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Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney

motorcyclist injuredDo you need the help of an experienced California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer? Or maybe you have questions about a motorcycle accident and have not been able to get satisfactory answers. I can help with that.

I'm Ed Smith and I represent clients in the Sacramento area who have suffered serious injuries from a motorcycle accident. These accidents include crashes with negligent drivers such as hit-and-run drivers, drunk drivers, and uninsured or underinsured drivers.

My team and I also represent Sacramento area residents injured in motorcycle accidents resulting from defective products or designs in motorcycles.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

If you ride a motorcycle, you know the feeling of freedom cruising the open road. But riding a motorcycle can also be dangerous. As an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer of Sacramento, I know all too well that even good motorcyclists can't always protect themselves from negligent drivers.

There were 1,631 motorcycle accidents in the City of Sacramento from January 1, 2008, till December 31, 2017 (latest stats available). Most fatal motorcycle accidents occur on weekends between 3 pm and midnight.

Recent data shows that motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely than car occupants to die in a motor vehicle accident. Motorcyclists are overrepresented in traffic-related deaths, accounting for 14-percent while only representing 3-percent of registered motor vehicles.

How Common Are Fatal Motorcycle Accidents?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,286 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2016. Of the 5,286 killed, 94 percent were riders, while 6 percent were passengers.

The 2016 data shows that the most dangerous event for 55 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes involved collisions with motor vehicles in transport. In crashes involving two vehicles, 72 percent of motorcycles were hit in the front, while only 7 percent were hit in the rear.

Top Safety Tips for Riding a Motorcycle

To keep everyone safe on the road NHTSA is urging drivers and motorcyclists to be alert and share the road. Motorcyclists are also being reminded to make themselves visible, ride sober and always wear a helmet that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standard. You can look for the DOT symbol on the back of the helmet.

Safe motorcycling takes good judgment, balance, and coordination. Experienced motorcycle riders know traffic laws and they don’t take risks. Bikers ride defensively and leave plenty of room between their motorcycles and other vehicles. Most motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers who didn't see the motorcyclist. Safe riding practices from all drivers will help decrease the number of injuries and deaths.

Watch the following video to learn about seven essential tips for motorcycle safety.

Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Like other major traffic accidents, injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents can be terrifying. Injuries suffered as a result of these types of accidents can be severe and life-altering. You may have suffered whiplash or burns to your head or neck, nerve or spinal cord damage, brain injurybroken, fractured or dislocated bones, or even have lost the use of a limb. A top-rated Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney can help recover the compensation you need for your injuries and losses incurred.

Who's At Fault in an Accident Involving a Motorcycle?

Many insurance companies seem to believe that motorcyclists assume the risk of their own injuries because they choose to ride a motorcycle. Blame is usually placed on the motorcyclist for being in the wrong part of the lane, for not slowing down enough or even for not moving out of the offending vehicle's path. However, as a Sacramento motorcycle accident lawyer, I have found that most motorcycle vs car accidents occur when a driver of a vehicle does not check for bikers on the road. The majority of traffic accidents involving a motorcycle happen because drivers either turn left into the motorcyclist's path or pull out from a side street.

Who Pays for Medical Bills After a Motorcycle Crash?

s a motorcycle accident attorney in Sacramento, I understand that after going through such a traumatic event, your priority is to make sure all your medical bills and future treatments related to your injuries are paid so you do not suffer financially.

First, we will discuss your situation and go over the options available to you. Secondly, I will work with insurance companies and other parties involved in the case to make sure your claim is handled appropriately and quickly. And finally, if your needs are not met, I have no problem taking these parties to court to recover a fair personal injury settlement for your motorcycle collision.

Motorcycle Accident FAQ

I've been injured in a motorcycle accident, what should I do first?

After a car crash, you may be wondering if the other driver has auto insurance to cover your personal injury damages. An SR-19C form for a financial responsibility information request will need to be filed with the DMV to determine whether the driver responsible for the collision has a valid car insurance policy or not. If this DMV form concludes that the other driver has no insurance, then your uninsured motorist coverage may come into play and cover your damages, up to the limits of your policy.

I've been offered money for my totaled motorcycle by the insurance company. Do I have an option to keep my motorcycle?

Yes, you can “retain salvage” and keep the motorcycle. If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash and your bike is totaled, you have the option of keeping the bike but the insurance company handling your property damage claim will reduce the payment based on the value of the salvaged motorcycle. What this means is that you will (1) have to accept a lesser settlement offer based on the salvage value of the motorcycle – i.e., if the owner is keeping the motorcycle and the carrier could have received $500.00 or so for the salvage, so the carrier deducts the $500.00 or so from the actual cash value settlement; and (2) the carrier and/or you have an obligation to notify DMV that the motorcycle’s been salvaged which means that the pink slip on the motorcycle will say “salvaged title” (i.e., the motorcycle’s not worth a whole lot even if it is later fixed).

I was in a motorcycle accident and was not wearing a helmet. I broke my leg. The other party was at fault. Will this, nonetheless hurt my case?

California law requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet. If you had a head or brain injury and the helmet would have protected you, it would affect your case. In your case, wearing a helmet would not make any difference and this should not affect the compensation you receive from the other party.

 Watch the video below to find out what you should know about motorcycle accidents.

Photo by: ab

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.25.20]

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"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.