Archive for the ‘Motorcycle Accidents’ Category

Don’t Be So Quick to Modify Your New Bike. Some of The Most Common Aftermarket Parts and Modifications Don’t Meet Safety Standards

 As long time Connecticut motorcycle accident lawyers, the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers understand that a big part of your love for biking is about your freedom and independence. You don’t want to be told what you have to do or are not allowed to do – you want to make your own decisions. But even when you act as master of your own destiny, there are certain things that you need to be aware of in order to make sure that you are making an informed decision about your safety and the safety of those with whom you ride. One of the things that is important for you to know is about aftermarket parts that you may want to buy to customize your bike. It’s important that you do your research and understand all of the issues involved, as when you modify your bike, some of the aftermarket parts you may be buying may not meet safety standards.

When you want to make your bike truly your own, it’s easy to get caught up in the process and buy parts based on the way they look or what they do for performance. But just because something is available for sale does not mean that it has gone through the same rigorous level of safety testing that your original bike went through. In fact, some of them have not gone through any kind of testing at all, and may not be covered by any federal regulations. The upshot is that once these pieces are added to your bike, they may turn a safe vehicle into one that is an invitation to disaster.

Though you may believe that motorcycles are overregulated, the truth is that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have only limited resources to devote to the motorcycle industry. Most of their focus is on passenger vehicles and trucks. Motorcyclists may like the freedom that gives them, but the end result is that modifications made to bikes are increasing toxic emissions that are being released into the air, and may be pushing the chance of dying in a crash even higher. There has not been a federal study looking into the causes of motorcycle crashes since 1981, but when that one was conducted it found that bikes that had been modified were far more likely to have been involved in crashes, and there is no reason to believe that has changed. And for those who have been in crashes that have been blamed on aftermarket parts, there may be difficulty in seeking compensation, as many of the parts manufacturers have been forced into bankruptcy by increasing legal claims.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident that you believe was caused by an unsafe aftermarket part, you need an aggressive Connecticut motorcycle accident attorney who knows the law and will fight for your rights. Contact the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today to set up a free consultation.

 

When are you Required to Wear a Helmet when Operating a Motorcycle in Connecticut?

 For those who are not motorcycle enthusiasts, the question of whether or not a biker should wear a helmet seems like a question with an obvious answer – helmets should always be worn. But for many of those who do ride, having the freedom to head out to the highway unfettered and feeling the wind without interference is part of the experience, and helmet laws are objectionable. Unfortunately for motorcyclists, motorcycle injuries and the government’s interest in keeping people healthy has led to motorcycle laws throughout the country.  Though the federal government was successful in forcing many states to adopt universal helmet laws by threatening to withhold financial support of highways, many states later chafed at these controls and had them reversed. This left just 19 states with laws requiring that helmets always be worn, no matter what type of two-wheeled cycle is driven, while other states allow those riding lower powered vehicles with less horsepower to skip the headgear. For those wondering when they are required to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle in Connecticut, the answer is simple: always.

The state of Connecticut’s laws regarding protective headgear is not limited to the motorcycle driver. It also includes motorcycle passengers. Failure to comply to the laws subjects either the rider or the passenger to a fine, but that is not the only reason why Connecticut motorcyclists should wear one. Motorcycle helmet laws are designed to reduce the risk of injury. Studies done in states that have repealed their helmet laws reveal that their number of rider fatalities increased by 66 percent, and hospitalization for head injuries increased by 78 percent.

Though motorcycle riders may prefer not to wear a helmet, the laws are in place to minimize the injuries that are suffered when motorcyclists are struck by automobiles and other vehicles. They also protect riders from debris such as rocks that may be on the road, and dust that can get into the eyes and impact the ability to see the road clearly. They also protect riders and drivers from the impact of weather.

The injuries suffered by motorcyclists who get into accidents with cars can be catastrophic: in fact, according to emergency room physicians, the cost of treating a traumatic motorcycle injury exceeds $10,000 in less than half an hour’s time, and if a rider is not wearing a helmet the costs go far higher. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident and you believe that it was caused by another driver’s negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation for the medical expenses you’ve incurred, as well as any lost wages, rehabilitation costs, or other damages that you’ve suffered. The motorcycle accident attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers aggressively pursue the rights of motorcycle riders, and we’ll work to make sure you get what you deserve.

Why is Lane Splitting Legal?

