Costa Mesa Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Representing the Victims of Motorcycle Accidents
As every rider knows, riding a motorcycle is riskier than driving a car. By their very nature, motorcycles are less crashworthy than enclosed vehicles. They can be difficult to see, are less stable than four-wheeled vehicles, and leave riders and their passengers more vulnerable to road hazards and weather conditions. Despite a 5% decrease in fatalities from the previous year, nearly 5,000 people in the U.S. were killed in motorcycle accidents in a recent year, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Motorcycle accidents can be, and often are, devastating for the biker. We at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie know that all too well. We’ve been representing motorcyclists for years and have seen the aftermath of serious accidents. If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you’re likely feeling frightened about your future. You don’t deserve to suffer because of someone else’s negligence. Contact our Costa Mesa personal injury attorneys at (949) 752-7474 and let us fight for you.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Costa Mesa
Motorcycles are fine-tuned machines. Properly made with the appropriate upkeep, and they can last decades, providing their rider with years of enjoyment. But seemingly small issues that wouldn’t cause a car any problems can lead a motorcycle to fall apart and land the rider in the hospital. They’re also small and can be hard to hear. Frankly, other drivers often just don’t bother keeping an eye out for bikers and the results can be catastrophic. Some common causes of motorcycle accidents are:
- Dooring: A careless driver or passenger opens a parked car door directly in the path of an oncoming motorcycle, causing a crash.
- Tailgating: Following too closely is dangerous under any circumstances, but it can lead to a deadly rear-end-collision when the vehicle ahead is a motorcycle.
- Distracted driving: Drivers who are texting, talking on the phone, or otherwise distracted can cause catastrophic injuries to motorcyclists.
- Impaired driving: Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are a menace on the roadways, particularly to motorcyclists, who lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle.
- Unsafe lane changes: Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than cars, vans, or pickup trucks. When a driver changes lanes without first signaling and checking his blind spot, it can cause a serious accident.
- Negligent left-hand turns: A driver executing a left-hand turn against traffic turns directly into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, cutting the rider off.
- Road hazards: Potholes, debris in the road, missing stop signs, and other dangerous road conditions can be disastrous for motorcycle riders.
Is Lane Splitting Legal in California?
Lane splitting involves riding a motorcycle between two lanes of traffic that are stopped or moving slowly. As of August 19, 2016, lane splitting is legal in California. This practice was legalized based on studies that have shown that, if done correctly, lane splitting can reduce traffic and accidents on the road. However, lane splitting done at high speeds and under unsafe conditions can increase the risk of a motorcycle wreck.
You should always avoid lane splitting near freeway on-ramps and exits. Other vehicles use those sections of the road to increase speed to match the freeway or decrease speed to match the road they’re exiting onto. This sudden change of speed could result in an accidental collision with a nearby motorcycle, which can send you tumbling to the pavement.
Lane splitting is great for getting through heavy traffic that just won’t seem to budge. But the faster you go, the less reaction time you have. The more cars you pass, the more likely it is that a driver right in front of you will throw open their door or suddenly try to switch lanes. Keeping yourself in speed with the cars around you can help keep you from a fatal accident.
Never travel more than 10 mph faster than the traffic around you and, if possible, you shouldn’t split lanes when the traffic around you is moving at 30 mph or faster. Again, the faster you go the less time you have to brake or take evasive maneuvers. This holds true for you and for the other drivers. Roads become more dangerous as vehicles reach high speeds, because drivers may not notice you getting closer to them until it’s too late and they’re trying to merge.
Dangerous Roads in Costa Mesa
While Costa Mesa is certainly not the most dangerous city in southern California, sections of its roadways are still hazardous, especially for motorcyclists. Freeway 55, also known at the Costa Mesa Freeway, was built in the 1930s, during a time when Californian traffic was a fair bit lighter and cars here a fair bit slower. The 55 was found to be one of the deadliest freeways in southern California in 2016, with 10 fatalities from 10 different accidents. While that may not sound like much, that section of freeway is only a little over 10 miles long, meaning that that’s almost 1 fatality per mile.
In 2017, Costa Mesa was ranked 25th highest in fatalities among Californian cities with a population from 100,001 to 250,000 people. 626 people were killed in vehicle accidents, with motorcyclists making up almost 4% of that total. Costa Mesa may not rank as number one, but its roadways still present a high level of danger for drivers and bikers.
Why You Need a Lawyer
A motorcycle crash can cause serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury, back, and spinal injuries, severe road rash, and the loss of a limb. To get on the road to recovery, you will need full and fair compensation for your losses. Our lawyers at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie have decades of experience and a successful track record, recovering hundreds of millions in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Call us at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a free consultation with no time limits or restrictions if you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault. We can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be entitled to claim.
Motorcycle Accident Verdicts and Settlements
- $1,000,000 - Motorcycle rider hurt while on vacation
- $401,980 - Cyclist was side-swiped
- $125,000 - Motorcycle rider strikes left turning car
Click here for more case results.
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- What If a Motorcycle Accident Aggravates a Pre-existing Condition?
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