Claiming Compensation for Motorcycle Accidents in West Hills

Claiming Compensation for Motorcycle Accidents in West Hills

Motorcycle riders face a higher risk of serious accidents, sometimes resulting in fatalities, due to their limited protection on the road. California has seen a serious surge in motorcycle accidents lately, with many causing severe injuries and even death. 

Though West Hills entails lower accident rates compared to other parts of California, it’s not immune to such incidents. However, there are laws and regulations in place to enhance safety for both riders and pedestrians.

In this article, we’ll dive into the specifics of motorcycle accidents in West Hills, exploring the factors contributing to these incidents and providing guidance on navigating the legal aftermath if you find yourself involved in such a situation.

Factors That Contribute to Motorcycle Accidents in West Hills

Leading Causes of motorcycle accidents in California

In West Hills, California, motorcycle accidents stem from various factors. Here is a breakdown of common causes of motorcycle accidents in West Hills, including head-on collisions, intoxication, lane splitting, and road hazards:

  • Intoxication: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs greatly impairs judgment, vision, and reaction time, posing a significant risk to motorcyclists who are already less visible on the road. Such impaired drivers endanger not only themselves but also others sharing the road.
  • Road Hazards: Uneven road surfaces, potholes, wet pavement, and other hazards pose greater risks to motorcycles due to their reduced stability compared to cars and trucks. In cases where accidents result from poor road maintenance, legal action may be pursued against the responsible authorities.
  • Lane Splitting: Legalized in California in 2017, lane splitting involves motorcyclists maneuvering between rows of stationary or slow-moving vehicles. While some argue it reduces the risk of rear-end collisions, others express concerns about the close proximity to larger vehicles and the limited space for navigating, especially when car and truck drivers aren’t expecting such actions.
  • Head-On Vehicle Collisions: These are the most common and often fatal accidents, typically occurring at intersections when cars or trucks collide with motorcycles, usually due to a driver running a red light. The severity of injuries can vary depending on the speed and angle of the collision.

If you find yourself a victim of a motorcycle accident in West Hills, get in touch with the Personal Injury Center. We can link you with experienced personal injury lawyers who are dedicated to helping clients get the compensation they rightfully deserve.

Understanding Motorcycle Safety Laws in West Hills

Riding a motorcycle safely involves more than just skill and caution; it requires strict adherence to specific safety laws. Here’s a straightforward guide that breaks down the crucial motorcycle safety laws you need to know, especially if you’re cruising through West Hills, California:

Helmet Laws

  • Mandatory Helmet Use: California law requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets that meet U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards.
  • Compliance is Crucial: Helmets must be certified under the U.S. DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. This isn’t just a legal requirement but a good practice, as head injuries are a common result of motorcycle accidents.


  • Legal in California: Unique to California, lane-splitting is legal and can be a safe practice in slow traffic or at stop lights. However, it’s advised to proceed with caution.
  • Safe Practices: Lane-splitting at speeds over 30 mph increases the danger significantly. Even when legal, it’s essential to be mindful of other drivers who may not expect motorcycles to pass in this manner.

Motor-Driven Cycles

  • Engine Size Matters: Motorcycles with an engine size under 150 CC are classified as motor-driven cycles. These are not considered safe for major freeways or expressways and are better suited for smaller roads.
  • Road Restrictions: Most California freeways and expressways display signs that prohibit motor-driven cycles. Ignoring these signs not only breaks the law but also puts the rider at considerable risk.

License Requirements

  • Obtaining a License: Driving a motorcycle legally requires an M1 license for two-wheeled vehicles. For those operating a motor-driven cycle with an engine size under 150 CC, an M2 license is required.
  • The Risk of Non-compliance: Riding without the appropriate license can lead to being labeled as reckless. This could complicate matters, especially if you find yourself involved in an accident.

Navigating Insurance For Motorcycle Accidents in West Hills

Navigating Insurance For Motorcycle Accidents in West Hills

Riding a motorcycle in California requires more than just skill; it also demands that you carry insurance. Ensuring you’re adequately covered not only meets legal requirements but also provides peace of mind as you enjoy the freedom of the open road. Here are the basics of what you need to know:

Minimum Insurance Requirements

To legally ride on the streets and roads of California, you must have insurance that covers at least:

  • $15,000 for injuries to another person,
  • $30,000 for injuries to multiple people in a single accident, and
  • $5,000 for property damage.

This is the bare minimum to protect you and others in case of an accident.

Reporting Accidents

If you’re involved in an accident where the damage exceeds $750, you’re required to report it to the DMV. This isn’t something the police will do for you; you have to ensure it’s done within 10 days of the accident. Failing to report can lead to your license being suspended, adding more complexity and frustration.

Why Opt for More Than the Minimum

Sticking to the minimum insurance might seem cost-effective, but it’s wise to consider higher coverage. The reality is, if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you, the cost of hospitalization alone can quickly deplete the $15,000 coverage. By opting for a higher limit, you safeguard yourself against unforeseen expenses, ensuring you’re covered when you need it most.

