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From 2014 to 2020, 62 motorcyclist fatalities have occurred in San Francisco. It has been said that motorcyclists are 29 times more likely than car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle miles traveled. Regardless of reports indicating the dangers that come along with riding a motorcycle, it does not steer people away from purchasing one. Many favor the vehicle’s built-in speed and are often seen taking advantage of it on the road. This is dangerous as it could create an unsafe environment for those nearby and increase the likelihood of an accident.

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident and would like to pursue legal actions against the party at-fault, our experienced San Francisco motorcycle accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers are available 24/7 to provide you with legal assistance. We have won over 5,000 personal injury cases and recovered more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients. Due to our achievements, we have been acknowledged as one of the top personal injury law firms in San Francisco.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our San Francisco personal injury law firm, please contact us by calling (415) 326-8794 or emailing [email protected].

Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can be caused by multiple factors. Speeding is the number one cause of all motorcycle accidents. Motorcycles are capable of being ridden at high speeds, which can make it difficult for a motorcyclist to control the vehicle, especially if they are inexperienced. An area where a motorcyclist may lose control over their vehicle is in paths that are curved. Attempting a turn while speeding can cause the motorcyclist to lose control of their vehicle and fall aggressively to the ground. Another area that has often had motorcycle accidents is an intersection. At times, a motorcyclist may speed to pass a red light or another vehicle during a moment where vehicles from opposite sides are permitted to drive due to the green light. Left-turn accidents may also occur in an intersection, especially when a driver is unable to see a motorcyclist. This could get the motorcyclist into a serious collision that could result in severe injuries or death.

Abrupt stopping, which involves speeding, has been known as another factor that has contributed to the cause of a motorcycle accident. If a motorcyclist is going at high speeds while on the road, they will have less time to react to vehicles ahead, such as for those that are making abrupt stops, or even opening their car doors. Car door accidents are fairly common. The driver of the vehicle is expected to observe their surroundings prior to opening their door to prevent any pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist from slamming into it. However, many choose to immediately open their door right when they are done parking. This could affect a speeding motorcyclist as they will not be able to have enough time to react to the sudden opening of a vehicle door, and will likely crash into it, thus leaving them injured.

Not only is speeding a main contributor to motorcycle accidents, but intoxication is, as well. Motorcyclists are not allowed to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, many motorcyclists breach their duty of care and continue to do so anyway. Since alcohol and drugs greatly affect the way a person has control over their body, it can become very complicated for a motorcyclist to properly ride their vehicle. Hazardous conditions on the road will also be difficult to avoid since the motorcyclist may experience vision impairment that is caused by the drugs or alcohol.

Lane splitting has also been noted as an action that has resulted in a motorcycle accident. Even though lane splitting is legal in California, it can still be dangerous for a motorcyclist to do. This action is typically performed when a motorcyclist is attempting to travel through slow moving traffic. However, at times, a vehicle may be unable to notice a motorcyclist while attempting to make a turn, and crash right into them. Drivers and motorcyclists are always expected to cautiously observe the road prior to making lane changes, however, many choose to act quickly to get out of traffic and often end up getting into an accident.

Not only can motorcyclists and drivers be at-fault for a motorcycle accident, but product manufacturers and companies may share a degree of liability, as well. If a defective motorcycle was made and a buyer is injured while using it, the manufacturer and/or company can be held responsible for damages. You will need to speak with an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney to have your case assessed for further assistance to determine what party should be held accountable for your losses.

Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries 

Hitting Someone With a Car on Purpose

Motorcycle accidents may result in mild to severe injuries depending on how intense the impact was to the other vehicle, object, or ground. Common injuries that have often occurred include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI generally occurs when an individual experiences a forced impact to the head, which causes violent shaking. This is considered as a severe injury for a motorcyclist who is involved in an accident, especially if they were not wearing a helmet. Getting a TBI will impact an individual’s physical and cognitive abilities. A TBI victim must go through several surgeries to improve their brain function. In many cases, a TBI will affect the individual for the rest of their lives.
  • Broken bones. A motorcyclist will likely experience physical contact with the ground after getting into an accident. Depending on how intense the impact is, the motorcyclist may break one or more bones in their body. Broken ribs are the most common result of a motorcycle accident. If the impact isn’t as severe, then the least a motorcyclist could get away with are some bruises, cuts, or scratches.
  • Road burn. This painful injury typically occurs when a motorcyclist’s skin is dragged on the road. Road burns are not necessarily fatal injuries, but infections may emerge if not treated properly. Failure to seek treatment may also result in permanent scarring.
  • Internal bleeding. Strong impact to the body can result in internal bleeding due to the internal organs becoming damaged or punctured. Internal bleeding may take place in any part of the body. Since internal bleeding is not a visible injury, it is extremely important to get evaluated by a medical expert after a motorcycle accident. Even if you feel like you did not sustain severe injuries after the accident, it is highly suggested to still get checked out to make sure you are okay.
  • Spinal cord injury. The spine is classified as being one of the most delicate parts of the body. If forceful impact is directed towards the spine, then the motorcyclist may likely face temporary or permanent paralysis. It all depends on which vertebral segment was damaged from the accident.

Available Damages for a Motorcycle Accident

If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive 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 are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. It is 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, and lost wages.

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Recoverable compensation may include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.

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. It is relatively rare and in fact was 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 were involved in a motorcycle accident in San Francisco and would like to pursue a lawsuit against the party at-fault, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced San Francisco personal injury attorneys who are readily available to assist you with your case.

Contact our 24/7 legal team today by calling (415) 326-8794 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our San Francisco personal injury law firm.

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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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