A motorcycle accident is always a devastating and life-changing event. The dangers are apparent, with motorcyclists being at higher risk of injury or death in the event of an accident than those involved in a car accident. However, motorcycle accidents often don’t just happen because riders are overly reckless or careless. Sometimes they’re the result of negligence on the part of others.
Our expert team is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation. You don’t pay until you win.
A motorcycle accident is always a devastating and life-changing event. The dangers are apparent, with motorcyclists being at higher risk of injury or death in the event of an accident than those involved in a car accident. However, motorcycle accidents often don’t just happen because riders are overly reckless or careless. Sometimes they’re the result of negligence on the part of others. When these accidents occur, a motorcycle accident attorney can help you pursue fair compensation for your pain and suffering. California lawyers with experience handling motorcycle accident cases can help your case by aggressively investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident and developing a solid lawsuit against negligent parties.
Tragically, there have been instances in which young motorcycle riders have been killed in accidents that could have been avoided with some basic safety measures. Fortunately, California law offers some protection for those who have fallen victim to motorcycle accident injuries. Finding a motorcycle accident attorney isn’t easy. The Los Angeles area is home to some of the largest motorcycle clubs in the country, and competing law firms frequently seek to use that fact to attract business. This can lead to much advertising by lawyers with no experience handling these types of cases.
At Avian Law Group, we’re eager to help you recover the fair compensation you deserve. If a claim is litigated correctly, we can build a strong case against the negligent party. This means you’ll have the best possible chance of obtaining financial compensation, and your lawsuit will be made on a solid foundation.
What To Expect From Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
We know that motorcycle accidents can cause severe damage to your life, both physically and financially. Many people are forced to take time off from work until they recover from the trauma of the accident. Others are forced to seek medical attention for months or years after severe injuries. When this happens, many assume that their injuries will make it impossible for them to return to work again. It is only fair that you receive fair compensation for your suffering.
Our firm understands how devastating a motorcycle accident can be and is here to help you obtain fair compensation for your pain and suffering. We have the resources necessary to build a strong case against the parties responsible for your injuries.
The primary reason you need to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer is that the insurance companies involved in your case will try to deny fault on their part. You’ll be required to prove fault on the driver’s part and the negligent party. Just filing a claim is not enough. You’ll also have to argue that the driver was negligent, which isn’t as easy as it may seem. Even if the at-fault driver admits responsibility, insurance companies may still try to deny your claim. If you want fair compensation for your injuries, you need an attorney who understands California motorcycle accident laws and how to present a solid case against the responsible parties.
A motorcycle accident may predispose you to a situation where you are in severe medical debt, and you need an attorney who will help you get through this difficult time.Avian Law Group has years of experience successfully litigating motorcycle accident cases, and a personal injury lawyer of your choice will help you get the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys have helped multiple motorcycle accident victims obtain fair compensation for their pain and suffering.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in California
According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2020, motorcyclists experienced a fatality rate of 31.64 for every 100 million miles traveled. This is stark compared to passenger cars and light trucks, which had fatality rates of 1.15 and 0.67, respectively. Riding a motorcycle, therefore, presents nearly 30 times the fatality risk compared to being in a passenger car.
Injury and Fatality Stats
In 2020, 5,579 motorcyclist deaths represented 14% of all traffic fatalities, marking an 11% increase from the previous year. This was the highest recorded by the NHTSA since 1975. Additionally, 82,528 motorcyclists were injured, a 2% decrease from 2019. Importantly, 80% of motorcycle accidents resulted in injury or death, while car accidents had a 20% rate.
California’s Motorcycle Accidents Overview
In 2021, California witnessed 13,381 motorcycle-related injuries and deaths. The previous year saw 539 motorcyclist fatalities. Los Angeles County recorded the highest number of accidents (2,803), resulting in 133 deaths and 3,068 injuries. 29.86% of these injuries were severe. In Los Angeles city alone, there were 942 accidents, leading to 53 deaths and 346 grave injuries.