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, getting in touch with the Personal Injury Center could be your next step towards recovery. We can connect you with legal experts who can offer the support and guidance needed to navigate the claim process and work towards the compensation you deserve.

Settlement Factors for Motorcycle Accidents in West Hills

When it comes to securing a settlement after a motorcycle accident in West Hills, several crucial factors come into play. Understanding these can help you navigate the aftermath of an accident more effectively:

  • Injury Severity and Medical Costs: The nature and severity of your injuries are directly linked to the settlement amount. Severe injuries, leading to substantial medical bills, therapy, or long-term care, significantly influence compensation.
  • Fault and Liability: Determining who was at fault is a key factor in any accident claim. If the other party is found liable, your chances of a higher settlement improve.
  • Property Damage And Lost Wages: Damage to your motorcycle and any other property involved is also considered. The cost of repairs or replacement can affect the settlement size. If your injuries prevent you from working, either temporarily or permanently, compensation for lost wages or diminished earning capacity can be a major factor in your settlement.
  • Statute of Limitations: California’s deadline for filing a lawsuit is a strict boundary. Missing this window can prevent you from claiming a settlement altogether.
  • Evidence Strength: The quality of evidence you present, including accident reports, medical records, and witness statements, is foundational to your claim.
  • Comparative Negligence: In California, if you’re partly at fault, your settlement may be adjusted accordingly. The degree of your fault will proportionally reduce your compensation.

Mistakes to Avoid After a Motorcycle Accident in West Hills

Mistakes to Avoid After a Motorcycle Accident in West Hills

Navigating the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be overwhelming, and it’s crucial to avoid certain mistakes that could further complicate your accident claim. Here are common errors to avoid and how to steer clear of them:

  • Not Reporting the Accident: Not calling 911 and failing to report the accident to the police can severely impact your ability to establish fault later. A police report provides an official record of the incident, supporting your claim. However, remember that police may not capture everything, so if possible, take photos of the scene, your motorcycle, other properties involved, and your injuries. Documenting promptly will also preserve crucial details.
  • Skipping Medical Attention: It’s a mistake to underestimate your injuries right after an accident. Adrenaline and shock can hide pain, leading you to believe you’re unharmed. Neglecting immediate medical care not only risks your health but also weakens your personal injury claim. Insurance companies may argue that your injuries aren’t serious, reducing your compensation.
  • Rushing to Repair Your Motorcycle: While it’s tempting to get your motorcycle and gear fixed or replaced quickly, doing so before settling your claim can complicate proving your damages. Hold off on repairs until you’ve discussed your case with a lawyer. With a successful claim, you might end up with higher-quality replacements.
  • Talking to Your Insurance Without Legal Advice: Contacting your insurance company immediately might seem like the right step, but it’s essential to consult with a legal expert first. Many riders don’t realize their full entitlements and end up accepting lower settlements than they deserve. A lawyer can negotiate better compensation on your behalf.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in West Hills, getting in touch with the Personal Injury Center is a good idea. We can link you to an experienced lawyer near you who can help you understand the legal details and process.

Key Takeaways
  • Motorcycle accidents in West Hills are rising, with severe injuries often resulting from limited rider protection.
  • Common causes include intoxication, road hazards, lane splitting, and head-on collisions.
  • Safety laws mandate helmet use, define motor-driven cycle regulations, and outline insurance requirements to enhance rider and pedestrian safety.
  • Key mistakes post-accident include not reporting the accident, neglecting medical care, premature repairs, and negotiating without legal advice.


When should injured riders seek legal help?

It’s critical to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. They can safeguard your rights and ensure you’re treated fairly throughout the process. The earlier you involve a lawyer, the better your chances of receiving fair compensation. Delaying can lead to challenges, including reduced payouts from insurance companies or missing the deadlines for filing a lawsuit.

What can strengthen my claim after a motorcycle accident?

  • Seek Medical Attention: First and foremost, get medical help for any injuries. Follow up with your primary care physician for a thorough check-up to uncover any injuries that might appear later.
  • Collect Evidence: Gathering evidence is essential. This includes taking photos of the scene, securing witness statements, obtaining video footage if available, and acquiring a copy of the police report.

What’s the most frequent injury from motorcycle accidents?

The most frequent injury among motorcycle riders is road rash. This skin abrasion happens when a rider is thrown off their bike and slides across the pavement. Severity can vary widely, from minor to extremely severe cases.

What does motorcycle safety gear include?

  • Gloves: Protecting your hands during falls, gloves are a must-have for riders.
  • Helmets: An essential item, helmets offer crucial head protection with layers of styrofoam to absorb impact forces.
  • Protective Clothing: Jackets, pants, and suits designed for motorcyclists safeguard your body against injuries in an accident.
  • Boots: Specifically designed motorcycle boots help protect your ankles and feet during accidents.
  • Body Armor: Worn underneath your clothing, body armor provides an extra protection layer for your torso and limbs.