Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) reports that an estimated 46% of motorcycle riders who lose their lives in crashes have alcohol in their system when they die. Riding and drinking has been a problem for decades. However, this dangerous combination has increased dramatically over the years, as motorcycle festivals, bar hopping and other alcohol-invested activities become more popular with riding clubs. While there are many safety-oriented, responsible riders on the road, statistics show that alcohol-related motorcycle accidents are still a serious problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that, in deadly crashes, motorcyclists are 2.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle drivers to have been drinking. Within the past decade, drinking and driving involving passenger vehicle drivers has declined by approximately 6%. Simultaneously, motorcyclist drinking and driving has increased by 10%.

Road Hazards

Structurally, motorcycles pose a much greater risk of crashing than cars due to their smaller size and lack of protection that automobile passenger compartments provide. Under the best conditions, the less stable nature of motorcycles makes them more susceptible to unexpected road hazards such as rough roads, slick or uneven surfaces, darting animals, and blind spots of other drivers. With the effects of alcohol on perception, balance, and reaction time, and the impaired judgement caused by alcohol consumption, drinking and riding substantially increases the risk of serious injury or death.

How Much is Too Much?

The legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit across the United States is 0.08% grams/deciliter. However, the MSF approximates that even the smallest amount of alcohol in a rider’s system multiplies the risk of a crash by five. MSF statistics also show that, at a BAC of 0.05%, a rider’s crash risk is forty times greater. The University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies examined motorcycle riders’ abilities on a controlled test course. Researchers found that, after only one or two drinks, riders exhibited decreased abilities and difficulty ‘self-regulating.’ Continue reading

A vehicle crash occurred just shortly after 2:00 AM on Wednesday, July 15th which resulted in the injury of three men who were riding motorcycles at the time of the accident. The three men were hit by an additional motor vehicle. The driver of that vehicle that struck the three motorcyclists was said to have been traveling the wrong way down interstate I-495. The driver, 69 year old Hilda L. Szala of Riverside, Rhode Island, was allegedly traveling south on the northbound lane of the highway near an overpass in Norton. Preliminary reports provided by the state police indicate that Szala was driving under the influence of alcohol when the accident took place.

State police has additionally indicated that they had previously received well over 40 calls from other motorists complaining of a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction down the highway prior to the accident involving the three motorcyclists.

The accident resulted in serious injuries to all three motorcyclists that were hit by Hilda Szala’s 2003 Toyota. One of the victims, a 38 year old man from Brockton, Massachusetts, was thrown from his 2006 Suzuki motorcycle and has sustained life-threatening injuries. State Trooper Matthew Guarino, who is investigating the incident, said in a statement that the 38 year old victim was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, but an immediate update on his condition has not yet been released. Another victim of the accident, a 36 year old man also from Brockton, Massachusetts, was riding a 1999 Suzuki motorcycle at the time of the accident and was similarly thrown from his vehicle upon impact. The severity of his injuries had not been detailed at the time of the initial report. The third victim of the accident, a 28 year old man from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, sustained non-life threatening injuries as he too was thrown from his vehicle following the accident. No additional information on where the other victims were treated or the nature of their injuries has been provided at this time. The driver of the Toyota, Hilda Szala, did not suffer any injuries. Continue reading

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has decided to stop the use of a guardrail-end terminal over concerns that there may be safety issues. The rail-end guardrail pieces, known as the ET-Plus, are made by Trinity Industries of Texas. The manufacturer has already have been the subject of products liability lawsuits by motorists claiming they lost their legs in traffic crashes.

This week, a federal jury ruled that Trinity should pay $175 million in a whistleblower lawsuit that exposed the hazards involved with using the guardrail end caps. It was guardrail installer Josh Harman who accused Trinity of making the ET-Plus unsafe when the company redesigned it.

He sued Trinity under the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions. As the whistleblower, Harman is entitled to a percentage of what is recovered. Because of statutory mandate, the $175 million figure is expected to triple.

In the age of the internet, a keyboard is never more than a few inches away. Access to social media is literally at your fingertips, beckoning to vent your frustration to hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of followers. Most internet-savvy people would reach right for their phones after a car accident or injury to blow off some steam or to keep concerned loved ones informed of their condition. However, new data suggests social media fiends should think twice before posting about a personal injury case.

Insurance companies will try to use any posts, pictures, or interactions to dispute claims and prevent victims from receiving compensation for their injuries. The insurance companies can easily access your personal Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media site to gather information that can be used against claimants to prove that they are misrepresenting injuries.

The practice might come as a surprise to most of the general public. It is a common assumption that medical records and doctor testimony is enough to back up claims made by personal injury victims, but in truth, insurance companies “actively work to disprove claims made by a victim’s doctor. Social media can be an integral tool in this pursuit,” according to Attorney Brian J. Mongelluzzo.
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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 374 Massachusetts motor vehicle crash deaths in 2012-alcohol was a factor in 126 of them. These figures are a slight increase 2011 when there were 349 Massachusetts traffic fatalities.

At Altman & Altman, LLP our Boston injury lawyers handle claims and lawsuits by the victims (or families) of those injured or killed in a Massachusetts traffic crashes. We handle cases involving motorcycle accidents, truck collision, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other type of motor vehicle collisions.

When a Massachusetts motor vehicle crash happens-there can be long-term ramifications for the victim and their loved ones. A person who is lucky enough to survive an accident may be left with serious injuries that can render him/her unable to hold a job or lead a normal life. Medical bills can mount and the emotional toll may be high not just for the victim but his/her loved ones and friends. Some injuries are so serious that 24-hour professional care may be required for life.

Many Massachusetts traffic accidents could/should have been prevented if only the party had not been negligent. Our Boston personal injury attorneys have gone after negligent drivers, automakers, municipalities that failed to properly maintain a roadway, and others on behalf of our clients and their families.

