California Lane Change Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
After a lane change motorcycle accident, you have the right to seek compensation and we can help!
An unsafe lane change can set off a cascade of collisions on a California roadway. Vehicles are damaged, people are hurt, and it will take a detailed investigation to untangle all the details of what happened.
In an accident like this, a motorcyclist is extremely vulnerable to severe injuries or death. Your life and your beloved bike can be completely destroyed in an instant.
What would you do if someone made an unsafe lane change and caused you the suffering and trauma of a horrific collision? At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, our law firm helps injured motorcyclists stand up for their rights.
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.
Why Do Motorcycle Lane Change Accidents Happen?
Lane change accidents mainly happen due to inattention, the driver fails to check blind spots, impatience, aggression, and distraction. A driver might get tired of being stuck in a lane and make an abrupt lane change, or they could be in the habit of switching lanes back and forth quickly without signaling.
Common contributors to lane change accidents include:
- Aggression/road rage
- Lack of turn signals during lane changes
- Not checking blind spots
- Drifting and weaving across traffic lanes
- Bad weather and poor visibility
After an accident, it’s also common to hear one of the drivers say, “I never saw you!” This failure to see other drivers, also called inattentional blindness, is a common phenomenon when it comes to not noticing motorcyclists.
When other drivers make lane change errors, motorcyclists can suffer vicious impacts with severe injuries. A motorcycle’s design and small size leave its rider vulnerable to a serious accident.
Who’s at Fault in a Lane Change Motorcycle Accident?
In lane change motorcycle accidents, the fault isn’t assigned automatically. It depends on the circumstances of what happened and which kinds of evidence are available to examine.
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.
From there, it’s up to the insurance companies, lawyers, courts, and involved parties to eventually come to a determination about compensation. Evidence matters a lot in these cases!
Factors in your lane change accident case may include:
- Police reports
- Witness accounts including expert witness testimony
- Damage to vehicles and your motorcycle, plus crash debris
- Circumstances of the lane change
- Whether there was a misjudgment about traveling speed
- The motorcycle and vehicle positions in traffic
- Any aggressive behavior before the accident
- Potential influences of speeding, alcohol, drugs, or distracted driving
- Evidence like dashcams, traffic camera videos, and accident reconstructions
- The motorcycle laws that are relevant to your accident
- The weather and road conditions
It’s certainly possible that the other driver is liable for your accident. Or there may be multiple other drivers involved. These cases can be quite complex.
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. 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.
How to Avoid Lane Change Motorcycle Accidents
Lane change motorcycle accidents are hard to avoid completely, but they’re less likely when drivers check their mirrors and blind spots consistently before making maneuvers in traffic. Motorcyclists can help the cause by not speeding, signaling lane changes carefully, and avoiding unsafe practices like tailgating and lane splitting.
Motorcyclists, Mind Your Mirrors
Each time you drive, adjust your mirrors to allow maximum visibility. Ensure your motorcycle’s side mirrors are adjusted appropriately. ALL drivers should do this, not just motorcyclists!
Learn Blind Spot Behavior
Take a motorcycle course that explains defensive driving and blind spots. This can be enormously helpful for a motorcyclist who wants to avoid other dangerous drivers on the road.
Look, Signal, Lane Change
Get into a safe habit for making lane changes. Look to see if you have room, signal the move, then change lanes carefully. Ensure you leave enough signaling time to alert other drivers that you’re about to move.
Avoid Big Rigs
For motorcyclists, it’s especially important to watch out for large vehicles like semi-trailers and commercial trucks. A big rig like this can easily make an unsafe lane change, then hit and crush a motorcycle.
Be Seen at Night
Motorcycle riders can increase their visibility as much as possible by ensuring their lights are functioning and wearing bright and reflective clothing. Anything you can do to improve your visibility to other drivers and prevent unsafe lane changes could save your life.
Common Lane Change Motorcycle Accident Injuries
A lane change collision 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
Don’t forget about your psychological injuries, because these can be severe after the trauma of an accident. As an injured motorcyclist, you might 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 Deadline for Lane Change Motorcycle Accident Claims
All motorcycle accident claims, including lane change accident claims, have a legal deadline known as the statute of limitations. It’s usually within two years of the date of the accident.
Sometimes this period shortens if you’re dealing with a government entity. For example, if your accident was somehow caused by a 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. We highly recommend talking 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 lane change motorcycle accident, you need a lawyer as soon as possible. Before you know it, you’ll have a pile of medical bills and calls from insurance companies, and you’ll need 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 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. This is 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 expenses 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.
Also, this is important: Don’t talk about the crash on social media. A motorcycle accident is life-changing, so it might feel irresistible to update your friends on social media. But this gives the other side information that could ruin your case!
How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Helps Your Case
You can handle your lane change motorcycle accident case by yourself, but 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, an insurance company will typically toss out a lowball offer when they know you don’t have a lawyer. They’ll assume you don’t know what you’re doing and will say they owe you less money because you’re not paying a lawyer. No way!
An insurance company usually offers the minimum possible compensation. They might pay for your past medical bills, but what about your future treatment? Your mental health counseling? Your lost days of work? The value of your motorcycle?
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, 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 in a free and confidential consultation!
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an unsafe lane change motorcycle 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.