Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

MC-before-crash-BLOG-B-LeongFort Worth Fatal Motorcycle Crash Controversial

A 30-year-old man was riding his bike when he hit another vehicle at an intersection last week. Tragically, Da’Ron Miller was the victim of another fatal motorcycle crash here. We have far too many of these deadly crashes. Sadly, 501 people drivers and passengers lost their lives last year according to statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation. The police found that Mr. Miller was to blame. But according to this article in the Star Telegram, there is a heated dispute about whether another driver was at fault.

According to witnesses, Mr. Miller had just left a charity car wash by himself when a woman cut in front of him. The police officers did not interview these people.

Based on the woman’s account, the police said that Mr. Miller was speeding in a group of cyclists and that the crash was 100% his fault.

The investigating officers obviously did not witness the collision (although they were down the street investigating another motorcycle crash). And people sometimes have preconceived ideas about who is at liable, especially when a young man is riding a motorcycle.

The police are now saying that they want to talk to these eyewitnesses. A lawsuit for the wrongful death of Mr. Miller will presumably have to be filed to find out what really happened.

There was a similar motorcycle crash yesterday in Arlington. A 23-year-old man riding his motorcycle on New York Avenue died after a woman in a SUV suddenly cut in front of him.

And on Thursday there was another death arising out of a car accident in Fort Worth that was either caused by road rage or a suicide.

Sometimes it is clear who caused a motorcycle, car, or truck collision, but other times it is not. Crashes happen in the blink of an eye. Legal questions about fault, damages, and payment of damages are common. Continue reading

Few people love freedom more than a motorcycle driver in the Lone Star State. While Texas tends to frown on imposing too many regulations in any field, most will agree that Texas motorcycle laws enhance safety for drivers, passengers, and others on the road.

Texas boasts more motorcycle owners than any other state in the country. This reflects the Lone Star State’s well-known culture emphasizing freedom and rugged individualism. The state’s unique landscapes, wide-open spaces, and huge highway system also attract millions of motorcycling enthusiasts from around the country.

Everyone, from both Texas and other states, however, should learn the specific rules governing the use of motorcycles in the state.

We are pleased to announce that we successfully resolved the claim of an injured young man for the total amount of insurance available of $100,000.

Motorcycle cases can be more difficult than those where people are driving cars and trucks. Liability disputes are common. Jurors can hold biases against riders that can make large verdicts unusual, even though injuries can be severe.

Both drivers claimed they had the right of way when a light was changing from yellow to red. Worse, three eyewitnesses sided with the car driver and our client was seen riding at a high rate of speed just before the crash on his bright bike.

But Brandon was extremely injured and was in a great deal of pain. He had no idea how he could get his medical bills and lost wages paid.

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It’s April — time for motorcyclists (and cyclists) to start riding more. But unfortunately serious injuries and deaths in Texas from cycle-vehicle collisions have risen dramatically here.

500 people tragically die on motorcycles every year in Texas. Just last night in Arlington, a motorcyclist was crashed into by an SUV changing lanes on State Highway 287 and tragically lost his life.

As a motorcycle accident attorney and advocate for the safety for all all people driving a vehicle, this upsets me. And I went to another funeral of a client hit riding his motorcycle several months ago so thought to write this post to try to prevent another injury or death.

Most motorcycle and bicycle crashes are caused by two things:

  • People do not see the cyclist at all — or until it is too late; and
  • People see the cyclist but fail to yield the right of way, especially in intersections.

To prevent these collisions, here are some suggestions:

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Does the State of Texas have a duty to warn drivers about a dangerous road condition? Last week’s decision by a Texas appellate court ruling said that it did.The Dallas court affirmed a jury’s verdict in favor of a motorcyclist who crashed when his wheels hit a large crack in the highway. The trial court capped the $1,200,000 verdict at $250,000, the maximum damages allowed under the Texas Tort Claims Act, and the state appealed.

Brian Milton was traveling on FM Road 148 in Kaufman in 2012 at night. He couldn’t see the deep cracks in the road pictured here until he hit one and crashed his bike into a ditch. Milton had never driven on this road before. He was severely injured.

Testimony from state employees and other evidence showed that the TxDOT clearly knew about the problem before the crash. The responding officer noted the “big cracks” in the roadway.

A few days later, Milton’s wife took this photo of the severely eroded highway. And just one month earlier, a TxDOT worker had taken pictures of the poor road conditions and ordered signs to warn drivers about the failing road but the signs weren’t placed in the correct location.

In addition, the agency had begun roadwork nearby but had not yet made its way to the area of the crash where work orders were in place.

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Our client was seriously injured riding his bicycle in Fort Worth several weeks ago. The police officer was not able to get his side of the story as he lost consciousness and did not awake until he was in the ER where he spent the next four days so the police report blames him.

To combat this error, I had a staff member immediately take our client to the pound so we could secure his bike. I took it to my bike shop and the head mechanic confirmed that my client had been rear ended, not hit as he cut across a busy road as the other driver told the police. I got a written report that the only part of the bike that was damaged was the rear wheel which I emailed to the insurance adjuster with color photos and what the police report should have stated. Today my client gave the driver’s insurance company a statement with my assistance. I am going to file suit if the company does not accept liability by Monday and pay its driver’s entire insurance policy limit.

On a similar note, we were hired today to represent a man who was crossing the street earlier this week when he was run over.

