When you get hurt in a motorcycle crash, your world changes in an instant. Suddenly, you’re facing physical pain, potential income losses, and a host of worries you never asked for. What you need now is a lawyer who gets it. A compassionate attorney who knows you’re more than just a case number. A voice to stand up to insurance companies who will do everything to avoid paying what you deserve.
Sean Shamsi is that lawyer. His impressive case results include tens of millions of dollars recovered for local clients like you. When you come to him for help, he takes the time to get to know you and understand your unique needs.
Take control of your future. Reach out to The Shamsi Law Firm, APC today for a free initial consultation and case evaluation with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer.
What Are the California Motorcycle Laws?
If you ride a motorcycle in California, here are the relevant laws you should know:
- Motorcycle Registration – It’s illegal to drive any motor vehicle, including a motorcycle, in California unless it is registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
- Motorcycle Licenses – Every person must hold a valid driver’s license to operate a motorcycle on California roadways. For riding a motorcycle, you need an M1 or M2 endorsement.
- Mandatory Helmet Laws – All riders and passengers of motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, and motorized bicycles in California must wear approved safety helmets.
- Lane-Splitting – California law allows lane-splitting, defined as riding a motorcycle between rows of stopped or slow-moving traffic on divided or undivided highways.
- Headlights and Taillights – State law requires motorcycles to have working headlights and tail lamps. Lights must be on during darkness and inclement weather.
- Turn Signals – California motorcycles manufactured and registered on or after January 1, 1973, must operate with turn signals.
- Passenger Footrests – California law requires motorcycles carrying passengers to be equipped with appropriate footrests for the passenger’s use.
- Handlebars – It is illegal to operate a motorcycle in California with handlebars that are more than six inches higher than the top of the operator’s shoulders.
How a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Differs from a Car Accident
Motorcycle and car accidents occur on the same roadways, but they are inherently different in several key ways. One of the most glaring differences is the level of protection afforded to the rider or driver. In a car, passengers are enclosed by a steel frame, equipped with airbags, and secured with seat belts. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, have far less protection, often relying solely on a helmet and protective gear, which exposes them to a higher risk of serious injury or fatality.
In addition, motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars. Their smaller size and narrower profile make them more susceptible to road hazards like potholes, debris, and slippery surfaces. Motorcycles are also more likely to be overlooked in blind spots, increasing the chances of collisions with inattentive drivers. Moreover, some car and truck drivers are not accustomed to sharing the road with motorcycles and are more likely to misjudge their speed or distance, possibly leading to accidents.
The physics involved in motorcycle accidents also differ. The absence of a protective frame means many motorcyclists get thrown off their bikes during a collision. This can result in injuries to multiple parts of the body that are generally more severe than those sustained in car accidents. These unique factors affect not just the health outcomes for victims but also the legal aspects of resulting accident claims.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Los Angeles Motorcycle Wreck
The immediate aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be overwhelming. But once you leave the scene and get past the initial shock, focusing on your recovery and protecting your rights is important. Here are some steps you should take if you’re involved in a Los Angeles motorcycle accident:
- Seek medical attention to have a doctor diagnose, treat, and document your condition.
- Follow all medical advice and treatment recommendations closely.
- Obtain copies of your medical records and bills as important evidence.
- Notify your insurance company about the accident without admitting fault.
- Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer for personalized legal advice.
- Gather copies of all accident-related documentation, including police reports.
- Document any repair estimates or appraisals for your damaged motorcycle.
- Keep a detailed journal describing your physical and emotional recovery after the accident.
- Make copies of any correspondence between you and the insurance companies.
- Take photographs of your injuries over time to document your healing progress.
- Gather proof of employment records to show any lost income resulting from the accident.
- Avoid discussing the accident on social media or with anyone other than your attorney.
- Consider any settlement offers closely and consult your attorney before accepting.