Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Get You the Highest Compensation
Sun and scenery help explain why California has the highest number of motorcycle riders in the country. Many people in the Golden State also use their bikes to commute because this is the only state where lane splitting is legal. This allows motorcycle riders to maneuver through traffic faster. Unfortunately, motorcycle riding comes with a higher risk of accident and injury.
If you’ve been hit and injured while riding your motorcycle, you don’t have to go it alone. At Wilshire Law Firm, we have worked with many motorcycle accident victims and have helped them get back on the road by getting them the justice they deserve. And we can do the same thing for you.
To help you understand your rights and responsibilities and the risks and unique characteristics of being a motorcycle rider, we have put together a comprehensive guide to outline the challenges you may face and to help you understand the law as it applies to you.
Motorcycles Have Unique Characteristics
When you ride a motorcycle, you’re more vulnerable. There is nothing protecting you from the environment around you, including the pavement and other drivers. If a car does hit you, you could face serious injury or even death. Motorcycles are also much smaller than traditional cars and trucks, making them harder to see. There are no seatbelts to restrain a rider and their passenger on the bike either. All of this creates a unique situation for riders and those that share the road with them.
Motorcyclists Face Challenges in Courtrooms
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you should be prepared to defend your driving, bike, helmet, speed, location, and more. The good news is, in the majority of cases, the other party and not the motorcyclist is at fault for the accident. This has been proven in various studies.
Despite these findings, motorcyclists are often stereotyped as reckless and dangerous. Whether you agree or not, these stereotypes can find their way into a legal battle and make it harder for those who have been injured – through no fault of their own – to defend their case. Of course, it’s never a good idea to try to defend yourself in a court of law. Working with experienced motorcycle accidents lawyers such as Wilshire Law Firm can ensure you the best possible chance of success.
Special Laws and Equipment Apply for Those Who Ride Motorcycles
There are several laws that apply only to motorcycle riders. When a rider attempts to cut corners regarding these laws, that can lead to trouble in court. For example, you might decide to wear a helmet that does not meet Department of Transportation (DOT) standards just because you prefer the way it looks. If you get into an accident and are injured while wearing a non-compliant helmet, it will most likely hurt your case.
- You Need a Motorcycle License: Being able to drive a car does not automatically qualify you to operate a motorcycle. Operating a motorcycle requires a specific skill set. Not only do you need a special license to drive, but if you are under 21, you will also be required to pass a California Motorcyclist Safety Program training course given by the California Highway Patrol.
- You Need to Wear a Helmet: This one is simple: Helmets are mandatory in California. You may be asked about helmet safety and use in a court of law. Besides, doesn’t it just seem like common sense to wear something that could save your life?
- Other safety equipment is recommended: In addition to a helmet, there are a number of other pieces of safety equipment that you can choose from. These include reflectors, neck guards, leather clothing and protective gear. While none are required by law, investing in one or more of them ensures you enjoy the road safely.
Accidents Statistics: The Grim Facts
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 236 motorcycle accidents result in injuries every day in the United States (2011-2015). In addition, there were 4,976 reported deaths in 2015 alone. In fact, motorcyclists are about 40% more likely to die during a collision than someone who is riding in a traditional car or truck. They are also much more likely to be seriously injured as well. Finally, because many motorcyclists carry passengers, it’s important to note that it is not just the driver’s life on the line during an accident. According to the NHTSA, 292 passengers were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2015.
Motorcycle Accident Risk Factors
- Gender: 90% of all motorcycle accident deaths are men. Obviously, this is due to the fact that more men than women ride motorcycles, but it is a very high percentage.
- Alcohol/drugs: Sadly, this is a common factor in motorcycle deaths. 25% of people killed in accidents tested positive for alcohol and/or drugs in their systems.
- Age: In a surprising twist, motorcyclists over the age of 40 accounted for 54% of all accident fatalities in 2016. As the motorcycle riding population ages, the number of younger riders getting their licenses has not kept pace. Couple that with slower reaction times and diminished faculties for older riders to understand why this demographic is so at risk.
Damages in Motorcycle Accidents
If you are the victim of an accident while riding your motorcycle and you suffer injuries, you can pursue legal action against the person who caused the accident for what is known as damages. The damages available will depend on the extent of your injuries.
Compensatory damages are meant to pay for any monetary losses incurred by the victim due to the accident. Examples of these include:
- Lost present and future income
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- In the case of a wrongful death, burial and funeral expenses
Motorcycle accident victims may also be entitled to non-economic compensatory damages for any of the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (loss of an immediate family member resulting in the absence of their companionship and any income they were contributing)
Non-economic compensatory damages are subjective. There is no official list with monetary amounts for pain and suffering. Yet many times, these non-compensatory damages make up the largest part of a motorcycle accident victim’s settlement.
The skilled motorcycle attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm have helped numerous motorcycle accident victims obtain the maximum amount possible for their pain and suffering.
What You Should Do if You Have Been in a Motorcycle Accident
A motorcycle accident can be life-altering. Outcomes can range from bruises to broken bones and even death. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, there are a few steps you should take immediately.
- Check on yourself and any passenger Then call 911. Even if you think no one is injured, it’s important to call 911, especially after a motorcycle accident. Many people are initially in a state of shock. That may cause them not to feel anything in that moment.
- If possible, find a safe area away from other vehicles. Safety should always be the number one priority after an accident.
- Exchange information with the other driver. If you are unable to do this due to injury, the police will be able to collect the information on your behalf.
- If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run, do your best to collect any information about the vehicle in question. If there were witnesses, see if they were able to photograph or record anything.
In addition to ensuring your health and safety, you should consider taking legal action. If you are not sure if legal action is advisable, or what your rights are, talk to the team at Wilshire Law Firm. We have had the privilege of helping many motorcycle accident victims get the compensation and justice they deserve.
What You Should Not Do if You Have Been in a Motorcycle Accident
There are a number of things you should avoid doing after a motorcycle accident.
- Do not apologize. It could be used against you in a court of law as an admission of guilt.
- Don’t discuss the accident or how it happened with the other party. You’ll probably be shaken up, so your memory of the version of events won’t be very reliable anyway.
- Don’t say you’re okay and refuse medical attention. This behavior will hurt your insurance claim but more importantly, you should absolutely be seen by a doctor if you were just involved in a motorcycle accident.
- Only answer questions from the police. If the other party starts asking you questions about the accident or wants you to speak to their insurance carrier, don’t do it.
- Don’t accept an immediate settlement from the other party’s insurance company.
- Don’t sign any insurance paperwork until you have had a chance to speak to one of our motorcycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm. You might not understand the scope of what you agree to, and once the paperwork is signed, it’s impossible to go back on it.
Contact Wilshire Law Firm Today if You Have Been in a Motorcycle Accident
If you or someone you know has been in a motorcycle accident, contact the experts at Wilshire Law Firm to discuss your rights and the possibility of a case today. Don’t wait – the sooner you contact our law office, the sooner we can start collecting the facts and get you the justice you deserve.
For further more information about motorcycle accidents and safety, please visit:
Motorcycle Accidents: An Overview – NOLO
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Motorcycle Safety – Wikipedia
Motorcycle Insurance FAQs
Getting Back On Your Motorcycle After A Crash
professional, quick and responsiveBobby is an incredible attorney for LA motorcycle riders. Most insurance companies are deadbeats, but Bobby will give you justice. He’s professional, quick and responsive.
Bobby was reliable, professional, and got the job done.Bobby was reliable, professional, and got the job done. I hired Wilshire Law Firm to handle a my motorcycle vs car accident case. I’m quite happy with the outcome and would definitely use Bobby again.
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