Motorcycle Accidents in Los Angeles

Riding motorcycles offers an exhilarating experience due to the freedom it provides. Many riders opt for motorcycles because of their cost-effectiveness and excellent fuel efficiency compared to cars. While motorcycles have advantages over larger vehicles, they also come with inherent risks. Unlike car or truck drivers, motorcyclists lack the protection of a metal cab around them, making them more vulnerable to severe injuries or fatalities in the event of an accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes annual national motorcycle crash data, albeit with a delay of a few years. The latest available data is from 2020. Similarly, the most recent information from the Los Angeles Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) is from 2021. We have compiled motorcycle crash statistics to provide insights into the associated risks, collision types, and preventive measures you can take to minimize your chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident.

Estimating the compensation amount for a motorcycle accident requires intricate calculations, subjective assessments, and effective persuasive abilities. In Los Angeles, there are no fixed rules to determine the exact value of a motorcycle accident case. While legal guidelines and precedents exist to provide estimates, the evaluation of each case necessitates a thorough examination of accident-specific factors.

Consequently, it is impossible to provide an immediate definitive answer regarding the monetary award for your case without delving into the specifics of your motorcycle accident injuries. Read on to know more about the perils, precautions, and compensations of motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles.

10 Common Types of Motorcycle Injuries 

Oak Tree Law’s team of attorneys in Los Angeles, has meticulously assembled a comprehensive catalog comprising ten prevalent motorcycle accident injuries. Additionally, we have outlined preventive measures to mitigate the occurrence of these injuries. If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash and are contemplating the engagement of a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer, continue reading to discover the types of injuries that warrant a personal injury claim.

  • Road rash: 

Road rash is the most prevalent motorcycle injury ranging from minor to severe. It occurs when riders are ejected from the bike and skid on the pavement, causing skin abrasions. Severe road rash can lead to complications such as infections and nerve damage. Wearing protective clothing, particularly leather gear, significantly reduces the severity and frequency of these abrasions in case of an accident.

  • Broken bones:

Broken or fractured bones are common injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes. Fractures often occur in femurs, forearms, shins, and pelvis bones.

  • Foot and leg injuries:

These injuries account for approximately 30% of non-fatal motorcycle accident injuries, as reported by the CDC.

  • Head and neck injuries: 

Injuries to such bodily parts pose a significant risk, especially in accidents involving larger motorcycle engines. Lack of helmet usage increases the occurrence of head injuries, which can cause brain damage, facial disfigurement, and even fatality.

  • Spinal injuries:

These commonly affect the thoracic spine in motorcycle accidents, but the entire spinal column is susceptible to damage in high-speed crashes. Spinal injuries often result in long-lasting consequences such as chronic pain, nerve damage, paralysis, and death.

  • Abdominal injuries:

Injuries to the abdomen are more prevalent among older riders, particularly thoracic (chest) injuries. Examples include lung lacerations, rib fractures, and potentially severe heart and vascular injuries.

  • Hand and arm injuries:

are frequent due to instinctive reflexes to protect oneself during a fall. “Biker’s Arm” or “Rider’s Arm” refers to the injury caused when a motorcycle lands on the rider’s arm during an accident, leading to nerve damage and possible arm paralysis. Wearing specialized riding gloves and elbow pads significantly reduces the impact of these injuries.

  • Burns:

Burns can occur if the motorcycle’s fuel tank spills during a collision, resulting in severe burns that may require skin grafts. Burn injuries are among the most serious consequences of motorcycle accidents

  • Muscle injuries:

Muscle or ligament tear can arise from more severe cases of road rash, particularly if the motorcyclist was not wearing protective clothing at the time of the accident. Additionally, back injuries sustained in crashes can cause muscle soreness or damage.

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI):

TBIs are the leading cause of death among injured motorcyclists and can result in permanent paralysis. Wearing a helmet provides the best defense against TBIs, reducing the fatality rate by up to 35% in the event of a crash.

Irrespective of the specific injury incurred in a truck accident, it is crucial for victims to promptly seek medical assistance and enlist the aid of a skilled personal injury attorney to ensure rightful compensation.

Motorcycle accidents present intricate legal scenarios, necessitating the expertise of a legal professional who can adeptly navigate the complexities of the legal process and advocate for the highest possible compensation.

Things To Do After Encountering a Motorcycle Accident

Despite the utmost caution exercised by motorcyclists, accidents can still occur, resulting in significant costs, frustration, and potential injuries or disabilities. The steps you take immediately after an accident and in the subsequent period can have a profound impact on the outcome of such an event. This guide aims to illustrate the actions that are in your best interest if you find yourself involved in a motorcycle accident.

  1. Prioritize checking yourself and others for injuries as your health takes precedence above all else. Refrain from admitting fault at the accident scene. While it is appropriate to inquire about the well-being of others, avoid offering apologies, especially if you were not at fault, as such statements can be used against you in court. Additionally, do not agree to “forget about the whole ordeal” and part ways with the other driver, as injuries may emerge later, requiring compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering.
  2. Immediately call 911 to report the accident. Placing the call for help does not make you liable for the incident. Engaging with the police is crucial for constructing your case. Their responsibility is to interview all involved parties and witnesses, gather evidence through photographs, and document every aspect of the accident for an official report.
  3. Capture pictures of the scene, including your motorcycle and its surroundings, as this documentation will support your case.
  4. Seek medical attention if you suspect any issues. Do not assume you are uninjured. As mentioned earlier, injuries resulting from motorcycle and car accidents can manifest hours, days, or even weeks later. It is essential to consult with a medical professional.
  5. Contact a skilled personal injury attorney who has experience in handling such cases. An attorney will safeguard your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve by protecting your interests throughout the legal process.

