MOTORCYCLE CRASH

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

Driver Fails To Stop, Hits Stopped Moped

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Virginia Beach, VA

What Happened:

Our client, a 31 year old father, was stopped on his moped, lawfully in his lane of travel, at a red light on Virginia Beach Blvd., in Virginia Beach, at the intersection with London Bridge Road. The Defendant, who was traveling in the very same lane behind our client, failed to keep a proper lookout, didn’t see our client stopped ahead, and smashed into the rear of the bike with enough force to shoot the bike through the busy intersection across 30 feet. The client was fortunate that oncoming traffic didn’t hit him, the impact threw him from his bike.

The client, who had no health insurance, needed answers from a Virginia Beach injury attorney, and called Epstein, Sandler & Flora. Our moped rider suffered orthopedic injuries requiring months of physical therapy, and we were able to help him replace his bike, obtain proper medical treatment and handle the insurance company during his recovery. The investigation showed just how large of an impact there was, and how the biker’s injuries came from the crash. We were successful in negotiating a SETTLEMENT for our client in the amount of the total limits of insurance available under the policy of the negligent driver.

Lesson:

One lesson to be learned, and one we hammer to our clients, is the need to have limits under YOUR OWN automobile policy for uninsured motorist coverage in Virginia, to be higher than the minimum limits required in Virginia. Remember, FULL COVERAGE IS MINIMUM COVERAGE.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

Husband and Wife Thrown From Motorcycle, Sideswiped By Driver

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Norfolk, VA

What Happened:

On a nice Tuesday afternoon in March, my client, an active duty navy man, and his wife were enjoying a motorcycle ride on Little Creek Road in Norfolk, VA, when, in an instant, the negligence of a driver almost cost them their lives. While they were traveling in the left lane, a negligence driver in the right lane made a critical mistake that those of us on bikes see almost every day – she changed lanes without looking. The driver came passed the bike, failed to keep a proper lookout and changed lanes, almost on top of the bike. My client immediately swerved to the right to avoid a critical impact with the car, but there was a curb median to his left. The bike was forced onto the median, and crashed into a tree, throwing my client and his wife from the bike. What started as a pleasant bike ride together, ended with an ambulance ride to the hospital together.

My client suffered injuries to his shoulder, neck and back, with complaints of severe headaches and pain in his right eye, after striking the tree. His wife suffered a compression fracture of the tibial plateau, requiring her to be in a knee immobilizer, preventing her from any weight bearing and ultimately causing her to undergo a lengthy course of physical therapy.

As we find in most of our motorcycle cases, the insurance company always wants to claim that our biker was partially at fault. Without actual impact between the bike and the car, the defense always seems to take the position that the biker, somehow failed to keep his bike under control. They just don’t understand, like those of us who ride, that the car driver’s negligence is was MAKES US have to avoid a more serious injury by avoiding the contact.

We were pleased to be able to help both of our clients in this Norfolk motorcycle injury with settlements of their claims, for more than $100,000.00.

Lesson:

Both of our clients in this motorcycle crash were wearing their helmets, and neither suffered a brain injury, despite a severe impact and crashing in to a tree. Virginia law requires all bikers and their passengers to wear a helmet. For these clients, the helmet, no doubt, saved them from a more critical injury.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

Left Turn Across Biker’s Path Results in Two Shoulder Surgeries

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Virginia Beach, VA

What Happened:

Big D, a married longshoreman and successful small business owner, was riding his motorcycle in Virginia Beach, on Dam Neck Road, and turned into a parking lot. As he traveled parallel to the storefronts, a driver coming in the opposite direction made a rapid left turn, across my client’s path. He saw the sudden turn and hit his bike’s brakes, hard. As biker’s know, when the rear brakes on a bike hit hard and lock, the bike’s gyro force tends to cause the rear of the bike to move to the right. The client attempted to correct but it was too late and the bike went over, causing Big D to be thrown from the bike with his arms outstretched to break his fall.

My client was a victim of the most frequent scenario where a car causes a bike to crash, and that is turning left across the path of the oncoming bike. Driver simply just don’t see us, despite our headlights and the noise from the bike. Statistics show over 60% of crashes involving bikes and cars are the result of the negligent driver failing to keep a proper lookout and turning in front of us.

The client suffered a number of injuries from being thrown off the bike, including injuries to his wrist, hip, both shoulders and swelling over his eye. For days he had dizziness and his wife noticed that his speech was slurred. He was diagnosed with a closed head injury. Ultimately my client underwent surgical procedures on BOTH shoulders, and, after a considerable time, he made a good recovery, returning to riding and to his job.

