Dedicated Motorcycle Accident Lawyers and Attorneys in Los Angeles
Motorcycle riding is inherently risky. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there were 474 motorcycle fatalities in California in 2019, which is just under 10% of the 5,014 motorcycle fatalities nationwide in that same year. Taken in combination with the fact that Los Angeles ranked 6th in the nation for the top traffic-congested cities in a 2021 report by INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, it is clear why motorcycle safety and the need for experienced motorcycle accident attorneys are such relevant issues in the Los Angeles region.
The greater Los Angeles area draws over 50 million visitors annually, in addition to the county’s resident population of nearly 10 million people as of the 2020 census. Los Angeles is known as the film and television capital of the world and attracts tourists to its famed Hollywood landmarks, such as the Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Universal Studios. With tourist attractions such as the Santa Monica Pier, the sun-soaked beaches of Malibu, and the famous Getty Museum sprawled out across the L.A. basin, it’s no surprise that Los Angeles and its busy system of freeways are rife with opportunity for motorcycle accidents.
Wearing helmets and other recommended safety gear is one step motorcyclists can take to reduce the risk of fatality or catastrophic injury. Data from the NHTSA indicates that helmets are approximately 37% effective in preventing motorcyclist fatalities, and 41% effective at preventing fatalities to motorcycle passengers. Nonetheless, the National Safety Council reported that motorcyclists disproportionately made up 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2019, despite accounting for only 0.6% of all vehicle miles traveled in the United States that year.
The skilled personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Carpenter & Zuckerman have been representing motorcycle accident victims for more than 25 years. Our seasoned legal team possesses the knowledge, experience, and resources to effectively manage your motorcycle collision case. We fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact CZ Law today to receive a FREE consultation.
Motorcycle Collision Causes & Types
Motorcycle accidents are so dangerous primarily because motorcyclists and their passengers have very little protection against injury, other than any safety gear they may be wearing. Vehicle crashes involving motorcycles are also more likely to occur due to the motorcycle's small size and low visibility to other drivers. In fact, the NHTSA reported that the fatality rate for motorcycles was 58.33 per 100,000 registered vehicles, compared to the fatality rate of 9.42 for passenger cars in 2019.
In order to reduce the risk of motorcycle accidents, it helps to be familiar with the typical causes and common types of collisions. These include:
The vast majority of motorcycle fatalities occur during head-on collisions with another vehicle, as referenced in a 2019 NHTSA Report. Specifically, 76% of fatal motorcycle crashes involving two vehicles were head-on collisions, compared to 7% of motorcycle fatalities resulting from rear-end collisions.
These head-on collisions (also called frontal crashes) can cause very serious injuries for motorcyclists as a result of the fact that passenger vehicles are usually quadruple the weight of motorcycles. This weight differential means that motorcyclists bear the majority of the force upon impact when the two vehicles collide.
Most fatal motorcycle crashes involving another vehicle occur when the vehicle is attempting to execute a left-hand turn. According to the NHTSA, this was the case in almost half of the 2,495 motorcycle fatalities in 2019. In these situations, the vehicle driver often either does not see the motorcycle approaching, or misjudges the speed and/or distance of the approaching motorcycle. However, passenger vehicle drivers are not always the at-fault party in left-hand turn crashes. Motorcyclists can bear partial liability for these crashes if they were not following traffic laws at the time of the accident, such as if they were speeding or running a red light.
Lane splitting involves a motorcycle straddling two lanes of traffic that are heading in the same direction. Although lane splitting is illegal throughout most of the United States, the practice was officially legalized in California in 2017 with the goal of helping to alleviate traffic issues in the state.
Lane splitting can be particularly dangerous on any of the heavily-trafficked major freeways in the greater Los Angeles area, such as I-5 Santa Ana Freeway, the I-405 San Diego Freeway, the I-10 Santa Monica Freeway, the I-110 Harbor Freeway, and U.S. Route 101, also known as the Hollywood Freeway.
In practice, splitting lanes is inherently dangerous and increases the risk of personal injury, especially to motorcyclists and their passengers.
Vehicle Lane Changes
Accidents between motorcycles and other vehicles often happen when a motorist does not see a motorcyclist in their blind spot, and initiates a lane change.
Rear-end accidents occur when one vehicle does not come to a complete stop and collides with the vehicle in front of them. Although head-on collisions cause significantly more motorcycle fatalities than rear-end collisions do, motorcyclists can still sustain serious injuries when involved in a rear-end collision. This is due to the fact that motorcyclists and their passengers are relatively unprotected, compared to those traveling in an enclosed vehicle.
Cities, counties, and states have a responsibility to their citizens to maintain roadways as a matter of public safety. When they fail to do so, hazardous road conditions may develop, such as debris or other obstacles in the road, uneven lanes, or potholes. Road hazards such as these can be deadly to motorcyclists, since they are not traveling in an enclosed vehicle. Contact CZ Law today for a FREE consultation if you were involved in a motorcycle accident that you believe was caused by hazardous road conditions.
Steps to Document Your Motorcycle Crash
One of the most important actions you can take to protect yourself from liability in the event of a motorcycle collision is to document the accident as thoroughly as possible. Any evidence you are able to gather at the scene can be helpful to your motorcycle accident lawyer in shielding you from liability and building your case against the at-fault party. Below is a list of useful tips for documenting your accident at the scene:
Call 911 if any of the involved parties are injured.
Ask for a police report to add to your documentation.
Remain with your vehicle until help arrives.
Take photos to document conditions, including road hazards and weather.
Take photos of injuries and property damage, while maintaining your safety.
Take photos of important documents such as drivers’ licenses and insurance cards.
Gather contact information from willing witnesses and all involved parties.
Don’t discuss fault or otherwise offer too much information at the scene.
Get a medical evaluation to document your condition after the accident, whether or not you feel injured.
Consult a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
CZ Law’s Los Angeles Motorcycle Lawyers Can Help with Your Case
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, don’t wait to contact the law offices of Carpenter & Zuckerman. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys have decades of experience handling complex motorcycle accident cases, including dealing with the insurance companies so you don’t have to. We understand how traumatic a motorcycle accident can be. Our compassionate team of legal professionals is committed to easing the burden on you, so you can focus on healing and recovering from your accident.
Our formidable personal injury lawyers will stop at nothing to ensure you receive the best outcome possible in your case. At CZ Law, we have a strong track record of obtaining excellent compensation for our injured clients, including having secured over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements since the firm was founded in 1995.
The law firm of Carpenter & Zuckerman serves clients throughout the state of California, as well as other states. With offices in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Orange County (Garden Grove), Irvine, San Diego, Bakersfield, and Las Vegas, our team of seasoned trial lawyers stands ready to take on your motorcycle accident case.
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The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney. If you require legal assistance, we highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney. By reading this post, you agree this information is for informational use only and agree to hold Carpenter & Zuckerman harmless for any losses or damages as a result of this information. For more information, view our full disclaimer.
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