A motorcycle accident is often more devastating than a typical motor vehicle accident. Motorcycles are generally much smaller than other vehicles, and as a result, a motorcyclist can become severely injured in an accident with a larger vehicle.

When you’re the victim of a motorcycle accident, you’re sure to be overwhelmed with many thoughts and feelings regarding your collision. You may wonder about where you’ll get the money to afford the expenses that come up after the accident and what steps, if any, you can take to ensure a speedy recovery, both financial and physical. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident in Sacramento that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to receive compensation.

The Sacramento personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw are here to help you secure the compensation you may be owed after you were injured. Call us or contact us on our website to schedule a free consultation. We won’t require payment from you until we’ve obtained compensation for you.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

One of the most important things you can do immediately following an accident is to seek out legal representation.

An attorney can protect your rights and work with you to develop and submit a personal injury claim. A lawyer can investigate the accident, obtain medical records and other information relevant to your claim, and negotiate a settlement with insurance companies to secure the amount of compensation you need.

With a skilled and competent legal representative, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you and your claim are in good hands. Additionally, having an attorney on your side generally bodes well for the outcome of your personal injury claim. With an attorney, you may potentially receive far more in compensation than if you were to try and submit a claim or negotiate payment with insurance companies on your own.

A lawyer can help protect you from accidentally misrepresenting or misreporting information in your claim, thereby avoiding a denial of compensation. And, in the event that your personal injury claim is denied, a lawyer from OnderLaw can prepare your case for trial if that’s the next appropriate step.

Why Choose OnderLaw?

The team at OnderLaw is a collection of skilled and trusted legal representatives who come from a variety of backgrounds. Throughout the 19 years we’ve been an active firm, we’ve secured over $3 billion in compensation for victims like you. We’re bent on continuing to provide justice to those disabled or injured in motorcycle accidents across the nation by fighting to secure the potential damages owed to them.

Not only have we established ourselves with our firm’s longevity, but we’re results-oriented. We’ll fight tirelessly on your behalf to win you the compensation you deserve following an accident.

Our skilled and relentless pursuit of justice for those who are victims of motorcycle accidents has helped us gain membership to some of the most prestigious and well-respected legal organizations in the nation. We’re proud to say that many of our lawyers are members of legal organizations such as The American Trial Lawyers Association, The American Society of Legal Advocates, and Top 50 Verdicts in the United States (2017).

Should you choose an OnderLaw attorney to represent you and your case, you can focus on fully recovering from your injuries while a seasoned and compassionate legal representative works diligently on your behalf to secure the money you need to recover from your injuries.

Motorcycle Laws in Sacramento

In California, motorcycle riders must abide by the same laws as other motorists, in addition to a few laws specific to motorcyclists. Some important traffic safety laws aimed at motorcyclists include:

  • California law requires the use of helmets by motorcyclists and passengers.
  • Unless manufactured before 1973, California law requires that all motorcycles have both left and right mirrors in addition to front and rear working turn signals.
  • California law requires that motorcycle handles must be installed no greater than 6 inches above the motorcyclists’ shoulder level when seated.
  • If manufactured in 2013 or later, motorcycles must have exhaust systems compliant with the Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act.
  • Although California law isn’t against lane splitting, there are some laws regarding your speed when lane splitting. In California, it’s against the law to maintain a speed that slows the natural flow and speed of traffic.
  • While there are no laws in California against carrying passengers on a motorcycle or the age of said passengers (except on learners permits), as a motorcyclist, you’re required to ensure that passenger seats are secured and fastened. Additionally, you’re required to have your motorcycle fitted with footrests for use by passengers when the motorcycle is in motion.
  • California law requires all motorcyclists to carry the minimum liability insurance coverage. $5,000 in property damage, $15,000 for bodily injury to a single person, and $30,000 for bodily injury to multiple people.

Types of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are as varied as the circumstances that caused them. The most common types of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Head-on collision
  • Rear-end collision
  • Single-motorcycle crash
  • T-bone collision
  • Sideswipe accident
  • Low-speed accident
  • Rollover accident
  • Multiple-vehicle collision

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

There are many reasons why a motorcycle accident may occur. Some of the causes of motorcycle accidents we frequently see in our clients’ cases include:

  • Drunk driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Drugged driving
  • Failure to check blind spots
  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Speeding
  • Failure to maintain an appropriate speed for road conditions
  • Taking turns too quickly
  • Dooring
  • Lack of awareness of nearby motorcycles

Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accident injuries can be devastating. Since the rider has virtually no protection for their body to protect from the impact with a larger vehicle, what might seem a minor fender-bender to the occupant of a car won’t feel that way on the bike. Some of the most common injuries suffered by those involved in motorcycle accidents include:

  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Road rash, burns, scrapes, and cuts
  • Abrasions and lacerations
  • Head and spine injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Skull fracture
  • Concussion
  • Amputation and disfigurement
  • Knee and ankle damage
  • Shoulder and elbow damage
  • Sprains and strains
  • Muscle damage

Who is Responsible?

Determining which parties are responsible for an accident involving a motorcycle can be challenging. You might think that if you were hit by another driver, they are the person responsible and should be found liable for your expenses. However, further investigation may be required. In some cases, the other driver’s vehicle may have malfunctioned. Here is a partial list of some causes of accidents and those who might be responsible:

The other driver. If the driver was negligent and caused the accident, they could be held liable.

A malfunctioning vehicle part. If a part on a vehicle failed to work properly and caused the accident, the parts manufacturer, the vehicle manufacturer, or the person or company who last performed maintenance on the vehicle may be liable.

Improperly maintained roadways. If your motorcycle hit an enormous road defect that caused your accident, the municipality responsible for maintaining the roadways may be liable.

Cargo that came off a commercial truck. When cargo falls off a truck or spills from the container and an accident results, responsible parties could include the trucking company, the truck driver, the cargo loaders, or even the company that manufactured the securement devices or the trailer containing the cargo.

As you can see, there could be any number of parties that may have been liable for the accident. Your lawyer from OnderLaw can launch an investigation to discover who is responsible.

Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident

Arriving at the actual value of your claim is not easy. Your lawyer can discuss your particular circumstances, your injury, your treatment, and your losses to arrive at an accurate assessment of how much compensation you may be eligible to obtain.

Two types of compensation you might qualify for are economic and noneconomic damages. These damages are intended to compensate you for your accident-related losses.

Economic losses are those that have a fixed price tag. Here are some examples:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity

Noneconomic losses are compensation for intangible losses you suffered because of the accident. These may include:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Another category of damages you may obtain is punitive damages. In California, these are called “exemplary damages.” Punitive damages are only available in a trial, and in order for a jury to award them, there must be proof that the accident was caused by someone acting with malice, oppression, or fraud. These damages are rarely awarded.

California and National Accident Statistics

Motorcycle accidents are a common occurrence throughout the nation. Here’s what the numbers look like in the state of California:

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, 28 motorcyclists died due to not wearing a helmet in 2019.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 5,014 motorcyclists died in accidents in the United States in 2019.

Data collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveals that 3,063 motorcyclists were killed in multiple-vehicle accidents in 2019.

Contact a Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault in Sacramento, contact the legal team at OnderLaw. Give us a call or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Let us help you get on the road to recovery.