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San Diego Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses the term motorcycle to include any two-wheeled or three-wheeled motorcycle, off-road motorcycle, moped, scooter, mini bike, or pocket bike. While each of these cycles differs, one fact remains consistent. These vehicles afford riders far less protection than cars do. Any careless act on the road could kill or catastrophically injure a motorcyclist. The San Diego motorcycle accident attorneys at CaseyGerry know about these consequences firsthand. For decades, our law firm has been representing those who sustained serious injuries or lost a loved one on a motorcycle. If it happened to you, we can help. Our San Diego motorcycle accident lawyers are the best will it comes to all personal injury claims. Contact us today for a free consultation and legal advice on your case.

San Diego Motorcycle Accident Resources

Why Choose A San Diego Motorcycle Accident Lawyer From CaseyGerry?

Our injury lawyers have dedicated their practice to helping accident victims and their loved ones recover compensation for their losses such as permanent disability, wrongful death, and more. Offering high-quality legal services and maximizing financial recovery are our highest priorities, and we have secured billions of dollars in compensation for our personal injury clients. We have spent more than 70 years fighting for injured motorcyclists’ rights while making sure that negligent and reckless parties are held accountable and the injury victims seek compensation.

For example, CaseyGerry obtained a $10.8 million settlement against the U.S. government. This marked the largest individual personal injury settlement of a motor vehicle collision case against the U.S. government in the history of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

If you are the one injured or the relative of someone killed in a motorcycle crash, the numbers don’t matter. What matters is the road ahead – the costs of care, pressure from the insurance companies, tracking down police reports, and getting answers.

What are the common types of motorcycle accidents?

Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents In San Diego

Rear-End Accidents

Rear-end collisions are a major problem for a motorcycle rider who lack the protection of a seat belt or airbag. Injuries can be severe and, in some accident cases, result in the rider’s death. These accidents usually occur at stoplights, stop signs, and when:

  • A vehicle is tailgating.
  • Driver is distracted
  • Blind curves
  • There is traffic buildup

Left-Turn Accidents

When a car suddenly makes a left-hand turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle, the rider often has no choice but to swerve uncontrollably or be hit. ‘Left turn’ accidents account for 36 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents. The most common reasons for left-turn crashes are:

  • Obstructed view while turning.
  • Inadequate surveillance (driving into blind spots).
  • Misjudgment of the motorcyclist’s speed.
  • Miscalculating the distance or “gap” across the intersection.
  • Illegal maneuvers, such as failure to signal or failure yield to the right-of-way.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on crashes are among the most catastrophic types of collisions and lead to the most severe injuries. They occur when a driver veers into an oncoming lane or drives the wrong way on a one-way street and are mainly caused by a motorist’s negligent actions. Common reasons for these deadly wrecks include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Impaired driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Trying to beat a red light
  • Speeding or racing
  • Passing on a two-lane road
  • Swerving to avoid debris on the road
  • Losing control on a curve

T-Bone Accidents

Also referred to as side-impact or broadside collisions, T-bone accidents happen when the front end of a car hits the side of a motorcycle, or vice versa, and forms a “T.”

  • Failing to yield
  • Blind spots
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Running a red light
  • Low visibility since motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles
  • Distracted or impaired driving

Lane Splitting Accidents

California Assembly Bill No. 51 approved by the Governor on August 19, 2016, made lane splitting legal in the state of California. This means motorcyclists can ride between lanes of traffic moving in the same directions. Lane splitting can help motorcycle riders move past congestion, but there is a risk of an accident, often due to:

  • Distracted driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Abrupt lane change
  • Motorcyclist speeding and unable to slow down in time as a vehicle changed lanes
  • Swerving in and out of lanes
  • Weaving through traffic
  • Dangerous weather and low visibility
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

What Are Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries in San Diego?

Some of the most common injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents include:

  • Broken Bones: Riders often suffer severe bone fractures due to the impact of the crash. Since they have little to no protection, broken bones often happen when coming into contact with a vehicle or hitting the ground. If the fracture is severe, surgery may be necessary to repair it.
  • Head Injuries: The force of a crash can cause a head or brain injury even if a rider is wearing a helmet, which can have long-term physical, cognitive, and psychological effects.
  • Lower Extremity Injuries: The legs and feet are particularly vulnerable in an accident. Injuries can include dislocated knees, broken bones, and road rash.
  • Whiplash and Other Neck Injuries: Whiplash and other injuries that damage the muscles, tendons, ligaments, or vertebrae in the neck, can cause severe and long-lasting pain, stiffness, headaches, vision and hearing problems, and also emotional issues.
  • Back and Spine Injuries: A serious back injury, including herniated or bulging discs, spinal fractures or even paralysis can occur.
  • Internal Injuries: The impact of a crash can cause internal organs to slam against one another, into other structures of the body, or be penetrated by a foreign object. Internal injuries often require surgery and can be life-threatening.
  • Wrongful Death: If the negligent actions of another party causes a motorcycle accident that results in a motorcycle death, surviving loved ones have the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Reach out to a San Diego wrongful death attorney to learn more.

How Do I Prove Motorcycle Accident Liability And Damages in San Diego?

Motorcycle accident lawyer in San Diego

There were 1,883 people killed and injured in motorcycle crashes in San Diego County in 2016 alone, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. Motorcyclists regularly have to defend themselves against unfair stereotypes and biases. They are often assumed to be reckless and aggressive, which is why you need an attorney who will challenge these perceptions and stand up to false accusations and assumptions. Police report information is often critical in proving motorcycle accident liability. Experienced motorcycle accident attorneys will review the report and dispute any misrepresentations or misleading information contained in the document.

