Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

telephone-notes-61020-m.jpgIf you’ve been in a car, motorcycle or truck accident in Washington state, you’ve likely already exchanged auto insurance information and with the other motorist as required by law. You should then call your insurance agent to report the accident. You will also be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company who will interview you about the accident. Often this phone call will be recorded if you give permission.

When speaking with an insurance adjuster, there are often mistakes that drivers make which could hurt their injury accident case in the case.

Avoid these mistakes when talking to an insurance adjuster:

  1. Admitting fault – You may or may not have caused your auto accident. You should not tell the insurance adjuster that you could have avoided the accident. Do not mitigate the other person’s actions because you do not know what was going on in their vehicle, whether they were speeding or had been drinking. Just state the facts as you know them.
  2. Don’t minimize your injuries– Often people downplay their injuries after an auto accident. Many people are stoic or don’t like to whine. Often, the extent of a person’s injuries, how their injuries will impact the activities of every day living are unknown and recovery time is also unknown. You are not a doctor and you do not know your prognosis or how long your pain or anxiety will last.
  3. Give facts, not opinions – You never know who is at fault in a car accident so just report the facts as you know them and resist giving your opinion.
  4. Get legal advice before speaking with an insurance adjuster – You are not obligated to speak with an insurance adjuster if you don’t feel comfortable. If you are injured, you may wish to first contact a Washington personal injury attorney for a free consultation to insure that your rights are protected. A personal injury attorney can advise you on how much treatment you should get, how to document your injuries and how to gather information for your case.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent car accident victims and their families.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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left-hand-turn.jpgThe Seattle Times reports that a 36-year-old motorcyclist was killed when his motorcycle collided with a car making a left hand turn in Everett.

The fatal motorcycle accident occurred on Evergreen Way around 3pm.

A car making a left- hand turn is one of the most dangerous situation for all motorists, especially motorcyclists. In fact, 42% of all motorcycle-auto collisions occur when an auto is making a left-hand turn.

KIRO News reports that a pedestrian was hit by a car as he was crossing 7th Avenue in Seattle’s University district on Friday night around 8:20pm.

The report said that the man was in dark clothing when he ran across the street and was struck by an Audi. The critically injured man was taken to Harborview Medical center for treatment.

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the accident. At this time, the driver of the Audi has not been cited.

Distracted Driving

Unfortunately, since 2005, pedestrian and bicycle accidents have been on the rise. Science Daily in an article, “Distracted Driving Killing More Pedestrians, Bicyclists,” cites a University of Nebraska Medical Center study that reports distracted driving may be the cause of the increase at the same time that fatal car accidents are diminishing.

Science Daily cites an alarming nation statistic that from 2005 to 2010 the number of pedestrians struck and killed by distracted drivers increased 50% from 344 to 500. The number of bicyclist killed by motorist increased 30% from 56 to 73.

Distracted driving can include behaviors such as using a cell phone, eating or using other types of electronic devices.

Distracted Pedestrians

The use of cell phones is also dangerous when being used by pedestrians who become unaware of their surrounds. In the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention a published study found a wide range of injuries to pedestrians who were talking on their cell phones from being hit by a car or falling from a bridge. The number of pedestrians injured while using their cell phones is also on the rise.

We are living in a distracted world and, as an attorney who represents car accident victims, we urge people to change their attitudes towards using their cell phones and to be mindful of traffic whether driving a car or walking.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have been killed.

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stockxpertcom_id480234_size0.jpgA 29-year-old motorcyclist was killed on Friday night when he was struck by a sedan driven by a 33-year-old Bellevue man.

The motorcycle accident just one block north of Bellevue Square at the intersection of Northeast 10th Street and 102nd Avenue as the driver of the sedan attempted to make a left hand turn.

The Bellevue Police and firefighter-paramedics were in the motorcycle accident scene within four minutes but the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at Overlake Medical Center.

I was out for a walk on Friday night when I came across a motorcycle accident. Police had cordoned off several blocks to conduct their investigation. It is always a somber scene to see a motorcycle lying in an intersection with bystanders looking on. I was saddened to hear that the motorcyclist had not survived the accident.

The driver of the sedan was arrested for investigation of vehicular homicide according to a City of Bellevue press release. http://www.bellevuewa.gov/10876.htm Vehicular homicide is a very serious criminal offense and it can be charged if a person is killed due to the negligent operation of a motor vehicle accident and the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The Bellevue Police will attempt to determine where the driver had been drinking prior to the accident and if the drinking occurred at one of the local watering holes. With many restaurants and bars serving happy hour in the downtown Bellevue core, driving under the influence has increasingly become a problem for the Bellevue Police Department.

