Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Schedule a Free Case Review With a Top-Tier Bakersfield, CA Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
California is a great state for motorcycle enthusiasts. Unfortunately, the many thousands of motorcyclists on our roads are at a particularly high risk for injury— and the reason is quite clear. Motorcyclists 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 on the road
At Oaks Law Firm, our Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorneys have the specialized skills, experience, and legal expertise that injured victims can rely on. 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. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation with a top Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer, please do not hesitate to contact us today.
Know the Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident in Bakersfield, California
The immediate aftermath of a serious motorcycle crash in Bakersfield is often chaotic. You may have a ton of questions about what exactly needs to be done to protect yourself and your rights. A proactive approach can make all of the difference between a good outcome and a frustrating experience. Here are four steps to take after a motorcycle accident in Bakersfield:
- Stop Your Motorcycle and Remain at the Scene: Safety comes first. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Bakersfield, it is imperative that you stop your bike immediately and stay at the scene. Get to a safe place outside of the flow of traffic to the best extent that you can do so. In California, leaving the scene of an accident without good cause—such as a medical emergency—can result in serious legal consequences. Stop your motorcycle, exchange information with other parties to the crash, and remain at the scene.
- Notify the Police Right Away of the Crash: All motorcycle crashes that result in either physical injuries or major property damage ($1,000 or more) should be reported to law enforcement right away. Be sure to notify the police—such as the Bakersfield Police Department or the Kern County Sheriff’s Office—of a motorcycle as soon as possible. When the police arrive, they will document the scene and file a report.
- Seek Prompt Medical Care for Any Motorcycle Accident Injuries: All motorcycle crash injuries in Bakersfield should be evaluated by a licensed physician. In fact, even if you believe you only have modest injuries, it is still important to seek medical attention right away. Many common injuries from motorcycle accidents can be internal and, as a consequence, not immediately apparent. Prompt medical attention ensures your health, safety, and well-being. Beyond that, it also creates a record of your damages. You cannot bring a successful motorcycle accident injury claim in Bakersfield unless you have seen a doctor.
- Speak to a Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Before an Insurer: Before contacting your insurance company or before giving a recorded statement to any other party’s insurance company, it is advisable to consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Bakersfield. Insurance companies are not on your side. A lawyer will protect your rights and help ensure that the process is handled properly. You do not have to take on insurance adjusters on your own.
You Need a Top Motorcycle Accident Lawyer After a Serious Crash in Bakersfield
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. At Oaks Law Firm, our Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyers represent injured victims on contingency. There are no upfront costs or out-of-pocket fees—our motorcycle accident lawyers only get paid when you get paid.
Motorcyclists Face Serious Safety Risks (Most Common Injuries)
With limited protection, motorcyclists face serious safety risks. According to data cited by Forbes, motorcycle crashes are approximately 28 times more likely to result in fatalities than other types of vehicle collisions. All motorcycle crash injuries should be evaluated and treated by a licensed physician. Even a motorcyclist who believes that they only sustained modest harm in the crash may be far more seriously injured than they recognize. Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries reported in Bakersfield and elsewhere in Kern County include:
- Road rash.
- Biker’s arm.
- Soft tissue injuries.
- Torn ligaments.
- Broken bones.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
- Internal organ injuries.
- Spinal cord damage.
Note: You must see a doctor to bring a motorcycle accident claim in California. If you do not have medical records, you will not be in a position to recover compensation through a motorcycle accident claim.
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 in 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 (What to Know About Motorcycle Accident Liability)
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. As an example, imagine that you suffer $20,000 in damages in a motorcycle crash in Bakersfield. If you are found to be liable for 20 percent of your own accident, you would bear the legal responsibility for 20 percent of your own motorcycle accident damages ($4,000).
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim in California?
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim resulting from a motorcycle accident—or for that matter, any other type of motor vehicle accident—in California is two years from the date of the accident. There are very few exceptions to this deadline. Injured in a motorcycle accident in Kern County? You have two years from the date of the accident to initiate a lawsuit. Otherwise, you may not be able to bring a claim at all. Do not fall behind the defense: Consult with a top Bakersfield, CA motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after a bad crash.
