Fresno Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Catastrophic Injury Attorney in Fresno
If you or someone you love has suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of a motorcycle accident in Fresno, it’s important that you seek representation from a from Fresno motorcycle accident attorneys. We have experience handling both motorcycle accident cases and catastrophic injury cases, and sadly the two are often combined. Compared to cars and trucks, motorcyclists are virtually unprotected from the impacts and the blunt force trauma that motorcycle accidents can create. Because of this, many motorcycle accidents result in injuries such as:
- Brain Injuries
- Crushed or Bruised Organs
- Head Trauma
- Internal Bleeding
- Loss of Sensation
- Multiple Bone Fractures
- Nerve Damage
- Neurological Disorders
- Shoulder Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
Catastrophically Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
Even if you think you may have been at fault, it’s important to seek guidance form a Fresno catastrophic injury lawyer so you can understand your rights. At the Pacific Attorney Group our initial consultation is free, and we can review your case to determine how we might be able to assist you. Motorcycle and insurance claims are often more complicated than auto insurance claims, and with our team’s experienced representation we can aggressively represent your case to seek damages if your accident was caused by negligence or wrongful conduct by another driver. We can work to recover damages such as current and future medical expenses, current and future lost wages, emotional trauma, and possibly more. Recovery from a motorcycle accident can be a long road, both physically and financially- but you don’t have to go through this process alone. Pacific Attorney group has over 40 combined years of legal experience that could be put to work handling your case.
To discuss your case and your possible legal options stemming from your motorcycle accident, please contact the Pacific Attorney Group for a free consultation with a Fresno catastrophic injury lawyer today!
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Serving the Fresno Area
When looking at the overall subject of motorcycle accidents, which includes any traffic collisions including motorcyclists, it is important to look at statistics. Motorcycle accident statistics can shed light on a number of essential issues, such as the severity of these collisions, who is most likely to be injured, what causes these accidents and what age group is most often involved. To learn more about these important matters, please continue reading the facts, figures and statistics we have compiled below. You can also contact a Fresno motorcycle accident lawyer at our firm at any time for a free, confidential review of your case.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) offers extensive traffic accident statistics online, including those that involve motorcyclists. According to the 2010 Annual Report of Fatal and Injury Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS):
- There were 135 injury motorcycle accidents and 11 fatal motorcycle accidents in Fresno County in 2010. The majority of these collisions occurred in unincorporated state highways and county roadways: 76 injury motorcycle accidents and 7 fatal motorcycle accidents.
- There were 3 fatal motorcycle accidents and 56 injury motorcycle accidents in the City of Fresno.
- 135 of the 3,041 injury auto accidents in Fresno County involved motorcycles. Though they accounted for only 4.4% of injury accidents in the county, motorcycles were involved in 11.6% of fatal auto accidents in Fresno County.
- 12 motorcyclists were killed and 141 were injured in Fresno County motorcycle accidents in 2010.
- Motorcyclists accounted for 21% of traffic fatalities in Fresno County but only 5% of those injured in traffic accidents. This statistics shows that motorcyclists are more likely to sustain fatal injuries in traffic accidents.
- There were 19,159 motorcycles registered in Fresno County in 2010.
- 9 of the 12 motorcyclists who lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2010 were wearing proper safety equipment. 118 of the 141 motorcyclists injured in accidents were also wearing proper safety gear.
The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) also offers informative motorcycle accident statistics by state and nationwide. According to NHTSA statistics from 2011:
- 4,612 motorcyclists lost their lives in traffic accidents in the U.S. 94% of these motorcyclists were riders and 6% were passengers.
- 81,000 motorcyclists were injured in traffic collisions.
- Though motorcycles accounted for a mere 3% of registered vehicles in the U.S. and only 0.6% of vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of traffic fatalities.
- Nearly half of fatal motorcycle accidents involved a collision with another vehicle.
- Of two-vehicle motorcycle accidents, 75% of motorcycles collided with a vehicle in front of them. Only 6% of motorcycles were struck in the rear.
- 38% of fatal two-vehicle motorcycle accidents involved left-turn collisions where another vehicle was turning left and the motorcycle was going straight, passing or overtaking another vehicle.
- In 23% of fatal two-vehicle motorcycle accidents, both vehicles were traveling straight.
