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Category Archive: Motorcycle Accidents

  1. Fatal Motorcycle Accident – St. Louis County

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    The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that a St. Louis County man was killed in a motorcycle accident in Franklin County, Missouri last weekend. As a St. Louis personal injury attorney, I have seen many serious and even fatal motorcycle accident cases. The facts and circumstances of these terrible accidents are always very disturbing.

    The Post Dispatch reports that the motorcycle, a 2005 Harley Davidson, was struck by an SUV whose driver failed to yield while making a left turn. The Franklin County, Missouri prosecuting attorney is considering whether to pursue charges against the SUV driver, a Fenton, Missouri resident.

    Motorcycle accident cases often involve very serious injuries. Many times automobile drivers claim that they did not even see the motorcycle prior to the collision. A recent study was just completed for the Governors’ Highway Safety Association that reported on motorcyclist traffic fatalities by state. The preliminary data for the country showed motorcycle fatalities were down 2% for the first 9 months of 2010. Missouri motorcycle crash fatalities for this same period declined 1%. To view the preliminary findings in the report, click here.

    In cases such as this where a rider suffers tragic consequences, an attorney for the family of the victim will most likely be investigating a wrongful death claim. The claim is governed by a specific Missouri statute. While no amount of money can ever replace the loss of a loved one, the statute is designed to compensate family members for the loss of companionship, counsel and service, among other things, of a loved one.

    Wildwood Man Killed in Traffic Accident, stltoday, August 14, 2011.

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  2. Motorcycle Rider Killed in South St. Louis in Collision with a Car

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    KMOV news reports a motorcycle versus car accident in South St. Louis near River Des Peres and Gravois. The motorcycle rider was taken to a hospital in St. Louis where he later died from his injuries. Any St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney can attest to the dangers of vehicles failing to yield to motorcycles. KMOV reports that the car was making a left turn at the intersection of River Des Peres and Gravois when it struck the motorcycle. The news report did not provide any other details about how the accident might have taken place.

    Motorcycle accidents can be particularly devastating. The difference in size and weight between a car or truck and motorcycle can be substantial. This difference adds to the severity of the accident and can lead to horrific injuries and even death to motorcycle riders, as was the case this time when it resulted in the motorcycle rider killed.

    The specific facts of this accident were not disclosed in the article. To the extent that a Missouri personal injury attorney or wrongful death lawyer investigates this accident, they will be looking at the conduct of the car driver and motorcycle rider. The physical evidence at the scene of the accident and the statements of witnesses may assist the Missouri attorney in putting together what took place.

    Motorcycle accidents In Missouri and nationwide cause serious injury and death. Many times the operator of a motor vehicle will look right through a motorcycle rider and claim they did not see him or her. Motorcycle riders can increase their visibility and the safety of their rides through various techniques. The Missouri Department of Revenue has published a motorcycle operator manual to assist Missouri riders with safety issues. To view the manual, click here.

    Police I.D. Motorcyclist Killed in South St. Louis Collision, KMOV, June 10, 2011

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  3. Motorcyclist Injured in North St. Louis County, Missouri Accident

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    Last month, KMOV reported that there was a motorcyclist injured in a car accident in North St. Louis County. As a St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney, I always am concerned when motor vehicles fail to notice or yield to motorcycles. Acording to the Riverview Fire Department, the operator of the motorcycle was traveling northbound on Bellefontaine near Interstate 270 when a car pulled onto Bellefontaine from a parking lot in front of the motorcycle. Officials say the motorcycle rider swerved to avoid hitting that car, but was hit by another vehicle instead.

    Motorcycle accidents can lead to tragic consequences. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) commissioned a study in 2007 to analyze factors involved in motorcycle accidents. The study included findings and causes of motorcycle accidents with the purpose being to analyze fatal two-vehicle motorcycle accidents for trends and crash characteristics and identify factors relating to the motor vehicle drivers or motorcycle operators in the crashes. To see the study, click here.

    Motorcycle accidents frequently occur because auto and truck operators claim that they never saw the motorcycle. In order to increase the awareness of motorcycle operators, the State of Missouri has published a Motorcycle Manual that contains information on how to avoid a motorcycle crash. You can view the Manual by clicking here.

    Cars and trucks pulling into the path of a motorcycle are a frequent cause of motorcycle accidents. Many accident attorneys who have handled motorcycle accident claims can attest to this fact. Missouri personal injury lawyers will see this fact pattern all too often.

    If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, you may call for a free consultation: 314-205-2886.

    Motorcyclist Run Over in North County, KMOV, March 16, 2011.

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  4. Missouri’s Motorcycle Helmet Law May Become National Standard

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    CNN reports that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been pushing recently for all states to adopt helmet laws for motorcycle riders. According to the NTSB, 20 states have laws that require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Missouri requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Illinois is one of only a few states that does not have any motorcycle helmet law.

    According to the NTSB, there has been a rise in fatalities from motorcycle accidents. The number of deaths from motorcycle wrecks more than doubled from 1997 through 2008. The NTSB found that 650 people are killed in motorcycle accidents every week on our nation’s highways.

    Motorcycle accidents are all too common in the St. Louis area. Just this past August, KMOV News in St. Louis reported two serious motorcycle accidents within 40 minutes of each other. One accident took place in St. Louis and the other in St. Charles. In the St. Louis motorcycle crash, the driver was injured when he lost control of his motorcycle. In the St. Charles wreck, the driver was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle.

    As any motorcycle accident attorney knows, accidents involving motorcycles can lead to serious injuries and death. Motorcycle riders and their passengers often suffer complicated arm and leg fractures. Head injuries are also common in motorcycle collisions. According to the Department of Transportation, head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents.

    While the NTSB statistics mention death from head injury in motorcycle crashes, traumatic brain injury can also result in serious disability. The victims of this type of injury may end up with permanent cognitive deficits and physical impairments. An injury lawyer representing someone with this type of injury may need the assistance of specialized medical experts to determine the extent of cognitive impairment.

    Motorcycle Helmets on NTSB’s Most Wanted List, CNN.com, November 16, 2010

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  5. St. Louis Area School Bus Accident Highlights Several Recent Missouri Work Zone Car Accidents

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    The Kansas City Star recently published an article that highlighted several car accidents in and around work zones on Missouri highways. As a St. Louis accident attorney, I took particular note of the St. Louis area accidents. These accidents included the recent St. Louis area school bus accident on Interstate 44 in which two people were killed. That accident occurred near a construction zone west of St. Louis. A tractor-trailer slowed for construction and was rear-ended by a pick-up truck which was in turn rear-ended by a school bus. According to the Star, inattentive driving and following too closely were the stated causes of the accident. However, the National Transportation Safety Board is looking into the facts of this vehicle accident to determine whether the construction site played a role in causing the wreck. In addition to the St. Louis car wreck, there have been several other recent highway car accidents at or near construction zones. One occurred in the Kansas City area earlier this month when a vehicle was rear-ended on Interstate 70 after it slowed for a construction zone resulting in one fatality. Another recent accident on Interstate 35 near Kearney, Missouri resulted in serious injuries to four vehicle occupants.

    Work zone car accidents are on the rise in Missouri. These accidents were up 27 percent in Missouri in 2009 from 2008. Missouri, along with other states, has undertaken numerous highway improvement projects with the availability of federal stimulus funds. The more work zones around Missouri’s highways and roadways, the greater the chance for car and truck accidents in these zones. The Missouri Department of Transportation launched Operation Orange in 2007 as a way to draw greater attention to the need for safety when driving through Missouri work zones.

    As a personal injury attorney in St. Louis, I have had clients in accidents at or near construction zones on Missouri highways. These accidents frequently involve inattention, speeding and/or following too closely on the part of the negligent vehicle or vehicles. Of course, the injury attorney will pursue claims against the negligent driver or drivers. However, the Missouri injury lawyer also needs to look at what role, if any, the accident site may have played in the accident. Sometimes the companies involved in the construction project and/or the Missouri Department of Transportation (if their project) may have some liability for the accident.

    In addition to injuries suffered by vehicle occupants in construction zone car wrecks, Missouri road workers are frequently the victims of negligent driving within work zones. A few years ago, a young man was killed while working in a construction zone on Highway 40 (Interstate 64) in Chesterfield, Missouri. Missouri has increased criminal penalties against negligent drivers who injure or kill a construction zone worker through the operation of a motor vehicle. In addition to criminal penalties, the negligent automobile driver who caused the injury or death of a road worker will also be liable for civil damages.

    Recent Wrecks Focus Attention on Work-Zone Safety for Drivers, The Kansas City Star, August 14, 2010.

