Sunday, June 20, 2010

Motorcycle-Bicycle Collisions

Both motorcycles and bicycles offer their drivers little protection in a collision. Bicycles are especially at risk at intersections for two reasons: bicyclists often ignore traffic laws at intersections, and drivers often ignore cyclists. Almost all motorcycle accidents with bikes occur at intersections, although both types of riders commonly lose control in other areas. For cyclists, the best protection from car and motorcycle accidents is to follow road rules and maximize visibility.

They must understand that intersections are exceedingly dangerous. The rules of road liability can be discussed with a Denver accident attorney, but this article aims to give a brief overview. Although cyclists have little protection, they can still be held liable for accidents if they get hit by a motorcycle while violating a traffic rule. As many Denver personal injury lawyers will attest, the actual facts and sequence of events in an accident can get skewed, and a biker who was injured by another driver who violated the law may still be blamed for the crash.

In order to keep safe from a motorcycle accident lawsuit, riders need to learn the law of liability and traffic. Motorcycles and bicycles are just harder to see. A Denver motorcycle lawyer told me a story of a motorcycle taking a left turn into a large Denver HVAC company truck. Trucks cannot see cyclists because of reduced visibility and the fact that they are simply not looking. Bikers need to keep this in mind when approaching an intersection. Keep front and rear lights on and slow down even if you have a right of way. Any rider who presumes to ride on busy streets needs to have enough command of his bike to make emergency maneuvers without losing control.

When it comes to strict liability, bikes and motorcycles are treated like any other vehicle. So liability depends on who had a right of way, or who was driving recklessly. Consider reviewing the rules of right of way at intersections with no signals, as many drivers make mistakes there. New high-tech traffic signals have sensors to detect cars at intersections. If a cyclist is not picked up by the sensor, the light may not change, so the biker or cyclist will have to wait until it is safe or cross at a crosswalk. Just be ready to explain your decision to an officer. If you do not follow these guidelines, you may have to explain your decision to the doctors at the medical center and your motorcycle lawyer

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Insurance Adjusters in Motorcycle Accident Claims

In any injury claim - whether it be negligence, car accident or workplace related - dealing with the insurance company is the most critical step you have to take before going to court. All injury cases are serious, but the high speeds at which motorcyclists ride often cause crashes and injuries that cannot be paid for without insurance help.

It is the insurance company's job to make money and therefore they are loath to pay most claims. They are required by law to pay for any of their insuree's accidents if they were deemed negligent in a Denver motorcycle crash. The expenses that must be paid are: all medical expenses, lost work and income, physical rehabilitation or permanent disabilities, property damage, and the social and emotional losses from the accident.

The last two - social and emotional effects are not as easy to add up as simple property damage and medical bills. So insurance companies use a kind of formula where they multiply the normal damages by a factor to get the number that includes pain and emotional trauma. The usual range is around 1.5x to 5x the normal damages depending on the type of injury. So one of the most important jobs for a Denver injury lawyer is to get that multiplier up as high as possible.

The insurance adjuster takes the formula - general expenses times a multiplier plus lost income to get a starting number. This is the number your Denver motorcycle attorney must show is as much the other person's fault as possible. The process is not over because this number is often negotiated. Then the number is reduced by comparative liability to whatever amount the negligent person was liable for.

Negligence for another's Motorcycle Accident

In most injury or accident cases, the key to the case is proving negligence. If you can show that you did not behave in a risky or negligent way, you have a good chance of winning. There are some situations where car and motorcycle accident liability can be assigned to someone who was not even in the car at the time.

The most common situation where someone who is not at the scene of a Denver motorcycle accident is still sued is when one of their employees was involved in the accident. Case law has ruled that employers have a duty to not let their employees drive if they know them to be in a dangerous state.

The employee must be on the clock or performing a job duty. Denver motorcycle lawyers have successfully argued that a drunk employee allowed to drive home was also the responsibility of his employer. In these situations of vicarious liability, one party is liable for the conduct of the other. So a motorcycle delivery company is liable for their deliveryman.

Some state laws also hold vehicle owners liable for the actions of anyone in their car. Let's say you let your friend drive your car and he crosses state lines, gets into an accident and needs to hire a Denver accident lawyer. In some states, as soon as you give someone permission to drive your car you become another party to any accident claims. Stolen cars are different of course.

Well, experience has taught us that children driving is an accident waiting to happen - and that accident can easily result in a lawsuit against the parents. Allowing a minor or anyone else that they know is incompetent they are eligible for suit under negligent entrustment.

In states where minors can get driver's licenses, the parents my be responsible for any negligent driving when they sign the waiver granting the license. Other incompetent drivers in negligent entrustment are drunk, sick, or you know for some reason they would be reckless. A personal injury lawyer is the first person you should talk to if you have any problems from reckless motorcycle driving.