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The Rights of Motorcycle Riders Involved in Motorcycle Accidents

Rights Of MotorcyclistsHaving an idea of the rights of motorcycle riders in cases of motor vehicle crashes is critical. Often, it is assumed that motorcycle accidents are caused by the negligence of the motorcyclist involved.

In a personal injury case, it is essential to know the ins and outs of motorcycle accidents, implications for motorcycle riders, and the involvement of other drivers. Learn about the rights and responsibilities of motorcyclists injured in crashes by contacting a motorcycle injury attorney near you.

Settlement Factors in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
Lawsuits arising out of motorcycle accidents often involve allegations where the motorcyclist's own negligence, in some way, caused or contributed to his or her injuries. It is critical an experienced accident attorney is familiar with the legal rights of motorcycle riders to ensure they are fairly compensated for their injuries and damages.

Given the general bias against bikers, no matter whether a motorcycle rider 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.

What Legal Responsibilities and Rights do Motorcyclists Have?

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. A motorcyclist has neither a greater nor lesser right than any other motorist and the same general principles governing their rights on roadways apply.

Biases Against Motorcycle Riders

Many injury claims arise from motorcycle accidents. And more often than not, the motorcyclist appears to the plaintiff, despite a bias where motorcyclists cause more accidents than they are a victim of. This is probably due to the fact where most motorcycle accident cases involve a collision with another motor vehicle which 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 causes of many accidents. This simply isn't true. Unfortunately, it is the motorcyclist who generally suffers the most severe injuries in these accidents. Obviously, protection is greater when riding four-wheeled vehicles as opposed to two-wheel motorcycles without any enclosure, too.

What is the Legal Definition of a Motorcycle?

The term "motorcycle" is defined as a two-wheeled automotive vehicle. Sometimes, it has one or two riding saddles, and sometimes, having a third wheel for the support of a sidecar. Yet, it should be noted 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 where a motorcycle is a motor vehicle within the meaning of statutes and ordinances regulating the operation of such vehicles.

The rights of motorcyclists may differ from drivers. So, a biker should look for a lawyer who is experienced in handling motorcycle accident injury cases. Check out this video by injury attorney, Ed Smith, on what you should look for in a motorcycle accident lawyer:

The simplest way to learn about your legal rights and responsibilities as a motorcyclist is to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Remember to keep pursuing if the first attorney you talk to declines to represent you. One attorney may see a claim worth pursuing while another may not.

Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Injured Bikers 

At, our experienced accident attorneys are well-versed in California’s laws on the rights of motorcycle riders. We have the skills and resources needed to prove your injury claim to difficult insurance companies. Call us for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

See our client reviews on AvvoGoogle, and Yelp, and our past cases on our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 10.1.20]

Photo by: Orientaly /

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