Understanding California’s Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Laws
Have you seen a motorcyclist lane split in California? It is a lawful practice—assuming that certain required safety standards are met. Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of U.S. states prohibit motorcycle lane-splitting, As explained by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the state allows riders to split lanes between slow-moving or outright stopped traffic in certain circumstances. Here is an overview of the regulations:
- A Motorcycle Cannot Exceed 40 MPH While Lane-Splitting: One of the key motorcycle lane-splitting regulations in California is that a motorcyclist cannot exceed a speed of 40 miles per hour while lane-splitting. Notably, the CHP actually recommends motorcyclists avoid lane splitting when going faster than 30 MPH. Though, up to 40 MPH can be lawfully done in certain situations in Bakersfield. The rule is in place to reduce the risk of accidents—remember higher speeds give less reaction time for both the motorcyclist and other drivers. All riders must abide by the speed limit when lane-splitting.
- Motorcyclists Should Go No More than 10 MPH Above Traffic: Beyond the overall speed limit for motorcycle lane-splitting in California, riders should take care not to travel too much faster than other traffic when engaged in lane-splitting. More specifically, California law states that riders should not exceed a speed that is more than 10 miles per hour above that of the surrounding traffic. It is a safety regulation that helps in minimizing the speed differential between a lane-splitting motorcycle and other vehicles.
- Motorcycle Lane Splitting Must Always Be Done Safely: Above all else, motorcycle lane splitting in California must always be done safely. If it cannot be done safely, it should not be done at all. Motorcyclists are expected to navigate through traffic with the utmost care. They must ensure the safety of themselves and other road users. Among other things, this duty includes being aware of the size of the gap between vehicles, the speed of surrounding traffic, and environmental conditions like wet roads or poor visibility. Safety is paramount.
Motorcycle lane-splitting accident claims are especially complex. As it is a lawful practice, a motorcyclist who is engaged in lane-splitting in Bakersfield, CA is not automatically liable for a crash. That being said, they could be legally responsible if their negligence—such as a violation of one of our state’s motorcycle lane-splitting laws—contributed to the crash.
We Help Injured Motorcyclists in Bakersfield, CA Secure the Maximum Compensation
Hurt in a motorcycle crash in Bakersfield or elsewhere in Kern County? You need financial compensation to pay bills and cover your damages. California law allows motorcycle accident victims to pursue compensation for out-of-pocket losses and intangible damages. You have the right to bring a claim against a driver, a trucking company, motorcycle manufacturer, or other at-fault party. For the most part, motorcycle accident claims are handled by large insurance companies. Sadly, insurers are not on your side—they have a financial incentive to try to resolve claims for as little as possible. At Oak Law Firm, our Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorneys are committed to helping injured victims secure the greatest possible settlement or jury verdict. You may be entitled to recover financial relief for:
- Motorcycle repairs.
- Emergency medical treatment.
- Hospital bills and other health costs.
- Physical therapy and rehabilitative care.
- Lost wages and loss of earning potential.
- Pain and suffering & mental anguish.
- Disability or disfigurement.
- Wrongful death of a family member.
Why Trust Our Bakersfield Motorcycle Injury Attorneys
Motorcycle accident claims are a specialized area of a law. You need a lawyer who has the type of unique expertise that you can trust when it matters most. At Oaks Law Firm, we always put the needs and interests of injured motorcyclists and their families first. You do not have to take on a large insurance company alone. Among other things, our Bakersfield, CA motorcycle accident lawyers are prepared to:
- Hear what you have to say and answer personal injury questions.
- Investigate your motorcycle wreck, gathering the key evidence.
- Represent you in settlement negotiations with any insurers.
- Develop a comprehensive, personalized strategy focused on getting the best results.
We Represent Injured Motorcyclists in Bakersfield On Contingency Fee
There is no need to be worried that you cannot afford a top-tier Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer with our firm. We take on motorcycle accident injury claims and motorcycle accident wrongful death claims on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay no upfront legal fees. There are no hourly bills or other out-of-pocket expenses. Instead, our legal fees are totally contingent upon successfully securing a settlement or verdict in your favor. We understand the unique challenges motorcyclists face after an accident and we are committed to advocating for your rights. Even better, initial consultations are free, fully confidential, and carry absolutely no obligations.
Contact Our Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Lawyer 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.
CALL TODAY! (877) 539-5366
Recovering the Damages You Deserve
If someone else is to blame for your injuries, you have the right to seek compensation for the full amount of damages you've suffered. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, as well as pain and suffering. You must bring forth your claim within one year of the accident date. Not filing your case within one year will bar you from recovery.