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Upland Motorcycle Attorney

California is a “land of motorcycles.” There are more motorcycles registered in California than in any other state. In fact, California’s 800,000+ registered motorcycles top the next most enthusiastic motorcycle riding state (Florida) by more than a quarter-million bikes. California’s awe-inspiring scenery, dynamic topography, and plentiful open, rural roads make the Golden State a motorcycle enthusiast’s paradise. Unfortunately, when crashes occur, California roads can become a motorcycle enthusiast’s nightmare.Because motorcycle riders are ill-protected from impact in the event that their vehicles collide with passenger cars, trucks, and/or the roadway itself, the consequences associated with motorcycle accidents are often severe, catastrophic, or fatal. According to the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center located at the University of California at Berkeley, more than 2,300 motorcycle riders died in crashes on U.S. roadways between 2011 and 2015 alone and another 60,000 were injured non-fatally but severely enough to need significant medical attention. Many of the non-fatally injurious and fatally injurious crashes that occur in the U.S. annually occur on California’s roads, both because so many motorcycle riders make their home in the Golden State and because many of California’s roadways are profoundly crowded and/or dangerous much of the time.

motorcycle accident

Respected Legal Guidance for Motorcycle Accident Victims

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in or around Upland, connect with our experienced legal team today to schedule a case evaluation free of charge and with no strings attached. Once our knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyers learn more about the circumstances surrounding your crash, we’ll provide you with personalized legal guidance and an objective case assessment so that you can make informed decisions about your rights as an injury victim.

Motorcycle riders don’t always receive the respect and consideration to which they are entitled.  Know that if you choose to work with our firm, both you and your case will be treated with the utmost respect and consideration. Our firm takes great pride in representing the interests of injured motorcycle riders. As a result, we will work diligently, efficiently, and effectively on your behalf during insurance negotiations, personal injury actions, and when managing any other legal need related to your accident. If you are owed compensation from others who have caused you harm, we will do our absolute best to ensure that you receive the full amount to which you are entitled.

Common Reasons Motorcycle Accidents Occur

Before our experienced legal team can begin building the strongest case possible on your behalf, we need to develop a firm understanding of what caused your accident to occur. Although your case may be unusual, chances are that one or more of the following common causes of motorcycle accidents influenced the collision that caused your injuries:

  • Hazardous Road Conditions – These may result from weather, poor maintenance, or a host of other factors that may either be the fault of others or no one else’s fault
  • Lane-Splitting – Also referred to as “lane sharing,” this practice is legal in California under certain conditions. However, when combined with unsafe speeds and/or other hazards, the act of lane-splitting can cause accidents
  • Unsafe Lane Changes and Merging Challenges
  • Impaired Driving – Illicit drugs, alcohol, and some medications can cause a vehicle operator to become unlawfully impaired
  • Failure to Use Turn Signals
  • “Dooring” – If a parked motorist fails to perceive a motorcycle rider approaching and flings open their door negligently, that rider can collide with the door in question
  • Speeding – Vehicle operators can be cited for speeding if they either fail to abide by a posted mile per hour limits or if they operate their vehicles too quickly to remain safe given the road conditions that they’re encountering
  • Fatigue – Drowsy driving is increasingly becoming a catalyst for accidents in California’s fast-paced culture
  • Sudden Stops – These accidents occur more frequently when vehicle operators are engaged in tailgating
  • Motorcycle or Auto Defects – Defective parts may play an “unseen” role in accidents until the collision in question is investigated in detail

Do I Have Cause to File a Personal Injury Case?

As previously noted, some of the causes of motorcycle accidents result from human error, some from “acts of God” and other conditions – like weather – that are no one’s fault, and some from the negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous actions or inactions of travelers, companies, and even municipalities. Chances are good that more than one factor influenced the occurrence of your motorcycle crash. It is also possible that more than one party is ultimately responsible for what happened to you. It isn’t always easy to know at first glance whether you have strong grounds upon which to file a personal injury claim. As a result, it’s important not to make assumptions about what caused your crash or who/what was at fault for your collision until you’ve attended a free consultation with our knowledgeable and experienced motorcycle accident attorneys. When it comes to personal injury scenarios, things are not always as they seem and accident victims are often entitled to far more compensation than they might initially expect.

