Everything About Motorcycle Accident
Paying attention to its tires is an important part of ensuring that a motorcycle’s performance remains optimal. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Here are some tips on tire safety to help you reduce the risk of tire wear that can lead to an accident.
Motorcycle Tire Safety Tips
Choose the right tire
When choosing motorcycle tires, be sure they meet your motorcycle manufacturer’s requirements and expected use.
Also, don’t use radial tires on a bike not designed for radial use. Incorrect fitment of radial motorcycle tires can adversely affect handling and stability, leading to an accident.
Finally, keep in mind that new motorcycle tires are usually coated with a waxy type film from the curing process;
Therefore, they should not be ridden at max power or hard cornering until after about 100 miles.
Check tire pressure
Air pressure fluctuates slightly each month but can increase over time. It is beneficial to keep an eye on tire pressure and, ideally, check it before every ride. Underinflated tires result in accidents, poor performance, and reduced longevity.
Know when it’s time to change a tire
Tires in poor condition can ruin the motorcycle’s performance and risk your safety. Weekly inspections are recommended to check the condition of the tires, the depth of the treads, any damage caused by impacts, or any signs of abnormal wear.
Generally, tires should be checked by a mechanic every year after five years of use. Replace your tires if you notice a puncture, the tread has passed its legal wear limit, or shows signs of aging (e.g., cracks or deformation). (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Do not exceed the load capacity of the tire.
Never exceed the maximum load capacity of your motorcycle tires or the maximum weight of your motorcycle, which can be found in your motorcycle owner’s manual.
Motorcycle trailers often cause instability, excessive tire stress, and overloading. Most motorcycle tire manufacturers do not warranty tires on motorcycles that pull trailers. If you pull a trailer, use extreme caution.
Tire Mounting and Balancing
Before reinstalling the new wheel and motorcycle tire assembly, it must be professionally balanced. Unbalanced motorcycle tires will vibrate and greatly accelerate tire wear. In addition, improper mounting may cause a tire blowout and serious injury or death.
Before repairing the tire, tell your dealer or mechanic if you have used an aerosol fixer to inflate/seal the tire.
Since aerosol fixatives can contain highly volatile gases, the valve core must be removed from heat sources, and the tire must be completely disassembled so the rim can be removed for repair.
- Tires with less than 1/32 inch (0.8 mm) of tread should be replaced, not repaired.
- Tires with punctures larger than 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) in diameter should not be repaired but replaced.
- Using only plugs is not a safe repair on any tire.
- A punctured tire or other damage outside the tread area cannot be adequately repaired.
- Any tire repair done without removing the tire from the rim is improper.
- Tubes should not be a substitute for proper repair.
Do I need motorcycle insurance in California?
Motorcyclists are subject to the same insurance laws as other motorists. As a result, you need motorcycle insurance to drive a motorcycle in California legally. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Do I need motorcycle insurance in California?
Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in California
Under current California financial responsibility laws, motorcyclists must carry minimum liability insurance of:
- $15,000 for the death or injury of a person;
- $30,000 for the death or injury of multiple people in a single accident; And,
- $5,000 in property damage coverage.
Liability insurance will pay for damages and any injuries caused by you in an accident.
However, this will not protect you. Therefore, many motorcyclists buy alternative forms in addition to motorcycle insurance.
Fine for driving without insurance
Motorcyclists without insurance find themselves fined if caught. The first offense carries a fine of between $100 and $200, and the second offense is between $200 and $500.
While a $100 fine may not sound like much of an impact, with additional penalties and fees, the fine could cost you closer to $450.
Additionally, your motorcycle may be impounded and taken away. If an officer chooses to do so, you will not be able to retrieve it unless you purchase insurance, provide proof of coverage, and pay all towing and storage fees, which may be sufficient. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident without valid insurance or a certificate of self-insurance, your license can be suspended for up to four years.
What happens when a motorcycle accident claim exceeds the policy’s limit of liability?
If you are at fault for a motorcycle accident and the other party’s damages exceed your liability policy limit, one of two things usually happens.
