If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you likely feel overwhelmed and may have many motorcycle accident questions. The San Jose Personal Injury Attorneys receive a number of common motorcycle accident questions from the victims of motorcycle accidents and their families and have compiled them below for you.
Do you need to report all motorcycle accidents?
All motorcycle accidents in which someone has been injured must be reported to the police department in the city where the accidents happened or to the California Highway Patrol within 24 hours. Both the driver and the motorcycle operator must also file a report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of an accident in which someone was injured or killed or if there was property damage of $1,000 or more. The modern cost of repairs means that nearly all motorcycle accidents will need to be reported unless no damage happened or it was very minimal.
Who is at fault in a motorcycle accident involving lane splitting in California?
Lane splitting, which is the practice of motorcyclists passing long lines of cars that are stopped in traffic by traveling between the lanes, is legal in California. There are guidelines for safe lane-splitting practices that were published by the California Highway Patrol in 2017, including not to travel more than 10 mph faster than other vehicles while lane-splitting and to not engage in the practice when the flow of traffic is moving at speeds that are greater than 30 mph. Other drivers may still claim that motorcyclists who were engaged in lane-splitting at the time of their accidents were negligent. If the motorcyclists were following the guidelines for safe lane-splitting when the other driver caused the accidents, the motorists and not the motorcyclists will be at fault. If the motorcyclists were not following the guidelines for safe lane splitting, then the fault will be apportioned between the motorcyclist and the motorist under comparative negligence.
Can you recover damages in a motorcycle accident if you were not wearing a helmet?
In California, all riders and passengers on motorcycles are required to wear helmets under CVC § 27803. However, the fact that you were not wearing a helmet when you were injured in an accident will not prevent you from recovering damages if the other driver was at fault. California follows the rule of comparative negligence. If your failure to wear a helmet contributed to your injuries, the percentage of fault will be apportioned between you and the driver. Your gross recovery amount may then be reduced by the percentage of fault that is apportioned to you. For example, if your gross recovery amount is $100,000 and your failure to wear a helmet is assessed to be 10 percent to blame, your net recovery would be $90,000.
When should you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer in the Bay Area?
California has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including motorcycle accident injury claims. This limitations period is two years from the date of your injury. If you don’t file a claim before this time expires, you will not be able to file a claim for damages. For all practical purposes, however, it is crucial for you to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in the Bay area as soon after your accident as possible. This can give your lawyer the time that he or she needs to thoroughly investigate your claim and to find and talk to all of the witnesses. This can help your lawyer to preserve evidence that might otherwise be lost to time.
What makes the San Jose Personal Injury Attorneys the best choice for motorcycle accident lawyer in the Bay Area?
The San Jose Personal Injury Attorneys have substantial experience representing the injured victims of motorcycle accidents in the Bay area. We understand the common arguments that insurance companies raise in motorcycle accident claims and how to combat them. We have a strong combination of legal knowledge and litigation skills that we are able to put to use in an effort to help you to recover the maximum amount of damages possible in your claim. Call us today to schedule an appointment so that you can learn more about the help that we can offer. (408) 217-1778
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