California Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
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Motorcycle accidents are terrible tragedies that almost always result in more harm to the motorcyclist than the other party involved. Motorcyclists are highly vulnerable in collisions, and can easily sustain catastrophic and fatal injuries. From road rash and traumatic tattooing to head and brain injuries, there are many physical outcomes that can come from a motorcycle crash.
Motorcyclists can also sustain damages such as emotional scarring and expensive property damage. While nothing can reverse the damage incurred in a motorcycle accident, the civil courts do offer a financial remedy to injured parties. After a motorcycle crash, speak to an experienced injury attorney immediately.
Our record-setting California motorcycle accident lawyers have decades of experience handling these types of wrecks throughout California. We’ve helped thousands of people recover after accidents similar to yours. It is our mission to protect crash victims’ rights and assist them in negotiations with large insurance companies that don’t have their best interests at heart. You have nothing to lose in contacting us.
We offer free consultations with no obligation to retain our firm. We also work on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning you don’t pay a dime unless we win you compensation. Get in touch online or call (888) 488-1391
Motorcycle Accident Victims Also Ask:
If you ride, it’s imperative that you make safety your top priority on every single trip. When you head out on your motorcycle, you are incredibly vulnerable to the traffic all around you, so know the safety rules of the road and follow them:
- Always wear protective outer gear and a safety helmet that is DOT-compliant.
- Increase your visibility by wearing brightly colored clothing and clothing with reflective tape.
- Have the appropriate licensure and training necessary in your state, and obey every traffic law.
- Always use your turn signals – or hand signals – to let other drivers know when you intend to change lanes, make a turn, or merge into traffic.
- Never ride while distracted, exhausted, or impaired.
- Always ride in the middle of your lane (known as ‘lane-splitting’) so that other drivers have a better chance of seeing you.
Tips For Safer Lane-Splitting
- The danger is increased with overall speed increases.
- Avoid lane splitting when next to larger vehicles, such as big rigs, motorhomes, buses, etc.
- The danger is increased with higher speed differentials.
- You should consider the complete environment when lane splitting, this includes the lane’s width, the size of the vehicles surrounding you, the current roadway, lighting conditions, and the weather.
- It is not considered lane splitting if you are riding on the shoulder and doing so is illegal.
- Be sure to stay visible. Stay out of blind spots of other drivers and avoid lingering between vehicles.
- Wearing bright colored or reflective clothing and using high beams can help drivers spot you.
Motorcyclists Are at Great Risk on Our Roadways, Know The Facts:
- With thousands of deaths each year, motorcyclists are significantly overrepresented in traffic accidents and fatalities.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists accounted for nearly 14 percent of all traffic deaths in 2015, while motorcycles make up just 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States.
- In 2015, 4,976 motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes – an 8 percent jump from the 4,594 killed in 2014. And more than 88,000 motorcyclists were hurt in motor vehicle crashes.
- Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are approximately 27 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash, and 5 times more likely to be injured.
- Even the smallest momentary lapse in a vehicle driver’s awareness can result in the death of an unseen motorcyclist.
Defensive driving often gets a bad reputation. Contrary to popular opinion, it does not mean that you are simply driving slow. Defensive driving consists of a few basic riding habits that are intended to help keep you focused on the road, raise your awareness of your surroundings, and prepare you for a fast reaction to avoid a crash. It also consists of avoiding dangerous habits that are responsible for thousands of road deaths every year.
- Avoid all unnecessary distractions. This includes food and drink, conversation with passengers, and even adjusting your GPS. Using a hands-free mobile device does not give you a free pass for safety. Studies have repeatedly found that hands-free devices still distract drivers and cause deadly accidents.
- Aim high when looking out over the handlebars at the road.
- Keep your eyes moving. Don’t just stare at the road ahead: check your mirrors and other views frequently.
- Leave yourself an out. Anticipate what would happen if you had to swerve or slam on the brakes, and have a backup plan for various traffic scenarios.
- Position both hands firmly but comfortably on handlebars.
