Motorcycles are a popular means of transportation in California. They give their riders a sense of freedom that cars and trucks just don’t provide. Unfortunately, as their popularity and sales increase, so do the occurrences of motorcycle accidents in Manhattan Beach and other California communities.
At the Manhattan Beach personal injury law firm of the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore, APC, we’ve been representing clients who have been injured in motorcycle accidents for more than 30 years. We have first-hand experience dealing with the devastating results of a motorcycle accident.
Motorcycle Accidents Result In Serious Injuries
Since motorcycles lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle and restraining devices, riders are more likely to be seriously injured or killed in accident. Each year the number of deaths resulting from motorcycle accidents far outnumbers those resulting from automobile accidents.
Some of the injuries that can result from a motorcycle accident:
- head, back and neck injuries
- concussions and other kinds of brain damage
- broken bones
- road rash
In the worst cases, these injuries can be fatal.
Manhattan Beach motorcycle accidents generally fall into two categories: accidents involving a single motorcycle and its rider, and those involving a motorcycle and another vehicle.
Single Vehicle Motorcycle Accidents
Almost a fifth of all motorcycle accidents involve a single motorcycle. The leading causes for these single vehicle motorcycle accidents are speeding and driving while intoxicated. Other reasons that contribute to single vehicle motorcycle crashes include:
- Inexperienced/untrained rider
- Reckless driving
- Improper passing and lane splitting
- Failure of tires, brakes or other parts
- Pedestrians or animals in the road
- Road debris
- Poor weather conditions
- Poorly maintained or designed roads
As you can see, the rider is not always at fault in a single vehicle motorcycle accident. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, the injured rider may be able to seek damages from part manufacturers, government entities and others.
Motorcycle and Automobile Accidents
There’s a good reason why motorcyclists need to be especially alert while they’re on the roads: in a little over half of accidents involving motorcycles and automobiles, the driver of the automobile is at fault. Many times, the driver of the automobile simply did not see the motorcycle. This is why most of the collisions between the two occur when automobiles change lanes or make turns.
Staying Safe on the Roads
Motorcyclists and automobile drivers should always be aware of what’s going on around them and obey the traffic laws.
Motorcyclists should drive defensively. It’s a good idea to assume that the car ahead of you can’t see you. Avoid getting into a situation that could result in a collision – don’t follow too close and be careful while passing. Use caution when approaching intersections, especially ones without traffic lights, and while entering and exiting freeways.
Keep a lookout for debris or animals in the road. Try to stay off the roads when the weather gets bad.
What you wear can also keep you safe. In California, all motorcycle riders and passengers are required to wear helmets. Helmets effectively protect the rider from head injuries, one of the leading causes of death for motorcycle riders. Other kinds of protective garb, like motorcycle jackets and gloves, can help prevent road rash if you’re thrown from the bike. Brightly colored clothing makes you more easily visible.
Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accidents
When you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, you should contact law enforcement immediately. In addition to providing an official record of the accident, the police report can provide important information for any future personal injury lawsuit.
Motorcycle accident victims in California may seek compensation from the party that caused the accident. However, comparative negligence applies to California accident claims. Therefore, if the accident victim’s actions were partially to blame for the accident, the amount of compensation that they could receive may be reduced by that percentage.
If a driver hits your motorcycle after running a red light, but it is found that you were speeding at the time, you may be found to be partially to blame for the accident.
Generally, a motorcycle accident lawsuit follows these steps:
1. An accident occurs. It’s important to know the date of the accident, as you only have 3 years from the day of the accident to file a claim.
2. Seek medical attention. Keep appointments for follow-up care and any prescribed medical treatment.
3. Hire a lawyer. This should be done as soon as possible. You should not speak to the other party’s insurance company or sign any documents without legal representation.
4. Our team investigates your claim.
5. We negotiate with the responsible party’s insurer.
6. In the event that a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, we will go to court.
7. Upon settlement or victory in court, we collect our fee and you receive your compensation.
Speak with an Experienced Manhattan Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may have a right to seek compensation for the pain, suffering and financial costs you’ve experienced as a result of your injuries. Proving liability in a motorcycle accident claim can sometimes be difficult, especially if the accident involved a single motorcycle.
The personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore, APC have been successfully representing clients in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Gardena, Hawthorne, Torrance, Redondo Beach and other South California communities for over a quarter century. During that time we’ve earned a well-deserved reputation for getting our clients the settlements they deserve for their injuries.
Don’t waste time – there are statutes of limitation for filing a motorcycle injury claim in California. Call our offices at (310) 318-1220 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our Manhattan Beach motorcycle injury attorneys. We handle these cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no up-front costs to our clients and we only collect our fee after you win your case.