Californians choose to ride motorcycles for a variety of reasons. For some, it is an economical and environmentally conscious mode of transportation. Others enjoy the thrill of a bike’s power and want to capitalize on our scenic roads and year-round good weather. In Los Angeles, Vespa-type cycles are very popular. While people might refer to them as “mopeds,” the state of California considers many of them to be motorcycles.
Motorcyclists deserve the same respect as other motorists, but unfortunately, their rights are often violated on California roads, and they are seriously injured or killed as a result. Joshua Cohen Slatkin is an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who believes in standing up for bikers who have been seriously injured. He will give you and your family personalized one-on-one attention and make sure you receive the best settlement possible.
How Drivers of Cars and Trucks Cause Motorcycle Crashes
We are eager to represent motorcycle riders who are the innocent victims of crashes caused by the careless and negligent actions of other motorists. Some of the ways riders can get hurt are caused by:
- Driver distraction. Motorcycles and mopeds are hard to see because they are small compared to cars and trucks on the road, but that doesn’t excuse a driver from being aware of their presence. When a driver is distracted or simply not paying attention, they can easily fail to see a rider near them.
- Failure to yield. Even when a driver sees a motorcycle, the driver might decide the biker doesn’t deserve the same regard as another car. They might violate traffic laws by trying to beat the bike through an intersection, preventing it from merging, or cutting it off in a lane-change.
- Speeding. When cars and trucks exceed the speed limit, they are less likely to see and avoid smaller, possibly slower, mopeds and motorcycles. If a driver causes an accident while speeding, they should be held accountable.
- Impaired driving. A drunk driver’s senses and reaction times are impaired, making it dangerous for motorcycles in their path. An impaired driver may not see a bike on the road and may be unable to react quickly to avoid hitting the rider.
- Dangerous conditions on public or private roadways. Roadways and sidewalks in Los Angeles are riddled with potholes, uneven pavement, and wear and tear from traffic, which cause dangerous conditions on public and private roadways, posing a serious danger to motorcyclists. An intersection may not have legally compliant traffic lights or stop signs, for example, and an experienced personal injury lawyer can show this was a contributing factor to the motorcycle crash and hold the government entities accountable.
- Los Angeles and other cities fail to inspect and maintain their roadways, which can be a contributing factor to a motorcycle crash. There are strict time limitations to bring claims in California against government entities. Legal claims against government entities, like the city of Los Angeles, must be filed within 6 months of the incident. So if you feel that a dangerous condition on a public roadway in California caused your motorcycle crash, you must contact an experienced personal injury lawyer right away.
When you work with our motorcycle accident attorney, you can be sure we will investigate the accident, determine the cause of the crash, and hold the at-fault driver accountable for their negligence.
Injuries Suffered by Motorcycle and Moped Accident Victims
Bikers are clearly vulnerable to sustain serious injuries and even wrongful death when they crash. Even when wearing helmets and other protective gear, they are much more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries than an occupant of a car or truck. Typical motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Helmets do a lot to protect the brain, but riders can suffer a debilitating TBI even when they are wearing a helmet.
- Spinal cord damage. Hitting the pavement at a high rate of speed can cause a fracture in the vertebrae that damages the spinal cord and causes full or partial paralysis.
- Serious fractures. Broken wrists and arms are common when a rider falls from a motorcycle or moped, but a fractured pelvis, clavicle, or femur can happen in a collision at higher speeds, causing a life-long disability.
- Road rash. When a biker’s bare skin slides on pavement, they can lose several layers of skin and risk serious infection. While road rash might not seem like a severe injury, it definitely can be.
- Facial injuries. Bikers who choose to wear helmets without a face shield—which they have a right to do—can suffer fractures to facial bones as well as dental and eye injuries.
Catastrophic injuries causing permanent disabilities will require a lifetime of treatment and care. Serious injuries and resulting disabilities also result in past and future lost earnings as the motorcyclist is unable to work in the same job or at the same frequency as they did prior to the crash. Sadly, such injuries are very costly for the victim and the family. Joshua Cohen Slatkin is experienced in obtaining the full value of a claim to ensure that the rider is fully compensated for their current and future economic damages.