- Never drive while you are tired. Instead, pull over at a rest stop or other safe place to take a break and get some real rest.
It is easy to get caught up in rushing yourself, as well as other motorists when riding. It is important to remember that although you may be late, or another driver may have cut you off or otherwise disregarded the rules of the road, riding is no race or competition. One of the biggest causes of accidents is vehicles following each other too close. The general rule of thumb for driving is one car length, but extending this buffer can further reduce your risk of having an accident. This is especially important on a motorcycle, which can be difficult for other road users to see. This can also help you maintain a smoother ride that saves fuel (as well as unnecessary wear and tear on your bike). If you are spinning out every start and constantly hitting the brakes, you are accelerating too fast and following too close.
1. ANOTHER VEHICLE TURNS IN FRONT OF YOU
It’s not uncommon for drivers to not pay attention. They become distracted and ignore what is going on around them. Another vehicle could turn right in front of you simply because they were not paying attention and did not see you. They might also turn in front of you because they misjudged your speed. If this occurs, you need to act quickly.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Be sure that you are paying attention while on your bike so you can see the other vehicle turning. It is imperative that you acquire a sixth sense for other drivers on the road when you are operating your motorcycle. Be on guard and watch for various clues that another driver might turn in front of you. For example, if someone is sitting in an intersection or there is a gap between vehicles.
If you notice these signs, slow down and prepare to act. Assess the driver; are they looking? Do they see you coming? You also need to assess other drivers around you and the road conditions. If you need an escape route, you need to know where you can go. This situation does not require you to lay your bike down. You have a higher chance of survival if you can slow down and steer through another driver’s poor decisions. Slowing down even just 10 MPH can decrease the chances of a crash. If a crash still occurs despite your best efforts, you should contact a motorcycle accident attorney in California to find out what your rights are for compensation.
2. ANOTHER VEHICLE COMES INTO YOUR LANE
Other drivers often pull into the lane of traffic that you already occupy. This commonly happens because motorcycles are difficult to see. Motorcyclists are perfect for fitting into blind spots, and most drivers will not bother to look for you.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
You should take the time to learn the location of blind spots. By knowing where they are, you can make every effort to avoid them. A general rule of thumb is that if you can see the driver’s eyes through their rear-view mirror, they can see you. However, this does not ensure that they are looking or paying attention.
Be mindful of patterns in traffic. If traffic slows, it is only natural that other drivers will want to make lane changes to keep going. Even if you are in a hurry, get out of the fastest moving lane as that is where other vehicles will be moving.
You can watch for signs that another motorist is preparing to change lanes. For example, look for turn signals, wandering vehicles, a driver checking mirrors or moving their head to look around them, and wheels turning. Being aware of what other drivers around you are doing will help you avoid collisions from people trying to move into your lane. However, if this situation does occur, a California motorcycle accident attorney can help you.
3. YOU ARE GOING TOO FAST AT A CORNER
As you move into your turn, you suddenly realize that the corner is tighter than you thought. Even though you now know that you aren’t going to make it, it’s too late to avoid a crash.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Slow down, and do not push your limits while on your bike. If you do enter a corner at higher than ideal speeds, trust your bike. Do what you can to continue turning and have faith that you are underestimating your motorcycle. You can hang off of your bike to remove some of the lean from your turn. Doing this will push it up ever so slightly. Motorcycle experts recommend that you focus on where you want your bike to go and operate the controls as smoothly as possible in this situation.
4. YOUR FRONT BRAKE LOCKS UP
You are enjoying the freedom of the open road when suddenly a deer jumps in front of you. Naturally, you hit the brakes, but you end up on the pavement while your motorcycle continues down the street.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Become a master of your front brake. Even though it is difficult to learn, it is crucial because this brake is the fastest way to decrease your speed in a pinch. You can do this by finding an empty lot. Start with a specific speed and brake when you hit. Determine how long it takes you to stop. Keep doing this, focusing on decreasing your braking distance.
