Reckless Car Drivers Put Motorcyclists at Risk
Reckless drivers pose an especially serious risk to motorcyclists and their passengers, since motorcycles lack the basic protections of cars, trucks, and SUVs. When a driver haphazardly switches lanes, tries to race the yellow light, cuts through a stop sign, or makes a sudden left turn, they are usually only aware of other large vehicles on the road. Many motorcycle accidents result from one driver not even seeing the motorcyclist before impact.
Salamati Law has decades of experience winning maximum compensation for motorcycle accident victims and their families. If you or a loved one were seriously hurt in a motorcycle crash in the Los Angeles area, call for a free consultation with a reckless driving lawyer. We will discuss your case at no charge to you, and explore all of your legal options.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving, by law, includes any major moving violation that could cause injury to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or property. Even when no accident is involved, reckless driving is often punishable by tickets and fines.
When a driver’s behavior shows a wanton disregard for rules of the road and the safety of the community, it is considered reckless.
Reckless driving is a major factor in bike crashes, particularly fatal motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle reckless driving may entail:
- Excessive speeding
- Driving without headlights
- Driving too fast to stop effectively on wet surfaces
- Failing to obey red lights or stop signs
- Driving under the influence
Reckless Driving Examples Involving Motorcycles
Here are some common examples of how reckless driving can cause motorcycle accidents.
Often, when a motorcycle is involved, motorists are driving too fast to realize the smaller vehicle is in their line of fire. We have all felt that frightening twinge when a vehicle driving 100 miles per hour zooms past us on the highway in the blink of an eye. As you can imagine, if a car traveling this fast crashes into a motorcycle, the results can be devastating.
It does not matter who is following whom, it is the cyclist who usually gets hurt. A car is too close when the motorcycle needs to stop short. The vehicle behind hits and sends the cyclist flying. Cars stop short and the cyclist behind them cannot stop in time. Again, the person on the motorcycle goes flying.
Failure to Signal
Everyone – including pedestrians – should know what a driver is planning to do. But that is not always the case. When drivers suddenly change lanes or make a turn without signaling, it creates a hazard that ends up in avoidable mishaps.
Careless Left Turns
Why are so many left hand turns driving motorcycle accidents? Because too often, when making a left-hand turn, the driver of a car or truck is not anticipating an approaching motorcycle, fails to correctly assess the speed of a nearby motorcycle, or otherwise displays carelessness or poor judgment on the road. In many cases, once a driver has begun a dangerous left turn, the motorcyclist has little or no time to react and avoid a collision.
Running Red Lights & Stop Signs
The worst accidents outside of the highway take place in intersections. As motorists driving on the road, we tend to trust that other drivers will not do something as dangerous as running a red light or stop sign, as a serious crash is likely to result and cause severe injuries.
Distracted driving can include any behavior that keeps a driver’s attention from being fully on the road, including texting, eating, reaching for something under the seat, dialing a number, putting on makeup, and more. Bikers may see another driver suddenly swerve into their lane without warning due to distracted driving, and the motorcyclist may have no chance of avoiding a crash.
Drunk drivers continue to cause far too many tragedies on California’s roads. Salamati Law is committed to holding responsible parties accountable for the injury and damage they cause as a result of drinking while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Failure to Yield
This is one of the biggest causes of motorcycle spills. A motorist will decide to change lanes or take some other action on the road without taking notice of a motorcycle, and as a result, the motorcycle is broadsided or ends up falling to avoid an accident.
Why Your Lawyer Matters
As a motorcyclist involved in a reckless driving accident, your life – and the lives of your loved ones – may suddenly be turned upside-down. One minute you were enjoying the speed and freedom of the open air, and the next minute you may be dealing with life-changing injuries. Medical bills that you are unable to afford are piling up by the day, you are struggling to complete everyday tasks, you are forced to miss work and the paychecks that come with it, and your relationships with your loved ones are suffering.
When you are in your most vulnerable state, an insurance adjuster may call you. The adjuster may appear to be friendly and sympathetic, and may even offer you a financial settlement. It is crucial that you understand that this financial settlement will almost certainly be a lowball offer that is far below market value for your crash. While it may be enticing to accept this offer, put the legal process behind you, and finally have some cash to pay off some of your medical bills in the short term, you could be settling for far less than your injuries are worth, and may struggle to keep up with medical bills in the future.
Instead, Salamati Law strongly advises that you speak with an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible following your crash. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can put you in the best position to get the full amount of damages you deserve. It shows the insurance adjuster that you mean business, that you will not be vulnerable to lowballing tactics, and that you are fully prepared to take your case all the way to trial if the insurance company fails to extend a fair settlement offer to you.
Damages You Can Pursue in a Reckless Driving California Motorcycle Crash
There are several different types of damages that you may pursue after being seriously hurt in a reckless driving accident, including the following:
- Medical bills such as ambulance costs, hospital stays, surgeries or procedures, doctor’s visits, prosthetics, assistive devices, prescription medication, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and in-home care.
- Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity. Lost wages are relatively simple to calculate, as the amount of time you were forced to miss at work – and the resulting impact it had on your wages and benefits – can be documented. Loss of earning capacity covers situations where you may be able to return to the workforce, but only in a lesser-paying role. For example, if you were a manager earning $150,000 per year, the injuries you suffered in the crash may render you physically and/or mentally incapable of performing your former role, so you may be relegated to a clerical role that pays $50,000 per year. This is the legal system’s mechanism to help you fill in that financial gap.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of consortium or companionship.
- Punitive damages are also available in certain cases here in California where the defendant’s behavior was so egregious that additional punishment is warranted. An example of this could be if the other driver’s blood-alcohol content was three times the legal limit at the time he or she blew through a red light and crashed into your bike.
Motorcycle Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
Reckless driving is a threat to the safety of every person riding a motorcycle, sitting in a car, or standing on a street corner waiting to cross. We have seen it lead to brain injuries, fractured limbs, broken bones, and more. Families can be inundated dealing with the consequences.
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt by a reckless driver, you don’t have to go it alone. The Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys of Salamati Law can put you in the best possible position to get the maximum amount of damages you rightfully deserve. Call today or use our easy online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. The Salamati Law Firm promises compassionate, effective counsel and rigorous representation. You will not pay us any fees unless you win.