(1) you must voluntarily pay the difference out of your pocket, or
(2) the injured party will file suit against you to recover the excess costs. If the other party gets a judgment against you and you fail to pay, a lien can be filed against you and your property.
If this happens, you will need to pay the judgment in full or work out a payment plan, so you don’t lose wages or have your property seized.
As a result, many motorcyclists purchase policies with higher liability coverage limits than the minimum amount required by California law. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Optional Insurance Coverage in California
Motorcyclists have the option of purchasing additional coverage, such as the following:
- Collision: This type of insurance will cover you after an accident, irrespective of who is at fault.
- Comprehensive: This coverage pays for damages caused to your motorcycle due to non-collision circumstances, such as theft or a weather-related incident.
- Medical Payments: Provides payment for your medical expenses incurred due to a collision.
- Rental Car Reimbursement: If you need a rental vehicle while waiting for your motorcycle to be repaired or pay for its replacement, this coverage will pay for it.
- Loan/Lease Repayment: This is also referred to as gap coverage, which can pay the difference between the amount you still owe on the loan or lease and the cash value of the motorcycle.
- Roadside Assistance: If you need to tow your motorcycle after an accident, your insurer will send a tow truck if your policy covers roadside assistance.
California Motorcycle Insurance Requirements and Laws
Anyone who owns or rides a motorcycle in California is required by law to have insurance.
Following the law is important because it will protect you from significant financial risk if You are involved in an accident. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Motorcycle insurance coverage in California
California has specific minimum insurance coverage requirements for motorcyclists under California Vehicle Code §16056. This is also called 15/30/5 coverage, which includes:
- $15,000 for injury or death to a person
- $30,000 for injury or death of more than one person, and
- $5,000 for property damage.
Motorcyclists must have a valid proof of insurance and must provide this when:
- requested by law enforcement,
- renewal of vehicle registration, or
- Involved in an accident.
Failure to provide proof of financial responsibility after a collision can result in fines and license revocation.
Under insured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Motorcycle insurance providers must, by law (California Insurance Code §11580.2), offer uninsured motorist bodily injury (UM) and under insured motorist coverage (UIM).
This type of insurance is optional, but you must decline in writing. Uninsured or under insured motorist coverage helps motorcyclists in the following scenarios:
UM: If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, UM will pay for damages up to the same limit as your liability coverage.
UIM: If the other party you are involved in an accident with has a lower liability coverage limit that is not enough to pay for the total cost of your injuries and damages, UIM can help bridge the gap. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Alternative Methods of Establishing Financial Responsibility
California Vehicle Code §16002 provides the following alternative methods for establishing financial responsibility for an accident:
- $35,000 cash deposit paid to DMV;
- Self-insurance certificate issued by the DMV; either,
- A surety bond of at least $35,000 is issued by a company licensed to do business in California.
- However, purchasing a motorcycle insurance policy is one of the easiest ways to establish financial responsibility. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Motorcycle license requirements
It is not technically necessary to have a motorcycle license to buy motorcycle insurance; However, most insurers will ask to see a valid motorcycle license. There are two motorcycle license options in California:
Class M1: This license allows riders to operate any two-wheeler motorcycle and all vehicles listed in the Class M2 designation.
Class M2: This license allows riders to drive motorized bicycles with attachments and mopeds.
To drive a conventional motorcycle, you must apply for a Class M1 license.
Other Recommended Car Insurance Coverage
Suppose you cause a motorcycle collision in California. In that case, the other party can file a personal injury lawsuit against you for damages that exceed the limits of your policy.
You must only have 15/30/5 in liability insurance per California law, but increasing your policy limits is highly recommended.
The minimum coverage amount may be insufficient to cover a serious accident, leaving you liable for a higher amount. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Riverside
Motorcyclists are at greater risk of being injured or killed in a crash than those traveling in passenger vehicles.
Therefore, it is important to know the most common causes of motorcycle accidents to protect yourself and others on the road.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Obeying the speed limit is important to maintain their safety and the safety of others. Speeding increases the risk of an accident and the possibility of serious injuries.
