How You Can Prevent Motorcycle Accidents and Avoid Legal Liability
Motorcycle accidents occur far too frequently, especially in California where the sun is always shining and the roads are always busy. While it is up to motorcyclists to look out for their own safety, it is also a driver’s responsibility, as a participant of traffic, to practice safe driving techniques designed to keep the roads safe and free of accidents. The Riverside motorcycle accident attorneys at Heiting & Irwin Attorneys At Law are all too familiar with the very serious consequences of motorcycle accidents and what causes them. We do our part to keep the roads safe by fighting for the rights of motorcycle and other accident victims. If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident, reach out to our legal team to see what we can do for you.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents generally occur for the same reason that most vehicle accidents do: the victim is injured by another’s negligent driving. Some of the more common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Drunk driving;
- The driver “not seeing” the motorcycle;
- Vehicle turning left in front of a motorcycle;
- Hitting gravel on a blind turn;
- Vehicle changing lanes in front of a motorcycle (while splitting lanes etc.);
- Rear end collisions;
- Opening car doors;
- Locked front brakes;
- Road hazards;
- Defective tires and/or equipment
As a motorcyclist, there are several steps that you can take to avoid these types of accidents, including checking your bike before taking it out, always being vigilant of your surroundings, driving the speed limit, maintaining your ride, riding at a pace where your reaction time and ability to take action fit within your range of vision, and choosing your riding partners carefully. It also goes without saying that you should never drink and ride; if you plan on drinking alcoholic beverages, ask a friend to pick you up or request a taxi.
Drivers of standard vehicles can prevent motorcycle accidents by doing more or less the same: always being aware of your surroundings, looking before making a move such as a left turn or changing lanes, and driving the speed limit. Moreover, checking rearview mirrors and, of course, do not drive drunk.
Determining Liability for Motorcycle Accidents
Sadly, too many insurance companies automatically assume that fault lies with the motorcyclist. After all, motorcycles are inherently dangerous and anyone who chooses to ride one assumes the risks that come with it. However, automatically assigning liability to the motorcyclist without conducting an investigation first is not only unfair but it is also illegal.
Determining liability in a motor vehicle accident of any kind comes down to determining negligence. The law states that any driver of any motor vehicle is required to take deliberate steps to avoid causing harm to others on the road. Negligence can stem from any action or inaction on the part of a driver. Once it is established who was negligent, the court, insurance agency, or both can then assign liability. However, establishing negligence is not so simple.
The Negligence Claim
An accident claim has several parts, things the plaintiff (the accident victim) needs to prove in court:
- The defendant had a duty of care (which they did simply by opting to be on the road);
- The defendant did not do what was required of them and was negligent;
- The plaintiff suffered actual physical injuries or loss as a result of the negligence; and
- The types and amounts of damages.
While each of these points is fairly straightforward, it can be difficult to prove some aspects. However, with the right legal counsel on your side and the right investigative team, you can prove all parts and be well on your way to obtaining the compensation necessary to recover from the accident, emotionally and financially.
Retain the Help of an Aggressive Riverside Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The best way to a successful outcome is via the help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. If you or a loved one were in a motorcycle accident, do not try to settle the claim on your own. While your case may seem clear-cut, the law is often complex and convoluted, and what might seem obvious to you might require extensive evidence to convince a judge and jury. The Riverside motorcycle accident attorneys at Heiting & Irwin Attorneys At Law are familiar with how the court systems work and understand what evidence is necessary to bring the jury to a favorable conclusion.
Do not take a chance on your personal injury case, and reach out to our law firm today for the legal assistance you need to win your case. Call 951-682-6400 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation today.