Alcohol’s Role in Fatal Accidents
Alcohol remains a significant factor in motorcycle accidents. In 2020, 27% of motorcyclists in fatal accidents were alcohol-impaired, slightly above the 23% rate for car drivers. Notably, 41% of single-vehicle motorcycle fatalities were alcohol-related. In California, out of 539 fatal motorcycle accidents, 122 involved riders with BAC levels of 0.08% or more.
Speeding was a factor in 34% of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2020. The most prone to speeding were the 25-29 age group (45%) followed by the 35-39 age group (43%).
Helmet Usage and Its Impact
DOT-approved helmets significantly reduce death risks: 37% for riders and 41% for passengers. States without universal helmet laws saw 57% of their motorcycle fatalities involving riders without helmets. In contrast, states with such laws recorded 11%. In California, only 7% of the fatalities in 2020 involved riders without helmets.
Fatal Accidents Analysis
Fatal motorcycle accidents were more frequent on weekends. Of the 5,579 fatalities in 2020, 2,806 occurred from Friday evening to Monday morning. The age group with the most fatalities was 25-29, followed by 30-34 and then those 65 and older.
Key Factors in California’s Motorcycle Accidents
UC Berkeley identified the top reasons for serious motorcycle accidents in 2020: speeding (30.9%), incorrect turning (22.2%), failure to yield (16.1%), substance impairment (8.9%), and traffic signal disobedience (4.4%). The most common accident types were broadside collisions, overturns, hitting objects, rear-ends, and sideswipes.
California is a unique state in many respects, and there are specific risks and considerations related to motorcycle accidents in this region:
Description: California is the first state in the U.S. that formally legalized lane splitting (also known as lane sharing or white-lining) – the practice where motorcyclists ride between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic.
Risks: While lane splitting can reduce traffic congestion and may even reduce rear-end collisions for motorcyclists, it does pose risks. These include car drivers not expecting or seeing a motorcycle passing between lanes, opening car doors, and vehicles suddenly changing lanes.
Description: California, especially areas around Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, is known for its heavy traffic congestion.
Risks: More vehicles on the road mean a higher risk of accidents. This can lead to reduced reaction times and increased rear-end collisions.
Diverse Road Conditions:
Description: From the Pacific Coast Highway’s twists and turns to the mountain roads of the Sierras, California offers a diverse range of road conditions.
Risks: Not all roads are in good condition. Potholes, gravel, uneven road surfaces, and abrupt changes in elevation can pose risks to motorcyclists.
Varied Weather Conditions:
Description: California spans a vast geographic area with a variety of climates, from coastal to desert to mountainous.
Risks: Coastal fog can reduce visibility; desert regions can reach extremely high temperatures that can affect both riders and their bikes; mountain areas can experience sudden weather changes, including rain, snow, and ice.
Description: California is a major tourist destination.
Risks: Tourists unfamiliar with California roads and local driving habits can pose a higher risk to motorcyclists, as they might be unpredictable or distracted by sightseeing.
No Helmet Law for All:
Description: While California requires helmets for motorcyclists, not all states do, and out-of-state riders might not be accustomed to wearing them.
Risks: Lack of helmet use significantly increases the risk of severe head injuries in the event of a collision.
Description: Some California highways have speed limits as high as 70 mph.
Risks: Higher speeds can lead to more severe accidents and give riders and drivers less reaction time.
Description: Especially in more rural or mountainous areas, wildlife crossing roads can be an issue.
Risks: Collisions with large animals can be particularly dangerous for motorcyclists.
Culture of Outdoor Activities:
Description: California’s culture and climate promote a lot of outdoor activities.
Risks: This can mean more cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists on the road, leading to a need for increased awareness and attention from all road users.
To mitigate these risks, riders should be aware of the unique challenges posed by California’s roads and conditions. They should always wear appropriate gear (especially helmets), stay updated on local traffic laws, and ride defensively.
Common Damages from Motorcycle Crashes
1. Medical Expenses
Medical expenses are one of the most common damages recovered in a motorcycle accident claim. A motorcycle accident is often more severe than other accidents, so you may be forced to seek medical care for longer than most accident victims. Medical expenses include the cost of medical care for injuries that are diagnosed as a result of the accident. Serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and deep lacerations may entitle you to compensation for emotional pain and suffering.