The Rise in Massachusetts Traffic Deaths Mirrors National Statistics
NHTSA provided not just state statistics but also national ones. 33,561 people died in US traffic incidents in 2012, which is up from the 32,479 deaths from the year before. This is the first time in six years that the number of US traffic fatalities have gone up instead of down.

Also, there were 2,362,000 traffic crash injuries, which is an increase from the 2.2 million victims that were injured in 2012. The number of alcohol-impaired driving deaths also went up by 4.6% from 2011. Fortunately, the number of deadly crashes involving young drivers continued to drop.

NHTSA Data Confirms Traffic Fatalities Increased In 2012, NHTSA, November 14, 2013

2012 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview, NHTSA, November 2013 (PDF)

More Blog Posts:
Massachusetts Wrongful Death Settled Reached in 2008 Foxboro Car Crash After Gillette Stadium Concert, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 5, 2013
Halloween is The “Deadliest” Night of the Year for Child Pedestrian Accidents, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, October 31, 2013
Haverhill Death Highlights Importance of Pedestrian Safety, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 20, 2013 Continue reading

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, sending and reading text messages with a hands-free devices or talking on a cell phone without using your hands while driving are no less distracting than doing these activities manually. The AAA’s study comes as voice-activated technologies that let people talk, text, and Facebook while driving continue to grow in popularity. This is the most comprehensive study of its kind to date. In Massachusetts, please contact our Boston injury lawyers if you believe that your car crash injuries or a loved one’s death was caused by a negligent driver.

Per the study, which sought to gauge how mental or cognitive distraction affect driving, even these hands-free devices don’t take away the mental distraction that can arise from engaging in so many other activities while operating a motor vehicle. As the mind becomes more distracted, the brain’s reaction capabilities slow down, as does its ability to detect vital cues on the road, including pedestrians and stop signs.

These findings are important for hands-free device manufacturers and also makers to know so that they can make sure that consumers don’t end up thinking that these types of products make it safer to text and talk while driving. AAA CEO Robert Darbelnet even called the surge in hands-free technology a “public safety crisis” just waiting to happen.

According to a survey conducted by AT & T, 49% of the adult motorists that participated said the have texted while driving. Compare that to 43% of teen drivers that were asked in another survey in 2012. 98% of all respondents said they know that distracted driving is unsafe.

Multitasking is never beneficial while behind the steering wheel of the car. At Altman & Altman, our Boston personal injury lawyers represent clients who suffered serious injuries because of a distracted driving. Texting, talking on the cell phone, reading, surfing the Internet, and sending emails while driving can lead to catastrophic Massachusetts car crashes.

Per the At & T report, which is part of its “It Can Wait” campaign to get drivers to stop texting while behind the wheel, the number of motorists that text appears to be going up instead of down. Out of every 10 respondents, six of them said they didn’t text while driving three years ago. Meantime, 40% of those that do text while driving admit that this is an actual habit rather than a rare occurrence.

According to the journal Injury Prevention, New Year’s Eve is when people are most at risk for becoming involved in a fatal pedestrian accident. One reason for this is that while inebriated individuals might choose to walk rather than drive, drinking too much alcohol still impairs one’s physical abilities, judgments, and reflexes regardless, making one more prone to involvement in a traffic crash. One option for avoiding such risks might be to take a cab. Another alternative is staying over at wherever you plan to celebrate.

That said, there are Boston pedestrian accidents that occur on New Year’s Eve because a motorist was distracted, multitasking, texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, or drunk. Please contact Altman & Altman, LLP to request your free case evaluation if you were involved in a Massachusetts traffic accident that you believe was caused by another party.

No one wants to start or end the year involved in any type of collision, but it can happen. Because the state follows modified comparative negligence system, an injured party can recover Boston injury compensation compensation as long as his/her fault in causing the incident was 50% or less.

A young man from Fall River, Massachusetts, was killed yesterday following a motorcycle crash in Dartmouth, Massachusetts at the intersection of Milton and Sharp streets. Thirty-two-year-old Stephen Adams and his 32-year-old female passenger were transported to Rhode Island Hospital, both in critical condition after the crash. Adams died shortly after. Although the cause of the crash has not been determined, two cars were found in the road by officers; the drivers and passengers apparently were uninjured.

Less than a month ago, we commented on another serious crash between a motorcycle and a car in Allston. There, we wrote that Massachusetts requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets (unlike some states) and noted that national rates of wearing helmets have increased. We currently have no reason to believe the man and his passenger in the present case were not wearing helmets.

With more motorcyclists on the road in the upcoming warmer months, we urge bikers and car drivers to use even greater care on the roads. If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, or a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle crash, contact a skilled Boston and Cambridge motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to determine your potential for recovery in a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death suit.

This has been a glorious day for most people in the Boston area, with high temperatures drawing walkers, bikers, runners, and dog-walkers out into the sunshine. The day also held hopes of being a great one for motorcyclists to speed along in in one of the first warm breezes of the year. Unfortunately, however, the day has not been so bright for all. Around noon today, a motorcyclist was involved with a collision with a car near an intersection in Allston, causing the biker serious, life-threatening injuries. The collision occurred along Commonwealth Avenue at the intersection with Harvard Avenue, one of the city’s busiest intersections and a stop on the above-ground “B” train of the MBTA’s Green Line.

Although most motorcyclists wear (or should wear) helmets, motorcyclists generally have no other form of protection from outside forces, including weather, concrete, trees, and–as was the case here–other cars. While car and truck drivers at least have a physically separating them from other cars, motorcyclists (and bicyclers) have no such protection, so contact with another vehicle is typically direct and, therefore, quite dangerous.

Our thoughts and sympathies are with the injured rider and his family.

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