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Motorcycle & Scooter Accidents

Motorcycle riders, bikers, and cyclists all face similar challenges on the road. Drivers simply do not pay enough attention to the road to see the biker or cyclist. Most crashes could be avoided by motorists simply looking and seeing motorcyclists. As a motorcycle accident attorney, Lenore Shefman knows what to look for in litigating a case and how to navigate your personal injury claim with the insurance company. Motorcyclists face many obstacles that a general personal injury attorney does not necessarily know how to handle. Attorneys that do not ride motorcycles do not know the handling of different styles of bikes. For instance, the different turning radii between a chopper and cafe style motorcycle may affect the analysis of the case. Attorneys that do not ride do not know the behavior of other road users or what it is like for riders on the offensive or defensive. Knowing what it is like from behind bars while moving on the roadway when another vehicle cuts you off and leaves you no out should never have to be experienced by any rider. Being able to communicate what that is like to an adjuster or jury is key to effectively pursuing your case and winning.

The right-of-way problems for bikers, cyclists, and other two-wheeled vehicles are the same. Motorcyclists right-of-way is often ignored. Auto and truck drivers are often hostile to those on motorcycles and intentionally cut them off while driving. The behavior of caged drivers often does not account for the dangerousness of their actions and how vulnerable the life of the cyclist is out on the road.

Motorcycle safety training and visibility can help keep riders safe out on the road because you always have to be concerned about other people with whom you share the road.

Motorcycles can travel at higher speeds than bicycles and scooters. Therefore the injuries can be a lot worse. Road rash can be horrible and miserable to while it is healing, and it is unfortunately not uncommon for bikers and cyclists to be paralyzed or even killed by other drivers’ negligence. If you survived the crash, don’t get killed in litigation by not hiring an attorney who knows how to litigate a bike or motorcycle crash.

Biker Advocacy

Shefman Law is committed to advocating for all bikers. Being a biker does not mean that you are in a gang or part of a criminal syndicate. These are myths. Being in a biker gang does not mean you are an irresponsible or a negligent rider. Being a biker means one thing, enjoying the love of the ride, the run, and the fun. If you have been hurt or injured in a motorcycle crash get a motorcycle accident attorney. Contact us and visit our main site at ShefmanLaw.net for more ways in which our attorneys can help you.

In 2005 it is estimated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that traffic fatalities rose for an eighth straight year with a death toll of over 43,000. This figure was an increase from the prior year where accidents from cars, motorcycles, and trucks, was over 42,000. This figure has grown in part due to increases in fatalities involving motorcycles and pedestrians.

For instance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates in 1997 the number of deaths from motorcycle accidents was 2,116. In 2005, motorcycle accident fatalities rose to record losses of 4,553. The concern for riders is great, not only among riders and motorcycle rider organizations but also with Congress. Millions of dollars from Congress (with a 30% match by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation) will be partly used for a new Motorcycle Crash Causation Study instituted by the Oklahoma Transportation Center.

Until more is learned, riders face timeless discrimination from drivers who clearly dominate the roadways, byways, and highways. Even following an accident that was clearly the fault of the car or truck driver, motorcyclists and bikers are often blamed and accused of driving recklessly.

Until the driving public is more educated and vigilant of motorcycles and other two-wheelers on the road, and as the number of motorcycle riders increases and the engine size of bikes increase, bikers are going to continue being injured by other vehicle drivers’ negligence.

Being represented by a skilled motorcycle accident attorney means you will be represented by someone who knows what it is like for bikers on the road. We drive the same roads you drive and experience the same drivers as you. Unfortunately, we have also been victims of driver negligence.

While no amount of money can give you back the amazing feeling of being on the road on a bike before the crash, contact us so we can help you through the process of recovering and getting compensated for your losses.

Most motorcycle accidents occur where the driver of the vehicle that hit the rider violated a right-of-way or “did not see the motorcycle.” Knowing how to overcome the prejudices that many car drivers/jurors have towards motorcyclists is as important as knowing the law. We at Shefman Law understand what it is like out on the road. We are endurance bicyclists, scooter, and motorcycle riders. We ride on country roads and busy city streets and highways, just like you.

Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle Safety

(1) Focus
(2) Be Aware
(3) Stay within Your limits

Being focused means staying out of blind spots, keeping a safe distance, and always providing yourself an out. Knowing who and what is behind you is key. Those vehicles entering traffic from side streets need to be watched carefully, and you should be aware of where they are at all times.
Aggressive and defensive driving is also critical for a motorcycle rider. Keeping eye contact with other vehicles as you take your turn in a right-of-way (ROW) situation is proper and will assure that the driver of the other vehicle will acknowledge your ROW. There is a level of preemption that a good motorcycle rider has every time s/he gets on his or her bike.
Protective gear is helpful, but it won’t make you a safe rider. Know your bike, and know its limits. Know your limits.

Unfortunately, there is not always a lot you can do for the driver that simply does not see you, makes an illegal and unexpected u-turn, or appears to be looking at you but charges ahead into your lane. There are now more distracted drivers on the road than there have ever been. Drivers are texting, talking on cell phones, and/or not giving the road and other traffic their full attention. Motorcyclists are often not seen due to car and truck drivers only looking for car and truck traffic.

Do what you can to be visible, make eye contact, keep focused, be aware, and stay within your limits.

What To Do If You Are Involved in a Motorcycle or Scooter Accident

  • Call 911. Get medical assistance . Even if you don’t feel injured, you could be in shock or your injuries might not be readily apparent.
  • Report. Make sure that police take a detailed report.
  • Document. Get information like drivers license information, insurance and license plate information, and a description of the driver and vehicle.
  • Never discuss fault with the driver or with insurance representatives.
  • Diagram. Make a map of the street, where the vehicles are located, and any other details relevant to the accident.
  • Take note of all damaged property, clothing, and equipment.
  • DO NOT throw any article of clothing away, even if it is badly soiled.
  • Take photos of injuries and damages.
  • Contact a skilled and knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney at Shefman Law.
  • Remember, insurance companies ask questions that may not be designed to help you.

