SHARE THE ROAD WITH MOTORCYCLES!

Ci_LLcpWgAE75xE.jpgHere at Roadrunner Law, we’re all making summer travel plans–and for some of us, that means a summer road trip.  I’m planning on taking my family of six all the way from Albuquerque to Glacier National Park this summer via Interstate 15.  But while we’re making plans for fun summer travel, we’re also making plans for SAFE summer travel.  And being safe means sharing the road and watching for motorcycles!

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016 “5,286 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes—an increase of 5.1 percent from the 5,029 motorcyclists killed in 2015.”  The Motorcycle Safety Foundation provides some explanation for the increase in crashes, including fatal collisions.  Simply put, motorcycles utilize the road differently than vehicles.  For example, many drivers don’t understand how motorcycles maneuver within their lanes to avoid potholes or loose gravel, or that motorcycles don’t always use the brakes, instead downshifting or rolling off the throttle to slow for road debris.  Many drivers also have poor spatial understanding, and can’t tell how far away an approaching motorcycle is (leading to a high number of “left turn” crashes), or can’t tell the distance between the front of their vehicle and the rear of the motorcycle in front of them (leading to a high number of rear-end accidents).   Also, unfortunately many drivers fail to check their blind spots.  Since motorcycles are smaller than cars, they occupy a different blind space, and lane changes end up causing accidents more often than they should because of simple driver negligence.

Fortunately, there are easy steps drivers can take to be more aware of motorcyclists, and these simple steps also carry the added bonus of making you a safer driver generally!  Here are a few tips to help you become more aware of motorcycles on your summer road trip:

Be aware of turning motorcycles.

Because motorcycles are smaller than cars, and because they move differently in their lane, cars don’t always realize that a motorcycle is preparing to make a turn.  Watch for motorcycle signals–hand signals or lights on the bike–that let you know what a motorcyclist is planning.  Even more importantly–slow down and give them a few extra moments to make their move!  It doesn’t cost you anything to be a patient, courteous driver.

Check your blind spots!

Motorcycles don’t occupy the same space in your blind spot as a car or truck!  Don’t just rely on your mirrors.  Take a few extra seconds to look behind you by physically turning your head and looking behind your shoulder.  Ask your backseat occupants to let you know when you have motorcyclists to your rear.  Listen for the roar of a motorcycle engine–motorcycles are loud for a reason!  Turn down your stereo and become aware of your surroundings!

Motorcycles maneuver differently than cars!

Motorcycles need to move within their lanes of traffic more frequently than cars, to avoid debris and road hazards.  Give them some space!  Don’t crowd motorcycles, and DON’T TAILGATE.  Motorcyclists often have to make quick decisions with regard to navigation, so an extra car length can really mean the difference between life and death for a biker.

Pass Safely!

Use your signals!  If necessary, tap your horn to make surrounding motorcyclists aware of your intentions.  Check your blind spots carefully, and change lanes S-L-O-W-L-Y!  What’s the rush?  A few extra seconds could save a life!

Make sure you have enough time to make a left turn!

We’ve seen this scenario more times than we can count.  A driver is making a left turn.  They see a motorcycle in oncoming traffic, but it’s so small–it looks so far away!  The car thinks it has plenty of time to make the turn and then–BOOM!  Then the car usually says the motorcyclist “must have been speeding because I had plenty of space!”

The motorcyclist wasn’t speeding.  The driver of the car just didn’t understand the spatial dynamics involved.  The motorcycle is smaller on the horizon than the driver is used to, so the driver thinks the motorcycle is farther away than it really is, and that lapse in judgment leads to accidents more often than it should.

 

The solution is easy.  If you see a motorcycle coming when you’re making a left-hand turn–WAIT FOR THEM TO PASS.  It costs you a few seconds.  It could easily save a life.

Road Trip Games.

If you’re traveling this summer with kids, you’ll need ways to entertain them.  Most of us medicate our kids with screens these days, but a good way to help kids get in the habit of identifying motorcycles early is this game.

It’s simple–have your kids count the number of motorcycles they see.  You can assign each kid a different color to count, or a different kind of bike.  They’ll start looking for motorcycles, and it will help them become more aware of the number of bikes on the road, which can only help them when they start to drive themselves!

SLOW DOWN.  BREATHE.  ENJOY YOUR TRAVELS.

