Los Angeles is a popular destination for motorcycle riders. However, it’s also famous for its intersections that cause numerous motorcycle collisions.
Aside from property damage and head injuries, motorcycle crashes can also result in wrongful death. In Los Angeles, claims for compensation in road accidents are filed as personal injury cases.
Did the driver flee the accident scene? Know what you can do to win your case. Visit the nearest personal injury Los Angeles office today!
Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Statistics
It’s common to see motorists in California cruising on their motorbikes. The state’s sunny and warm weather makes it a perfect escape for thrilling rides. In 2020, the state had 785,424 registered motorcycles, the highest in the country.
However, the higher number of motorcyclists means that there is a higher risk of motorcycle accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) recorded nearly 10,000 deaths from road accidents. However, this is only the number of deaths recorded in the first three months of 2022.
Looking at the motorcycle wreck data, NHTSA listed 556 deaths, accounting for 10.6% of motorcycle fatalities in California. Most motorcycle accidents happen because of someone else’s negligence.
The 2019 Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) data showed that more than 50% of driver fatalities were due to drug use. Therefore, it’s no longer surprising that officials have called for stricter road regulations, particularly drunk driving.
Based on the UC Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, the common causes of accidents among motorcycle riders are the following:
- Broadside collisions (25.1%): This type of collision, which is commonly referred to as a T-bone accident, occurs when the front of a vehicle hits the side of another vehicle. It’s a dangerous accident for motorcycle riders, especially if they’re hit on the side. Drivers must be aware of their immediate surroundings to ensure that there are no incoming vehicles, as broadside collisions are common at intersections.
- Overturn accidents (21%): Motorcycles are prone to overturn because they are harder to balance and control than four-wheel vehicles, and they commonly overturn in bad weather conditions where the driver has poor visibility. Some of the causes of overturn accidents include driving on steep slopes, slippery surfaces, or uneven roads. Motorcycles can also overturn when speeding at corners. Others may overturn due to unbalanced loads or driver inexperience.
- Hitting objects/debris (18.8%): Since they’re harder to balance, motorcycle riders can also hit objects and debris on the road. Running over huge rocks can cause the driver to lose balance and be involved in an accident.
- Rear-end collisions (12.5%): A rear-end collision is when a driver hits the vehicle in front of them. The most common reason why this occurs is that the driver isn’t paying attention to the road. Other reasons can include panic stops, tailgating, slippery roads, or worn pavements.
Sideswipes (11.5%): When a car swerves into a lane occupied by another vehicle, such as a motorcycle, it can result in a sideswipe. This commonly happens because of abrupt lane changes, distracted driving, overspeeding, or lane splitting.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Los Angeles
Before filing a personal injury claim against insurance companies or other parties, it’s best to first arm yourself with proper knowledge. Not only can it help you avoid them, but it can also strengthen your case.
Remember that California is an at-fault insurance state, which means that the liable party will be responsible for shouldering the losses caused by the accident. This includes paying for medical treatments, lost income, and other expenses.
One of the most common causes of road accidents is driver negligence. Negligence can happen in two ways.
The first is when the driver can’t do something important while operating the vehicle. This can occur when a person fails to exercise caution as expected of a responsible driver. They drive distracted by using their mobile phones, eating, or having wandering thoughts. Distracted driving can be manual, visual, or cognitive, and distracted drivers have poor reaction times.
Second, drivers who are reckless on the road, such as by overspeeding and not being mindful of their surroundings. Their negligence can severely injure, disfigure, or even kill someone.
Based on the UC Berkeley study, most motorcycle accidents in the state of California were caused by drivers who were speeding and engaging in improper turning. Unless posted, the maximum speed limit in California’s two-lane undivided highway is 55 miles per hour (mph). Ignoring the right of way is another cause of motorcycle accidents.
The Basic Speed Law states that motorcycle riders should adjust their speed according to road conditions. This means that drivers should be mindful of the number of vehicles on the road, the speed of other vehicles, and road surfaces. They should check if pedestrians are crossing the roadway. In marked or unmarked crosswalks, pedestrians have the right of way. They can file a personal injury claim if you hit them while they’re crossing the road.
When you ride your motorcycle, the assumption is that it’s vulnerable to even the slightest defects on the road. Potholes, rubble, gravel, and other debris can cause you to lose balance and hit other vehicles or pedestrians. If roadway defects cause motorcycle accident victims to sustain severe injuries, you or your loved one can file a claim against the city for not fulfilling its responsibility to maintain the road.
Roadway situations can also increase your risk of accidents because of weather changes. Muddy or slippery terrain can cause you to skid or overturn. If you’re not prepared to react accordingly, such accidents can cause road rash, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, or amputation.
Before driving on a public road, it’s your responsibility as a driver to check your motorcycle or passenger car, for that matter. Check if your brakes are working properly. If you’re going on a long drive, see if your tires are in good condition. This will help prevent possible tire blowouts or skidding on slippery roads.