You will likely feel your front tire lock and your back wheel lifting off the ground. Getting a feel for this will make you better prepared to handle the situation in real life. If you own a motorcycle with ABS, this won’t be as much of a concern. Whenever you need to make a quick emergency stop, squeeze your brake lever.
5. ANOTHER VEHICLE HITS YOU FROM BEHIND
You come to a stop at a red light or stop sign, but the driver behind you does not. They hit you while going full speed, likely because they are distracted. In most cases, there won’t be any damages to the vehicle or its driver, but it can cause severe injuries to a motorcyclist.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Unfortunately, the only thing you can do to avoid rear impacts is to remain alert to your surroundings. If you need to complete your stop off to the side of the lane instead of in the middle. Tap your brakes several times to make your lights flash rapidly to gain the driver’s attention.
Leave your motorcycle in gear with your hand on the throttle. By doing this, you can get out of the way if needed before a crash happens. In situations where visibility is less than ideal, be extra alert. If you are involved in an accident of this type, be sure to reach out to a skilled California motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you recover your damages.
6. LANE SPLITTING
Motorcyclists who drive between two lanes of slow-moving traffic are being extremely risky. This recipe for disaster is also called white lining or stripe-riding. It places bikes and cars very close to each other, increasing the chances of a collision. In these circumstances, the motorcyclist also has less room to move.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
You can avoid lane splitting accidents by not participating in this practice in the first place. If you decide to do it, only do it at slow speeds and do not operate your bike at any more than 10 MPH than the cars you are passing. When traffic speeds begin to pick up again, you want to stop riding in the middle. If you see a gap in traffic and are not entirely sure you will fit it, don’t attempt it. You should also avoid passing between two long vehicles that are positioned parallel to each other.
7. GROUP RIDING
Similar to lane splitting, riding with other bikers can cause the same types of collisions. It’s not technically considered lane splitting, but it comes with the same risks. Every biker in your group needs to understand and follow stagger formation to keep everyone safe. Doing so will improve visibility for everyone and allows for riders to move out of line if necessary.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Space is on your side while you are riding. Whether you want to bypass some traffic or head somewhere with your biker buddies, the more room you have, the safer you are.
8. SLIPPERY ROADS
The ideal road condition for motorcyclists is dry. Obviously, with the California weather, this isn’t always going to happen. You may find yourself needing to ride when the road is wet and cold. These are not ideal conditions for bikers to ride in.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The most important thing you can do to increase your safety under these conditions is to invest in a quality set of tires. With these tires, your bike will better handle wet and cold roads. You should also be sure to reduce your speed and remain in control of your bike. Whatever you do, do not panic. Keep your eye on the road to avoid obstacles.
Even utility hole covers will be slippery when the roads are wet. Be watchful for other fluids on the roadway, and if you see a substance reflecting rainbow-like colors, do your best to move out of the way safely, as it is probably oil. Road conditions are usually the worst during the first hour after a rainstorm, as this is when oil is floating on top of the water.
If possible, delay going anywhere on your bike to avoid riding during that hour. Take a coffee break if you need to. In bad weather, reduced visibility is also typical. Keep in mind that other vehicles also need more response time and distance to stop if visibility is poor.
9. A CAR DOOR OPENS IN FRONT OF YOU
Driving down city roads, there is a line of parked cars to your right. Drivers who are not paying attention will often open their doors without any thought as to where you are. The result is a collision with their door.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
When possible, stay out of the lane between heavy traffic and parked cars. Ride as far away from the line of parked cars as you can. This is the best way to avoid these types of accidents. It’s tempting to ride in this lane, but it places you too close to parked vehicles, and it can make it more difficult for pedestrians to see you.
If you do find yourself about to hit a car door, brake as hard as you can. The goal is to reduce your speed as much as possible. Even if you cannot entirely avoid a collision, a collision at lower speeds is better than one at higher speeds.