Contact Shefman Law. We have been litigating bike and motorcycle accident cases for over 12 years and have tried many to verdict. We will work with you to make sure the insurance companies do not take advantage of you and that you are compensated fairly.

As Austin’s streets become busier, your best chance of keeping yourself safe is to drive defensively and to learn from more experienced bikers. Look for motorcycle safety classes in your area and, most importantly, ride safely.

SXSW on Two Wheels – Quick Tips for Bikes

It’s that South-by time of year again in Austin and with the great music, speakers and all of the parties comes gridlock and street closures making two-wheeled transportation your best option for quickly navigating your way to the most events. Here’s a few quick pointers to make cycling around the city during a festival easier.

1) If you don’t have a bike, there’s always the new, shiny B-cycles rentable at multiple stations downtown. There’s also a variety of rental options (check out AustinPost’s list here) and SXSW badge holders have access to Tern folders.

2) Accessorize. Lights and lock are required, helmet is a good idea and a bell can be useful for alerting the sea of pedestrians and cars that come with downtown during SX.

3) Keep an eye out for those aforementioned cars and pedestrians, they’re not always looking for you.

4) Stay off the sidewalks. We know, its tempting to take off past the gridlock, but sidewalks can be more dangerous than the bike lanes.

5) Signal, signal and yield. People are everywhere downtown, let them know what you’re doing by signaling and yield to the pedestrians.

6) Try to stick to bike-friendly routes. North to south has Nueces, Speedway through the Capital to Congress and San Jacinto. Keeping a few blocks south of 6th to travel east/west is usually slightly less crowded and there’s an easy bike-path crossing under I-35 by the Convention Center on 4th.

7) Lock up every time you leave your bike. There are a lot more bike racks downtown than in previous years – use them. Watch for no bike parking signs because sometimes they’ll remove your bike.

8) Go slow. No matter your wheels, it’s slow going but biking is still faster than walking or driving. The faster you go the harder it is to dodge the power partier on their cell phone stepping directly in your path.

9) Don’t ride drunk. You CAN still get a ticket for impairment on a bicycle. Plus it’s just not a good idea. Play it safe and take a pedicab instead.

10) Wanna get downtown and walk? Motorcycle parking is always free downtown, if you can find a space and CapMetro has several stops along key SX zones.

Have fun, ride safe and remember, CyclistLaw – we’ve got your back.

Join Cyclist Law for the Code Green Campaign Benefit Ride

There will be an escorted charity ride and party on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at Cowboy Harley-Davidson Austin. Come join Cyclist Law for this special charity event to benefit the Code Green Campaign.

The party:
The party will run from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. It is free to attend and family friendly, so come join us for live music, food, a silent auction, and a raffle. There will also be a jumpy house for the kids and a bikini bike wash for the adults to enjoy.

The charity ride:
If you ride, there will be an optional escorted charity ride through the hill country. Registration for the charity ride runs from 9:30-10:30 am, and kickstands go up at 11:00 am. The ride lasts an hour and starts and ends at Cowboy Harley-Davidson Austin. The ride has a $20 registration fee that includes breakfast, lunch, and a goodie bag. If you prefer to pre-register for the ride, you can do so here.

About Code Green Campaign:
The Code Green Campaign seeks to raise awareness about the high rates of mental health issues that first responders must endure, to reduce mental health issues among first responders, to educate first responders about self and peer care, to lobby for change regarding how mental health issues are addressed by first responder agencies, and to help eliminate the stigma that prevents individuals from admitting that they are having problems and asking for help. You can learn more here.

If you would like to help this worthy cause, please consider joining us for the escorted charity ride and party on March 28th. It is sure to be a fun time for the whole family while helping to raise money and bring awareness to this important issue. We hope to see you there!

The deadly 2014 SXSW Crash has caused some changes in the way the city will handle SXSW event permitting

New protections put in place for SXSW 2015

The deadly 2014 SXSW Crash has caused some changes in the way the city will handle SXSW event permittingAfter the tragic events of SXSW 2014, during which four people were killed and numerous others were injured after a man fleeing from police drove through a barricade and into the crowd, SXSW and the city of Austin have taken steps to help ensure the safety of those attending in 2015. Months before the event, studies and surveys were undertaken to help determine the changes that needed to be made in order to help protect attendees, and the city’s Public Safety Commission has been working with police to come up with a plan of action.

This year there will be 60 extra police officers on duty for most of the event and an additional 120 officers on duty to help with crowd control during the final weekend of the music festival. These officers will all come from non-patrol units so that other parts of the city will not suffer from officer shortages during this time. Barricades will also be manned, and the city’s Halo cameras will be monitored. Additionally, the city is working with Austin Energy to have the street lamp lights on Sixth Street, one of the most popular festival areas, replaced with adjustable LED lights that will be much brighter than normal lights.

Despite rumors to the contrary, unofficial events have not been banned. However, the city did reduce the number of permits issued for unofficial events this year (only 114 permits were approved this year, down from 168 last year) and is not taking any more applications. Rules governing existing permits will also be more strictly enforced. This should help to cut down on the number of unauthorized temporary events. Along with more stringent enforcement of venue capacity and alcohol regulations, this should help make SXSW a safer place for everyone this year. Here at Shefman Law we’re happy to see these additional protections put in place, and we wish everyone attending an exciting, fun, and most importantly, safe time at SXSW this year!

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