Open roads can be dangerous. There are always a huge number of vehicles, huge trucks, and motorcyclists on our roads at any given time. Unfortunately, with so many motorists on the roads, there is a higher likelihood of an accident. Nobody is immune to sustaining injuries in traffic accidents.

Even huge semi-truck drivers, who are operating among the biggest automobiles, can sustain deadly or serious injuries in collisions. Motorcyclists are equally susceptible to suffering life-threatening injuries in collisions because of the absence of protection on motorcycles. Motorcycle riders are not secured by airbags, seatbelts, or solid metal like car drivers, and when accidents happen, they get very little protection when compared to car drivers.

This blog takes a closer look at the differences between motorcycle and car accidents in California's personal injury claims.

Motorcycle Accidents Vs. Car Accidents Overall Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycles constituted only 0.6% of all Vehicle Miles Traveled in 2020 but made up 3% of all licensed automobiles in the country. In 2020, the number of fatalities for motorcycle operators was six times higher than that for passengers in passenger cars, and ten times higher than that for light-truck passengers.

The number of injuries for motorcycle riders was also more than the injuries in light-truck and passenger-car accidents. In 2020, the death rate for motorcycle riders was over 28 times higher per VMT than that for passengers in cars, and it was approximately 43 times higher than that for light-truck passengers. The number of injuries for motorcyclists was 4 times higher than for passengers in cars, and it was 8 times higher than for light-truck passengers.

Common Causes of Car Accidents Vs. Motorcycle Accidents

Most people believe that being on a motorcycle on the roadway is riskier than driving a vehicle. That is true. Even though they account for a significantly lower portion of all accidents on Californian roadways, motorcycle accidents still cause more injuries and fatalities.

Common Reasons For Car Accidents

Many California auto accidents are caused by alcohol intoxication and speeding. When someone is intoxicated and goes on to operate a vehicle, they are more prone to make bad decisions, which can lead to accidents.

It has also been noted that distracted driving is another common cause of automobile accidents. Distracted driving happens when the driver of a vehicle becomes occupied with other things instead of being focused on the road. For example texting, eating, drinking, or being distracted by other events happening outside the car. Driver fatigue, aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating, sudden lane changes, failing to yield to the right of way, and disobeying traffic signals are also common causes of automobile accidents.

The types of car accidents that often cause fatalities include:

  • Driving Under the Influence

  • Reckless driving

  • Driving at speeds that exceed the speed limit

Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Just like auto accidents, speeding and alcohol consumption contribute to a majority of motorcycle collisions. Additionally, other factors contribute to motorcycle accidents that are less common in collisions involving two vehicles:

  • Left Turns

Motorists should always yield to approaching traffic before making left turns onto roadways or at intersections. If they attempt to run the light or when they do not notice a motorcyclist behind a vehicle, they could be held accountable for any resulting accidents.

  • Unsafe Lane Changes

Drivers risk colliding with motorcycle riders or causing them to be hit by oncoming traffic. This could happen when they:

  • Attempt to swerve to avoid hitting them

  • Forget to indicate before lane changes, or

  • Do not double-check their blind spots for approaching riders

If a motorcycle rider is splitting lanes, which is not prohibited in California, the risk escalates.

  • Road Hazards and Other Elements

Motorcycles are much smaller than passenger vehicles. They are also less sturdy in an accident. Because of this, bikers are much more prone to be involved in accidents on wet and slippery surfaces, potholes, and uneven roads.

Small road potholes and debris which are typically ignored by automobiles and other cars, might cause accidents for bikers. The majority of the time, roads are constructed with vehicles in mind, making even seemingly minor problems like slippery tarmac or poor visibility much more hazardous for motorcyclists.

In some situations, governmental institutions may be at fault for collisions, which necessitates the filing of compensation lawsuits against them. Nevertheless, without a knowledgeable personal injury attorney on your side, winning claims against public entities could be quite challenging.

  • Reduced Visibility

Another factor contributing to motorcycle accidents is a driver's reduced visibility. Motorcycles are less visible to other motorists than passenger cars because of their smaller size, and they could be obscured by larger automobiles on the roads. Visibility is particularly poor at intersections.

