Representing Motorcycle Injury Victims
If you or a loved one suffered personal injury in a motorcycle accident, you are not alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that in 2006, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured and 4,810 were killed. Injured motorcyclists can depend on outstanding legal representation from the York Law Firm and its team of talented motorcycle accident injury attorneys. Our lawyers serve Sacramento and surrounding Northern California communities. The firm handles cases ranging from relatively simple collisions to accidents caused by motorcycle product liability and flaws in road design. Our attorneys have tried and settled numerous motorcycle accident cases throughout our law firm’s history with great success. As one of our clients, you can expect us to live up to our reputation as one of the premier law firms in the state of California.
Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents
There is nothing quite as liberating as riding a motorcycle, but it comes at a price – motorcyclists are more prone to die in accidents than passenger vehicles motorists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 5,290 motorcyclists were killed and 96,000 were injured in 2008.
In addition to factors that often cause or contribute to auto and large truck accidents (e.g., inclement weather, reckless driving, and vehicle malfunction), motorcyclists must face other hazards. These include road hazards (e.g., potholes, gravel, and road slicks), motorcyclists’ failure to stay out of motorists’ blind spots, and motorcyclists’ disobedience to traffic rules. When a motorcycle accident is caused by another motorist’s negligence, the injured victim may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries.
Several reports suggest that nearly two thirds of all motor vehicle accidents are a result of a motorist in the car turning into the lane of a motorcycle and violating the motorcyclist’s right of way. This most often occurs during heavy traffic or at night. Other common causes include:
- Speeding and disobeying traffic signals
- Drinking and driving
- Poor road and weather conditions
- Negligence of other drivers
- Equipment failure
If you have been seriously injured or a member of your family has been killed in a motorcycle accident, contact York Law Firm today to schedule a case evaluation with one of our motorcycle accident attorneys. You may also call the firm toll-free at 855-336-7941 or complete a brief questionnaire for a free motorcycle accident consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), two percent more motorcyclists were killed in 2008 (totaling 5,290) than 2007 (totaling 5,174). The total number of motorcycle motorists who were injured in 2008 also decreased, from 103,000 in 2007 to 96,000 in 2008. Even though this number has decreased in a year, the number of motorcyclists injured has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. In 1998, only 49,000 people were injured, and there were less than 2,300 fatalities.
Notable Motorcycle Laws
A number of laws that are meant to promote the safety of motorcyclists are enacted in every state. California has slightly more stringent laws. For instance, California is one of a handful of states that requires the motorist to wear a helmet, regardless of his or her age and whether he or she has passengers. Many other states only require a rider wear a helmet if the rider is younger than a certain age or if the rider has a passenger who’s younger than a certain age. A study conducted by the University of Southern California found that the single most important factor in determining whether the rider (or passenger) lived or died after a crash was whether he or she wore a helmet.
California has several other requirements, such as daytime use of headlights, a passenger footrest if carrying a passenger, both a right and left mirror, rider’s education to be completed in California, among many other regulations. These regulations promote motorcycle safety.
Motorcycle Accidents Versus Passenger Car Accidents
Many motorcycle accidents result in serious injury or death, whereas passenger vehicles can withstand much harder collisions and result in less severe injuries. The potential severity of motorcycle accidents as compared to passenger car accidents makes it all the more important to seek legal representation and to find an attorney you trust.
Single-Vehicle Versus Multivehicle Motorcycle Accidents
According to a report from October 2001 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 38,000 motorcycles have died in a single vehicle motorcycle crash between the years of 1975 and 1999. Single vehicle accidents usually involve the motorcycle crashing into some fixed object on the road. In 1999, NHTSA found single vehicle motorcycle crashes accounted for 46% of all motorcyclists fatalities, totaling 1,140 deaths. Between 1990 and 1999, single-vehicle accidents have remained fairly steady, accounting for anywhere between 43% to 47% of all motorcyclists fatalities.
The same report found that multiple vehicle accidents accounted for 54% of all motorcyclist fatalities in 1999, totaling 1,343. Statistics have remained steady between 1990 and 1999, ranging from approximately 1,220 fatalities to just over 1,770. They often occur when the driver of another vehicle violates the motorcyclists’ right of way.
What To Do After A Motorcycle Accident
If you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident, the first step is to seek medical attention. Treatment will depend on the severity of the injury, but since most motorcycle accidents result in serious and debilitating injury or even death, the motorcyclist should be rushed to a hospital immediately after the collision.
Lawsuits: Filing A Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim
If you wish to file a motorcycle accident injury claim, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Contact an experienced attorney you can trust to timely file your claim within the applicable statute of limitations. The statute of limitation differs depending on the subject matter of your case. At York Law Firm, our attorneys can protect your legal rights and ensure that your claim is timely filed with the applicable statute of limitations.
- Find an experience motorcycle accident attorney whom you trust to handle your case. Wendy York and her team of experienced legal professionals are known for their skill in presenting the strongest cases possible on behalf of their clients. York Law Firm is dedicated to helping spinal cord injury victims obtain the compensation they deserve.
Who Is Liable?
In order to succeed in a motorcycle accident case, you must prove liability by way of negligence, strict liability or intentional wrong.
A party is negligent if she failed to act as a reasonable person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances. For example, if a motorist runs a red light and crashes into a motorcyclist, she would be found negligent for failing to act as a law-abiding citizen would under those circumstances – by stopping at the red light.
Strict liability is the theory that a person, company or manufacturer is liable even though there is no “fault” on their part. It applies most frequently in product liability cases, or cases in which one has suffered injury due to an unsafe or defective product. Under this legal theory, manufacturers can be held liable for any injury resulting from their product regardless of their awareness of the defect.
If the wrongdoer intentionally acted to inflict the injury on the plaintiff, such as in cases of assault, she will be found liable.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Because motorcycles offer no external protection in the event of an accident, motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to injury. Common motorcycle accident injuries include broken bones and road rash, as well as catastrophic injuries such as brain and spinal cord injury and wrongful death.
As with any lawsuit, motorcycle accident injury lawsuits must be filed within a certain period of time of the harmful wrongful conduct, a period known as the statute of limitations. Failure to bring suit within this period may bar your ability to bring suit completely. The statute of limitations, however, differs depending on the subject matter of the case. At York Law Firm, our attorneys can advise and protect your legal claim.
The injured plaintiff can recover past and future medical expenses and non-economic damages (also referred to as pain and suffering – the harms, injuries and losses suffered). Punitive damages can also be awarded when the plaintiff can prove that the wrongdoer acted fraudulently, maliciously or recklessly.
Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can help you recover both medical costs and damages for your pain and suffering. Wendy C. York and her team of legal experts have successfully handled many motorcycle accident cases and can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Motorcycle Injury Settlements
York Law Firm’s recent successes include a $2.75 million recovery on behalf of an injured motorcyclist. Our practice also handles smaller accident cases in an efficient manner, allowing us to maximize recoveries for our clients.
Let Us Fight For You
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact York Law Firm to schedule a case evaluation with one of our motorcycle injury and accident attorneys. Our lawyers serve clients in California, Sacramento, Roseville, Elk Grove, Folsom and the Bay Area. We will work diligently to obtain adequate compensation for your injuries.