The family of the deceased are advised to retain the services of a personal injury to determine whether they have a “dram shop” case. Dram shop cases allow injured parties or their surviving family members to file a claim against a bar or restaurant that over served the drunk driver that caused a motor vehicle accident.
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moped and scooter accident lawyerMany Seattleites are opting to drive scooters or mopeds for those zip around town trips. Not only are scooters and mopeds economical but they are fun to drive and and express a joie de vivre attitude. It is important, however, to select the scooter or moped that is right for you, one that has sufficient power to be safe for the driving you intend to do and also for you to take and pass a qualified safety course to obtain a motorcycle endorse
In this blog posting, we provide some useful information about scooter safety and Washington state scooter laws.

What is a moped?

A moped can have either an electric of fuel-based motor that is 50cc’s or smaller. Mopeds cannot travel more than 30 miles per hour. To operate a moped on city streets you do not have to have a motorcycle endorsement or auto insurance however you are required to have a driver license, register the moped, sear a helmet and use eye protection if your moped does not have a windshield. You are not allowed to ride a moped on sidewalks, bicycle paths, hiking trails or on highways.

What is a scooter?

A scooter is a motorcycle that allows the rider to mount it by stepping through the frame with a platform for the driver’s feet. Most scooters have a front that conceals the rider’s legs and housing that conceals the engine. A scooter generally has smaller wheels than a motorcycle. For legal purposes, in Washington state scooters are any 2-wheel or 3-wheel vehicle that has a larger than 50cc motor/engine and can travel at speed of 30 mph or more.

Scooters are required to have the same type of driver’s license endorsement as other motorcycles. To receive an endorsement, the driver must pass a motorcycle safety course at an improved school AND pass a knowledge and riding skills test at the training school and then go to the licensing office to obtain the motorcycle endorsement.

Scooter and Moped Rules

The following are requirements for scooter and moped drivers:

  • You must have a valid driver’s license. Scooter drivers must also have a motorcycle endorsement.
  • You must use turn signals when changing lanes or turning.
  • You can not split lanes or dart in and out of traffic.
  • You are prohibited from riding on sidewalks, bicycle lanes and hiking trails.
  • You should not use alcohol or drugs when operating a scooter or moped.

Scooter and Moped Safety Tips

  • Make sure other drivers see you by wearing bright colors and reflectors and make sure your headlights, brake lights and taillights are operating correctly.
  • Because scooters and mopeds do not have electronic stability control as do newer motorcycle models, be especially careful when cornering or on curves.
  • Do not speed and be extra careful about your speed when there is loose gravel or other debris on the highway.
  • Be careful in intersections, driveways and entrances to parking lots as other drivers may not see you.
  • Avoid riding in other motorists blind spots.
  • Ride with both hands on the handle bars.
  • Keep both feet on the floorboards.
  • Avoid potholes, bumps and other road surface hazards.
  • Do not carry a passenger unless your scooter is rated to do so.

Here is a list of approved Motorcycle Safety Courses in Western Washington. Classes are available in Anacortes, Auburn, Bellingham, Everett, Kelso, Kent, Kirkland, Renton and Seattle.
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Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) provides a Victim/Survivor Helpline for those people who are coping with a loss or a serious injury due to a drunk driving car accident. Families often find the holidays an especially difficult time to cope with the loss of a loved one.

MADD has trained victim advocates who provide an array of services to those impacted by a drunk driving car accident.

To be put in touch with a MADD Victim Advocate in your area or if you need to speak with someone as soon as possible, call MADD’s Victim/Survivor Help Line at 1-877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435) or send a an email to victims@madd.org.

FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION

If you need legal help after a car accident, The Farber Law Group, a Bellevue personal injury law firm, provides a FREE and confidential case evaluation to discuss your case. We have more than 30 years experience representing the victims of car accidents and their families.

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The Seattle Police Department reports that they have arrested the driver of a BMW 745 sedan for investigation of Vehicular Homicide after a passenger died when they were involved in a rollover car accident early Saturday morning in downtown Seattle.

The unidentified man in his late 20’s to early 30’s died at the car accident scene.

The 31-year-old driver and another male passenger were taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

According to the report, the single car accident occurred around 2am on January 5th near 6th Avenue and Union Street.