These two cases are reminders of how dangerous North Texas roads are for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. Last year, 65 people cyclists, 496 motorcyclists, and 678 pedestrians tragically died in collisions with vehicles, up a huge 21% from the previous year. I know this all too well, having represented thousands of injured people including those riding bikes.

I’ve spent more time on my bicycle this year, riding 75 miles on Sunday, and ran on streets for years when I was training to run many marathons.  I ride and used to run on the Trinity Trail and off road as much as possible and encourage others to do so. Here’s a great link to Dallas-Fort Worth trails and roads that cyclists and pedestrians can more safely ride and walk on.

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The parents of a man who died in a tragic motorcycle crash in Fort Worth obtained the total from two insurance policies. Their son was test riding a Honda when another car pulled out in front of him in Fort Worth. He had no time to react and was killed upon impact.

But the other driver’s insurance company refused to honor the claim, claiming its driver was not at fault, there was no proof of conscious pain and suffering, and other ridiculous excuses. I was about to take the case to court to court when the company paid the full amount. Its insured driver had no assets that could be seized for a further recovery of money so there was no reason to file a lawsuit.

We had also located an under insured motorist policy owned by a family member, but again the company resisted payment due to an alleged lack of coverage, etc. We prevailed again. The parents netted $150,000.00. But no amount of money could ever replace their wonderful son and this kind man.

Review written by clients

The man’s parents, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Colorado, were happy with our service and I was humbled by their Google review:

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The temperatures have warmed up and more motorcycle riders are hitting the streets. To get car and truck drivers to be on the lookout for them, the Texas Department of Transportation has just launched a campaign with an important message for us motorists. Look twice for motorcycles.

The campaign aims to reduce the thousands of motorcyclists fatally stuck or injured at intersections and crossing from adjoining lanes.

This message also applies to the increasing number of people getting hit by vehicles as they are riding bicycles.

Sure, motorcycles and bicycles are smaller and sometimes more difficult to see. However that does not excuse the motorist from making certain the coast is clear before changing lanes, crossing an intersection, passing, turning or u-turning. Motorcyclists have the right to be on the road and motorists have the obligation to share that road.

I am about to file a lawsuit on behalf of a man who was seriously injured when a driver crashed into his motorcycle, seriously injuring him. The driver said she never saw him. I’ve heard many excuses like this one during my 37 years of representing injured motorcyclists. Continue reading

It was another deadly weekend on the roads of North Texas. Unfortunately driving on our highways is getting more dangerous every year.

Here are a few of the sometimes astonishing automobile, truck, and motorcycle collisions and illegal activities that were reported in the news:

  • A Garland father on his motorcycle tragically died Monday night in Forney when a presumably DWI driver of an SUV swerving and speeding the wrong way on Highway 80 crashed into his bike. Fortunately his son who was riding with him — not to mention other people — was not hurt seriously.
  • A man tragically died in north Fort Worth Monday in a multi-vehicle pileup on N.E. Loop 820 near Mark IV Parkway at noon.
  • Three people were tragically killed in a collision early Monday morning at 1:45 PM. An 18-year-old man lost control of his car when he hit the guardrail in Arlington near Kelly Elliott Road on Interstate 20. The vehicle rolled over and he was ejected, killing him and his passenger. A good Samaritan who stopped also died when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver. That driver has contacted Arlington Police and is cooperation with its investigation.
  • The new Dallas Cowboys cornerback, Nolan Carroll, was arrested Monday morning for DWI. He was pulled over after committing a traffic violation on McKinney Avenue in the bar-heavy Uptown area of Dallas around 2:15 AM after overindulging at a nightclub which had used him to promote a big party. Not that these guys can’t afford it (Carroll signed a $10 million contract) but the Cowboys offer a free Uber ride to their players who need assistance leaving bars, a good idea after this player’s death several years ago in a terrible tragedy.
  • A Dallas police officer’s car plunged 30 feet from an overpass Monday after a pickup truck ran a light and crashed into the officer’s car on South Westmoreland Road in west Dallas. Several people gallantly jumped into a creek to save the officer. He was in critical condition but fortunately is now reported as stable. Police are searching for the driver of the 2007 white Chevrolet Silverado pickup that hit him.

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Another Reminder Why Riders Should Wear Safety Gear

Motorcyclists may sometimes feel like the conditions are right to ride without wearing a helmet and proper gear.  You may feel safe on a sunny day taking a short ride up the road. 

Don’t take the chance. 

Even if you following all of the traffic laws, you can still be the victim of a driver’s careless actions. My client experienced this firsthand early this year. Thank goodness he was wearing his helmet and protective clothing when a car slammed into his bike at a red light. 

My client was at a complete stop on his 2013 Harley-Davidson on a Loop 820 service road. Behind him, a 24 year-old driver had been texting and speeding. That driver crashed into my client, sending him hurling into the air and into the rear of the SUV in front of him and onto the concrete pavement.

The weight of his heavy motorcycle and the fall crushed his body. He broke his leg and suffered a fractured foot and torn ACL that required surgery and  extensive rehabilitation. He lost consciousness, his head and face required multiple sutures, and his mental abilities have been diminished. 

Berenson Injury Law succeeded in settling his case with trial looming for a substantial amount which will compensate my client for his damages. They include medical bills, loss of wages, diminished future earning capacity, disfigurement, disability, and pain and suffering. We also slashed his outstanding hospital and medical bills.

With such severe injuries despite wearing safety gear, I believe the accident could have been fatal had my client chosen to skip the gear for this one ride.

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