Riding a motorcycle is about more than getting from one place to another. it is one of the many widely acknowledged symbols of freedom, and many people associate it with a lifestyle rather than a mode of transportation. Motorcycles are a hobby, but they are also a more economical way to travel through the city, and it can get you through traffic a lot faster. It’s obvious why motorcycles are so appealing. Unfortunately, when motorcycle accidents happen, the injuries can be shattering.
San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyers understand that you have as much right to fair compensation as any other vehicle driver. If, after your motorcycle crash, you decide to bring in a legal professional, it’s important that you have someone who understands the stigma placed against motorcyclists. You may have to actively fight to prove that you’re the victim, even when it’s clear that the other driver was at fault.
Motorcycles, Fault, and Your Crash Report
One of the most common challenges for motorcyclists is misattributed fault. You may have been using very safe and legal riding maneuvers. However, the at-fault driver in most situations is not aware that those maneuvers are safe or legal, and it immediately becomes a battle of fault.
It is likely that the at-fault driver will use their crash report to attempt to pin fault on you. These crash reports will often contain information or statements from the responding officers that are more opinion than they are fact. It’s important that you draw a distinction between the two and determine how to move forward with your claim.
A crash report can certainly help determine fault in an accident, but it is not the responsibility of the police to determine who was at fault. Instead, they arrive on the scene to help all involved and then document their findings. Because they respond to so many crash calls, it is reasonable that local SF police will have an in-depth understanding of fault, but again, they’re not the final decision maker on the subject.
Is Lane Splitting Safe and Legal?
Yes, in California and within the city limits of San Francisco, lane splitting is legal. Lane splitting is not always safe, and one of the primary factors that come into fault is whether the motorcyclist was Lane splitting in a safe manner.
The Mercury News, a local San Francisco news source, noted in an interview That motorcycle deaths happen 28 times more often than other vehicle-related fatalities. But, about 40% of those accidents were single-vehicle accidents that only involved the motorcycle. There’s a lot of push and pull when it comes to understanding if motorcyclists are generally driving in unsafe ways, or if standard vehicle drivers are not observant when it comes to motorcycles on the road.
The California Highway Patrol, well known for its use of motorcycles in the line of duty, has released an official statement on their opinion on Lane splitting. They’ve acknowledged that Lane splitting is legal, but only when done in a “safe and prudent” manner. Unfortunately, the California Highway Patrol isn’t the end all be all authority on Lane splitting. Yes, it is legal. However, The San Francisco Police Department is not always sympathetic to motorcyclists who were in a crash while lane splitting.
Expenses You Should Recover During a Motorcycle Claim
Every crash comes with expenses. Even the mildest situations can result in thousands of dollars in damages. California insurance providers are expected to operate within the Fair Claims Settlements Practices Regulations, which includes offering a fair settlement for the value of a similar vehicle, and settlement within specific time frames. For example, the insurer must accept or deny the claim within 40 days unless there are outstanding circumstances.
You should expect to at least request compensation for the following damages:
- Property damages to your motorcycle, moped, or electric scooter
- Recovery for all medical bills including physical therapy expenses
- All expenses related to travel for your medical needs
- Lost wages and lost job opportunities
- Pain and suffering
Now for each expense that you attempt to recover compensation for, you’ll have to provide evidence of the damages. When it comes to pain and suffering, you may need to work with experts within certain fields to determine how to assign a dollar value to these demands.
Head and Brain Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
On a national level, there are between 82,000 and 104,000 motorcycle injuries every year. Most of those injuries include some type of head or brain trauma. These traumatic events may be impossible to recover from, and while helmets certainly help to save lives, they can’t protect against every possible injury.
Even in moderate collisions, it is very likely that a motorcyclist will experience a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury includes concussions and all injuries which result from a jolt or blow to the head. It is possible that traumatic brain injury is temporary and that your brain cells will be able to fully recover. However, is some forms of traumatic brain injury can lead to lifelong brain damage.
San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Understand You May Lose More Than Other Vehicle-Crash Victim
San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyers at TorkLaw have seen the extensive damages brought on by motorcycle collisions. When a motorcyclist is hit by a vehicle, or worse, a truck, the motorcyclist is always the least protected person in the situation. This isn’t about who took the safer option in selecting a vehicle. It is about who failed to drive safely and provide a safe roadway.
It is not only possible but rather likely that you’ve experienced injuries that you may never fully recover from. To begin the process of seeking compensation for the medical debt, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and property damages, it’s best to look for professional legal guidance. Get someone on your side that can stand up to insurance companies that try to devalue the claim of seriously injured motorcyclists. A San Francisco motorcycle accident attorney should be able to quickly review the facts of your crash and determine if you can move forward with a claim against the at-fault driver.