Perhaps due in part to the weather, motorcycling is a fairly popular means of transportation in the State of California. As of 2017, there were 1,465,322 licensed motorcycle drivers in the state. Unfortunately, more motorcyclists also correlate with more motorcycle accidents.
According to the Annual Report of Fatal and Injury Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions as prepared by the California Highway Patrol, there were 581 motorcyclists in fatal crashes and 14,041 in injury crashes in the year of 2017. Of note, motorcyclists are not always at fault for these accidents – other drivers were at fault for 30.3% of the fatal accidents and 48.3% of injury accidents.
Operating a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than driving a car. Due to the nature of open wheel riding, motorcycles provide a thrilling experience at the expense of the additional protection provided by a regular vehicle. Accordingly, they must be attentive drivers – but they share equal rights on the roads and other drivers have a duty to be aware of and operate safely around motorcycles. One mistake by another driver can cause a rider to fall off their bike and sustain serious injuries.
Determining fault and seeking compensation
If a motorcyclist suffers serious injury due to the negligence of another driver, it may be possible to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. A driver might be considered to have caused an accident if the person was driving distracted, changing lanes without signaling, driving aggressively, or tailgating.
In many cases, evidence gathered during the investigation – often spearheaded by an experienced attorney working the case – may help those in need prove their case and obtain much needed damages.