One of the obstacles we faced was a the claim we always get in a biker case, from the insurance company, that the our client was partially at fault, because he “laid his bike down”. This phrase, common to bikers but ABSOLUTELY WRONG, is a gross misinterpretation of what happens in this type of crash. Our client, like many in his situation, takes action to avoid a crash into an oncoming car. Often, the biker is actually successful in avoiding more harm, by swerving, and with only 2 wheels, the bike often goes over on its side. While the insurance people want to make it appear that the bike laid the bike over ON PURPOSE, we all know that no biker, ever, actually intends to slide his bike on the asphalt.

We were able, through our investigation of our client’s past medical records and old MRIs, to also prove to the insurance company that our client’s shoulder injury was much worse than his condition prior to the crash, even though he had been treated for a shoulder injury in the past.

Lesson:

My investigation of the case, the client’s medical condition, and experience as a biker, allowed us to obtain a SETTLEMENT for our client, not only of the total limits of the policy of the negligent driver, but additional sums from our client’s under insurnace coverage on his own motorcycle policy in the amount of $103,000.00.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

Officers on Motorcycles Also Victims of Negligent Drivers

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Virginia Beach, VA

What Happened:

We have had the pleasure of representing a number of police officers, who have suffered injuries when negligent drivers fail to keep a proper lookout. I am proud to have law enforcement personnel as my friends, and as my clients.

A police officer was working a Christmas parade in Suffolk, monitoring the traffic after he finished his patrol as a member of the Suffolk Police Motorcycle team in the parade. As he traveled back to his assigned patrol area, a driver failed to see him approaching, despite his being on a police motorcycle, with its headlights on, and struck the officer while trying to make a turn.

An off duty Norfolk police officer was riding his personal bike in Virginia Beach, through a green light, when an oncoming car made a sudden left turn across his path. The officer tried to brake and swerve, but, as happens many times on a bike, the bike went over and he crashed into the oncoming car.

An off duty Norfolk police officer was out riding with his wife as a passenger, along with friends in Virginia Beach on Laskin Road, when a driver attempted to cut through the feeder road, across the path of the bike. Again, the officer took evasive action to avoid a crash with the car, and in the process, his wife was thrown from the bike into the median ditch, when the bike went down. The driver of the car clearly caused the crash, but because there was no contact, she and her insurance company tried to place the blame on the officer.

In an unusual situation, a female Virginia Beach officer was riding on the back of a friend’s bike in Portsmouth, VA, when a young man, who later was found to have taken the vehicle without permission, made an unsafe lane change, and smashed into the rear of the bike. The impact was of such force that my client was thrown backwards onto the hood of the car, and she smashed into the windshield. After she rolled from the hood, the young man fled the scene, only to be found later by police.

In each of these cases, we undertook a complete investigation of the circumstances of the crash, visiting the scenes, understanding how the bikers reacted to the emergencies created by the negligent drivers. The ability to make the insurance company understand how the bike crash differs from the car crash, we were able to obtain SETTLEMENTS for each of these officers, to compensate them for their injuries.

Lesson:

In each of these cases, experience police officers, despite training in the operation of motorcycles, and training in motor vehicle operations, became the victim of someone else’s negligence. Regardless of who you are, experienced legal help from a motorcycle personal injury attorney, will make sure that your claim is recognized.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

$60,000.00 Jury Verdict for Injured Biker

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Court: Norfolk Circuit Court

What Happened:

On a bright sunny day in April, our client, a 32 year old father, had just left a visit at his mother’s house, and was returning home, on his motorcycle, to his niece’s birthday party. As he was traveling on Azalea Garden Road in Norfolk, VA, an elderly woman failed to see his bike approaching and suddenly turned left across his path. Although he braked and tried to swerve, the bike slammed into the rear side of the woman’s car, and our client was launched over the trunk of the car, landing on the asphalt some 15 feet away. He picked himself up and limped to the curb to get out of the street, and to take inventory of his body. The woman testified that she never saw him.

Our client suffered an injury to his back that just wouldn’t go away. He had no health insurance and had worked as a concrete finisher since he was 18 years old. He had no money for the extensive treatment that doctors wanted and he couldn’t afford to stop working, so for years after the crash, he suffered with daily pain.

Despite the insurance company’s ADMISSION OF FAULT, they simply refused to recognize my client’s injury, and treat him fairly. So we filed suit. We filed suit in Norfolk General District Court, and tried the case before a judge. The verdict was for $25,000.00, and my client was pleased that someone recognized his circumstances.

But that is not where it ended. The insurance company appealed the decision to the Norfolk Circuit Court, believing that a juries just don’t like bikers. The crash occurred in 2011 and we fought the case in Norfolk Circuit Court until 2014, to get to our client’s day in court. In order to help the jury understand our client’s daily work problems, we went to his job site and make a video of the work that is done by concrete worker, and played it for the jury, so that they could stand in the client’s shoes. We prepared medical visuals for the jury to see exactly where the client’s problems came from, and we presented the testimony of his doctor to explain his injury. The defense even attempted to use a doctor who never even examined our client, to claim he wasn’t injured.