A common defense tactic is to blame the injured motorcyclist for the accident. However, even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be entitled to financial recovery for your injuries and damages. California’s comparative fault law provides that fault will be allocated to the parties involved in the accident. After injuries and damages are calculated, the plaintiff’s compensation will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. For example, if your injuries and damages were $50,000, and you were 50% at fault for the accident, you would recover $25,000 (50%) for your losses.

The Value Of Your Motorcycle Accident Claim in San Diego

The amount of compensation you will recover for your accident depends on factors unique to your accident case, such as: 

  • The extent of your injuries and whether they are permanent.
  • The projected length of your recovery. 
  • The extent of your damages. For example, your current and anticipated medical bills and lost income.
  • How your pain and suffering impact all aspects of your life. 
  • Your age and health prior to the accident. 
  • The presence of any pre-existing injuries.
  • Whether you will need ongoing medical care and adaptive equipment.
  • Whether there were aggravating factors. For instance, if the at-fault party was drunk or otherwise impaired at the time of the accident. 
  • The at-fault party’s insurance companies policy limits.

An experienced San Diego motorcycle accident attorney will be able to evaluate your particular accident case to give you an estimate of its worth and the minimum amount you should settle for.

Fatal Motorcycle Injury Claims in San Diego

Motorcycle accident attorney in San Diego

Unfortunately, too many motorcyclists suffer fatal accident injuries. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you might have a claim for damages against the responsible party. After the unexpected death of a loved one, surviving family members are left to cope with their grief and losses. Wrongful death claims can help survivors feel a sense of justice and closure. These actions also help family members attain financial compensation and security for the losses that they have suffered.

Our San Diego personal injury attorneys understand that losing a loved one to someone else’s negligence is a tragedy that no family should have to experience. We will handle your claim with compassion and respect while aggressively advocating for justice. Under a wrongful death claim, financial recovery may include funeral and burial expenses, as well as lost financial support, benefits, guidance, household services, and consortium.

If your loved one experienced losses as a result of the accident before he or she died, the estate might have a claim for damages under a survival action. The personal representative may file the action on behalf of the estate. Recoverable losses include medical expenses, lost wages, and in some cases, punitive damages.

California Motorcycle Equipment Laws And Regulations

Motorcycle riders are required by law to follow California’s numerous regulations on equipment they must wear and have on their motorcycles. 

  • Motorcycle operators and passengers must always wear helmets that are in compliance with standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation. (California Vehicle Code (CVC) 27803)
  • Motorcycles must be equipped with right and left mirrors. (CVC 26709)
  • Handlebars cannot sit higher than six inches above a rider’s shoulders when sitting. (CVC 27801)
  • A motorcycle must have working turn signals in the front and rear if the bike was built and first registered on or after January 1, 1973. (Cal. Code Regs. tit. 13 § 699)
  • Exhaust systems must be compliant with the Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act on motorcycles and exhaust systems manufactured in 2013 and after. (Senate Bill No. 435)
  • Motorcycles must have a minimum of one headlight when riding at night, but no more than two. (CVC 25650)
  • Motorcycles must have taillights that remain on for at least 15 minutes after shutting off the engine. (CVC 24600)
  • To carry a passenger, motorcycles must have a securely fastened seat, footrests, or a sidecar. (CVC 27800)

When a motorcycle is towing a trailer, it must not go faster than 55 mph and must also stay in the right-most lane unless passing other vehicles. Motorcycles towing trailers are also not allowed in carpool lanes.

Types of Compensation Available in a San Diego Motorcycle Accident Claim

Motorcycle accident attorney in SD

Recoverable compensation for your motorcycle accident may include the following:

Economic Damages

  • Medical bills, including ambulance, hospital, and treatment costs
  • Rehabilitation and therapy costs
  • Current and future lost wages due to missed work
  • Prescription costs for pain management
  • Costs of future medical care
  • Loss of earning capacity if you cannot earn the same level of income as before the accident
  • Property damage or replacement for your motorcycle and any personal items damaged in the crash (e.g., clothing, helmet, cell phone, etc.)

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and suffering for the physical pain you have had to and will continue to endure. 
  • Emotional distress or mental anguish if the accident caused any psychological conditions, such as terror, anxiety, shock, depression, sorrow, confusion, insomnia, etc.
  • Loss of consortium, for the impact your injury has had on your relationship with your spouse, such as a loss of companionship, services, or ability to engage in sexual intimacy. 
  • Disfigurement if your injury leaves permanent scarring or a deformity that causes embarrassment. 

Punitive Damages

This type of compensation is rarely awarded and is only granted in cases involving an at-fault party who exhibited an extreme disregard for the safety of others. 

How We Can Help With Your San Diego Motorcycle Accident Case

The motorcycle accident attorneys at CaseyGerry are dedicated to helping clients navigate their way through the complexities of their cases, not just with top-notch legal support but also with compassion and understanding. With more than 70 years of experience, the firm knows how to identify the causes of a crash and protect our clients’ rights while they focus on recovery.

Contact a san diego motorcycle attorney today

Contact a San Diego Motorcycle Injury Lawyers Today

If you were injured or a family member was killed in a crash in California, we welcome you to contact the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at CaseyGerry. Call (619) 238-1811 or fill out the form below to get started and receive your free consultation. We can discuss what happened to you, the next steps, and what you can expect.

Under California law, injured motorcyclists have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. For minors, that time frame starts on their 18th birthday. If the responsible party is a government entity, those injury victims have only six months to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit, regardless of whether he or she is a minor. It’s critical to protect your rights as soon as possible​​​​.

Please note: Our firm also specifically offers information about electric bicycle crash laws and injuries in our bicycle accident section.

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