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Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

10 Ways Motorcycle Accidents Happen

California is no stranger to motorcycle accidents. In 2018, it was reported that 488 motorcyclists were involved in a fatal crash. If you have been a victim of an accident and would like to file a lawsuit against the party you believe is at-fault for the losses you have suffered, our experienced personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

We have created a list below of common types of motorcycle accidents that take place on California roads:

Pedestrian Deaths in Los Angeles

  • Speeding. This is one of the leading causes of all motorcycle accidents. Speeding makes it more difficult for a motorcyclist to react in a timely manner to vehicles ahead. For example, a motorcyclist is speeding on the freeway and is headed towards a path that is curved. The speed is making it difficult for the motorcyclist to make a proper turn. The motorcyclist starts to lose control of their vehicle and crashes into a wall that divides both sides of traffic.
  • Abrupt stops. Speeding may contribute to an abrupt stop. If a motorcyclist is speeding on the road, they could potentially come across a vehicle that is making a sudden stop. It will be difficult for the motorcyclist to react quickly to the vehicle on time to avoid a collision. Failure to do so will result in a severe accident, with the motorcyclist suffering serious injuries. However, there could be circumstances where the motorcycle may have slight contact with the other vehicle. Under this type of situation, injuries may not be as severe.
  • Lane splitting.  Motorcyclists typically do this when traffic has stopped or is slowly moving. However, they are putting their lives at potential risk when they are riding in between two vehicles. It is required for everyone to stay in one lane instead of utilizing two at the same time for safety reasons. If a motorcyclist does this, they will have a higher chance of getting hit by drivers on the road.
  • Car doors. A driver is expected to check their surroundings prior to opening their car door. This is primarily for safety reasons for both the driver and others nearby, such as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. If a driver fails to cautiously open their door, they could trigger an accident.
  • Left turn accidents. This usually happens when a driver makes a left turn without noticing the oncoming motorcycle. The motorcyclist will experience either moderate or severe injuries, depending on the speed of both auto vehicles.
  • Faulty motorcycles. An individual may be given a defective motorcycle that could lose control or stop working while they are on the road. Injuries could vary from minor, moderate, or severe depending on the circumstances.
  • Hazardous road conditions. Since motorcycles do not offer the same level of protection as a car does, motorcyclists may face higher chances of injuries if they do not avoid hazardous conditions while on the road. Faulty pavement, debris, and potholes could all play a factor in making a rider lose control of their motorcycle.
  • Intoxication. Riders who drive under the influence of alcohol will face consequences in regards to breaking the law and getting injured. Being intoxicated while operating a fast vehicle is not a good mix. Doing this will make it almost inevitable for the rider to get into a motorcycle accident.
  • Inexperienced riders. It is encouraged for a motorcyclist to learn how to use a motorcycle before taking it out for a ride. Lack of knowledge may increase the chances of a collision. An example could be a motorcyclist riding their vehicle on the road for the first time. They are aware of the speed their vehicle is built with, which influences their decision to go over the speed limit. As the motorcyclist is attempting to make a slight turn on a curved path, they start to lose control of their vehicle and get into an accident with another driver nearby.
  • Improper lane changes. If a motorcyclist chooses to switch lanes without signaling or checking their blind spots, they will increase the risks of colliding with another vehicle nearby. An example could be a motorcyclist who is making several lane changes to avoid slow traffic. While doing so, they do not check to make sure it is safe for them to go to the next lane, thus getting into an accident with another vehicle.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Punitive Damages
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you have sustained injuries due to a motorcycle accident, then you have the authority to hold the guilty party responsible. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our personal injury attorneys are readily available to help you get the compensation you deserve for losses you have suffered, which include medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation with the attorneys at our firm. No fees are required to be paid until we win your case. Reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling us at (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected].


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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