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Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Injured in a Los Angeles motorcycle accident? We can help.

A motorcycle accident has the potential to cause serious injuries or even the death of the motorcyclist and others. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident in the Los Angeles area, you may be wondering what to do next. In the face of mounting medical bills and financial problems caused by lost earnings, you may feel helpless. This is when it is time to involve a legal professional. A Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney at Martinian Lawyers may be able to help you resolve your financial difficulties while holding the responsible party accountable.

A person injured in a motorcycle accident may be able to hold the responsible party or parties accountable by filing a personal injury lawsuit. This lawsuit, filed in civil court, gives the victim the opportunity to seek financial compensation for the injuries he or she has suffered. This may include money for medical expenses, ongoing medical care, physical therapy, lost earnings, loss of future wages, property damage and even emotional trauma such as pain and suffering. This can help the victim of a motorcycle accident rebuild and move on with his or her life.

In handling motorcycle accident cases, our Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers fight for maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free case consultation!

What Makes Martinian Lawyers Unique In Los Angeles Motorcycle Accidents

First and foremost – Our deep understanding of the unique challenges and prejudices motorcyclists face on the roads provides a foundation for our advocacy. Recognizing that motorcyclists are often unjustly blamed or stereotyped in accidents, our experienced legal team works tirelessly to counteract these biases, presenting clear, compelling evidence that showcases the true events.

Next, our firm boasts a comprehensive network of experts, including accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, and investigators who have a deep understanding of motorcycle incidents. This ensures that every detail, from the angle of a skid mark to the nuances of a rider’s injuries, is meticulously analyzed and presented. Our commitment doesn’t stop at the technical aspects; we prioritize open and empathetic communication with our clients, understanding the emotional and physical trauma many motorcyclists undergo post-accident.

Lastly, our proven track record in Los Angeles, a city known for its bustling traffic and complex roadways, speaks volumes. We’ve successfully navigated the intricacies of local laws, regulations, and courtrooms, securing favorable outcomes for countless motorcyclists. When choosing Martinian Lawyers, clients aren’t just getting legal representation; they’re partnering with a dedicated team that understands and champions the rights of motorcyclists in the City of Angels.

Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Statistics

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), there were 2,637 motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles County that caused injury to at least one person in 2010. There were 74 fatal motorcycle accidents that same year. The number of injury motorcycle accidents represents a mere 5.25% of all injury traffic accidents in Los Angeles County, but the number of fatal motorcycle accidents represents nearly 14% of fatal traffic collisions in the county. These statistics are evidence of the severity of motorcycle collisions and their potential to cause fatalities.

The hazard motorcyclist’s face is well-documented and recognized. According to a traffic accident report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

Per vehicle mile traveled in 2011, motorcyclists were over 30 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and 5 times more likely to be injured.

Injury Considerations in Los Angeles Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents may cause catastrophic injuries to the rider of the motorcycle because of the smaller size of the bike and the fact that the rider is not protected by a steel frame, seatbelt and airbag like the occupants of a car, SUV or truck. Motorcyclists are exposed and are prone to injury even when they are wearing helmets (as required by California law) and proper protective clothing, gloves and boots. The force of impact and contact with the pavement can cause severe road rash, lacerations, broken bones and loss of limb. This makes recovering maximum compensation all the more important.

Some considerations to take into account include:

  • Severity of Injuries: Motorcyclists are at high risk for severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, fractures, and road rash due to their exposure.
  • Medical Expenses: Costs from motorcycle accidents can be significant, encompassing emergency care, surgeries, rehab, medication, and ongoing treatments.
  • Recovery Time: Extensive recovery may hinder the victim’s daily life and work, with some facing long-term or permanent disabilities.
  • Loss of Income: Prolonged recovery or disabilities can reduce earning potential and destabilize finances.
  • Pain and Suffering: Beyond physical harm, victims often face considerable emotional and psychological distress.
  • Insurance Challenges: Varied insurance policies and potential undervaluation by insurers highlight the importance of understanding one’s policy and seeking legal guidance.
  • Establishing Fault: Proving liability involves evidence collection, witness accounts, and sometimes accident reconstruction.
  • Helmet Implications: Helmet usage, while protective, can also impact the legal and compensation aspects of a claim

Common Causes of Los Angeles Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles occur due to a variety of factors, often stemming from the bustling urban environment and complex traffic conditions:

