Archive for September, 2012

Motorcycle Accidents

There is a significantly increased risk of injury or death from driving a motorcycle compared to driving an automobile. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that 80% of reported motorcycle accidents result in injury or death. For the sake of comparison, that figure for automobiles is 20%. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that motorcycle fatalities have increased 55% since 2000. Statistically, young riders appear to be at the highest risk of fatality in motorcycle accidents, with the highest risk level amongst 20-29 year olds.

Also alarming is that, according to the NHTSA, “statistics show that the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads.” This is a significant safety concern.

There are safety measures riders can take to protects themselves, some of which are similar to the tips we provided for safe bicycling. Most important is that riders use a safe and properly fitted helmet, as required by New York law. The CDC indicates the use of a helmet decreases the chances of fatality in a motorcycle crash by 37%, and decreases the risk of head injury by 69%, which is significant. Additionally, riders should wear bright clothing to make them highly visible, and protective clothing, like a leather jacket, may also be beneficial.

If you’ve been hurt, please give us a call to talk to our knowledgeable, experienced attorneys.  At James Morris Law we always fight to achieve the best results for our clients.

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Tragic Upstate New York Bicycle Accident Fatality a Harsh Reminder That Negligence Can Happen Any Time of Day

Upstate New Yorkers may be a tough breed, but we are all going to be in shock for a long time about a recent reckless driving bicycle accident fatality. On July 30, 2012, a beloved local teacher went out for an early morning Sunday bicycle ride when, police say, a motorcyclist who was allegedly driving drunk hit her. The impact threw her into the road. She was then run over by a car said to have been driven by the motorcyclist’s girlfriend.

According to police reports, the motorcyclist had been driving recklessly—doing wheelies, speeding up, then braking—just before he crashed into the cyclist. The motorbike collision victim was rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The motorcyclist was arrested for DWI before being taken to the hospital with serious injuries. There were no reports of whether the driver of the car that crashed into the cyclist was injured.

The seasoned Buffalo personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of James Morris have handled hundreds of car wreck injury and death cases in Western New York, but this one hits close to home, especially for anyone who is a parent. The cyclist who was killed by the car had two small children and a loving husband, whose lives are now changed forever.

This is a cautionary tale about many aspects of road safety. The accident happened before 8 am, when there was no heavy traffic. It’s likely that the last thing on the car crash victim’s mind was the chance of anyone driving drunk at that hour. There is also the issue of distracted driving involving the motorcyclist and the driver of the car. It is a sad lesson that it doesn’t just take texting while driving or using a cellphone or GPS unit to distract drivers. The biker was simply driving recklessly and the driver of the car was not paying attention to the roadway.

The takeaway from this tragic event: Because we all share the road, accidents only take a split second to destroy lives. This is a wake-up call to everyone to be cautious on the roads, whether you are operating a vehicle or a bicycle. Drunk drivers, distracted drivers, speeding drivers—they could be just around the corner, no matter what hour it is.

If you or a loved one suffered a bike crash injury or you lost a relative in a car accident fatality or motorcycle accident death, seek powerful legal representation. Contact the Law Offices of James Morris for a free consultation with an aggressive upstate and western New York personal injury lawyer. Call us at 1-800-477-9044 or complete our online contact form.

James Morris Law
1015 Liberty Building, 424 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14202

How to Work Effectively With Your Lawyer

It is important to work effectively with your lawyer so you can have a satisfying working relationship with one another. This is an excellent article about the subject, which we wanted to both share and elaborate upon.

It is a good idea to bring a copy of your own insurance documents (declaration page), when you first meet with your attorney. Your attorney’s office can also obtain this information if necessary, but as the article above mentions, the client can sometimes access this information quicker.

You should also bring with you other information your attorney may need to begin working on your file. For instance, for a personal injury matter, this may include the names and contact information for all your treating physicians, or copies of police accident reports. There are often key deadlines early on in a potential lawsuit, so the more information your attorney has on hand from the outset of your case, the better.

Keep all documentation, including letters and bills from doctors and insurance companies. Discuss with your attorney early on what types of documents they may want you to forward to their office, and be sure to do so in a timely fashion. This will help to ensure the attorney will always have up to date information in your file when they need it. Sometimes it is as simple as mailing (or e-mailing) it to the office when you receive it, or leaving it with the assistant or paralegal in charge of your file.

Keep a list of questions you would like to discuss with your attorney, as well as notes about what happened since the last time you spoke, which will help you make the most of your next appointment.

For a personal injury or medical malpractice case, it can be useful to keep a calendar documenting symptoms and keeping track of all your medical appointments.

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