Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney
30+ Years of Experience - Call (916) 520-6639 Today
Sharing the road ensures safer roads for all: motorcyclists, bicyclists, truckers, motorists, and pedestrians alike. Our actions behind the wheel or on a bike determine our safety and the safety of others. Everyone should err on the side of caution when driving.
Motorcyclists generally carry the weight of protecting themselves from the carelessness of other vehicles on the roadways- even though they have the same rights as other drivers. Motorcycle owners and operators also have equal responsibility on the highways and roadways. It only takes a moment to change someone’s life forever.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
In multi-vehicle motorcycle collisions, accidents occur frequently in intersections and during lane changes.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Head-on collisions (while a driver is attempting to pass or does not see a motorcyclist)
- Drivers failing to check their blind spots (improper lane changes)
- Drivers making left-hand turns
- Violating traffic laws
- Drivers opening their doors at improper times (called “dooring”)
- Trying to pass
- Drivers failing to recognize the validity of lane splitting in California
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Distracted or drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence
If your accident was caused by a driver exhibiting one of the behaviors above, contact our Sacramento motorcycle accident attorneys today!
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim in California?
Under California’s personal injury statute, you have up to two years to file a personal injury claim and three years to file a claim for any property damage that may have occurred as a result of the incident.
Although that may seem like enough time, it’s recommended that you pursue legal action as soon as possible after an accident. By waiting, it may be more difficult to gather the necessary evidence such as medical reports, police reports, and other documentation.
How Much Is My Claim Worth?
Unfortunately, we cannot answer this question in exact terms until we evaluate your accident during a free consultation (see what we will assess in the following section).
Nevertheless, we can provide you with some relevant statistics and examples to give you an idea of the possibilities your claim will inspire:
- According to Thomas Reuter’s Jury Verdict Research, the average motorcycle verdict was $73,700 for trials that occurred between 1999 to 2006. With inflation (and not considering other legal factors), that would amount to about $94,000 in 2019.
- A recent lawsuit involving poorly maintained roads settled for $3.5 million
- A truck injury resulting from an improper left turn was resolved for $1.9 million
- A head-on collision that led to a wrongful death lawsuit settled for $530,000
- A left-turn accident that aggravated preexisting injuries was resolved with a $300,000 verdict
As you can see, results vary in motorcycle accident claims, but filing a lawsuit is generally worthwhile for the plaintiff.
To find out just how worthwhile your case can be, join us for a free consultation.
Award-Winning Representation Working For You
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, protect your legal rights and consult with a Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your case. The accident attorneys of Kershaw Talley Barlow have years of experience and the resources to successfully litigate your accident case.
During our free case consultation, we will assess your potential personal injury claim for:
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Per miles driven, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than the drivers and passengers of other vehicles.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) states:
“Motorcycles are by their nature far less crashworthy than closed vehicles. They are also less visible to other drivers and pedestrians and less stable than four-wheel vehicles.”
As a result, an estimated 5,000 people die in motorcycle accidents each year and countless more are injured. While the number of motorcycle fatalities decreased by 5% in 2018, they were rising steadily from 1998 through 2008 and accounted for 14% of traffic deaths in 2017.
While 38% of motorcyclists in 2017 were killed in single-vehicle crashes due to inexperience, weather and road conditions, or other factors; 62% of fatal accidents involved multiple vehicles and may be attributed to the negligence of other drivers.
These statistics can apply to other years when we consider the most common causes of multi-vehicle crashes (see below).
Will Lane Splitting Affect My Claim?
Lane splitting, also known as lane sharing, filtering, or white-lining, is the process of a motorcyclist riding between lanes of stopped or slower moving traffic.
On August 19, 2016, California became the first state to make lane-splitting by motorcyclists legal when Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51) into law, authorizing the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to develop safe lane splitting guidelines for riders.
The Four R’s of Lane Splitting from the California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP):
- Be Reasonable: Do not drive more than 10 miles per hour (MPH) faster than other traffic and avoid lane splitting when traffic flow is 30 MPH or faster.
- Be Responsible: Not only are you responsible for your own safety but also for the safety of your passenger and other motorists. A rule of thumb, “If you can’t fit, don’t split”. Motorcyclists who lane split must obey all existing traffic laws. Never ride while impaired by drugs, alcohol or fatigue.
- Be Respectful: Share the road, and lane split in a safe and prudent manner.
- Be aware of Road and traffic conditions: Consider your environment, including the width of the lanes, size of surrounding vehicles, as well as roadway, weather, and lighting conditions. Scan for changing conditions.
Lane splitting in itself should not negatively affect your motorcycle accident case. However, just because something is legal doesn't mean it can't be a form of negligence. If you were driving negligently or reckless while lane splitting, it could be a factor that reduces your total compensation.
$1 Billion Recovered for Clients
Our Sacramento motorcycle accident attorneys live by one motto: our clients’ needs come first. We understand that those who come to our office are oftentimes facing a time in their lives that’s characterized by anxiety and an overwhelming sense of uncertainty. We listen to your concerns and work with you personally to ensure that we’re building the best possible case on your behalf.
Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Sacramento at Kershaw Talley Barlow for a free and confidential motorcycle accident case consultation. Call us toll-free at (916) 520-6639.
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