- Speeding was more prevalent in fatal motorcycle accidents than in other types of fatal auto accidents, reported as a contributing factor in 35% of motorcycle riders as compared to 22% of passenger car drivers, 19% of light truck drivers and 8% of large truck drivers.
- More than half (55%) of motorcyclists killed in motorcycle accidents were at least 40 years old.
- Motorcyclists younger than 30 accounted for 26.5% of all motorcyclist fatalities.
- The age group with the lowest number of fatalities was motorcyclists aged 30 to 39, accounting for 17.8% of all motorcyclist fatalities.
- With 386, California accounted for the third-highest number of motorcyclist fatalities in the U.S.
Motorcyclists 30 Times More Likely to Die in Traffic Accidents
NHTSA statistics reveal startling information regarding the hazards that motorcyclists face in the event of a collision. According to nationwide motorcycle accident statistics from 2011:
- Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were over 30 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash.
Per registered vehicle, motorcyclists were six times more likely to die in traffic accidents than passenger car occupants. The fatality rate per 100,000 registered vehicles was 54.66 for motorcycles, 8.9 for passenger cars and 8.95 for light trucks. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 24.93 for motorcycles, 0.8 for passenger cars and 0.81 for light trucks. Per registered vehicle, the injury rate for motorcyclists was similar to the rate for passenger car occupants.
There are a number of factors that may contribute to a motorcyclist experiencing severe and life-threatening injuries in a traffic accident. Motorcyclists do not have the protection of a steel frame and airbag like occupants of other vehicles; and even with a helmet and other protective equipment, they may sustain catastrophic injuries in a collision. The smaller size and lighter weight of a motorcycle also mean that it and its rider will sustain the brunt of impact in the event of a collision.
Ask an Attorney
If you are dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident in the Fresno area, you may benefit from involving a legal professional who is familiar with representing clients in these complex cases. At Pacific Attorney Group, we have more than 40 years of combined experience and understand how to deal with insurance claims and personal injury litigation involving motorcycle accidents. To learn more about our firm and how we can help you, call for a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accidents Causes
Fresno Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Though motorcyclists are prone to the same types of negligent and wrongful driving behavior as other motorists, there are some particular risks they face due to the smaller size of their vehicles. Here we will discuss all of the common and not-so-common causes of motorcycle accidents, including drunk driving, speeding, driving while distracted, lane splitting, inexperienced riders, heavy weather and more.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you can find knowledgeable counsel in a legal professional at Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP. Our attorneys represent clients across the Fresno area who have been injured in traffic accidents, helping them seek fair compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost earnings and much more. You can find out more about our firm by arranging a free consultation with a Fresno motorcycle accident lawyer, or continue reading to learn more about this important subject.
Understanding What Causes Motorcycle Accidents
Awareness of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents may actually help you avoid becoming a victim of a collision, as you will know what to watch for and what steps you can take to protect yourself. The following factors may contribute to a collision:
Drinking and driving: It is never a good idea to drive or ride while under the influence of alcohol, and it is important to be on the lookout for drunk drivers, who may be less likely to see a motorcycle and rider while their abilities are impaired.
Speeding:Drivingabove the posted speed limit or too fast for current conditions can contribute to a motorcycle accident and can also increase the severity of a collision due to an increased force of impact. Watch for speeding motorists and be sure to obey the speed limit.
Driving while distracted:Motorcyclists are already at a disadvantage on the road due to the small size of their vehicles, and distracted drivers present a particularly high risk of a collision. Texting while driving, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, talking to a passenger, eating, drinking and applying make-up are all examples of distracted driving that may lead to a motorcycle accident.
Inexperience: Operating a motorcycle requires special training and a license. Proper training can help a motorcyclist know what dangers to watch for on the road while riding in a safe and proper manner. Inexperience can cause a motorcycle accident if a rider or other motorist mishandles a vehicle or reacts incorrectly to an emergency situation.
Dangerous roadways: Hazardous and poorly maintained roads often present more of a danger to motorcyclists than to other motorists. A motorcyclist can easily lose control after hitting a pothole or debris.
