Thousands of motorcyclists are particularly at risk for injuries, and the reason is quite clear. These motorists are completely exposed to the elements, and they simply don’t have the same level of protection afforded to those who drive cars. However, the fact that they are vulnerable doesn’t mean they have no excuses when they become injury victims. While it’s true that there are risks motorcyclists take while on the road, they do have rights and are protected the same as all other motorists while on the road. Car drivers owe motorcyclists a duty of care, and negligence or inattentiveness should be deterred at all costs.
If you have suffered injuries while driving a motorcycle in Bakersfield, you may have the ability to file a claim with the insurance company that insures the responsible party. If you have suffered serious injuries, your claim can provide you with a substantial settlement. Not only can this settlement help with medical expenses, but it can also provide compensation for lost wages (future wages) and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
If you’re serious about filing a personal injury claim after your motorcycle accident, it makes sense to get in touch with a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. These legal professionals can help you approach this situation in the most efficient, confident manner possible. It is also important to note that, on average, those who hire an attorney to represent them in these types of accidents, increase their financial recovery by 4. Four (4) times the average settlement you would get on your own is a great reason to hire an attorney. Lastly, you will not have to pay a single cent until your case is settled.
Car Drivers Have A Legal Responsibility To Share The Road With Motorcyclists
Motorcyclists are entitled to be on our roads in California, and those driving cars must share these roads safely and effectively. The Department of Motor Vehicles in California lays out a few guidelines for sharing the roads with motorcycles:
- They must check their blind spots for motorcycles
- They must allow a four-second following distance
- Stay a full lane width away from motorcycles
- Do not pass motorcycles while in the same lane
- Allow motorcyclists enough space to pass
- Scan for motorcycles before opening doors when parked
- Shoulder check for motorcyclists when turning right
- Factor in road conditions to predict sudden changes of speed by motorcyclists
It should be noted that driving in the same lane as a motorcycle is not illegal in California. However, sharing a lane with a motorcyclist is generally considered unsafe, and it should be avoided whenever possible. In addition, the four-second following distance is in place to account for any sudden stops by the motorcyclist.
Violations of these guidelines are signs of negligence. If these violations lead directly to your accident, they can help you establish that a driver is to blame for your injuries.
Your Responsibilities As A Motorcyclist
Although other drivers owe motorcyclists a duty of care, riders also need to act responsibly and follow specific guidelines. Motorcycles have to follow all of the other rules that apply to a normal vehicle, and they also have a number of additional responsibilities:
- Motorcyclists are advised to wear bright or reflective clothing
- Motorcyclists are advised to avoid blind spots of other vehicles
- Motorcyclists are not advised to share lanes with vehicles
- Motorcyclists must always use their turn signals as early as possible
- Motorcyclists should use flashing brake lights to warn motorists of sudden stops
If you fail to do any of these things, the insurance company may try to use this against you.
California’s Traffic Accident Laws
California is an “at-fault” state, which means you need to establish that someone else was responsible for your injuries before you can recover a settlement. This involves proving that another motorist’s negligence led to your crash, and it’s one of the reasons why working with a qualified Bakersfield Motorcycle attorney is so important.
In addition, California follows a system of comparative negligence. This means that even if you were partly to blame for your own injuries, you can still file a claim and recover compensation.
Enlist The Help Of A Qualified Attorney Today
If you’ve been searching the Bakersfield area for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney, look no further than Oaks Law Firm. We have considerable experience with a range of traffic accident injury claims, including those related to motorcycle crashes. No matter what kind of vehicle you’re operating, you deserve to be treated with care by other motorists.
Acts of reckless negligence must be deterred in order to make our roads safer for everyone. By filing a claim, you are ensuring that reckless drivers experience consequences for their actions. Reach out and speak with one of our attorneys or book your consultation today to get the ball rolling.