We all know that riding or sharing the road with a motorcycle requires extra caution. After all, bikes handle differently than cars, and bikers aren’t surrounded by a protective layer of steel. So why do so many devastating motorcycle accidents keep happening?
Watch for Motorcycles
Studies repeatedly indicate that drivers fail to see motorcycles. Many motorcycle accidents are therefore caused by the automobile drivers’ failure to yield the right of way to the motorcycle.
According to 2017 motorcycle accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 42% of accidents involving a motorcycle and another type of vehicle occurred because the vehicle turned left into the path of an oncoming motorcycle.
The operator of an automobile has a duty of care to share the road with all other vehicles, including motorcycles. When an operator does not drive with awareness and crashes into a motorcycle the automobile driver may be found to have been negligent.
Ernst Law Group is a premier San Luis Obispo and California plaintiff’s rights law firm. We aggressively protect the rights of those who have been harmed by the negligence of others. If you were injured or if a loved one lost their life in a motorcycle accident, Ernst Law Group has the experience, knowledge, and resources to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
We can provide you with an experienced San Luis Obispo motorcycle accident lawyer to assist you with building a strong case. Your claim can help you recover the full costs of your accident losses, including your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our motorcycle accident attorneys by calling (805) 678-0272 or using our convenient form to contact us online.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. One thing that tends to be consistent is that motorcycle operators are more likely to be seriously injured or killed when involved in an accident with another vehicle.
The NHTSA study cited above states that the majority of fatal motorcycle accidents (57%) involved collisions with other vehicles in transport.
Common factors in serious motorcycle crashes include:
- Speeding – Drivers speeding around motorcycles may not have time to react to prevent a collision.
- Following too closely – Even slight contact with a motorcycle can cause the rider to become unseated.
- Merging into the motorcycle – Failing to check blind spots is a common contributor to motorcycle crash circumstances.
- Turning left into the path of the motorcycle – Drivers underestimate the speed at which oncoming motorcycles are traveling, causing them to make judgment errors as they turn into the path of the oncoming motorcycle.
- Alcohol use – Alcohol use is a commonly cited crash factor for drivers involved in motorcycle collisions as well as operators of motorcycles themselves.
- Distracted driving – Driving a larger vehicle around motorcycles requires extra vigilance, so distractions can prove deadly.
- Roadway hazards – Debris in the road or loose gravel can cause a motorcycle to lose control, especially while making turns.
- Defective products – A defective part or design feature could be a factor in the crash or make the driver more likely to be injured in the event of an unavoidable crash.
Statistics for Motorcycle Accidents in San Luis Obispo
The sunny roads of California’s coast make for gorgeous riding conditions, but they can also spell disaster for motorcycle operators caught in a traffic accident.
According to data from UC Berkeley’s Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS), San Luis Obispo saw 132 motorcycle accidents from 2010 to 2017. Fortunately, none of these accidents have been fatal. However, 21 resulted in severe injuries, 66 in visible injuries, and 45 in complaints of pain (suspected injuries).
California leads the nation in overall motorcycle registrations, with 857,273 motorcycles registered in 2019, according to the state’s DMV.
Despite the high number of registrations, California has a low overall volume of motorcycle occupant fatalities compared to motor vehicle fatalities. 2017 data from the Governors’ Highway Safety Association shows that 15.1% of all motor vehicle fatalities were motorcycle riders.
That’s high enough to put California as the 14th worst state, but it pales in comparison to states like Nevada, where motorcycle occupants make up 22.6% of all road fatalities.
Proving Negligence After a Motorcycle Accident in San Luis Obispo
“Negligence” refers to a situation where a party (a person or a company) failed in their expected duty of care to keep the motorcycle operator safe, leading to an injury and damages.
For instance, driver distraction is the result of the driver’s failure to adhere to safety laws. Drivers have a duty to pay attention to the road and the act of driving. If a motorist is distracted by talking to other passengers, inserting a CD, reaching down to pick up food or drink, texting, or other behavior and the distraction causes an accident with a motorcycle, the motorcyclist may seek compensation for damages.
A motorcyclist who was injured as a result of a defective part may seek compensation from parts manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and others who may be liable for placing the motorcyclist at risk.
Roadways must be properly maintained and safe for drivers, and in certain instances, a lawsuit may be brought against the government.
The Ernst Law Group Represents Injured Motorcyclists in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident that was caused by the negligence of another, you may recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. If a loved one lost their life, the decedent’s family may receive compensation in a wrongful death claim.
Insurance companies do not have the client’s best interest in mind; they are concerned with saving money by paying the least amount of compensation possible.
When you are represented by an experienced, skilled, and respected San Luis Obispo motorcycle lawyer from the Ernst Law Group, insurance companies and liable third parties will be more inclined to offer a fair settlement. They know that your Ernst lawyer will not hesitate to take the case to trial for a verdict.
For a free case evaluation, contact The Ernst Law Group by calling (805) 678-0272. There are no upfront fees; we don’t get paid if you don’t win.
What Our Clients Say About Us
I could not be more satisfied with Ernst Law Group. Over the course of my case they were nothing but kind and friendly. When you’re in a situation where you need a lawyer it can be a very stressful time in your life. Ernst Law Group made me feel like everything was going to be okay, and I knew giving them my case was the right thing to do. These lawyers genuinely care about their clients and don’t just see you as a case file. My case could not have turned out better, and I owe everything to this law group for their devotion to their jobs and clients.Samantha Spelman
Enough cannot be said for the amazing job done for us by the Ernst Law Group. Their compassion and dedication to ‘doing what is right’ makes them go above and beyond in all that they do. After spending time and money on other local attorneys, Don, Taylor and Terry were a blessing to us. They never backed down even though our case was a very unusual case. Thank you Ernst Law Group.Mary Barrett
Best personal injury and wrongful death attorneys available! The whole team is friendly, works very hard, is knowledgeable, and will do their best to take care of their clients. The Ernst team is the best around!Hannah W.