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Banafshe Law Firm: Protecting the Rights of Injured Motorcyclists in All Accidents 

Every time a motorcyclist goes out on the road they face hazards that other motorists don’t have to consider due to their smaller size. Most drivers who are involved in an accident with a motorcycle later claim they didn’t even see the motorcyclist. And in the event of an accident, motorcyclists are much more likely to experience severe injuries and even death. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need a motorcycle accident attorney who understands your case and can help you get the compensation you are entitled to. 

Motorcycle ran over by truck in California

Types of Motorcycle Accidents

There are several different types of accidents that are somewhat unique to motorcycle cases. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer should understand the nature of these accidents and the impact they will have on your claim. 

Lane-Splitting Accidents are Commonly Handled by Our Motorcycle Crash Lawyers

Lane-splitting is when a motorcycle drives between two rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane. Although controversial, lane-splitting is legal for motorcyclists in California, provided that the motorcyclist was lane-splitting in a safe and prudent manner. Given that the general public considers motorcyclists to be reckless daredevils, these cases can be quite difficult to prove. 

There are two main challenges in lane-splitting accidents:

  • Proving that you were lane-splitting in a safe and prudent manner; and
  • Proving that the driver who struck you was negligent. 

There are no clear guidelines as to what constitutes “safe and prudent” lane-splitting. A motorcycle attorney may use the following to build your case: 

  • Evidence that you were not speeding at the time of the accident
  • Evidence that you were not weaving in and out of traffic
  • Evidence that you were not changing lanes without signaling

Proving that the other driver was negligent can also be challenging. Examples of negligence in lane-splitting cases include things such as the driver changed lanes without signaling or veered into your lane to avoid an accident with the car in front of them. Statements from witnesses and accident reports will be critical to proving your case. Helmet camera footage can also be tremendously helpful. These challenges are why it is critical to work with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. 

Open Door Accidents 

Another type of accident unique to motorcycles is when a driver in a parked car opens the door into you. This can cause you to swerve into traffic or knock you off your motorcycle, resulting in an accident and serious injury. While many insurance adjusters will blame the motorcyclist for colliding with a stopped vehicle, drivers are actually required by California law to check for motorcyclists before opening the door. Failing to do so, even if they claim that they “didn’t see” you, constitutes negligence, and they may be held liable for your injuries. 

Here are some common scenarios that can lead to open door accidents: 

  • The driver simply failed to look before opening their vehicle’s door. 
  • The motorcyclist swerved to avoid a pothole or other road debris.
  • The motorcyclist was making a right-hand turn - motorcyclists are required to move to the right side of the road to avoid blocking traffic. 
  • Poor visibility due to weather conditions made the motorcyclist difficult to see. 
  • The driver was illegally parked in an attempt to quickly dash out of the vehicle for some reason. 

Proving the parked motorist’s negligence can be challenging, as many people are reluctant to consider opening a car door as negligent. A motorcycle accident lawyer can use the law and the facts to make a compelling argument as to why they should be held accountable for your injuries. 

The compensation you may be entitled to depends on the circumstances surrounding your case. For example, if there was no other traffic around and you were simply knocked to the ground, the insurance company may take your case less seriously. Accidents where the motorcyclist was knocked into traffic tend to receive higher compensation. Regardless of the facts of your case, a motorcycle accident attorney can build a strong case and advocate for fair compensation.  

Left-Turn Accidents Involving Motorcyclists

Because motorcycles are less visible than other vehicles, they are especially at risk of collision when other vehicles make left turns in the following scenarios: 

  • The vehicle makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle from the opposite at an intersection or to turn into a driveway or other roadway;
  • The vehicle makes a left turn in front of a passing motorcycle. 

Left-turn accidents are especially dangerous as the motorcyclist may be moving at a high rate of speed. 

The fundamental challenge in left-turn accident cases is proving that the other driver was negligent. The following actions may be considered negligence in left-turn accident cases:

  • The driver failed to use a turn signal prior to turning
  • The driver failed to yield according to the traffic signal
  • The driver failed to stop at a stop sign prior to making the turn

A motorcycle accident attorney can gather the evidence you need to support your claim. They should understand the challenges you face and, more importantly, know how to overcome them to get you the results you need. 

Other Causes of California Motorcycle Accidents

In addition to the causes mentioned above, there are other situations that can easily lead to a serious motorcycle crash: 

  • Bad weather. Heavy rain, fog, and heavy winds present significant hazards to motorcycle riders. Rain can make the road surface slippery or lead to hydroplaning at high speeds, causing the rider to lose traction or lose control of the motorcycle. Heavy winds can knock the rider off balance, causing them to lose control. Fog can severely limit their visibility and ability to be seen by other vehicles. 
  • Cold tires. Tires play a major role in the rider’s ability to control the motorcycle. A drop in temperature can cause a significant decrease in tire pressure, resulting in sluggish handling, heavy steering, and reduced ground clearance.
  • Rider inexperience. Inexperienced riders are at greater risk of accidents, typically because their lack of experience makes them unable to assess potential risks and anticipate emergency situations. 

How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help 

Lawyers do more than just file lawsuits. In fact, they most often help their clients avoid going to court. At Banafshe Law Firm, PC, we take the following steps to help you get the compensation you deserve: 

  • We investigate your accident and collect all of the relevant information needed to recreate exactly what happened.
  • We help you collect the documentation you need to support your claim such as your medical bills and records and proof of your lost income.
  • We interview the witnesses and obtain their statements.
  • We handle all communications with the insurance company and handle the settlement discussions.

Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Attorney at Banafshe Law Firm, PC Today

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need an injury law firm on your side who will make sure you get fair compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation with a motorcycle attorney at our firm, contact us today at 800-789-8840.