Out of all states in the U.S., California is the one with the most significant number of registered motorcycles, most of them from Southern California. And it is of no surprise considering California has so many beautiful motorcycling routes and roads to travel on. The enchanting views and warm climate are other things that add to the appeal of riding a motorcycle riding in California.
Considering how many motorcycles there are on the roads, it is no surprise that California has more motorcycle accidents than any other state. Motorcycle riders are 27 times more at risk of being killed in a motorcycle accident than any other vehicle per mile driven.
At the same time, they are 5 times more likely to get seriously injured. Those injuries can be quite severe, from paralysis to permanent brain damage. The severity of injuries is far greater than any other type of vehicle accident simply because motorcycle riders are much more exposed during the impact.
Riders may be protected by a helmet and other protective gear, but unlike cars, their vehicle does not offer safety equipment like car shells or air bags.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes in California
There are many different causes of motorcycle accidents in California, but when we talk about crashes that are the rider’s fault, the most common causes are:
- Alcohol/drug use
- Failing to yield
- Incorrect turning
- Riding in the opposite lane
It is simple to understand how these could cause a motorcycle accident and why the responsibility for the crash falls to the motorcyclist. However, the data compiled by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) shows that more than half of all motorcycle accidents are, in fact, caused by another driver in another vehicle.
Out of those, left-turn accidents are the most common cause of motorcycle and car accidents. This type of accident happens when a car makes a left turn, not paying attention to the motorcycle in the opposite lane. Of course, the car’s driver is the one who failed to yield, but since the motorcycle crashed into a car, most insurance companies spin the story around to make it a motorcycle rider’s fault.
In California, it is vital to determine who is at fault when an accident occurs accurately. When the liability is determined, the injured party is entitled to seek compensation for their injuries or damages to their property.
Hiring an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney will help a wrongfully accused motorcycle rider prove that they were not responsible for the crash in case of a left-turn accident. Not only can their personal injury attorney get them out of paying compensation to the other driver, but they will also help them raise a motorcycle accident claim and seek compensation for themselves once the liability is determined correctly.
Most Common Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident
No matter how expensive a piece of motorcycle gear is, nothing can perfectly protect motorcycle riders from injuries or death. Furthermore, those who get injured in a motorcycle accident usually suffer multiple injuries, most commonly to their head, hips, legs, and arms.
Head trauma and brain injuries make about 30 percent of all motorcycle riders’ fatalities. Still, because many other injuries are involved, it is sometimes difficult to determine the actual cause of death.
According to the hospital data, the most common injuries in motorcycle accidents are:
- Leg/foot injuries (from sprained joints to fractures and amputations)
- Head trauma and brain injuries
- Damage to the internal organs
Road rash is one of the most common injuries of motorcycles that were hurt in a crash. It is a type of skin injury, an abrasion looking a lot like a burn, and it happens when the motorcycle rider falls to the ground, but either rolls away or gets dragged across the asphalt.
While they are being dragged, the contact with the asphalt can ”burn” and tear to several layers of clothing and cause a road rash.
Other injuries reported are leg, arm, knee, shoulder fractures, and minor facial injuries.
Compensation for Motorcycle Crash Injuries
As mentioned before, California is an at-fault state, meaning that after police conduct an official investigation of a motorcycle crash, you will know who the liable party for the accident is. Of course, your motorcycle accident attorney, as well as any insurance agent, is free to conduct a separate investigation in order to prove the liability. Still, if you were hurt by someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation.
An injured motorcyclist can recover compensation for all his past and future medical bills related to the injuries sustained in a crash. They can also receive a payout to replace the loss of income or any other expenses caused by an accident.
Furthermore, they are entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering they endured as a result of the accident but also mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.
If the motorcycle rider was killed in a motorcycle accident by no fault of their own, their close family members are also entitled to compensation. Hiring a personal injury attorney to help them raise a wrongful death claim would be the best option in this situation.