San Diego is one of the best cities for driving a motorcycle in California. Motorcycle lovers will truly enjoy the city’s beautiful roads, warm climate, and sightseeing opportunities. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the state has around 1.4 million licensed motorcyclists.
Although the California Highway Patrol (CHP) emphasizes the importance of safe motorcycle riding, the risks of getting into an accident remain high. Many motor vehicle drivers don’t keep an eye out for motorcyclists. Therefore, even when you drive your motorcycle very carefully, you can still be involved in an accident in San Diego.
Motor vehicle accidents don’t always cause severe injuries. However, unlike motorists in enclosed vehicles, bikers lack significant protection. This is why motorcycle accidents are likely to result in serious injuries, permanent disability or, in the worst cases, wrongful death than car accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,579 motorcycle riders were killed in 2020. This represents 14% of that year’s fatalities from motor vehicle accidents.
Aside from life-altering injuries, a motorcycle accident can leave you with a pile of medical bills. Have you sustained internal organ injuries or lost a loved one from a motorcycle crash? Like other motorcycle accident victims, you might be uncertain about what to do next.
A San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer from a reliable law firm can guide you through the necessary legal steps. We at The Personal Injury Center can connect you to the best attorney specializing in motorcycle accident cases.
Hazards San Diego Motorcycle Riders Face
Unlike cars or other enclosed motor vehicles, a motorcycle exposes you to many more hazards. Whether you’re driving in San Diego County or anywhere else, it’s best to be aware of the potential dangers on the road. This way, you can avoid situations that may disrupt a peaceful ride and get you into an unfortunate accident.
The hazards San Diego motorcycle riders face while on the road can be divided into four categories. Find out what they are by reading on.
Conditions on the road that have little effect on cars can have a more serious impact on motorcycles. A solid, uniform and high-friction roadway surface is vital for proper control while driving a bike. A car may pass over hazards without any incidents. However, such hazards may cause a motorcycle to crash and result in traumatic brain injury or disfigurement to the rider if they don’t exercise caution.
Before hitting the road, motorcycle riders must know and look out for the following dangerous and poor road conditions and features:
- Potholes, edge breaks and rough Surfaces: Construction areas often cause inattentive motorcyclists to crash, as the motorcycle will likely get thrown off balance when you pass over potholes, edge breaks, and rough surfaces. This can result in serious injuries, especially when you’re driving at high speeds.
- Slick and slippery roads: Roads can also get very slippery. Since motorcycles only have two wheels, they are less stable than four-wheeled vehicles. Their unstable nature and smaller size make them more prone to sliding on slick and slippery surfaces. This can increase your chances of getting into an accident, particularly when you’re turning at an intersection.
- Animals and other debris: Animals can run onto the road without notice. However, swerving to avoid hitting one can cause a catastrophic crash and serious motorcycle accident injuries. Other debris, such as tree branches, rocks, and pieces of tires, can also get strewn across the highway. You can severely get injured if you travel over them. .
These roadway hazards can result from inadequate maintenance. You may consider suing the responsible parties if you or a loved one were injured because of poor road conditions. This may include the person who is responsible for the construction or the maintenance of the road.
Traffic laws are in place to protect all users of the road. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to obey them. Their behavior or negligence can put motorcyclists, pedestrians, and other road users at risk. Below are some human factors that can easily cause a motorcycle accident.
- Alcohol and drug use: Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the top causes of motorcycle accidents. Such substances negatively affect one’s vision, judgment, reaction time, and other driving skills. This poses a significant risk to other motorists, especially motorcycle riders, who are generally less noticeable on the road.
- Overspeeding: Speeding contributes to thousands of vehicular accidents per year. Motorists who exceed the posted speed limit increase the risk of causing accidents and serious injuries. If you drive too fast, it would be hard to slow down or stop in time to avoid a deadly crash.
- Rider’s inexperience: New motorcycle riders are more likely to be involved in an accident than those with years of experience. Inexperienced motorcyclists may lack the necessary skills and techniques to safely operate a motorcycle. During their first year of riding, they may be unable to respond to sudden events or rough road conditions.
Cars and other vehicles may be responsible for a motorcycle accident. Such accidents can result in broken bones, road rash, or head, neck, and spinal cord injuries. When another driver’s negligence is responsible for the crash, motorcycle accident victims can file a personal injury claim for their injuries and property damage.
