Whether exploring the rugged coastlines and iconic hills or cruising on your daily commute, San Francisco is a great place to be on a motorcycle. With cooler temperatures in the summer than many other places and fairly predictable rain, the city offers riders comfortable road conditions for most of the year. And the city’s traffic and minimal parking provide more reason to ride a motorcycle.
With so much traffic, it is no surprise that motorcycle accidents do happen. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. An experienced San Francisco motorcycle accident attorney can help you get what you need to take care of yourself and move forward.
Motorcycle Accidents in the Bay Area
- 7 motorcycle accident fatalities,
- 56 severe motorcycle accident injuries,
- 155 visible motorcycle accident injuries, and
- 176 reports of pain from a motorcycle accident.
The program uses information from the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) to map where accidents occur and provide insight into those problem areas.
Who Is Liable for a Motorcycle Accident?
If you were injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may have a right to legal recovery. California is an “at-fault” state, which means that the person responsible for the accident is also liable for the damage they have caused. It is essential to accurately identify the at-fault party.
In some cases, there may be multiple parties who share liability. For example, if you were hit by a commercial vehicle, the driver’s employer may also be held legally responsible, which could make a difference in your settlement offer. Other liable parties could include the manufacturer of a defective vehicle part, the government entity tasked with maintaining roadways, or others. Your San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyer can conduct an independent investigation to identify the cause of the accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities, despite the fact that they make up only 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States. In most cases, though certainly not all, motorcycle accidents are caused by vehicle driver error. Here are some common ways that drivers cause motorcycle accidents:
- The driver was distracted and did not see the motorcycle,
- The driver was speeding and could not stop in time,
- The driver failed to yield when appropriate,
- The driver cut off the motorcycle without correctly gauging their speed,
- The driver did not signal before merging,
- The driver did not provide enough room for the motorcycle, or
- The driver failed to check their blind spot.
Drivers have a duty to drive with care, obey all traffic laws, and act in a way that does not endanger others.
What If You Were Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Sometimes, a series of mistakes by both the motorcycle rider and vehicle driver results in a collision. California follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which means that you may still bring a claim against a negligent driver for your accident, even if you were partially at fault. Your final award will be adjusted by the percentage you are found negligent. For example, if you recovered $100,000 and were found 20% at fault, you would receive a total of $80,000. It is worth noting the negligent party’s legal team will likely attempt to make you seem more at fault than you are. This is another important reason to have representation from an experienced San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyer.
What If You Were Not Wearing a Helmet?
According to CVC §27803, all drivers and passengers must wear a USDOT-compliant motorcycle safety helmet. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time the accident occurred, the liable party could argue that your violation of the law aggravated your injuries. Though this may be true, you can still file a claim under the pure comparative negligence rule.
Choosing a San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Attorney
The award-winning team at the Law Offices of Ali Yousefi, P.C., has a proven track record of success in recovering compensation on behalf of motorcycle accident injury victims across Northern California. We pride ourselves on compassionate representation and are committed to helping you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation.
How Much Are Most Motorcycle Accident Settlements?
There is no way to determine the average value of a motorcycle accident. Settlements are determined by several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the cost of treatment, the parties involved, and the unique circumstances of your case. The skill and knowledge of your San Francisco motorcycle accident attorney may also be a factor.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in California?
After you are in a motorcycle accident, the priority is making sure you are safe. If you need medical attention, do not hesitate to leave the scene with emergency medical care providers. Every situation is different. Here are a few things you can do:
- If you are able, move yourself and your motorcycle off the road. If you cannot move your motorcycle, leave it. It is safer for you to be out of traffic.
- Call the local law enforcement agency to file an accident report. They will take notes and document information that could be valuable for your claim.
- Talk to any witnesses and request their contact information. You or your San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyer can follow up later.
- Take photos of the accident scene. Include pictures up close and from a distance so that the whole scene is in view.
Remember to choose your words carefully. Do not need to lie, but make sure that you do not imply fault when talking to anyone at the scene. This can be used against you.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Motorcycle Accident in California?
In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident in California, understanding the timeline for legal action is crucial. According to California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, individuals involved in a motorcycle accident have a period of two years to file a personal injury claim from the date the accident occurred. This two-year window, known as the statute of limitations, is a critical factor for anyone seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. It’s important to note that failing to file a claim within this time frame may result in the forfeiture of your right to pursue legal action and seek compensation for your injuries and related damages. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in California, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney promptly to ensure your rights are protected and to explore the legal options available to you within the prescribed time limit.