Motorcycle Accidents

Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Protecting the rights of clients injured in California motorcycle accidents caused by negligence

Los Angeles has some of the busiest streets in the country. While motorcycles are an attractive option to get around more quickly, riders face the dangers of the highway and run the risk of being hit by other vehicles every time they climb on their bikes. After a collision, you are going to need help from an experienced attorney if you are entitled to damages.

The Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP are here to help. For more than 30 years, we have aggressively represented motorcycle riders throughout California who have been critically injured by securing millions in fair and just compensation, including $6 million on behalf of a client who was left paralyzed after being hit by a car. Contact us for a free consultation and speak with one of our attorneys.

How does California's comparative fault law apply to motorcycle accident injury claims?

While the term "comparative fault" might sound complicated, it is really just a way of determining the percentage of fault for each party involved in the accident. Sometimes, both parties in the traffic crash may share some degree of fault in causing the crash.

For example: the driver of a sedan casts only a cursory glance before making a left-hand turn because she was driving after having too much to drink. The motorcyclist looked down to shuffle the playlist on his phone; when he looked up it was too late and he collided with the turning vehicle.

According to the legal principle of pure comparative negligence, the parties each receive compensation based on the percentage of fault the jury has assigned to them. If the jury decides that the motorcyclist was 15 percent at fault, the compensation the rider receives will be reduced by 15 percent. So, if the award was $50,000, the motorcyclist would receive $42,400.

Motorcycle helmet laws in California

California is one of the 19 states in the U.S. which has a universal helmet law. It requires that motorcycle riders and passengers, regardless of age and the type of road they are traveling on, are required to wear a helmet that meets federal safety standards when riding a motorcycle. The helmet must be a DOT compliant helmet, which means that it was manufactured in compliance with federal safety standards.

In the previous example, if the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet and he or she sustained a serious head injury in the crash, the judge may find that the rider shares some portion of the fault for the severity of  the injuries which could have been diminished  or prevented by wearing a helmet. These are all complex legal considerations which would benefit from the guidance and experience of a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer.

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What causes motorcycle accidents?

There are countless factors that can lead to a motorcycle accident, including:

  • Left turn accidents
  • Speeding
  • Car doors opening
  • Drunk driving
  • Tailgating and unexpected stops

Examples of motorcycle accident injuries

Due to a motorcyclist’s lack of protection in an accident, motorcycle crashes tend to have serious injuries, including:

  • Head injuries such as a skull fracture can occur if the rider was not wearing a helmet, or when the helmet was defective or failed.
  • Traumatic brain injury which can cause lifelong disability and require ongoing medical care.
  • Spinal cord injury which can vary based on level of injury and the severity of the trauma. A person might sustain a partial or complete paralysis, which will require home health care, multiple surgeries, and leaves a person vulnerable to infections and respiratory problems.
  • Broken bones such as broken shoulders, arms wrists, knees, ankles and feet due to the rider’s lack of protection from other vehicles and from the roadway.
  • Road rash which is the result of the rider’s skin scraping on the pavement after a crash. Road rash is categorized by degrees with a first-degree road rash appearing as scrapes and reddish skin; a second degree injury will have broken skin, bleeding and may cause scarring; and a third-degree road rash scrapes through all of the layers of the skin and will likely require surgical skin grafts to repair.
  • Damage to internal organs which can occur from the force of the crash even if there are no puncture wounds to the body.

Motorcycle accident injuries caused by defective bike parts

Just like on any motor vehicle, each part on a motorcycle is essential to its safe operation. When a motorcycle part malfunctions because it is defective, it can cause a terrible crash with injuries and even fatalities. There are several critical parts that can cause the rider to lose control and crash, including:

  • Defective brakes
  • Defective tires
  • Defective steering systems
  • Fuel system defects
  • Defective helmet
  • Other defective parts

If, during the accident investigation it becomes clear that the motorcycle crash was caused by a defective part, there are several parties who you might be able to hold liable for your injuries, including:

  • Motorcycle manufacturer
  • Part manufacturer
  • Maintenance technician
  • Motorcycle dealer

Which types of damages are available for a motorcycle accident injury claim?

After you have successfully proven the defendant’s liability, you may be able to recover the following types of damages depending on the facts of your case:

  • Expenses for medical care in the past, present and future related to the motorcycle accident injury
  • Lost wages from time you missed at work recuperating from your injuries
  • Disability for permanent injuries from the accident
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Wrongful death

If you have sustained a serious injury in a motorcycle accident that was a result of someone else’s negligence, contact a Los Angeles motorcycle accident injury attorney.

Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney today

Recovering from motorcycle accident injuries can take an emotional and financial toll, but you don’t have to face this journey alone.  The Los Angeles injury lawyers at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP will fight to ensure that your long-term medical, psychological and financial needs are met. Call our office today at 310.474.1582 or complete our contact form to consult with one of our knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorneys.