If you’ve ever been involved in a painful incident involving a motorcycle accident, then you surely know how traumatic it can be. After all, motorcycles are high-speed vehicles, and their design poses a much greater danger to other drivers than standard automobiles.
However, not every motorcyclist has a negative experience when driving their bike. In fact, some riders have been pleasantly surprised by how safe riding a motorcycle is: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than half a million licensed motorcycle operators in the United States.
Additionally, an incredible two-thirds of them drive only motorcycles regularly. Even if you don’t own or operate one yourself, there’s still a decent chance that someone you know does.
So why would anyone who understands the risks opt to ride? Because it’s faster, more convenient, and far less expensive than driving a car or using public transportation. The only real drawback is that motorcycling places you at an elevated risk for injury in an accident with another vehicle.
Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
You might be thinking about what to do next if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and suffered injuries. You could take your case to small claims court or decide to settle on your own. However, if the incident was severe enough or you sustained serious injuries, it would be wise to contact a qualified attorney with experience in this area of law.
After all, personal injury claims are often complex and time-consuming, so why worry about going through the process alone? As soon as you have an attorney on your side, you can rest assured knowing that your claim will be handled quickly and efficiently. A lawyer will also help ensure that you understand the full extent of your legal options in the event of a motorcycle accident:
- What kinds of compensation you may be entitled to from the other driver’s insurance company.
- Whether or not there is any chance for criminal prosecution.
- What steps are available for proceeding with a civil lawsuit.
In addition to these advantages, a motorcycle accident lawyer should also serve as an advisor during the entire process. Guiding you through every step of the claim process ensures no surprises along the way. With a professional on your side, there’s no need for anxiety, just follow their advice and sit back and get healthy while they handle everything from start to finish.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in California
Most motorcyclists know riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a car or public transportation, but they also know it can be worth the risk. According to statistics from the California Highway Patrol, roughly 20 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state involve a motorcycle rider. In fact, it’s not unusual for motorcycles to account for up to 20 percent of bike-related fatalities.
Injuries are common: The United States Department of Transportation reports that around 80 percent of motorcycle accidents involve injuries, and nearly 50 percent cause serious injury. So what are the chances of you becoming injured?
Luckily, those numbers are far more favorable when you compare them with car accidents: In 2017 alone, an estimated 130 million drivers were involved in car crashes. That averages to about 17 million drivers annually who experience an injury due to an accident. For comparison, only about 2/3rds of 1% of all motorcyclists will suffer some form of injury because their accident was caused by another vehicle.
Motorcycle Accident Death Statistics
People who ride motorcycles are involved in motor vehicle crashes at a higher rate than people who drive cars. The NHTSA reports that more than 7,000 motorcycle operators were killed in 2015, and more than 54,000 were injured. Those statistics only reflect the injuries and fatalities involving licensed riders. Unlicensed riders on public roads face an even greater risk of injury or death.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash, the first thing to do is contact an experienced Sacramento, California, motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your case. At Ashley Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have decades of experience handling personal injury cases like yours and know how to maximize your potential recovery by maximizing your compensation for damages from injuries sustained during the accident.
Safety Tips for Riding a Motorcycle
The risk of being involved in a motorcycle injury accident is substantial. Motorcycle safety helmets are mandatory in California and many parts of the United States. Motorcyclists must wear a DOT-compliant helmet whenever they ride a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle.
So, when riding, it’s essential to take safety precautions and follow the road rules. Even if you think you’re an experienced rider who knows what they’re doing, it’s advisable to follow these tips:
Wear a helmet
If you want to ensure your safety on the road and prevent serious injuries or even death, wear a helmet every time you ride your bike. In more than 70 percent of motorcycle accidents, helmets would have saved the lives of the biker and anyone else in the accident.
Additionally, wearing a helmet will help protect your face from injury should something happen while driving on the road.
Watch out for other traffic
Even if you’re wearing a helmet, being alert is extremely important so that you don’t get hit by another vehicle or run off the road unexpectedly.
Make sure both your tires are inflated
Correct PSI levels are vital before leaving for your drive so the tires can grip securely on the road surface.
Keep an eye on people around you
Staying alert to those around you who may be intoxicated or impaired in any way can keep you safe.
Check out local laws and regulations carefully
If you’re new to motorcycles, you may not know the difference between cars and motorcycle laws. However, as with cars, motorcyclists must carry a license plate and insurance documentation with them at all times. Know all the rules before you get out on the road.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
One of the most typical injuries in motorcycle accidents is broken bones. The leading cause of this type of injury is a low-speed collision, meaning that you were driving at a speed slower than 20 miles per hour when the accident occurred. The impact causes your body to be forcefully stopped and then strongly accelerated again, leading to broken or fractured bones.
