Most motorcycle/vehicle collisions occur at intersections, especially on urban and non-interstate roadways. In a busy intersection, drivers tend to check their phones or focus on something besides the motorcycle coming up beside them. Lane-splitting is legal in California, but many drivers seem to conveniently forget that in intersections
Why Motorcycle Accidents Are More Serious
By their very nature, motorcycle accidents tend to be more serious (and therefore more expensive). They also mean much longer rehabilitation periods, and more chances that the victim may not have a full recovery. According to a comprehensive insurance industry survey, the following facts were found to be true:
- 23% of motorcycle claimants have injuries in multiple locations.
- 18% suffer head injuries, including closed head injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and minor traumatic brain injury (MTBI) with permanent disability.
- 10% of claimants have injuries to the back or spine, a frequent cause of paraplegia or quadriplegia.
Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Crashes
Q: Is there a deadline for filing a motorcycle claim?
A: Yes. Every state has “statutes of limitations” that set a time limit on filing a personal injury claim. In California, you have two years to file a lawsuit against a private individual or company, and only six months to file a claim against a government-owned vehicle or employee.
Q: What if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?
A: Motorcycle operators and their passengers are required by law to wear helmets, and if they don’t, they can be ticketed by a police officer. If you weren’t wearing a helmet, it’s likely that you’ll suffer worse injuries, especially traumatic brain injuries. The insurance company for the defendant may argue that you are partially at fault for your injuries, and since California follows a comparative negligence model, a jury may decide to diminish the amount of money you win in a verdict to reflect your percentage of fault. If you were judged to be 10% at fault, you would only recover $90,000 of a $100,000 verdict.
Q: What if I don’t have motorcycle insurance?
A: California does require you to buy a liability insurance policy specifically for your motorcycle, and the limits are the same as for a car: $15,000 for injury to another person, $30,000 for injury to two or more people, and $5,000 for property damage. Your regular car insurance policy won’t cover any damage you do to someone else while you’re riding your motorcycle. However, if another driver hit you or caused the accident, their insurance policy should be the one paying for it. Since there are so many underinsured drivers in the San Diego area, it’s a good idea to get uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy. This can help cover you in a motorcycle collision.
Get the Compensation You Need to Rebuild Your Life
Because motorcycle accidents almost always involve serious injuries, the compensation you’ll need to put your life back together will be significant. Motorcycle accident victims often require multiple surgeries, and extensive time in the hospital and out of work. In addition, a motorcycle accident can leave you with permanent injuries that will impact your way of life and your ability to earn a living. All of these losses are worthy of compensation from the liable party or parties and the insurance companies that represent them. While they have a moral obligation to pay you for the losses they’re responsible for, that doesn’t mean they will offer it willingly. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to lowball accident victims and pay them much less than their losses merit.
And our legal team at Jurewitz Law Group hates to see this happen. When we take on a motorcycle injury case, we do a thorough assessment of the ultimate costs of your injury, including current and future medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, pain and suffering, mental trauma, changes to lifestyle, and much, much more.