Stockton Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Riding a motorcycle is a fun and enjoyable experience. It can also be dangerous and lead to severe injuries in a collision with another vehicle. The Stockton personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC know the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be scary. When you’re in pain, you probably don’t know what you should do next. We can review the details of the crash to determine who was at fault and whether you are eligible for compensation.
Motorcycles provide freedom to the rider and the ability to navigate congested roads easily. Unfortunately, you take an inherent risk whenever you leave your home on your bike. Riding alongside other vehicles means you’re exposed to careless and distracted drivers. You could suffer debilitating injuries if one of them swerves into your lane or crashes into the back of your motorcycle.
The Stockton motorcycle accident lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC know the challenges you face. We are ready to take your call and discuss the available options for pursuing compensation. Call us for your free consultation at (314) 963-9000 today.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer? Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC?
You should hire a lawyer immediately following a motorcycle accident. Even if you have a minor injury, you might be entitled to compensation if another person caused the crash. When you hire OnderLaw, LLC, we can investigate and determine who we can hold liable for your injury and resulting expenses.
Our Stockton motorcycle accident lawyers have represented countless clients since 2002. We recovered over $3.5 billion in settlements and awards for accident victims. We know the ins and outs of the legal process and can develop the right strategy to meet our clients’ needs. We take every case seriously and will provide the personalized attention you deserve.
Motorcycle Laws in Stockton
When you’re preparing to ride your motorcycle anywhere in California, you must obey all state laws. The Department of Motor Vehicles enforces specific laws for motorcyclists. You must:
- Be at least 16 years old to operate a motorcycle
- Carry a valid motorcycle license
- Complete and pass all required tests
- Purchase liability insurance with minimum coverage required by state law
- Have functioning front and rear turn signals if you have a motorcycle built and registered after January 1973
You must wear a motorcycle safety helmet approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The manufacturer must also certify that it meets safety standards with DOT lettering on the back of the helmet.
Ear protection might be necessary to protect yourself from things that can cause hearing loss, such as the wind and other environmental factors. However, state laws prohibit you from wearing earplugs, headset coverings, or earphones in both ears unless the design of the molds or earplugs is used explicitly to reduce harmful noise levels.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Accidents involving motorcycles are typically more catastrophic than collisions between two passenger cars. Motorcycles are much lighter and smaller than other vehicles, and the rider doesn’t have much to protect them from the impact of a crash and flying debris.
A motorcycle accident can result from a range of scenarios. The most common include:
- T-bone accidents – When a vehicle collides with the side of a motorcycle, the rider could get ejected and sustain debilitating injuries. This type of accident often occurs at intersections when one driver runs a red light or stop sign.
- Head-on collisions – When you crash into another vehicle head-on, the extreme forces your body experiences can cause life-threatening injuries. Head-on accidents can be deadly for motorcyclists, especially if they involve excessive speeds.
- Dooring – After parking a car, the driver should look for approaching vehicles before opening their door. If they don’t, their door could end up in the path of a passing motorcyclist.
- Left-turn accidents – Turning left requires using a turn signal and checking for oncoming traffic. Proceeding without taking the necessary precautions could place the careless driver in a motorcyclist’s path.
- Rear-end collisions – Many bikers are victims of rear-end accidents when a driver follows them too closely. If there’s isn’t adequate space between both vehicles, it’s harder to stop in time to avoid a crash.
- Lane splitting – Although lane splitting is legal in California, there are inherent risks. When riding between two lanes of traffic, a distracted or reckless driver could sideswipe you as they’re changing lanes.
No matter how the accident happened, you should contact OnderLaw, LLC for a free consultation. It’s your right to pursue compensation from the negligent driver and hold them accountable for causing your injuries.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Most drivers don’t pay attention to motorcyclists. They’re typically only looking out for cars and trucks. Motorcycles are also difficult to see in blind spots, putting the rider at significantly higher risk than the occupants of other vehicles.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents are:
- Passing too closely – When a driver doesn’t leave enough space between their vehicle and the motorcycle while attempting to pass, they could sideswipe the rider or run them off the road.
