The mountains, the coast, the sunshine, and the long straightaways make California one of the best places to ride a motorcycle in the world. Unfortunately, as most riders have experienced firsthand, other motorists aren’t always doing their best to look for people on motorcycles. That inattention can lead to frightening collisions for riders.
Motorcyclists can also be victimized by insurance companies. Agents and adjusters have been known to try to blame riders for their accidents even when an accident report says otherwise. That’s why if you’re forced into a crash by a careless or reckless driver anywhere in California, you need someone like Martin Gasparian of Maison Law on your side.
Finding Support After a California Motorcycle Crash
Mr. Gasparian spent years working for major corporations and the oldest law firm in Los Angeles and gained valuable insider knowledge of how insurance firms treat accident victims. He founded his own law firm to work for everyday people to make sure they’re treated fairly and their rights are respected after a serious accident.
Contact Maison Law for an evaluation of your case. This consultation comes at no charge to you and you’ll be under no obligation. Tell us what happened so that we can quickly figure out your best path to getting the help that you need to heal and get back on the open road again.
Common Threats To Motorcyclists on California Highways
When drivers put motorcyclists in dangerous spots they are usually making common mistakes that play out on California roads every day. Motorists often hide behind the excuse that they never saw a motorcycle coming. Of course, this is no excuse when a longer look, and avoiding attention grabbers like a cellphone, would have allowed the driver enough time to easily spot the rider.
Sadly, many drivers ignore this basic duty to show extra care for motorcyclists who travel unprotected and defenseless when compared to passengers in sturdy cars and trucks.
These are just a few of the situations that commonly put riders in danger:
- Lane Splitting – This is a legal maneuver in California but many drivers are either ignorant of the law or ignore it. Lane splitting is when a rider moves up between slow-moving or stopped traffic, commonly at traffic lights. They share the lane with other vehicles. Motorists not paying proper attention can strike a motorcyclist beside them.
- Vehicle Turning Left – Drivers can be preparing to pull across a roadway and give a quick look without noticing the smaller profile of a motorcycle coming directly at them. Their turn can leave the full length of their vehicle in front of the rider and provide little room to avoid a crash.
- Unsafe Lane Changes – Motorists in bigger vehicles can forget to check their blind spots and their side mirrors and suddenly come over on the rider beside them. Merging drivers can also think the coast is clear and suddenly sideswipe someone on a motorcycle.
- Rearend Collisions – This one involves a very visible brake light, but drivers can still miss seeing that red taillight or misjudge the distance and crash into the back of a motorcycle. The rider can be thrown from his or her bike and suffer severe injuries.
Do I need an attorney after a motorcycle accident in California?
Yes. If you are sent into a crash by a careless driver and suffer an injury you won’t be squaring off with the responsible driver to get help with your recovery. Instead, you’ll be requesting help from their car insurance provider. Insurance agents and adjusters have special tactics they use to try to limit the amount of compensation they have to pay to an injured victim. An attorney can help you steer clear of these frustrating tricks.
Insurance firms can delay a response to your accident claim, hoping you’ll start to get desperate as hospital bills and your missed time at work start to put you on the verge of bankruptcy. At this point, they’ll try to make you a lowball settlement offer in the hopes that you’ll accept it no matter how unfair it is.
Insurance companies can also try to pin some of the accident liability on you in hopes of forcing you to have to accept less compensation. They especially like to try this tactic on motorcyclists because riders are often tagged with an unfair amount of blame in crashes. Having an experienced legal representative building your case with evidence and witness testimony can shut these tactics down immediately.
Common Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident
The amount of compensation that you receive in an accident claim can make all the difference in your life now and in the future. The injuries can be so severe that medical care may be needed in the months and years down the road.
Injuries can result in disabilities or disfigurement for victims and any settlement offered needs to factor in the medical equipment, surgeries, and physical therapy that may still be needed in the future.
These are just a few of the frightening injuries that can require more than just an emergency room visit:
- Blunt Force Trauma – Motorcyclists travel with no walls or a roof and that lack of protection can subject riders to extreme forces. Multiple injuries can occur as the rider may be the victim of more than one impact with the vehicle and with the road surface. This trauma can lead to a rupture of internal organs and damage the soft tissue that holds organs and other body parts in place.
- Chest Injuries – Ribs and other bones can break and cause breathing issues. The heart and esophagus can suffer damage. A blow to the back can even injure kidneys.
- Concussion/Brain Injury – Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to headaches, seizures, and vomiting. A more serious injury can rob victims of their memories.
- Fractures – The neck, skull, and face may also take severe damage and see broken bones and damaged teeth. Any one of these injuries can result in permanent disfigurement. When a motorcyclist is thrown from a bike they can extend their hands and arms as a natural reflex to protect themselves. The fingers, wrists, and elbows can be left broken.
- Road Rash – Severe abrasions can damage skin and make skin grafts necessary. This is another injury that can leave permanent disfigurement.
Contact a California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one are seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident you should contact a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney like Martin Gasparian with Maison Law. The insurance company for the at-fault driver isn’t required to inform you of all of your options after a devastating crash. As a victim, you have rights that are in place to protect you from the bad faith practices of insurance companies.
To make sure you’re not being taken advantage of talk over your case with Maison Law. To make sure you are getting the compensation you’ll need to pay for a full recovery and see you through until you’re back on your bike again please reach out to us.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a family seek support if a loved one is killed in a motorcycle accident?
Yes. Families are allowed to file a wrongful death claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance provider to protect themselves from financial harm. A claim can seek support to help pay for burial costs, ambulance fees, and also to make up for the emotional and economic support the victim provided.
If I didn’t wear a helmet and was in a motorcycle accident can I still sue?
Yes. If you weren’t wearing a helmet when a driver hit and injured you, you can still demand compensation for your recovery. You may have to take partial blame for your injury, but the driver would usually have to accept a much bigger percentage of the responsibility and you could still receive a sizable award.
Can I wait to file an injury claim over a motorcycle accident?
Yes. California allows injury victims up to two years to file a claim for damages. In most cases, you’ll want to file as soon as you can because the evidence will be easier to collect and witnesses will be easier to locate shortly after a crash.