Motorcycle accidents are often far more devastating than your run-of-the-mill motor vehicle accidents. That’s because motorcycles are smaller, lighter, and offer no protection to the rider if they’re involved in an accident.

If you’re injured in a motorcycle accident in Oakland, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Motorcycle accidents can be a traumatic experience and leave you with questions about how you’ll afford your medical expenses and property damage. First and foremost, it’s important for you to know that you don’t have to go through this terrifying experience on your own, and you can seek support through legal counsel.

Call the Oakland personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw to discuss your case. Call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. You don’t owe us anything until your case is settled or won.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

There are several ways a lawyer can help you with a personal injury claim. For instance, a lawyer can take on the responsibility for investigating your claim, gathering evidence, and speaking with insurance companies on your behalf to negotiate the amount of compensation owed to you.

When you’re involved in an accident, it’s likely you won’t have the energy to go up against insurance providers to advocate for a more substantial payout. Additionally, insurance companies are interested solely in paying you as little as possible so that they can save money. With this in mind, they’re likely to try and convince you that the amount they quote you is more than enough to compensate for the damages you incurred as a result of your accident, whether that’s true or not.

A skilled lawyer can step in on your behalf and handle the lengthy and challenging process of filing a personal injury claim while doing all they can to secure full and fair compensation for you.

Should your case go to court, you may find that biker stereotypes may create an obstacle when it comes to pleading your case in front of a jury. As a result, the jury may be inclined to pin the blame of your accident on you, regardless of your part (or lack thereof) in your accident. This is another reason you need to hire a lawyer experienced in motorcycle accident claims.

Why Choose OnderLaw?

OnderLaw is a trusted law firm in the Oakland area and beyond. We’ve served a number of clients throughout the 19 years we’ve been active, providing them with top-notch legal representation while advocating for their rights and the compensation owed to them. We’ve recovered over $462 million in damages for victims of personal injury cases of varying types. We will continue to get justice for those injured in accidents in the Oakland area and beyond and obtain the compensation owed to them.

Our firm is a featured member of several prestigious legal organizations, such as The American Trial Lawyers Association, The American Society of Legal Advocates, and Top 50 Verdicts in the U.S (2017). Should you choose to have OnderLaw represent you and your case, you can feel confident in your decision, knowing that you have some of the best legal representatives in the nation handling your case.

Motorcycle Laws in Oakland

Motorcyclists are expected to obey the same traffic laws as car drivers, with the addition of a few others specific to motorcycles. California laws specific to motorcyclists include:

  • Motorcyclists under the age of 21 must hold a permit for six months before they’re eligible to get a motorcycle license.
  • Motorcyclists with permits aren’t allowed to travel with passengers, drive on the freeway, or drive at night.
  • Motorcyclists and their passengers must wear a helmet at all times.
  • Motorcycles must have right and left mirrors.
  • Handlebars cannot be taller than the rider’s head while in a sitting position (more than 6 inches above the shoulders).
  • Working turn signals for the front and rear of the motorcycle are required for motorcycles built and registered on January 1, 1973, or later.
  • Motorcycles manufactured in the year 2013 and beyond are expected to have exhaust systems that are compliant with the Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act.

Types of Motorcycle Accidents

There are several types of motorcycle accidents possible. The type of accident you’re involved in depends on a number of factors, such as the angle at which you were hit, whether or not you’re the only bike involved, and more. The most common types of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Head-on collision
  • T-Bone collision
  • Rollover accident
  • Single bike accident
  • Multi-bike accident
  • Blind spot accident
  • Left turn accidents
  • U-Turn collision
  • Fixed object collision
  • Tailgating accident

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can occur for a number of reasons. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Drunk driving
  • Drugged driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Failure to obey traffic laws
  • Other drivers’ failure to notice motorcyclists on the roads
  • Road hazards and defects
  • Other drivers’ failure to maintain adequate distance between themselves and motorcyclists
  • Other drivers’ failure to check blind spots

Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents

Depending on the details of your motorcycle accident, a number of injuries are possible. The most common injuries suffered by victims of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Fractured and broken bones
  • Sprains and strains
  • Neck and spine damage
  • Soft-tissue damage
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Concussion
  • Amputation, loss of limbs, and disfigurement
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Abrasions and lacerations
  • Burns and road rash
  • Hand and wrist damage
  • Foot and ankle injury
  • Hip damage
  • Internal organ damage

Who Is Responsible?

