In the San Fernando Valley, riding a motorcycle is a popular pastime — and form of transportation for many hoping to avoid the terrible congestion on the 101 or on the busier side streets. Unfortunately, accidents involving automobiles and motorcycles are quite common in this area and motorcyclists, without the steel casing of a car or truck to protect them, are at an increased risk of injury. If you or a loved one are injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, know that California law is on your side. Indeed, if through no fault of your own, a vehicle hits you, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can explain more.
Last year, California became the first state in the nation to allow lane-splitting for motorcycle riders, a practice that had long be legal in many countries in Europe and Asia. Lane splitting, also sometimes called lane sharing or stripe-riding, is riding a motorcycle between lanes or rows of slow moving or stopped traffic moving in the same direction. Lane splitting in California does not give motorcycle riders a free pass to ride recklessly and should be performed with care and caution.
Facts about lane-splitting
San Fernando Valley motorcycle accidents can be extremely serious in nature. Because motorcycles offer less protection for the driver, motorcycle accidents can cause permanent injuries and even death. Motorcycle drivers, their passengers, and family members (in the event that the driver or passenger is killed) may be eligible to receive financial compensation if a motorcycle accident is found to be the fault of another driver or condition. Here’s what you need to know about how California motorcycle accidents are investigated.
When motorcycle accidents happen in California, riders and their passengers can be more than seriously or permanently injured. They can also be killed. Between lost wages, medical expenses, and the loss of the motorcycle, it can be a stressful experience. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in Woodland Hills, California, first read the answers to the following questions and then contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
Are Motorcycle Accidents in California Always the Fault of the Person on the Motorcycle?
Drunk driving is a problem year round, and particularly during the holiday season. Recent reports show that over 16,000 people were injured in drunk driving accidents in California in one year. That number is far too high. Drunk driving puts not only the driver’s life at risk, but it also increases the risk of injury or death to other motorists.
And drunk driving isn’t just for automobiles. Recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that drunk driving deaths involving motorcycles are on the rise and that motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes are 2.5 times more likely to have consumed alcohol than passenger vehicle drivers.. Indeed, motorcyclists have the highest percentage of alcohol-related deaths — about 46% of riders killed in accidents, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), have alcohol in their system at the time of their death.
Drunk Driving Consquences
Motorcycle accidents are fairly common in the US. And unfortunately, many of them are deadly. According to a recent survey by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 4500 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2014. While helmets and proper driving practice can help decrease these accidents to an extent, truth be told, it is likely almost impossible to completely eliminate them.
Motorcycle accidents are also more severe than other auto accident for several reasons, including the lack of vehicle lack safety equipment such as seatbelts, airbags, and steal frames. This can result in a range of injuries, from mild road rashes to more severe brain injuries. Keep reading to learn more about motorcycle accidents and financial recovery.
1. Road rash
Motorcyclists who drive with their skin exposed are vulnerable to abrasions from the pavement. Of course, even in sturdy clothing, the gear may still get ripped due to pressure or torn upon collision. This can allow the skin to get scrapped too. The resulting wounds may wind up scarring, which can last forever.
Hit and run accidents can happen to anyone, including motorcycle riders. Recently, a 60-year-old Pasadena man was killed in a motorcycle accident that officials believe involved a hit-and-run driver. According to the local newspaper, a preliminary investigation showed that a Tesla four-door sedan was heading north at night at a high rate of speed when it crashed into the motorcycle at a busy intersection. Devastatingly, the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. In an even more tragic turn of events, the driver of the Tesla abandoned his car and fled on foot, not stopping to see if anything could be done to help the motorcyclist.
Fleeing the scene of an accident in which you were involved is against the law. If a driver hit you or a loved one and “ran off”, you have legal rights and may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries and property damage. An experienced hit and run accident attorney will be able to explain your options in detail.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the California Highway Patrol, more than 100 people died and 3,500 were injured due to motorcycle accidents in the greater Los Angeles area in 2013, the most recent year for which we have statistics. We have discussed the dangers of motorcycle riding in and around the San Fernando Valley in detail. Learn more about motorcycle safety tips here.
Many hit and run accidents, especially those that occur late at night, involve speeding, drunk driving or drugged driving, and/or other forms of reckless driving. In the case of fatal car accidents caused by driver negligence, families of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver (or company employing the driver, if the driver was “on the job”). In a wrongful death lawsuit, a family member can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. Talk to an experienced accident attorney to determine if you are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Next Steps After Fatal Hit and Run
If your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, including one that involved a hit and run driver, know that the law is on your side. Reach out to Woodland Hills attorney Barry P. Goldberg today for a free consultation to discuss your next steps.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in the San Fernando Valley, your health should be your main priority. Some injuries can go undetected, but lead to major inconveniences down the road. Others are more apparent and require immediate medical assistance. Either way, an experienced healthcare professional will be able to guide you…
It’s no surprise to anyone who has driven in Southern California that the term “road rage” was coined by a Los Angeles news team to describe the level of aggravation many drivers feel after sitting in traffic on the 10, 405 or 101 freeways. Unfortunately for motorcyclists, riders are often the victims of such rage.
What is road rage?
Woodland Hills personal injury lawyer Barry P. Goldberg meets hundreds of accident victims and prospective clients every year. There seems to be a “unifying theme” from most, if not all, of the clients—they think they hate lawyers and they dread having to actually hire one! The bad news— for the most part—their concerns are legitimate! …