  • Distracted Driving – With a rise in the use of smartphones and other devices, drivers are often distracted, leading to a significant number of accidents involving motorcycles.
  • Lane Splitting – Lane splitting, while legal in California, can be risky. Accidents often occur when either the motorcyclist or vehicle driver misjudges speed and distance while lane splitting is taking place.
  • Speeding – Excessive speed is a common cause of motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles. Both motorcyclists and vehicle drivers are guilty of speeding, which reduces reaction times and increases accident severity.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – Alcohol or drug impairment is a major factor in motorcycle accidents, affecting the ability of drivers and motorcyclists to operate their vehicles safely.
  • Poor Road Conditions – Los Angeles roads can be hazardous for motorcyclists due to potholes, uneven surfaces, and lack of proper signage, contributing to accidents.
  • Left-Turn Accidents – These accidents typically happen when a vehicle makes a left turn in front of a motorcyclist, not recognizing or misjudging their speed and distance.
  • Inexperience – Inexperienced riders may struggle to navigate through the busy Los Angeles traffic, resulting in accidents.
  • Defective Equipment – Motorcycles with faulty parts or that are not maintained properly can malfunction, leading to accidents.
  • Adverse Weather Conditions – While Los Angeles has mostly mild weather, occasional rain can make roads slick and dangerous for motorcyclists.
  • Reckless Driving – Recklessness and aggressive driving by either party can lead to severe accidents, with motorcyclists often suffering more due to lack of protection.

Los Angeles Motorcycle Helmet Laws

In Los Angeles, it is mandatory for all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets while on the road, as stipulated under California Vehicle Code Section 27803. Helmets must comply with safety standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), or the Snell Memorial Foundation. DOT-approved helmets typically feature a thick inner liner, robust chin straps with rivets, and a DOT certification sticker visible on the exterior. Furthermore, helmets need to fit snugly without impeding the wearer’s vision, securely fastened to avoid coming off during an accident. If a helmet lacks a visor, riders are obligated to wear additional eye protection, like goggles or safety glasses.

Failure to adhere to California’s helmet law can lead to fines and penalties. Additionally, riders who neglect to wear a helmet may bear liability for their injuries in the event of an accident, potentially impacting their compensation claims. It’s crucial to note that the helmet law applies universally, with no exceptions for the age or experience level of the rider or passenger. Non-compliance not only results in legal penalties but also complicates legal matters if an accident occurs, especially when the absence of a helmet contributes to preventable or aggravated injuries.

Los Angeles Motorcycle Lane Splitting Laws

In 2016, California enacted Assembly Bill 51, making it the first state to formally legalize lane splitting. The bill not only defines lane splitting but also empowers the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to establish safety guidelines pertaining to the practice. Although there are no stringent laws overseeing how lane splitting should be conducted, the CHP has set forth general safety recommendations for riders. Motorcyclists engaged in lane splitting should not travel more than 10 mph faster than the surrounding traffic, as significant speed differentials can elevate the risk of accidents. Furthermore, lane splitting is advisable only when the traffic speed is 30 mph or slower, with the practice becoming increasingly dangerous as the speed of the surrounding traffic rises.

The CHP’s safety guidelines also advise motorcyclists to practice lane splitting primarily between the far-left lanes, avoiding it near freeway exits and on-ramps. To enhance their visibility to other drivers, motorcyclists should wear bright or reflective clothing and utilize daytime running lights. Staying alert to the environment, anticipating the potential movements of other drivers, and being ready to react swiftly and safely are also crucial components of safe lane splitting.

While lane splitting is legal, riders who engage in dangerous or irresponsible lane splitting can still be cited for reckless driving, with penalties such as tickets for excessive speed while engaging in the practice.

Statute of Limitations in Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Claims

In Los Angeles, statutes of limitations are crucial to understand for those intending to file motorcycle accident claims, as they delineate the permissible time frame for initiating claims for injuries and damages. Typically, individuals have two (2) years from the accident date to file personal injury claims, whether they are riders, passengers, or pedestrians affected by the incident. Claims specifically for property damage, such as to motorcycles or other personal belongings, must be filed within three (3) years from the date of the accident. In tragic instances where a motorcycle accident results in death, the family or representatives of the deceased individual have two years from the date of death — not necessarily the accident date — to file a wrongful death claim.

However, there are noteworthy exceptions to these general rules. The statute of limitations for minors (those under 18) does not commence until they reach the age of 18. For victims who are mentally incapacitated, the statute of limitations is typically paused until they recover, at which point the clock resumes. Furthermore, claims against government entities, such as city or state agencies, require prompt action, with claims often needing to be filed within six months from the accident date. Given these variations and nuances, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is advisable to navigate the specific legal requirements and deadlines applicable to each individual case.

Injury Attorneys for Motorcycle Accident Victims in the Los Angeles Area

If you or someone you love were injured in a motorcycle accident as a motorcyclist, pedestrian or other motorist, now is the time to arrange a free case review with a legal professional from our firm. We can analyze and investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident to determine its cause and therefore what party should be held liable. We can also accurately determine the true worth of your claim to pursue the economic and non-economic damages you need.

When navigating the aftermath of a motorcycle accident in the bustling Los Angeles area, having experienced and dedicated legal representation can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim. The team at Martinian Lawyers understands the unique challenges and nuances involved in motorcycle accident cases. With our extensive knowledge and commitment to justice, we work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve, addressing medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to your accident.

We are committed to helping our clients build brighter futures. Contact a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer at our offices today.