If a careless driver caused your injuries in a motorcycle crash, you might be entitled to financial compensation. The Bakersfield personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw can investigate the accident and determine who should be held liable for your medical expenses and other costs. If the other person involved in the collision was entirely at fault, you could seek the maximum available compensation.

Riding your motorcycle through a dense city like Bakersfield means you encounter many cars, trucks, pedestrians, and obstacles. You could end up in a dangerous situation if another driver swerves into your lane or blows through a stop sign when you’re already in the middle of an intersection. Despite the safety precautions you take, you can’t always avoid an accident because you can’t prevent other drivers from engaging in reckless behavior.

At OnderLaw, our Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorneys represent clients like you and help hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions. Since 2002, we have secured over $3.5 billion in settlements for accident victims in California and elsewhere. We always fight hard for the justice and compensation our clients deserve.

If you want to learn more about us and how we can help you with your motorcycle accident case, call OnderLaw for a free consultation today.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer? Why Choose OnderLaw?

The Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorneys of OnderLaw are here to discuss what happened to you and develop a legal strategy to achieve your goals. We will take the time to get to know you to meet your needs and reach a positive outcome in your case. We provide compassionate and dependable service, so you have someone in your corner to help you get through this devastating time in your life.

Many accident victims don’t understand what their rights are if someone injures them in a motorcycle crash. You might think pursuing an insurance claim is a straightforward process and something you can handle alone. However, without a knowledgeable lawyer’s assistance, you could end up walking away without the money you need to pay for your medical treatment.

In addition, should your case need to go to trial, we have experience fighting the stereotype that often comes with motorcycle riding. We have strategies to convince the jury that you’re just a regular person, not some outrageous law-breaker like the bikers they’ve seen in the movies.

OnderLaw knows state laws, deadlines, and other requirements of a personal injury case. We can file a claim on your behalf and negotiate for the settlement you deserve. You won’t have to worry about communicating with the insurance company or locating crucial evidence to prove someone else was at fault for your injury. We will handle every legal aspect so you can focus on healing.

Motorcycle Laws in Bakersfield

Every state has specific laws motorcyclists must follow. The motorcycle laws in California include the following:

  • A person must be at least 16 years old to operate a motorcycle
  • An M1 license (motorcycle license) is required
  • Riders must wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation, whether an operator or passenger
  • Motorcycles must contain a mirror and turn signals to be street legal
  • Riders must use headlights during the day if the bike is from 1978 or later
  • Footrests should be available when carrying a passenger
  • Riders must perform periodic safety inspections on the motorcycle

If you violate any of these laws, you could face penalties, such as fines. It could also negatively impact the outcome of your case. Even if another driver’s actions caused the accident, your decision not to wear a helmet might have contributed to your head injury. That could cost you thousands of dollars in compensation you could have recovered if the other driver was entirely at fault instead of only partially.

Types of Motorcycle Accidents

When you take your motorcycle out on the road, the various scenarios you face could lead to a collision with another vehicle. The most common types of motorcycle accidents are:

  • Lane splitting – Lane splitting is legal in California. Motorcyclists can drive on the centerline between two vehicles. However, this is dangerous because a driver might not see you riding next to them and could swerve into you while changing lanes.
  • Dooring – You could end up with a car door in your path if a parked driver doesn’t look for oncoming motorcyclists before opening their door.
  • One-vehicle accident – Even if you were the only vehicle involved in the crash, another party could have been at fault. For example, another driver drifted into your lane, and you ended up colliding with a telephone pole because you were trying to get out of the way.
  • Backing up accident – If a driver doesn’t look behind them when they’re backing out of a parking space, they could crash into a passing motorcyclist.
  • Left-turn collision – Drivers approaching an intersection must obey all traffic signs and signals. If they’re attempting to make a U-turn or turn left but fail to check for someone headed their way, they could end up in the path of an oncoming motorcyclist.

If you were hurt in any motorcycle accident that another person caused, you should contact OnderLaw , so we can begin working on your case. We’re familiar with various situations that can lead to motorcycle collisions and the investigation we need to perform to determine who we can hold liable for your injury.

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

When you’re riding alongside other vehicles, you could suffer debilitating injuries if there’s an accident. Other drivers might not see you next to them and merge into your lane or crash into the back of your bike if they’re following you too closely.

