California Failure to Yield Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
When someone fails to yield and causes your motorcycle accident, you have the right to seek compensation!
One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is other drivers’ failure to yield to them. Sometimes another driver doesn’t notice a motorcyclist or assumes the motorcyclist doesn’t have the right of way.
The resulting crash is almost always devastating for the motorcyclist. Even a low-impact collision knocks them from their bike and sends them skidding across the roadway. You could have severe, life-changing injuries from an accident like this.
Soon, the finger-pointing begins. The motorcyclist blames the motorist and vice versa. The accident investigator, the police, and the insurance company get involved to determine what may have happened.
This is when you need a motorcycle accident attorney. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we have an excellent track record for getting positive results for our motorcyclist clients here in California. Contact us now for a free motorcycle accident case evaluation.
What is a Failure to Yield Motorcycle Accident?
A failure to yield accident happens when one motorist has the right of way and the other doesn’t, but the motorist without the right of way makes a move that causes a crash. Here, we’re specifically referring to cases where the motorcyclist had the right of way but another driver wasn’t paying attention or failed to acknowledge it.
These accidents can unfold in a variety of ways. For example, the motorcyclist might be riding straight down a road when another motorist traveling perpendicular to them makes a sudden left turn into oncoming traffic right in front of them. Or someone might pull out of a parking lot and right into a motorcyclist’s path.
A common type of failure to yield motorcycle accident is what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls a “looked but failed to see” crash. These types of crashes involve blind spots oftentimes. It means a driver looked to see if their path was clear but failed to see a motorcyclist. It’s one of the top causes of lane-change crashes and near-crashes.
Why Do Failure to Yield Accidents Happen?
Failures to yield can be due to inattention, distraction, aggression, impatience, and poor assumptions about who has the right of way. Some people misunderstand the law and assume they have the right of way even when they don’t.
Plus, some drivers just refuse to acknowledge motorcyclists’ rights. They refuse to share the road despite California’s strong laws supporting the right of a motorcyclist to travel as safely as anyone else on the road.
Here at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we’ve seen all kinds of explanations for failure to yield accidents. Common contributors to these accidents include:
- Aggression/road rage
- Bad driving habits
- Failure to follow the law
- Bad weather and poor visibility
It’s common to hear the other driver tell the motorcyclist, “I never saw you!” This failure to see other drivers is called inattentional blindness, and while common, it’s no excuse for injuring a motorcyclist.
Who’s at Fault in a Failure to Yield Motorcycle Accident?
The fault isn’t assigned automatically in motorcycle collisions like these. Legal liability depends on the circumstances of what happened and which kinds of evidence are available to examine.
Generally speaking, the police will investigate any accident with injuries, death, or significant property damage. In addition, your motorcycle accident lawyer can conduct a separate investigation to reveal additional details about what happened in your situation.
Evidence matters a lot in these cases! It’s up to the insurance companies, lawyers, courts, and involved parties to review the available evidence, discuss what happened, and eventually come to a determination about liability and compensation.
Factors in your accident case may include:
- The police report from the accident
- Witness accounts including expert witness testimony
- Damage to vehicles and your motorcycle, plus crash debris
- Relevant laws and road signs
- Any aggressive behavior
- Potential influences of speeding, alcohol, drugs, or distracted driving
- Video and photo evidence like dashcams or traffic camera videos
- Investigator accident reconstructions
- The weather and road conditions
It’s certainly possible that the other driver is held liable for your accident. Or there may be multiple other drivers involved. You might even have partial liability, which does NOT ruin your case, which we’ll explain more below.
There’s even a chance that a motorcycle or vehicle company, parts manufacturer, or repair shop contributed to the unsafe circumstances of your accident in some way. A government municipality may share the blame, too. Your lawyer can help you sort through the details.
You should know that California is a comparative negligence state, meaning the fault may be split among parties with each receiving a portion of the blame and compensation. That’s good for you because it means even if you share partial fault for what happened, you can still claim partial compensation.
