivers do not always pay attention to motorcyclists. If you were the unfortunate victim of a crash caused by someone else while you were riding your motorcycle, contact us. We serve clients throughout Southern California, and we will happily provide you with a free consultation.

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 Angelescontact 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.

Three Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Did you know that motorcycle accidents are more likely to result in serious injury or death than other vehicle accidents?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that the accident rate is almost thirty-five times higher for motorcycles than other types of passenger vehicles.

If you enjoy riding your motorcycle on a sunny California day, it is important to know the most common types of accidents that riders face so that you can stay safer on the roads. They include:

Left-hand Turn Accidents

It's said that the single most common type of accident between a four-wheeled passenger vehicle and a motorcycle happens when the automobile's driver turns left in front of an oncoming motorcyclist. Known as “left hook” collisions, they occur mainly in intersections and the entrances of retail centers and private driveways.

Road Defects

Road defects cause approximately two percent of motorcycle accidents every year. Such problems include uneven heights on the pavement and potholes.

Rear-end Accidents

At times drivers of commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles fail to see motorcycles directly in front of them. When a car or truck strikes the back of a motorcycle, it can propel the motorcycle forward into the vehicle in front of the motorcycle or into other traffic. These circumstances can cause tragic or fatal injuries to the rider.

If you have sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, please contact us. Our personal injury attorneys will work hard on your behalf if you have a valid claim to make sure you receive the settlement you deserve. 

Motorcycle Accidents: Why Motorcyclists Need Advocates

Thursday, July 14, 2016

In a vehicular accident involving motorcycles, motorcyclists are often in greater danger than people in passenger cars or trucks.

Motorcyclists are left exposed on their vehicles, their bodies more vulnerable during a crash. The Insurance Information Institute reports data from 2013 showing that motorcyclists are "26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and five times more likely to be injured."

This information isn't meant to downplay the fact that car and truck occupants can also get injured in a collision with a motorcycle. It only highlights the heightened vulnerability of the motorcyclists.

What can motorcyclists suffer after motorcycle accidents?

Motorcyclists can sustain fatal damage to their bodies. Even if they survive, they may have to struggle with brain and spinal injuries, internal bleeding, organ damage, amputations, broken bones, and disfiguring lacerations.

Their medical treatments often include hospitalization, which can involve days or weeks in intensive care. They may need to undergo multiple surgeries. Along with the immediate treatment for injuries, they may require physical rehabilitation and multiple follow-up checkups.

Depending on the nature of their injuries, they may need to change their entire lifestyle. Maybe they'll no longer be able to work at their current job. Maybe they'll need to rely on wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, and additional assistive devices. They may have to renovate their homes to accommodate their new medical needs.

It's important for motorcyclists to contact a reputable attorney in the aftermath of an accident. An attorney can help you determine who was at fault during the accident and assist you with exploring different options for covering medical bills and other losses. To best heal, recover, and adjust to your new life, you need an attorney to advocate for you so that you aren't struggling alone with huge expenses.



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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.