California’s long highways and year round sunshine make it a desirable place for motorcycle riders. Unfortunately, California also has the most number of motorcycle accidents annually. According to data released by the California Highway Patrol, there were a total of 13,381 motorcycle crash-related injuries and fatalities that occurred statewide in 2021.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a California motorcycle accident, please know that our personal injury attorneys at Shegerian & Associates, a motorcycle accident attorney office, are standing by ready to provide you with compassionate legal representation and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
Common Causes of California Motorcycle Accidents
Per miles traveled in 2021, motorcycle riders were about 24 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle collision and about 4 times as likely to be injured. This is due to the fact that, when motorcycles crash, riders do not have the enclosed physical protection that passenger vehicles provide. As a result, they are more likely to sustain:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Nerve damage
- Facial disfigurement
- Dental trauma
- Loss of limb
- Internal bleeding
- Eye or hearing damage
- Burns and scarring
- Catastrophic injuries
- Fatal injuries
Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Negligent vehicle drivers
- Negligent truck drivers
- Texting and driving
- Drunk or impaired driving
- Drivers failing to yield at left-hand turns
- Vehicles pulling out in front of riders
- Tailgating motorcyclists
- Uneven road conditions
- Road hazards
- Parts malfunction
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
The steps you take after a motorcycle accident will help ensure that you remain safe, receive proper medical care, and protect your rights to compensation.
- Seek medical attention by calling 9-1-1 or having someone else do it for you
- Give a police report with as many details as you can remember
- Take photos and videos of the damage to your motorcycle and the vehicle involves, your injuries, and the surrounding scene
- Get witness statements and their contact information
- Do not admit fault or apologize in any way
- Contact a skilled motorcycle accident attorney, motorcycle accident lawyers, or a motorcycle injuries lawyer to understand your rights and legal options.
Determining Fault and Liability After a Motorcycle Accident
Determining liability for a motorcycle accident ultimately comes down to determining fault and which party or parties acted with negligence. In order to prove negligence in California and be successful in a motorcycle accident lawsuit, it must be shown that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care.
- The defendant breached, or failed to uphold, this duty of care.
- This breach caused the motorcycle accident.
- The motorcycle accident caused you damages or losses.
California operates under a pure comparative negligence law. This means that you may still be able to pursue compensation for a motorcycle accident, even if you believe that you were partially at fault.
For instance, let’s say that you were found to be 10% at fault for the crash while a driver is found to be 90% at fault, and you were awarded $100,000 in damages. Your award amount would ultimately be reduced by 10%, or $10,000.
Not all negligent parties in motorcycle crashes are drivers. Your motorbike accident lawyer will work to gather evidence to show who is responsible for the crash and potentially help you file a lawsuit against:
- Negligent vehicle drivers
- Negligent truck drivers
- Negligent bikers
- Negligent pedestrians
- Parts manufacturer
- Motorcycle seller
- Property owners
- Government agencies
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Unfortunately, insurance companies will oftentimes try to limit liability by putting blame on motorcycle riders. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t be surprised if the insurance company attempts to claim that you were speeding, riding recklessly, or disobeying traffic laws in order to reduce their exposure to liability.
One of the most common defenses that insurance companies use stems from the fact that the injured rider was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. However, you are still entitled to full compensation for your injuries, regardless of whether or not you were wearing a helmet.
An attorney at our firm can review the evidence of your motorcycle accident and appoint expert witnesses that can attest to the validity of your claim. Your motorcycle accident lawyer, will work as your legal advocate and fight for the compensation that you need to recover, including compensation for damages related to:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Loss of limb, organ, or bodily function
- Loss of consortium
- Lost quality of life
If your loved one was killed in a motorcycle crash, you are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party in order to seek justice and compensation. Damages can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Burial expenses
- Amount that the deceased would have earned as income
- Compensation for the loss of the deceased companionship and support
Our Team Is Here for You
As a motorcyclist, you may do everything you can to ride defensively and prevent getting into an accident. Unfortunately, you can’t always prevent accidents when they are the result of someone else’s negligent or reckless actions. When a motorcycle accident turns your world upside down, we are here to help you get it back on track.
At Shegerian & Associates, our motorcycle accident lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of injury victims across all of California. We offer free case evaluations and provide legal services on a contingency fee-basis, meaning that you don’t pay unless we help win you compensation. You have nothing to lose by making the first step and contacting our team of motorcycle accident injury lawyers today.