Injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents are more likely to be severe, if not fatal, than passenger vehicle accidents due to the lack of protection that a car provides to the driver. More often than not, motorcycle accident injuries require long-term treatment, long recovery and rehabilitation periods, as well as special medical equipment to enhance mobility. Severe injuries can prevent motorcyclists from being able to work, which results in financial struggle for the families.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents?
Among the most common motorcycle accident injuries are:
- Road rash alongside the whole body caused by scraping on the pavement
- Neck and spinal injuries, cracked vertebrae and bulging discs
- Shattered bones and knees
- Nerve damage to the extremities
- Intra-abdominal injuries
- Temporary or permanent muscle damage, including paralysis
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain damage, which can result in memory loss as well as impaired motor skills and trouble with hearing and vision
- Traumatic brain injuries can also result in confusion, disorientation, cognitive, physical and behavioral disabilities as well as massive headaches
Motorcycle Safety Requirements in California
According to California law, motorcyclists are required to wear a safety helmet “when riding on a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle.” If your head is not protected and hits the pavement in an accident, you are likely to fracture your skull. One of the most dangerous fractures is the depressed skull fracture, which can cause bone fragments to become embedded in the brain.
Severe injuries can be prevented by wearing protective gear as well as heavy leather clothing.
California law also requires motorcycles to have:
- A daytime operating headlight
- At least one mirror
- Fully operational turn signals
In addition to that, motorcyclists must have a minimum liability insurance covering the following:
- $5,000 for property damage
- $15,000 for the injury or death of one person
- $30,000 for the injuries or deaths of multiple people
This insurance will pay out for motorcycle accidents in which the motorcyclist was at fault and the other party was injured and suffered material damages.
Most Motorcycle Accidents Are Caused by Other Motorists
Unfortunately, not all accidents can be prevented by a motorcycle rider taking proper safety precautions. The most common causes of motorcycle accidents are negligent behavior by another driver, including:
- Reckless driving
- Drowsiness and Intoxication
- Texting while driving
- Motorist’s failure to see the motorcyclist or judge his or her speed or distance correctly
If your accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against that driver to recover compensation for your damages.
Frequently Asked Questions About California Motorcycle Accident Claims
In the state of California, personal injury claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This means that you have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim, or else you will likely be barred from recovering compensation.
If you are successful in your motorcycle accident claim, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that have a specific monetary value, such as hospital bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify but may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Yes. In the state of California, you can still recover damages even if you are partially at fault for the accident. However, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 10% at fault for the accident, your damages will be reduced by 10%.
Get Help Protecting Your Rights after a Motorcycle Accident
At the Law Offices of Scott Dinsmore, APC, we understand the devastating effects that motorcycle accidents can have on accident victims and their families. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are here to put our litigation experience to work on your behalf and help you receive satisfactory compensation for your pain, suffering and financial damages.
Contact us today at (310) 318-1220 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.