Injuries in Motorcycle Vs. Car Accidents

The severity of motorcycle injuries is usually greater than that of automobile accident injuries because motorcyclists do not receive the same degree of protection as those in vehicles. Motorcycle riders who are not wearing helmets at the time of an accident run a significant risk of suffering concussions, severe brain damage, or even death.

Even when they do not result in death, motorcycle accidents usually result in very serious injuries. These injuries could be life-changing and permanent, and hence are worth a significant amount of money in motorcycle accident claims. Motorcycle accidents often result in the following injuries:

  • Road rash brought on by slides

  • Bone fractures

  • Hard impacts that cause traumatic brain injury

  • Injury to the nerves in the motorcyclist's arm and hands

  • Disfigurement as a result of facial and body impact injuries

In comparison to a car accident, there is a far higher likelihood that a motorcycle accident would result in serious injuries, thus you should have skilled legal counsel on your side if someone else was at fault.

Although car accident victims can have severe injuries, this is not as common as it is for motorcycle riders. Car accidents are more likely to result in the following injuries:

  • Whiplash

  • Soft-tissue damage

  • Back problems

  • Concussions

Serious auto accidents are more likely to result in burns, scarring, spinal cord trauma, as well as limb loss.

Failing to engage an experienced, skilled motorcycle collision lawyer can leave you with a future of exorbitant medical expenses, as motorcycle accidents could result in injuries including brain traumas or spinal cord injuries, which necessitate long-term financial assistance.

Differences When Dealing with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are more likely to reject motorcycle accident claims. Any injured person who has been hurt in a car accident will almost certainly receive a lowball settlement proposal from the insurance company. Insurance providers are aware that juries often hold prejudices against motorcycle riders. As a result, if you aren't represented by an attorney who can defend against such schemes, they could use these preconceptions against you to give you a lesser compensation offer and exploit legal gaps.

Unfortunately, injured riders often engage attorneys only after discovering that insurance providers do not intend to treat them fairly or courteously. By this point, an insurance adjuster could have been able to persuade the injured rider to undermine their claim by providing damaging recorded testimony or taking other actions that reduce their likelihood of succeeding in court.

Insurance adjusters are particularly coached to persuade accident victims to unintentionally acknowledge culpability for their accidents or to affirm that their injuries are not quite as serious as they allege. All this is done to make sure that the accident victims are paid less. However, to receive compensation for your injuries in a personal injury claim, motorists have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were not negligent or their actions did not cause the accident, and they were compliant with all traffic regulations at the time of the accident.

Proving Fault

Because operating a motorcycle carries a certain amount of risk than when operating cars, it is far more difficult for riders to prove their innocence after an accident. Due to this, if you are not defended by a knowledgeable, experienced personal injury attorney, it's far simpler for an insurance provider to accuse you of causing the accident.

Showing that You were Compliant with State Safety Regulations

Motorists must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that they are not to blame for the accident to be eligible for any type of compensation. This may be much more difficult for motorcycle riders than it is for car drivers. Motorcyclists must demonstrate that they are fully compliant with the state safety standards before blame can be assigned to any other party since they're subject to special laws when utilizing the roadways.

For instance, California requires all motorcycle riders to always wear helmets and have a valid motorcycle license. If you have been injured while riding a motorcycle that does not comply with all laws, you could be held responsible for the accident even though you dId not cause it.

Demonstrating That the Other Party Was Negligent

The laws governing negligence often determine who was responsible in injury cases. When one party fails to drive safely or disregards traffic standards and policies, that party is considered negligent and at fault for the accident.

For an injury claim to be approved, the motorist must demonstrate that he/she was not negligent and also that a faulty automobile was not the reason for the crash. It's important to gather proof of this, whether it comes from eyewitness accounts, that your helmet was on during the time of the accident for motorcycle riders, or footage from security cameras.

However, it is more difficult to demonstrate fault in motorcycle accidents than in auto accidents. In collisions, motorcycles respond differently when compared to cars, and it could be challenging even for eyewitnesses to determine who is to blame.

