Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Today, video cameras are seemingly everywhere, whether it is a cell phone, a laptop or tablet, a digital camera or a GoPro. While there are some potentially troubling privacy implications of video cameras’ prevalence, they do sometimes prove invaluable benefits, including possibly providing the key evidence you need to win your motorcycle accident injury case. Whether or not you have video footage among your pieces of evidence, it is essential to have an experienced San Mateo motorcycle accident attorney on your side. Your attorney can help you take the proof you have, whatever that evidence is, and use it to its maximum potential.

Just a few years ago, a person injured in auto accident due to the negligence of another driver might rely on still photographs, eyewitness testimony or the expert opinions of an accident reconstructionist as his evidence. This might be particularly difficult to track down if your accident happened on the freeway. (As an important side note: even if you were hurt in a freeway accident and you don’t have video evidence, you definitely should still consult counsel, as a skilled attorney may still be able to accumulate enough evidence to put together a winning case and get a positive result for you.)

If, however, a jury has live-action video footage of every second of your crash, and every moment leading up to it, you may have an even stronger case. A recently concluded case, which was reported by ABC 7, demonstrated exactly that. M.R. was a motorcyclist traveling along the 405 freeway in Los Angeles County when the driver of a sedan allegedly changed lanes abruptly and without signaling. The sedan driver’s lane change sent M.R. careening across three lanes of traffic and slamming into a flatbed trailer, according to the report.

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Operating a motorcycle, especially here among the beautiful scenery of Northern California can provide many benefits, allowing the rider to relax, unwind and enjoy the open air. Unfortunately, being a motorcyclist also carries some serious risks. Negligent or reckless drivers pose a threat to everyone on the roads, but motorcyclists and their passengers face a special danger. A motorcyclist’s accident can often inflict extensive, catastrophic or even fatal injuries.

Your motorcycle accident can harm you in many ways, including a mountain of past and future medical expenses, a long period of time out of work (and missing that income) and a lot of long-lasting pain and suffering. You need to know where to turn to begin the process of obtaining the compensation you deserve, and that process should start with contacting an experienced San Mateo motorcycle accident attorney.

Sacramento’s FOX 40 reported on one accident that highlights this truth in terrible and graphic clarity. D.S., a former cameraman for the cable TV show “Deadliest Catch,” was driving his motorcycle in Placer County with his 10-year-old son on board. A suspected drunk driver reportedly crossed the center line of the road, entered D.S.’s lane and slammed into the motorcycle head-on.

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Motorcycle accidents often are seriously harmful or even fatal for the motorcyclist involved. If you’ve been hurt while driving your motorcycle (or a loved one has been killed on his motorcycle,) you have certain legal options and you need to be sure that your legal advocate is a knowledgeable San Mateo motorcycle accident attorney who thoroughly understands the unique aspects of a motorcycle crash and the peculiar needs of a motorcyclist.

P. R.-V.’s accident, which occurred in 2017, is a story that is all too familiar to motorcyclists. According to a NBC 7 report, the man was driving his motorcycle down Main Street in Chula Vista when the driver of a SUV failed to see him and pulled out of the driveway of a storage facility. The SUV pulled directly into the motorcycle’s path and the two collided. According to at least one witness, the woman driving the SUV “stopped for 10 seconds,” but subsequently took off. The 30-year-old motorcyclist died at the scene.

The police eventually found the SUV after a few days and, several weeks after that, apprehended the hit-and-run driver. This man’s wife and child were fortunate that law enforcement officers were eventually able to track down the driver who collided with the motorcyclist. If the driver had never been located, it would have been vastly more difficult for the widow to obtain a successful outcome in court.

Often times, when one thinks of personal injury litigation in an auto accident, one envisions an accident that involved at least two vehicles. It might be tempting to assume that if one is injured as a driver in a single-vehicle accident, then there is no other driver to sue and therefore no chance of recovery. That’s not necessarily true. There may be a variety of sets of facts that may allow you, as a driver in a single-vehicle accident, to sue and secure a much-needed judgment or settlement. To be sure you go about this kind of action in the most effective way possible, be sure you have an experienced San Mateo injury attorney on your side.