If the insurance company finds out that your faulty vehicle is the reason for the accident, they may reject your claim. In fact, they may even file a case against you.
Make sure that your vehicle is road-worthy before going on a cruise. This will allow you to enjoy the ride even more since you don’t have to worry about whether your motorcycle is defective.
You should know that you have the right to seek compensation if someone else causes your injuries. Work with an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney to make your case.
Get a free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer today!
How a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
Filing a claim for a motorcycle accident can be tricky. Therefore, having an experienced attorney by your side can make a huge difference. Here are the advantages of working with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer:
Negotiating for a Fair Settlement
In most motorcycle accident cases, it’s common to negotiate a settlement at the insurance claim stage. This means that you don’t have to go to trial. However, you must understand that the insurance company will try to bargain as much as possible. Therefore, you need to prove your case to get a fair settlement.
You must fight for the maximum compensation to cover your medical bills if you have serious injuries. The amount you’ll receive in damages depends on the severity of your injuries. For example, cases of wrongful death have higher compensation than amputations.
Most motorcycle accident law offices in California know how to compute damages. They will give you a clear picture of what you can expect from the settlement. They will advise you about the statements you can make during the investigation.
One important thing to remember about settlement negotiations is that they can happen at any stage of the process. The insurance company or the other party may offer to settle before the investigation even starts. They may also offer to settle during the trial.
Just like in auto accidents, settlements for motorcycle collisions can take time because the terms must be acceptable to both parties. Expect back and forths until everyone involved agrees on an amount that works.
Once you sign a settlement release, you can no longer file another case for damages. That means this is your only chance to get the settlement you deserve. Therefore, having a personal injury attorney by your side to explain your rights is critical.
Representing You in Court
Serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, can help you get a settlement. However, if the accident is partially or fully your fault, it gets complicated. For any claim you file with the insurance company, know that they’ll probably dispute it. In fact, they may even present their own evidence so that they don’t have to provide you with any compensation.
You’ll likely need to go to trial, where it’s more difficult to control the outcome if you don’t have the proper evidence or the time to work on the case. It also doesn’t help that most jury panels have misconceptions about motorcyclists. Therefore, it’s best to have legal representation early in the process.
If negotiation fails, motorcycle accident trial lawyers will represent you in court. They will guide you through the entire process, including what documentation you need to build your case. They are also aware of the statute of limitations, which is the deadline by which your claim must be filed.
If you have serious motorcycle accident injuries, it’s best to leave the legal aspects of your motor accident case to the lawyers. This way, you can focus on your recovery.
Building Your Motorcycle Accident Case
Like any car accident victim, injured motorcyclists must build their case to get the justice they deserve. However, not everyone involved in the case will cooperate. Some parties will argue that they had the right of way. Others may claim that you were a distracted driver and the one at fault for the accident.
That’s why having an attorney is very important. They’re most likely to know how the other party may make a counterclaim. Any loophole in your case can significantly impact your settlement and your entire case.
A lawyer knows what information and evidence is required to give you the best chance of winning your case. This includes getting photos from the accident scene, requesting copies of police reports, updating medical records, and getting witness statements.
Your legal team will do its best to show that the other party caused the accident. This way, the court will rule in your favor.
Note, however, that your lawyer will most likely wait for your maximum medical improvement so that they can accurately calculate how much to claim in damages. They will compile all evidence to build and file your claim once they have all the necessary information. This is critical because it will allow them to compute potential expenses you may need to shoulder in the future.
Disclaimer: Before choosing Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys to represent you, check out testimonials of previous clients first!
Count on The Personal Injury Center for Motorcycle Accident Representation
Motorcycle accidents can be tricky to navigate. An insurance company may turn the tables and convince you that you’re responsible for the injury. In such a case, they may trick you into accepting compensation less than what you deserve. Getting help from personal injury lawyers is critical for winning your case. They will help you understand the jargon and the intricacies of filing your claim.
You may have prepared your police report and copies of medical expenses to prove your catastrophic injuries. However, a weak motorcycle accident claim without input from personal injury attorneys may get you nowhere.
Protect a loved one or a family member from an unfair settlement.
FAQs on Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
If possible, get yourself and your companions to a safe area. This is particularly important if you’re in the middle of a busy road. Call emergency services if you think anyone is seriously hurt or injured. If you have a lawyer, call them immediately. They will guide you on what you can say to police officers or what evidence to obtain.
The settlement amount will depend on the facts of the case. You should try to get an insurance settlement, which is the most common and efficient way to get maximum compensation for motorcycle injuries in California.
In most cases, the at-fault party’s insurance provider will calculate the worth of your injuries. Don’t get swayed by the numbers. Most insurance providers will want to save money rather than stay fair. You’re not obliged to accept the first offer.
Consult a motorcycle accident lawyer. They will help compute lost wages, medical care costs, property damage, pain and suffering, and long-term medical expenses.
Most motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles are due to inexperienced drivers. They are often the ones who won’t be mindful of oncoming traffic, such as motorcycles.