Accidents involving Motorcycles in California and across the nation are on the rise. Motorcycle accident lawyers specialize in motorcycle incidents.
Motorcyclists drive at higher speeds with minimal protection on highways and roads that are increasingly congested. These factors, in part, account for the steady increase in motorcycle related accidents, injuries and deaths.
The number of motorcyclists is also increasing, particularly among people over 40. This has led to a recent increase in fatalities and injuries to motorcycle riders in that older age group.
Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 9 times more likely to be injured than passenger car occupants. They are about 37 times more likely to die in a vehicle crash. An estimated 148,000 people have died in motorcycle related accidents since 1966.
The California Office of Traffic and Safety found that motorcycle fatalities increased 91% from 2001 to 2008. In Los Angeles County alone, motor cycle traffic collisions increased 62% between 2004 and 2008.
The significant risk of serious injury or death in a motorcycle accident makes it imperative that a person involved in the accident–or the person responsible for his or her care–hire a California accident lawyer immediately.
Jacoby & Meyers has more than 44 years’ experience handling motorcycle related cases in California.
With a track record of winning more than 100,000 cases as California accident lawyers, Jacoby & Meyers can assure that each vehicle accident has the best chance of recovering appropriate damages for injuries and property damage.
A lawyer there is always available to discuss the accident with you, at no charge.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in California
The causes of motorcycle collisions are often complicated and require extensive research to establish fault and responsibility. This is particularly important since assignment of fault determines the amount of settlement in a motorcycle crash.
For example, if the motorcyclist is found to be 20% at fault in the accident, he or she will receive 20% less than the total amount of the damages. If he or she is identified as 50% at fault, the driver will receive only half of the total damages.
For these reasons, securing the services of a California auto accident lawyer can assure that the necessary research and documentation begin immediately. Jacoby & Meyers lawyers also know the most common causes of motorcycle crashes and have the technical experts and other resources necessary to aggressively pursue the claim.
Accidents are often blamed on the motorcyclist, so it is important to have a California motorcycle lawyer and their experts working on your behalf as soon as possible.
General causes of motorcycle collisions in California. Weather and road conditions are more likely to cause accidents for Motorcyclists than other types of accidents. That’s because–as a two-wheel vehicle–the motorcycle is more likely to lose traction or balance.
For example, a large pothole might shake car riders up, but that same pothole can easily throw a motorcycle off balance and cause an accident. Motorcycle crashes are also more likely to occur on curves and undivided highways.
Driving in rain or inclement weather is a particular challenge for California motorcyclists. Roads become especially slippery and visibility is reduced. This reduced visibility increases the chance that another vehicle will not see the approaching motorcyclist and will cause an accident.
Improper highway signage and traffic controls also may contribute to a motorcycle related accident.
Multi-vehicle motor crashes. In a multi-vehicle motorcycle crash, the other vehicle driver usually violates the motorcyclist’s right of way (GHSA, Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State. 2011 Preliminary data).
That’s because motorcycle are smaller visually than other vehicles on the road, and drivers of cars and trucks don’t necessarily look for or expect to see them. Drivers may also fail to check blind spots, misjudge the speed of a motorcycle or tailgate.
Intersections are a common location of multi-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles where the driver of another vehicle fails to notice the approach of a motorcycle.
Equipment: motorcycle and safety gear. Vehicle failure can cause a motorcycle to crash, if the bike has a manufacturing or parts defect.
Many states now have helmet laws, which have been proved to decrease the severity of injuries and reduce deaths from head injuries in motorcycle collisions. Motorcycle helmets must meet rigid standards, but sometimes they have defects or flaws that contribute to the severity of the injuries in the accident.
The experience of the California Law Offices of Jacoby and Meyers assures that they understand the complex factors that can cause these types of accidents and have the resources to fully study the details of the accident.
Contact Jacoby & Meyers immediately after a motorcycle accident for a free consultation. This will assure that vital evidence is maintained and that an investigation begins immediately.
After A Motorcycle Accident in California
- Get away from the vehicles immediately. A motorcycle crash scene is very dangerous, both because of other vehicles on the road and because fuel leaks and spills are common.
- Get medical care. Motorcyclists and riders are far more likely to be seriously injured than those involved in other vehicles.
Go to an emergency room for immediate care, even if you feel all right initially. Remember, the adrenaline rush that accompanies the accident can mask serious symptoms for as long as 36 to 48 hours.Head and chest injuries are the most common causes of death in this type of accident. Be examined by a physician and have all necessary diagnostic tests, including MRIs and x-rays.
