Whether for pure recreation or as a means of getting from place to place, motorcycle riding is inherently a part of life on California’s roads.
While a variety of precautions can be taken, motorcycle accidents do happen. At Wilshire Law Firm, a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer is on your side to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
In California, motorcycle accidents are fairly common. According to the 2016 NHTSA Traffic Safety statistics, there were over 548 motorcycle fatalities in California.
While some accidents are inevitable, motorcycle accidents and any resulting motorcycle accident injury is often caused by reckless, careless, or negligent car drivers.
Wilshire Law Firm can provide a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer who is experienced with any motorcycle accident claim and motorcyclist accident injury.
If you or a family member has been involved in a motorcycle collision and suffered a motorcycle injury, we can help. You deserve the most qualified California motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you.
What Is the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
The danger surrounding motorcycle accidents is well-known. Motorcyclists have little in the way of protection during a crash and are commonly ejected from their bikes, with catastrophic or potentially fatal injuries likely to follow. Based on vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are nearly 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic collision.
Several causes contribute to motorcycle accidents, chief among them being driving under the influence. NHTSA data indicates that drugs and/or alcohol were involved in nearly 25% of all fatal motorcycle crashes, higher than any other driver classification.
Other leading causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Driver or biker inexperience
- Unsafe road conditions
- Unsafe lane changes or improper turns
- Distracted or reckless driving
- Malfunctioning or defective motorcycles
- Impaired visibility
- Falling to avoid colliding with an object
- Lane splitting
While most states have made lane splitting illegal, California allows the practice, meaning that other motorists are required to share the road and ensure the safety of the motorcycle rider around them. Despite this, lane-splitting accidents that result in severe injury to a motorcyclist are all too common in California.
Other accident types that commonly require the services of a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer are:
- Left-turn accident
- Failure to yield accident
- Hit and run accident
- Multi-vehicle accident
- Intersection accident
- Head-on collision
- Rear-end collision
- Merging collision
- Side-impact or T-Bone collision
- Low-impact collision
If you’re involved in a traffic collision, contact a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney at Wilshire Law Firm. We will go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies and have a proven track record helping an injured motorcyclist get the compensation they deserve.
Based on vehicle miles traveled, a motorcyclist is nearly 28 times more likely than a passenger car occupant to die in a traffic collision.
Based on vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are nearly 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic collision.
What Motorcycle Accident Injuries Are Common?
A motorcycle crash almost always causes catastrophic injury to the motorcyclist. The lack of protection on motorcycles often leads to serious injury, with survivors facing a lifetime of medical care and expenses. Worse still, that problem gets passed on to U.S. taxpayers – studies have found that the economic burden from motorcycle accidents in any one year totals $12,000,000,000.
In addition to less-severe injuries like whiplash and road rash, the following motorcycle collision injuries are common:
- Paralysis (paraplegia/quadriplegia)
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Broken bones/bone fractures
- Neck/back or spinal cord injuries
Many motorcycle crash survivors face a steep climb on their path to recovery. Surgical procedures may be necessary, and intensive rehabilitation is often required for months, potentially years. Unfortunately, there is only one serious injury prevention method that has been proven to effectively reduce the number of motorcycle crash fatalities: HELMETS. Bikers should always wear a helmet, even for those short trips-California law requires it.
Who Is at Fault in Motorcycle Accidents?
In order to ride a motorcycle responsibly and defensibly, they must utilize safe riding strategies to address identified hazards in a predictable manner. These strategies can go well beyond knowing basic traffic laws and regulations.
If the driver of a car is not driving defensibly near a motorcyclist, they can be found guilty of negligence and liable for injuring the motorcycle accident victim.
On the other hand, a motorcyclist can also be found negligent if they were being negligent while riding.
The team of Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers is well-versed in determining negligence in motorcycle accidents.
What If I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?
California is ruled as a comparative negligence state. This means that if someone is injured as a result of an accident, they may be partly to blame for the accident or injuries. However, they can still be eligible for compensation, with the help of a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer at Wilshire Law Firm.
For example, California law states that all motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear a helmet at all times. If you are riding a motorcycle and are involved in an accident that results in injuries, you may be found partially responsible if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
California’s comparative negligence ruling allows you to seek compensation if you are injured as a result of a motorcycle accident, even if you weren’t wearing a helmet.
What If I Am Not Insured?
If the other party was at fault for an accident, you can still seek compensation for your injury even if you did not have insurance at the time of the motorcycle accident. The compensation will be limited, due to the lack of liability coverage.
In California, all drivers must carry liability insurance, separate for cars and motorcycles. This covers another person’s injuries if you are at fault in an accident.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident and did not carry insurance, but are not at fault you will still be penalized for not carrying insurance.
The penalty is not being able to seek compensation for pain and suffering. You will only be able to seek compensation for economic damages (including property damage, medical bills, and lost wages).
If you did not have insurance at the time of your accident but are not at fault, contact the California motorcycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm for a free consultation.
What Compensation Can You Expect for a Motorcycle Accident?
If you are injured as a result of a motorcycle accident, a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for your injuries, property damages, and medical bills, and other monetary damages.
You can be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical bills directly related to the injuries
- The cost of future medical treatment
- Missed wages as a result of time spent away from work
- Decrease in future earnings as a result of the injuries
- Property damages
- Any non-economic damages affecting your loved ones, such as loss of companionship or moral support
Call a motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles at Wilshire Law Firm today to get a free consultation on the compensation you may be eligible for, as a result of a motorcycle accident.