10. DRIVING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL
Up to 28 percent of motorcycle deaths involved bikers who were alcohol-impaired at the time of the accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There is no arguing that alcohol consumption significantly reduces motorcycle safety.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
There is never any reason to drink and ride your motorcycle. Doing so will put your life and the lives of other pedestrians and motorists at risk. Taking the chance is not worth it.
Kids can ride as passengers on motorcycles in California. Even though the nation’s seat belt legislation says that children under the age of eight should have appropriate security restraint harnesses when riding in motor vehicles, these laws do not apply to motorcycles. Kids don’t have to wear seatbelts on motorcycles, even though this can keep them slightly 20 Safe-Driving Technologies Available for Cars That Help Prevent Accidents in 2020.
THE CALIFORNIA MOTORCYCLE HANDBOOK SAYS THAT CHILDREN MAY RIDE MOTORCYCLES PROVIDED THAT PASSENGERS TAKE THE FOLLOWING “APPROPRIATE PRECAUTIONS”:
- Owning a motorcycle having a passenger seat and passenger footrests
- Ensuring the child is tall enough to reach the footrests.
- Equipping the child with a comfortable, federally approved safety helmet
- Dressing the child in motorcycle equipment: long pants, closed-toed sneakers, protective gloves, and a thick coat
- Installing a restraint program for a child passenger
If you must have a child passenger ride on the back of your motorcycle, do this as quickly as possible. Most authorities agree, however, that parents should avoid driving children on the backs of motorcycles when possible. In an accident, kids can endure devastating and deadly injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, or organ damage. While a grownup motorcyclist can understand and accept those risks, kid passengers can’t.
AGE REQUIREMENTS FOR RIDING ON MOTORCYCLES
California doesn’t have an age requirement for children to ride on the backs of motorcycles. Instead, there’s an overall height requirement – the same as the obligation for using a security restraining device in motor vehicles. A child has to be four feet, eight inches tall to ride on the back of a motorcycle. This is the height where a child no longer needs a car seat, and where a child can reach motorcycle passenger footrests. If a child is too short to reach the footrests, chances are the kid is an unlawful passenger.
• Buy motorcycle safety gear — The first step toward safe riding is having the appropriate safety gear. Riders should always have a well-fit helmet, riding boots, gloves, and leathers. By purchasing from a store, you can be assured that your gear is the right fit for you. You will also have the benefit of a manufacturer’s warranty. Equipment purchased online or through resale may not have these protections.
• Complete a motorcycle safety course — All riders can benefit from taking a safety course – regardless of skill level or experience. Remember, riders must be prepared for many different types of unexpected road conditions, as well as drivers who might not be looking out for motorcycle riders. Safety courses can help you learn or refresh your skills in defensive riding techniques, emergency braking, and other life-saving skills. Do an online search for classes in your area.
• Maintain your motorcycle — Regular maintenance is an indispensable part of motorcycle safety. Tires should be regularly aligned and replaced. Oil changes and other preventative maintenance should be performed by a qualified mechanic who can identify any other issues that should be addressed. It is also essential to check your bike before every single ride. Look for any loose or wobbly parts. Look for stray debris that may have gotten stuck in the tires. Carefully and thoroughly inspect your bike for anything that could become a hazard. Remember, you will have little protection on the open road.
• Practice braking — Braking is one of the most critical safety skills a rider must learn. Braking technique can make the difference between life and death in an accident. Even experienced riders should practice braking regularly so that they are prepared for accidents. Find an open, empty stretch of road where you can practice without disruption. Be sure to follow riding trends online so you will be up to date on the latest techniques. Some older braking techniques are no longer recommended, and all riders should avoid them. Once you have thoroughly prepared for a safe ride, there are important safety rules you must follow while out on the road:
• Be aware of your surroundings — This is the single most important step to avoiding accidents. Awareness will help you see and avoid obstructions in the roadway. It will also help you see other vehicles and anticipate their movements. Check your mirrors often, but don’t rely solely on your mirrors. Be aware of your blind spots. Continuously monitor the road around you.