In this world of rush, rush, rush, it’s hard to slow down, even when we’re on vacation.  But just a few extra moments could truly save the life of a motorcyclist.  And by taking those few extra seconds to check your blind spot, change lanes safely, or let a motorcyclist pass before making a left turn, you could be saving a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a friend.

 

 

Blazejewski & Hansen Summer Events!

We haven’t posted much lately because we’ve been so busy with our involvement in various community events, and of course we’ve been busy taking care of our clients!  But we wanted to take some time to send shout-outs to the great folks we’ve been lucky enough to meet this summer.

In May, we attended the Red River Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally.  We wanted to let New Mexico riders know that we’re here if they need us, and that we strongly support our community of bikers and their right to ride.  We are corporate members of the New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization, and we strongly support efforts in our legislature to make our roads safer for motorcyclists. We’ve seen many, many cases of motorcyclists hurt by distracted, careless, reckless drivers, and we understand that motorcyclists are some of our best-trained, most careful users of our roads.  So we wanted to get out to Red River and let folks know that we support NM Motorcyclists!

We want to send a huge thank you to Michael, Bobbie Jo, and the whole team at Resort Realty in Red River.  These folks really went above and beyond to make our stay comfortable and memorable.  We were able to hang out at the Hotel Ryland and get to know a lot of the bikers who hit the rally every year.  We had a great time hanging out with these friendly folks!

We also want to send a huge shout out to Texas Reds Steakhouse.  We were just down the road from this awesome restaurant and bar, and the staff there was just incredible, not to mention the amazing in-house music.  We got to see Albuquerque natives Honeyhouse (aka Missing Mandy), and really cannot recommend trying to catch them highly enough if you have the chance.  They are absolutely fabulous, and of course Eva and I love the girl power!

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Then, in June, we got to attend the annual Running the L.A.W. (Ladies Annual Weekend) at Isleta Resort and Casino as Platinum Sponsors.  This amazing event brings female bikers from all over the country together to share in a common love of the ride!  We had an amazing time meeting the fabulous Toni TooFine, organizer of the ride, as well as the incredible Porche Taylor, editor of Black Girls Ride magazine!  We were so happy to meet so many female riders from all over the United States, and to let them know that we’re here in New Mexico if they need us.

These ladies did an incredible job of organizing the event, and we want to thank everyone involved.  We were also extremely impressed with the catering and facilities at Isleta.  Everything we experienced, from brunch to the pool area, was top notch, and we appreciate the professionalism of everyone involved in pulling off a great weekend.

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We have lots more events on the horizon, including the 2017 La Mosca Bicicleta, organized by Duke City Wheelmen.  We are proud corporate sponsors of this fabulous event.  We strongly support the Wheelmen in their mission to promote bicycle awareness and safety in New Mexico.  More to come soon!

Blazejewski & Hansen Learn About Motorcycle Safety

Eva and I have represented many injured motorcyclists throughout our careers as personal injury attorneys here in New Mexico.  We’ve handled all kinds of biker injuries, including debilitating fractures, road rash, soft tissue injuries, and sometimes–unfortunately–worse.

But until this weekend, neither Eva nor myself had ever ridden a real motorcycle.  We’ve both messed around on scooters and dirt bikes, but neither of us really appreciated the power of a Harley.  That changed for both of us when we took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation endorsed Basic Rider Course at Thunderbird Harley-Davidson.

The incredibly beautiful riding range at Thunderbird Harley Davidson in Albuquerque

Now, in the interest of full disclosure–I will admit right off the bat that I punked out after about a half hour on my bike during the riding range component of the course.  I was just too anxious and scared to ride safely, so I took myself out of the running and instead just observed and learned as much as possible from watching the other riders and our outstanding instructors, Matt and Maureen.

Eva stuck it out until the end, though, and passed both the written and range tests!  She now has her motorcycle endorsement, and a new expensive hobby!

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Eva with her learning bike, a beautiful Harley-Davidson Street 500

Even though I didn’t finish the riding portion, I can’t describe how important I think this course will be to our practice.  We now have deeper knowledge, respect, and appreciation for motorcyclists and we now understand the operation of cycles in a way that will truly benefit the way we advocate for our injured biker clients.  We can now converse much more intelligently with our clients about how their bikes responded to the crash, and about their individual bike’s modifications and mechanics.  We are incredibly excited to bring our new knowledge to our client’s cases in a positive way!

