San Diego has one of the best climates in California and the United States, so it is no wonder many motorcyclists take to the streets and highways throughout San Diego County. With high traffic density, this makes a fun form of exercise, sport, and transportation a risky proposition. Unfortunately, accidents often occur between motorcyclists and other motor vehicles in our area. These motorcycle accidents tend to be severe, causing serious injuries and even death.
At Queen Yasmine Personal Injury Law, our San Diego motorcycle accident lawyers are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal support to anyone impacted by a serious motorcycle accident. We will not stand for a “lowball” offer but will fight to recover the full compensation you are entitled to according to current California personal injury laws. In the case of motorcyclists, this compensation can be substantial due to the fact that motorcyclists generally sustain much more severe injuries than other types of traffic collisions.
California is home to more than 800,000 registered motorcycles; this comprises the most in the U.S. In 2017, more than 16,000 U.S. accidents occurred involving motorcyclists. These resulted in the deaths of 541 people and injuries to another 15, 527. Approximately 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents lead to injuries or fatalities annually. This is due to the fact that motorcyclists’ bodies are fully exposed when struck by another vehicle or when being ejected onto the roadway or thrown onto other objects.
For motorcyclists, the risk of death is 26 times higher than passenger car occupants per mile. This is significant because the majority of motorcycle accidents involve collisions between a motorcyclist and a car or other vehicle. The overall highway death toll for such accidents is far too high while motorcyclist fatalities have continued to increase since 1994. At that point, these deaths comprised 5.7 percent of the total highway deaths. In 2016, they made up more than 14 percent of all traffic accident deaths in the U.S. Compare this to only three percent of all registered vehicles in the U.S. belonging to motorcycles.
Currently, San Diego County is second only to Los Angeles County with the most deaths and injuries from motorcycle accidents in California. Unfortunately, this makes motorcycle accidents common in Southern California.
Basically, a motorcycle is considered by law to be another motor vehicle. Therefore, motorcyclists are subject to the same traffic laws. Furthermore, when injured in a motor vehicle accident, motorcyclists have the same legal rights as other drivers to file personal injury claims.
Lane splitting, riding down the dividing line between cars or next to them is legal in California. A 2015 effort to outlaw the practice failed. California is the only state in the country that currently allows this common practice. The practice might well be legal because sitting in traffic is dangerous. That was the argument in favor of allowing lane splitting. However, lane splitting on a busy road exposes you to the risk of being hit by a careless driver who decides to change lanes without looking. Drivers who fail to exercise proper caution and maintain a lookout for others are guilty of negligence.
Several factors make it tough to be a motorcycle rider. Drivers often change lanes without signaling or without looking. Distracted driving continues to be a regular issue and even careful drivers can still cause serious accidents without meaning to do so.
Poor visibility is always a bigger hazard for motorcycle riders than it is for drivers in cars and trucks. Because of their smaller size, motorcycles are not as visible as other vehicles. They can easily be missed in blind spots or, in head-on collisions, during the darker hours of the day. Large vehicles can block a motorcycle from the view of other drivers, where a small car or SUV would still be obvious. This fact undoubtedly leads to many accidents. Of course, a rain-slick road is riskier for a motorcycle rider than for a driver.
In spite of those issues, there is no excuse for reckless or inattentive drivers to cause accidents. Collisions between cars and motorcycles almost always turn out much worse for the rider than for the driver, so drivers should pay extra attention. Riders too need to always be aware of their vulnerability as well as the fact that they are much harder to see than a car. Motorcycle accident statistics indicate those lessons are not being heeded as widely as they could be.
Head-on collisions are the most common type of accident involving cars and motorcycles. Unfortunately, they can be deadly to the motorcyclist. Drivers making left-hand turns in front of an oncoming motorcyclist comprise 42 percent of such accidents. This occurs when the driver turning collides with a motorcycle that is heading towards him through an intersection. It can also occur when the motorcyclist passes or tries to overtake the motorist.
Causes of motorcycle accidents can include:
Motorcyclists are at much greater risk for catastrophic injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and death. Lesser but still extremely severe injuries can include broken hips, pelvises, legs, and other body parts, internal injuries, amputations, and more. Even minor injuries such as road rash, sprains, whiplash, cuts, and bruises can be extremely painful requiring medical care and leading to lost wages. When this has occurred in a negligence-based accident, you deserve rightful compensation.
Our San Diego motorcycle accident lawyers are here to apply legal knowledge, insight, and skills into helping you obtain compensation. The compensation you may receive will be based on the extent of your injuries and losses. It may include monies for your past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, motorcycle damage, and any other appropriate damages.
“She always made me feel taken care of, helped me find amazing doctors, responded quickly, kept me updated, communicated consistently, and was professional and respectful.”
- Alex S.
Commercial Trucking Accident
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