Having the wind in your hair and the open road in front of you is a feeling like no other. This is the reason many motorcyclists choose this type of vehicle. Unfortunately, while you may safely ride your motorcycle around town, there are many drivers on the road that do not safely share the road with you.
Drivers may not use proper caution when switching lanes or turning. They might not pay enough attention to the road to notice smaller vehicles like motorcycles. Drivers can make many mistakes that cause them to hit a motorcyclist and cause severe and life-changing injuries.
Drivers who fail to take reasonable care to avoid collisions with motorcyclists should be liable for all the harm and losses they cause. However, getting justice for yourself after a motorcycle accident can be difficult. This is why you should consult with a California motorcycle accident attorney at Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos as soon as possible.
Seeking Justice for Injured Motorcyclists
Motorcyclists have every right to share the road, as these are lawful vehicles. You should never go for a ride and end up in the hospital with your life forever changed. Sadly, we have seen many people who suffered catastrophic injuries while riding a motorcycle, and our legal team commits to seeking full compensation and justice for them.
Insurance companies regularly assume that motorcyclists are reckless individuals who bring harm to themselves. At Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, we know that is not true. We know motorcyclists are often victims of tragic accidents due to driver negligence.
In one motorcycle accident case, an investigating police officer assessed that our client was 100 percent to blame for the crash. We determined and proved what really happened and obtained a $3.7 million settlement for our injured client. This is only one example of how our firm stands up for motorcyclists and their rights to compensation.
Motorcycle Crashes in California
It should surprise nobody that California has the largest number of registered motorcycles of any state in the U.S. With beautiful year-round weather, seemingly endless coastal views, and multiple national and state parks, CA is the place to be riding a motorcycle.
While simple daily commute rides are enjoyable, some of the most popular motorcycle rides in California include:
- Highway 1/Pacific Coast Highway
- Conzelman Road out of San Francisco
- Angeles Crest Highway
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Route 74
- Route 33
- Emigrant Road
- Sierra Heritage Highway
- Route 101/Redwood Highway
- Feather River Scenic Byway
To get a motorcycle license, individuals over 21 must pass a skills and knowledge test, pass a vision exam, provide their fingerprints, and complete an application. Those under 21 have additional requirements.
The motorcycle laws in California are strict, and motorcyclists must be aware of all safety laws to obtain a license. Unfortunately, other drivers are not so compliant with traffic laws, and they regularly make mistakes that put motorcycle riders in harm’s way.
How Do Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
Motorcycle accidents can happen in many different ways. One common collision occurs when another vehicle makes a left turn as a motorcycle is continuing straight. Drivers might also change lanes without noticing a motorcycle is in the adjacent lane and run the motorcyclist off the road.
Examples of driver conduct that regularly leads to motorcycle accidents include:
- Speeding: As with any motor vehicle accident, speeding can quickly lead to devastating consequences. When a person is speeding, they cannot in time to avoid hitting a motorcycle or even slow down before a collision.
- Improper passing: It is common to switch lanes and pass a motorcycle. However, when a driver is not paying enough attention, they can completely miss that a motorcycle is in the lane they want to get into.
- Distracted driving: This often happens due to texting and driving, eating, talking on the phone, or even daydreaming. Distracted drivers regularly hit other vehicles, including smaller motorcycles that are already more difficult to see.
- Aggressive driving: Some drivers allow impatience or anger to get the best of them, and they might take out their emotions by driving recklessly. Some people have something against motorcycles on the road and might target motorcyclists with their aggression. Aggressive driving behavior might include tailgating, harassment, running a motorcyclist off the road, and weaving in and out of traffic.
- Driving under the influence: Whether it be drugs or alcohol, driving under the influence slows reaction times and blurs vision. It has an overall effect on a person’s mental state. Intoxicated drivers have more difficulty seeing motorcycles and safely maneuvering around them.
- Opening car doors into traffic: An often overlooked cause of motorcycle accidents is when a parked car opens a door into traffic. The owner of the parked car may not be paying attention to their surroundings and open the door at the worst possible moment. This can cause an approaching motorcyclist to smash right into the door and go toppling onto the pavement.
- Failing to yield: When a driver is turning, they might not see an oncoming motorcyclist, or they might misjudge the motorcycle’s speed and turn right in front of them.
When a driver is negligent and hits a motorcyclist or causes the motorcycle to crash, the driver’s insurance company should cover all the victim’s losses. Unfortunately, drivers and insurance companies regularly point the finger at motorcyclists to try to avoid liability.
If you believe someone else caused your accident and injuries, the motorcycle accident attorneys of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos are ready to help. We know that drivers are regularly the cause of motorcycle wrecks, and we protect the rights of the injured.