Since motorcycles are much smaller than most vehicles and the only protection you have is likely to be your helmet, the injuries you suffer can be severe and even life-threatening. It’s dangerous if you’re near a motorist that isn’t paying attention to what they’re doing or deliberately disobeys traffic laws.

The most common causes of motorcycle accidents are:

  • Failure to yield – An intersection is a dangerous place for motorcyclists. If another driver runs a stop sign or red light when you’re already passing through, you could end up in their path.
  • Distracted driving – Distractions redirect a motorist’s attention to something other than the task at hand. Drivers on their cell phones won’t notice what’s happening in front of them or have enough time to react appropriately to avoid a crash.
  • Speeding – When a motorcycle and car or truck collide at high speeds, the motorcyclist often has more severe injuries than the other driver. When the other driver is speeding, they will have less control over their vehicle.
  • Unsafe lane changes – It’s necessary to check blind spots before merging or turning. If a driver doesn’t look carefully for a motorcyclist before maneuvering, they could cause a sideswipe accident.
  • Driving under the influence – Drugs and alcohol, even a tiny amount, can impair someone’s driving abilities and lead to a deadly accident.
  • Tailgating – Tailgating doesn’t give a motorist enough space to come to a complete stop if there’s a road hazard, emergency, or traffic comes to a standstill. If a vehicle crashes into the back of your bike, you will likely get ejected.

There are various reasons motorcycle accidents happen. If someone else caused the crash and you suffered injuries, you might be able to pursue compensation for your resulting expenses. Do not hesitate to contact OnderLaw for your free consultation and discuss how we can help.

Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents

It’s hard to imagine the severity of a motorcycle accident if you’ve never experienced one. The injuries are typically more serious than accidents involving two cars. That’s because motorcyclists have limited protection from the impact of all the metal contained in other vehicles. If you’re on a highway with a driver traveling over 60 miles an hour, you could sustain life-threatening injuries in a crash.

Injuries range from minor to severe. Some cause permanent damage that results in lifelong pain and psychological trauma. Since motorcycles don’t have airbags or seatbelts like other vehicles, the rider’s body is at the mercy of the weight and force of the impact, flying debris, and other hazards.

The most common injuries motorcycle accidents cause are:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Road rash
  • Facial disfigurement
  • Permanent scarring
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Lacerations
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Back injuries
  • Loss of limb
  • Impalement injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Disability
  • Psychological damage

The injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents often require an emergency room visit and ongoing treatment to recover. Unfortunately, some motorcycle collisions lead to the rider’s death. If you lost your loved one in an accident due to the negligent actions of another person, you could pursue a case against them.

Who Is Responsible?

Whoever caused the accident is the person you could hold liable for your injury. One person or multiple parties could be at fault. For example, maybe another driver became distracted while driving, but the roadway also contained a hazard that contributed to the crash. You could pursue compensation from the other driver’s car insurance company and the entity responsible for maintaining roadways.

OnderLaw can investigate the crash and determine the party or parties we could hold liable. The legal process we need to follow will depend on who caused the accident. We could file an insurance claim if the negligent individual carries liability insurance or pursue a lawsuit if the insurance company denies the claim or there isn’t enough available insurance coverage.

Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident Claim

Multiple losses are available in a motorcycle accident case. The compensation you receive should cover your past and future losses, such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Physical impairment or disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

You could potentially recover the total value of your losses from the at-fault party. However, if you filed a lawsuit and the jury determines you share any responsibility for your injury, you could end up with less compensation than you need.

Under pure comparative negligence, the jury can reduce your losses by the percentage of fault they assign. For example, if you were 20% at fault for the accident and suffered $100,000 in losses, you could only obtain $80,000 in compensation.

State and City Accident Statistics

In 2019, there were 474 motorcycle fatalities in California. The number of deaths due to the rider choosing not to wear a helmet was 28 that same year.

There were 8,596,314 registered motorcycles in the state in 2019. The injury rate was 975 per 100,000 registered motorcycles.

Motorcyclists made up 14% of all traffic-related deaths in 2019, and two-wheeled motorcycles accounted for 91% of all motorcycles involved in fatal accidents.

Let OnderLaw Help You Fight for Justice

A motorcycle accident can leave you with painful injuries, expensive medical bills, and reduced income while you’re trying to heal. You shouldn’t face these consequences when someone else was at fault for the crash. At OnderLaw, our Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorneys are ready to fight by your side for the justice you deserve.

If you were in a motorcycle accident due to another person’s negligence, call OnderLaw for your free consultation.