The police surmise that the driver of the BMW lost control as he exited southbound Interstate 5 at the Union Street exit. The most common cause of a rollover collision is speeding while cornering or making turns.

After the driver was released from the hospital he was arrested and booked into King County Jail and is facing charges of Vehicular Homicide. Vehicular Homicide, RCW 46.61.520, can be charged if a person is killed in a car accident and the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving recklessly.

Penalties for Vehicular Homicide

The penalties for vehicular homicide vary depending on whether the convicted driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If it is found that the driver was driving under the influence he faces a sentence of 78-102 months in prison.
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I often travel Interstate 90 between Seattle and Ellensburg to visit my son at college. The other night, a highway patrol stopped me and told me that my headlamp had burned out. He cautioned me to be careful and get the headlamp replaced as soon as possible because he is frequently called to auto accident scenes involving deer and elk on I-90 between Seattle and Ellensburg.

During the winter months, deer are a common hazard on highways. Accidents involving deer are three and a half times more likely in November compared with August according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

Deer and elk on the highway resulting in vehicle accidents pose a risk to motorists and motorcyclists. In Washington state, deer seasons are (Nov. 1-25), wintering (Dec. 16 – Mar. 1), fawning (May 25 – Jun. 10), fall migration (Oct 10 – 30), and spring migration (Apr. 15 – May 24). According the Washington State Patrol, there are more than 110 wildlife/vehicle collisions every year resulting in an average of 1190 injuries to humans and two deaths.

In Western Washington, deer and elk/vehicle collisions are more likely to occur on the west side of the Cascades. On Interstate 90, they are more likely to occur near North Bend. Other problems areas are Whidbey Island along State Route 20 and State Route 525.

For your safety, make sure your headlamps are in working order and drive cautiously, especially at dusk and dawn.
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We recently read the results of a case in which an injured motorcyclist sued the driver of a pickup truck and his employer after he was involved in a motorcycle accident. Citation: Doe v. Magnuson-Hagopian Enters., Inc., No. 11-117278-NI (Mich., Oakland Co. Cir. Mar. 6, 2012).

An unidentified 60-year-old motorcyclist (John Doe) has settled his injury accident lawsuit for $1.2 M for serious injuries he sustained when the driver of a pickup truck turned in front of him and caused a motorcycle accident.

Doe was driving under the speed limit in a 45-mph speed zone when Terry Hansen, driving a pickup truck for his employer Magnuson-Hagopian Enterprises, attempted his turn. Unable to avoid the pickup truck, Doe was thrown up onto the truck’s windshield and landed in a ditch.

Doe’s injuries were extensive including fractures to an arm, both legs, pelvis and spine. His urethral external sphincter muscle was injured aggravating a urinary retention/ frequency problem. He now suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and a preexisting problem with depression was aggravated.

Doe’s filed an injury lawsuit against Hansen for his unsafe left turn. He also filed suit against Hansen’s employer alleging respondeat superior liability and negligent entrustment.

Respondeat superior is a legal doctrine that holds that an employer can be held responsible for the actions of an employee for acts performed within the course of their employment.

Negligent entrustment often arises out of automobile accident cases. It is a cause of action in tort law where one party is held liable for the negligence of another. In this case, Hansen was provided the dangerous instrumentality of the pickup truck even though he had a previous license suspension, history of moving violations and a prior drug offense.

Doe sought damages which included medical costs, pain and suffering, mental anguish and a decreased enjoyment of life.

The case settled before trial. Doe’s attorney, Michael J. Garris, of Ann Arbor offered deposition testimony of an off-duty police officer who had witnessed the accident as well as the testimony of a accident reconstruction specialist.
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Eldon and Gerald Lutz, two brothers, were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after they were involved in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident in the Totem Lake area of Kirkland on Saturday night. Both men unfortunately died at the hospital.

Police are investigating the motorcycle accident that occurred around 6:15pm after the motorcycle appeared to suddenly accelerate, hit a curb, causing the bike to fall 15-20 feet onto Northeast 132nd Street. One of the riders was thrown from the bike and was hit by a car.

The Farber Law Group offers their condolences to the family of the deceased.

Unfortunately, there have been far too many motorcycle accident fatalities in Washington state in the past 30 days. The Washington State Patrol issued a media release in August stating that fatal motorcycle accidents are on the rise.

Unfortunately, the number of motorcycle accident deaths has risen across the United States while deaths in other types of motor vehicle accidents has fallen. In 2002, there were approximately 3,244 motorcycle accident fatalities and that number rose to 3,615 in 2010.
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