There are certain road or highway issues that can affect some drivers more acutely than others. For example, potholes in the road might do damage to your car, truck or SUV, but are less likely to cause you to suffer personal injuries. As a motorcyclist, you risk is much higher. As is the case in so many motorcycle accidents, the biker is at an elevated risk of injury from anything that would cause the biker to be thrown from the bike, as that would result in him/her striking the ground with significant force.

That was what happened to a motorcyclist in San Pedro, according to his lawsuit. The motorcyclist, P.R.A., crashed in October 2015 after he hit several potholes along Western Avenue, according to a Patch.com report. In the crash, the motorcyclist hit his head and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. The injury left the man with permanent brain damage and meant that he faced a lifetime of never being independent again, with caretakers required to meet many needs that most of us take for granted.

For many people, exploring California’s abundant scenic drives, whether that’s going through the desert, along the coast, through the state’s deepest canyon or around the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe, means getting aboard a motorcycle. Whether you’re commuting or you are out for a relaxing and scenic ride, getting aboard a motorcycle comes with a unique set of risks. According to federal research, one of the most dangerous settings for a motorcyclist is not on the open road bur when that biker approaches a vehicle whose driver desires to turn left. Some 42% of the worst motorcycle accidents happen in that scenario.

Too many times, the driver simply does not maintain the high level of awareness needed and misses the motorcycle’s presence on the road. Often times, these and other motorcycle accidents end with the biker either dead or seriously injured. When that happens, you should look to a skilled San Mateo injury attorney to help you and your family get the recovery you deserve.

Local news is a reminder of this harsh reality related to motorcycles. Just before Easter, a motorcyclist traveling along Highway 101 here in San Mateo County was killed the wee hours of the morning. An SUV and the motorcycle crashed into one another between Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, with the motorcyclist pronounced dead at the scene, according to a Mercury News report. The man was the second motorcyclist to die in the South Bay area within a one-week period.

As a motorcyclist, you face many unique risks on the road. If you are injured due to the negligence of someone driving a large vehicle like a commercial truck, the results can be catastrophic or even tragic. When that happens, you may be able to pursue a case against not only the driver but also the commercial entity that owned the truck and hired the driver. Whether it involves pursuing a claim of vicarious liability or direct liability against the business, this part of your case can be essential to getting the full and fair recovery you need for your extreme injury case. To make sure you are doing everything you should to be get the recovery you deserve, be sure to reach out to a knowledgeable San Mateo injury attorney.

J.L. was a motorcyclist who unfortunately found himself in such a circumstance. As the Los Angeles Times reported, J.L. was a captain in the Air Force who was driving his motorcycle through a Los Angeles suburb when he suffered his serious accident. J.L.’s traffic light was red, so he was stopped at the intersection. The vehicle immediately behind J.L., a large gas utility truck, didn’t stop. The truck crashed into J.L.’s motorcycle and the bike (and biker) became wedged beneath the truck. The truck took off, allegedly in an attempt to escape the scene and get on the freeway, meaning that J.L. was dragged for more than 400 feet before onlookers forced the truck driver to stop his vehicle, according to the Times report.

J.L.’s injuries were severe. He lost roughly 40% of his blood and incurred an injury to his right leg so serious that, in additional to major disfigurement, amputation of his leg will, according to his attorneys, remain a threat for the rest of his life. Overall, the captain’s orthopedic and vascular injuries caused the man to remain hospitalized for one month and undergo numerous surgeries, the report indicated.

Every motorcyclist knows that there are certain dangers that go along with getting on the road in a motorcycle. Motorcyclists must contend with car and truck drivers who, too often, fail to keep a lookout for motorcycles on the road, and they face the risk of very serious harm if they are in an accident. When that happens, motorcyclists’ cases require unique knowledge and keen legal skills to get the results a motorcyclist needs. To give yourself the best chance of success, be sure to contact an experienced San Mateo motorcycle injury attorney about your accident.

Earlier this year, The Mercury News reported on some very good news for motorcyclists. Statistics showed that the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in California has declined dramatically. In 2016, 586 bikers lost their lives due to accidents on California roads. In 2017, that number dipped to 406. California’s nearly 30% reduction was well ahead of the national average, which saw a dip of 5.6% across the same period.