Terri December Week 2 - Img - Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is something that many motorcycle riders do, but the state of Connecticut says that it is an illegal practice and that is extremely dangerous. It is when a motorcyclist decides to ride on the lines that separate rows of cars in traffic rather than staying in the lane with the other vehicles. The only state in the entire country that currently allows lane splitting is California, and though there are many proponents of making it legal elsewhere, for now the existing rules continue to apply. If you are a motorcyclist, knowing the laws is important to keeping yourself safe. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, the personal injury attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help.

The people who are in favor of making lane splitting legal point to statistics showing that motorcycle accidents involving lane splitting actually lead to fewer rear-end accidents: this is true for both accidents in which motorcyclists are rear ended and those where motorcyclists rear end the vehicle in front of them. This may seem obvious – after all, if the motorcycle is next to a car rather than in front of or behind a car then there can be no rear-end collision. What is less obvious, and a point that is frequently cited by those who want to see lane splitting legalized, is the fact that of those motorcyclists who have been injured in collisions, the ones in which riders were engaging in lane splitting involved fewer head injuries, fewer torso injuries and fewer fatal injuries. These statistics were gathered from law enforcement agencies in California in cooperation with a study being conducted by UC Berkeley on behalf of the California Highway Patrol and the state Office of Traffic Safety. The study ended up recording the results of over 8,000 accidents.

Though it is hard to argue with the statistics that this study revealed, it is also true that lane splitting in California is done under completely differently environmental conditions than would be true in the state of Connecticut, at least during the cold weather months. Connecticut’s roads are also not maintained as well as those in California and are traveled more frequently by heavy trucks. All of these factors make it more likely that accidents could occur that would cause serious harm to motorcycle riders who are lane splitting. Additionally, California’s automobile drivers have become aware of lane splitting, and are often stuck in heavy traffic, where Connecticut’s drivers may be less likely to accommodate motorcyclists passing within inches of their doors.

There are valid arguments on both sides of the controversy, but what is always of prime importance is the safety of the motorcyclist and those with whom they share the road. When motorcyclists are involved in an accident they are vulnerable to severe injury. If you or someone you love has been injured and you need experienced, compassionate legal representation, contact the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers for help.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Connecticut?

motorcycle safety tips

Lane splitting is a common practice among motorcycle riders. The act of riding between lanes of traffic has obvious benefits for riders, who save time wasted in traffic. There are some who also believe that lane splitting is safer for motorcyclists then sitting amidst a sea of cars and trucks. They believe that it cuts down on rear end accidents and minimizes the risk of severe injuries to motorcycle riders. The topic is a source of controversy, as many automobile drivers think that motorcyclists are “cutting” in front of others and jumping the line while others believe that it’s a good way to cut down on road congestion.  Whatever side of the issue you’re on, it is important for motorcyclists to know that lane splitting is not legal in the state of Connecticut.

Motorcyclists choose their mode of transportation with the understanding that it involves risk, but that does not mean that they don’t value their life or safety. Many feel that lane splitting increases their safety when it is done right, and they base this on both studies and their own experience on the road. They make the important point that rear-end accidents, which represent roughly 40 percent of accidents in the United States, are particularly dangerous for motorcycle riders as compared to those who are passengers in a car, and that lane splitting provides them with the ability to avoid being hit from behind by an inattentive driver. A California Highway Patrol study showed that motorcycle riders suffered far fewer and less serious injuries when lane splitting, with almost half as many accidents involving lane splitting involving head injuries and 55 percent fewer deaths.

In addition to lane splitting giving motorcyclists the advantage of cutting the risk of direct impact, it is also safer because riding between lanes generally involves a slower rate of speed. Most lane splitting is done at less than 30 miles per hour. Riders who exceed this speed or who exceed the speed of the traffic around them by more than ten miles per hour are far more likely to suffer serious injury.

It is worthwhile to have a serious dialogue about lane splitting’s benefits, but until the laws have changed, it remains illegal in the state of Connecticut and may be interpreted as negligence if it results in an accident and injury. If you suffer an injury from an accident with a motorcyclist who is lane splitting, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages that you have suffered. These damages may include the medical expenses that you have incurred, any wages that you lost as a result of seeking medical attention or while recovering, property damages, and more. The experienced lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are passionate about making sure that those who are injured as a result of negligence get the compensation that they deserve. Call us today to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.

Five Motorcycle Safety Tips

motorcycle safety tips

As a motorcycle enthusiast, you know that you have the same rights and have to follow the same rules as do other motorists. Unfortunately, many other drivers take a dim view of motorcycle riders, and are quick to both judge them and to blame them for accidents – even those that aren’t the motorcyclist’s fault. The risk of being seriously injured in an accident is far greater for a motorcyclist than it is for a passenger or driver of a vehicle, and because of that it is very important that you follow all safety rules and take extra precautions to keep yourself out of harm’s way. Remember that if you are injured in a motorcycle accident and you believe that it was caused by somebody else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit for compensation for the damage that you have suffered. Take the time to have an experienced attorney look at the facts and advise you as to whether you have a case against them. The professionals at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are here to help.

