California and San Diego Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the state of California had over 864,000 registered motorcycles in 2020, with over 155,000 in Los Angeles, and over 85,000 in San Diego. Evidently, a state with such a hefty amount of registered motorcycles also has a high number of motorcycle accidents, with San Diego being one of the counties with the highest number of motorcycle collisions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- In 2020, there were 539 motorcycle accident fatalities in California, an increase of 9.8 percent from 491 in 2019.
- Fatalities involving motorcyclists without helmets increased 25 percent from 28 in 2019, to 35 in 2020.
- In 2020, 10,553 riders suffered motorcycle accident injuries, with an increase to 11,435 in injuries in 2021.
- Roughly 65% of motorcyclists were at fault in fatal motorcycle crashes in 2020, with an increase to 69% in 2021.
- Roughly 58% of motorcyclists involved in crashes were at fault for the resulting injuries in 2020, with the same percentage (58%) persisting for 2021.
According to the Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS), in San Diego County (2020), there were:
- Over 1,100 motorcycle accidents
- A total of 43 motorcycle accident fatalities
- A total of 1,199 motorcycle accident injuries
Finally, according to NBC Universal, some of the most dangerous intersections in San Diego County are the following:
- State Route 52 Westbound and Convoy Street.
- State Route 163 Northbound and State Route 163
- State Route 163 Southbound and Robinson Avenue
- State Route 125 Northbound and E. H Street
- State Route 94 Westbound and Broadway
- State Route 94 Westbound and 25th Street
- Interstate 805 Northbound and Balboa Avenue
These are all dangerous traffic locations for motorcyclists and other motorists. Over the years, these places saw a multitude of vehicle collisions, some of them involving motorcycles.
Motorcycle riders know the risk they assume in exchange for the excitement and freedom of riding. But they also know, as we do at Harker Injury Law, that they have a right to ride and a right to the duty of care we all owe each other on the road, whether in a car or truck or on a motorcycle.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in the San Diego area that someone else caused, you have rights. This includes the right to compensation for your injuries and losses. Harker Injury Law will help you protect and exercise your rights after a motorcycle accident.
Bronson Harker and other members of Harker Injury Law have had friends, family members, and clients suffer serious injuries in crashes. We understand the long-lasting consequences of serious motorcycle accidents and want to do what we can as personal injury lawyers to make things right for you and your family. We will build a solid motorcycle accident case to hold the negligent driver and any others accountable for their actions and seek full compensation for your injuries and losses.
Contact Harker Injury Law in San Diego today for a free consultation about your motorcycle accident and a potential legal claim. Let us look out for you while you focus on your recovery and family needs. We’ll take up the fight to make your financial future right.
Let Us Take the Lead in Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
While thousands of riders are injured in Southern California and San Diego motorcycle accidents every year, when you or a loved one is involved in a serious motorcycle accident, it is a unique and new experience.
Part of the experience is likely to be shock, stress, confusion and even anger on the part of the injured motorcyclist and his or her family. But motorcycle accident victims or family members who interact with police, the other driver, insurers and others can make costly mistakes in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident.
It is best to obtain legal help from an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after being seriously injured in a motorcycle crash. If someone else caused your accident, there is money at stake that can pay for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage to your motorcycle, your pain and suffering, and more.
Bronson Harker and Harker Injury Law will respond promptly after your motorcycle accident and stand up for you. We protect injured motorcyclists when motorists try to make excuses — He came out of nowhere! — or blame the rider for an accident.
Contact Harker Injury Law in San Diego today for:
- Free, no obligation legal consultation. We’ll meet with you to review the circumstances of your accident, the extent of your injuries, and the potential to obtain compensation for you. If someone else caused your motorcycle accident, it’s likely they can be held accountable and compelled to compensate you.
- Investigation of your motorcycle accident. We’ll gather the evidence, witness statements, police reports, etc., to determine what happened and who is at fault. You may know that a motorist hit you, but our investigation may show that additional third parties, such as the motorist’s employer, a bartender that served a drunk driver, etc., are also liable and owe you compensation for your losses.
- Calculation of the full extent of your losses. You should be compensated for all past, present and future costs and losses due to your motorcycle accident. We can have independent medical professionals analyze your medical records and prognosis for recovery, including anticipated medical needs. We’ll also account for lost income, including any losses due to diminished earning capacity; costs to repair or replace your bike and other damaged gear; and more. We’ll discuss with you documenting your personal journey of recovery to demonstrate what you deserve as compensation for your pain and suffering.
- Management of your insurance claims. We’ll deal with insurers so you don’t have to. We will identify all parties liable for your motorcycle accident and applicable insurance coverage they hold, and file a very possible motorcycle accident claim for full compensation to you. If insurers will not do the responsible thing, we will file one or more personal injury lawsuits demanding compensation and asking the court to order payment to you.
