If ever there was a place that is perfect for riding a motorcycle, Southern California is it. Endless miles of opens roads, scenic coastlines, and perfect year-round weather are ideal for two-wheeled adventure seekers.
But despite several laws designed to protect riders, the threat of an accident remains a constant concern in San Diego and throughout California. In fact, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists’ risk of a fatal crash is 35 times greater than a passenger car according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Overall, about 80% of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, while a comparable figure for auto accidents is about 20%.
Sometimes, accidents are the result of an inexperienced rider or a rider who was speeding or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But in other accidents, another driver may have caused the accident, putting them at fault. When this happens, a motorcycle rider can seek damages for physical and emotional pain, lost wages, medical bills, and property damage.
While many of the aspects of a motorcycle accident are the same as with a car accident, there are some important differences. Because of this, hiring an attorney who is specifically experienced in motorcycle accident cases is a prudent course of action.
The key differences in a motorcycle accident case
At the core of all accident cases is an attorney’s ability to prove negligence on the part of one of the drivers. This is a constant throughout all types of personal injury law.
However, when a motorcycle rider is involved, there are some notable differences.
In a motorcycle accident case, the courts will take into consideration the added risks of riding a motorcycle. With little or no protection on the roads, there is a tendency to hold car drivers to a different standard when a motorcyclist is involved. Also, there is the factor that riders are required to have specialized skills to ride a motorcycle. This includes defensive riding techniques that make riders safer than the vast majority of other drivers on the road. The bottom line is that riders must be more vigilant to survive on the open roads.
This can work in an attorney’s favor when they are seeking damages. It also increases the likelihood that a motorcycle case will not go to trial, with a defendant more frequently opting to settle the case rather than run the risk of losing big in court.
The Law Offices of Donald D. Hiney serves clients in San Diego, Chula Vista, and surrounding San Diego communities.