Motorcyclists face greater accident risks than drivers of cars and other types of motorized vehicles, so it is especially important to adhere to safety precautions while riding on the Southern California roads. Statistics show that motorcyclists are nearly 30 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries than drivers of passenger cars. Any motorcyclist who is injured while riding through Malibu, Brentwood or another Los Angeles community can hire one of the best motorcycle accident attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers to explore your legal options.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in California
The following are the lead causes for collisions with automobiles and motorcyclists on the road:
- Weather and road conditions are more likely to cause accidents for Motorcyclists than other types of accidents. That’s because–as a two-wheel vehicle–the motorcycle is more likely to lose traction or balance. For example, a large pothole might shake car riders up, but that same pothole can easily throw a motorcycle off balance and cause an accident. Motorcycle crashes are also more likely to occur on curves and undivided highways.
- Driving in rain or inclement weather is a particular challenge for California motorcyclists. Roads become especially slippery and visibility is reduced. This reduced visibility increases the chance that another vehicle will not see the approaching motorcyclist and will cause an accident.
- Improper highway signage and traffic controls also may contribute to a motorcycle related accident.
- Multi-vehicle motor crashes. In a multi-vehicle motorcycle crash, the other vehicle driver usually violates the motorcyclist’s right of way (GHSA, Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State. 2011 Preliminary data). That’s because motorcycle are smaller visually than other vehicles on the road, and drivers of cars and trucks don't necessarily look for or expect to see them. Drivers may also fail to check blind spots, misjudge the speed of a motorcycle or tailgate. Intersections are a common location of multi-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles where the driver of another vehicle fails to notice the approach of a motorcycle.
- Equipment: motorcycle and safety gear. Vehicle failure can cause a motorcycle to crash, if the bike has a manufacturing or parts defect. Many states now have helmet laws, which have been proved to decrease the severity of injuries and reduce deaths from head injuries in motorcycle collisions. Motorcycle helmets must meet rigid standards, but sometimes they have defects or flaws that contribute to the severity of the injuries in the accident. The experience of the California Law Offices of Jacoby and Meyers assures that they understand the complex factors that can cause these types of accidents and have the resources to fully study the details of the accident.
Other factors that can contribute to or cause a motorcycle accident and often do include:
- Lane splitting
- Open vehicle doors
- Driving under the influence
- Attempting to steer clear of objects on the road
- Drivers failing to check blind spots when changing lanes
Contact Jacoby & Meyers immediately after a motorcycle accident for a free consultation. This will assure that vital evidence is maintained and that an investigation begins immediately.
Types of Motorcycle Crash Collisions We Handle
California is the only state that allows lane-splitting, however, because of distracted automobile drivers and those trying to jump between lanes, many motorcyclists are hit while they are splitting lanes. This often results in a motorcycle rider being side-swiped, or an automobile stopping short causing the motorcycle rider to hit the rear of the automobile in front of them.
- Multi-Vehicle Collisions:
Many motorcyclists are injured because of another collision that results in one of those parties striking the motorcyclists resulting in the motorcyclist being injured.
- Roadway Debris:
Motorcycles cannot easily ride over roadway debris, whether it’s something dropped from a construction truck, debris from a previous accident, or something that fell off another vehicle, many California motorcyclists are injured by debris or trash in the roadway.
Common Injuries Sustained by Motorcyclists
Broken clavicles are common injuries in motorcycle accidents because many riders go over the handles and land on their shoulder, breaking their clavicle. These injuries are painful and in some cases require surgery.
Motorcyclists may try to brace their fall with their hands, resulting in a fractured wrist.
When a rider hits the pavement, they often land on their shoulder and side, which can result in broken ribs. Broken ribs are extremely painful and require extensive time to heal.
One of the scariest injuries, some motorcycle riders suffer from a brain injury, whether from their head hitting the asphalt at a high rate of speed, or from having their helmet fly off of their heads due to the impact.
Road rash is very common in motorcycle accidents since the motorcyclist is usually driving at a high rate of speed at the time of the collision. Road rash can vary from scrapes to severe scarring.
