Santa Barbara Motorcycle Passenger Injury Lawyers
Much has been said about the risk of severe injury or death to motorcycle riders in a crash. Passengers on the back of a bike face an equally high risk of injury, and they have very little control when it comes to preventing an accident. A negligent rider risks the life of a passenger as well as his own. A negligent driver who causes a motorcycle crash can seriously injure both the rider and a passenger on the bike.
The law imposes certain conditions for carrying a passenger on a motorcycle, under California Vehicle Code, § 27800.
- It is unlawful to carry another person on a motorcycle except on a seat securely fastened to the rear of a bike that is provided with footrests, or in a sidecar designed for carrying passengers attached to the side of the motorcycle.
- Passengers must keep their feet on the footrests while riding on a motorcycle.
- Both riders and passengers are required to wear a helmet at all times while traveling on a motorcycle, pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 27803.
When a passenger is injured in a motorcycle accident, more than one party may be negligent, including the motorcycle operator and the driver of another vehicle. For example, a negligent driver may cause a crash by violating an oncoming motorcyclist’s right-of-way while turning left against traffic at an intersection. The person operating the motorcycle could also be negligent by speeding, riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or violating some other traffic law. If dangerous or poorly maintained roads or infrastructure caused the crash, the government entity responsible for maintaining the roads may have been negligent.
A motorcycle rider who carries a passenger in violation of the state laws described above may be held at least partially liable for an accident that causes injury to the passenger. The rider may also be held liable if he or she was distracted at the time of the crash, riding impaired by alcohol or drugs, speeding, making unsafe lane changes, cutting off other motorists, tailgating, disregarding traffic signals, or otherwise violating the rules of the road. Under California comparative negligence laws, even if another driver caused the collision, a rider can be assigned some percentage of fault for a motorcycle crash.
If you have been injured as a passenger in a motorcycle accident, you have a right to seek compensation for your losses. The damages you are able to claim will depend on the circumstances of your case. You may be entitled to claim compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages or earnings
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Insurance companies are in business for profit and are interested in their own bottom line, not the rights of the injured. They often attempt to minimize a payout or deny a legitimate claim. Motorcycle accident cases can be complicated. Your best chance of recovering full compensation for your losses is to have an experienced team of Santa Barbara motorcycle injury lawyers in your corner.
At NordstrandBlack PC, we have been winning maximum compensation for serious injury victims since 1989. We offer the legal knowledge, skills, and professional resources to effectively pursue the compensation you deserve. If you have sustained serious injuries as a motorcycle passenger, contact us at (805) 962-2022, so we can review the facts of your case and advise you about how best to recover full compensation for all of your damages.