Current Motorcycle Accident Pandemic… Are you Prepared?

In the past week and a half, there have been three reported motorcycle accidents here in Utah. Last night’s was fatal and it is unclear who was at fault. Whatever the determination may be, we here at the Christensen Law Firm send our condolences to the family that lost a loved one in this tragic motorcycle accident. Motorcycle Accident Liability Issues Waiting for insurance companies to determine liability can be a very long and tedious process. All insurance companies involved must come to an agreement regarding the proportion of fault for each party. If the facts are incomplete because, for example, one party was killed, it can be difficult to make an accurate decision. If you or a family member have been involved in an accident and are waiting on a liability decision before you can pay any of the medical and/or funeral expenses, you may be waiting long enough that your accounts go to collections and your credit is irreparably damaged. PIP Coverage: What’s the Big Deal? Although Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is not required as part of your motorcycle insurance policy, it may be more beneficial than you realize. If you are killed in a motorcycle accident and you do not have PIP coverage available, your family will be left to pay your funeral expenses and will have nothing to cover the income you may have provided for your family. In the event of a fatal accident, the proper PIP coverage provides funeral benefits as well as survivor benefits for the family. PIP payouts are not contingent upon a liability decision and can be used immediately. It...

Motorcycle Accident Inspires Education

The lives of two female motorcycle riders were threatened yesterday when they collided with a truck that turned left in front of them. Both women are in critical condition, but the motorcycle accident easily could have been fatal had they not worn their helmets. With so many students heading back to school this month, it seems like a great time to reflect on the need to educate all riders and drivers in motorcycle safety. In 2004, there were only 40,964 motorcycles registered in the state of Utah. Five years later, we nearly doubled that number and were up to 78,302. So whether you’re a die-hard motorcyclist, blazing through even the toughest winter storms, or an over-zealous SUV driver who has never sat on a bike and can’t stand sharing the road, there are nearly 80,000 reasons to slow down, learn a little more, and sharpen our focus. The Truth About Motorcycle Education Although getting a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license does not require taking a rider training course, such instruction is available and may be worth looking into. According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, “Utah motorcyclists who have not taken a rider education course have been 15 times more likely to be killed in a motorcycle crash than those who have completed a training course.” Let’s take this one step further and suggest that even those who are not riding motorcycles could benefit from taking these classes because we all want to stay safe out there. If you’re riding a bike, and want to avoid those awful motorcycle accidents, make yourself visible. Wear bright clothing, always...

“Hit-and-run deaths increased by 20 percent” – USA TODAY

An analysis by USA TODAY shows that the number of pedestrians killed by hit-and-run drivers has jumped 20% since 2000. Hit-and-run cases are among the most difficult crimes to solve because they often happen at night with no witnesses. According to the NHTSA, nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed every year. One-fifth of these fatalities are the results of hit-and-runs. Peter Kissinger of the American Automobile Association said that the statistics are outrageous. The increasingly distracted and aggressive driving behavior is said to be the primary cause of hit-and-runs. This is a pressing issue that needs to be discussed at every level of our societal infrastructure. Education and discussion are key to creating awareness about the seriousness of the problem. Being involved in an accident is a terrible event, but leaving the scene of the accident elevates the accident to a crime. Witnesses play an imperative role in solving this problem, if every witness used all means available to inform authorities of what they see, more hit-and-run drivers would be brought to justice. To facilitate the communication of this information, the Christensen Law Firm has brought the Hit-and-Run Rewards Program to Utah. The program allows witnesses to call in anonymously and give all the information they have with out fear of retribution. If the information provided leads to the felony conviction or arrest of a hit-and-run driver the witness will receive $1,000 reward. Pedestrians and other road users are often injured or killed as a result of being hit by motor vehicles. If you have been injured or a loved one killed in a hit-and-run, schedule a free consultation with...

Amtrak Tragedy Results In Utah Wrongful Death Suit

A train-truck collision now has an after-math that crosses state lines after Stephen Shirley filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the John Davis Trucking Company. The driver of a truck collided with the Amtrak train at a Nevada intersection, causing six deaths and the injury of at least 20 other people. Seven civil cases have been filed agains the trucking company. On August 2, the John Davis Trucking Company launched a counter-lawsuit against Amtrak claiming that the company failed to maintain a safe railroad crossing. Though the crash actually occurred in Nevada, Stephen Shirley, a Utah citizen, is suing for damages caused by his 37-year old wife’s death. An Advocate In a situation where there is so much at stake, a private citizen’s interests can easily be lost. The lawsuits between Amtrak and the trucking company have garnered much publicity and will likely involve lengthy trials. During this time, individuals like Stephen Shirley and the other families who lost loved ones to the horrific accident are left to attend to the funeral expenses, medical expenses, and emotional turmoil of life without a loved one. In a situation like this, a victim needs an advocate. Wrongful Death Attorneys The wrongful death lawyers of the Christensen Law Firm are known for being tough with offenders and compassionate with clients. They understand what it is like to go through the convoluted and frustrating legal process while grieving for the loss of a loved one. These lawyers will stop at nothing to achieve the best possible outcome for your case and for your family. If your family has experienced a wrongful death, call...

New Construction Zones Creates Hazard

A motorcycle accident occurred at the American Fork 500 East interchange in the I-15 Core construction zone. Motorcyclist, Kris Messersmith, never meant to ride on the old on-ramp that was under construction, but he says that the space was not clearly blocked. He rode through a large gap between the orange barrels and had to lay his bike down. This caused him significant injury, namely a torn rotator cuff, a fractured ankle, and road rash from ankle to hip. UDOT has now placed more barrels in the space through which Messersmith passed as measure for increased awareness of the construction zone. The incident is still under investigation. Motorcycle Vigilance While this may not be as likely to happen while riding a bicycle, the Utah motorcycle lawyers admonish all riders to always be aware of their surroundings. This is especially true in the evening and night when a rider’s vision becomes more impaired. Although this will help, it will not guarantee that an accident will not happen, so we recommend wearing protective gear as well. Motorcyclists travel at faster speeds than bicycles, therefore they are prone to greater physical harm in case of an accident. There are several items, in addition to a helmet, that can be worn as a way to protect their bodies: 1. Jackets 2. Gloves 3. Boots 4. Pants Although none of these items are required by law, they are specially developed to protect motorcyclists. The jackets and pants are usually made out of nylon, leather, or Kevlar, and the boots are usually reinforced with plastic caps to better protect riders. Utah Motorcycle Lawyers These items...