Injuries Caused by a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists sustain some of the worst injuries of any motor vehicle accident victim. Many of these injuries require lifelong treatment, and your life may never be the same again. Medical treatment can be substantial, meaning a mountain of bills will follow. While you may have insurance, it is unlikely that it will cover all of your bills, and you should not be responsible for any of these costs.
This is why you will need a California motorcycle accident attorney from Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to get you the compensation you deserve.
Examples of injuries from a motorcycle accident include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Crush injuries
- Back injuries
Motorcyclists do not have the safety protections of cars or trucks, so they regularly suffer catastrophic injuries - even in seemingly minor crashes. A helmet and other safety gear only go so far, and motorcyclists routinely sustain head trauma, skull fractures, brain injuries, and facial injuries while wearing a DOT-compliant helmet.
Drivers are often surprised to learn how serious a motorcyclist’s injuries were and how much compensation they need for their losses. Insurers regularly try to undervalue motorcycle injuries, but our lawyers know how much you deserve and will fight for it.
Fatal Motorcycle CrashesSome motorcycle accidents lead to such severe injuries that the motorcyclist does not survive. Whether a victim dies at the scene or later in the hospital, it leaves close family members reeling to unexpectedly lose a loved one. Not only do they have devastating grief, but they might also lose the financial, practical, and emotional support of a household member. At Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, we work with families who suffered this type of tragic loss due to someone else’s conduct. California law allows the following surviving family members to seek compensation for wrongful death:
- Spouse or domestic partner
- Children or grandchildren
Our California motorcycle accident lawyers know that fatal crashes can leave families in the lurch. We are here to protect you if a negligent driver leaves you in this unimaginable situation. If a loved one recently passed away from a motorcycle accident, the responsible party should be liable, so your family receives the justice and financial support you deserve.
You may not want to discuss money or think about the legal process so soon after a loved one dies, but you should contact our office. While your family focuses on grieving and trying to pick up the pieces from the loss, insurance companies are moving quickly to minimize liability or discount the accident altogether. Do not worry, as your motorcycle accident attorney will handle all the legal aspects, so you do not have any additional stress added to your plate.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle crash and injuries, the team of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos will protect your legal rights. However, there are things you can do to help yourself before we get on board.
First, always get a complete medical evaluation. In many cases, a motorcyclist’s injuries are so severe that an ambulance takes them directly to the hospital for trauma care. However, even if you did not need emergency transportation, you should have a medical professional assess your condition right away.
You want a complete diagnosis of all your injuries so you:
- Can begin treatment immediately and potentially improve your prognosis
- Have records and documentation of your injuries to present to insurance companies
As soon as you can, write down any and all details you remember from the accident. This should include dates, times, the weather, other vehicle descriptions, and any witness information you may have obtained.
You might receive communications from the other driver’s insurance company. Do not discuss the accident with the insurance company, and do not say anything that might admit fault. In fact, you should inform the insurer that you plan to hire an accident attorney and then have our lawyers handle all communications.
If you receive a quick settlement offer, do not accept it or sign anything without speaking to our motorcycle accident attorneys first. Resolving your case without a lengthy claim process might seem too good to be true - because it is. Quick settlements are usually an insurance company’s attempt to get you to accept much lower than you need and deserve.
If you accept a settlement and then later learn it is inadequate, you cannot go back and request more. You want our attorneys to calculate the value of your claim before you accept anything or even begin to negotiate with an insurance company.
After your health is stable enough, you should not wait to contact Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos. We will meet with you at no cost and assess whether you have a claim.
Fighting for Full Compensation for Injured Motorcyclists
Insurance companies protect their bottom lines by trying to limit claim payments.
We know how to calculate your losses, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent impairment or disfigurement
Insurance companies regularly underestimate the value of your non-economic losses, especially if you have catastrophic injuries. If your injury changed your life, you deserve compensation for this intangible loss. We know how to counter inadequate offers with evidence proving your injury’s full effects. We do not stop negotiating until we get what our clients deserve. If a fair offer never comes, we do not hesitate to take the matter to court.
Consult With a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney
After a motorcycle accident, there is a lot going on. You are dealing with injuries, medical treatment, financial concerns, pain, and more. You might feel worried about the rest of your life if you have a permanent injury. The last thing you should worry about is handling insurance companies or filing an injury lawsuit.
Let Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos fight for you. Our California personal injury lawyers know that the insurance company will try to push you around, but we will not back down. Contact us at (650) 345-8484 for your no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation right away. We will advise you of your legal options and answer any questions you have.