Southern California Motorcycle Crash Claims
The Southern California region (as determined by Governor Gavin Newsom in December 2020) consists of 11 counties that span across different terrain from desert to mountains. As home to the vast majority of residents in the state, it is not uncommon to see traffic jams at any given moment of the day.
Since California is known to have beautiful sunny skies year-round, motorcyclists can enjoy using their bikes anytime, no matter which county they're driving in. However, this is not always a good thing. With over 8000 motorcycle crashes in this region in 2019 alone, all motorists must know what to do following these accidents and how to improve motorcycle safety.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can come with a heightened sense of anxiety since riders are not protected by a vehicle exterior in the same way a car is. Because of this, it is highly uncommon for a motorcyclist to walk away from the crash uninjured. However, similar to other car crashes, you should have three main priorities following these collisions.
1. Seek Medical Treatment
Even if an ambulance was not called to the scene, you should seek medical treatment within a week of your accident, if not sooner. In addition to getting your body checked for breaks and bruises, you should consider getting checked for signs of a traumatic brain injury, even if you were wearing a helmet. Symptoms may not appear until days following, so it is crucial to be mindful of your activity until you see a doctor.
2. Talk to an Attorney
Before ever talking to the other party's insurance company, you should have a conversation with an attorney about your legal options. Having this representation on your side will make it easier for you to focus on your recovery while they negotiate the appropriate compensation for injuries.
3. File a Claim with the Insurance Company
Motorcycle insurance is required in California, and the state recognizes "at-fault" policies for accident liability. Under this policy, you will have to file a claim with the liable party's insurance company if you wish to recover any compensation. Similar to other auto accidents, you will also want to alert your insurer about the collision so that they can adequately assess the damages.
As an "at-fault" state, California law requires that the financial responsibility for paying for damages be placed on one or more parties involved in a collision. This works in tandem with a comparative negligence doctrine, which requires a defendant to prove that the injured party's actions were negligent and contributed to the crash.
For motorcycles, this negligence could be not following the posted traffic signs and signals or simply not wearing a helmet as required by state law.
Working with the right attorney can make it easier to advocate for the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
How Motorcyclists Can Stay Safe on California Roads
California is one of the perfect places to own a motorcycle, and there are many ways in which both riders and car drivers can keep everyone safer when on the roads. Here are our top five best tips:
- Practice defensive motorcycle driving techniques like only riding in conditions you can handle and signaling to other drivers when turning.
- Wear the appropriate safety gear (helmets, closed-toe shoes, eye protection, etc.).
- Look in your blind spots for people on motorcycles.
- Allow for extra space between vehicles to accommodate for the varying stopping times.
- Be more cautious when driving in more extreme weather and only drive in conditions you are comfortable with.
Taking that extra step to improve your own driving habits can make the road safer for all vehicles.
Motorcycle Accident? We Can Help.
Our Southern California personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping motorcycle riders make it home safely. If you or a loved one have sustained an injury in a motorcycle crash, call (818) 290-8942 or fill out the form on our website to schedule a free consultation.