How Unsafe Is Riding a Motorcycle?

Many people throughout the United States believe that riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous, and this is true for many reasons. While every driver faces a wide range of risks every time they operate their vehicle, there are many severe safety risks unique to motorcycles that all riders must acknowledge. If you own and operate a motorcycle in Southern California, acknowledging the risks you face on your bike can help you be a more defensive driver, limiting your risk of causing an accident. However, if another driver causes a motorcycle accident with you, it’s vital to know how you can hold them accountable.

Inherent Safety Risks of Motorcycles

Almost all passenger vehicles in the United States come with various safety features designed to mitigate, and in some cases prevent, damage from accidents. For example, many newly manufactured vehicles have crash-absorbing frames designed to crumple and protect the driver and passenger cabin. Most enclosed vehicles also have airbags and seatbelts to minimize crash impact forces on drivers and passengers. Unfortunately, motorcycles lack all these features, offering their riders very little physical protection when an accident occurs.

Motorcycles are also smaller and harder to see than larger passenger vehicles. This can leave riders especially vulnerable in periods of severe weather, low visibility, at night, or in places with heavy traffic congestion. It’s easy for motorcycles to be lost in other drivers’ blind spots, and it is also possible for motorcyclists to engage in risky maneuvers that endanger themselves and others around them.

How to Limit Your Risk of Having a Motorcycle Accident

California uses a fault rule for resolving vehicle accidents. This means whoever causes an accident is responsible for any resulting damage to others. Therefore, every California driver must have auto insurance that meets the state’s coverage requirements, which also applies to motorcyclists. Anyone intending to purchase and use a motorcycle in the state should remember that motorcycle insurance is likely more expensive than standard car insurance due to the vehicle’s inherent safety risks.

Safe driving is the best way to limit your risk of facing liability for a motorcycle crash. While you cannot always anticipate the actions of others, you can be a defensive driver, follow all posted traffic signals, and operate your bike attentively at all times. In addition, if another party causes an accident, you have the right to hold them accountable for all the damages their actions caused.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Southern California

If another driver caused an accident with you while you were riding your motorcycle, the first steps you take after the incident have a profound influence on any subsequent recovery efforts you pursue. You need emergency medical attention when a motorcycle accident results in severe injuries. If you are seriously hurt, do not move and risk worsening your injuries. Instead, wait for paramedics and consult an attorney as soon as you stabilize. If you can move around after an accident, do so carefully and try to document as much as possible from the scene of the crash. Photos of your injuries, the damage to your bike, and the surrounding area can all be helpful to your recovery efforts.

Whether you think you can resolve your recent motorcycle accident with an auto insurance claim or are bracing for a more expansive personal injury suit, you must have legal counsel you can trust to maximize your chances of success. An experienced attorney can assist you with filing your insurance claim. If that is not enough to fully compensate for your losses, they can help you with a personal injury suit to enhance your recovery.

Potential Damages and Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident Claim

One of the most important safety risks of motorcycling that all riders must acknowledge is that injuries are more likely in motorcycle accidents than in enclosed vehicle accidents. Additionally, the injuries are often far more serious than those reported from accidents involving enclosed passenger vehicles. Some of the most commonly reported injuries from motorcycle accidents in Southern California are:

  • Traumatic brain injuries. California requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear appropriately fitted helmets at all times. However, even the best helmets can only reduce the severity of a brain injury and may not prevent them entirely. Brain injuries are the most commonly reported motorcycle accident injuries and the most commonly reported fatal injuries.
  • Spinal cord injury. Any injury to the spinal cord can permanently disrupt the brain’s ability to communicate with parts of the body below the injury site. Spinal injuries can result in diminished sensation, reduced range of motion, or even complete paralysis. This is because the spinal cord cannot repair damaged nerve cells like the rest of the body.
  • Bone fractures. Crash impact forces can easily cause severely broken bones. Some fractures will heal completely with appropriate care, while others require extensive surgical correction and long-term recovery, potentially including chronic pain and nerve damage.
  • Friction burns, also called “road rash.” When a rider is thrown from their bike and slides on the road surface, the friction of sliding can cause fragments of the road to become embedded in the skin, and extensive soft tissue damage is possible across wide regions of the body.

Many motorcycle accidents in Southern California result in multiple injuries, and victims are likely to have many questions regarding their options for legal recourse. The right attorney is an invaluable asset after any motorcycle accident, and the sooner you secure representation, the sooner your legal team can start building your case.

Find Your Legal Counsel Now

Time is an important factor in any civil claim for damages. California places a two-year statute of limitations on most personal injury claims, including those pertaining to vehicle accidents. You also have a limited window to file your insurance claim, and failing to report the accident on time can interfere with your recovery efforts. Perry Personal Injury Lawyers can provide the responsive legal counsel you need to recover from your motorcycle accident. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney you can trust with your case.