California and motorcycles go together like peanut butter and jelly, or prehistoric mammals and tar pits. There’s spectacular terrain, scenic interstates, and excellent weather everywhere you look. What’s not to love if you’re a bike enthusiast?
Well, there are always the millions of motorists in cars and trucks clogging up the highways. Between 2004 and 2013, the number of licensed drivers in the state increased by almost 8 percent, although the population only went up by 4.3 percent during that same time. Thanks in part to the high volume of traffic the report of a fatal or injury collision occurs in California every three minutes and 17 seconds.
It’s tough on the two-wheelers
Motorcycle riders understand the dangers of riding on two wheels in a world where everyone else has at least four. In 2012, 11,472 motorcyclists suffered injuries in accidents. The next year, that figure climbed by over 4 percent to just under 12,000.
Non-riders are often quick to point the finger at negligent riders. While it is true some motorcyclists are their own worst enemies, many accidents are the fault of other drivers. In almost exactly half of all multi-vehicle accidents in which a rider lost his or her life, the other driver was at fault.
Even using the proper safety gear may not be enough to prevent a serious injury or death. Of all the motorcyclists injured in 2013, less than 13 percent were not using protective equipment. Similarly, just 17 percent of riders that died in accidents did not use safety gear.
Serious injuries are always a risk on a motorcycle
Unlike a car or truck driver, whose vehicle provides some protection from harm, a motorcyclist is completely exposed. For that reason, even a seemingly minor accident can lead to serious injuries like:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones
- Severe abrasions or road rash
- Disfigurement or dismemberment
Injuries like these can be life altering, and sometimes cause permanent damage.
Getting your life in gear again after a motorcycle accident
The days and weeks immediately following a major motorcycle accident may be some of the most harrowing of a person’s life. Unfortunately, it is during this time that important decisions need to be made about what to do next. It is also when lawyers and insurers come to apply pressure and offer a quick settlement. That is not something you should have to deal with during your recovery.
Rather than bear the burden yourself, or rely on your family to help as best they can, it might be better to leave it to a professional. A California lawyer with a motorcycle-focused practice has the skills and knowledge to get the job done right. Before talking to the other side’s representative, consider sharing your experience with a lawyer who is ready to listen.