• Ride like drivers can’t see you — If you ride as though no car can see you, you will be more aware of your surroundings. You will also be more likely to make your presence known. Light-colored clothing can help, as can the use of your headlight. When necessary, you can also use your horn to alert other road users to your presence, but this should be a last resort. Excessive honking can lead to road rage and other unsafe situations.
• Pay attention to the wheels of other cars — This will help you see where other vehicles are headed. Not all drivers always use a turn signal. In addition, even those who do sometimes leave it on too long or even use the signal on the wrong side. Wheel position is a better indicator of where the driver intends to go. This is an essential step in maintaining awareness of your surroundings.
• Be careful of cars turning left at intersections — A common type of motorcycle collision involves a driver turning left in front of a motorcycle at an intersection. Allow plenty of space between your motorcycle and other vehicles at an intersection. Have an escape route available in case you need to swerve to avoid a collision. Again: watch wheel position so that you can anticipate other vehicles’ movements. Maintain awareness of all traffic before entering an intersection. Keep your hands positioned over the brakes so that you are prepared to stop quickly and avoid collisions in an intersection.
• Avoid lane splitting — Lane splitting is a controversial practice that is only legal in California. It allows riders to pass vehicles going the same direction in the same lane. No other state has formally legalized the practice, and SFGate reports that California only did so after a complicated legal process. While it is convenient for motorcycle riders stuck in traffic, it also dramatically increases the risk of injury. Many drivers are not anticipating motorcycles to be moving between lanes of traffic. This makes motorcycles more likely to be hit. As your speed increases, so does the risk of injury. The best way to avoid injury is to avoid lane splitting altogether.
• Avoid speeding through tight turns — Motorcycles require a much higher degree of manual control than cars or trucks. Because of this, turns can be especially dangerous for motorcycle riders. The faster you are traveling, the less control you will have over your motorcycle. Slow down before approaching any turn. Allow yourself plenty of time and space to navigate the turn safely.
• Don’t drink and ride — Drinking and driving are just as fatal for motorcycle riders as it is for vehicle occupants. The Insurance Information Institute reports on 2017 fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2017, 32 percent of all vehicle occupant fatalities involved alcohol impairment, while 33 percent of all motorcyclist fatalities involved alcohol impairment. With the wide availability of Lyft, Uber, and other rideshare services, it is easier than ever to get a ride and avoid drunk driving.
• Follow the speed limit — Speed is one of the most common factors contributing to road accidents. Speed reduces your control over your motorcycle. It also increases the momentum generated in a collision, which in turn increases the severity of injuries that are sustained. Always follow the posted speed limit. Sometimes, road conditions make it unsafe to travel at the posted speed limit. Slow down during rain, snow, sleet, hail, or other conditions that make reduce your visibility or make the roadway slick.
There are a variety of reasons why motorcycle accidents occur. Making a sharp turn too quickly and hitting the gravel can result in minor injuries even if the driver was riding at a low speed. At faster speeds, poor road conditions and vehicle failure can lead to many motorcycle accidents.
However, these variables contribute to a very low percentage of all motorcycle collisions in California. More serious and life-threatening motorcycle accidents happen to external circumstances outside of the control of the motorcyclist. These types of collisions often involve another motorist and lead to deadly consequences for the rider.
Some accidents can be caused when a motorist changes lanes directly in front of the motorcycle. An accident can also be caused when a vehicle hits a motorcycle from the back. Usually, drivers may not see the motorcyclist or may become distracted before a collision.
A well-supported motorcycle accident claim is vital to winning your case and receiving compensation for your damages. Typical elements of evidence include:
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Accident scene reconstructions
- Income statements
- Witness statements
- Accident scene photographs
Following these steps after a motorcycle accident will help to maximize the amount of compensation you can receive in the aftermath of your claim.
- Call the police and report the accident.
- Seek medical care.
- Exchange necessary information with the other motorists.
- If you can, gather evidence at the scene of the accident. For example, take pictures of the aftermath of the accident, your injuries, and damage to your vehicle.
