Motorcycle accidents put the rider at risk of severe injuries and death. Without a frame and airbags to help protect them from injuries like cars and trucks, these accidents are more likely to be fatal. Those in motorcycle accidents can often times receive compensation for medical expenses and damages, and a California motorcycle accident attorneys at Dinsmore & Sandelmann, LLP should be consulted immediately.
Motorcyclists are more prone to serious injuries when involved in a traffic accident. Because motorcycles are smaller and lighter than cars, and only have two wheels, they are more strongly affected by wind and speed. In addition to that, motorcyclists are not protected by any metal between themselves and the road.
Important issues motorcyclists have to be aware of include:
- Motorcyclists are less visible to other motorists.
- Road hazards, such as oil slicks, potholes, or puddles, can affect them more harshly than others.
- At a higher speed, the front end of a motorcycle can start to wobble, and then it is hard for the rider to maintain control.
- Riding a motorcycle requires more skill than driving a car. Accidents can happen more easily if a rider is unfamiliar with the motorcycle.
Statistics show fatal accidents involving a motorcyclist are 26 times more likely than other vehicles, and motorcyclists are 5 times more likely to be injured than other motorists or passengers.
Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Most motorcycle accidents are caused by a form of negligence either by the motorcyclist or by one or more other motorists involved. California motorcycle accident attorneys know that in most car-motorcycle collisions, the motorcyclist is not at fault.
Motorcycle accidents often occur when drivers of motor vehicles:
- Make a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle
- Fail to check their blind spots
- Fail to signal when changing lanes
- Drive distracted (talking, texting, playing with the radio, etc.)
- Run a red light or stop sign at an intersection
Other vehicles often underestimate the speed of the motorcycle and the distance is takes for the motorcycle to come to a full stop.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Most motorcycle crashes that occur at low speed result in leg injuries. Other more serious injuries can include:
- Severe burns
- Loss of limbs
While an accident that occurs because another party is negligent can’t always be avoided, there are ways that riders can reduce their risk of serious injuries, including:
- Get professional training before riding a motorcycle.
- Wear the proper gear, including a helmet to minimize the risk of critical injuries in a crash.
- Ride in a group. It’s not only more fun, it also increases the safety of the individual riders on the road.
- Familiarize yourself with the constantly changing motorcycle laws.
No matter how careful of a rider you are, sometimes an accident is out of your control due to the negligence of other drivers. So, if you’ve been injured in an accident, what do you do?
What to Do after an Accident
If you’re able to do so after a motorcycle accident, we recommend the following steps:
- If you or another party are injured, call 911.
- Move your motorcycle off the road, but only if you can do so safely.
- Even if you do not seem to have any injuries, seek medical treatment as soon as possible to get a complete evaluation. Not all injuries are immediately visible.
- Gather all the contact information you can from the other parties involved and any witnesses, including name, phone number and address.
- If you are able to, take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, the other driver’s license and insurance card, damage to your motorcycle, etc.
- Contact a motorcycle accident attorney at Dinsmore & Sandelmann.
Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accidents
At Dinsmore & Sandelmann, our personal injury attorneys strongly recommend contacting law enforcement after a motorcycle accident. A police report can provide an impartial and official record of the accident, including important information for any personal injury litigation that may become necessary.
If a person riding a motorcycle is injured because of someone else’s negligenc in California, the law allows the accident victim to seek compensation from the responsible party. However, California is a comparative negligence state. That means if the accident victim is found to have been partially responsible for the accident, the the amount of compensation that they can recover will be reduced by the percentage to which they were at fault.
For example, if you were riding a motorcycle and were hit by a driver who ran a red light, but it was determined that you were speeding at the time, you may be found to share a percentage of fault for the accident.
These are the basic steps in a personal injury lawsuit, such as a motorcycle accident case:
1. The accident occurs. It’s important to know the date because you have only 3 years from the day of the accident to file a claim.
2. Seek medical treatment. It’s important to follow through with any prescribed care and follow up appointments.
3. You hire an attorney. We strongly advise that you do this as soon as possible. Do not speak to the other party’s insurance company or sign any documents without legal representation.
4. We investigate your claim.
5. We negotiate with the responsible party’s insurance company.
6. If a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, we take the case to court.
7. Once the case has been settled or won in court, we collect our fee and you get the compensation you deserve.
Get Help from a Manhattan Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a motorcycle accident caused by negligence and want to file a claim against the other party, you will have to prove the following:
- The other party did not exercise sufficient care.
- You were injured or suffered losses due to your injuries.
- Your injuries were caused by the other party’s negligence.
An experienced personal injury lawyer at Dinsmore & Sandelmann, LLP will help you reconstruct the sequence of events of the accident, make sense of what caused it, and file a claim for the maximum compensation possible under the law. Call (310) 318-1220 today for a free consultation.