To file a personal injury case successfully in the wake of your accident, our team will need to prove that at least one-third party (perhaps another motorist involved in the crash, a manufacturer of defective vehicle parts, or those responsible for safely maintaining the roadway you were traveling on) owed you a duty of care under the law and, in breaching that duty through negligent, reckless, or intentionally dangerous conduct, directly caused your injuries. Do you have cause to file a personal injury claim successfully? We won’t know for sure until we examine the details of your situation and determine whether your circumstances meet all three of these foundational criteria.

investigateHow Is Fault for a Motorcycle Accident Determined?

Once causation for a crash has been determined, it becomes time to determine who and/or what was at fault for the causes of the accident in question. If more than one “no-fault factor” (such as weather conditions) and/or fault-based influence (such as a motorist’s intoxication) is to blame for your accident, we will work to objectively assign a percentage of fault to each influence in question. This is an important step as the amount of compensation you’re entitled to receive will be portioned based on the percentage of fault assigned to each party involved in your case. If there is a single defendant named in your case and they are 100 percent to blame for causing your injuries, that situation is relatively straightforward. However, if there are multiple parties at fault for your harm, the math can get a little tricky.

How Will My Case Be Affected if I Was Partly to Blame for the Accident?

If you just panicked a little when reading about causation and fault determinations in motorcycle accident cases because you believe that you were partially (or even totally) to blame for what happened to you, there is good news to be shared. California is a comparative negligence state. The theory of comparative negligence allows accident victims to be compensated by others who are legally liable for a portion of fault for the crash in question, even if the victim named in a case is also determined to be partially responsible for the harm caused. This approach stands in contrast to a contributory negligence theory which bars victims from seeking compensation from others responsible for harm if they too were in any way at fault for the circumstances that led to their injuries.

If you are deemed to have been partially at fault for your crash, your compensation award will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you are 20 percent to blame for your accident and your case is valued at $100,000, you’ll be able to pursue up to $80,000 in compensation from others who may be held legally liable for directly causing your injuries.

What if I Was Lane-Splitting When the Collision Occurred?

As lane-splitting is legal in California, it is unlikely that the “simple fact” that you were lane-splitting that the time of your crash will render you any more liable for your crash than you would be if you had been riding in a lane solo. With that said, if you were lane sharing in an unsafe manner – say, you were riding at more than 10 mph faster than the flow of traffic or you were lane-splitting while exceeding 30mph – that behavior may be considered negligent or reckless and may lead you to be assigned a greater percentage of fault for the harm you’ve suffered.

Does It Matter if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?

In part, because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that motorcycle helmets save approximately 1,600 lives annually in the U.S., California has enacted a universal helmet law. This law requires operators of motorcycles, mopeds, motorized scooters, and other motorized two-wheeled vehicles to wear an approved, snug-fitting, and strapped helmet while operating their bikes. If you were not observing this safety law at the time of your crash and any of your injuries may have been prevented or mitigated had you been wearing a helmet, you may be deemed partially to blame for the harm you’ve suffered. If you have questions about this scenario, know that our experienced team will be happy to answer them during your free consultation.

Could the Road Itself Have Caused My Motorcycle Accident?

As previously noted, hazardous road conditions frequently contribute to the causes of motorcycle crashes. If the road was slick due to a rainstorm, that is not a road condition that anyone may be held legally accountable for. However, if the road was hazardous due to inadequate maintenance or other conditions that must be attended to by those in charge of road safety, you may be able to hold those responsible accountable for damages. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you discuss the condition of the road you were driving on at the time of your crash with our legal team during your free consultation. Once you’ve provided us with these details, we’ll be able to determine whether it might make sense to file legal action against those responsible for the conditions of the road itself.

Contact Our Firm Today for a Free Case Evaluation

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t make any assumptions about the potential strengths and weaknesses of your case before you have attended a free consultation with our experienced legal team. Once we have examined issues of causation and fault, we will provide you with an objective assessment of your case and advise you about each of the legal options available to you. We will also discuss how to approach insurance negotiations successfully so that you have the best possible shot at receiving a fairly valued and promptly paid insurance settlement. You have rights under the law as both a motorcycle rider and as an accident victim. Please let us help you understand what these rights are and how to exercise them most effectively. We look forward to speaking with you.