Many people in and around the South Bay area enjoy operating their motorcycles. When operated safely, a motorcycle is a fun and diverting hobby, one that can provide years of enjoyment to the driver and passengers.
However, many drivers struggle to share the road with motorcyclists – and in these wrecks, it’s almost always the motorcyclist who suffers the serious personal injury.
Our firm represents motorcyclists who have suffered serious injuries in an accident. If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence or misconduct, we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
To schedule your complimentary case review at our Redondo Beach office, please call Kirtland & Packard at (310) 536-1000 today.
- Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
- Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
- Motorcycle Accident Damages
- California Motorcycle Laws
- Keep Yourself Safe
- Why Choose Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers?
- Contact Kirtland & Packard for a Free Consultation
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists have no protection. There’s no elaborate metal framework surrounding riders or their passengers. You have your helmet and that’s about it. This means that motorcycle accidents tend to result in catastrophic personal injuries.
We have helped clients who have suffered the following injuries in these accidents:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Broken or pulverized bones
- Road rash
Of course, there’s also the tragic reality that thousands of lives are lost every year in motorcycle accidents. If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, we can discuss the possibility of pursuing a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties.
Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
We all have a responsibility to safely share the road. Motorcyclists understand this better than most. Sadly, many car and truck drivers do not – they’re aggressive and selfish around motorcyclists, and many times they don’t even see a motorcycle until it’s too late.
Motorcyclists face a unique challenge: many car and truck drivers fail to responsibly share the road. In fact, studies have found that it is the drivers of larger vehicles who cause a majority of motorcycle accidents.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers will fight to get you the compensation you deserve as a victim of another party’s negligence.
The number one cause of motorcycle accidents is being cut off or turned into by larger vehicles. Often blamed on lower visibility, these accidents are all too often catastrophic for motorcyclists, demanding legal action to help ensure proper compensation.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Reckless driving
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Defective roadway design
- Mechanical failure
Whatever the specific cause of your accident, negligence of any kind is unacceptable. Acting recklessly or foolishly while operating a car puts everyone on the road in danger, a fact we’ve seen borne out far too often in motorcycle accident cases.
The medical expenses associated with a motorcycle accident can be immense. Our lawyers help out by pursuing the compensation you deserve to get the medical care you need.
Motorcycle Accident Damages
Damages in a motorcycle accident claim will typically fall under one of three categories:
- Special Damages. These are based on demonstrable expenses and losses, such as medical costs, rehabilitation, and an inability to work. Special damages may also include property damage and any other real costs associated with recovery
- General Damages. These include things that cannot be proven, such as physical pain, emotional suffering, PTSD, and anxiety. General damages may be larger in cases that go to trial
- Punitive Damages. In some instances, the behavior of the responsible party is so egregious it demands additional damages. In these cases, punitive damages can be sought
Relevant California Motorcycle Laws
Here are some of the most important laws regarding motorcycle usage in the state of California:
- All motorcycle riders, regardless of age, must wear a safety helmet at all times. This is true regardless of whether you’re a driver or passenger
- California is the only state in the union where the practice of lane splitting (taking your motorcycle between the lanes of traffic) is legal. But be very careful when doing this
- Earplugs are allowed, though you must be able to hear sirens and horns
- Eye protection is not required
- Every motorcycle manufactured after 1978 must use its headlight during the day
- Both a right and left rearview mirror is required
- There are no age restrictions for passengers.
In addition to these laws, all motorcycles must have functioning brake lights and those built after 1973 must have two turn signals as well.
These laws exist for your safety. Following them – especially the safety helmet provision – can help keep you alive. What’s more, following the laws provides you with stronger legal footing in the case of an accident. Take the helmet law for example: if you don’t wear a helmet and you’re in an accident, you can still pursue compensation. You’re not prevented from doing so based on that decision. However, an opposing attorney can claim that you contributed to your injuries by not wearing a helmet, and your compensation could be reduced accordingly.
There are no guarantees in personal injury law, of course. But following the law is always the safer choice.
Keep Yourself Safe
Following California motorcycle laws is one of the surest ways to keep yourself safe while riding. Remember, helmet use is required for all riders, though eye protection is not. It is, however, a good idea to wear:
- Leather chaps and jacket
- Motorcycle boots
- Leather gloves
Wearing proper safety equipment can help prevent serious injury in the case of an accident, but avoiding an accident in the first place is, of course, preferable. Steps to help you avoid causing your own or being involved in someone else’s accident include:
- Avoiding drugs and alcohol
- Following all roadway signs and signals
- Obeying the speed limit
- Paying attention to the road
- Driving defensively
- Knowing your bike
If you are going to ride on the road, make sure you are familiar with the machine. Learning on the fly increases risks for inattention to surroundings and can significantly increase the risk for serious or fatal injury.
Additional safety tips can be found in the California Motorcycle Manual, which is updated yearly.
Why Choose Us
Kirtland & Packard is an award-winning law firm with a long and proven record of success. Several of our attorneys are AV-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and several more have been selected as Super Lawyers, testament to our unwavering commitment to helping our clients get justice.
Dedicated, thoughtful and thorough, our motorcycle accident lawyers prepare every case as if it were going to trial, enabling us to fight for the best possible outcome regardless of the course your claim takes.
We operate on a contingency fee basis. If we do not win your case, you do not pay for our services. During your free case review, we can discuss this in greater detail, answer any remaining questions you may have, and help you choose the best path forward.
Schedule Your Free Case Review Today
To speak with one of our experienced South Bay, California motorcycle accident lawyers, please call Kirtland & Packard at (310) 536-1000 and schedule your free consultation today. Our office is located in Redondo Beach. We serve all surrounding communities.