Heavy weather: Rain, fog, snow and heavy wind can all contribute to a motorcycle accident, particularly if a driver is already speeding or driving while distracted. Weather can decrease visibility, making it less likely that other motorists will see a motorcyclist. Heavy weather can also compromise roadway safety.
Left-turn accidents: failure to yield the right of way. Many motorcycle accidents occur at intersections, where a motorist turns left into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist. These accidents can often be attributed to distraction or negligence.
Improper lane change: Motorists put motorcyclists at risk when they change lanes suddenly or without checking their blind spots. Because motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and may ride between lanes in certain situations, motorists may be prone to hitting motorcyclists when changing lanes.
Motorcycle defects: A defect in a motorcycle or motorcycle part can cause a collision to occur. In these cases, the manufacturer or other party responsible for producing a defect-free part may be held accountable through a product liability lawsuit.
Looking to learn more? Contact a Fresno motorcycle accident attorney at our firm.
Fresno Motorcycle Injury Lawyers
Motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to sustain fatal injuries than passenger car occupants, per vehicle mile traveled, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics from 2011. What factors make motorcyclist injuries more severe, and what type of injuries may a motorcycle rider experience in a collision? Here we will address these and other issues related to motorcycle accident injuries. In addition to reviewing these, we welcome you to contact our offices for a free consultation with a Fresno motorcycle accident attorney.
Why are motorcyclists more likely to be injured?
In 2011, motorcycles accounted for 3% of all registered vehicles in the U.S. and only 0.6% of vehicle miles traveled. In spite of these low numbers, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities that same year. According to these statistics, motorcyclists were more than 30 times more likely to be killed and 5 times more likely to be injured in traffic accidents than occupants of passenger cars. The higher risk of injury and death may be attributed to two key factors:
Motorcyclists are less protected in the event of a collision. In California, motorcyclists are required to wear helmets. Even with a proper helmet and other safety gear, such as a jacket, gloves, boots and pants, motorcyclists are far less protected than vehicle occupants in the event of a collision. A driver or passenger in a car, truck or SUV is protected by a steel frame, airbags and safety belt. A motorcyclist has none of these things. Though a motorcyclist may be wearing a helmet and other gear, he or she may still experience dramatic injuries in a collision.
As the smaller objects in a collision, a motorcycle and rider are more likely to sustain damage. When a large object (car) and a small object (motorcycle) collide, the two objects will experience the same magnitude of force in the collision, but the smaller object will be more affected by the force. A good example takes this to the extreme: a bug that collides with the windshield of a car is usually crushed and the car sustains no damage. Though the bug and car experienced the same force of impact, the mass of the car was greater and therefore had more of an influence on the bug.
What types of injuries may a motorcyclist sustain in a collision?
A motorcyclist may be at risk of various types of injuries in a traffic accident, from broken bones to spinal cord trauma to loss of limb. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study of motorcyclist injuries using accidents reported between 2001 and 2008 across the U.S. According to this study, about 1.2 million people received emergency care for motorcycle injuries and more than 34,000 motorcyclists were killed. The CDC also analyzed the types of non-fatal injuries that motorcycle riders sustained:
- Leg and foot injuries (reported in 30% of motorcyclists who received emergency care)
- Head and neck injuries (22%)
- Upper trunk injuries (20%)
- Arm and hand injuries (18%)
- Lower trunk injuries (8%)
- Other/unknown injuries (3%)
The specific types of injuries that may be experienced by a motorcycle rider may include:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Severe lacerations and contusions (road rash)
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries (paralysis, paraplegia, quadriplegia)
- Facial trauma
- Amputation / loss of limb
- Traumatic brain injury (concussion, brain damage, coma)
Considering the nature and severity of motorcycle accident injuries, it is important to make sure that your right to compensation is protected to the fullest extent. That is where a legal professional at Pacific Attorney Group can make all the difference. Contact a Fresno motorcycle accident lawyer today.
Motorcycle Accident Insurance Claims
Fresno Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
After a motorcycle accident, one of the issues you will need to deal with is an insurance claim. You will need to inform your insurance provider of the collision and will also need to handle any resulting communication, such as phone calls and written letters or statements regarding the cause of the collision and the value of your claim. All of these details can be quite complicated, and it is far too easy to say or do something that is considered admitting fault or accepting a settlement that does not actually cover all injuries and property damage the accident has caused. That is why we recommend involving an attorney as soon as possible.
