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Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Representing Injured Riders Since 1969

Motorcycles are becoming increasingly popular in densely-populated areas due to their small size, fuel efficiency, and ability to navigate quickly through heavy road traffic. However, motorcycles also carry a greatly elevated risk of serious injury or even death as a result of an accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured or lost their life as a result of a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses, including medical expenses, rehabilitation, vehicle damages, income replacement, and more. An experienced Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney can help you navigate the legal process surrounding your claim and fight for the compensation you deserve. Smolich and Smolich is a Sacramento-based law firm with the legal knowledge and experience you need in a personal injury advocate.

Call Smolich and Smolich today at (916) 571-0400 and speak with a motorcycle accident attorney about your claim.

The Increased Risk of Motorcycle Accidents

There are a number of factors that contribute to the high amount of danger a motorcycle accident inherently carries. Motorcyclists are encouraged to exercise extreme caution on the roads in order to avoid sustaining serious injuries.

Motorcycle accidents carry an increased level of risk due to these and other factors:

  • Lower visibility to cars
  • Lower stability
  • Operating difficulty
  • No safety barriers between driver and asphalt
  • Increased sensitivity to road hazards

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Many motorcycle accident cases are the result of negligent behavior by drivers (such as speeding), or a lack of awareness about motorcycle riders around them (such as in cases of car door collisions or “dooring”). In general, awareness and observation are key when sharing the road with motorcycles. Motorcycle accidents may also be caused by external factors, such as weather conditions or a manufacturer’s failure to produce functioning motorcycle parts.

Motorcycle accidents can be caused by:

  • Unsafe lane changes — If a driver fails to check their blind spots or rear-view mirrors, they may not see a motorcyclist next to them. The failure to use a turn signal can also endanger motorcyclists if they are not able to react to the driver’s moves. Splitting lanes is also legal in California, which can contribute to accidents with unaware drivers.
  • Speeding — Speeding is dangerous in most driving situations and can be especially hazardous when paired with a lack of awareness of motorcycles.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs — When intoxicated, drivers are impaired in all abilities.
  • Left-turn accidents — Drivers who do not properly turn left can injure nearby motorcyclists.
  • Car door collisions — When parked on a busy road with street parking, drivers can open their car doors right into motorcyclists if they are not paying attention.
  • Dangerous road conditions and inclement weather — Road hazards and weather conditions can cause decreased visibility and slippery or uneven road surfaces.
  • Defective motorcycle parts — If a part malfunctions, a motorcyclist can lose control of their vehicles.

Injuries from a Motorcycle Accident

If you’re in a motorcycle accident, you are likely to be injured. This is due to how you are much more exposed than while in a car. No matter if it's a big or small accident, you could experience severe or minor injuries.

Common motorcycle injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Cuts
  • Bruises
  • Scrapes/Road rash
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal cord injuries

How Much Is My Motorcycle Accident Case Worth?

Every motorcycle accident is different from the next, therefore it is impossible to determine the exact value of your case without reviewing the circumstances of your case with a skilled attorney. The value of your motorcycle accident case will vary based on several different factors, including:

  • The type and severity of your injuries
  • The long-term effects of your injuries
  • The strength of evidence proving the other driver's liability
  • The insurance coverage of all involved parties

Generally speaking, motorcycle accidents which result in severe, life-changing injuries tend to yield the highest settlements, while accidents which result in soft tissue injuries may result in adequate compensation. An attorney will discuss these factors with you during your first meeting and help you get a better understanding of the value of your potential compensation.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in California

The state of California requires all motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear a helmet at all times. Helmets must be compliant according to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, which include a weight minimum of three pounds, a thick inside lining, and a chin strap. Although face shields and other protective gear are “suggested” by the Department of Motor Vehicles, they are not required by law like helmets are. Wearing a helmet is required by law because doing so can prevent traumatic brain injuries and potentially save the life of a motorcyclist.

Helmets not only reduce your risk of injury, but can help if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim. California follows pure comparative negligence laws, meaning compensation for injury victims is reduced according to their percentage of fault. If you were not wearing a helmet, your compensation could be reduced because you were negligent and therefore partially at fault for your injuries.

Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits in CA

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. California's statute of limitations for motorcycle accident lawsuits is the same that applies to other personal injury claims, requiring you to file a claim within two years of the date of your accident. If you file a claim after the statute of limitations has expired, your case will almost certainly be dismissed and you will be unable to pursue further legal action.

It is important to note that this deadline only applies to lawsuits; insurance claims must generally be filed within a few days of your motorcycle accident to be eligible for coverage. It is important to retain legal representation as soon as possible after your accident to ensure you are able to meet all critical deadlines.

Whatever the reason for your accident and whatever the severity, you should not hesitate to retain the services of a skilled Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney. The attorneys at Smolich and Smolich have decades’ of combined experience in personal injury practice and are capable of making a compelling case for compensation on behalf of injured motorcyclists who need their voices heard.

For assistance with your motorcycle accident injury claim, contact Smolich and Smolich today and receive a free initial case evaluation.

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