Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycles are known to be dangerous vehicles to ride mainly because of their speed and lack of protection. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 80 percent of motorcycle accidents involved injuries and deaths to the rider. This could be due to two reasons: the motorcyclist is struck by another motorist or they are ejected from their own vehicle and make aggressive contact with an object.
The outcome of such an accident may result in minor to catastrophic injuries depending on the intensity of the impact. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our legal team is committed to help motorcycle accident victims get the justice they deserve. We will assess your situation, develop an effective plan to ensure you submit a strong claim, negotiate with the opposing side, represent you in court if needed, and get you maximum compensation.
To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our skilled Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyers, you may contact us by calling (213) 927-3700 or completing our easy contact form. We are available 24/7 to answer phone calls and form submissions.
How Likely Is a Motorcycle Accident?
The likelihood of getting into a motorcycle accident will vary based on the factors presented. For instance, an inexperienced motorcyclist is far more likely to get into a collision compared to someone who is skilled in operating such a vehicle. Poor road and weather conditions could also create challenging obstacles for a motorcycle rider that may ultimately result in them losing control over the vehicle.
When it comes to motorcycle fatalities, motorcyclists are 24 times more likely to pass away in a collision compared to passenger vehicles. This is could be due to:
- The inability to withstand forceful contact,
- Excessive exposure to bad weather and road conditions,
- Less road visibility, and
- Reduced stability compared to a standard four-wheeled vehicle.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The most common cause of a motorcycle accident is fixed objects, such as light poles, traffic lights, or fences. According to the recent motorcycle crash data collected by the NHTSA, collisions with fixed objects accounted for 25% of 5,579 motorcyclist deaths. Below is a list of other factors that have contributed to a motorcycle accident.
In 2020, 27% of fatalities from alcohol impairment involved motorcyclists. This was the highest number of deaths compared to the following vehicles:
- Passenger vehicles (23%),
- Light trucks (19%), and
- Large trucks (3%).
Speeding was a major problem that motorcycle riders were commonly known for doing moments before a fatal accident. The NHTSA reported that 34 percent of speeding crashes involved motorcyclists.
It is likely for a motorcyclist to face manufacturing, maintenance issues, or motorcycle malfunction. If it does happen, it can cause them to lose control over the motorcycle, causing them to crash into an object on the road, such as a light pole or motor vehicle. This type of accident is generally less common compared to the rest of the list.
Motorcycle riders may feel compelled to go in between two lanes to travel faster in traffic. This is very dangerous to do, especially if the motorcyclist is inexperienced. Although California law allows lane splitting, it is highly encouraged to carefully view your surroundings and remain alert at all times in case a vehicle nearby makes sudden movement. Failing to do so could get you in a motorcycle accident.
Left-Hand Turn Accident
Left-hand turn motorcycle accidents typically occur due to the misjudgment of an oncoming vehicle’s distance and speed. Unfortunately, this type of crash is common with motorcyclists since they react by continuing to ride straight through the intersection or have tried to pass a vehicle.
Poor Road Conditions
Poor road conditions, such as cracked pavements or uneven roads, can cause a motorcyclist to lose control over their stability.
Abrupt stops are dangerous for motorcyclists regardless of whether they are the ones doing it. If the motorcyclist suddenly pauses, they could be rear-ended. On the other hand, reacting to someone else braking in front of them could cause the motorcyclist to crash directly into the rear of the vehicle ahead. Either scenario can result in serious injuries depending on the intensity of the motorcycle accident.
Who Is At-Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?
To determine who is at-fault in a motorcycle accident, you will need to gather evidence at the scene, such as:
- CCTV footage,
- Witness information,
- Copy of the police report, and
- Photographs of the accident, damages, and road condition.
Once you have collected all of the proof you need, you should seek legal assistance from a Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer. They will evaluate your situation to determine what party should be held liable for damages the motorcycle accident caused.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Bakersfield
For safety reasons, it is important for riders who travel in and out of Bakersfield to have an idea of what to do after a motorcycle accident. The list below will help you understand what specific actions you should take to help strengthen your motorcycle accident claim:
- Take photographs and/or video footage of your injury, damages, and the motorcycle accident scene.
- Avoid admitting fault. The other party will use your words against you.
- Contact local authorities and request a copy of the written report.
- Obtain witness information.
- Ask for a copy of your medical records pertaining to the motorcycle accident injuries sustained.
- Gather your expenses to use as proof of the financial damages you dealt with as a result of the motorcycle crash.
- Hire a Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorney.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim in Bakersfield?
Since motorcycle accidents are considered as personal injury, the statute of limitations will be two years from the date of when the incident occurred or one year from when you discovered your injury. Be sure to file your claim as soon as you can, and have an experienced Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer on your side. They will guide you through the filing process to ensure you do not make any mistakes that could be detrimental to the outcome of your settlement.
Comparative Negligence in Motorcycle Accident Claims
Comparative negligence will be used in a motorcycle accident claim to determine the amount of recklessness all parties contributed to the crash. For instance, if a distracted driver struck a speeding motorcyclist, both sides will hold some percentage of accountability for the damages they caused. In such a case, the driver and motorcyclist could still sue one another. But, compensation will be reduced according to the degree of negligence committed.
Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident Injury in Bakersfield
Motorcycle accident victims will be granted different amounts of compensation by taking into consideration the serious injuries sustained along with other factors. The list below are some common damages that are typically awarded:
- Medical costs,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of earning capacity,
- Property damage,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Pain and suffering.
To learn what how much financial compensation you are likely entitled to, you should get your case evaluated by a Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorney before going to your insurance company. The personal injury law firm you choose to represent you will give you a rundown of what to expect out of the motorcycle accident case, and what settlement amount you should be entitled to.
Unfortunately, an insurance company will try to give motorcycle accident victims a low-ball offer to avoid paying more than what they have to. This is particularly why it is encouraged to have a legal team on your side before approaching your insurer. They will better your chances of winning a fair settlement that will help compensate for any motorcycle accident damages you endured.
Get Legal Help from a Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Were you injured in a motorcycle accident in Bakersfield? Our legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers is readily available to guide you through your personal injury claim. We will assess your case and determine what necessary steps are needed to take to ensure you are granted a reasonable settlement.
We run on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that our services are free until your case has been settled. To schedule a free consultation with one of our top-rated Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorneys, we welcome you to contact us by calling (213) 927-3700 or completing our quick contact form.
More Resources for Motorcycle Accidents
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