Although motorcycles make up only 3% of all registered vehicles in the US, nearly 15% of all traffic fatalities involve motorcyclists. Even non-fatal accidents can be costly to victims and their families, as medical care expenses can quickly accumulate. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, seeking the help of a motorcycle accident attorney can be advantageous for the following reasons:

  • To Provide Legal Support and Guidance

Navigating the legal system alone can be a daunting task, especially if you are unfamiliar with the laws and regulations of your state. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can guide and support you through the complex legal process, ensuring that you don’t miss any deadlines or misinterpret any information that could impact your case.

  • To Help You Navigate Insurance Policies

Insurance policies can be complicated to understand, particularly if you don’t have a legal background. An attorney can help you decipher the details of your insurance policies and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

  • To Assess the Monetary Value of Your Damages

While many individuals believe that obtaining compensation for medical expenses suffices, determining the full extent of losses sustained after a motorcycle accident can be challenging. It takes time for the true scope of injuries and overall damage to become apparent.

Moreover, other damages should be considered for inclusion in your compensation, such as loss of income due to injuries, property damage, diminished quality of life, wrongful death of a loved one, and the physical and emotional pain and suffering endured.

In light of these factors, a seasoned attorney comprehends the intricacies of injuries and damages associated with motorcycle collisions, enabling them to accurately calculate the maximum potential losses incurred. This calculation provides a realistic assessment of the physical, emotional, and financial impact your injuries have had on your daily existence.

  • To Initiate a Lawsuit

As previously mentioned, your attorney will guide you through the legal aspects of your case. If you are unable to secure the fair compensation you deserve, a lawyer can assist you in commencing a lawsuit, if deemed necessary. An experienced attorney will represent you throughout the lawsuit process, advocating for your rights and ensuring that you prevail, ultimately receiving the highest possible compensation for your losses.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Are Motorcyclists Always at Fault in Accidents?

There are many stereotypes about motorcyclists being reckless drivers, but in reality, passenger vehicles are often the cause of motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, bias against motorcyclists can make it more difficult for them to receive fair compensation after an accident. That’s why injured bikers must work with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to seek damages.

  • What Types of Damages Can I Receive for My Motorcycle Accident?

The damages you may be entitled to receive after a motorcycle accident will depend on the specifics of your situation. However, some examples of damages that you may be able to receive compensation for include medical expenses, property damage, pain, and suffering, lost wages, lost earning capacity, punitive damages, and wrongful death.

  • What is the Importance of Motorcycle Insurance in Los Angeles?

In Los Angeles, motorcycles are considered ‘vehicles’ under the California Vehicle Code and the Compulsory Financial Responsibility Law. This means that all motorcycles operating on Los Angeles roads must have proof of insurance or a bond that meets the minimum liability requirements, which include coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per claim for bodily injury.

  • What are the Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accident Fatalities

An analysis conducted by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine examined data from motorcycle injuries in Maryland between 1998 and 2002. The study revealed that the most frequent cause of fatalities in motorcycle accidents was thoracic injuries, closely followed by head injuries. The third leading cause of motorcycle accident deaths was injuries to the abdominal region.

  • Which Actions to Take If I am Injured on a Motorcycle Due to Another Driver’s Negligence? 

Investing in high-quality safety gear may seem costly, but it plays a crucial role in protecting yourself while operating a motorcycle. Safety gear can significantly reduce the risk of sustaining severe injuries or fatalities, enabling you to enjoy riding your motorcycle more safely. If you’ve been injured in a collision caused by another driver’s negligence, it is advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide your potential rights to compensation.

  • Should a Personal Injury Victim Immediately Accept a Settlement Offer the Insurance Company Provides? 

After an accident, insurance companies might offer you a settlement right away. However, you should be cautious about accepting it without consulting a personal injury lawyer first. The insurer may be trying to get you to accept a low offer before you have the opportunity to learn the full value of your claim. Consulting with a skilled motorcycle accident attorney can help you assess your case and determine what compensation you may be entitled to. Contact Oak Tree Law’s personal injury lawyers for a free evaluation of your claims today.

Trust Oak Tree Law’s Personal Injury Lawyers: To Fight for Your Rights and Secure the Compensation You Deserve.

For individuals who have suffered injuries in an accident, Oak Tree Law’s dedicated legal team is here to advocate for your rights throughout the entire process. Get in touch with us today to arrange a complimentary case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.

A sudden accident can have a profound impact on your life, leaving you feeling frightened, frustrated, and unsure about where to seek assistance. We are a reputable law firm with extensive experience, dedicated to supporting you at every stage. Client satisfaction is our top priority, and we take pride in the trust our clients have placed in us for over a decade.