An inviting climate, beautiful views and challenging rides bring thousands of motorcyclists to Long Beach and other areas of Southern California every year. Unfortunately, with the flood of motorcyclists enjoying rides on Long Beach roadways comes an increased rate of motorcycle accidents, even as safety advocates continually shed light on how easily these tragedies can be avoided. In 2015, nearly 5,000 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in the United States, an 8% increase from the year before, and an estimated 88,000 others were injured. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident in Long Beach or elsewhere in Southern California, contact our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at DAG Law Firm today for legal help. Our attorneys can help you stand up for your rights and will work tirelessly to hold the person found at fault in your accident liable for damages.
Affordable Long Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney
When motorcycle-vehicle accidents occur, motorcyclists rarely escape injury, and too often, their injuries are fatal. Our experienced personal injury attorneys understand that many Long Beach motorcycle accidents could be avoided if other drivers kept a more careful eye out for motorcycles while turning and changing lanes and gave them equal rights on the road. If you want to make sure your rights are protected following a motorcycle accident in Long Beach, hire our knowledgeable and compassionate personal injury lawyers to represent your case. With a skilled legal team on your side, you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries while your attorney fights for your right to adequate compensation.
Injuries Resulting from a Long Beach Motorcycle Accident
In terms of traffic safety laws, motorcycles are treated the same as cars, trucks, SUVs and vans on Long Beach roadways. They have equal rights to the road and other drivers are expected to be aware of nearby motorcycles and give them plenty of room to ride safely. However, because motorcycles are smaller than most other vehicles and are therefore harder to see, motorists in Long Beach must take special care to avoid striking a motorcycle while changing lanes or making a turn. Also, because motorcycles are less stable and offer riders far less protection than passenger cars do their occupants, motorcyclists face a much greater risk of suffering catastrophic injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle. Some common injuries resulting from a Long Beach motorcycle accident include:
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Leg or knee injury
- Arm or shoulder injury
- Wrongful death
Common Causes of Long Beach Motorcycle Accidents
Many Long Beach motorcycle-vehicle collisions happen because the other driver didn’t see the motorcycle or failed to give the motorcycle enough room, following behind at too close a distance or passing too closely next to the motorcycle while changing lanes. The slightest impact with a motorcycle can mean a spill for the rider, and even in cases where there is no actual contact, drivers can contribute to motorcycle accidents in Long Beach by unintentionally pulling out in front of a motorcycle and forcing the rider to over-brake and slide. According to statistics, motorcycle accidents are most likely to occur in a handful of high-risk situations, including the following:
- Left turns – The most common type of motorcycle-vehicle collision occurs at intersections where an unsuspecting driver makes a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle.
- Hazardous road conditions – Motorcycle riders have to be much more aware of hazardous road conditions than drivers. They may have to change lanes or slow down to avoid obstructions in the road, such as debris or potholes, and this can cause an accident if other drivers aren’t paying attention to these maneuvers.
- Inclement weather – Wet or icy road conditions can have a significant impact on a motorcycle’s braking and handling, which can cause an accident if other drivers aren’t aware.
- Car’s blind spot – If a motorcycle is riding in a car’s blind spot, the unsuspecting driver may try to change lanes, colliding with the motorcycle.
- Large vehicles – Large vehicles, like SUVs or commercial trucks, can block a motorcycle from the view of other motorists, and the motorcycle may seem to come out of nowhere.
Determining Liability in Long Beach Motorcycle Accidents
Liability in most Long Beach motorcycle accidents is governed by the law of negligence, or the failure of a person or party to use reasonable care, resulting in injury to another person. Negligence applies to traffic accidents in that drivers must use care to avoid collisions with other motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and anyone else they encounter on the road. If they aren’t reasonably careful and they injure another person as a result, they are liable for monetary damages, which the injured person can pursue by filing a personal injury claim. There are four main elements to any negligence claim in California. In order to prove negligence in a Long Beach motorcycle accident, the injured rider must show that the defendant, or the driver being sued, owed a duty of care to the rider, that the driver breached that duty by failing to be careful, that the driver’s conduct caused the rider’s injuries, and that the rider suffered losses as a result.
Seeking Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists have a reputation for being careless and reckless, which is an unfair and unfounded stereotype, so when a motorcycle-vehicle collision occurs, it’s often the rider who gets blamed for the accident. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced attorney on your side after being injured in a Long Beach motorcycle accident, so you can make sure your rights are protected and you recover the compensation you deserve. Even if you are found to be partially responsible for your motorcycle accident, you are still entitled to compensation for your injuries, though this compensation will be reduced by your own percentage of fault. For example, if a car runs a red light and collides with a motorcyclist that was making an illegal turn, causing him injuries, and the injured motorcyclist is found to be 30% at fault for the accident, he can still recover 70% of his damages from the negligent driver.
Free Motorcycle Accident Consultation in Long Beach
When motorists practice caution and are aware of motorcyclists traveling with them on Long Beach roadways, paying particular attention to the five high-risk situations mentioned above, they can help reduce the risk of deadly motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, in the meantime, motorcycle accidents continue to be a major problem in Long Beach and throughout California, where more than 800,000 motorcycles are registered. When a driver’s negligence causes serious injuries to a motorcyclist, the rider can recover monetary damages from the at-fault driver by hiring an attorney and filing a personal injury claim. If the motorcyclist’s injuries are fatal, the surviving family members are entitled to seek compensation for their loved one’s wrongful death. For more information about pursuing compensation for motorcycle accident injuries in Long Beach, contact our experienced attorneys at DAG Law Firm today.