From minor to major injuries, motorcyclists can suffer a wide range of debilitating and sometimes permanent injuries when involved in accidents. A few scrapes and bruises are generally nothing to worry about, but broken bones injuries, deep lacerations and other more serious injuries require prompt medical attention. Motorcyclists may also endure concussions or brain injuries and other internal injuries that are not always initially obvious. An evaluation from a medical professional is always advisable when involved in a motorcycle accident so that all injuries can be treated. Immediate treatment would be recommended depending on the nature and severity of your injuries. An ambulance, emergency room or hospital visit may even be warranted.
In addition to obvious pain and discomfort, injuries caused by motorcycle accidents can have devastating effects. Motorcyclists who are seriously injured may sustain paralysis or permanent disfigurement. In severe cases when arms or legs have experienced major trauma, limb amputation may be necessary. Many of the worst injuries occur in accidents that result in motorcyclists being ejected from their bikes.
Determining Liability & Comparative Fault
Decisions regarding liability are particularly important since the assignment of fault determines the amount of settlement and compensation in a motorcycle crash. Many times, the motorcyclist is placed at least partially at fault in a police report, despite not being at fault for the collision. However, by having a Jacoby & Meyers motorcycle attorney aggressively fighting on your behalf, we can help you recover everything you are entitled to, no matter what the police report may say. In California, even if you are 99% at fault for a collision, you may still able to recover damages for your injuries because the other party is partially at fault (this is known as “comparative fault”).
If the motorcyclist is found to be 20% at fault in the accident, he or she will receive 20% less than the total amount of the damages. If he or she is identified as 50% at fault, the driver will receive only half of the total damages.
For these reasons, securing the services of a California auto accident lawyer can assure that the necessary research and documentation begin immediately. Jacoby & Meyers lawyers also know the most common causes of motorcycle crashes and have the technical experts and other resources necessary to aggressively pursue the claim.
What To do Right After Your Accident
- Get away from the vehicles immediately. A motorcycle crash scene is very dangerous, both because of other vehicles on the road and because fuel leaks and spills are common.
- Get medical care. Motorcyclists and riders are far more likely to be seriously injured than those involved in other vehicles.
- Go to an emergency room for immediate care, even if you feel all right initially. Remember, the adrenaline rush that accompanies the accident can mask serious symptoms for as long as 36 to 48 hours. Head and chest injuries are the most common causes of death in this type of accident. Be examined by a physician and have all necessary diagnostic tests, including MRIs and x-rays.
- Gather information. In a multi-vehicle crash, get information about the other drivers and their vehicles:
- Insurance coverage
- Driver’s license number
- Vehicle license number
- Vehicle registration
- Notify the police immediately and make sure there is an accident report. Call the police immediately. A police report documents the facts of the accident as well as all the parties involved and witnesses.
- Call a reputable and experienced California motorcycle injury lawyer. Time is critical in securing evidence at the scene and identifying the causes of the accident.
The sooner you have the services of an attorney who has extensive experience with motorcycle cases, like Jacoby & Meyers, the better chance you have of receiving the best recovery for your accident.
Jacoby & Meyers: Real Motorcycle Accident Lawyer. Real Results.
Motorcycles are not always given the respect they deserve on the road. Because they are so small and fast, they are often underestimated by other motorists. When you drive a motorcycle, extra precaution should always be taken. However, when other drivers act negligibly and cause damage to you and your vehicle as a result, you need to stand up and fight for your rights.
Whether or not you choose to file a claim, when you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you should speak to traffic collision attorneys who can handle your case. Over the past thirty years, the lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices have represented clients who have been injured in a variety of traffic accidents. We can help you with your motorcycle accident lawsuit.
Jacoby & Meyers has repeatedly been able to pursue and win motorcycle injury cases.
Jacoby & Meyers has demonstrated staying power, with complex claims that have taken many months to research, litigate and win. Their network of technical experts, automotive expert, product experts, medical resources and economists has repeatedly demonstrated their ability to fight and win tough cases.
Call us today and we can:
- Provide you with an understanding of your legal situation
- Get you medical attention if you need it—even without health insurance
- Have your property or car fixed
- Conduct research and investigation on your case
When an accident occurs due to the irresponsible actions of someone else, the lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers believe that person needs to be held accountable. We want to fight for the rights of injured victims who were hurt in motorcycle accidents, and we can help you get the justice you deserve.