- Aggressive negotiations and skilled litigation. As your advocates, we will push aggressively for insurers to provide comprehensive payment of your claim. We will press relentlessly for payment as we mitigate any evidence that may detract from your claim. If we cannot obtain an appropriate settlement outside of court, we will present a solid and persuasive case before judge and jury.
- Full-service, attentive legal representation. When Bronson Harker is your motorcycle accident attorney, you have access to the Harker Injury Law 24/7 via phone or text. We’ll answer your questions and concerns, and keep you up to date on the status of your case. We’ll manage all communication with insurers and others. We’ll head off your creditors by sending “letters of representation” advising them that Harker Injury Law is pursuing a legal claim for you and payment is pending. We’ll stay up to date on your medical care and recovery to make sure we know how you are doing and whether there’s anything else we can do to help you.
Talk to Harker Injury Law before agreeing to anything proposed or presented by any insurance company after a motorcycle accident. Insurance adjusters are not there to treat you fairly. Their obligation is to their employer’s bottom line.
Harker Injury Law will develop an insurance claim that accounts of all of your losses from a motorcycle accident, including anticipated expenses, which but insurers will ignore if not pressed by knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyers.
Remember, Harker Injury Law pursues motorcycle accident claims on a contingency-fee basis.
It costs you nothing to seek justice with Harker Injury Law by your side. Our law firm pays all investigative and legal costs upfront, and accepts payment only as an agreed-upon portion of money we win for you.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in San Diego, CA
When a car driver is involved in a vehicle collision, an important percentage of the impact is absorbed by the body of the vehicle. Plus, most cars nowadays are equipped with a variety of safety devices (i.e. seat belts, airbags, etc). Although most motorcyclists do wear their helmets, motorcycles themselves do not offer a lot of protection when a collision happens. Therefore, motorcycle accidents often result in debilitating injuries, while the whole experience can be extremely traumatic, particularly for the rider.
At Harker Injury Law, our San Diego personal injury attorneys understand the gravity of a motorcycle accident. That’s why if you were involved in a motorcycle crash or witnessed one, we recommend you to take the following steps:
Assess the situation. If you haven’t lost consciousness, take a moment to assess the extent of your injuries. Also, check if others involved in the accident need help.
Get to a safe location. Get out of harm’s way and also move your motorcycle to a safe area to prevent any other collisions from happening.
Call 911. Once you are safe, call 911 to report the accident to the San Diego police, as well as to request an ambulance if necessary.
Gather evidence at the scene of the crash. If you can, gather as much evidence as possible from the scene of the crash. Take photos of your vehicle, of other vehicles involved in the crash, and of road tire marks. Collect contact information from witnesses. You can also use your phone to write down the order of the events that took place, as well as all the details relevant to the accident. All this information will be put to good use by your motorcycle accident attorney later on.
Get the police report. When the police arrive, they will make an accident report. Before you or they leave the scene, request a copy of that police report. Your motorcycle accident attorney will also need this piece of evidence.
Exchange information. Exchange necessary information with the other parties involved in the accident. This includes names, contact details, insurance information, and license plate numbers.
Report the accident to your insurance company. You should notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. However, it’s important to remember that insurance companies are private businesses, and they may try to minimize your compensation. Even if it is clear that you had no fault in the accident, do not assume that securing maximum compensation for your damages and injuries will be an easy process. Therefore, be brief and only notify them about the crash. They should reply and guide you through the claims process and present your options.
Contact a San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer. Especially if your accident resulted in significant injuries, extensive damage to your motorcycle, and multiple parties were involved, it is wise to contact a San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer. They can provide legal counsel, deal with the insurance companies for you, make sure you are not low-balled on your compensation, and also make sure you won’t miss any deadlines.
California Motorcycle Laws Overview
The state of California has specific laws in place to protect motorcycle riders and other motorists, covering aspects such as licensing, helmet requirements, lane splitting, and equipment regulations. Here are a few key aspects regarding California motorcycle laws, empowering you with the knowledge you need for navigating the roads confidently and responsibly.
The state of California requires all motorcyclists and their passengers to wear a helmet in accordance with the Department of Transportation (DOT)(CVC § 27803). According to CDC, the motorcycle helmet reduces the risk of death by 37% and the risk of the motorcycle rider sustaining a head injury by 69%.
Other Motorcycle Safety Equipment Laws
Along with the strict California motorcycle helmet law, riders are obligated to adhere to other rules and regulations with regard to the equipment on their motorcycles. Some of the most important regulations on this matter are:
Seat and handlebars: CVC § 27801 specifies that a rider’s hands on the handlebars shouldn’t be higher than six inches above their shoulders when they are seated. Also, when the rider is seated, both their feet should reach the ground.
Lights and signals: CVC § 25650 specifies that each motorcycle should be equipped with at least one headlight, but not more than two. Taillamps should be red in color and visible from a distance of 500 feet from the rear of the vehicle (CVC § 24600). Also, the motorcycle must have functional turn signal lights both at the rear and at the front (CVC § 24951).
