Thousands of motorcycle collisions are reported in California every year. If you’re injured on a motorcycle because someone else was negligent, have a discussion about your rights with a Fresno motorcycle accident attorney.
HOW DANGEROUS ARE MOTORCYCLES?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents result in a severe injury or a fatality.
The NHTSA also reports that a motorcyclist in the United States is 26 times more likely to be in a fatal collision than an automobile driver and is five times more likely to be injured.
If a negligent driver injures you while you’re motorcycling, what steps should you take? Can you receive reimbursement for medical expenses? Do you need to take legal action? Keep reading, and you’ll learn some important answers about motorcycles, accidents, and the law in California.
California offers motorcyclists some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and motorcycles are great recreation. They also offer economical transportation to thousands in our state who do not own another vehicle.
WHAT ARE THE LEADING CAUSES OF MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS?
Motorcycles, however, may be dangerous in a variety of situations. In California, these are the top causes of motorcycle accidents and injuries:
1. Vehicles turning left: When a motorist turns in the path of a motorcyclist, it’s the most dangerous condition that a motorcyclist faces. Over forty percent of motorcycle-auto collisions involve either a motorcyclist or the other motorist making a left turn.
2. Lack of visibility: If a driver’s vision is impaired by parked cars, buildings, or other obstacles, and that driver rolls slowly and blindly into traffic, it can be disastrous for an oncoming motorcyclist.
3. Obstacles and debris: Oil on the road, potholes, and other debris pose genuine dangers for motorcyclists.
4. Lack of experience: It takes a lot of hours to become skilled at riding a motorcycle. Until a motorcyclist has abundant experience, he or she should avoid busy highways and streets. Taking a motorcycle safety class is never a bad idea.
5. Negligent driving: Negligence includes speeding, distracted driving, and intoxicated driving. Negligence causes most traffic-related injuries, but motorcyclists tend to suffer catastrophic injuries because they lack most of the protections that other vehicles provide.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS IF YOU’RE INJURED BY A NEGLIGENT DRIVER?
Under California law, motorcyclists who are injured by a truck or automobile driver’s negligence are entitled to damages for their injury-related medical bills, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and all related losses and damages.
If a negligent motorist injures you while you’re riding a motorcycle in California, speak to a Fresno personal injury attorney about your rights and options. The right injury lawyer will work hard to see that the driver who injured you is held accountable for his or her negligence.
WHAT SAFETY MEASURES CAN MOTORCYCLISTS TAKE?
Whether you’ve been riding for years or you’re only getting started with a motorcycle, you may find these tips helpful for avoiding serious accidents and injuries:
1. Wear a helmet whenever you ride. The helmet should fit snugly. Gloves, boots, and a motorcycle jacket are also essential gear.
2. Don’t shoot across an intersection the moment a light changes, and don’t assume that others will stop for traffic signals and stop signs. Negligent motorists move through red lights and stop signs every day and cause accidents and serious injuries.
3. Blind spots are still a reason for too many accidents. The smart approach is to assume that other motorists can’t see you – unless and until they indicate that they do.
California’s mandatory helmet law is meant to protect passengers as well as motorcyclists. The helmet law is comprehensive and also mandates the use of helmets for the operators of gas-powered and electric bicycles.
WHAT STEPS SHOULD YOU TAKE AFTER A CRASH?
If you are in a motorcycle accident, seek medical attention first. If you aren’t taken to a hospital or examined by a healthcare professional at the accident site, have a medical exam within twenty-four hours of any traffic accident.
If you’ve suffered a hard-to-detect or latent injury, a thorough medical examination will uncover it. An exam also creates medical records you will need if you take legal action later. Make and keep copies of any medical, police, or insurance reports and documents pertaining to the crash.
Take photos of the damage to the vehicles and your own visible injuries. Photos are powerful evidence that can make the difference in a personal injury case. If there were eyewitnesses, try to get their names and a way to contact them. Your attorney may need their statements.
Do not admit fault, and don’t accept a settlement offer from the other driver or that driver’s insurance company before you’ve met with a good personal injury lawyer. Don’t even speak to an insurance adjuster; your attorney will do all of the talking and negotiating on your behalf.
HOW CAN A PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM HELP?
Motorcycles are economical and popular. They provide delightful entertainment and reliable transportation, but they also entail serious responsibilities.
Traumatic brain injuries, severe spinal cord injuries, rashes, burn injuries, broken bones, and paralysis are common injuries in motorcycle accidents – too common. The motorcyclists who sustain these or other catastrophic injuries will need the maximum available compensation.
After you’ve been seen by a medical professional – again, that’s your top priority after a motorcycle accident – take your case at once to a Fresno motorcycle accident attorney who will review your case and explain your rights and options.
A good injury lawyer will uncover the truth and hold accountable the negligent motorist who is responsible for your personal injury or injuries.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD YOU KNOW IF YOU’VE BEEN INJURED?
Your first consultation with a Fresno accident attorney is free, and there’s no obligation. If you and your attorney agree to proceed with legal action against the negligent party who injured you, you’ll pay no attorney’s fee until your attorney obtains a judgment or settlement on your behalf.
Your attorney will investigate the crash, question any witnesses, compile evidence, and may also consult with insurance specialists, medical authorities, and accident reconstruction experts. A good lawyer will fight aggressively for justice – and for the compensation you deserve.
You have two years after an accident to file a personal injury claim under California’s statute of limitations. Do not wait two years to see an attorney if you’ve been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. It’s important to get the legal process started immediately.