VERDICT FOR THE PLAINTIFF IN THE AMOUNT OF $60,000.00. With interest, the amount we were able to secure for our client ultimately, was over $70,000.00.

Lesson:

Keep on pushing. Despite readying for trial of the case 3 times, only to have it interrupted and postponed, we kept pushing for our client until he had his day in court.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

Confidential Settlement for Biker Injured By Negligent Driver

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Virginia Beach VA

What Happened:

On an early morning in November, a driver was operating a van for her employer. However, as she travelled on Birdneck Road, intending to turn left onto 19th Street, she failed to see an approaching motorcyclist traveling toward her. Her failure to keep a proper lookout resulted in her turning directly in front of the bike. The biker tried to brake an swerve, but it was too late and the bike went down on the asphalt, causing the biker to be thrown from the bike and slide on the road.

Negligence does not require the actor to be a bad person, or to “mean to hurt someone”, and we knew that was not the case with the driver. She simply failed in her responsibility to watch for oncoming cars, she caused my client harm, and should be responsible for his injuries.

The fall from a bike is never a simple thing, and often produces a severe injury. This case was no different, as my client suffered an injury to his elbow tendons, that required several operations to fix. His treatment and the pain and limitations that went with it lasted over two years, requiring repeated hospitalizations for the repair.

Although my client had recently recovered from surgery on the same arm, we were able, through production of prior medical records, to prove that the prior surgery had nothing to do with the injured elbow. With a trial date rapidly approaching, we were able to able to successfully obtain a substantial SETTLEMENT for our client.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

$90,000 Settlement For Woman Biker

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Chesapeake, VA

What Happened:

I represented a remarkable woman, who at age 69 was a regular motorcyclist. On the day of her crash, she was returning to her home in Chesapeake, VA, after a ride with her friends to North Carolina. She was traveling on Centerville Turnpike, a two way road of one lane each, when a vehicle, which had stopped on a side street ahead of her, suddenly lurched into the roadway, intending to make a turn across her path. Although she braked quickly, the vehicle clipped the front of her bike and the bike went down, with her spilling out onto the street.

She was taken from the scene by ambulance, and diagnosed at the hospital with a separation of her acromio-clavicular joint in the shoulder, and a questionable fracture of her clavicle, as well as contusions to her chest wall and abdomen. But she was tough and wanted to try everything before finally having to undergo a shoulder reconstruction to repair the damage.

This client was determined to get back to her normal life, return to work and to get back on her bike. I am pleased that we were able to secure her a SETTLEMENT of $90,000.00 also pleased to report that she didn’t let this crash or this injury stop her from riding her motorcycle.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH

“CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE”

Confidential Settlement For Biker Injured By Defective Roadway

Attorney: Gregory Sandler

Location: Richmond, VA

What Happened:

Sometimes it’s not the negligence of another driver that causes a crash, but the negligence of those responsible for our safety. That is the situation in a case I handled for another lawyer in Richmond, who suffered a dramatic injury, while riding his motorcycle. The client left work on a sunny day August, to take a leisurely ride south of Richmond on his motorcycle. As he crossed the Shockoe Bottom Bridge on Interstate 64 leading out of Richmond, the steering of his front wheel began to become unsteady, due to the substantial defects in the road surface. His wheel, being narrower than that on a car, caught in the deep spalling in the bridge surface, lost control and traction, and the bike went down, sending my client skidding on the roadway like a rock on the surface of a lake.

Our investigation revealed that the Department of Transportation had a contract with another company, for substantial sums, to effect repairs and maintenance on the road surfaces, including the bridges, and the battle over the responsibility of the Department and this company was hard fought, with strong denials of any responsibility for my client’s crash or his injuries. We investigated the company which was hired to perform the mandatory bridge inspections, and found repeated reports of substandard conditions on and under the bridge, and we were prepared to use aerial photographs of the bridge to depict the severe conditions of the surface. I had taken a videotape of the surface of the bridge from a moving vehicle, to demonstrate how quickly my client would have been confronted with the defects, without the chance to avoid the minefield.

The defense even attempted to use an expert to blame my client’s operation of the bike for his crash, but after vigorous cross-examination by me, during which he admitted that he had NEVER driven over the bridge on a bike, the Richmond Circuit Court judge granted my motion to disqualify the expert entirely.

The injuries my client suffered were substantial, including the loss of a finger, and the long, painful healing process associated with “road rash”, the abrading of skin due to sliding on the asphalt.

After hearings over two days on a multitude of motions, we were able to negotiate a confidential settlement against both the Department and the contracting company, to compensate my client for his injuries.

Post Script

Throughout the years of litigation of this case, I had to travel to Richmond for proceedings many times. Every time I went, I had to travel in a car over the very same bridge, and even after the case was settled, the defects in the bridge remained.