Redwood City Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Serving Redwood City, CA
Motorcyclists are at a higher risk of being involved in a serious accident than other motorists. This is because motorcycles are smaller and less visible than other vehicles on the road. When a motorcyclist is involved in a collision, they are more likely to suffer severe injuries or even death. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our Redwood City motorcycle accident lawyers at Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard can help you understand your rights and fight for the maximum recovery you are owed.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
A motorcycle accident refers to any incident involving a motorcycle, resulting in damage to the vehicle, injury, or death to the rider or passengers. These accidents can occur due to various reasons, often involving factors related to both the motorcyclist and other vehicles on the road.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents involving motor vehicles include:
- Left Turn Accidents: A significant number of motorcycle accidents occur when a car or truck makes a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle, either at an intersection or while passing. The driver might misjudge the speed of the oncoming motorcycle or fail to notice it altogether.
- Lane Changes and Merging: Drivers might fail to check their blind spots or signal properly before changing lanes, leading to collisions with motorcycles already occupying the adjacent lane.
- Speeding and Reckless Driving: Excessive speed and reckless maneuvers by either the motorcyclist or other drivers can lead to accidents. High speeds reduce reaction time and increase the severity of collisions.
- Driver Distraction: Distracted driving, often due to texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or any other form of inattentiveness, is a common cause of accidents involving motorcycles.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Alcohol or drug impairment significantly impairs a driver's ability to operate a vehicle safely, increasing the risk of accidents, including those involving motorcycles.
- Unsafe Road Conditions: Potholes, debris, uneven surfaces, and slippery roads due to weather conditions can pose hazards for motorcyclists. Other drivers might not anticipate these hazards, causing accidents.
- Failure to Yield Right of Way: Both motorcyclists and other drivers failing to yield the right of way can lead to collisions, especially at intersections and during merges.
- Dooring Accidents: When a parked car occupant opens their door without checking for approaching motorcycles, it can result in a collision.
- Motorcycle Maneuverability: Motorcycles have unique handling characteristics, and sudden maneuvers such as swerving or emergency braking, especially in response to unforeseen situations, can lead to accidents.
- Poor Visibility: Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than other vehicles. Inadequate visibility due to weather conditions, low light, or obstructed views can contribute to accidents.
Understanding Personal Injury Law in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident claims are a type of personal injury claim. To recover compensation, you will need to prove that the other party was negligent.
In order to establish negligence, you will need to prove the following elements:
- The other party owed you a duty of care
- The other party breached the duty of care
- The breach was a direct and proximate cause of the accident
- You suffered damages as a result of the accident
All motorists owe a duty of care to others on the road. This means that they have a legal obligation to drive safely and follow the rules of the road. When a motorist fails to uphold this duty, they can be held liable for any resulting damages. For example, if a motorist is speeding and causes an accident, they can be held liable for any injuries and property damage that result.
Motorcycle accident claims can be complex, as there are often multiple parties involved. In addition to the other motorist, you may also be able to file a claim against the manufacturer of your motorcycle, the manufacturer of the other vehicle, the company that owns the other vehicle, and/or the government entity responsible for maintaining the road.
Legal Challenges Motorcyclists Face
Motorcycle accidents present specific legal challenges due to several factors inherent to these incidents. Some of the key legal challenges associated with motorcycle accidents include:
- Bias and Prejudice: There can be a bias against motorcyclists, often stemming from stereotypes. This bias might affect how insurance companies, law enforcement, and even juries perceive the accident. Overcoming this bias to ensure a fair assessment of fault can be challenging.
- Severity of Injuries: Motorcycle accidents frequently result in severe injuries or fatalities due to the lack of protective barriers for riders. Severe injuries can lead to extensive medical expenses, ongoing treatment, and long-term rehabilitation, increasing the complexity of legal claims.
- Determining Fault: Establishing fault in a motorcycle accident can be complicated. Multiple factors like road conditions, visibility, actions of both the motorcyclist and other vehicles involved, and adherence to traffic laws need thorough investigation to determine liability accurately.
- Limited Insurance Coverage: In some cases, motorcyclists might have limited insurance coverage compared to other motorists. This limitation can impact the compensation available for medical bills, property damage, and other losses resulting from the accident.
- Lack of Witness Testimony: Due to the nature of motorcycle accidents, there might be fewer witnesses compared to accidents involving cars. This scarcity of witnesses can make it challenging to corroborate the sequence of events and determine fault accurately.
- Complexities in Litigation: Motorcycle accident cases can involve complex legal proceedings, especially when dealing with multiple liable parties, insurance companies, and varying state laws. This complexity can extend the duration of legal resolution.
- Helmet Use and Comparative Negligence: Laws regarding helmet use for motorcyclists vary by state. In some cases, failure to wear a helmet might affect the compensation the rider can receive. Additionally, some states apply comparative negligence, which reduces compensation based on the level of fault assigned to each party involved.
Navigating these legal challenges requires the expertise of experienced attorneys who specialize in motorcycle accident cases. Our team at Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard can assist in gathering evidence, dealing with insurance companies, negotiating settlements, or representing the injured party in court, aiming to secure fair compensation for the damages incurred.