There are several factors that have influenced this downward trend, according to the report. One relates to law enforcement, where CHP has begun engaging in extra patrols every spring and summer. These patrols focus on speeding, tailgating, improper lane changes and unsafe turns.

In any civil trial, the court is going to establish certain deadlines and other important dates. Obviously, one key date is the date of trial. Before that, however, there will be deadlines for things like designating expert witnesses and completing all forms of discovery. It is very important to make sure you comply strictly with all of these deadlines. Being late can mean losing out on presenting key evidence. You can also use these dates to your advantage. If your opponent is the one who fails to meet the court’s deadlines, you may be able to use that failure to keep certain potentially harmful evidence out of your case. To make that you are both compliant and also using the rules of procedure to your best advantage, make sure that you have a knowledgeable California motorcycle accident attorney handling your case.

One serious injury case in which the court’s deadlines and the rules of procedure aided an injured plaintiff was the lawsuit filed by Jeremy, a motorcyclist riding in Brentwood in Southern California. During that trip, Jeremy was hit by a vehicle driven by Tomoe. The accident inflicted serious injuries upon Jeremy, and he sued Tomoe for negligence, seeking a large sum of damages. Jeremy’s case was persuasive, and the jury found in his favor, awarding him more than $2.4 million in damages.

Tomoe appealed the verdict. In her appellate case, she argued that the trial court improperly rejected her request to allow for additional discovery and to postpone the trial. The woman’s underlying contention was that, if the judge had granted her requests, she could have presented expert opinion evidence that would have contradicted Jeremy’s testimony, including Jeremy’s statements regarding how fast he was going.

In any personal injury case, there may be facts that make you feel good about your case and other facts that make you pessimistic. If you’ve been hurt in an auto accident, the key, as a layperson, is simply to recognize that you’ve suffered harm and to contact experienced California counsel about your rights and potential for recovery. Sometimes, even very challenging facts may not be “deal breakers.” Recently, one motorcyclist’s family was able to hold a restaurant owner partly to blame in court (Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. SC112366) for a California motorcycle accident that happened outside the bounds of the restaurant’s property.

The case began with a tourist’s ill-fated visit to an oceanside restaurant. After Terry, a tourist from Oklahoma, left the Malibu restaurant, he turned left because he desired to go north on the PCH. Unfortunately, there was a median barrier in that part of the PCH, and traffic leaving the restaurant was only allowed to access the southbound lanes of the highway. What Terry had done was turn northbound onto the southbound lanes of the highway. Joseph, a southbound motorcyclist, made a desperate attempt to avoid Terry’s vehicle. In the process, Joseph fell off his bike and died from his injuries.

Looking at this case, you might think that Joseph’s family only had a case against Terry. Joseph’s parents’ legal team realized, however, that the blame for this fatal motorcycle accident went beyond just the misguided tourist. The exit from the restaurant parking lot onto the highway was unclear, which meant that it was foreseeable that a customer might become confused and turn the wrong way onto the highway. Since such an accident was foreseeable, that meant the restaurant was potentially liable for harm occurring as a result of the exit’s confusing nature, even though the actual incident took place outside the bounds of the restaurant owner’s property.

Sometimes, obtaining a truly successful outcome in your auto accident case involves not just proving your case and establishing your damages but also making sure that the judgment asserts liability against the right defendants. This is especially true if your damages award is large. Obtain a multi-million dollar judgment against an employee making $15 an hour, and you may recover only a small fraction of your total damages. Obtain that same judgment against the employee and his corporate employer, and you may have a much greater chance of obtaining the full amount of the damages awarded to you.

That is why, in many auto accident situations, it is beneficial, as a plaintiff, to pursue both a driver and the driver’s employer when possible. In many situations, the fact that the accident took place while the employee was commuting to work would close the door on obtaining a judgment against the employer. The “going and coming” rule of liability says that, if an employee causes an accident while going to or coming from work, the employer generally isn’t liable under a respondeat superior theory of liability. In one recent case originating in Orange County, a motorcyclist was allowed to pursue a driver’s employer, even though the accident occurred as the driver was traveling to work.

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