general article

Know Your Rights – Protecting Motorcyclists on and Off the Bike

Know Your Rights – Protecting Motorcyclists on and Off the Bike

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nationwide, motorcyclist fatalities have increased more than 6 1/2% in 2007. This marked the tenth straight year for increases in fatalities. During the same period, deaths in cars dropped 7.8%. The NHTSA says motorcycle registration has increased 75% in the last 10 years.

With the cost of gasoline running between $3.00 and $4.00 per gallon, many California drivers have decided to get rid of their gas guzzling cars and they are buying motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters. Why not, when they average about 50 mpg? Cars get less mileage because they are heavier. In certain respects, heavier is better, in that the heavy steel skin and frame of the car gives some structure and protection to the occupants that is not available to the motorcyclist. On a motorcycle or scooter, there is nothing between you and the road but the clothes on your back. Drivers and passengers in a car are shielded by the sturdy frame of the vehicle surrounding them, along with a seat belt and an airbag; motorcyclists are merely safeguarded by protective clothing and a motorcycle helmet. This lack of protection greatly enhances the chance for a serious injury or fatality in a motorcycle crash.

“Road Rash” is the biker term for the serious de-gloving injuries that bikers’ suffer when their not properly clothed bodies make contact with the road. The flesh is actually torn from the body in large scarring can be horrific.

Largely, motorcycle accidents are caused by other negligent or inattentive drivers on the road. Motorcycle accidents often occur because:

1) A driver cuts off a motorcycle when changing lanes

2) A driver follows the motorcycle too closely

3) A driver fails to observe proper lane distance

4) Defective tires cause a tire blowout

5) A driver runs a red light or stop sign

Product defects and negligent driving can cause spinouts, or rear end collisions, or can force a motorcyclist off of the road. Motorcycle or other auto accident victims who have suffered serious injuries, such as brain and spinal cord injuries need to find the advice of a personal injury attorney who will be able to review your case and protect your rights under California law.

An experienced personal injury attorney knows when to start the negotiating process and when those discussions are premature. They also are familiar with the elements of damages, how to substantiate each of those losses, and the manner in which to present those to an insurance carrier, mediator, arbitrator or to a jury.

DISCLAIMER: This article and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.