Santa Barbara Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Working to Protect the Rights of Motorcycle Accident Victims
In 2015, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash, and almost five times more likely to be injured. These crashes accounted for 13% of all motor vehicles deaths.
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.
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.
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 - Auto Accident - Motorcycle Accident
- $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
Due to the nature of the vehicle, riders are often thrown from their motorcycles and therefore may require extensive medical care and treatment due to severe injuries. These injuries can include: broken bones, head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and even death. Here are a few injuries that are specific to motorcycle accidents:
- Road rash: Skin being 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, he or she has a natural reflex to try to absorb the impact with his or her 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.
Treatment and Recovery
Treatment and recovery after a motorcycle accident depends on the nature of the injuries suffered. Minor cuts and broken bones may require short-term care. Serious injuries, however, likely result in weeks or months of medical treatment and physical recovery. The worst injuries can require expensive life-long treatment and therapy.
Lane-Splitting in California
Lane-splitting, sometimes called lane sharing or filtering, is a topic of debate in the United States. It is part of basic driving culture in much of the world, particularly in Europe and Asia, yet is illegal in every state except California.
Lane-splitting refers to a motorcyclist moving his or her bike forward through traffic that has slowed down or stopped, moving between vehicles inside the lane or between lanes. Lane-splitting advocates argue that motorcycles can safely maneuver through traffic and reduce congestion on roads, thereby reducing the possibilities of accidents. Opponents of lane-splitting argue that motorcyclists can weave through traffic in a reckless manner, damaging vehicles or creating the opportunity for accidents due to their behavior. Ultimately, safe lane-splitting comes down to responsible behavior on the part of both drivers and bikers.
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.
Lane-Splitting Accidents - Who Is at Fault?
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. A driver who does not look for a motorcyclist splitting lanes in dense traffic can be at fault for striking that motorist - even if that driver did not expect the motorcycle or realize that lane-splitting is legal in California.
Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Motorcycle Accident
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 or recovery 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, which may try to apportion fault and determine compensation.
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 often made intentionally complicated to try to keep people from seeking money from responsible parties. You should not try to handle things on your own. Having a knowledgeable, experienced lawyer at your side to deal with paperwork and argue your case is vital to obtaining just compensation for your expenses and injuries after an accident.
Statute of Limitations in Santa Barbara: Preserve Your Right to Recover Money
Do not wait to learn about your legal options from a skilled Santa Barbara injury lawyer. Delay may be detrimental to your case. Pursuing an accident claim is a complicated process; that’s why a skilled injury lawyer can help protect your rights. The sooner you get in touch with an attorney to learn about the legal aspects of your specific situation, the better your chances are 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 or event within which you must file a claim against a government entity and responsible party. That time can go by in the blink of an eye. Don’t miss your chance to hold negligent parties legally responsible so that you can move on with your life.
Call NordstrandBlack PC Today!
After a motorcycle accident, the bills, paperwork, and phone calls may seem overwhelming. Call us at NordstrandBlack PC right now at (805) 962-2022 to discuss your case and let us take some of the burden off your shoulders.
- Motorcycle Accident Blogs
- 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