We cannot say enough good things about the folks at Thunderbird.  Austin, Sean, Big Tim, Matt, and Maureen, along with everyone else we’ve met, have been absolutely incredible, taking all the time with us to answer our questions and help put our fears to rest.  And huge respect also to our wonderful classmates, all of whom were nothing but supportive and kind to both me and Eva.  If you are thinking of learning to ride, or if you’ve been riding for years and just want to get your endorsement or bone up on the fundamentals, Thunderbird’s course is for you.  A+ instruction in a safe and supportive, non-judgmental environment, offered with good humor and fun.  You can’t ask for more.

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Blazejewski & Hansen strongly supports our community of riders in New Mexico.  We support biker rights.  Our law firm is a corporate member of the New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization and we strongly support the NMMRO’s efforts to lobby for motorcyclist rights in our New Mexico legislature.

 

BLAZEJEWSKI & HANSEN–ALBUQUERQUE, SANTA FE, LAS CRUCES, ROSWELL, TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, TUCUMCARI, SANTA ROSA, LAS VEGAS, FARMINGTON, GALLUP, GRANTS, CARLSBAD, RUIDOSO, TAOS NEW MEXICO PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS HANDLING MOTORCYCLE CRASH CASES.  IF YOU HAVE BEEN HURT IN A MOTORCYCLE CRASH, CALL US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.  NO FEE UNTIL WE WIN.

 

*Thunderbird Harley-Davidson is in no way responsible for the content of this page or website.  The opinions expressed belong to the author(s).

7 Things To Ask BEFORE You Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer

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We’ve written previously about why it is important to really take the time to get to know a prospective attorney before you hire them to handle your personal injury case.  Your case is important to you–it should be important to your attorney, too.  That’s why we’re emphasizing these seven questions that you should ask of every personal injury attorney you speak with about your case.

7 Questions To Ask Before You Hire A Personal Injury Attorney

Will you be the one handling my case from beginning to end, or will someone else be responsible for my case?

Will I be able to reach you on the weekends or after hours if I have an emergency?

Will you help with my property damage claim, or will I be expected to negotiate that part of my case on my own?

If there is limited insurance money available to compensate me for my injuries, will you take more as your fee than I get in my pocket?

How many cases have you personally handled successfully in the last year?

What is your current caseload?  

Do you have time to personally handle my case,? 

If you don’t like the answers you get–walk away!

It is extremely important that you trust your attorney from day one.  If the attorney you meet with refuses to answer any of these questions, think hard about whether you should hire them.  A good attorney offers honest answers, even to tough questions.

Feel free to print this post for easy reference when you meet with a prospective personal injury attorney.  Remember–it’s YOUR injury, and it’s YOUR case.  Choose the attorney who you feel best with, and don’t settle for anything less than excellent.

Blazejewski & Hansen Personal Injury Attorneys ARE DIFFERENT THAN THE REST. 

We handle our client’s cases personally, from beginning to end.  

You will always meet the attorney handling your case when you COME IN for YOUR free consultation. 

We assist our clients with their property damage claims, free of charge.

We provide contact information so that our clients can get in touch with us personally in the event of emergencies after hours and on weekends. 

We maintain a manageable caseload so that we can provide prompt and personal service to our clients. 

We never take more as our fee than our clients receive in their pockets. 

FILL OUR THE FORM BELOW TO REACH OUR LEGAL TEAM.

NO FEE UNTIL WE WIN.  FREE CONSULTATION.  

EXPERIENCED NEW MEXICO CAR AND MOTORCYCLE CRASH ATTORNEYS
WE HAVE RECOVERED MILLIONS FOR INJURED NEW MEXICANS.  20+ YEARS OF COMBINED EXPERIENCE.  AGGRESSIVE REPRESENTATION AND PERSONAL ATTENTION FOR YOUR NEW MEXICO PERSONAL INJURY CASE.  SERVING THE ENTIRE STATE OF NEW MEXICO, INCLUDING ALBUQUERQUE, SANTA FE, LAS CRUCES, TAOS, ROSWELL, FARMINGTON, TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, GALLUP, GRANTS, CARLSBAD, SANTA ROSA, RUIDOSO, LOS ALAMOS, PORTALES, AND MORE.  IF YOU HAVE BEEN HURT IN A CAR OR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT, A BICYCLE CRASH, OR ANOTHER KIND OF ACCIDENT, WE CAN HELP. CONTACT US TODAY. OUR ATTORNEYS ARE STANDING BY TO SPEAK TO YOU ABOUT YOUR CASE.  (505) 554-1660
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How to Hire the Best Lawyer