2. Lost Wages
If you’re permanently prevented from returning to your job due to your motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover lost wages. This means you’ll be able to seek compensation for your lost income until you can return to work. If this is the case, you’ll also be entitled to any lost income you sustained in the short term following your accident.
3. Pain and Suffering
You’re entitled to seek fair compensation for your pain and suffering, which can include mental anguish that results from the fact that you’re unable to work or pursue hobbies that you enjoy. You may also be entitled to seek compensation for the emotional pain you’re experiencing due to your injuries.
4. Loss of Consortium
Our firm understands that your motorcycle accident also hurt your relationship with your significant other. Motorcycle accidents can often cause sexual dysfunction in the victim, which may result in the victim’s significant other feeling less satisfied. Loss of consortium is the right to seek fair compensation for the negative impact caused by your injuries.
5. Permanent Scarring and Disfigurement
If the injuries you sustained in your motorcycle accident led to permanent scarring, you’re entitled to seek compensation. Permanent scarring can occur due to road rash or other traumatic injuries, impacting your ability to feel confident about your appearance.
Motorcycle accidents can result in a variety of injuries due to the exposure and vulnerability of riders when compared to occupants of passenger vehicles. Here’s a rundown of some common injuries from motorcycle accidents and their implications:
Implications: The emotional and psychological aftermath of a motorcycle accident can sometimes be as debilitating as the physical injuries. Victims may need counseling or therapy to cope.
Types: Injuries to the chest and lungs, such as punctured lungs.
Implications: These injuries can be life-threatening and may impact respiratory function long-term.
Prevention and Protection:
While some motorcycle accidents are unavoidable, riders can take certain measures to reduce the risk of severe injury:
Always wear a DOT-approved helmet.
Wear protective gear like leather jackets, gloves, and knee and elbow pads.
Attend motorcycle safety courses.
Ride defensively and be especially cautious at intersections.
The implications of these injuries often extend beyond the immediate physical harm. They can lead to significant medical expenses, loss of wages, changes in lifestyle, and prolonged pain and suffering.
Evidence to Support your Injury Claim
1. Photos of the Accident
Photos are one of the most critical pieces of evidence in a personal injury case since they may be the only way to prove how severe your injuries were. Chances are that other accident victims involved in similar accidents may already have photos of their injury scars. If you have a picture of yourself taken on the day of your accident, it will be difficult for the insurance defense to claim that your injuries weren’t very severe.
2. Medical Bills
Our firm understands that you may also have medical bills related to your injuries, which may include the cost of treatment for your injuries and medical bills for follow-up treatment. The fact that you were forced to seek medical care for your injuries can show that the accident was severe. The insurance defense may try to claim that you weren’t hurt as badly as you claim, but medical bills will prove injury on your part.
3. Repair Estimates
The repair estimates you can obtain may be very important in proving the amount of damage done to your motorcycle. If your motorcycle was a total loss, you’d need to present a repair estimate to support your injury case.
Things You’ll Need to Build a Strong Case for Yourself
It’s a good idea to have witnesses who can bring eyewitness testimony that can help prove how serious the accident was. This will help set the scene in your favor and demonstrate that there is enough proof to support a case against whoever is responsible.
2. Driver’s License
You’ll need to have your driver’s license information on hand. This includes your address, as well as any other personal information that you may have. A driver’s license is critical evidence in your case, as it will show the proof of insurance you were operating the motorcycle with at the time of the crash.
3. A Helmet
The helmet you wore can be significant evidence, especially if a camera was mounted. If the helmet you’re wearing has a GoPro mounted, it can help your case by proving that your injuries were as severe as you claim.
4. Proof of Sobriety
You’ll want proof of sobriety from all parties involved with the accident. This can include your blood alcohol content, showing whether you were operating a motorcycle while drunk or not.
Contact Avian Law today for your free case evaluation and let us fight for you in your motorcycle collision personal injury claim.