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California Motorcycle Culture and Crashes

California Motorcycle Culture -- Insight From the Best Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorneys

In recent years, California has seen rapid growth in the popularity of motorcycles. In fact, there have been major increases in the number of registered motorcycles in the United States between 2006 to 2013, ranging in the millions. There are many benefits to riding a motorcycle, such as easier parking and storage, lower prices for gas and repairs, and positive social perceptions.

According to the 2017 DMV records, California has the highest number of motorcycle registrations in the United States, reaching over 700,000. With so many two-wheeled vehicles on the road, the chances of getting into a car accident greatly increase. If injured in a motorcycle crash, contact the personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers to discuss your car accident case

Live Free: A California Motorcycle Culture

To highlight the increasing popularity of the motorcycle culture, the California Automobile Museum opened up a new exhibit called “Live Free: California Motorcycle Culture”. The new exhibit showcases motorcycle history and features bikes dating back to 1903. The museum holds over 60 classic motorcycles and memorabilia. 

To complement the motorcycle culture, museum curation Carly Starr comments, “This exhibit was difficult to organize with the number of bikes and their significance. In putting the exhibit together to tell the story of the California (motorcycle) culture and how motorcycles affected California culture, we were offered more than 150 classic and neo-classic motorcycles and while we originally planned for about 40 to 50 bikes for the display, we ended up with about 60, turning down more than 100 great bikes. There are about 40 bikes in the main exhibit area with about 20 more strategically scattered throughout the museum.” Carly continues to report, ““We have worked hard with the story and its structure to let visitors who don’t know much have an acceptable and friendly experience while the enthusiast can experience the history of their avocation.”

Motorcycle Clubs

Many motorcycle enthusiasts agree that the best part of riding a motorcycle is conquering the road with your very own motorcycle crew. Specialty clubs in California have catered to “non-traditional” riders such as women and diverse ethnic groups. 

There are now over 30 motorcycle groups made just for women. In fact, a representative of the Litas comments,  “We all have different backgrounds, interests, jobs, lives, but find common ground when we cruise the canyons, scraping pavement and letting go of all inhibitions.”    

Motorcycle Crashes In California

Unfortunately, because there are over 700,000 registered motorcycles in California, the number of motorcycle crashes is also high in volume. In 2013, there were more than 11,700 crashes where 480 people were killed. Though California Helmet Law requires that all motorcyclists wear a helmet there are many who discard the rule. 

A study has confirmed that nearly 57% of fatal motorcycle accidents happen when the rider is not wearing a helmet. The Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System has reported that most motorcycle accidents are due to:

  • Unsafe speed 
  • The use of alcohol or other intoxicants
  • Bad turning 
  • Riding on the wrong side of the road 
  • Failure to yield

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
  • Other Non-Economic Damanges

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 are only incorporated in 5% 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 Understands California Motorcycle Culture and Law

If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a motorcycle accident, an attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call West Coast Trial Lawyers today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.


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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