Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Motorcycle Awareness can Reduce Crashes

Although a recent report indicates motorcycle fatalities are on the decline, motorists still need to be reminded that they share the road with their two-wheeled neighbors on the road. I think the drop in motorcycle deaths likely reflects that motorcycle riders are paying more attention to safety by taking training courses, driving sober and wearing helmets and other protective gear – but other drivers have responsibility as well.

The fact is that many motorcycle accidents, injuries and deaths are caused by the car or truck driver failing to see the motorcycle or reacting too slowly to the motorcycle’s presence. So, we have to stay vigilant in raising drivers’ awareness of motorcycles. I founded the Lexington personal injury law firm, Frank Jenkins Law Office, in order to represent motorcycle accident and other vehicle accident victims in Fayette County and throughout Kentucky.

And although the report is “good news”, motorcycle safety advocates should not get overly excited about the report issued this week by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which found that the nation’s motorcycle fatalities have fallen for the second straight year after 11 straight years of increases. The report analyzed preliminary data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and found that motorcycle fatalities for the full year nationwide are expected to be 4,376 or fewer, a decrease of at least 2 percent from the 4,465 fatalities of 2009.

In Kentucky, motorcycle deaths dropped to 66 in the first nine months of 2010, or 12 fewer than 2009. Which is great news. However, the decline in motorcycle fatalities is short of the 16 percent drop in 2009, and according to the report, the rate of deadly motorcycle wrecks was actually higher in the second half of 2010 than in the first part of the year. So even though the report is encouraging, we still have to be cautious about the numbers. To me, this report indicates that we’re making strides in motorcycle safety – but we can do better.

Motorcycle Awareness Month in May is the perfect time to inform the public about the need to be more aware of motorcycles. It’s also a time to remind motorcycle riders that they deserve to be compensated for their injuries when they are harmed by a motorist who has negligently or recklessly failed to respect their presence on the road.

Following too closely, turning ahead of the motorcyclist and running the bike off the road are examples of accidents caused by other vehicle drivers. Because motorcycles are significantly outweighed by cars and trucks, and because motorcyclists generally lack protection – even when wearing a helmet – a motorcycle accident can be tragic.

That’s why our law firm is committed to securing compensation for motorcyclists and their families when they are the victims of another’s carelessness.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Facebook Problem

Currently, there are over 500 million active Facebook accounts across the globe. Of the 206 million people in the United States who use the internet, it is estimated that over 71 percent of them are using Facebook. What you may not know, though, is that if you are an active Facebook user and have recently filed a personal injury lawsuit, you could end up jeopardizing your claim. You can be sure that the opposing attorneys will do everything they can to minimize your claim or refute it entirely, and they sometimes find a treasure trove of information on social media sites like Facebook to make their job easier. For example, if you are claiming an injury in your lawsuit that hinders your ability to move around or perform daily tasks, it’s probably not a good idea to post photos on your page of you playing football or dancing at a club after the date your accident occurred. Your Facebook friend list presents another golden opportunity for investigators as it can help them stumble upon damaging information about you that was posted by your buddies on their pages. Many people mistakenly believe that privacy settings on Facebook will prohibit opposing attorneys from accessing their pages, but the defense can ask the judge to required written authorization from you for access to your Facebook account. Even if that request is denied and your privacy settings only allow your Facebook friends to see your page, you still may run into problems. A creative investigator for the opposing counsel could trick you into being “friends”, leaving your Facebook account open to scrutiny. For plaintiffs in the midst of a personal injury lawsuit, it is highly recommended that using Facebook be strictly avoided until after the case is over.