- Call your insurance company and report the accident
With that said, here are some tips you should follow:
- Do not admit fault.
- Your insurance adjuster may seem like they’re working on your behalf when their job is really to save their employer money by finding ways to lower the value of your claim.
- You don’t have to accept the first settlement offer. In fact, you should hold out and receive a much higher offer in advanced negotiation talks.
- You have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
Motorcycle injuries are considered deadly, and sadly, sometimes they are. But most of them are not. Even so, they tend to be among the most severe injuries seen in any collision, which is why they are seen as accidents that are scarier than most. Each of these injuries means compensation for the victim:
- Head injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury or concussion
- Bone fractures, such as to the shoulder and pelvis
- Muscle damage
- Soft tissue skin damage, such as road rash (which can include first, second, or third-degree burns)
- Biker’s arm, such as nerve damage in the upper arm that could lead to permanent paralysis
Without airbags, door beams, roofs, and cushioning, motorcyclists in accidents are more likely to be severely injured for life than those in car accidents. Motorcycle accidents are caused by the same reasons that other accidents are caused. They are just more severe because they lack the surroundings of a car. The leading causes of motorcycle accidents are:
- Driver or biker inexperience
- Unsafe conditions
- Unsafe lane changes
- Improper turns
- Distracted or reckless driving
- Malfunctioning or defective motorcycles
- Impaired visibility
- Failing to avoid colliding with an object
Each of these causes has a formula when your claims for damages are processed. For example, a driver in a car can be at fault for failing to avoid colliding with an object if the object is you on a motorcycle. California is an at-fault state with comparative negligence laws. The party that is most at fault in an accident will pay for most of the damages.
Largest motorcycle settlement in Tulare County in 2021; client suffered spinal and wrist injuries.– Judd Ross Allen
Hit and Run Motorcycle Accidents in California
A hit and run is one of the worst types of accidents a motorcyclist can be involved in. Not only does the accident victim have to deal with serious injuries and property damage – there is no one to take the blame or pay for damages. If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run, you’ve experienced the sense of injustice it brings. Your crash wasn’t your fault, but now you’re left to pay for your own losses…or are you?
In California, uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance can cover damages a hit-and-run driver inflicts. This is a type of coverage you can purchase on your own insurance policy. It will cover your expenses as if an uninsured driver caused them, not a hit-and-run. Keep in mind that this type of coverage is not mandatory in California.
Your policy may not automatically include this coverage. If your policy doesn’t have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, there may be another option available to you – a personal injury investigation.
Seek help from a team of experienced attorneys after a hit-and-run motorcycle accident. Our team of attorneys may investigate your crash and discover evidence that could identify the responsible driver, such as video surveillance footage or testimony from eyewitnesses.
Finding the driver responsible for a hit and run is rare, but not impossible. If you have any questions about how to pursue compensation after this type of crash, go to a local personal injury attorney for assistance.
California’s Lane Splitting Laws & Accidents
Assembly Bill No. 51, signed into law by the governor on August 19, 2016, makes lane splitting legal in California. It is the first state to legalize this practice. Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist maneuvers between two vehicles on a highway, riding on the line between lanes.
California legislation made lane splitting legal after deeming that it is a safe practice for both motorcyclists and other motor vehicles. The law passed with the hope of reducing traffic and congestion on the state’s highways.
There are rules to lane-splitting – motorcyclists can only do this when a roadway divides into two or more marked lanes with traffic traveling in the same direction. Guidelines for the law continue to be a subject of debate, but there are speed limits and other rules motorcyclists must obey to legally lane split.
After its legalization, lane splitting is no longer a reason to automatically place accident liability with the motorcyclist for “breaking the law.” If you were lane-splitting at the time of your accident, do not admit fault. Wait for the police to investigate the crash and write an official report.
