Stockton Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Whether commuting to school at Delta College or riding on the I-5 to work, motorcycle enthusiasts traveling in Stockton, California, face a significant risk of being involved in a severe collision. This may often result in serious injuries or even wrongful death. Motorcycles lack the most safety features typical in other motor vehicles, including a frame with structural protection, seatbelts, and airbags.
Motorcycles are far less forgiving when a rider makes an error and offer more limited handling during evasive maneuvers designed to avoid a road hazard. Motorcycles are less stable, so they are more likely to be involved in an accident with a car, truck, SUV, or tractor-trailer. A motorcycle accident also is expected to cause far more severe injuries than collisions involving four-wheeled passenger vehicles, which means motorcycle victims need an experienced lawyer in their corner.
If you were injured in a crash as a motorcyclist, call our Stockton motorcycle accident lawyers at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.National Statistics on Crashes Involving Motorcycle Riders
The statistical risk posed to motorcycle riders is apparent when considering a few statistics from the Insurance Information Institute (III). Approximately 4,600 people per year die in fatal motorcycle accidents. During a recent one-year period, motorcycle crash injuries increased by 4.5 percent.
While motorcycles constitute only 3 percent of all motor vehicles, they account for 14 percent of motor vehicle-related fatalities. The relative danger posed to motorcycle enthusiasts is reflected by the fact that anyone on a motorcycle is six times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident than someone in a passenger vehicle.
As startling as these numbers may seem, they understate the risk to motorcycle riders because they do not account for the fewer vehicle miles traveled by those who ride motorcycles. A motorcycle enthusiast is 26 times more likely to die in a collision than a passenger vehicle occupant on a per-mile driven basis.How Rider Inexperience May Contribute to Motorcycle Crashes
While rider inexperience contributes to many motorcycle accidents, many experienced and cautious motorcycle riders are involved in severe motorcycle accidents. Motorcycles are inherently unstable. When emergencies or road hazards occur in front of a motorcyclist, there is far more danger in executing drastic over-steering maneuvers or aggressively engaging the brakes.
Motorcyclists who employ either of these accident-avoidance techniques face a substantial risk of laying down their motorcycle and having their body slammed against the pavement with no structural protection from their vehicle. Motorcycle riders also are far less visible than other motor vehicles, so they are easily lost in a driver's blind spot.Common Causes of Vehicle Versus Motorcycle Wrecks
A Stockton motorcycle accident injury lawyer has the experience to handle litigation involving serious crash-related injuries involving a wide range of causes that include the following:
- Drivers of passenger vehicles who execute unsafe lane changes
- Motorcycles malfunction because of faulty maintenance or repair
- Motorcycle manufacturing or design defects
- Roadway defects (e.g., potholes and ridges)
- Motorists whose vision is obstructed by glare or other vehicles
- Slick roadways due to rain
- Failure to respect a motorcyclist's right of way
- Driver's failure to see or identify a motorcycle
- Deliberate unsafe actions by a passenger vehicle driver who does not respect motorcyclists
- Drivers of passenger vehicles impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Inattentive or distracted drivers of passenger vehicles
- Drivers who are speeding or otherwise engage in unsafe driving practices
Many potential causes of motorcycle accidents are on Stockton freeways like Interstate 5 and State Route 99 or busy streets like March Lane, Ben Holt Drive, Hammer Lane, El Dorado Street, and North Pershing.Traumatic Head Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes
Most motorcycle accidents' most dangerous type of impact is head trauma, resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This is why it is essential to wear a motorcycle helmet. A careful analysis of statistical data shows that the number of fatal motorcycle accidents directly correlates to the scope of a state's mandatory helmet law.
Motorcycle helmets are considered 37 percent effective in preventing fatal head injuries during crashes. The NHTSA estimates that in recent years motorcycle helmets saved the lives of almost 1,800 motorcycle enthusiasts, and an additional 800 people's lives would have been saved had they been wearing helmets. Those injured in a motorcycle crash frequently suffer catastrophic injuries that include:
- Amputation of limbs
- Quadriplegia or paraplegia caused by damage to the spinal cord
- Potential fatal vital organ injury
- Wrongful death
This devastating injury typically impairs a person's quality of life and results in substantial time off work. Many catastrophic injuries of this nature render a motorcycle accident victim permanently disabled and unable to care for oneself or loved ones. A skilled Stockton motorcycle accident lawyer from our law office understands the enormous emotional, physical, and financial challenges motorcyclists face from catastrophic injuries suffered in crashes. We tenaciously pursue the best possible recovery for our motorcycle accident clients. Potential damages might include:
- Lost Wages
- Diminished Earning Capacity
- Medical Expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Consortium
- Punitive Damages
- Other Damages Based on the Situation
There are other types of damages that we may be able to recover for you based on the circumstances of your motorcycle accident case. Still, the specific types of compensation you are entitled to receive will depend on your unique situation. Our experienced accident lawyers will carefully investigate the facts of your motorcycle accident claim to identify all potential defendants, including other motorists, the manufacturer of your motorcycle (component parts), or the public entity that failed to correct roadway defects.
For more on the types of damages that can be claimed in a motorcycle accident lawsuit, watch the video below:Stockton Motorcycle Accident FAQ
I was involved in a motorcycle accident, but wasn't seriously injured. Do I still need an accident attorney?
It's always a good idea to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer, even if you feel you weren't seriously injured. Not all injuries are apparent right after an accident. Some injuries can take hours, days, or even weeks to show up following an accident. It's essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible so your doctor can document any injuries you may have. An experienced Stockton motorcycle crash injury attorney can help you decide the appropriate legal action for your personal injury case.
Who can file a motorcycle accident personal injury case?
Following a motorcycle accident, the motorcyclist or passenger can file a personal injury accident lawsuit against the at-fault party. The statute of limitations varies from state to state regarding how long you have after the accident to file a claim. In California, you have two years after the date of the accident to file in most cases.
Are there any exceptions if the statute of limitations has run out?
The courts in California allow for exceptions under certain circumstances. An exception or tolling of the statutory time is allowed if the victim is mentally or physically incapacitated after the accident and if the victim is a minor. Once the victim reaches the age of 18, the two-year statute of limitations will apply. There are other exceptions. You should check with an experienced motorcycle crash injury lawyer in Stockton, California, to see if they apply.
Injury attorney Ed Smith and his knowledgeable legal team at AutoAccident.com have helped protect the rights and best interests of bikers hurt in motorcycle accidents since 1982. We have the resources and experience to get you maximum compensation. Call our Stockton motorcycle injury attorneys at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly case advice.
We are proud members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.
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Editor's Note: Updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 3.1.23]
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