Staying safe while riding your motorcycle really focuses on five main areas. These are:

  •  Making sure that you can be seen: remaining visible is crucial to motorcycle safety. Not only do you need to make sure that your lights are working and that you have reflective strips on your clothing, bike, and helmet, but you also need to remember that motorists are not looking for motorcycles, and have a harder time seeing you then they do other, larger vehicles.
  • Make sure that you are protected: Riding a motorcycle safely requires making sure that you are equipped with a high-quality helmet to protect your head, ptective eye gear, clothing that covers your legs and arms so that you can avoid road rash and flying debris, and footwear that covers your toes, feet, and ankles.
  • Make sure you know the rules of the road: Though motorcycles invite a more daring approach to driving, succumbing to that temptation is not safe. Stick to the speed limit, avoid weaving between lanes, don’t follow too closely, and make sure that you do not get on your bike if you are under the influence of alcohol.
  • Use defensive driving strategies: Whether you like it or not, other drivers do not operate with the safety of motorcyclists in mind. That means that you need to drive as though you are completely invisible to other drivers and exercise extreme caution. Make sure that you have plenty of time to make turns in front of oncoming vehicles, and anticipate that they may turn in front of you.
  • Make sure your bike is well maintained and that you know how to operate it. Motorcycles are powerful vehicles, and it is important to your safety that you have been properly trained and that you are sure that it is always in good working order.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries that you’ve suffered. Contact the experienced attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today to learn more.

Common Motorcycle Injuries

Riding a motorcycle has inherent risks, and as much as motorcycle riders may be thrilled by the feel of the road and the wind in their hair, nobody actually wants to sustain a motorcycle injury. Some of the best ways to avoid sustaining any of the most common motorcycle injuries is a matter of taking responsibility for yourself: making sure that you have the right protective gear, that your bike is in good condition and that you know and obey the rules of the road. Unfortunately, some of it is a matter of getting lucky and having the drivers with whom you share the road act responsibly and with care. If you are involved in an accident on your bike and you believe that it was caused or contributed to by the negligence of another driver, or even of those responsible for keeping our roads safe, then contact Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today to see how we can help.

No matter how safely you operate your bike, you need to be aware of the risks of the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 1.2 million motorcycle riders required emergency medical treatment in the seven-year period between 2001 and 2008. These injuries ranged from major, resulting in fatalities, to minor bumps and bruises. Though some might think that head injuries were the most commonly suffered, a close analysis of the injuries treated revealed that almost one in three non-fatal motorcycle injuries involved either the leg, foot, or both. The lower extremities are extremely vulnerable for those riding a motorcycle.

Following these lower leg breaks, fractures, burns and road rash, head injuries and neck injuries were the next most common, occurring in 22% of non-fatal injuries. Upper trunk injuries were the next most common, with injuries to the arms, hands, and lower trunk being the least commonly injured parts of the body.

Statistics regarding the severity of the injuries sustained by motorcyclists predictably show that those riders that were wearing helmets at the time of their crash suffered injuries that were less severe than those who were not wearing helmets. Interestingly, even though this is the case, the most severe injuries suffered seem not to have anything to do with helmet use: the worst injuries largely impact the lower extremities.

All of these findings involve non-lethal injuries. The injuries that most frequently resulted in death involved injuries to the thorax, with head injuries and abdominal injuries ranking second and third.

Motorcycle riders need to be aware of these statistics, as they should help inform their attitudes and awareness of those around them each time they mount their bikes. Driving defensively and being aware of drivers who are operating their vehicles carelessly is the best way to protect yourself against injury. If the worst should happen and you are injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the law firm of Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers for help filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Tips to Prevent a Motorcycle Accident

Whether you are a long-time motorcycle enthusiast or are new to biking, you are aware that with the joys of the open ride comes a good amount of responsibility. Not only do you need to be a careful driver who obeys the rules of the road, but you also need to be mindful of the many other drivers who may not be as aware of you as they should be. You also need to be aware of road hazards and weather conditions in a way that is very different from the level of concern that is required of drivers of passenger cars and trucks. Not only are motorcyclists at greater risk of getting into an accident then those in passenger cars, but the injuries that you are likely to suffer if you are in an accident put you in more danger, as there is no protective barrier to shield your body from impact or the road. Your best bet is to keep your eyes open, and follow these tips to prevent a motorcycle accident provided to you by the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers.

