Injured in a motorcycle accident? Choose your personal injury attorney carefully.
Handling motorcycle crash cases requires a particular knowledge of 2-wheel vehicle dynamics, as well as an awareness of societal prejudice against motorcycle riders.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, wouldn’t you feel more comfortable in the presence of a Santa Cruz motorcycle accident attorney who understands the basics of motorcycle dynamics and function? Most lawyers, for instance, do not understand how to turn a motorcycle or know how a motorcycle really stops or how a motorcycle stays upright in the first place. But Brad & Tyson Wiles do. They have years of experience in dealing with these exact issues. Hire a motorcycle accident lawyer in Santa Cruz who knows motorcycles!
We understand the unique nature of motorcycle accident cases and know how to provide excellent representation for Santa Cruz motorcycle accident victims.
It is clear that typical insurance adjusters do not understand motorcycle basics. Santa Cruz motorcycle accident attorneys Brad & Tyson Wiles will educate the insurance claims representative on the basics of how motorcycles operate and then help them understand why you are not responsible for the accident, as well as why your injuries are so devastating.
Santa Cruz is no stranger to motorcycle accidentsIt is always motorcycle season here in California, so it is no surprise our state has the most registered motorcycles in the country and, unfortunately, the second-highest motorcycle rider fatality rate. Bikers are, without question, among the most vulnerable occupants of our roadways, yet societal bias alleges they themselves are primarily responsible when injured in an accident. Here in Santa Cruz County, there have been some recent( April 2021) tragic examples of motorcycle riders involved in roadway accidents. The Patch reported a motorcyclist was killed on southbound State Route 1 when a driver failed to see the motorcycle and crashed into its back. The biker was ejected from his motorcycle and died. Just a few days later, according to news reports, a motor vehicle rear-ended a Harley-Davidson and the rider was ejected from his motorcycle.
Common causes and types of motorcycle accidentsThe dynamics of a motorcycle accident is a complicated study in physics. Trajectory, velocity, torque, and traction all play a part in determining whether the rider experiences a low side, high side, or end over end ejection. Distracted, impaired, and speeding drivers often fail to even notice motorcycles and may be found complicit if they make a left turn directly in front of a motorcycle, sideswipe a motor vehicle, or rear-end a biker stopped directly in front of them. For example, if a motor vehicle makes an abrupt lane change, a biker, in an attempt to avoid a collision, might hit the brakes, locking the back wheel and subsequently skid off the road. Some additional causes of motorcycle accidents in Santa Cruz might include bike defects and dangerous roadway conditions. Brakes may fail, tires can be defective, and engines, transmissions, and clutches may be found faulty. If negligence can be shown on the part of a manufacturer or distributor they can be held liable. A victim of a motorcycle accident may be able to recover compensation from city or state municipalities that fail to properly maintain roadways or sufficiently warn riders of potential dangers. For example, poorly lit roadways, lack of guardrails, poor drainage, broken or damaged traffic signals, and signage.
It may be hard to determine fault in lane splitting casesCalifornia has set a precedent. Motorcyclists have the right to responsibly maneuver between vehicles and lanes of traffic. Currently, we are the only state in the union where lane splitting is legal. Although the practice of motorcycle riders lane splitting has gone from marginalized to mainstream, controversy and confusion remain. The term “filtering” is used when a motorcycle moves between vehicles stopped in traffic, while the terms “lane-splitting” and “lane-sharing” refer to riding between cars and trucks while the traffic is moving. Bikers seem to agree that this practice reduces roadway congestion and pollution, while drivers complain the lanes in the road are designed for a single vehicle, Motorists can be startled when a bike whizzes past them in the same lane, a scenario that may easily lead to road rage. By law, motorcyclists choosing lane splitting may not travel more than 10 mph faster than the traffic flow. When lane splitting is an issue in an accident determining liability can be complicated. Put experience on your side. Brad and Tyson are a formidable force in dealing with the complexities of motorcycle accidents. Call us at 831-426-3140 to schedule a no-cost consultation.
Motorcycle accidents often lead to catastrophic and debilitating injuriesA motorcycle accident is violent. Without the protection of a seatbelt, a biker is frequently thrown over the handlebars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tells us over 80% of reported accidents result in life-threatening injury or death. Road rash is so much more than a scrape. Being thrust across pavement or cement can cause layers of skin to be peeled back to the muscle, resulting in severe infection and permanent damage. Bikers Arm, a common occurrence when the full force of the body or the motorcycle impacts the rider’s arm(s), can lead to crushing fractures, soft tissue damage, paralysis, and amputation. A Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI) is one of the most difficult injuries to diagnose and difficult to treat in an emergency situation. California’s negligence laws are complicated, but the bottom line is injuries resulting from someone else’s negligence are compensable.
Helmet LawsAll motorcycle riders, and passengers, are required to wear a DOT-approved safety helmet. A recent academic study revealed some interesting facts and surprising statistics. Every year, on average, 4,500 people in the United States lose their lives in a motorcycle accident and approximately 37% involved head injuries. However, those states with helmet laws had significantly lower (33%) head fatality rates. These scholars said it all — “Motorcycle helmet laws reduce fatalities, serious cognitive disabilities, and social costs,” To view the current motorcycle helmet laws by state, click here.
Motorists and bikers both have responsibilitiesBefore motorcycle drivers under the age of 21 are able to get a DMV permit they are required, by law, to complete an approved safety training program. In addition, all motorcycle drivers are required to follow the mandates of the California DMV motorcycle handbook. Motorists have a responsibility to act responsibly and abide by traffic laws. When an automobile or truck driver violates traffic laws or acts irresponsibly, they are exhibiting negligent behavior. If negligence results in an accident, drivers can be held liable for injuries to bikers.
Insurance companies often add insult to injuryInsurance carriers employ a battery of lawyers to mitigate potential financial settlements. An accident victim’s situation will never be their priority. A personal injury lawyer is able to secure and evaluate evidence from the accident scene. Surveillance camera footage, police reports, eyewitness statements, and photographs taken at the time of injury are vitally important in preparing a case. Medical records, expert testimony, and accident reconstruction all carry weight with judges and juries. Motorcycle accident lawyers understand the importance of thoroughly investigating the roadway conditions at the time of the incident and carefully examining the bike itself and the driver’s protective and safety gear. Experience matters when it comes to emphasizing the extent of economic damages such as medical bills, loss of income, recuperative and restorative care. Winning a motorcycle accident case is possible — choose your legal representative carefully.
When your ride in Santa Cruz finds you or a family member injured from someone else's negligence, Brad and Tyson Wiles are right here, in your community, to help you ride the road to justice.
Helping families with the legalities of due process is in our wheelhouse. This is what we do best.
If you or a family member is sidelined from a motorcycle accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The father and son team at Wiles & Wiles will answer any questions you may have and do their best to help get you back on the road again.