Motorcycles are made for those who love a sense of freedom and adventure on the open road. But with this freedom and sense of adventure comes an increased risk of serious bodily injury. A motorcycle crash can easily leave a biker or passenger with disabling injuries. A number of motorcyclists die in motorcycle crashes each year, not only in California but throughout the United States. Some of these motorcycle crashes are caused by another person or motorist, meaning that the injured motorcyclist can recover compensation for his or her injuries through a motorcycle crash lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash in Los Angeles, an accident attorney may be able to help you in recovering monetary damages for your losses and expenses.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics
California’s Office of Traffic Safety reports that:
- Over 450 motorcyclists were killed in 2013;
- The percentage of motorcyclists with an elevated alcohol content (over 0.08) who were killed in motorcycle accidents increased in 2013; and
- Similarly, the percentage of motorcyclists who were not properly licensed and who were killed in motorcycle crashes also increased in 2013.
With proper protection and education, a motorcyclist can reduce his or her chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident. Proper protection and education can also help reduce the severity of injuries suffered by a biker in a motorcycle crash. It is impossible, however, to completely eliminate the risk of a motorcycle crash.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
A motorcycle crash can be caused by other motorists’ carelessness or negligence, which may manifest as:
- Speeding or traveling too fast for road conditions;
- Not giving motorcyclists enough space or clearance;
- Trying to cut off a motorcyclist;
- Not obeying traffic laws, signs, and signals;
- Switching lanes without first looking for motorcyclists in the driver’s “blind spot”; and/or
- Opening a car door without first ensuring a motorcyclist is not approaching that side of the vehicle.
Motorcyclists can also increase their odds of being involved in a motorcycle crash resulting suffering severe or fatal injuries by:
- Drinking before riding or using drugs before riding;
- Riding without an approved and properly-fitted helmet;
- Riding without personal protective gear such as gloves, long pants, and boots;
- Riding during inclement weather or slick road conditions;
- Weaving in and out of traffic;
- Speeding or going too fast for road conditions; and/or
- Other careless behavior.
Even if the motorcyclist’s own carelessness played a role in the motorcycle crash, he or she may still be able to recover compensation if someone else’s carelessness was also a factor in the crash. The motorcyclist’s attorney will need to conduct an intensive investigation into the causes of the crash to learn whether the motorcyclist may still be entitled to compensation.
Are Motorcycle Crash Lawsuits Easier to Win?
Not necessarily. Any motor vehicle crash lawsuit requires the injured party to show that one or more other individuals or entities acted carelessly and unreasonably and in doing so caused the motorcyclist to suffer injuries and/or losses. While it may be easier to show that the motorcyclist was injured, providing negligence or carelessness can be difficult depending on the circumstances.
In general, injured motorcyclists who retain the services of a qualified motorcycle accident attorney will likely experience better results than those motorcyclists who try to handle their case on their own. Investigating, preparing, and presenting these types of cases requires time and resources that most private citizens simply do not have. It is therefore generally advisable for an injured motorcyclist to seek out experienced legal counsel.