Tracy Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been injured in a motorcycle accident due to a negligent driver?
Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation in California. They give riders a sense of freedom and can be a lot of fun to ride on a lovely sunny day. Unfortunately, motorcyclists lack the protection of their fellow vehicle owners. Passenger vehicles have the extra layer of protection of an enclosed vehicle that can save lives, but when they collide with riders, that same size and weight can be detrimental to those on motorcycles. Even seemingly minor collisions can leave riders with internal injuries that can become fatal without proper medical attention.
Furthermore, riders are also vulnerable during the insurance claim process because of negative biases against motorcyclists. These negative ideas about motorcycle riders can follow them into the personal injury claim process. Insurance adjusters will use whatever they can to help limit their payout or avoid paying altogether—this is why it’s crucial that riders contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you have someone on your side fighting for your right to fair compensation and ensuring insurance companies don’t take advantage of you by using bad faith tactics.
10 Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Many factors can lead to a motorcycle accident. Ten of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include the following:
Unsafe Lane Changes
Drivers risk colliding with motorcyclists when they fail to check their blind spot or signal when lane changing.
Motorcycle accidents can occur when a driver opens the door of their parked car and there is a motorcycle coming their way.
Speeding is one of the leading causes of all kinds of auto accidents because speeding reduces the driver’s chance of seeing and reacting to other drivers in time to prevent a collision. The higher their speed, the more significant their impact and the most severe the consequences.
Driving Under the Influence
Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol don’t have the control and attention needed to react in time to others on the road in order to prevent an accident.
Lane splitting is the term that describes when motorcyclists drive between two lanes of traffic. Lane splitting is not illegal in California but can be incredibly dangerous for inexperienced riders.
Rear-end accidents occur when drivers follow too closely or make an abrupt stop, both of which can result in severe injury or the death of the motorcyclist.
Inexperienced drivers are more likely to make unsafe moves on that road with and without realizing it, compromising the safety of everyone else on the road.
When making a left turn, right-of-way errors or misjudgments of distance can cause serious accidents.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Under-maintained roads with potholes, debris, crumbling pavement, or lack of necessary signals or signs increase the risk of accidents.
If a manufacturer poorly designs a motorcycle or the motorcycle has a malfunctioning or defective part that causes an accident, the company in charge of those parts may be held liable for damages.
Who Is Liable for a Motorcycle Accident?
Liability in a motorcycle accident claim depends on the circumstances of the accident and what or who was the direct or proximate cause for its occurrence. For instance, if we look at an accident caused by a driver who was speeding and crashed into a motorcyclist because the driver was breaching their duty of care, they can be held liable for damages.
However, if the accident is caused by road conditions such as a pothole, liability may get tricky. If a pothole or other dangerous road condition causes the accident, a property owner or governmental entity may be liable. When a defective part of a motorcycle or other vehicle is the cause of the accident, then the company that manufactured that part may be liable for any damages.
Liability is used to describe someone’s legal responsibility to cover damages in a personal injury case, depending on what party is negligent. The following four components must be met to prove negligence.
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty of care
A valid motorcycle accident case requires the other party’s actions to be the direct or proximate cause of the accident and your injuries. Proving negligence can involve an extensive investigation of the accident, a deep dive into your medical records, and time and resources. The best way to be confident that you have all the available and necessary evidence to support your claim is to work alongside a determined attorney who will do everything they can to ensure the success of your claim.
How Does Lane Splitting Affect Accident Liability?
Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of same-direction traffic. Studies have shown that lane-splitting can be beneficial; it can save time, reduce traffic congestion, and help prevent accidents. However, it’s still a common belief that lane splitting is dangerous for motorcyclists and the surrounding drivers. Lane splitting has been a controversial subject among riders, motorists, lawmakers, and safety organizations for a long time. California made a decision about the matter by being one of the first states to allow lane splitting.
However, if a motorcyclist is not safe about lane splitting, they can still be held accountable. California is a state that operates under the comparative negligence rule. While drivers are held to a higher standard of care during motorcycle accidents because they can cause the most damage in the event of an accident, because of comparative negligence, a motorcyclist may also be held liable.
If there is evidence that the rider was lane splitting at unreasonable speed or otherwise being reckless, this can lead to reduced compensation. Comparative negligence still allows injured accident victims who are partially to blame for the accident to file for compensation. However, their compensation award will be reduced by the percentage of blame they had in the accident.
Contact an Experienced Tracy Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Setareh Law
At Setareh Law, we understand the stigma motorcycle riders face and are equipped with the experience, skills, and resources necessary to fight against that stigma and stand up to insurance companies on behalf of our clients. We won’t let stigma or bad faith insurance tactics get in the way of our client’s right to fair and just compensation. Schedule a consultation today by calling (310) 659-1826, or fill out our contact form.