The very reason why riding a motorcycle can be so exhilarating is also the reason motorcycle accidents can be very disastrous. It is the freedom from a car’s “cage” that makes motorcyclists so vulnerable, in a traffic accident.
During a traffic accident, motorcyclists are more susceptible to suffer severe injury, than drivers and passengers in a car, for the following reasons:
- Motorcyclists are exposed to direct impact, as they are not protected by a metal frame
- Motorcycles are much more unstable than cars, under sudden emergency maneuvers
- Motorcycles and riders are lighter and smaller than the vehicle they collide with, so even the smallest of impacts can cause a great amount of damage
- Motorcycles are not easily seen by motorists, because they simply are not as big as the other vehicles on the road. Because of this, other drivers fail to yield to motorcycles, cut them off, follow them too closely, or open the door of their vehicle directly into them.
In addition, motorcycles are at greater risk for poor road conditions. Potholes, broken asphalt, poor drainage, and other problems on the road can be particularly hazardous for motorcyclists.
What is The Law on Motorcycle Accidents?
Under California law, motorcyclists have the same rights to be on the road as their fellow motorists. A driver of a motor vehicle is bound to use reasonable care to anticipate the presence on the streets of motorcyclists, who have equal rights to be there. Put another way, motorists need to keep a lookout for motorcycles, share the road with them and avoid crashing into them.
I was Splitting Lanes When a Car Hit Me. Do I Still Have a Case?
Lane Splitting in California is not legalized, nor prohibited. There is simply no law preventing motorcyclists from passing vehicles in the same lane of traffic, going in the same direction. However, while sharing lanes, motorcyclists must respect traffic laws forbidding unsafe lane changes, speeding, or following too close.
According to the California Highway Patrol website, lane splitting can be dangerous and extreme caution should be exercised. It should not be performed by inexperienced riders. The risk of death or serious injury during a lane splitting collision increases as speed and speed differential increases.
If you are a motorcyclist involved in an accident, do not just accept the investigating police officer determination that you were at fault for the accident. Just because you were splitting lanes when the accident occurred, does not make you automatically at fault. Sometimes, more than one motorist involved in the crash share responsibility for causing the accident. Blaming only the motorcyclist for the accident is, more often than not, an injurious hasty conclusion that adds insult to injuries.
Speaking with an expert personal injury attorney can help you identify who was really at fault for the accident and how to appropriately pursue your motorcycle accident claim.
What Type of Injury Claim Can I File?
Generally, a motorcycle accident claim is no different than any other vehicle accident claims. Motorcycle accident is a very traumatic event, as severe injuries are usually involved. The injuries typically suffered by motorcyclists in a traffic crash include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, wrist fractures and other injuries to the body from a direct contact with the road or with the at-fault vehicle. A personal injury claim seeks to obtain monetary compensation for medical expenses, wage losses, physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, loss of future wages or future earing capacity.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me?
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options, challenge the police report’s findings, elaborate the elements of your claim and fight for you, so that you receive the fair and just compensation for your losses. Speaking with an attorney, soon after the accident, will ensure that the at-fault insurance company gives your personal injury claim the proper attention and fair evaluation. The intervention of an attorney in your pending personal injury claim is a game changer for insurance companies, as they can no longer call the shots on your personal injury claim, with the intent of taking advantage of your inexperience when it comes to pursuing or negotiating insurance claims.
I have handled and resolved numerous motorcycle accident cases, involving minor and major injuries. My goal is to provide my client with the most objective and realistic analysis of his or her motorcycle accident case, strategize an effective course of action for proving the elements of my client’s case and work towards obtaining the highest monetary recovery for my clients. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident and have questions regarding your personal injury claim, contact me for a free consultation, call my office at (510) 933-8335 or email me at Fulvio@PicernoLaw.com.