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Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents in San Diego

Published April 14, 2023 by Harker Injury Law

Californians love the fun and freedom of riding their motorcycles on all types of roadways, from urban San Diego to beautiful backwood trails. Yet, whether it be your preferred mode of transportation or your favorite pastime, riding comes with considerable risk. Due to the fact that there is simply far less protection offered than with an average passenger vehicle, motorcycle accidents can be particularly devastating.

If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to focus on your recovery. However, you may be distracted by worries about your long-term prognosis and how to meet your financial needs. The prospect of filing an insurance claim or pursuing a lawsuit can feel overwhelming.

Having an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney on your side can ease your stress and give you peace of mind. The compassionate legal team at Harker Injury Law in San Diego can guide you through every step of the legal process and help you get your life back on track.

Contact us now for a free consultation with a member of our legal team.

Frequent Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can be especially dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 4 times more likely to be injured in a crash than passenger vehicle occupants. A rider can mitigate some risks by wearing a helmet and driving defensively, but accidents still tend to occur.

The majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers who fail to recognize motorcyclists in their path.

The following are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in San Diego:

Motorcycle accidents caused by cars making a left-turn

Drivers making a left-hand turn may hit a motorcyclist who is:

  • Going straight through an intersection
  • Passing the car
  • Attempting to overtake the car

Motorcyclists can be hard to see, especially in intersections. In order to avoid a left-turn motorcycle crash, try to anticipate the other driver’s next move and attempt to make eye contact with the turning driver. If you think someone is about to turn, slow down, and move over to avoid a collision. 

Lane-changing motorcycle accidents

Lane-changing accidents occur when you are riding next to a vehicle that decides to merge into your lane. It may be that the other driver is not paying attention, or you may be riding in his or her blind spot.

Be alert to signs that a driver is about to change lanes. Make sure that you can always see the other car’s mirrors because this means the driver can likely see you. If you sense you may be in a person’s blind spot, speed up or slow down to get out of it.

Head-on motorcycle crashes

Head-on collisions between a motorcycle and a car often result in catastrophic injuries. Head-on collisions frequently occur at high speeds and happen in the blink of an eye.

These practices can help a rider avoid a head-on crash:

  • Read the road ahead. By scanning the road ahead, you can often avoid an accident.
  • Drive to the right. Riding in the right-hand lane can protect a motorcyclist from head-on collisions and accidental lane changes.
  • Reduce your speed. Slow down if you notice another vehicle swerving or failing to pay attention. Reducing your speed can literally save your life.
  • Ride off the road. In order to avoid a head-on collision, you may need to slow down and drive off the road, onto the shoulder or grass.

Corner-turning motorcycle crashes

San Diego is full of beautiful winding roads, ideal for motorcycle riding. However, extreme caution is necessary. It is easy for motorcyclists to wipe out if they take a corner too hard or too fast. 

Ride at a speed that will give you time to react if you see a tight corner or hazard ahead. It is good practice to enter a corner wide and slowly to increase your field of vision.

High-speed motorcycle accidents

Sadly, speeding is often a significant factor in serious motorcycle accidents. Excessive speeding can lead to your bike spinning out or otherwise not being able to stop fast enough to avoid a collision. To avoid such accidents, observe the speed limit.

Lane splitting motorcycle accidents

California is the only state that allows lane splitting by motorcyclists. Lane splitting happens when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving vehicles. While lane splitting can be convenient, especially in congested traffic, it also is a common cause of accidents. 

Lane splitting can lead to a motorcycle accident for several reasons:

  • The motorcycle and the car are in very close proximity
  • The motorcycle has reduced space in which to maneuver
  • Drivers do not anticipate that a rider will be passing them in slow or stop-and-go traffic
  • Automobile drivers cannot lane split, so they may not be expecting others to

If a motorcyclist chooses to lane split in San Diego, he or she needs to exercise extreme caution so as not to take other drivers by surprise.

Drunk driving motorcycle accidents

Driving a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous. The potential for a deadly accident is high. To avoid the risk of catastrophic injury, don’t drink and drive.

Contributing Factors to San Diego Motorcycle Accidents

Most motorcycle accidents can be avoided. While many are caused by driver error or negligence, there may also be other factors at play.

Additional causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Mechanical failure
  • Riding too close to parked cars, especially in urban areas
  • Weather conditions
  • Rider lacks skill
  • Poor road design
  • Other drivers misjudge a motorcycle’s speed
  • An obstacle or stationary object in the road
  • Poor signage
  • Failure to see pedestrian or bicycle

Whatever the cause of your accident, a good San Diego motorcycle accident attorney can help you pursue rightful compensation for your injuries and losses.

Common Injuries in San Diego Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles lack almost any protection. As a result, many crashes result in significant injuries that can impact the rest of your life.

The most common types of motorcycle accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations
  • Road rash
  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Paralysis
  • Wrongful death

A knowledgeable and sympathetic accident attorney is the support you need in the aftermath of a serious accident. He or she can do the legal legwork for your accident claim so that you can focus on making a full recovery, both physically and emotionally.

Potential Compensation After a San Diego Motorcycle Accident

It is not uncommon for a motorcycle accident to take a heavy financial toll on injured riders and their loved ones. Accident losses can range in severity and may involve a totaled bike, debilitating physical conditions, and emotional pain and suffering.

Motorcyclists have the same rights as everyone else when it comes to accident compensation. If you were injured due to another driver’s reckless or negligent behavior, you likely have legal recourse. The law allows you to seek both economic and non-economic damages after an accident.

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may qualify to attain restitution for the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Emergency room costs
  • Ongoing treatment costs
  • Prescription medications
  • Property damage
  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death

In order to truly move forward after an accident, you need to have enough money to meet the challenges you face today and in the future. It is not always easy to calculate how much money you truly need for the long term. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer, though, can review the facts of your case and help you determine a fair compensation amount.

Reach Out to San Diego Motorcycle Accident Attorney Who Care

San Diego County is a fantastic place to ride a motorcycle. Unfortunately, all too many San Diego residents get into motorcycle crashes with other drivers every year. A serious accident can upend your life in a matter of minutes.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or a loved one was killed in a fatal motorcycle crash, you need qualified legal representation. At Harker Injury Law, we believe that every California motorcycle rider deserves a voice. When you put your case in our hands, you can rest assured that we will see it through to the end.

Once we take your case, we will fight aggressively for your right to full and just compensation. Our legal team is not afraid to take on the other driver’s insurance company. You can count on us to be fully engaged in resolving your accident claim.

The San Diego-based motorcycle accident lawyers at Harker Injury Law want to hear your story. We provide our legal services on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no upfront legal fees and you won’t pay us anything unless and until you get money for your claim.

Please don’t wait. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review.

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