Higher speeds give riders less time to react, which can make it easier to lose control of a motorcycle. Riders are more likely to speed under the influence of alcohol or drugs, making this a deadly combination. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Riding under the influence
Motorcycles are dangerous when sober, and since alcohol impairs the senses, driving a motorcycle while intoxicated is even more dangerous.
Alcohol and drugs can affect a rider’s judgment, reaction time, balance, and coordination.
Motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2019 had a higher percentage of alcohol impairment than drivers of other motor vehicle types.
It is not just above the legal limit of .08% blood alcohol content (BAC) that makes riding dangerous, as a BAC as low as .05% can change your chances of being in a crash by as much as 40%.
When a driver fails to notice a motorcycle in their blind spot and makes an unsafe lane change or turn, it can be fatal to the motorcyclist.
Blind spot accidents are a constant threat, as it is estimated that more than 800,000 collisions occur each year.
Failure to give right of way
Because motorcycles are so small, drivers tend to misjudge their distance and speed. As a result, they cause an accident by taking a left turn on their way.
Hit on the head
A head-on accident occurs when a motorcycle’s front end collides with another vehicle’s front end. There are many scenarios where head-on collisions can occur, for example:
- A vehicle swerves into the opposite lane and collides with oncoming traffic.
- The starting vehicle collides with the other vehicle, causing it to collide with the vehicle coming from the front.
- The driver is distracted or impaired, causing the vehicle to cross into the opposite lane.
- A risky overtaking maneuver, especially on blind turns.
These crashes are often fatal, given the force involved and the fact that passenger cars weigh four times more than the average motorcycle. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Road hazards and fixed objects
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to elements such as road debris, wet or uneven pavement, potholes, snow and ice, animals, etc.
These hazards are very dangerous for motorcyclists and contribute to serious collisions.
How is a fault in a motorcycle accident determined?
When you are involved in a motorcycle accident in California, you must prove that the collision was caused by another party for their insurance company to accept your claim and offer compensation.
Here are the factors an insurer will consider when determining fault in a motorcycle accident.
How is fault determined in California motorcycle accidents?
A police report can be extremely beneficial in proving wrongdoing.
It does not always have the final say, but the information and opinion of the officer they believe caused the accident can carry a great deal of weight in an insurer’s decision.
For example, the officer would include the following:
- the Final position of cars
- Location and extent of damage to vehicles
- Are airbags deployed
- Are there skid marks from braking efforts?
- interview with drivers
- interviews with accident witnesses
- Does either driver appear to be intoxicated
- no matter what car is breaking down
- did they see the video footage of the accident
Is. If one party is cited or charged with a traffic law violation (e.g., drunk driving), this can serve as important evidence of fault that is difficult to challenge.
However, police officers can make mistakes, and drivers can lie. Therefore, insurers will also consider additional evidence, such as witness statements, video footage if available, the extent and location of the damage on vehicles, and more. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
No-Doubt Liability Accidents
The fault of some motorcycle accidents is called “dispute liability.” This means that almost always, a particular party is to blame for the circumstances of the conflict. For example,
Driver in the back: When a driver hits a motorcyclist from behind, the fault usually falls on the driver in the back because it is believed that they should have stopped in time and left more space between them and the motorcyclist. It was needed
Left-hand turn: When a motorcyclist is hit by a driver making a left-hand turn, the driver is often considered at fault.
This is because they are turning in front of oncoming traffic, so it is assumed that they did not enter the intersection with enough time and space to complete the turn.
Backing-up Drivers: When a driver backs up and hits a motorcyclist, the driver will be at fault.
Red-light runner: Drivers who run red lights are usually at fault in motorcycle accidents. However, if both drivers claim they had a green light, the insurance company must investigate further.
In these cases, it is very challenging for the at-fault party to argue liability, and claims are often quickly resolved in a settlement. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Comparative Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents
Since California is a no-fault state, the party who caused the motorcycle accident is liable for damages.
