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Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Few things compare to the feeling of freedom you get from riding a motorcycle on a beautiful California day. But that sense of freedom carries greater risks than driving a car. A motorcycle lacks the stability provided by a car’s four wheels, and there aren’t any bumpers, windows, doors, or crumple zones surrounding a biker for their protection.

There are aggressive motorcyclists—riders who weave through traffic at high speeds, tempting fate—but most bikers ride responsibly. So it’s not fair to assume that the biker is at fault when there’s a collision between a motorcycle and a car. In fact, passenger vehicle drivers are often at fault in such accidents because they fail to see the motorcyclist.

If you were in a motorcycle accident caused by a car or truck, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries and damage to your bike. Chain | Cohn | Clark’s lawyers for motorcycle accidents specialize in helping motorcyclists with these kinds of claims.

Motorcycle Statistics

Stereotypically, it’s often anxious spouses and parents who fret about the dangers of motorcycles. But statistics bear out their fears:

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the 5,932 motorcyclists killed in 2021 represented 14% of all crash deaths for the year and the highest number of biker fatalities since the agency began tracking traffic deaths in 1975.
  • According to the same NHTSA report, “motorcyclists were about 24 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured” in 2021, per mile traveled.
  • Although motorcyclists accounted for 14% of 2021 crash deaths, they made up only 3.5% of the registered vehicles on U.S. roads.
  • In California, the 785,424 registered motorcycles comprised only 2.6% of all registered vehicles in 2020 but accounted for 20.1% of all traffic deaths. 
  • As the chart below shows, it’s more dangerous to ride a motorcycle on the weekend than on a weekday—more than half of all U.S. motorcycle fatalities in 2020 occurred on the weekend. 
  • Kern County is a great place to ride a motorcycle. However, there were 326 motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities in Kern County in 2020.
2020 NHTSA StatisticsWeekdayWeekend

If you were injured in a Kern County motorcycle crash caused by the carelessness of an automobile driver, reach out to the Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyers of Chain | Cohn | Clark for a free review of your case.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Bakersfield

There are far more cars than motorcycles on the road, so it makes sense that cars cause more accidents than motorcycles do. Any one of the common causes of car accidents can cause a motorcycle accident, too. These include:

  • Speeding or riding recklessly—perhaps yielding to the temptation to push performance motorcycles to do on the streets what they should only be used for on a closed track.
  • Riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Distracted riding—although a biker is less likely than a driver to be using a cell phone in traffic, there are still plenty of things that can divert a rider’s attention long enough to cause an accident.
  • Riding while sleepy.

However, this article focuses on hazards that are unique to motorcyclists. These unique risks stem primarily from motorcycles being less visible, stable, and protected than cars. 

Examples of particular causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Right-of-way violations are a common hazard for bikers, often because other drivers don’t see them. These violations include:
    • Drivers making left turns in front of oncoming motorcycles.
    • Drivers pulling out from the side of the road in front of approaching riders.
    • Drivers failing to yield according to the rules of the road.
    • Drivers sideswiping motorcycles as they change lanes.
  • Lane splittingdefined in the California Vehicle Code as riding a motorcycle “between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including on both divided and undivided streets, roads, or highways—has been practiced for years in California but was made officially legal in 2017. Although lane splitting in California is legal, doing so may increase the risk of accidents because of the drivers they’re passing not seeing them.
  • Weather conditions contribute to many motorcycle accidents. Decreased visibility as precipitation falls and less traction on wet road surfaces present a greater danger to motorcyclists, who lack the benefits of a windshield and roof, windshield wipers, or four wheels on the ground.
  • Road conditions that don’t present a problem to cars and trucks may upend a motorcyclist or throw a bike into a skid. Potholes, gravel, dust, and even puddles are potential causes of motorcycle accidents.

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How Is Fault Determined in a Motorcycle Accident?

Fault is determined in a motorcycle accident in the same way it’s determined for any motor vehicle collision—by investigating the crash and considering all contributing factors, such as moving violations, substance abuse, and road and weather conditions.

Although it’s true that motorcycles are less visible than cars on the road, that doesn’t excuse drivers from their responsibility to see motorcyclists and share the road according to California’s traffic laws. When a car or truck pulls out in front of a biker or sideswipes a motorcycle that’s in the driver’s blind spot, it’s not the motorcyclist’s fault for being less visible—the driver is most likely liable for the rider’s injuries and property damage.

As a motorcycle injury law firm, Chain | Cohn | Clark has represented injured riders in many such cases, including a current case in which a UPS driver struck a motorcyclist and caused severe injuries.

Comparative Fault for Motorcycle Accidents in California

California courts award damages in personal injury cases according to who’s at fault. Fault can be divided among two or more parties in California according to the legal doctrine of pure comparative fault. If a personal injury lawsuit is argued in court, the jury determines the percentage of fault borne by each party involved, and damages are awarded according to those percentages.

