Motorcycle Accidents in Modesto
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto motorcycle accident attorney. Riding a motorcycle is a great way to commute in style by saving money on fuel and time on the road. For some, especially those residing in the city, a bike may be the only means of transportation they need. While motorcycles offer thrill and excitement to those who ride, it is important to understand what types of motorcycle accidents can happen and what steps a biker should take to ensure their well-being if they ever find themselves involved in such accidents.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle riders are more vulnerable on the road due to their lack of physical protection. Below are some of the national statistics surrounding the dangers of motorcycle accidents:
- While motorcycles account for only three percent of the total number of registered vehicles on the road, motorcyclist fatalities have been found to have occurred 27 times more often than deaths in other motor vehicles (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration);
- Wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces the risk of fatality in an accident by 37 percent. Additionally, riders who do not wear their helmets are three times more likely than those wearing their helmets to sustain a traumatic brain injury in the event of a collision (according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety);
- Helmets saved the lives of 1,859 riders in 2016. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets that same year in question, 802 deaths could have been avoided. Furthermore, the United States loses more than one billion dollars each year in economic costs due to the lack of motorcycle helmet use (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Motorcycle Accidents and Driver Negligence
Motorcycle accidents are often caused by the negligence of other motorists as they fail to properly share the road with riders. Some of the types of driver negligence seen in motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted Driving: Motorists who aren’t paying attention to the road are capable of causing a serious motorcycle accident. Driver distractions may include texting or calling on a cell phone while behind the wheel, eating, adjusting a stereo or navigation system and applying makeup;
- Head-On Collisions: Over half of all motorcycle accident fatalities occur in collisions that involve a bike and another vehicle. In roughly eight out of 10 cases, a vehicle strikes a motorcycle from the front, which often proves fatal for a motorcycle rider;
- Lane Splitting: Although this practice is legal in California, it becomes an issue for motorcyclists during congested traffic conditions due to the close proximity of riders to motor vehicles, limited space available for them to maneuver and drivers not anticipating that a motorcyclist will pass them in slow or stopped traffic;
- Vehicles Turning Left: This is the biggest risk motorcycle riders face on the road. In fact, approximately 42 percent of accidents involving a motorcycle and a car occur due to a driver turning left in direct proximity of a rider. The turning vehicle usually collides when the rider is proceeding through an intersection or passing the car.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Injuries sustained as a result of motorcycle accidents can be serious and life-changing. They may include:
- Abdominal Trauma
- Bone Fractures
- Chest Damage
- Head Injuries
- Lower Extremity Injuries
- Nerve Damage
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Fatality (in some extreme cases)
Watch YouTube Video – By: Modesto Motorcycle Accident Attorney Ed Smith – What You Should Know About Motorcycle Accidents
Recoverable Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can be some of the most frightening crashes on California roads. Victims are often left in financial burden due to their devastating injuries sustained in an accident. Some of the damages an injured rider may recover in a motorcycle accident include:
- Medical Expenses: Necessary and reasonable medical costs incurred as a result of a motorcycle accident are recoverable. These may include care and treatment, including physical therapy, diagnostic testing, surgery, hospital, and more. In some cases, an attorney may employ the services of a life care planner to determine the cost of necessary and reasonable future medical care;
- Loss of Earnings: Injured parties are entitled to recovering the loss of earnings caused by their injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Lost wages, bonuses, commissions and all other fringe benefits and earnings may be recovered;
- Future Loss of Earnings: In cases where injuries cause permanent limitations on an individual’s ability to earn, they may recover the monetary loss caused by the reduction in wages over the remainder of their working years;
- Disfigurement: If a motorcycle accident leaves a person with scarring or other unsightly marks, they are entitled to recover for the embarrassment and humiliation related to the disfigurement, in addition to the costs of a cosmetic surgery;
- Pain and Suffering: Also referred to as “general damages”, this is considered as the most important element of a bodily injury claim. When an individual files this type of claim, they are entitled to compensation of mental anguish and physical pain they have suffered and will undergo in the years to come. There is no specific measurement to determine the value of this type of damage as they vary from case to case.
Motorcycle accident claims are categorized under the legal term of negligence. In cases where a rider and motor vehicle driver both share responsibility for an accident, the extent of negligence for each party can be calculated under California’s comparative fault law. For instance, if the driver was determined to be at fault for 60 percent and the rider was found 40 percent at fault for the accident, the biker may be able to collect 60 percent of his or her damages incurred.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Motorcycle accidents are often assumed to occur as a result of rider negligence. However, that is not always the case. When a motorcyclist is injured in an accident, it is critical to contact a personal injury lawyer in Modesto with years of experience in handling motorcycle collision claims. A skilled attorney can explain what rights a rider has, examine the facts and evidence of the accident and communicate effectively with insurance companies to obtain fair compensation for damages incurred.
Modesto Motorcycle Accident Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto motorcycle accident attorney. Motorcycle injuries and deaths are common in California as riders are completely vulnerable in a collision with a motor vehicle. If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash through no fault of your own, please feel free to contact me any time at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
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