Attorney Robert Meissner represents victims of motorcycle accidents in personal injury and wrongful death claims in the Northern California area near Sacramento, including Fair Oaks, Folsom, Roseville, and Eldorado Hills. Contact our Sacramento accident Attorney Robert Meissner because you have rights that he, and no insurance adjuster, will advise you of.
In 2008, motorcycle fatalities accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States. Records show that 5,290 motorcyclists were killed, and 96,000 more were injured. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are nine times more likely to be injured than passenger car occupants, and 37 times more likely to die in a crash than their counterparts in automobiles.
The exposure of the rider to other vehicles and the lack of adequate protection contribute to these high rates of death and injury. Moreover, motorcycle injuries are more likely to be catastrophic in nature, with severe injury to the head and spine being tragically common. A number of factors can contribute to motorcycle accidents, such as:
Rider error. Motorcycle riders are subject to the same rules of the road as automobiles and other motor vehicles. Due to their size and mobility, however, motorcyclists must be constantly aware of his or her surroundings. Communicating intentions by way of hand signals as well as signal lights, resisting the temptation to weave in and out of traffic, and wearing protective gear can all lessen the risk of being in an accident. However, remember that – as noted on our personal injury page – even if the motorcyclist was negligent in operating the bike, an injured rider can still recover against other negligent drivers who contributed to the accident under the doctrine of comparative negligence.
Driver fault. Even the most careful rider may still become the victim of a negligent or reckless driver. Some drivers may not be paying enough attention to see a motorcycle, while others simply do not respect smaller vehicles such as motorcycles, scooters, and bicycles and do not give them the space they need to maneuver.
In a motorcycle/car collision, the driver of the car nearly always fares better than the cyclist. Because of this, the driver may walk away from the accident, while the motorcycle rider may leave the scene in an unconscious state. In that case, it is the driver’s version of the accident which makes its way into the police report. It is important as soon as possible for a motorcycle accident victim to obtain a copy of the accident report, review it for errors, and give a statement to police correcting any perceived errors.
Road faults. Some roads are poorly designed from the beginning, or contain dangerous defects. Others lack warnings about road conditions. Road repair and construction zones are especially hazardous to motorcyclists, as the roadway may shift to a poorly-maintained shoulder or provide obstacles to visibility. Where the city or other authority is itself negligent in constructing, repairing, or maintaining the road, liability may rest with the government. Regardless, riders and drivers should always pay special care to hazardous road conditions, for what passes as reasonable care on one roadway may constitute negligent behavior on another.