 

 

 

When people are hurt in a car or motorcycle crash, or because of another kind of negligence, one of the first things they often do to find an attorney is turn to television ads, or to Google or Bing.  They are usually looking to find the  “top Albuquerque personal injury lawyer,” or “Best New Mexico personal injury attorney.”  But are the first search results that pop up in the Google results *really* representative of the “top” or “best”lawyers in New Mexico?

THINGS TO ASK A PROSPECTIVE ATTORNEY

Will you be the one handling my case from beginning to end, or will an associate attorney, paralegal or assistant be handling my case?

Will I be able to reach you on the weekends or after hours if I have an emergency?

Will you help with my property damage claim, or will I be expected to negotiate that part of my case on my own?

If there is limited insurance money available to compensate me for my injuries, will you take more as your fee than I get in my pocket?

How many cases have you personally handled successfully in the last year?

What is your current caseload?  Do you have time to personally handle my case? 

Simply put, the lawyer you see on TV or the first lawyer to pop up in the Google results may not be the best lawyer for your personal injury case.

We believe that every case is different, and each case deserves personal attention. 

In our experience, the best way to hire an attorney to represent you in your personal injury case is to combine your research–utilizing Google searches, word of mouth referrals, yelp reviews, etc.–with a free in-person consultation with each of the law firms you are considering.  Almost all personal injury law firms in New Mexico offer a free in-person consultation.  We strongly suggest you take them up on the offer!  Hiring an attorney to handle your personal injury case is much like hiring a counselor or therapist: it is a trust relationship, and if you don’t feel comfortable with the person handling your case, it doesn’t matter how high in the Google results that lawyer was–you will not be happy with how you are represented.

When you consult with law firms about your personal injury case, take note of who handles your initial consultation.  Are you meeting with the attorney who will be handling your case, or are you meeting with a paralegal or associate?  If you meet with a managing partner, ask if the partner is the one who will be handling your case, or if your case will instead be assigned to an associate attorney or paralegal, and if the answer is “yes,” make sure you ask to meet the person who will actually be handling your case from beginning to end.  You’ll also want to know if you will be expected to handle any portion of the negotiation of your case on your own (like the property damage portion of your claim), and if the attorney working on your case will be accessible after hours in case you have an urgent situation that needs attention.

You should also ask how many cases the attorney assigned to your case has on his or her plate. Make sure that the lawyer has plenty of time to handle your concerns promptly and personally.  An overwhelmed attorney might let things slip through the cracks, and you need to know before you hire a lawyer that they have room on their calendar to take your case on.

BLAZEJEWSKI & HANSEN, LLC IS A CUT ABOVE THE REST.

We handle our client’s cases personally, from beginning to end.  

You will always meet the attorney handling your case when you meet with us for a free consultation. 

We assist our clients with their property damage claims, free of charge.

We provide contact information so that our clients can get in touch with us personally in the event of emergencies after hours and on weekends. 

We maintain a manageable caseload so that we can provide prompt and personal service to our clients. 

We never take more as our fee than our clients receive in their pockets. 

FILL OUR THE FORM BELOW TO REACH OUR LEGAL TEAM.

NO FEE UNTIL WE WIN.  FREE CONSULTATION.  

Experienced New Mexico Car and Motorcycle Crash Attorneys
We have recovered millions for injured New Mexicans.  20+ years of combined experience.  Aggressive representation and personal attention for your New Mexico personal injury case.  Serving the entire state of New Mexico, including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Taos, Roswell, Farmington, Truth or Consequences, Gallup, Grants, Carlsbad, Santa Rosa, Ruidoso, Los Alamos, Portales, and more.  If you have been hurt in a car or motorcycle accident, a bicycle crash, or another kind of accident, we can help. Contact us today. Our attorneys are standing by to speak to you about your case.  (505) 554-1660