- Gather information. In a multi-vehicle crash, get information about the other drivers and their vehicles:
- Insurance coverage
- Driver’s license number
- Vehicle license number
- Vehicle registration
- Notify the police immediately and make sure there is an accident report. Call the police immediately. A police report documents the facts of the accident as well as all the parties involved and witnesses.
- Call a reputable and experienced California motorcycle injury lawyer. Time is critical in securing evidence at the scene and identifying the causes of the accident.The sooner you have the services of an attorney who has extensive experience with motorcycle cases, like Jacoby & Meyers, the better chance you have of receiving the best recovery for your accident.
Damages and Compensation in California Motorcycle Accidents
Compensation in a motorcycle case requires complex analysis and follow-up after the accident. An experienced motorcycle crash lawyer in California or the state where the accident occurred can make a critical difference in the compensation for property damage and injuries.
Contact Jacoby & Meyers for more specific information about these potential sources of compensation if you have been involved in a motorcycle related accident.
Medical Bills and Care. The serious injuries that are typical in a motorcycle accident can create huge medical bills. Hospitalization for a head trauma, for example, can easily cost more than $50,000.
These expenses often extend beyond the first hospital stay to include necessary long-term care, including follow up surgery, therapies, chiropractic care and reconstructive surgeries as well as skilled nursing care during an extended convalescence.
Reimbursement for Life-Altering Injuries. The severity of the accident will sometimes cause injuries that permanently alter a person’s physical or mental abilities. In these cases, the costs of rehabilitation, re-training, long-term therapy or lifetime care may also be included in the recovery after an accident.
Pain and Suffering. The range of injuries from a motorcycle collision can cause pain for a few days, for a period of weeks or months or for the rest of an injured person’s life.
All these injuries cause weeks, months, or a lifetime of pain and suffering. Our legal system allows a person to receive compensation for this pain and suffering, but does not set a standard for these costs. A resourceful California motorcycle injury lawyer has economists who can calculate these costs and recommend an appropriate settlement.
Loss of Wages and Lifestyle. If a motorcycle has caused you to lose work time or to permanently be unable to work, you may be able to receive a settlement that includes the value of your lost wages and physical abilities. Calculating the amount of these costs requires a skilled economist who can analyze earning potential and project the long-term economic costs of these disabilities.
Punitive Damages. Punitive damages are not common in a motorcycle related accident. However, they might apply if the driver of another vehicle was committing a crime, was motivated by road rage or was driving under the influence.
All of these factors require complex research and analysis. A auto accident lawyer has access to the technical experts, medical experts and economists who can put together a complete picture of the damages involved in your accident.
Contact Jacoby & Meyers to learn more about the resources they can bring to analyzing, documenting and recovering your damages in a motorcycle crash in California.
Sources of Recovery After a California Motorcycle Accident
Drivers, Owners and Employers of other vehicles involved in the accident. In a multi-vehicle accident where the other driver was at fault, responsibility for the accident may not stop with the driver. If the person was driving a company-owned car or was driving on business, then the business might also share responsibility and have financial liability.
Government Agencies. Federal, state and local agencies are responsible for maintaining roads, streets and highways. If the design, construction or maintenance of a street or highway was the cause of a motorcycle crash or a contributing factor, one or more of those agencies can be held at fault and responsible.
Manufacturers. The motorcycle manufacturer can also be held responsible if the motorcycle had a defect in parts, design or manufacture. Manufacturers or defective safety gear like helmets may also be held responsible if their failure contributed to the injuries in the accident.
Hiring an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in California
An experienced auto accident lawyer knows how to assess responsibility for all of these factors. They also have resources for investigating the accident, analyzing the various factors involved in the accident and identifying the costs and reimbursement necessary.
Since motorcyclists are often blamed for the accident, it is important for the California accident lawyer to establish that the responsibility and fault does not rest with the motorcyclist. The lawyer and the experts must demonstrate that others involved in the accident or other factors like unsafe highway conditions or a defective motorcycle caused the accident.
There are specific guidelines and timelines for pursuing injuries caused by government agencies, if the road conditions contributed to the accident. A motorcycle accident lawyer knows the complex and time-consuming process necessary to win a claim against these organizations.
Jacoby & Meyers: Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Jacoby & Meyers has repeatedly been able to pursue and win motorcycle injury cases.
Jacoby & Meyers has demonstrated staying power, with complex claims that have taken many months to research, litigate and win. Their network of technical experts, automotive expert, product experts, medical resources and economists has repeatedly demonstrated their ability to fight and win tough cases.
Contact us for a free consultation where you can discuss the strategies necessary to best represent you.