Because there are so many different things that can cause a motorcycle accident, it is incumbent upon a motorcycle rider to educate themselves about motorcycle safety. The most important tips to prevent a motorcycle accident include:

  •  Make sure that you are fully equipped with the highest quality safety gear. This means that you should wear a brightly-colored helmet and jacket that makes you more visible while at the same time providing you with the protection that you need from impact.
  • Be aware that many drivers will turn in front of you. This may be as a result of them misjudging your speed or not seeing you at all – in some cases it is because a driver holds motorcyclists in total disregard. The fact that they are wrong doesn’t protect you from injury. Anticipate these actions to save yourself.
  • Watch the wheels of the vehicles around you, as they are the first sign of a driver’s intentions. When you see that a car is about to turn in front of you, you not only need to avoid them, but also be mindful of whether there is another vehicle behind you, as if you simply stop then you are at risk of being rear-ended. When in doubt, slow your bike down rather than trying to lay it down.
  • When turning into a corner, be aware that there may be gravel on the road that leaves you unable to control your bike. Avoid this by riding at a pace that does not diminish you of reaction time.

There are many things that a careful and concerned motorcyclist can do to try to avoid accidents, but no safety plan is foolproof. If you have been injured and believe that it is a result of the negligence of the drivers around you, those responsible for maintaining the roads in a safe condition, or even those responsible for the safety of your bike itself, then contact the personal injury attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers. We will review your case and let you know if you are entitled to compensation for the injuries that you’ve suffered.

10 Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents You Should Be Aware Of

Motorcycles are extremely popular. They have a mystique that goes far beyond being a simple mode of transportation, providing their riders with an air of independence and self-confidence.  Unfortunately, in addition to the bravado and freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle, so does a fair amount of risk. No matter how skilled you are as a rider or how much care you exercise while on the road, there is always the potential for getting into an accident with other vehicles whose drivers are not paying close enough attention or who are acting negligently. Because motorcycles offer no protection for their riders outside of the helmet and clothing that they are wearing, motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries.

If you have been in a motorcycle accident and need help pursuing legal action against those responsible, contact the law firm of Jonathan Perkins Attorneys at Law today.

As a motorcycle enthusiast, you have probably spent a great deal of time learning everything you can about injury prevention. In addition to knowing what helmet provides you with the best protection and what bikes offer the greatest level of stability, it is important to understand the exact physical risk that you are facing. There are certain injuries that are most common when a motorcycle accident occurs, and these include:

  • Concussion- There is a high risk that the rider’s head will crash into the ground, the other vehicle, or an object such as a sign, lamp, or highway barricade.
  • Brain damage – Riders who do not wear a helmet are at particular risk of death or brain injury following an accident. Head and neck injuries make up roughly 22 percent of motorcycle injuries
  • Broken joints and limbs – Arms, wrists and legs are frequently broken, and often as a result of the bike itself falling on top of the rider. These injuries often occur when a rider tries to break their fall
  • Injuries to the legs and feet – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 30 percent of all non-fatal motorcycle injuries happen to the legs and feet.
  • Broken shoulders – Shoulders and chest injuries occur in roughly 22 percent of motorcycle accidents
  • Broken pelvis – The pelvis is one of the most frequently injured parts of the body in serious motorcycle accidents
  • Spinal damage – When a rider is thrown from their bike or crushed by another vehicle, they run the risk of severe damage to the spinal cord and vertebrae
  • Soft tissue damage (road rash) – This type of damage occurs when the body slides across the surface of the highway
  • Biker’s arm – This is a highly specific injury that occurs when the nerves in the upper arm are damaged in a fall from the bike. Use of the arm is often permanently lost
  • Facial disfigurement – When a motorcycle rider is not wearing a full face helmet and is in an accident, they run the risk of doing permanent damage when their face slides across the ground or crashes into a vehicle or object.

Motorcycle riders who suffer these types of injuries face high medical bills and long rehabilitation periods. If your accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, call the Connecticut law firm of Jonathan Perkins Attorneys at Law today to see how we can get you compensation for the damage you’ve suffered.

