Carlsbad Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Proving fault after a motorcycle accident can be challenging. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can use the law to help you obtain financial compensation.
A motorcycle collision can result in catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and loss of limbs. Other common injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents include bone fractures, tendon and ligament tearing, nerve damage, organ damage, and scarring. All of these injuries can have negative implications on a person’s life, such as high costs for medical treatment and loss of wages. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else, you should not have to pay for any of the bills or lose income from being out of work.
As a motorcycle accident victim, it is vital to determine who to hold accountable for your injuries in order to recover all available financial compensation. Obtain the support of a qualified Carlsbad motorcycle accident lawyer who can review your case, discuss your available options, and help you determine every person or entity who may be liable for your injuries.
An Aggressive Carlsbad Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help You Recover the Compensation You Deserve
California law provides you the legal right to pursue money damages when your injuries have been caused by the negligence or wrongful actions of another person or entity. Establishing liability against an automobile driver can be difficult in motorcycle accident cases. Motorcycle drivers are often accused of causing collisions due to a public perception that motorcycles are dangerous and motorcycle drivers having a reputation for being reckless. Speak to a seasoned motorcycle injury lawyer who will relentlessly fight for you and the compensation you deserve.
Savage Law is 100% dedicated to representing injury victims. The attorneys at Savage Law are passionate about using the law to help people obtain maximum financial compensation for their physical and emotional injuries. Obtaining the legal guidance of a qualified lawyer is crucial following a motorcycle accident. Contact Savage Law as soon as possible for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in California
There are over 800,000 motorcycles registered in California. Motorcycles are smaller and lighter than automobiles, balance on only two-wheels, and drivers are not enclosed and protected by a steel frame and body. Many California motorcycle collisions are caused as a result of automobile drivers failing to use reasonable care in operating around motorcycles. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
Unsafe Lane Changes – Drivers often fail to check their mirrors and blind spot before changing lanes. California Vehicle Code §22107 states that a lane change must be made with reasonably safety after giving the appropriate turn signal. Lane splitting is legal in California, permitting motorcycles to ride between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including on divided and undivided streets, roads, or highways. This practice is also known as lane sharing, filtering, or white-lining. Unsafe lane changes near lane splitting motorcycles can lead to horrible motorcycle accidents. Unsafe lane changes often cause serious injury to motorcycle riders, who crash into the pavement or are ejected from the force of the impact.
Vehicles Turning Left in Front of Motorcycles – Automobile drivers often turn left in front of motorcycles due to not paying attention to the road or misjudging the speed and distance of the motorcycle. These unsafe turns typically cause the motorcycle driver to crash head on into the turning vehicle, or to swerve into traffic to avoid the head-on collision.
Speeding – Excessive speed by automobiles or other motorcycles can lead to high impact collisions and severe injuries to the drivers and passengers. Speeding decreases the reaction time of the drivers and braking distance of the vehicles to safely avoid a collision.
Rear End Collisions – Automobile drivers often misjudge the distance between their vehicle and motorcycles directly ahead, or fail to notice that the motorcycle is slowing down or at a complete stop. An automobile colliding with an unprotected motorcycle can cause serious injuries to motorcycle driver and passenger.
Driving Under the Influence – Drinking alcohol or using drugs impairs automobile drivers’ ability to safely operate their vehicles. Cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, and semi-trailer trucks all greatly outweigh and outsize motorcycles. The combination of an impaired driver operating a large, heavy vehicle, puts motorcycle drivers and passengers in danger of catastrophic injuries or death.
Inattentive Drivers – Motorcycles can be more difficult for automobile drivers to see due to being lower and more narrow than other vehicles. Not seeing a motorcycle is not an excuse for causing a collision. Automobile drivers have a duty to keep a lookout for other vehicles, and to control the speed and movement of their own vehicle.
California Laws for Operating Motorcycles, Motorized Scooters, Electric Scooters, and Mopeds
California has specific rules and regulations for the different types of two-wheeled vehicles. These vehicles can range in size, speed, and engine power. Two-wheeled vehicles operate on highways, streets, roads, and bike lanes. Many injury-related accidents involving two-wheeled vehicles occur every year in California. These accidents can result in significant injuries to drivers and passengers due to the lack of protection that two-wheeled vehicles provide. Below are the different categories of two-wheeled vehicles:
Motorcycle – A motorcycle is a motor vehicle that has a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, and whose motor displaces more than 150 cubic centimeters (150 cc). Motorcycles require a Class M1 license and minimum bodily injury liability insurance coverage of $15,000 per person, and $30,000 per accident.
