More motorcycles are registered in the state of California than any other state in the country. With its gorgeous open roads offering both sea and mountain views, it should be of no surprise that California’s roads are inundated with motorcyclists as the summer fades in.
Increased motorcycle traffic, however, is correlated with increased motorcycle traffic accidents. California riders who are injured in motorcycle crashes can sustain significant and life-altering injuries. It is important to understand the causes and consequences of a California motorcycle accident, what to do immediately after a motorcycle crash, and how a personal injury lawsuit may help to recoup the cost(s) of recovery.
Common California Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle riders have less protection that other drivers on the road. This makes riders more prone to severe injuries, and in some cases, death. Common California motorcycle crash injuries include scrapes and bruises, concussions, whiplash, road rash, spinal cord injuries, fractures and broken bones, loss of limbs, internal organ damage or bleeding, paralysis, and death.
The expenses associated with motorcycle accident injuries can be incredibly costly. Motorcycle accident victims are often dealt an unanticipated financial blow that drains any financial reserves he or she may have had. A personal injury lawsuit to recover damages from other parties involved in the crash can help to cover these, and other, costs.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents in California?
Motorcycle accidents can happen for a number of different reasons. Common causes of motorcycle accidents in California include speeding, distracted riding, failure to yield to other vehicles on the road, executing illegal turns, poor motorcycle visibility, improper lane changes, and lane splitting.
California is the only state in the country that does not have some sort of lane splitting regulations on the books. As a result, lane splitting is a common technique used by motorcyclists to navigate through traffic and congestion. As the motorcycle rides between two lanes of traffic, he or she bypasses other vehicles stuck in traffic. This can be incredibly dangerous when the rider exceeds the speed of other vehicles on the road by more than 15 miles per hour. Careless or reckless lane splitting is a far-too-common cause of motorcycle crashes in California.
What Should I Do After a California Motorcycle Accident?
Get a medical evaluation. Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured you should get a comprehensive medical evaluation. Some motorcycle accident injuries do not manifest until hours or days after the crash. Getting immediate medical attention can rule out internal damage and thwart complications from arising from undiagnosed injuries. The sooner an injury is diagnosed, the easier it will be to prove that it was a result of the motorcycle crash. As more time lapses, the easier it will be for any at-fault parties to claim that the accident was not responsible.
Call the police. Again, even if you think a police report is not necessary, it is always a good rule of thumb to have an accident documented by the police. The report will memorialize important details about the crash, capture eyewitness statements before memories fade, and provide a baseline of information from which an attorney can investigate.
Contact a motorcycle accident attorney. Attorneys can be powerful allies in the wake of a motorcycle crash. Injuries can be painful, and recovering should be the injured rider’s primary concern. An attorney will be able to handle the time-consuming and complex personal injury lawsuit while the rider gets better. Personal injury attorneys are trained professionals who understand how to investigate, what to research, which experts to contact, and who may be liable.
How Will a California Personal Injury Attorney Help Me After My Motorcycle Accident?
When you are injured in a California motorcycle accident you should contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to learn about the legal options that may be available to you. Here are a few ways in which an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney may be able to help you with a personal injury claim for damages.
- Investigating the accident. If you’ve filed a police report you’ve given your attorney a great starting point for an investigation. The report will allow your attorney to accurately assess the accident and determine which information will be most helpful – and harmful – to your claim.
- Enlisting experts. Attorneys have relations with industry experts who can help to mount a detailed and exhaustive investigation. Experts can help an attorney by recreating the crash, reviewing photographs of the scene, evaluating and analyzing medical information, and offering information about aspects of the accident that may be crucial to a successful case.
- Determining liability. If you are involved in a motorcycle crash you may believe that you can only recover compensation from the other driver who was involved. Attorneys understand, however, that many parties may be potentially liable after a crash. Employers, governmental entities, insurance agencies, and vehicle manufacturers are all examples of parties who may be (partly) liable after a crash. An attorney will investigate each possibility to broaden the scope for recovery.
- Fighting stubborn insurance companies. Insurance companies are often named as defendants in California motorcycle accidents. While recovering compensation from an at-fault party’s insurance company may seem straightforward, the chances of fully recovering the full amount of compensation to which you are legally entitled without an attorney are slim. Insurance companies do not make their money by paying on every claim that is submitted. Rather, insurers routinely deny claims and/or pay out pennies on the dollar for legitimate claims. Experienced personal injury attorneys understand how insurance companies operate. Using this knowledge and experience they can anticipate a move before it happens. This allows attorneys to stay one step ahead and help to maximize payouts to injured clients.
- Ensuring claims are filed on time. Did you know that if you are injured in California motorcycle accident you have a limited amount of time in which you are legally entitled to file a claim for damages? Failure to file a timely claim will bar you from recovering anything at all. An attorney will ensure that all claims are filed within the applicable statute of limitations.