Experienced Southern California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Since 1984
If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash, contact a motorcycle accident attorney right away. You may have serious injuries that need treated and be unable to work for an extended period of time. A lawyer can help you gather evidence and file a claim to recover compensation for your losses.
Riding a motorcycle is an economical and convenient mode of transportation, especially with the rising gas prices and increased traffic congestion. There is also an adrenaline addiction to riding a motorcycle, giving you a sense of speed and risk. But the risks are high and could be life-threatening. Motorcycles by itself offer zero protection against accidents, often leaving the rider and any passengers with severe injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 4,500 fatalities and 92,000 injuries from motorcycle accidents are reported each year.
In the event of an injury, a motorcycle accident attorney at Russell & Lazarus, APC can help recover your losses. Call us today at (949) 851-0222 for a free consultation of your situation.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycles offer zero protection against accidents, often leaving the rider and any passengers with severe injuries. By understanding common motorcycle accident statistics, you can avoid the worst outcome for yourself:
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 4,500 fatalities and 92,000 injuries from motorcycle accidents are reported each year.
- Motorcycle accident fatalities account for 14 percent of all deaths involving motor vehicles; however, motorcycles make up only 1 percent of all miles driven.
- Fatalities on motorcycles have doubled in the last 10 years, while deaths due to car and truck accidents have decreased.
- Approximately 30 percent of motorcycle accident injuries occur to the legs and feet.
- About 22 percent of injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents occur to the head and neck.
- As many as 62 percent of motorcycle wrecks involve fuel spills that can cause fires and injuries.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many causes for motorcycle accidents, often due to the negligence of a driver and/or motorcyclist rider. The most common causes include:
- Head-on collisions – The most common cause of motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle. Cars more often strike a motorcycle in the front rather than the rear.
- Left- and U-turn collisions – The most dangerous situation for motorcyclists is when a vehicle turns left or makes a U-turn while the motorcyclists was going straight through an intersection.
- Lane splitting – During heavy or stopped traffic, motorcyclists often ride between the lanes. Drivers may not anticipate a motorcycle riding past them. Collisions may also result from the close proximity of the vehicle and motorcycle.
- Hazardous weather and road conditions – Like with other vehicles, motorcycles are susceptible to the weather and road conditions. Since motorcycles are lighter and less stable then other vehicles, many obstructions or hazards on the road could cause the motorcyclist to lose control. This includes dead animals, potholes, gravel, uneven heights between the lanes, snow, ice, water, bumps in the road, etc.
- Alcohol and/or drug influence – Any driver or rider under the influence of alcohol or drugs could cause an accident since the inhibited person’s reaction, attention, vision and balance are all compromised.
- Motorcyclist’s error – An inexperienced or even an overconfident rider could misjudge something, such as the speed to take a curve, losing control of the motorcycle and resulting in an accident.
- Fixed objects and car doors – A rider could flip over if the motorcycle collides with a fixed object or when a car door opens suddenly in the rider’s path.
- Malfunctioning motorcycle parts – Defective parts of the motorcycle could also cause accidents, such as defective brake pads, tires, handlebars, engines and fuel tanks. The manufacturers of these parts could be liable for your injuries.
Determine the Cause of Your Accident
It’s important to determine the exact cause of your accident so that you can hold someone accountable for your injuries. A motorcycle accident attorney at Russell & Lazarus APC can review your situation and narrow the causes of your crash. Once we determine who should be held responsible, we will file a claim against them and help you recover compensation.
Common Serious Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident are often moderate to severe, if not fatal. These injuries include:
- Head injury – Damage to the brain could cause traumatic brain injury that may have temporary or long-lasting effects. Not only could you be physically affected, but your moods, behavior, personality, memory, speech, and vision could all be affected. If very severe, a head injury could result in death.
- Neck injury – Injury to the neck could result in paralysis or death.
- Road rash – When exposed skin or skin covered in thin layers of clothing, rubs against the pavement, a rash appears. The rash could lead to skin irritations, infections, or surface nerve damage.
- Muscle damage – Damage to the muscle in any part of your body could be permanent. Eardrums are also a muscle, which could burst and result in loss of hearing.
- Biker’s arm – Impacted to the arm that damages the nerves in the arms could cause permanent damage to the nerves in the arm and upper body.
- Lower and upper extremity injury – Injuries to your extremities include shattered, fractured or broken bones; severed limbs; scrapes; cuts; road rash; or severe bruising.
Your first step after an accident should be to obtain medical care. Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, some conditions can show up days or even weeks after a wreck. You should seek medical attention immediately after an accident and make sure you follow up with your primary care doctor as soon as possible. A motorcycle accident attorney can help you understand how medical documentation will support your personal injury claim.
Motorcycle Safety Gear
There are some things you can do to decrease your chances of injury or the severity of injury if you are involved in a motorcycle accident:
- Motorcycle helmet – Veh Code §27803requires both rider and passengers to wear a helmet. The helmet must meet, at the minimum, the standards set forth by Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No.
- Protective clothing – Wear protective clothing such as leather garments, motorcycle boots, long pants or jeans, knee and elbow pads, gloves and jackets.
Even if you were not wearing protective gear, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. If another driver acted negligently and caused your accident, they may be legally liable for any injuries that you incur. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your legal options after an accident.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can be overwhelming situations; however, if you take the following steps, you can remain calm:
- Move out of harm’s way. If your motorcycle wreck occurred on a roadway, you may be in danger of secondary accidents as traffic passes by. Move yourself and your vehicle out of the danger zone, if possible.
- Seek medical attention. You should get emergency medical treatment as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident. However, it is just as important to follow up with your doctor at a later date. Medical information will document the extent of your injuries for a claim.
- Report the accident to authorities. You should call 911 and submit an accident report right away. A police officer can complete an investigation and document what happened.
- Collect information at the scene if you’re able. If you are able to move around and collect evidence after the accident, do so. Take pictures and video with your phone. Ask for names and phone numbers from witnesses. Also get insurance information from other drivers.
- Call a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. It’s important to call a motorcycle accident attorney quickly after an accident. The longer you wait, the value of your claim will diminish. Memories will fade and evidence will disappear, so you should immediately contact a lawyer who can begin an independent investigation of your situation.
Seek Legal Help from an Experienced Southern California Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Experiencing a motorcycle accident is often traumatic and the resulting injuries could be severe and permanent. Just like in car accidents, you could be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages, including medical costs, pain and suffering, wage loss, and more. Our seasoned Southern California motorcycle accident attorney at Russell & Lazarus, APC is ready to assist you by evaluating and investigating your claim, negotiating with the insurance companies, and, when all else fails, argue your case before the court. We do the legal work so you can focus on healing. Contact us at (888) 998-2318 today!