Symptoms of Motorcycle Road Rash – Getting Compensated for Your Injuries

The joys of riding a motorcycle are offset by the risks that are involved. No matter how safe a driver a motorcyclist may be, and no matter how much protective gear they outfit themselves with, they are always at the mercy of the other drivers who are on the road. Far too often, the drivers of passenger cars completely ignore motorcyclists, or worse yet, tend to drive aggressively or overly defensively when they catch sight of them. The result can be devastating, as motorcyclists who are in accidents with passenger cars and trucks almost always get the worst outcomes in a collision. One of the most common injuries that motorcyclists suffer is motorcycle road rash, a painful abrasion that happens when the skin comes into sudden contact with the ground. If you are a motorcyclist or passenger on a motorcycle who has been in an accident and suffered motorcycle road rash, you may be eligible for compensation from the driver responsible for your injury. At Jonathan Perkins Attorneys at Law, we have a long record of successfully representing the victims of accidents, and we can help you get the compensation that you need.

 

Motorcycle road rash is also known as a road burn injury, and it can be extremely painful. They generally occur when a rider is either thrown from their bike or are dragged while still on their bike. A motorcycle road rash can be extremely serious, requiring emergency treatment and in some cases hospitalization and complex surgeries. There are several different types of road burn or road rash injuries, including:

  • Compression Injuries – When a motorcyclist is in an accident, it is common for their arm, leg, hands or feet to become wedged between two objects, such as the bike and the road or the motorcycle and the other vehicle. The resulting compression can lead to serious injuries, as bones can be crushed in these incidents.
  • Avulsion Injuries – Avulsion describes the stripping away of layers of skin when the body is dragged rapidly across cement, gravel, or dirt. In the most high-impact injuries, skin is not the only thing that is stripped away – sometimes fat and muscle are also. The results can lead to devastating scarring, and deep wounds may even require amputation of the limb.
  • Lacerations Requiring Stitches – When the skin tears open due to impact at high speed, stitches are required to close the open area. There is a risk of infection and scarring.

When a motorcycle road rash is a result of another driver’s negligence, that driver can be held legally responsible for your medical bills, lost wages during recovery, as well as your pain and suffering. Though people are often quick to blame the motorcyclist, most accidents involving motorcycles are caused by negligence on the part of the driver of the passenger car. For help determining whether you are the victim of negligence, call the lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Attorneys at Law. We will listen carefully, investigate thoroughly, and aggressively pursue those who are responsible for your pain.

Learn more about the Symptoms of Motorcycle Road Rash HERE.

Dirt Bike Deaths in Connecticut – What Can You Do If You Lost a Loved One in an Accident

Dirt bikes are off-highway motorcycles that are all about fun. Enthusiasts speak to the thrill of the ride, splashing mud on climbing tough hills, but mostly enjoying the camaraderie of getting together with others to share the adventure. Unfortunately, the good times that come with having so much power and performance in a relatively small bike can come at a price. Dirt bikes are unpredictable, and so are the riders with whom you are sharing the off-road experience. Dirt bike accidents occur and can lead to injury, and even to dirt bike deaths. When someone you love has been the victim of a tragic dirt bike accident, it’s important to determine whether it was a result of somebody’s negligence. The dirt bike accident lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Attorneys at Law are here to help you find out what happened and make sure that justice is done.

There are a number of different things that can lead to a dirt bike collision. An accident may involve another, larger vehicle such as a car or truck, or a collision can occur with another bike, an unexpected obstacle or road hazard, or even a pedestrian or animal. In some cases these are purely accidents that cannot have been prevented or foreseen, but in many instances these tragedies are the result of negligence.

Dirt bike deaths can also be caused by problems with the bike itself, or even faulty protective equipment. As is the case with other types of vehicles, dirt bike manufacturers are required to adhere to strict rules regarding the safety of their product, and the same is true for those who manufacture helmets, pads, chest protectors and more. Defects in these products can lead to serious injuries, and so can improper maintenance being provided by a technician.

Finally, the environment in which a rider operates their bike is often the cause of serious and deadly accidents. There is an expectation that public roads, as well as some offroad trails and courses that are made available to recreational riders, will be maintained in a way that makes them safe for bikes to ride on. Unexpected gaps and holes on a road or trail surface and overhanging vegetation blocking visibility can easily cause a dirt bike to flip or crash, resulting in serious and even fatal injuries. The same is true of missing safety features such as guardrails or signage.

Dirt bike riders are entitled to the same protections under the law as drivers of all types of vehicle. They have a right to expect that the vehicles that they are driving, the roads they are traveling and the equipment that they are using are safe, and that those around them will drive and behave in a responsible way. When this doesn’t happen, it can be deadly. If someone you love was killed in a dirt bike accident, call Jonathan Perkins Attorneys at Law today. We can help.

Learn More About Dirt Bike Deaths and Motorcycle Injuries HERE.

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