Lathrop Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycles are a popular way to get around Lathrop for work, play, and enjoy California's scenic beauty. However, there were 488 motorcyclist fatalities in the Golden State in 2018, an increase of almost 16 percent. When you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident because of someone else's negligence, a Lathrop, CA, motorcycle accident lawyer can help you get the compensation and justice you deserve. At our law firm, our attorneys have handled many cases in San Joaquin County involving injured bikers since 1982, and we may be able to help you and your family, too.How Juries Are Biased Against Motorcyclists
Public members are often unduly prejudiced regarding those who ride motorcycles, especially the faster ones. They believe that motorcycles are dangerous and that their riders are sometimes reckless. Having a top-rated Lathrop motorcycle accident injury attorney who can combat that prejudice, especially during jury selection if the case goes to court in San Joaquin County. This is one of the reasons that our law firm's founder, injury lawyer Ed Smith, wrote the California Motorcycle Accident Handbook. It is available at Amazon and can be read online for free. If you would like a free physical copy of the handbook, contact our law office today to have that arranged for you.Most Common Types of Motorcycle Collisions
Most motorcycle accidents with passenger vehicles or commercial trucks are caused by the driver. In many cases, it is because a motorist of a passenger vehicle is conditioned to keep an eye out for other cars and trucks but not for smaller vehicles like motorcycles. The most common types of collisions between motorcycle riders and motor vehicles are listed below:
- Head-on crashes: More than half of all motorcyclist fatalities occur through this type of accident, commonly happening on rural roads. These motorcycle collisions happen when a driver is in the oncoming traffic lane, passing another vehicle without checking that the road ahead is clear.
- Lane-splitting: Lane splitting is permitted under California Vehicle Code 21658.1. However, motorists may change lanes without looking for bikers, crowd a motorcyclist, or commit other actions that cause a motorcycle crash. Because the space for lane-splitting is reduced for the rider, it can be a dangerous undertaking.
- Left turns by motorists: Left turns by drivers are one of the top causes of motorcycle accidents and serious injuries. In some cases, the motorist believes they can complete their turn before causing problems with the motorcyclist. However, the driver may misjudge the distance and speed of a motorcycle rider, resulting in a wreck. In other instances, left-turn accidents happen at intersections or when the rider passes another vehicle.
- Rear-end collisions: A motorcyclist waiting at an intersection for the light to change can be struck by a motor vehicle. Often, the motorist is distracted by talking to a passenger, texting, or talking on their cell phone.
- Sudden stops: A motorist who suddenly stops can cause a motorcycle rider behind them to hit their vehicle. This can cause the rider to be ejected, resulting in severe trauma.
The following video by Lathrop motorcycle accident attorney Ed Smith explains what to look for in an injury lawyer following a biker crash.Staying Safe on the Road as a Motorcycle Rider
There are many things a motorcycle rider can do to stay safe on the road. Some suggestions are:
- Wear a government-approved helmet: If the helmet you are wearing is old or you've been in a motorcycle collision wearing it, it's time to replace it with a new one.
- Never drink or use drugs and then take to the road: Being intoxicated or using drugs affects a motorcycle rider the same way it would a motorist.
- Make yourself more conspicuous: Instead of wearing dark colors and riding a black motorcycle, using brighter colors will make you stand out more to other drivers sharing the road.
- Invest in safety clothing if possible: Jackets and pants with built-in airbags can be a lifesaver.
- Maintain your ride: Poor motorcycle maintenance can affect your performance and safety on the road.
- Follow traffic laws: Speeding, behaving recklessly while riding, and other negligent behavior can lead to a motorcycle crash.
An independent investigation of a motorcycle collision is necessary to prove fault by the negligent driver. This often includes the collection of evidence. As always, the client owes nothing until their case has been won under a contingency fee arrangement. Evidence collected by our experienced Lathrop, CA, motorcycle accident injury lawyers includes:
- Investigators check over the police report to find any errors that could interfere with filing a motorcycle accident injury claim for financial compensation.
- One of our Lathrop motorcycle accident lawyers examines the rider's medical records. This shows how and where the rider was struck and helps to determine damages by the injuries and their severity.
- Our team of experts can interview witnesses to the motorcycle crash to determine what they saw. They can appear as witnesses if the accident case cannot be settled with the auto insurance carrier.
- Signs of motorist negligence that caused the accident are sought, such as speeding, drunk or distracted driving, fatigue, and reckless behavior.
- Attorneys at our Lathrop motorcycle accident law firm look for roadway surveillance cameras that may have caught the collision on tape. In some cases, witnesses may have taped the accident as it happened. This evidence proves it can be used with the insurance company or court.
- Evidence of government negligence that might have caused or contributed to the collision is sought, which may include potholes, gravel, malfunctioning traffic signals, or other problems. If this is the case, the government entity in maintenance may be held financially responsible for any motorcycle accident injuries or fatalities. It is important to remember that the deadline to file a case against a government entity is much shorter. Your Lathrop motorcycle accident lawyer will ensure that all documents are filed on time.
When the investigators have compiled all the evidence, our experienced Lathrop motorcycle injury attorneys can construct a case that supports our client's compensation claim for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This is used during insurance negotiations or in court, if necessary.Lathrop, CA Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorneys
Our attorneys at AutoAccident.com understand the impact a motorcycle crash can have on you and your family. We want to help and protect your best interests from complex insurance companies. To get started on your case, call us for free, friendly advice at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400.