Motorcyclists must demonstrate that the accident was not the result of their negligence or inability to use reasonable caution to prevent injury.

Evidence of alleged negligence on the part of a motorcycle rider is frequently scrutinized far more closely than evidence of potential negligence on the part of a car driver. The collecting and delivery of the evidence must therefore be handled by qualified personnel.

Unjustified Bias Against Motorcycle Riders

Often, jurors, police, as well as insurance companies have preconceived notions about motorcycle riders. They are thought to be negligent, irresponsible, and reckless motorists who show little or no consideration for other road users. This mindset frequently permeates crucial decisions involving a motorcycle rider's personal injury lawsuit.

For instance, biased responding officers can accuse an innocent motorcyclist party of being at fault, or an insurance provider might try to offer a meager settlement or no compensation at all because of the stereotype about bikers.

This unfair bias could affect your claim in the following ways:

Presumption of Culpability

Because motorcycle riders are perceived as being more reckless than other drivers, law enforcement officers, the jury, insurance adjusters, or even the judge, could assume that they are guilty.

Low Compensation Offer

An insurance adjuster could make a low compensation offer that does not adequately compensate a biker for their injuries because of the same grounds for which one could infer liability.

Reduced Award For Damages

Legal professionals work hard to select jurors who do not have inherent biases in some cases, but members of the jury are human too, and every individual has past experiences that make a person more susceptible to various opinions. Unfortunately, this occasionally results in lower damage settlements in court.

Due to the sheer criteria for proving culpability and the possibility of unfair prejudices, it is generally advantageous to find a lawyer who is knowledgeable about personal injury cases for motorcycles and is cognizant of the many difficulties that arise when compared to car accidents.

What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do for You

After being injured in either a car or motorcycle accident, you may find yourself with more questions than answers. Will the injuries and damages I incurred be covered by insurance? Is there a third party to blame for what transpired? What procedures must be followed to work out an agreement, and what happens if a prompt resolution is not conceivable?

Naturally, it is conceivable to traverse the injury claim scene all on your own, particularly if you weren't seriously injured and the at-fault party is prepared to accept responsibility. However, it makes logical sense to entrust your issue to an accomplished personal injury lawyer if things become complicated or if you simply do not wish to handle the procedure alone.

You can get guidance from a local attorney on the procedures to follow when negotiating a settlement. When the insurance provider declines to settle for a reasonable and just amount, a personal injury attorney should be prepared to bring your issue to trial.

Investigating the matter and conducting discovery are parts of preparation for trial and settlement. A personal injury lawyer will look into your case, which may require engaging expert witnesses, and will also look for all relevant evidence related to your accident. Although some personal injury attorneys hire outside investigators to perform the tasks, others undertake on-site as well as in-person inquiries themselves.

Your account of the event serves as the guide your attorney uses to further your lawful interests. When the personal injury lawyer discusses the case with you, they'll listen for details that need to be clarified or followed up on. They will inquire about the specifics of your accident, any injuries you sustained, your pain and recovery, any disability sustained, your insurance coverage, as well as other important details.

An investigator can:

  • Find and speak with eyewitnesses

  • Obtain all available diagrams, recordings, and photos of the accident scene.

  • Obtain the police but also employer reports.

  • Obtain images of the implicated cars or motorcycles

In the absence of any photos or videos, the attorney could send somebody to the accident scene to take photos of any evidence that was left behind, for example, skid marks, car parts, as well as any other evidence that can't be collected.

If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash, you might assume that your case will be addressed the same way an accident that involves two passenger cars would. Even though motorcycle accidents are subject to the same regulations as vehicle accidents, the two cases can vary in a multitude of ways. Failure to recognize these distinctions or engage a personal injury lawyer who does could end with you receiving less money than you should receive from the culpable motorist who caused the accident as well as your injuries.

Find a Orange County Personal Injury Attorney Near Me

If you are involved in a car or motorcycle accident as a result of someone else's negligence, you can claim compensation for your injuries or damages. Traffic accidents can be complicated and devastating — therefore, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Contact the Orange County Personal Injury Attorney to get legal advice on how you can move forward with your personal injury claim. Call us today at 714-876-1959.