Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

With spring weather finally arriving, more motorcyclists are out on the roads. The chances of a Massachusetts motorcycle crash happening goes up.

In one Westhampton motorcycle accident earlier this week, a 26-year-old Chester, MA man died after he lost control of his bike, crashing. Gregory Asher was pronounced dead at a Northampton hospital.

Just two days before, another rider sustained serious injuries in a Palmer, MA motorcycle accident when his bike collided with a car that was turning right into a Friendly’s parking lot. The motorcyclist, who was thrown off the bike, suffered a leg injury. The driver of the car, which was a Toyota Camry, was given a citation for not yielding the right of way.

Aside from the fact that there are more motorcyclists on the road, poor road conditions because of the winter weather can take a toll. New potholes, as well as gravel, salt, and sand from the previous snow can make road surfaces challenging for riders, especially inexperienced ones. It doesn’t help that a lot of car drivers sometimes forget that thee are supposed to safely ‘share the road’ with motorcycle riders—a reason for the “Share the Road” campaigns over the year to help promote greater motorcyclist awareness.

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The family of a 61-year-old motorcyclist has reached a $2.25M wrongful death settlement with the driver of the pickup truck that struck him in May 2012. Robert Kegler was riding his motoricycle when he was hit by a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck driven by 17-year-old Andrew Kebalo. The teen driver was making a left turn even though Kegler had the right of way on the road at the time.

The impact of the motorcycle collision threw Kegler from his bike. The rider had to be flown by chopper to a hospital where he was pronounced dead just hours later.

Kebalo reportedly told police that even though he saw the motorcycle approaching he figured that he had enough time to take the turn. The 17-year-old was charged with failing to yield the right of way and criminal negligent homicide.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting a decline in both the number of Massachusetts motor vehicle crash fatalities as well as how many occurred in total in the U.S. According to the figures for 2013, there were 326 traffic deaths in the state last year, which is a decline from the 383 fatalities in 2012. Alcohol was a factor in 118 of the Massachusetts traffic deaths in 2013.

Nationally, the country lost 32,719 people in roadway crashes in 2013. This is also a decrease from the 33,782 traffic deaths from the year previous.

Overall, between 2012 and 2013, the U.S. saw a reduction in deaths and injuries of truck occupants, passenger car occupants, pedestrians, and young drivers, as well as in accidents where alcohol was a factor.

A motorcyclist in California was awarded more than one million dollars in a settlement against a woman who collided with him when she drove into his path and violated his right of way.

The motorcycle accident took place in Santa Barbara, California on May 24, 2010. The 55-year-old motorcyclists and construction worker was severely injured during the accident and suffered trauma to both his neck and ankle. According to reports, the woman’s car blocked the man’s path; the man struck the female driver’s car and was catapulted over the top.

Because of his injuries, the motorcyclist was forced to undergo ankle surgery and cervical fusion after months of unsuccessful treatment for his neck pain. Since undergoing surgery, the man has made an excellent recovery. According to court documents, the defending insurance company Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., argued that the motorcyclist had been speeding prior to the accident. The defense also obtained a video of the cyclist picking up and moving items to a storage building within a week of the mediation.

Despite the defense’s claims, the plaintiff claimed speed was not a factor, and it was determined by a life care planner that the man would require future medical treatment due to the severity of the injuries he sustained. The entire process took a year of litigation and was spearheaded by plaintiff attorney Steve Andrade of Andrade Law Offices in Santa Barbara, California.
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John Hendrickson loved his job. He rubbed elbows with the rich and famous, editing the music of some of the most well-known names in the industry. Hendrickson was a recording engineer employed by Capitol Records to perfect the recordings of heavy-hitters like the Foo Fighters and Nat King Cole. Not only was recording his passion, it was also his livelihood; his means of providing for his family. In an instant, one lax decision by a United States Border Patrol Officer ended his career and caused the victim long-lasting pain and suffering.

John Hendrickson, a motorcycle enthusiast and experienced driver, was riding his motorcycle on an unpaved mountain road in Southern California with “multiple blind turns and unprotected drop-offs,” according to his lawyer, Robert J. Francavilla. United States Border Patrol Agent Ryan Moore was travelling in a government-issued Chevrolet truck when he recklessly rounded a corner at a high speed and hit Hendrickson head-on on the other side of the blind turn. The force of the crash ejected Hendrickson from his motorcycle and caused serious, life-altering injuries.
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Along the scenic roads and rolling hills outside of Montpellier, Vermont, a tragedy took the life of one retired police chief and critically injured another. Former Kingston, MA Police Chief Joseph Rebello was killed and retired Hudson Police Chief Richard Braga sustained serious injuries after a car struck their motorcycles head-on in the rural Vermont town of Woodbury. Two other motorcyclists were travelling with the men but were able to avoid the car and walked away uninjured.