A Fresno motorcycle accident attorney at Pacific Attorney Group can help you by handling every aspect of your insurance claim, and this includes dealing with your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance provider, law enforcement, the other driver and any other interested parties. While you focus on healing and moving on with your life, you can trust that your attorney will handle all of these matters with the know-how and experience necessary to properly protect your interests every step of the way. That said, there are a few measures you can take to preserve your right to maximum compensation:
Try to get as much information as possible
Get the name and insurance information of the other driver, the name and badge number of any police officers on the scene, the police incident number and any other pertinent information that you may need to give to your insurance company when informing them of the accident. Taking pictures and getting the names of witnesses may also help.
Even when talking to your own insurance provider, be sure that you do not admit fault
When fault is assigned to you, your insurance rates may increase and your own insurance policy will have to cover your injuries and property damage. Ask your insurance provider if they are assigning fault to you or the other driver, and read any paperwork before you sign! It is important to ensure that fault is not assigned to you simply because you were the motorcyclist.
If you were seriously injured and your damages exceed your or the other driver’s policy limit, consider involving an attorney
Victims of serious motorcycle accidents are often better off working with a legal professional, as it can be exceedingly difficult to secure a fair settlement that covers all medical expenses, property damage, missed work and even emotional trauma.
Avoid any “side deal” with the other driver that excludes insurance companiesAt times, motorists may say that they do not want to involve their insurance company and may ask a motorcyclist not to report the incident to his or her insurance provider. This can be a dangerous proposition. If you do not involve law enforcement and your insurance company, you could adversely affect your right to compensation in the future, and the side deal could work against you in the long run.
Be careful signing anything
If your insurance company gives you a settlement offer or other piece of paperwork and wants you to sign, read it carefully. Ask questions and get anything clarified that you do not fully understand. If anything seems shady or underhanded, or if you were involved in a serious accident, consider involving an attorney to review this for you.
Carefully review property damage and economic losses before accepting a settlement offer Far too often, insurance providers offer low settlements that may barely cover a motorcyclist’s injuries and property damage. Make sure any and all medical expenses related to the incident are covered, and that your settlement fully covers damage to your bike (including custom or aftermarket work). Getting a fair settlement is crucial if you are to rebuild your bike and recover physically and financially. This is another scenario where an attorney can make all the difference, to ensure you receive the money you deserve.
Involve an attorney. If you run into any issues with a delayed or denied insurance claim or a settlement offer that is too low, you may benefit from involving an attorney. A legal professional can put the appropriate amount of pressure on the insurance company to help make sure that your claim is handled in a fair and timely manner, all while protecting your interests to the fullest extent.
Looking help with your insurance claim? Contact a Fresno motorcycle accident lawyer today.
Recent Motorcycle Accidents in Fresno
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a motorcycle accident in Fresno it’s important that you seek representation from a firm like Pacific Attorney Group that has experience handling both motorcycle accident cases and catastrophic injury cases, because sadly the two are often combined. Motorcyclists are virtually unprotected from impacts from cars and the surrounding environment (roads, dividers, etc.). Due to this, many motorcycle accidents result catastrophic injury or death to the motorcyclist or their passenger.
Representing Motorcycle Accident Victims in Fresno, CA
It’s important to discuss your motorcycle accident with a lawyer, even if you think you may have been at fault. At Pacific Attorney Group our initial consultation is free, and we can review your case to determine how we might be able to assist you. Motorcycle insurance claims are often more complicated than auto insurance claims, and with our experienced representation you might have a better outcome with your insurance claim and obtaining the financial compensation you need to recover from your accident.
We can also investigate your case and help you seek damages if your accident was caused by negligence or wrongful conduct by another driver, such as driving under the influence, speeding, or driving while distracted. If you have been the victim of a motorcycle accident our team is fully committed to aggressively representing your case and reckless drivers responsible for their actions. Recovery from a motorcycle accident can be a long road, both physically and financially- but you don’t have to go through this process alone. Pacific Attorney group has over 40 combined years of legal experience that could be put to work handling your case. Contact a Fresno motorcycle accident attorney today at 1-800-358-9617.