Determining responsibility in a motorcycle accident is generally straightforward. However, more vehicles involved in an accident make the process somewhat trickier.

For instance, if you’re involved in a motorcycle collision with another vehicle due to the negligence of another driver, they’re at fault. Say you were out for a ride, and another driver ran a red light and collided with your vehicle. You developed injuries as a result. It’s easy to see in this example where the fault lies: with the other driver. You would seek to recover compensation through their insurance provider.

If you’re in a motorcycle collision with multiple vehicles, then the vehicle that started the chain reaction of crashes could be held responsible for your accident. For example, you’re on the highway, and a car collides with another, which collides with another, finally colliding into you. The driver that initially crashed could be held responsible for your accident.

If your accident is caused by road defects, such as potholes or other hazards, you may seek to recover compensation from the government entity or municipality responsible for the condition and upkeep of the road. However, you’ll need to provide evidence that the road defect was the direct cause of your accident and subsequent injury.

If the driver you’re involved in a collision with doesn’t have insurance or insurance limits large enough to cover your damages, you may be able to recover payment from your own insurance company if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage on your policy. California law doesn’t require that you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, but the state is required to offer it to you when you buy auto insurance.

Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident Claim

The amount and type of compensation available to you as the victim of a motorcycle accident depends most importantly on the severity of your injuries and duration of your recovery period. The types of compensation victims of motorcycle accidents may be eligible to obtain include:

  • Medical expenses. You’re likely to require medical attention immediately following your accident. You can seek to recover compensation for hospital and doctor visits, ambulance rides, x-rays, prescription medication, physical rehabilitation, surgery, wheelchairs, canes, walkers, and more.
  • Lost wages. Depending on the severity of the injuries you sustained in your accident, you may need to take time away from work to focus on your recovery. You can seek to recover damages for the wages you lose while in recovery from your injuries.
  • Lost earning capacity. You may develop a disability or injuries that make you unable to return to work or fulfill your work duties in the same capacity as you did prior to becoming injured. Fortunately, you’re able to seek compensation for past, present, and future lost earning capacity due to your accident.
  • Property damage. You may have had personal belongings destroyed or lost during an accident. You can recover damages for property declared missing, destroyed or damaged in an accident, including your vehicle.
  • Loss of enjoyment. Your accident may have left you with a disability or injuries so severe that you’re unable to participate in activities that previously brought you great joy and contentment. While it’s impossible to recover your quality of life, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your loss of enjoyment of life resulting from your accident.
  • Pain and suffering. You can recover compensation for the pain and suffering you’re forced to endure during and following your accident.
  • Emotional distress. Your accident may be such a traumatic event for you that you go on to develop emotional complications or mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You can recover damages for the emotional distress caused as a result of your accident.

Oakland and Greater California Accident Statistics

Motorcycle accidents occur often throughout the United States. Below you’ll find some statistics concerning motorcycle accidents in Oakland and Greater California:

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reported 474 deaths from motorcycle accidents in 2019.

Data collected by the Insurance Information Institute confirms 5,014 fatalities across the U.S. resulting from motorcycle accidents in 2019.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveals that motorcycle deaths in California accounted for 15.1% of all motor vehicle deaths across the U.S. in 2016.

Contact an Oakland Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident in Oakland, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Contact the motorcycle accident attorneys at OnderLaw today. Call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.