Californians love their motorcycles. There are more registered motorcycles here than in any other state. Combined with California’s notoriously congested traffic, unfortunately, that means there are higher incidents of motorcycle accidents as well. What should you do if you are involved in a motorcycle accident when you have been injured and you are not at fault? Talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer at California Trial Attorneys powered by Kalfayan Merjanian to get the counsel and assistance you need. We understand California motorcycle law and will ensure that your rights are observed.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
It is well known that motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than other vehicles driving the highways. This is because they provide no external protection to the rider and are easily overlooked by other drivers on the road. Most accidents occur between a car and a motorcycle and are the result of any of the following common causes:
- Unsafe lane changes. Too often, car drivers do not check their blind spot when changing lanes, failing to see a motorcycle behind them.
- Driving over the speed limit. Speeding by either the cyclist or the car driver decreases the opportunity to see and react to a potential collision.
- Left turns. When cars are stopped at an intersection to make a left turn, motorcyclists often try to pass them on the left. Nearly half of all motorcycle accidents happen for this reason.
No matter the cause of the accident, if you’ve been injured, contact a motorcycle accident attorney immediately. You may be able to receive damages for your injuries.
Lane Splitting in California
Lane splitting, also called filtering or lane sharing, is when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of cars. This is a common sight at stoplights or when traffic is stalled. In California, lane splitting is legal if it is done safely.
If a motorcyclist was lane-splitting when an accident occurs, law enforcement may make a preliminary determination about whether or not the behavior was safe and include it in their traffic collision report. Many times, these preliminary decisions wrongly place the motorcyclist at fault. It is, therefore, important to have a California motorcycle lawyer on your side to fight for your right to lane split.
What To Do When a Motorcycle Accident Occurs in California
As noted above, there is something called motorcycle bias, which is the tendency of law enforcement and others to find motorcyclists at fault in the event of an accident. Protect yourself from this bias by taking the following steps when an accident occurs:
- Check yourself and others involved in the accident for injuries. Be kind, but don’t admit fault. Don’t accuse or blame other parties, either.
- Call 911.
- Document the scene and collect evidence. This includes taking photos of the road, traffic signs or signals, damage to your bike, and any other vehicles involved. You should also talk to witnesses at the scene. Get their contact info to share with both law enforcement and your insurance company.
- Talk to a motorcycle wreck lawyer at KM, even if you think you are at fault. Let a professional represent you and work to get you the compensation you deserve.
Most importantly, make sure you have dressed appropriately for riding your bike. Wear adequate biking gear including a helmet, biker boots, a jacket, and pants. These safety precautions will help protect your safety in the event of an accident.
Damages for Motorcycle Accidents
There are different types of compensation you may be awarded in a motorcycle accident lawsuit. Damages that may be pursued by your attorney include:
- Physical injuries
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages, including future lost wages
- Property damage to your Motorcycle and gear
- Pain and suffering, mental anguish
- Loss of earning capacity
Tragically, motorcyclists are more likely to experience fatal injuries in an accident than any other vehicle driver or passenger. When this occurs, the deceased’s spouse or children may file a wrongful death claim.
Your attorney may also decide to seek punitive damages. These are special types of damages that are meant to “punish” an at-fault driver if their negligent conduct in causing the accident was also malicious, fraudulent, or deceitful. An example of this could be an accident caused by a driver’s intoxication when they have a history of driving under the influence. Your attorney can conduct additional investigations to help determine if these damages may be appropriate for your case and, depending on the circumstances, may pursue punitive damages in court.
If you’re in a motorcycle accident, don’t just search for “a motorcycle accident lawyer near me.” The legal team at Kalfayan Merjanian is right here, in your neighborhood, with the experience and skill you need. We work hard for your rights and will pursue compensation for you under California law. Don’t go it alone.
No Fees Unless You Win
It’s common to be concerned about legal fees when considering an attorney for your personal injury. Our highly-rated lawyers at CA Trial Attorneys powered by Kalfayan Merjanian never charge a fee unless we reach a settlement on your behalf.
That’s right. Once you become a client, you do not owe us any legal fees unless we win your case.
Rest assured that you will never pay us a penny out of your own pocket until your case is successfully settled. This ensures that you can focus on recovering from your injuries without worrying about the cost of pursuing legal action.