Santa Barbara Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Working to Protect the Rights of Motorcycle Accident Victims
Unfavorable misconceptions about motorcycles and motorcycle riders are common. But as the data shows, motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer serious injury in a collision than occupants of a larger vehicle due to the lack of protection that a motorcycle offers. Oftentimes, these collisions are fatal or result in catastrophic injury to the motorcycle riders.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious motorcycle accident, do not wait to get the help you need. The experienced accident lawyers at NordstrandBlack PC know how to deal with insurance companies and fight to make sure negligent parties are held responsible for their actions and you are compensated for your injuries. Call us today at (805) 962-2022 and tell us about your situation so we can discuss your next move.
Motorcycle Accident Case Results
- $1,200,000 Settlement - Motorcycle Accident - Required Multiple Surgeries
- $500,000 Settlement - Motorcycle Accident (Policy Limit)
- $90,000 Settlement - Motorcycle Accident - Knee Injury
∗ Selected cases listed. Every case is different. Past case results are not a guarantee, and similar results may not be obtained in your case. View more case results here.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Bikers are often thrown from their motorcycles and require extensive medical care and treatment after a collision with another vehicle. A few injuries that are specific to motorcycle accidents include:
- Road rash: Skin scraped off by contact with the pavement, typically occurring as a motorcyclist slides along the ground after falling from a motorcycle. While road rash is usually not severe, it can lead to infection and should be treated by a medical professional.
- Biker's arm: When a motorcyclist is thrown from a motorcycle or is about to collide with an object, the biker has a natural reflex to try to absorb the impact with the arms. This causes tremendous stress to the arms, wrists, and shoulders; and commonly results in fractures, muscle and nerve damage.
- Leg injuries: Fractures, muscle and nerve damage to the legs commonly occur upon impact, when the biker’s legs are crushed against another vehicle or object, or after a biker is thrown from the bike and lands on his/her legs.
- Limb loss: Motorcycle collisions result in broken glass, metal, and other materials, all of which can cause serious damage to a motorcyclist. The damage may be so severe that medical amputation is required after a collision. The psychological and physical trauma of such a loss, as well as expenses incurred due to the trauma, can be extensive and have lifelong effects on the victim.
Broken bones, head and brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries are also possible. Treatment and recovery after a motorcycle accident depend on the nature of the injuries. Minor road rash and broken bones may require short-term care, but serious injuries result in weeks or months of medical care and physical rehabilitation. The worst injuries can require expensive life-long treatment and therapy.
What If I Was Lane-Splitting?
Lane-splitting, sometimes called lane sharing or filtering, may be a topic of debate in the rest of the United States, but it is legal in California. Lane-splitting refers to a motorcyclist moving his/her bike forward through traffic that has slowed down or stopped, moving between vehicles inside the lane or between lanes. Experts agree that lane-splitting should be done carefully and at reasonable speeds. One study showed that lane-splitting should only be done in traffic that is moving at 50 mph or less, when the biker can see what other drivers are doing, and that the biker should never go more than 15 mph above other vehicles in order to pass them.
Since lane-splitting is legal in California, a driver cannot point to a motorcyclist who engaged in this behavior and claim lane-splitting made him responsible for the accident. However, though bikers are allowed to pass other vehicles between lanes, they must drive safely while they do so.
Fault in an accident in which a motorcyclist was lane-splitting will come down to who was negligent, and since lane-splitting is permissible, it will likely be the driver who did not check his mirrors before moving over.
What If My Motorcycle Itself Caused the Crash?
A defect in your bike could have created the loss of control, making you collide with another object or causing you to have to lay your bike down to avoid one. This can be more difficult to prove, if the maker of your motorcycle did not issue a recall, but with the help of a legal professional, it can be done. It could be that just one part of the motorcycle failed, and that a part’s manufacturer is the one to blame.
Modifications may be another story. If your bike’s modifications aren’t street-legal, it may count against you in a claim, if the opposing insurance company can argue the mods contributed to the crash. However, if you went to a mechanic or shop to get legal modifications for your motorcycle, and they did not do the job properly or failed to replace vital parts before giving it back to you, they may be held liable. The same is true if you went to get a needed repair and it did not hold, leading to a collision or single-vehicle accident.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
Yes, after a serious motorcycle accident, you need a lawyer to represent you and make sure your rights are protected. Filing insurance claims, civil actions, and other paperwork is intentionally complicated to keep people from seeking money from the responsible parties. You should not try to handle things on your own. Having a knowledgeable, experienced lawyer at your side to argue your case is vital to obtaining just compensation for your expenses and injuries after an accident.
Even the most cautious, law-abiding rider may be unable to avoid the more common hazards motorcyclists face, such as the opening of an adjacent car door, a careless driver, an animal, or a dangerous road condition.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Claim?
Do not wait to learn about your legal options from a skilled Santa Barbara injury lawyer. Delay may be detrimental to your case. The sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the better your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. In California, there are deadlines known as statutes of limitations which set forth the time limits after an accident, within which you must file a claim against a responsible party. If the at-fault party was a government entity, that time is even shorter. Don’t miss your chance to hold negligent parties legally responsible so that you can move on with your life.
Call NordstrandBlack PC Today!
While your insurance company may seem to be trying to help you, at the end of the day, it is in business to make a profit. After any accident, you should not sign anything your insurance company presents to you without having a lawyer read it first. You can easily sign away your rights to future compensation without realizing it. If there was more than one vehicle involved in the collision, it is even more important that you have a lawyer represent you in dealing with all of the insurance companies, including your own, which may try to shift the fault to you.
After a motorcycle accident, the bills and phone calls may seem overwhelming. Call NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 to discuss your case, and let us take some of the burden off your shoulders, so you can concentrate on getting well.
- Practice Motorcycle Awareness Every Month
- Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Is Legal in California, But Is It Safe?
- Motorcycle Safety - NHTSA
- California Motorcycle Handbook
- Motorcycle Crash Information - III
- Motorcycle Safety - CDC
September 14, 2019
September 8, 2019
September 1, 2019