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  6. Preventing Car Accidents: The Missouri Highway Patrol Campaign Against Texting and Driving

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    As a St. Louis personal injury attorney, I was pleased to read about new anti-texting campaign in Missouri. The Missouri State Highway Patrol announced in St. Louis last month its new Statewide Anti-Texting Campaign. The Program is designed to warn Missouri car drivers about the dangers of texting and driving. The Highway Patrol pointed out that texting and talking on the cell phone while driving has lead to many serious automobile and truck accidents in the State of Missouri. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, one recent study found that texting while driving increased a driver’s chances of being involved in a car wreck by more than 23 times. Missouri statistics show that cell phone usage contributed to more than 1,780 traffic car crashes in the State of Missouri in the year 2009 alone. These motor vehicle accidents have caused serious injuries and death. As stated by the Missouri Highway Patrol, distracted drivers cause many of the traffic accidents in Missouri every year. Of these accidents, cell phone use is the number one distraction.

    Along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Con-way Freight, a Missouri trucking company with offices in Columbia, Rolla, Poplar Bluff and Springfield, Missouri, has teamed up to help spread the word about the dangers of texting and driving. The Company has a texting ban in place for all of its tractor-trailer and truck drivers in Missouri.

    The Missouri Highway Patrol Campaign comes following the Missouri legislature’s recently enacted new law prohibiting any Missouri motor vehicle driver under the age of 21 from texting while driving. The Joplin, Missouri Globe recently had an article commenting on the Missouri Highway Patrol’s new anti-texting program. The Article poked fun at why the law banning texting while driving had to be limited to those under 21. As the Article pointed out, if you are going to outlaw a practice considered dangerous (texting while driving a car) why allow those over 21 to engage in the same activity.

    As any Missouri auto accident attorney knows, car accidents involving drivers who are texting, talking on the cell phone or otherwise distracted happen too often. I have had a number of cases where the defendant driver is suspected of being on the cell phone at that time he or she caused a car accident. In those cases, I will frequently ask the defendant to identify his or her cell phone provider. Then I can subpoena the cell phone provider’s records to try to determine whether the defendant was using a cell phone around the time of the car accident. In some cases, cell phone usage may merit that the Missouri personal injury attorney include a count for punitive damages in their lawsuit for personal injuries. In effect, the Missouri injury lawyer is asking the court or jury in Missouri to award punitive damages to an injured person in order to, among other things, deter similar conduct in the future.

    Mike Pound, Patrol on Money in Push Against Texting Driving, The Joplin Globe, July 21,2010

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  7. Missouri Motorcycle Rider Killed in Accident When Car Fails to Yield

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    The Joplin Globe recently reported that a Missouri man riding a motorcycle dies as the result of injuries he suffered in an accident when the car fails to yield at an intersection. Evey year in the State of Missouri, hundreds of motorcycle riders are injured or killed in accidents. As a St. Louis personal injury attorney representing injured motorcycle riders, I know that accidents involving motorcycles can lead to devastating injuries.

    Because motor vehicle operators will look right through a motorcycle at times, Missouri motorcycle riders need to take every precaution they can to avoid an accident. The Missouri Department of Revenue publishes a Motorcycle Operator Manual that provides helpful information to Missouri’s motorcycle riders on ways to avoid a crash.

    As any personal injury lawyer knows, intersections pose the greatest threat to motorcycle riders. This includes intersections with stop lights and stop signs as well as commercial and residential driveways that intersect a street. Over half of all motorcycle/car accidents involve a car driver’s entering the right-of-way of the motorcycle. As explained in the Missouri Motorcycle Operator Manual, the motorcycle rider can take action to help reduce the chances of being involved in a collision with a car or truck at an intersection. For example, the motorcycle operator can choose a lane position to try to increase their visibility for the car driver; can reduce speed as they approach the intersection; and, after entering the intersection, the motorcycle can move away from vehicles preparing to turn.

    Another area of accident risk for the motorcycle rider is when a car or truck driver follows the motorcycle too closely. As the Manual points out, speeding up to lose the car or truck traveling behind you is not the best way to handle the situation. This might lead to the car or truck tailgating the motorcycle at higher speeds. Instead, the Manual makes several recommendations on how to handle the tailgater. These recommendations include that the motorcycle operator try to get the tailgater in front of the motorcycle by either changing lanes and letting the tailgater pass or slowing down to open up space ahead of the motorcycle.

    In crashes with motorcycles, many car and truck drivers state that they never saw the motorcycle. A motorcycle’s outline is much smaller than a car or truck’s outline. Also, car and truck drivers are not looking for motorcycles so that makes it all the harder to see them when they are there. The Manual recommends that the motorcycle rider increase their visibility by wearing bright colored clothing, keeping the motorcycle’s headlight on, using directional signals and flashing brake lights when possible and appropriate.

    Joplin Man Dies After Motorcycle Struck by Car, The Joplin Globe, July 16, 2010

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