For example, suppose a car changes lanes in front of an approaching motorcycle and causes an accident. Although the driver violated the motorcyclist’s right of way, the jury decides that the motorcyclist is 25% at fault because they were traveling 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. If the jury awards the motorcyclist $10,000 in damages for minor injuries, the motorcyclist can only collect 75% of this amount after their 25% share of responsibility is deducted.

Parties that may share fault in a motorcycle accident include:

  • The driver of a car or truck
  • The motorcyclist
  • The employer of the driver of a commercial vehicle
  • A government entity, such as the agency responsible for maintaining safe road conditions
  • A construction company that didn’t adequately mark a construction hazard

The motorcycle accident attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark are experienced in investigating motorcycle crashes to ensure that those who cause them are held accountable and that injured riders receive the compensation they deserve.

Fast and Reliable Bakersfield Motorcycle Injury Attorneys

When you work with our Bakersfield motorcycle injury attorneys, we will start reviewing the police reports, accident photographs and your medical records. We spare no expense to build your case and make it as strong as possible. Your motorcycle accident attorney will collect witness statements if there were any witnesses. Your Bakersfield motorcycle injury lawyer will also recreate the crash with specialists and call in medical experts to testify when necessary.

In Good Hands With Your Bakersfield Motorcycle Injury Law Firm

If you are looking for the best motorcycle injury law firm in Bakersfield, contact Chain | Cohn | Clark today for a free consultation. Get the peace of mind and compensation you deserve. Let an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Bakersfield handle the hard work for you so that you can start rebuilding your life.


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How is a motorcycle accident different from a car accident?

How is a motorcycle accident different from a car accident?

The primary difference between a typical car accident and a motorcycle accident is the relative lack of protection a motorcycle affords a rider. Motorcyclists have a much higher risk of being killed in a wreck than drivers or passengers in other motor vehicles, and the injuries sustained by motorcyclists tend to be more severe.

What injuries are common in motorcycle accidents?

What injuries are common in motorcycle accidents?

Because of a motorcyclist’s lack of protection from a seat belt, air bags, or the body of a car surrounding them, they may incur the following types of injuries more frequently than drivers and passengers in other types of motor vehicles:

  • Road rash—scrapes or burns from sliding along the road surface
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Skull fractures
  • Spinal injuries and paralysis
  • Broken bones
  • Amputations

How can I stay safe as a motorcyclist?

How can I stay safe as a motorcyclist?

Motorcycle safety depends both on riders and the drivers of other motor vehicles. It’s crucial for car and truck drivers to share the road with motorcyclists by checking blind spots and keeping an eye out for approaching riders.

As a motorcyclist, you can take a number of steps to ensure your safety:

  • Check that your bike is in proper working order before you ride.
  • Comply with California’s mandatory helmet law.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as heavy denim pants and a leather jacket.
  • Ride responsibly—obey the rules of the road.
  • Ride defensively—assume that other drivers don’t necessarily see you.
  • Take a California Motorcyclist Safety Course to learn safe riding techniques and earn a break on your insurance rates

If, despite safe riding practices, you’re injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a careless driver, contact one of Chain | Cohn | Clark’s motorcycle crash lawyers for help with a personal injury claim.

How can a motorcycle injury lawyer help me?

How can a motorcycle injury lawyer help me?

Recovering from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver can be a slow, painful process, made more difficult by mounting medical bills. If your loved one was killed in a motorcycle crash, the loss of their companionship—and, in a practical sense, their financial contribution to the household—is a heavy burden to bear.

A motorcycle injury attorney helps carry the load in several ways:

  • Investigating the accident and gathering evidence necessary to prove your case.
  • Ascertaining all parties that may be at fault.
  • Ensuring that insurance companies and the court aren’t biased against you as a motorcyclist.
  • Negotiating with insurance companies for the best settlement.
  • Arguing your case in court.
  • Filing a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one was killed.

What Compensation Is Available in a Motorcycle Accident Claim?

What Compensation Is Available in a Motorcycle Accident Claim?

If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, there are three types of compensation you may be able to collect:

  1. Economic damages reimburse you for things such as:
    1. The cost of repairing your motorcycle
    2. The cost of treating your injuries
    3. Lost wages if your injuries prevent you from working
  2. Noneconomic damages compensate you for things like:
    1. Pain and suffering
    2. Disfigurement from scarring or loss of a limb
    3. The loss of the enjoyment of life
  3. Punitive damages are awarded in rare cases to punish defendants who acted with extraordinary negligence.

Chain | Cohn | Clark’s motorcycle wreck lawyers can help you sort out what types of compensation may be available in your case.

You’re in Good Hands With Our Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

The Bakersfield motorcycle injury law firm of Chain | Cohn | Clark will represent you on a contingency basis, taking no fee unless you win a settlement or jury award. Then, the fee for your motorcycle accident attorney is just a small percentage of your total compensation.

When our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers represent you, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that they’ll fight for the damages you deserve. Contact Chain | Cohn | Clark today for free and without obligation.

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