Second on the list is head trauma, which occurs as your head and skull violently collide with another object. Head trauma isn’t limited to just one area either. It can happen anywhere on your head, including your face, neck, forehead, scalp, and skull. When it comes to brain damage, there are a few more variations.
Closed head injury means an object impacted against your crown caused bruising or bleeding inside your skull. Open head injury means an object impacted against your skull causes bruising or bleeding outside of it, and traumatic intracranial hemorrhage means bleeding inside and outside your cranium causes lasting damage to your brain.
Potential causes for motorcycle accidents include the following:
- The driver pulled out from a parking lot into traffic without checking for motorcycles.
- A passing car swerves into the bike’s lane without checking for motorcycles.
- A passing bicyclist swerves into the bike’s lane without checking for motorcycles.
Common Reasons Why Drivers Cause Motorcycle Crashes
Theft of a motorcycle is one of the most common reasons drivers cause motorcycle crashes. 82 percent of motorcyclists in California reported that their bike was stolen at some point during their life. This makes it essential to make sure you’re wearing your helmet and use an approved lock when storing or locking your bike.
Motorcyclists often hold other drivers accountable for collisions, but not all drivers are reckless or negligent. According to the NHTSA, more than half of all motorcycle accidents are attributed to the driver’s behavior. The most common behaviors are speeding, failing to yield, and making illegal turns. To prevent more accidents, practice safe driving habits on the road!
Sacramento Motorcycle Accident FAQ
What are the risks of riding a motorcycle? Motorcycles involve an increased risk of injury in collisions with other vehicles. In fact, according to the NHTSA, motorcycles have a higher fatality rate in crashes with cars than cars. More specifically, they have a higher fatality rate per mile traveled than cars.
It’s important to note that the risks are significantly reduced if you follow safe operating guidelines and wear protective gear. As mentioned previously, a significant reason motorcyclists opt for this mode of transportation is that it’s faster and more convenient. When you consider how much time is saved not having to deal with traffic or parking, it becomes clear why people choose motorcycles over other forms of transportation…
I’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident. What should I do first?
First and foremost, you should contact a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. These lawyers can provide an in-depth analysis of the accident, help you understand your legal rights, and guide you through the process of getting compensation for your injuries.
They can also help you navigate the complicated insurance claim process to ensure you get fair compensation for your injuries. If you’ve already hired a personal injury lawyer, then now is the time to begin the process of healing. Taking care of yourself and ensuring that your loved ones are okay is essential. Get medical help immediately.
Who pays for my medical bills after a motorcycle accident?
After a motorcyclist is involved in an accident with another vehicle, their medical bills will likely be outrageous. In fact, the average motorcycle accident victim’s medical bills are around $25,000. This bill can be even higher for those who sustain severe injuries or have a permanent disability due to crashes.
The good news is that your medical bills will likely be covered by your insurance company. It’s also likely that the negligent party’s insurance company will pay your medical bills from the settlement. Suppose you suffer an injury after being involved in a motorcycle accident. In that case, it’s essential to know about the different ways in which you can seek compensation for your injuries.
For example, suppose you were riding legally and didn’t violate any laws or rules when you collided with another vehicle. In that case, you could file suit against the driver at fault for causing your injuries.
Additionally, suppose there was negligence on the part of someone else involved in the accident. In that case, you could file suit against the other party without dealing with them directly.
On the other hand, if someone else caused damage to your motorcycle after crashing into it (such as by driving off without leaving any information), there may be grounds for legal action against that person if their identity is discovered.
The other party was at fault in my motorcycle accident, but I was not wearing a helmet. Will this hurt my case?
The drawback is that motorcycling places you at an elevated risk for injury in an accident with another vehicle. This is a significant reason why wearing a helmet is essential when riding.
While you may not have been wearing a helmet when involved in an accident, if the other party was at fault, your lawyer will still be able to take steps to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
While helmets are required by law, they do not inhibit your ability to perform well on a motorcycle but reduce your risk of head trauma and brain damage in many cases.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Sacramento, CA Today
You need professional legal assistance if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident. However, finding an experienced motorcycle attorney skilled in this area of law can be challenging.
We encourage you to contact Ashley Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. We have been representing victims of personal injury and death due to motorcycle accidents for years and can work with you during your time of need. Call us at 916-419-1111 or message us using our chat button or contact page.
Additional Motorcycle Accident Resources
It’s important to know that not every motorcyclist who has an accident will be represented by an attorney. Some may feel they can’t afford the legal representation they need, while others might not feel confident enough in their own ability to represent themselves.
However, many resources are available if you find yourself in this situation and want legal counsel.
Ashley Injury Lawyers offers a fee structure based on a contingency. We do not charge any fees until after your case is won. Additionally, the insurance company typically pays medical expenses out of the settlement.
Getting medical attention early and having Ashley Injury Lawyers work as your Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney is crucial for your well-being.