The Rights of Motorcycle Riders involved in Motorcycle Accidents

Lawsuits arising out of motorcycle accidents often involve allegations that the motorcyclist's own  negligence in some way caused or contributed to his or her injuries.  Therefore, it is important that an experienced motorcycle attorney is familiar with the rules and regulations involving motorcycles, their riders, and other motor vehicles.  

Given the general bias against motorcyclists, no matter whether a motorcyclist is a plaintiff or defendant in an injury case arising out of an accident, there are frequently issues as to the motorcyclist's potential negligence and his or her role in causing the injuries.  This is why cases involving motorcycles are often more difficult and complicated than cases involving automobiles.  

Motorcycles are lawful vehicles and their rights on the highways and roadways are the same as automobiles.  As a general rule, owners and operators of motorcycles have the right to use the public highways on an equal footing with the owners and operators of other vehicles.  Thus, a motorcyclist has neither a greater nor lesser right than any other motorist, and the same general principles governing their rights on roadways applies.

Many injury cases arise from motorcycle accidents, and more often than not the motorcyclist appears as the plaintiff, despite a bias that motorcyclists cause more accidents than they are a victim of.  This is probably due to the fact that most motorcycle accident cases involve a collision with another motor vehicle that is considerably larger and heavier than a motorcycle, such as an automobile or truck.  A biased perception exists that motorcyclists drive too fast and too unsafely and therefore are the cause of many accidents.  This simply isn't true.  But unfortunately it is the motorcyclist who generally suffers the most severe injuries in these accidents because, obviously, they are not as protected on two wheels are people are within four wheeled vehicles.

The term "motorcycle" is defined as a two-wheeled automotive vehicle, sometimes having one or two riding saddles, and sometimes having a third wheel for the support of a side car, but it should be noted, however, that while it is questionable whether a motorcycle constitutes an automobile within the strict definition of the term, the overwhelming weight of authority supports the view that a motorcycle is a motor vehicle within the meaning of statutes and ordinances regulating the operation of such vehicles. 

The Law Offices of Edward A. Smith are experienced motorcycle accident attorneys expert in motorcycle rules and regulations.

Call us anytime for free, friendly advice. Sacramento 916.921.6400.  Or contact us online.

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