Maxi-Scooters – A maxi-scooter or “touring scooter” is a large scooter with an engine ranging in size from 250 cc to 850 cc. Despite being called scooters, these vehicles meet the California Department of Motor Vehicles definition of a motorcycle. Therefore, maxi-scooters must follow the same laws that apply to motorcycles. Maxi-scooters are permitted to drive on California highways, require a Class M1 license to operate, and must have minimum liability insurance coverage of $15,000 per person, and $30,000 per accident.
Motorized and Electric Scooters – A motorized scooter is a two-wheeled vehicle that has handlebars, a floorboard that is designed to be stood upon when riding, and is powered by an electric motor. California Vehicle Code §22411 sets a maximum speed limit for motorized scooters at 15 mph. Drivers are not permitted to operate motorized scooters on roads with a speed limit in excess of 25 mph. Motorized scooters can be operated on a bicycle path, trail, or bikeway, but not on highways or sidewalks. Drivers are permitted to operate motorized scooters with any class of driver license. California Vehicle Code §21224 does not require drivers to have insurance, registration, or license plates for motorized scooters.
Electric Scooters – An electric scooter (also known as e-scooter) is a type of motorized scooter that uses an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. California Vehicle Code §21229 requires that e-scooters ride in the bicycle lane when one is available. A bicycle lane is a dedicated lane on the right side of a street, with white lines that border each side of the lane. Bicycle lanes typically have bicycle symbols painted inside the white borders to alert drivers of a bike lane. If operated on a road with a posted speed limit below 25 mph, e-scooters are not required to ride in a bike lane. Electric scooters may ride on streets with a speed limit of 25 mph as long as the scooter does not exceed 15 mph.
Scooter-Sharing Systems – Scooter-sharing systems allow the public to rent electric motorized scooters for short periods of time. Scooter-sharing systems have become very popular in California over the past several years. A large percentage of e-scooter accidents in California result in injury. ln a three-month study published in 2019 and presented by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 20 people were injured for every 100,000 e-scooter rides. Almost half of the injured riders suffered head injuries, with 15% experiencing traumatic brain injuries.
Non-riders also suffer injuries due to collisions or tripping on e-scooters. Electric scooters are often left laying on sidewalks or on the street, which poses a danger to people walking by who could trip and fall on the scooters. The companies who own the e-scooters have a duty to ensure that their scooters do not pose a trip hazard to pedestrians walking on sidewalks or streets.
Some of the most popular scooter-sharing system companies in California are Bird, Lime, Uber, and Lyft. Depending on the facts of your case, these companies may have liability for your accident and injuries. Other parties that may be held responsible for your damages include automobile drivers, pedestrians, other e-scooter riders, and the city or county.
Mopeds – A moped is a vehicle with a motor no bigger than 50 cc, automatic transmission, and capable of no more than 30 miles per hour. You must have a motorcycle license (M1 or M2) to drive a moped on public roads. The California DMV does not require insurance or registration to operate a moped.
If you were injured in an accident as a driver or passenger on a motorcycle, maxi-scooter, motorized or electric scooter, or moped, you may be entitled to money damages for your medical bills, lost income, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
Obtain Compensation from All Parties Responsible for a Motorcycle Accident
Before seeking compensation for your injuries, you will need to establish liability for the motorcycle accident. This just means that at least one other driver is fully or partially at fault for causing the accident. The following list of parties could potentially be at fault for a motorcycle accident: Driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident; Agency responsible for maintaining the road or highway where the accident occurred; Motorcycle manufacturer or retailer; Manufacturer or distributor of a defective motorcycle part; Company responsible for repairing, inspecting, and/or maintaining the motorcycle; Motorcycle rental agency.
Passengers Can Be Compensated for Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident
Passengers in motorcycle collisions can seek financial compensation for their injuries. An injured passenger can obtain compensation from the motorcycle driver’s insurance company, or the other driver’s insurance company, depending on who was at fault for the collision. If both drivers were partially at fault, you may be able to collect compensation from both of their insurance companies.
For example, you were a passenger on a motorcycle involved in a collision with a pickup truck. You were ejected from the motorcycle and suffered multiple injuries. The truck driver and the motorcycle driver were both partially at fault for the collision. Assume the truck driver had $100,000 in bodily injury liability insurance, and the motorcycle driver had $50,000 for the same type of coverage. You could collect up to $150,000 from the insurance companies.
Obtain the Legal Support of a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were a driver or passenger injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s extremely important to have an experienced Carlsbad motorcycle accident lawyer to help guide you through the claim process and obtain the compensation you deserve. Savage Law has experience with motorcycle accident claims and will use the law to your advantage in obtaining a favorable outcome. Retain a skilled attorney who will aggressively fight for you and for maximum financial compensation. Call Savage Law for a free consultation to discuss your matter with an attorney.