CALIFORNIA’S MOST TRUSTED MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Motorcyclists are at the mercy of other drivers every time they get on the road. Drivers often don’t see bikers or don’t know how to adjust their driving when near a motorcycle. When the superior size and weight of passenger or commercial vehicles collides with a rider on a motorcycle, the larger vehicle always wins. In many cases, the rider can be left with life-altering or even fatal injuries after a motorcycle crash. If you have been injured, or if you have lost a loved one in a Los Angeles or San Francisco, California motorcycle accident, call Century Park Law Group today. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling all types of California motorcycle accident claims and can guide you step by step through the process of getting you the compensation you deserve.
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Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Without any kind of protective structure to protect you from the force of the crash, you are over 5 times as likely to be injured when riding a motorcycle than you would be in a car. In fact, you are 27 times more likely to die in a crash when riding a motorcycle than driving a car, per vehicle mile traveled.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents are:
Due to their smaller size, motorcycles are more difficult to see. Drivers who are changing lanes may not see a motorcycle that is riding in their blind spot and may change lanes suddenly without signaling.
Although research shows that riding a motorcycle between two lanes of slow or stopped traffic may be safer than waiting, inexperienced riders may veer too close to other vehicles, ride too fast for conditions and make other mistakes that make the situation riskier.
Speeding reduces the amount of time you have to react to other drivers and changing road conditions. This is true in any vehicle, but without the protection of a passenger vehicle, a motorcycle rider is more vulnerable to impact force, which could cause death or serious injuries.
Opening car doors
Drivers in cars parked on the side of the road sometimes fail to check or do not see motorcycles approaching before opening their doors. If the motorcycle is riding close to the right side, it may strike a door that suddenly appears in its path.
Driving under the influence
Driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more can be deadly. Nearly 1/3 of fatal motorcycle accidents involved riders that were intoxicated.
Many motorists fail to keep a safe driving distance when following a motorcycle. Motorcycles are smaller and lighter, and are able to stop much more quickly than larger vehicles. If the vehicles that follow are too close, they may hit the motorcycle from behind.
Left turn accidents
Motorcycles are much faster than cars, which may lead motorcyclists to believe that they can shoot any gap. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and many motorcyclists end up getting hit by oncoming traffic.
Inexperienced riders and drivers
Inexperience is dangerous no matter which side of the equation it’s on. Inexperienced riders make errors in judgement, and inexperienced drivers fail to adjust to driving near a motorcycle.
Hazardous road conditions
Unexpected obstacles such as potholes, debris, animals crossing, and stopped vehicles require fast reactions. When hazardous road conditions are combined with any of the other factors on this list, it is a recipe for disaster.
Manufacturer defects or poor maintenance
Defective or poorly maintained parts can fail at critical times, leaving you vulnerable to losing control of your motorcycle and having an accident.
California law neither specifically allows nor prohibits motorcycles from passing other vehicles in the same lane when are going in the same direction, which is called “lane splitting,” “lane sharing” or “filtering.”
Instead of issuing guidelines for lane splitting, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) strongly encourages all motorcycle riders to sign up for the California Motorcyclist Safety Program, which is administered by the CHP as California’s official motorcycle safety and training program.
According to the California Office of Motorcycle Safety, motorcycle fatalities are on the rise. Motorcycle fatalities increased 11 percent from 494 in 2015 to 548 in 2016, and motorcyclist deaths from not wearing a helmet increased 9 percent from 23 in 2015 to 25 in 2016, the last year for which statistics are available.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and you are still conscious, you will probably have adrenaline coursing through your body. You may feel extremely alert and full of energy. Even if you don’t feel injured, move cautiously. Your body has just experienced extreme force and internal injuries may not be immediately apparent.
No matter who you think caused the accident, do not admit fault or apologize to the other driver for any reason. A better move is to simply ask if they are ok.
- Move to safety
If you are able to move, move off the road and out of traffic as soon as you can.
- Call 911
Any accident involving a motorcycle is serious and you should be checked by paramedics at the scene of the accident. If anyone is injured or if there is over $500 worth of damage, be sure to file a police report. Be sure not to admit fault or apologize at any time.
- Keep your helmet and gear on
Injuries that you may not feel due to adrenaline may be supported by your protective equipment. Only remove your helmet when the paramedics have asked you to do so or if it is absolutely necessary to clear your airway. If you are on the scene with an unconscious rider, do not remove the helmet unless it is the only way to ensure his or her airway is unobstructed.
- Seek medical attention
This is a smart idea, even if you think you don’t think that you are injured. Adrenaline sometimes masks serious injuries that will start to show up after days or weeks. Motorcycle crashes have a higher potential for organ damage and internal bleeding than passenger vehicles.
- Exchange information
If possible, take photos of the other driver’s license and insurance card. If not, be sure to take down their name, address, insurance company, vehicle make and model and policy number.
- Take pictures
Take photos of the damage to all vehicles involved and photograph the scene of the accident. If there are skid marks posted signs or other indicators that could help prove that the other party was at fault, include them in your photos. If you can’t take photos of the scene, take note of exactly where it occurred so that you can return to take them later.
- Gather witnesses
If there is anyone who was not involved in the accident who witnessed the event, ask for their contact information. If you can record them stating what they witnessed on your phone, or write down what they say they saw, do so.
- Notify your insurance company
Even when you are speaking with your own insurance company, be sure not to admit fault.
- Contact a personal injury attorney experienced in motorcycle accidents as soon as possible
If you were injured—or if your loved one lost his or her life–in a motorcycle accident, you need to act immediately. The actions that you take, or fail to take, in the first few months after an injury can make a tremendous difference in whether, or how well, you will be able to recover. Insurance companies will try their best to deny or limit your claims and without the money to pay for doctors, surgeries and therapies, your recovery will be limited. Century Park Law Group lawyers have extensive experience with motorcycle accident cases. We offer free consultations, so it costs you nothing to find out what we can do to help get you the compensation you deserve so you can get your life back.
Without an attorney to advocate for you, you are at the mercy of the insurance companies. The insurance companies have well-paid lawyers whose sole purpose is to ensure that the company pays the lowest dollar amount possible per accident.
They often attempt to portray motorcycle riders as reckless and irresponsible in an attempt to prove that they should not be responsible for paying for your recovery and have other time-tested strategies to avoid paying the compensation that you need.
Having an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side levels the playing field, so that you can get the compensation that you need in order to recover from your accident and get your life back.
At Century Park Law Group, we:
- Guide you through the process and advocate for you every step of the way
- Know how to counter the strategies that the insurance companies use
- Build a solid case, based on what convinces the courts
- Present your case professionally, to give your claim the legitimacy it deserves and maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve
- Make every attempt to get a fair settlement out of court
- Are not afraid to take your case to court and fight head to head with the insurance companies if necessary
Contact us today at (844) 444-2754 for a free consultation and find out how you can put our experience to work for you.