Mirrors: CVC § 26709 specifies that all motorcycles should be equipped with two mirrors.
Motorcycle Passenger Law
In California, motorcyclists are allowed to transport passengers on their motorcycles. However, CVC § 27800 specifies that a motorcycle passenger should be seated on a fastened seat at the rear of the rider. The passenger must be provided with footrests which he or she should use when the vehicle is in motion. Motorcycle sidecars are also allowed in California.
Lane Splitting Law
In the state of California, lane splitting is legal. According to the Vehicle Code VEH § 21658.1, motorcyclists are allowed to ride “between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including on both divided and undivided streets, roads, or highways”. Riding a motorcycle in this manner can be dangerous. Therefore, the motorcycle accident attorneys at Harker Injury Law recommend all riders to proceed with caution and at lower speeds when engaging in lane splitting, to avoid collisions and potential injuries to themselves and other motorists.
Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Disabilities
It is a distressing fact that many motorcycle riders who survive motorcycle accidents become permanently disabled by their injuries. Motorcycle accidents are notorious for causing such disabling and disfiguring injuries as:
- Head and traumatic brain injury (TBI) with physical and cognitive impairment
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis (paraplegia, tetraplegia)
- Complex / crushing fractures of legs, pelvis, vertebrae, jaw and facial bones
- Traumatic or surgical amputation of legs, arms, feet, hands, etc.
In cases of disability after a motorcycle accident, it is necessary to document future costs and losses if you are to pursue the full insurance compensation you need and deserve.
Harker Injury Law turns to consultants we regularly work with in motorcycle accident cases to ensure the claims we file on your behalf provide a full accounting of what’s necessary to ensure you and your family are made financially whole.
To document anticipated medical costs in your future, we would work with experts to develop a life care plan. This plan takes into account an accident victim’s medical prognosis and needs for long-term medical and rehabilitative care, as well as the requirements of their lifestyle as a person with physical and emotional challenges.
A life care plan is customized for the individual. It provides a detailed accounting of multiple needs over the patient’s expected lifespan, as well as their anticipated costs.
Such a planning document may address:
- Medical tests, exams and treatment, including delayed reparative or cosmetic surgery
- Consumable medical supplies
- Physical rehabilitation, i.e., occupational and/or vocational therapy
- Psychological assessment and therapy / counseling
- Prosthetics or orthodontics
- Adaptive devices (e.g., walker, wheelchair, communication devices, etc.), including schedules for maintenance and eventual replacement
- Adapted transportation (e.g., modified vehicle controls, van with lift, etc.), including schedules for maintenance and eventual replacement, or hired transportation assistance
- Adaptation to home and/or furnishings (e.g., ramps, wider doorways, lavatory renovations, hospital bed, etc.)
- In-home aide, nursing care or personal assistance
- Institutional care
It is also appropriate to consider and seek compensation for family members’ needs. The spouse, child or other close relative of a motorcyclist disabled in a crash has their life upended as well. They may benefit from psychological counseling or other assistance, which should be compensated as an expense of the accident.
The disabled motorcyclist will also suffer a loss of income, which over the course of their lifetime could exceed medical costs of the accident. With the help of financial consultants, we can calculate these losses, too.
Depending on the injured motorcycle rider’s previous employment and education and training, compensable lost income may include the value of:
- Salary, including unrealized COLA and merit raises over their expected work life had the accident not occurred.
- Fringe benefits, including health and life insurance, retirement plan contributions and other tax-deferred payments, stock options, etc., and the unrealized growth of invested funds.
- Unrealized salary/wage increases due to anticipated promotion or other career advancement.
Harker Injury Law has the knowledge, experience and dedication necessary to go the extra mile to identify all of your compensable losses after a motorcycle accident, as well as every person or entity that should compensate you.
We also have a track record of holding individuals and other entities accountable when their negligence has contributed to a motorcycle accident that has left a rider seriously injured or has led to their wrongful death. We do not back down from negligent defendants and/or insurers with deep pockets to defend their wrongdoing. We’ll fight for you.
Contact Our San Diego Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
San Diego attorney Bronson Harker fights aggressively to seek the compensation each client deserves and needs to move forward after being unjustly injured in a motorcycle accident. Harker Injury Law team has the skills and the resources needed to take on insurance companies, and will always put your best interests first.
After a motorcycle accident that has caused serious injury, Harker Injury Law will take on the burden of making things right financially for you and your family. We work with individuals and families in the San Diego, El Cajon, Escondido, and Riverside areas of Southern California.
Our law firm provides legal services on a contingency-fee basis. We’ll investigate your motorcycle accident and pursue the maximum compensation available to you without charge unless and until we recover compensation for you.
Contact us now to set up your free initial legal consultation.