Injuries From Failure to Yield Motorcycle Accidents
Any motorcycle crash, including a failure to yield accident, can cause extensive injuries that require surgery, rehabilitation, rest, and recovery time. The extent of your injuries usually depends on the severity of the crash.
Lane change accident injuries include:
- Road rash
- Soft tissue injuries like bumps and bruises
- Broken bones
- Torn muscles and ligaments
- Foot and knee injuries
- Hand and wrist injuries
- Back and spinal injuries
- Facial injuries including tooth and dental injuries
- Head injuries including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Chest and ribcage impact injuries
- Loss of feeling in the limbs
- Limited range of motion
- Problems with balance
- Nerve damage
- Chronic pain
You may also have severe emotional injuries from the trauma of an accident. Injured motorcyclists sometimes have long-lasting mental and emotional injuries that need significant psychological treatment.
If you seek treatment for depression, anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues, your costs could be covered by an insurance claim or lawsuit. Talk to your lawyer about this option.
The Legal Deadline for These Accident Claims
All motorcycle accident claims, including failure to yield accident claims, have a legal deadline known as the statute of limitations. It’s usually within two years of the date of the accident, although there can be exceptions that make it shorter.
The timeframe tightens if you’re dealing with a government entity. For example, if your accident was somehow caused by a dangerous and confusing city construction zone, you may have just a few short months to file your claim.
Don’t wait! The clock starts ticking on the day of your motorcycle accident. Talk to an accident lawyer as soon as possible to start building a strong case or you could lose your right to claim compensation.
Protecting Yourself and Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
After a failure to yield motorcycle accident, you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Before you know it, you’ll have a pile of medical bills and the insurance company will be trying to contact you. It’s time to decide on your next steps.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we know important ways you can protect yourself and your case. First, preserve any evidence you may have, like photos of the accident scene, debris from the accident, and your demolished motorcycle. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be.
Also, as soon as possible after your accident, seek medical care and photograph your injuries. Capture any cuts, bruises, deformities, or scarring. Continue to document these injuries as they heal and photograph your medical gear like crutches, casts, slings, canes, and so forth.
Save your medical records and keep track of your out-of-pocket costs. Medical bills are a huge part of determining the value of your motorcycle accident claim, even if many of your costs are covered by your health insurance. Track additional expenses you encounter like bus fares, Uber rides, and copays.
With the help of your motorcycle accident lawyer, open a claim with the insurance company. But don’t provide personal information, like your social security number, without talking to your lawyer first.
And remember, don’t talk about the crash on social media or send photos/texts to other people showing what happened. A motorcycle accident is life-changing, so it might feel irresistible to update your friends. But this shares information that could ruin your case!
How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Helps Your Case
It’s your right to handle your motorcycle accident case by yourself, but we don’t recommend it. It’s a stressful and risky thing to do. These cases are complicated and you could easily become buried in the details or even do something accidentally that harms your case.
Also, having a lawyer protects you from the games insurance companies play. An insurance company will typically toss out a lowball offer at first. They’ll assume you don’t know what you’re doing and will say they owe you less money than you deserve.
Plus, they’ll imply your claim isn’t worth much. For example, they might offer to pay for some of your medical bills, but what about your future treatment that’s still to come? Your mental health counseling? Your lost days of work? The value of your motorcycle? These costs could be huge.
Here’s another important thing to consider about a severe motorcycle accident: Your pain and suffering hold value. Compensation for pain and suffering is protected by California law and should never be undervalued by an insurance company that’s pressing you for a quick settlement.
At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers law firm, we don’t take our fee until the conclusion of your case after you’ve already covered your costs. So let’s talk about your motorcycle crash as soon as possible in a free and confidential consultation!
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After a motorcycle failure to yield accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including motorcycle and traffic accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about California’s injured people. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation or call 877-380-8852.