What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
Even with a helmet on, however, a motorcycle rider rarely walks away from an accident unscathed. That’s why the steps injured bikers take following a wreck can make all the difference in their physical, mental, and financial well-being going forward. Injured motorcyclists may be in pain, unconscious, or otherwise unable to move following an accident.
If possible, you should attempt to do the following after a motorcycle accident:
- Remain Calm-Your adrenaline and emotions may be spinning in high gear, but now is the time to keep things under control. Take a few moments to gather yourself before following the rest of these steps.
- Get to Safety-Move out of the roadway, out of the flow of traffic, and away from any hazards such as gas leaks, fires, or damaged structures.
- Check Yourself for Injuries-Even seemingly minor injuries that go untreated can lead to expensive medical care in the future. Look for any injuries you may have sustained, but don’t assume you’re okay just because you feel that way-your symptoms can be masked by the adrenaline released both during and following a motorcycle accident.
- Alert Emergency Services-If anyone has been hurt in the accident, immediately dial 9-1-1. Ask the police to create an official accident report-a police report is often your best chance at proving your motorcycle accident lawsuit.
- Document the Accident-Exchange insurance and contact information with the other involved parties. Take photos of the accident scene and record anything you remember about the accident that may be useful – for example, the time, location, and damage to your property can all help prove that the other party/parties are liable. Finally, if there are any witnesses to your accident, exchange contact information to get a written statement from them later.
- Don’t Admit Fault-In the aftermath of your accident, you’ll have to talk to several parties, including the police, the at-fault driver, and an insurance adjuster. You mustn’t admit fault, as this can be used against you during settlement negotiations.
- Contact a Personal Injury Attorney-The insurance companies are going to do everything in their power to lower the value of your claim. You need a law firm in your corner that isn’t afraid to throw a punch – that’s where Wilshire Law Firm comes in. Our California motorcycle accident attorneys can shorten the timeline of your motorcycle accident claim and help you get your life back on track.
Helmets are the only proven method for reducing motorcycle crash fatalities.
What Damages Are Recoverable Following a Motorcycle Accident?
Damages refer to the expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses that are incurred as a result of a motorcycle accident, and any serious injury. Depending on the circumstances of each motorcycle accident case, motorcyclist victims may be entitled to compensation for everything from costly surgeries and doctors’ visits to home and lifestyle modifications.
Only an expert motorcycle accident attorney can correctly assess the value of an accident claim. Using medical and vocational experts, accident reconstructionists, and more, the California motorcycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm identify the true cost of a motorcycle accident case while working hard to get motorcycle accident victims the justice they deserve.
A motorcycle accident victim may be able to recover these damages following a motorcycle accident:
- Specific Damages-Past and future medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, necessary repair and replacement services, home and vehicle modifications, etc.
- General Damages-Physical pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional distress
While this may seem straightforward, the fact is that determining liability can be a tricky proposition. Insurance companies have their claim adjusters whose only job is to give a motorcycle accident victim as little money as possible. Furthermore, multiple parties can be found at-fault for an accident, making a well-planned investigation vital to the motorcyclist victim’s chances of recovering damages.
Wilshire Law Firm’s skilled attorneys can conduct a thorough investigation, reconstructing the accident and gathering photos, witness and expert testimony, and other relevant material to identify the parties responsible for your injuries.
In the event of an accident, victims may look to hold the following entities responsible:
- Negligent drivers
- An at-fault driver’s employer
- Manufacturers due to a product defect
- Property owners
- Public entities such as a city or state due to poorly maintained roadways
- Construction contractors
Even if a motorcycle accident is partially a victim’s fault, they may still be able to recover some of the damages they have suffered. As a Comparative Fault state, California allows bikers injured in a motorcycle accident to recover a reduced percent of their damages. The amount of damages an injured motorcycle rider can recover is directly tied to the percent they are determined to be at fault for the accident. This means that motorcyclist victims who are 99% at fault for an accident may still be able to recover part of the damages they have suffered.
How Can Wilshire Law Firm Help Me?
At Wilshire Law Firm, we have some of the best California motorcycle accident lawyers working to ensure justice in each personal injury case. We understand that bikers often have the deck stacked against them during the claims process. People are inherently biased against motorcyclists, believing that all bikers are reckless, dangerous drivers who are more likely than not to be at fault for an accident. Bikers need a law firm that knows how to deal with the insurance companies and can protect the value of their claim.
The statute of limitations for most claims is two years from the date of the accident, but many factors can either shorten or lengthen the timeline of a motorcycle accident case. Motorcyclist victims looking to get the most out of their case need to retain the services of the exceptional personal injury attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm.
Our award-winning team of more than 100 legal professionals can handle every aspect of your case, from paperwork and discovery to depositions and litigation. Wilshire Law Firm will arrange access to medical treatment until motorcycle accident victims have achieved Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), and our Zero Fee Guarantee ensures that our clients won’t be charged a cent in legal fees until we make a recovery.
Wilshire Law Firm doesn’t just fight for dollars and cents. We fight for vulnerable human beings. Since 2007, we’ve transformed thousands of lives and recovered hundreds of millions of dollars, and that’s because we put our clients first. To get your FREE legal case consultation, call Wilshire Law Firm now at (800) 522 7274, or fill out our online contact form, and discover the legal experience you deserve.