- Defective roadways – Dangerous road conditions, such as potholes, are hazardous for everyone. However, a motorcycle hitting a pothole is much different than a passenger vehicle driving over one. The occupants of most cars and trucks don’t sustain injuries. A motorcyclist could get ejected from their bike during the sudden impact.
- Speeding – Accidents involving a speeding driver can be deadly for motorcyclists. If someone exceeds the speed limit, they don’t have total control over their vehicle. Slowing down or stopping takes longer the faster a person drives.
- Drowsy driving – Most people don’t understand the dangers of operating a vehicle despite feeling fatigued. It slows reaction time and increases the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. A drowsy driver can drift into another lane or oncoming traffic directly in the path of a motorcyclist.
- Driver distractions – Everyone faces various distractions whenever they drive. A person driving 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field while reading or sending a text. That puts everyone around them at risk of severe injuries, especially motorcyclists.
- Driving under the influence – There were a total of 10,142 fatalities in alcohol-impaired accidents in 2019. Motorcyclists represented 34 percent of those deaths. Alcohol and drugs can significantly reduce a person’s driving abilities and cause devastating harm to motorcycle riders and passengers during a collision.
If any of these factors caused your injuries in a motorcycle accident, take immediate action so you can recover the compensation you’re owed from the at-fault party.
Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists can suffer more severe and debilitating injuries in accidents than the occupants of other vehicles. The most common injuries include:
- Severe burns and road rash
- Traumatic brain injury
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of limb or amputation injury
- Broken bones
- Permanent disability
Anyone lucky enough to survive a motorcycle accident often suffers injuries that require ongoing treatment or cause lifelong complications. Paying for the expensive bills you receive can place you in debt and cause financial strain. You should not be responsible for your expenses if someone else were entirely at fault for the crash.
Who Is Responsible?
Motorcycle accident cases are often complex. Many people see motorcyclists as dangerous and assume they are at fault whenever a crash occurs. However, many accidents happen when a passenger vehicle driver behaves recklessly or becomes distracted at the wheel.
An experienced lawyer can help you prove someone else’s actions led to the crash and that they should be held liable. California follows a fault system, meaning the at-fault driver becomes financially responsible for the victim’s injuries and losses.
Although many collisions result from driver error, some can occur in other scenarios. Instead of holding another motorist accountable for your injuries, a governmental entity could be liable for failing to repair a pothole in the road. OnderLaw, LLC can help you determine the party that was at fault for the accident.
Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident Claim
It is a legal requirement for every vehicle owner and operator to buy and carry liability insurance. If someone else caused the crash, you could file a claim with their insurance company. The compensation you recover might cover the different losses you suffered, such as:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You could also file a lawsuit to compensate for your losses if the insurance company denies your claim or offers a low settlement. However, you must comply with the statute of limitations. It gives you two years from the accident date to file your lawsuit. If this strict timeframe passes before you file, you could lose your right to compensation.
Accident Statistics in California and Nationwide
According to statistics from the Insurance Information Institute, there were 84,000 motorcyclist injuries and 5,014 deaths from accidents in 2019. Motorcycle occupants were killed at a rate of 25.47 per 100 million miles traveled, much higher than the rate for passenger car and light truck occupants. The time of day with the highest number of motorcyclist fatalities was between 6 and 9 p.m.
In California, there were 474 motorcycle deaths in 2019. A total of 28 fatalities were due to the rider not wearing a helmet.
At OnderLaw, LLC, our Stockton motorcycle accident lawyers understand the economic struggle most of our clients face. We don’t want to burden you with additional costs. That’s why we take cases on contingency. You won’t have to pay any legal fees or costs unless we recover compensation for you.
Our team is available 24/7, so you can reach us whenever you need us. We believe in providing dependable customer service, so you feel like a priority. We work closely with our clients and maintain open and honest communication with them from start to finish of their cases.
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident in Stockton, call OnderLaw, LLC for your free consultation at (314) 963-9000.