The number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities in California increased 23 percent from 2003 to 2012, according to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System. In LA County, there was a 49 percent increase with fatalities up 59 percent from 2010 to 2012. The Salamati Law Firm has experience in figuring out what happened in a motorcycle crash and pursuing maximum compensation when negligence is a factor. Call 800-957-9898 for a free, no-obligation case assessment from an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer.
Causes of motorcycle accidents
There are many common causes of motorcycle accidents on California roadways. Experts say there are more inexperienced riders on the road due to cheaper gas prices and a better economy. Furthermore, the California topography of steep, narrow roads and blind curves makes riding especially dangerous in our area. Road hazards such as potholes, blind spots, damaged signs, poor street lighting and construction site debris may be contributing factors to crashes. Reckless driving is another threat to the safety of motorcycle riders.
The most common cause of motorcycle fatalities are:
- Broadside crash when a motorcyclist is hit on the side while making a left-hand turn (53%)
- Hit object (24%)
- Rear-end collision (12%)
- Overturned vehicle (11%)
- Sideswipe (6%)
- Head-on collision (6%)
Motorcycle accident attorneys at the Salamati Law Firm will look into all the factors that may have contributed to a driver’s temporary lapse in judgement, including:
- Cell phone use
- Distractions in the vehicle
- Alcohol or substance use
- Poor vision
- A history of speeding and reckless driving
Motorcycle riding is a risky endeavor, since the vehicles offer very little protection. Even when helmets and proper gear is worn, motorcycle accident injuries are still likely to occur.
Serious injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents:
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Skin irritation, infection and nerve damage
- Lost limbs
- Organ perforation
Serious injuries, permanent disability and death put financial strain on motorcyclists and their families, which is why it’s important to pursue your legal right to compensation if you or a loved one have been involved in a serious accident through no fault of your own. The legal team at Salamati Law has obtained substantial damages on behalf of injured motorcyclists.
Compensation for motorcycle crash victims
In motorcycle accidents, injured parties may be entitled to compensation to cover:
- Past, present and future medical expenses
- Lost income and reduced earning capacity
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Home modifications to accommodate a disability
- Intangible losses such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship
- Funerary expenses
Motorcycle accident lawsuits can be filed in California by injured car operators or motorcyclists. In the event of severe permanent disability or wrongful death, spouses or surviving children may pursue compensation.
Motorcycle crash liability issues
There are many grounds to sue for a motorcycle crash, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Experienced vehicle accident lawyers can help injured parties sue for negligence, manufacturer liability, poor road design, and/or wrongful death. Defendants range beyond other motorists and may include local municipalities, motorcycle parts manufacturers and auto dealers. In the case of hit and run motorcycle accidents, a claim may need to filed against the motorcycle owner’s own insurance company.
To prove liability, our legal team sends a private investigator to the scene of the accident to take photos and interview witnesses. Reconstruction experts lend their experience in assessing what most likely happened to cause the accident. We’ll interview the other party to get their recollection on record and network with insurance companies. Once a compelling case has been made, we can enter into settlement negotiations or prepare for trial before a judge and jury.
California laws regarding motorcycle accidents
California laws pertaining to motorcycle crashes may include:
- Statute of Limitations – You have up to two years after the collision to sue for physical damages. You have up to three years to sue for property damages. In a wrongful death suit, you have up to two years from the date of death to seek compensation.
- Legal Requirements to Ride – To operate a motorcycle in the state of California, you must possess an M1 or M2 motorcycle license, wear a safety helmet, turn on daytime headlights, and carry adequate insurance. The state minimum requirements are $15,000 for personal injury, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage.
- Lane Splitting – California is the only state that allows the practice of “splitting lanes”. Riding on the dotted lines between cars is perfectly legal, though the Safety Transportation Research and Education Center at UC-Berkeley says these riders are more likely to be involved in weekday and peak-time collisions, as well as sideswipe accidents and accidents where they rear-end someone.
- Comparative negligence – Our state’s comparative negligence laws allow you to seek damages even if you were partially at fault. For instance, if a judge determines you were 20% “at fault,” you can still receive 80% of the total damages awarded. Working with a lawyer ensures that your medical bills are covered and that you are fairly compensated for future expenses, lifestyle changes and loss of earnings.
Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney
The Salamati Law Firm is happy to assist with a thorough investigation of your motorcycle accident. We will put our knowledge, experience and resources to work to help you achieve the best possible outcome and the compensation you deserve. Filing suit can never bring back a lost loved one or undo the physical damage that has been done, but it can at least hold those liable accountable and provide some relief from financial hardship during this challenging period. Contact a qualified Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer at 800-957-9898.