Serious motorcycle crashes have been on the rise for decades—both in California and across the country. In fact, according to research cited by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, motorcycle-involved motor vehicle accident fatalities have more than doubled since 1997.
Even if you were fortunate enough to survive a devastating motorcycle crash, you may find yourself temporarily or permanently unable to work, facing a long and grueling road to physical recovery, and burdened by a previously unimaginable amount of unexpected medical debt. However, if the accident in which you were injured was caused by another person or company's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Here's what you need to know before filing a motorcycle crash insurance claim or lawsuit.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics
- Nearly 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2018 alone.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 80 percent of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, compared to just 20 percent of car accidents.
- Department of Transportation-compliant helmets are roughly 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries and approximately 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle accident fatalities.
- In 2016, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a crash (per vehicle mile traveled)
- California is ranked among the top 15 states with the highest numbers of motorcycle accident fatalities in the nation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Like most types of “accidents,” motorcycle crashes are largely preventable. Common negligence-related motorcycle accident causes include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Errors associated with inexperience
- Drivers who fail to check their blind spots for motorcyclists
- Drivers who fail to watch for motorcyclists maneuvering between vehicles and lanes of traffic, known as lane splitting
- Drivers who open the door of a parked vehicle into the path of an oncoming motorcycle
- Drivers who fail to take dangerous road or weather conditions into account
Motorcycle Crashes Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries
In the event of an accident, passenger vehicle occupants are protected by a strong steel exterior, while the only thing standing between motorcyclists and the road is their riding gear. Considering the complete lack of exterior protection, it isn't difficult to understand why so many motorcycle crashes result in severe or even catastrophic injuries to riders. Common injuries associated with motorcycle accidents include:
- Severe lacerations and contusions
- “Road rash” abrasion injuries
- Broken or crushed bones
- Lost limbs or amputations
- Head and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- “Rider's arm” nerve damage
- Dental and facial injuries
- Scarring or disfigurement
Potential Damages in Motorcycle Accident Cases
Filing a California motorcycle crash insurance claim or lawsuit allows you to seek financial compensation for losses that have a quantifiable monetary value, as well as for intangible losses with subjective value. Damages available in motorcycle accident cases may include:
- All reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the crash
- Property damages, like the cost to repair or replace your motorcycle
- Lost income, such as lost wages or the loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- And more
Why You Need an Experienced Motorcycle Crash Attorney
- Motorcycle accidents often involve significant damages and the potential for sizable settlements or financial awards. As a result, you can expect the responsible party's insurance company or defense team to fight against compensating you fairly.
- Implicit bias against motorcyclists can affect your recovery. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can help you overcome this bias to collect the compensation you deserve.
Let Us Help You Investigate Your Right to Recovery
Want to find out how the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can help you resolve your motorcycle crash case? Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.