January 17, 2017 Category: Motorcycle Accident
On Sunday January 15, 2017 a fatal, auto accident in Los Angeles claimed the lives of two person riding on a motorcycle. The collision took place at 2132 W. Florence Avenue. It was reported that the motorcycle crashed into a car. The man and woman on the motorcycle were in their 30s and were given CPR at the scene at the accident prior to their deaths. Details as to how the motorcycle accident actually occurred and who caused the accident were not immediately released by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Unfortunately, California motorcycle accidents often to lead to serious and/or fatal injuries. In many instances, whether the accident took place in Los Angeles, Burbank, West Covina, Anaheim or any other city in California many drivers of cars often claim that they didn’t see a motorcycle due to the fact that motorcycles will often drive in a blind spot. If injured in a motorcycle or car accident it is always advisable to consult with a California motorcycle accident lawyer to determine if you are entitled to compensation.
Motorcycle Blind Spot Accidents
Because motorcycles are by their nature smaller vehicles they have a greater likelihood of being caught in another car’s blind spot. California motorcycle accidents can lead to significant injuries which may entitle the motorcycle driver to just compensation for their medical bills, loss of income and pain and suffering. Drivers of cars that collide with motorcycles due to blind spots often times will still be liable for injuries under California Law even if they could not see the motorcycle at the time the collision occurred. The inability to see a motorcycle may not be a legal defense to a car accident case in California and a driver will still be held liable for injuries under certain circumstances including the following:
- The driver failed to properly check including looking over his shoulder before changing lanes or making another driving maneuver. If you take the time to read the California DMV Driver’s handbook you will learn that is recommended to not only signal before changing lanes but to wait three seconds and actually look over your shoulder if possible before merging or making a lane change. This rule is especially important to avoid blind spot accidents with motorcycles that are smaller and harder to locate.
- The driver of the car was intoxicated. Regardless of blind spots, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impair a driver’s ability to see other cars or motorcycles often times leading to serious or fatal injury accidents.
- A driver misjudged the speed and position of the motorcycle. At times it may be hard to pay attention when changing lanes or merging and simple misjudging of a motorcycles speed or location can be a substantial factor in the cause of an accident.
- Distracted driving. In many instances an inattentive driver can hit a motorcycle. Inattentiveness can be caused by a variety of factors including cell use or even just eating your vehicle while driving.
If an injured on a motorcycle you may oftentimes find that making an injury claim can be an uphill battle given that many car drivers like to blame accidents on motorcyclist. However, in most situations there usually is some liability in a blind spot accident as described above which an experienced California motorcycle accident lawyer can investigate which may entitled an injured rider to compensation under California Law.
Motorcycle Accident Lane Splitting
Often times motorcycle accidents in California my occur when a motorcyclist is lane splitting. Lane splitting, filtering or lane sharing is a driving maneuver used when a motorcycle passes another vehicle proceeding in the same direction. The passing of vehicle occurs within the same lane which often is referred to as lane splitting. Lane splitting is not illegal in California. Although a driver may be liable to a motorcyclist for injuries caused during lane splitting, it is recommended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles that motorcyclist who engage in lane splitting can also help avoid accidents by:
- Watching their speed while lane splitting or passing another driver;
- Avoid blind spots in other vehicles especially large trucks;
- When driving a motorcycle assume people driving cars do not see you; and
- Take all normal safety precautions including wearing a helmet and other protective gear.
On January 1, 2017, California Assembly Bill 51 went into effect legalizing lane splitting allowing the CHP to set guidelines setting forth the maximum speed a motorcyclist can drive while lane splitting including how much faster the motorcyclist can drive than other vehicles that are stopped or slowed down due to traffic conditions.
Because motorcyclist have less protection while riding accidents can and usually do lead to more serious injuries. As such, if you are injured in a motorcycle accident regardless of how the accident occurred you should always consult with a competent California motorcycle accident lawyer to determine your rights and make any lawful compensation claim for injuries, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.