Steps To Take After a Motorcycle Accident in California
After a motorcycle accident, you likely have a lot of pressing questions. You might have serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. You may wake up in the hospital days after the crash, dazed and confused. No matter your circumstances, know that you can speak to an attorney regarding your injuries and property damage right away. The sooner you consult with an attorney, the better.
Here are the steps you should take after a motorcycle accident in California:
It’s easy to panic after a collision, or to fly into a rage at the other driver. However, things you do and say directly after an accident can count against you in a subsequent claim. Keep your cool and do not admit fault to the other driver.
If possible, move to the side of the road or another safe location to wait for the police. Move disabled vehicles to the side to prevent further collisions on the roadway. If you can’t move your vehicle out of the way, wait somewhere safe for police to arrive with a tow truck.
Make your health your first priority after a collision. Check yourself for obvious injuries like lacerations or broken bones. See if other parties involved in the crash are also OK. You are legally obligated to remain on the scene until you’re sure no one has injuries or needs help. Call an ambulance right away if necessary.
Motorcycle crashes are rarely minor enough not to need police involvement. Even if no one got hurt, the bike probably sustained serious damage. Do not try to settle your case with the driver. Report your accident to the police so that there is an official record. The police can document important information about the other driver, the roadway conditions, and eyewitness statements.
Although the police officer will be taking his/her own records, it doesn’t hurt to document information yourself. If you aren’t too injured, collect information like the other driver’s name and insurer. Get a trusted friend or family member to gather information for you if you go straight to the hospital from the scene of the crash.
Get pictures of your motorcycle, the other driver’s car, the roadway, and your injuries. If there are other relevant factors, such as a hidden stop sign, loose gravel, or obstacle in the road, take photos of this as well. The more information you record of your accident, the more you’ll have at your disposal should your case end up in court.
Go to the hospital as soon as possible after an accident, even if you don’t notice any obvious injuries. Motorcycle crashes can often result in head and brain injuries – injuries that don’t always show immediate symptoms. Medical scans can detect these injuries before it’s too late. Keep copies of your medical records and bills.
Create a folder with all of your accident-related documents and information. This may include your photos, medical records, copy of the police report, eyewitness statements, and information about the other driver. Staying organized can help you should you need to enter into settlement negotiations or a lawsuit with the other party.
Finally, contact a reputable California motorcycle accident attorney with a proven track-record. In California, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury claim. However, speaking to a motorcycle accidents lawyer as soon as possible can help you protect important evidence and protect your rights. Call us at (888) 488-1391 to discuss your crash. We cover all of California.
Loss of a Loved One in a Motorcycle Accident (Wrongful Death)
Not every motorcycle accident victim walks away. Motorcyclists are much more likely to experience fatal injuries in a crash than passengers of other motor vehicles. If your loved one recently passed away in a motorcycle accident, first we offer our sincere condolences. Members of our legal team know firsthand what it’s like to lose family members, spouses, and children.
We know how devastating a life cut short can be, and want to extend our legal experience to aid you and your family during this difficult time. We want to help you file a wrongful death claim.
California statutes define “wrongful death” as one caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or unlawful act. Wrongful death lawsuits are similar to personal injury lawsuits in many ways. However, only the deceased person’s spouse, domestic partner, or children may file a wrongful death claim.
The plaintiff(s) are also suing for different damages. The California courts may award recovery for the decedent’s damages, such as medical bills up until the time of death, but they may also give awards to the surviving family members for their damages. These may include:
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of the decedent’s financial support
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of the decedent’s company, comfort, and society
- Loss of the decedent’s knowledge, support, and advice
- Loss of household services
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Family costs, such as for in-home care
Our firm knows the compensation won’t bring back your loved one after a motorcycle accident. It can, however, go a long way toward improving your family’s financial future. We want to help you seek justice, compensation, and closure after the tragic death of someone you loved.
Whether a motorcycle crash led to your own severe injuries and disability or the death of a family member, contact us. Call (888) 488-1391 to schedule your free consultation anywhere in California. Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco & Riverside, plus also serve the Irvine, Orange County, Fresno and Sacramento areas just to name a few..