Roseville Motorcycle Accident Attorney
The State of California is almost synonymous with motorcycle riding: long stretches of open freeway and (generally) fair and temperate weather makes California an ideal place to own and ride a motorcycle. Even in the more northern reaches of the state around Roseville, motorcyclists can be seen cruising around town or traveling up and down Interstate 80. While the climate of California may be hospitable to motorcyclists, the state’s roadways and highways are not. The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that:
- In 2012, 447 motorcyclists were killed in fatal accidents on California roads;
- In 2013, this number jumped 1.4 percent to 453 motorcyclist fatalities;
- Over this same time period, there was an increase in the number of improperly licensed motorcycle drivers who were killed in fatal crashes.
Motorcycle crashes have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries to motorcyclists, leaving them unable to work or engage in the same work or activities as before and (potentially) unable to walk or live independently. This makes motorcycle crashes extremely expensive for injured motorcyclists and their families. Through a motorcycle crash lawsuit, however, injured motorcyclists whose crash was caused by the careless actions of another person may be able to recover compensation for their injuries.Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle accidents often occur because the motorcyclist and/or another driver made a poor decision or acted in a careless manner. This means that many motorcycle accidents could have been avoided had one or more parties acted in a more careful manner. Some of the reasons motorcycle accidents occur include:
- Driving while distracted (such as texting while driving, adjusting the radio, or otherwise not paying attention to the road);
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (whether prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal drugs);
- Disobeying traffic laws and ordinances;
- Failing to properly signal before changing lanes;
- Stopping or accelerating suddenly;
- Speeding or traveling too fast considering the road and traffic conditions;
- Failing to check one’s “blind spots” before switching lanes, turning, or opening one’s car door.
A motorcyclist’s own behavior and conduct can contribute to his or her injuries: for example, riding without a properly-fitted and approved helmet can increase the chances of the motorcyclist suffering a traumatic brain injury or spine and neck injury. Failing to wear proper protective clothing can likewise increase the chances of the motorcyclist suffering severe “road rash” – scrapes, cuts, and lacerations attributable to the motorcyclist skidding or sliding across pavement after having been thrown from his or her motorcycle. Even where a motorcyclist’s own behavior is potentially negligent, however, California law may still allow the motorcyclist to recover some compensation from another driver or motorcyclist who also contributed to the crash and the motorcyclist’s injuries. It is best to discuss your case with a Roseville motorcycle lawyer who can advise you whether you have a viable claim and, if so, what facts or circumstances about your case might result in a diminution of your recovery.Injuries Unique to Motorcycle Crashes
In a typical car crash, both the drivers and occupants of each car are protected from some of the forces and dangers of the impact because of the cars’ bumpers, air bags, and frame. These safety features (and others) are designed to work together so that as little force as possible impacts the occupants of the car and that the occupants are kept as safe as possible. Motorcyclists do not enjoy any of these protections: in fact, in most cases the motorcyclist’s only protection from the effects of a crash is his or her helmet and whatever protective clothing he or she is wearing. Motorcyclists can suffer:
- Severe cuts and lacerations or abrasions from sliding across concrete or pavement;
- Broken bones and internal injuries;
- Spine and neck injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Amputations/loss of limbs;
- Pelvic/hip and groin injuries (attributable to straddling the motorcycle);
The severity of a motorcyclist’s injuries will depend on a number of factors, including: the speed of the vehicle and/or motorcycle at the time of the collision, what protective equipment the motorcyclist was using, whether the motorcyclist was tossed from his or her bike, what objects the motorcyclist collided with after being thrown from his or her motorcycle, and other similar factors.What Should I Do After a Roseville Motorcycle Accident
If you are a motorcyclist and you have just been involved in a motorcycle accident, your first concern should be seeking immediate medical evaluation and treatment. Prompt medical treatment is essential to preventing any injuries you sustained from worsening or becoming more problematic to treat. Even if you feel fine or do not believe you have been seriously injured, you should still seek medical evaluation to ensure that you do not have any internal injuries that have simply not yet manifested symptoms.
Once you have summoned medical help and if you are physically capable of doing so, you should try to accomplish the following tasks while at the scene of the crash:
- Obtain the name, contact information, and insurance information of any other driver involved. If the driver who caused your accident flees the scene, try to write down as good of a description as possible of what the driver looked like and his or her car. Make sure to deliver this information to the police and keep a copy for your own records.
- Obtain the name and contact information of any witness present at the scene who says he or she observed the accident occur. You may need the testimony of these individuals to help you succeed in your motorcycle accident lawsuit.
- Take photographs of the accident scene with a smartphone. Try to take as many pictures as possible of the entire accident scene, the vehicles involved, the debris created by the accident, your injuries, and road signs and road markings that may be present around the scene of the crash. It is better to take too many pictures than to take too few.
- Get the name of the officer, his or her department, and his or her badge number who investigates the accident so that you can later obtain his or her police report and any accompanying pictures or diagrams. This may provide you with additional evidence to support your claim for compensation.
In addition, as soon as possible following the accident you should write down how you remember the accident occurring in detail. Try to remember as many facts as you can and make your writing legible. This will prove useful when you need to provide a description of the accident as you will not have to rely upon your memory to fill in important details.How a Roseville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you have been injured in a Roseville motorcycle crash, you are probably focused (and rightly so) on your recovery and rehabilitation. A motorcycle crash lawyer can help you protect and assert your legal rights during this time.Consult with the Law Offices of Edward A. Smith
I’m Ed Smith, a Roseville Motorcycle Accident Attorney, with the primary accident information site on the web, AutoAccident.com. I have been helping injured motorcyclists in and around Roseville for over thirty years.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury during a motorcycle accident in Roseville or elsewhere in California, call me now at 916.921.6400 in Roseville for fast, friendly advice.
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