However, California also has a law known as pure comparative negligence, which applies to motorcycle accident cases.
Under this law, a percentage of fault is assigned to each party involved, but unless you are 100% at fault, you can recover compensation, but it will be reduced.
For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but found 30% at fault for your motorcycle accident, you would receive 70%, or $70,000.
Additionally, if you are found 90% responsible, you will only collect 10% of your award, or $10,000, etc.
Therefore, it is important to work with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can ensure that the blame falls on the appropriate party.
Ways to avoid the most common causes of accidents
Motorcyclists are at an extremely high risk of serious injury and should take extra precautions to prevent collisions. Here are some tips to avoid the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
Ways to avoid the most common causes of accidents
- Cars turning left in front of a motorcyclist
- One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is when a vehicle fails to yield the right of way to a motorcyclist and turns left in front of him.
- How to Avoid: Before entering an intersection, look for signs that another motorist may be turning in front of you.
- Be patient and be prepared to procrastinate when necessary.
- Consider whether the driver can see you.
- Try to check if they are paying attention and looking in your direction.
- See where their wheels are pointing.
Where the motorcyclist is riding
When riding on a highway or multi-lane road, drivers often fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes.
How to Avoid: Try to move out of the blind spot of other vehicles. As a general rule, if you can’t see the driver in their side mirror, they can’t see you.
Be alert in situations where there are frequent lane changes and pay attention to the following signs:
- turn signals
- wheels turning
- drivers who are swinging
- The driver’s head is turning to check traffic.
When a motorcyclist is hit from behind, it often occurs at an intersection when the driver fails to stop in time or when the driver is speeding. These conflicts can be disastrous.
How to avoid :
When approaching an intersection, try to stop at the edge of the lane instead of in the center.
Regularly check your mirrors to see what is happening behind you if a vehicle is approaching too fast.
Quickly flash your brake lights by tapping the brake lever, and be ready to accelerate by keeping your hand on the throttle. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Going into a corner too fast
When a motorcyclist enters a corner too fast, he cannot make it on the tightrope. If they get anxious and brake too hard, the front wheel locks up, and loses control of the bike.
How to Avoid: If you can’t see where you’re going, slow down when entering a corner. Many accidents happen when riders think they are going too fast, but they actually may be.
If you finally feel like you’re going too fast around a corner, look for a way out and tell yourself that you can do it.
When a rider drinks and drives, alcohol affects their judgment and slows reaction times, as a result, it is a primary factor in serious and fatal collisions.
How to Avoid: Don’t ride if you’ve been drinking. Doing so while riding a motorcycle is even more dangerous than driving a passenger because balance and coordination are required to keep the bike upright.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a collision, contact one of our motorcycle accident attorneys with any questions.
In some cases, dangerous road conditions are to blame for serious motorcycle accidents. As a result, determining fault can be more complex than in other collisions.
- Road conditions that can lead to serious motorcycle accidents
- Common road conditions that cause motorcycle accidents
Here are some of the most common dangerous situations that lead to motorcycle accidents:
- Debris on the road.
- Big cracks in the road.
- Absence of railing or divider.
- Faded lines mark streets, road boundaries, or intersections.
- Poor lighting on roads and intersections.
- Pavement defects (for example, potholes, uneven pavements, re-emerged pavements, and grooved pavements).
- Poorly designed intersections.
- Changes without visible signals or markings.
- Sand or loose gravel on the pavement.
Hazardous weather (e.g., floods, severe storms, etc.) is often a contributing factor. Still, in these circumstances, a second party may not be liable unless another driver is involved in the accident.
Who is responsible for the dilapidated roads?
State governments and local agencies maintain most of the roads.
For example, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is responsible for maintaining state highways, and Riverside County’s Department of Transportation maintains over 2,200 miles of roads within unincorporated areas of Riverside County.
Therefore, if Caltrans or the Department of Transportation fails to do so properly, resulting in an accident, those agencies may be liable for damages.
