If you love motorcycles, California is one of the best places in the country to be.
As of 2017, California was home to over 800,000 registered motorcycles, making it the state with the highest number of registered motorcycles in the country.
With year-round warm weather and beautiful scenery, Southern California in particular should be paradise for motorcycle enthusiasts. But no matter where motorcycles are being operated, motorcyclists face a lot of dangers on the road. The fact that they’re smaller and less stable than passenger vehicles means it’s very easy for them to be hit by careless drivers. And when motorcycle accidents happen, injuries tend to be more serious. It’s also more likely for fatalities to occur. According to numbers from the GHSA, 406 motorcyclists were killed in California in 2017.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents
Cars turning left
Left-turning cars are the most common cause of all motorcycle accidents. Since motorcycles are so much smaller than regular cars, it’s very easy for the driver of a car to simply not see a motorcycle before they begin making a turn. In many cases, drivers might see an oncoming motorcycle, but misjudge its speed before making the turn.
Car lane changes
This is another case when the smaller size of motorcycles puts their riders at risk. When a driver goes to change lanes, they might not see a motorcyclist in their blind spot or they just might not be used to looking for motorcyclists in the road. Sometimes, a driver might fail to use their turn signals to indicate they plan to change lanes, not giving a motorcyclist a chance to react.
Since motorcycles are less stable than passenger cars, they’re more vulnerable to changes in road conditions. While a car might be able to handle something like suddenly encountering a bump or some gravel in the road, those sorts of hazards can be very dangerous for a motorcyclist.
Car doors opening
Dooring accidents are a very common cause of bicycle accidents and they can cause a lot of problems for motorcyclists as well. These kinds of accidents occur when a driver or passenger of a car parked on a street opens the door into traffic without checking if it’s clear first and a bicyclist or motorcyclist runs into the door.
Rear end collisions
Many drivers don’t leave enough of a following distance between themselves and a motorcycle ahead of them. If this happens and a motorcyclist has to stop suddenly, it’s extremely easy for the driver to rear-end the motorcycle in front of them.
Lane splitting is often cited as a common cause of motorcycle accidents, but it is a legal maneuver under California law as long as it is done in a safe manner.
Types of motorcycle accident injuries
Motorcyclists don’t have the luxury of being protected by things like airbags or seat belts. When they get hit by a car, the results can easily be fatal. Even in non-fatal motorcycle accidents, they can easily result in very serious injuries that can impact the victim’s life in unforeseen ways.
Common injuries from motorcycle accidents
Damages in a motorcycle accident claim
Since motorcyclists don’t have the benefit of being protected by safety features like seat belts and airbags, it’s very easy for motorcycle accidents to cause serious injuries or death. If you’re interested in making a motorcycle accident claim, some types of damages you can recover include:
- Medical expenses, including future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
- Property damage
- In-home care
- Home modifications to accommodate injuries
Contact a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer
When you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you have enough to deal with. You need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who can look out for your best interests and fight for you to get all of the compensation you need. At The Wallace Firm, our motorcycle accident lawyers have successfully helped many people just like you and are ready to go to bat for you. Contact us today for help with your claim. When you work with us, we’ll be on your side every step of the way.