Motorcycle Accidents

Because of the way motorcycles are designed, accidents involving them tend to be catastrophic, and the resulting injuries are severe and sometimes fatal. Additionally, if a motorcycle crashes into a vehicle, the chances are high that the motorcyclist will sustain severe injuries while the vehicle's driver leaves the accident relatively unscathed.

If you or your loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At Sullivan & Sullivan, our South Bay motorcycle accident injury lawyers are highly experienced in providing injured parties with all the legal help they need to recover compensation for their injuries. To learn about the legal options available to you, don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation today.

California Motorcycle Statistics and Common Types of Motorcycle Crashes

California has the highest population of motorcyclists in the United States, with about 800,000 registered motorcycles. Unfortunately, the state also ranked in the top 15 out of the 50 states in fatalities in the country from 2015 to 2016. 

The University of California, Berkeley revealed that the most common motorcycle accident types in California in 2017 were the following:

  • Broadside 
  • Overturned 
  • Hit Object 
  • Rear End 
  • Sideswipe

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Poor visibility due to bad weather conditions: During bad weather, it is often difficult to see the traffic on the road, including other vehicles. In such situations, motorcycles are even more difficult to see. In addition, if a motorcyclist is not wearing bright or reflective clothing, they may be invisible to other drivers.

Failure to yield right-of-way: Motorcyclists have as much right to use the roads as any other vehicle driver. Unfortunately, some drivers seem to not understand this and refuse to yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists. They may often try to get around them or drive them off the road. This poses significant risks of an accident to motorcyclists and other road users.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs: A driver operating a vehicle with illegal levels of alcohol or drugs in their bloodstream has a high chance of ending up in a tragic accident and poses a serious threat to others on the road. 

Driving at excessive speeds: A driver's control over a vehicle decreases considerably when travelling at extreme speeds. Thus, stopping the vehicle in time to avoid a collision is usually much more difficult or impossible.

Unsafe lane changes: Changing lanes without alerting other road users increases the risk of collision with them, especially if the driver does so without checking blind spots. 

Defective motorcycle parts: A motorcycle with faulty parts is a risk to the motorcyclist and other road users. The defect may be due to poor maintenance, ineffective repairs, or the manufacturers’ errors.

Road rage: This is common when people drive under challenging conditions. Some drivers react with extreme anger, which can lead to a serious accident.

Injuries Resulting From Motorcycle Accidents

  1. Head injuries are common injuries in motorcycle accidents and are usually the result of when the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet or not wearing it properly. Several studies have shown that head injuries are significantly reduced in motorcycle accidents where the rider was wearing a helmet. 

Examples of head injuries are:

  • Skull fractures
  • Intracranial brain hemorrhage
  • Post traumatic amnesia
  • Concussions and whiplash
  • Post-traumatic headache syndromes
  1. Spinal cord injuries result from the spine's hyperflexion during the forceful impact of a motorcyclist with an object. There are different types of spinal cord injuries, such as:
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Hemiplegia
  • Spastic quadriplegia
  • Partial paralysis
  • Spinal contusions

Other injuries include: 

  • Burn injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, sprains and strains, lacerations and abrasions
  • Emotional trauma
  • Death 
  • Muscle damage
  • Road rash
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage

Seek Legal Help if You Have Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident

It is common to blame motorcyclists when accidents happen. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compiled data that shows that more than half of all motorcycle accidents are caused by another driver.

The question of fault is vital in motorcycle accidents, and the at-fault party must be determined accurately. When liability is determined, an injured party will be able to seek compensation for their injuries.

When you hire us at Sullivan & Sullivan, we will help you to determine where the fault lies in your motorcycle accident accurately. Additionally, we will help you make and defend your claim so that insurance companies will not bully you into settling for a lowball offer, or worse, accepting blame for the accident when you are not at fault.

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