Joseph Rebello, 55, had just retired as Kingston Police Chief only one year ago. After news of the accident broke, words of support poured in from police departments around the state. Rebello was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS officials and his good friend, Richard Braga, 57 was critically injured and rushed to an area hospital, where he is now listed in stable condition.
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A New Jersey man and his wife were awarded more than $19 million in one of the state’s largest jury verdicts last week, stemming from a motorcycle accident in which he was rear-ended by a pickup truck.

62-year-old Steve Vissagio and his wife Barbara, 60, received their verdict on May 22, 2014, concluding four days of testimony before Superior Court Judge Edward Gannon. The case involved addressing injuries Steve Visaggio had sustained in 2007 after he was rear-ended on his motorcycle by a pickup truck while traveling on Route 23 in Sussex Borough. Visaggio now suffers from permanent spinal, neck, and shoulder injuries. Because of the severity of these injuries, Visaggio, who is a father of eight children, was unable to return to running his business several months following the incident, and will likely in the future, according to his attorney, require spinal surgery in addition to already undergoing shoulder surgery.

According to court documents, the Visaggio family and their representing attorney Andrew Fraser of Laddey Clark & Ryan, had pursued settling the case out of court and had requested the plaintiff motor vehicle operator’s insurance carrier, Geico, to pay the family $250,000 in compensatory damages. Geico refused that offer and did not make a rebutting offer to the family prior to the Visaggios filing a lawsuit against the company. Mr. Vissagio was awarded a total of $15.5 million for his injuries and suffering, and Mrs. Vissagio was awarded $3.8 million in per quod damages.
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Three people were injured over the weekend in a crash involving two motorcycles and two cars, according to Massachusetts State Police.

Police stated that none of the injuries that the victims sustained were considering life-threatening, and that no citations were issued after the accident.

This is the second serious accident in less than one week to occur in New England. Last Monday a New Hampshire man suffered a serious head injury after he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed in Pelham.

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS

Approximately 81,000 people were injured and 4,612 were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2011 in the United States; a 2% increase from the number in 2010 and a 41% increase from 2002. Motorcycle accidents account for an estimated 14% of the total number of motor-vehicle crashes in the United States annually, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that per every vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are 30 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in an accident, and 5x more likely to be injured during an accident.

According to the NHTSA nearly half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve collisions with other motor vehicles. According to past data 75% occurred with the motor vehicle in front of the motorcycle. Fatal motorcycle accidents are most likely to occur with fixed objects, rather than collisions with other motor vehicles.

Speeding, rider inexperience, and alcohol use are the three main factors that contribute to the high risk of accident on a motorcycle, and according to the NHTSA, 35% of all motorcyclists involved in accidents in 2011 had been speeding before the crash. Inexperienced and un-licensed individuals made up 14% of those injured or killed in motorcycle accidents, and individuals who had had their licensed suspended previously were 1.4 times more likely to get into an accident compared to those with a passenger vehicle license revocation. Alcohol use is also a risk factor for fatal motor cycle accidents. The NHTSA estimated that about 29% of all motorcyclists were impaired by alcohol at the time of an accident. Riders aged 40-44 made up 38% of that group, respectively, followed by individuals ages 45-49 and 35-39 at 37%.
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Although motorcycle riders have the same privileges and rights as automobile drivers, they aren’t always respected on the roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Share the Road with Motorcycles” campaign is trying to spread the word about motorcycle safety and awareness. Motorcycle riders don’t have the safety benefits of steel cages, side-curtain airbags or seat belts. They are at the mercy of other drivers on the road. Even when riders wear protective gear, they can still become seriously or fatally injured in crashes. Sharing the road is an important part of keeping riders and drivers in Boston safe.
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It’s a statement that’s engrained in every driver’s head: “Don’t text and drive.” While Massachusetts and nearly every state across the nation have imposed laws against texting or using a cell phone while driving, one New Jersey state appeals court, has developed a new addendum for people who text drivers. Under this addendum, people who knowingly text a person who is driving, may be held liable if the driver causes an accident.

file000739321417.jpgThe idea may seem farfetched to some, but in fact, a couple from New Jersey used the notion as grounds for a lawsuit they filed against two teenagers. In 2009, the couple Mr. and Mrs. Kubert, were struck head-on while riding a motorcycle by then-18-year-old Kyle Best. Best was behind the wheel of his pickup truck while travelling down a rural highway road, when his friend Shannon Colonna, sent him a text message. Upon opening the message, Best’s truck crossed the center line and hit the Kuberts causing, in what court documents described as, a gruesome accident.

Both the Kuberts lost their legs in the accident. According to police and court documents, immediately following the incident, Best called 911, hung up, and then continued to receive at least two more messages from Colonna.

The Kuberts sued Best, but they also included Colonna in the lawsuit. To the Kuberts, had it not been for Shannon Colonna’s texts, Kyle Best would not have been distracted. They concluded that she was also responsible for their pain and loss. Though the Kubert’s initially lost against Colonna, they appealed the court’s decision. Their attorney, Stephen Weinstein argued that Colonna was “electronically in the car with the driver” and could essentially be treated like someone sitting next to Best, willfully distracting him. Despite the argument’s being unlikely to work, three New Jersey judges agreed with it – in theory.
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