Aside from road conditions, other environmental factors can contribute to a motorcycle crash, which isn’t something you can control. However, being aware of the following can help you prepare and use more caution:
- Weather conditions: Heavy rain, snow, ice, and sleet can make driving conditions dangerous. Since they can cover potholes, debris, cracks, and other road defects, it’s more difficult for motorcycle riders to avoid them. The small and lightweight nature of motorcycles makes them more challenging to maneuver and maintain balance in bad weather.
- Low visibility: A lack of visibility can cause a motorcycle accident. For example, severe rain may visually distract the driver by stinging the driver’s eyes or pooling their goggles. This will make it more difficult for motorcyclists to see obstacles, which can cause them to lose control of their vehicle and crash on the road.
- Busy intersections: A range of motorcycle accidents may occur in busy intersections. While most accidents are attributed to driver negligence, intersections are generally dangerous for motorcyclists. Some crossings may have obstructed views, which may make it impossible for drivers to see an approaching motorcyclist.
The majority of motorcycle accidents involve a collision with another vehicle. However, many motorcyclists are injured yearly and suffer catastrophic injuries because of vehicle defects. Since motorcycles have several mechanical components, their safety is compromised when their parts aren’t in sync or malfunctioning.
The following defects can put motorcyclists at risk of getting into a crash and suffering serious head injuries:
- Brake defects: Brake defects are one of the most dangerous malfunctions in any motor vehicle. If the brakes aren’t working properly, you won’t be able to stop your motorcycle on time, likely leading you to crash into another vehicle.
- Tire defects: Defective tires are another hazard for motorcycle drivers. If the tire has a defect, the tread may get detached from the tire, resulting in a tire blowout. If the tire pops, motorcyclists will likely lose control of the vehicle and crash into another motorist.
- Frame defects: Defective parts in motorcycle frames can result in cracks and structural failures. When structures are defective, they can’t withstand normal driving conditions, which may cause the chassis of the motorcycle to crack and result in a devastating accident. In fact, even a minor fracture can lead to severe injuries.
When a motorcycle defect leads to a crash, the rider will likely suffer severe injuries, permanent disability or even death. If this happens to you or a loved one, you can seek compensation from the party responsible for your injuries.
You can file a personal injury claim against multiple parties depending on the accident. If the accident was caused by a defect in the motorcycle, the manufacturer or the mechanic who recently worked on the motorcycle could be held responsible.
A police report may help to determine who was responsible for the accident. However, you’ll need the expertise of an experienced San Diego motorcycle accident attorney to strengthen your case.
Protect Your Rights With an Experienced San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer
Taking legal action is probably the last thing on your mind when you’ve been injured in an accident. However, the injuries you’ve sustained from your motorcycle accident can negatively affect your quality of life. For example, you may require extensive medical treatment and physical therapy, which also means hefty medical expenses.
If you or a loved one were involved in a motorcycle accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses, such as medical care bills and lost wages. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, an experienced personal injury attorney will fight to make sure that you receive fair compensation.
The Personal Injury Center is here to help you get the legal advice and legal representation you need for your motorcycle accident claim. We can connect you to the best motorcycle accident lawyer in San Diego. Check us out today and get a free case evaluation of your case.
FAQs on Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in San Diego
At what speed do most motorcycle accidents happen?
Motorcycle crashes can happen when you’re traveling at any speed. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the average speed of motorcycles during an accident was 29.8 miles per hour.
What is the “No Pay, No Play” Rule?
The No-Pay, No-Play Rule prohibits uninsured drivers from collecting non-economic damages from at-fault or negligent drivers. Even if the uninsured driver is injured, they won't be able to recover such damages from the negligent party. However, if the party responsible for the accident is uninsured, they may still be liable for economic and non-economic losses.
This rule tries to encourage drivers to get insurance and comply with their financial responsibilities to the state of California.
Does being uninsured prevent you from getting compensation for a personal injury claim?
Uninsured drivers can still seek financial compensation through a personal injury claim. However, since California has a No-Pay, No PlayRule, the amount you'll get may be limited. While you may be able to get damages for economic losses from the other driver’s insurance company, you might not be able to get any compensation for non-economic injuries.