However, in some situations, a private contractor or other entities may be liable or jointly responsible for failure to maintain the road.
As a result, these cases often require a thorough investigation to determine whether multiple parties should be held accountable for contributing to the collision. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Can local or state governments be held responsible?
Local and state government officials are often exempt from civil liability. However, sovereign immunity is waived for motorcyclists injured in motorcycle accidents caused by preventable, dangerous road conditions.
As long as the accident was caused by the negligence of a government employee or agency, you have the right to file a claim against the government agency where the accident occurred.
An injury claim must be filed against the state government within six months of the injury. You have another six months to file a lawsuit if your claim is denied.
Here are some safety tips to help reduce your chances of injury due to a motorcycle accident or road conditions. For example:
Wear a helmet. If you are involved in an unavoidable motorcycle accident, wearing a helmet could save your life.
Be careful. Be extra cautious, and don’t expect other motorists to see you on the road.
Stay sober. Drunk driving greatly increases the chances of an accident. By impairing your senses, judgment, and decision-making, riding drunk can prevent you from noticing a dangerous road situation until it is too late.
Avoid fatigue. Fatigue can dramatically slow reaction times which can prevent a crash. Tired riders face as many hazards as drunk.
Take a security course. Even if you think you’re an experienced rider, a refresher safety course can remind you of some best practices worth following.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident caused by dangerous road conditions, arrange a free consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney today.
Who is responsible for a no-contact motorcycle accident?
Motorcycle accidents don’t always involve contact with another vehicle. In a non-contact accident, the negligence of another motorist pushes a motorcyclist off the road or into another object.
Proving fault in these cases can be extremely complex; However, the motorist who caused the collision is liable even if there was no contact. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Liability in No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents
In California, any party who causes an accident through negligence or careless actions may be liable for consequential damages.
Therefore, if a motorcyclist can locate or identify the at-fault driver, they can file a claim against their insurer or sue the driver personally for their damages.
Even if they only find a partial license plate, this can be reported to law enforcement, and they may be able to use that information to find the driver.
However, if the at-fault party flees the scene or doesn’t notice that their behavior caused a motorcycle accident doesn’t stop, holding them accountable can be challenging.
This is known as a phantom driver, and although law enforcement will treat it as a hit-and-run, likely, they will not be able to find the at-fault party.
In these situations, motorcyclists often rely on their insurance policy to cover their injuries and damages or pay out of pocket until the at-fault driver is found.
Insurance coverage for contact-less motorcycle accidents
Depending on the type of insurance coverage a motorcyclist has, they may be able to file an accident claim with their own insurance company.
For example, collision coverage will pay for property damage and damages related to the accident, regardless of who was at fault. (Everything About Motorcycle Accident)
Why no-contact motorcycle accidents happen
Common causes of no-contact motorcycle accidents include:
- Driver fails to yield the right of way.
- Driver fails to stop at a stop sign or traffic lights
- when a car swerves to avoid other drivers making an illegal or dangerous move
- Aggressive driving (for example, cutting off a motorcyclist)
- distracted driving
- driver trying to avoid a collision in front of them
- the driver who merges or changes lanes without looking
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but most non-contact accidents are caused by driver error.
Types of Compensation Available
If you can trace the at-fault driver, you have the right to hold them accountable for the following types of compensation:
- Medical Expenses: Current and future costs for emergency care, surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitation, home care, prescription drugs, and other necessary treatment.
- Lost income: Lost current and future wages due to inability to work.
- Decreased earning capacity: The difference in income if you cannot earn at the same level as before the motorcycle accident.
- Property Damage: Repair or replacement of your motorcycle and any other personal items damaged in the accident (e.g., helmet, cell phone, etc.)
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the pain and suffering that you have suffered.
- Emotional Distress: If you suffer from any psychological condition from the accident, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.
If there is evidence that the wrongdoer acted knowingly or with extreme disregard for the safety of others, the court may award punitive damages.
If you or someone you love was involved in an accident, contact our motorcycle accident attorneys for qualified legal representation.
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