Motorcycle Passenger Injury Attorney
Motorcycle riders are not always the only ones injured in an accident. For example, what about when bike operators are carrying a passenger? Motorcycle operators carrying passengers on the back of the bike may have some liability themselves in the event of an accident. A crash or collision wounding the passenger could mean the operator has to pay him or her money damages. After the adrenaline and exhilaration wear off after a motorcycle crash, you are left with bills and headaches.
If you have been injured while riding a motorcycle that another person was operating, you need an experienced personal injury attorney by your side. Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC has a proven track record of fighting for the rights of injured motorcycle passengers from San Francisco to Torrance, to the Inland Empire.
Most of all, we take measured steps to hold legally liable parties accountable in and out of court. And we labor tirelessly to assist accident victims in obtaining the maximum compensation deserved under California law. And since we handle all motorcycle collision claims on a contingency fee basis, you don't pay any attorneys’ fees unless we win money as part of your damages claims. Passengers can even be thrown off the bike and killed just as quickly as a rider.
Some Common Causes Of Motorcycle Passenger Accidents.
The causes of motorcycle accidents could be by negligent actions by another motorist. In some cases, the collision may be a combination of a negligent driver and the rider operating the bike. The rider/operator of the bike might be irresponsible. He or she could make an error in judgment. This could cause an accident. It could also contribute to a collision with another motorist. Typically, head-on collisions and left-hand turn accidents are what takedown riders and passengers the most.
The Responsibilities Of Motorcycle Operators With Passengers.
- Relevant California Motorcycle Passenger Laws.
The California Vehicle Code requires motorcycles carrying passengers to maintain a securely fastened seat, or use a joined sidecar that was built to carry a passenger alongside the motorcycle while in operation. Also, footpegs capable of accepting feet must be installed for the passenger. And the passenger must keep their feet on the footrests while traveling around on the back of the motorcycle. Also, the biker and the passengers must wear proper footwear, DOT approved helmets and riding gear. And the same goes for riding with a child on the back of the bike.
Noteworthy here is that a motorcyclist carrying a passenger in violation of the California law can be held fully, or partially liable for any injuries resulting from the accident. And the same goes for a passenger who became unruly, failed to lean, or remain properly seated, which led to the collision. Besides children, each passenger is assumed to know they must wear a proper helmet and if not, it's on them, damages will get reduced based upon their comparative fault.
Moreover, having a passenger on a bike is a tremendous responsibility. And this is because riding a motorcycle is far different than having a passenger in a four-wheel vehicle. This remains the case, particularly if the new passenger. Riding on the back of bikes means the occupant needs to move his or her body along with the rider.
Drivers in automobiles and commercial trucks assume this responsibility when they have passengers. But there remains a higher level of safety in those vehicles. They are in an enclosed cage with seat-belts for starters.
Actions or inaction of a motorcyclist resulting in injury to passengers is negligence. If that occurs, the passenger legal rights. He or she can then seek financial compensation for their damages. The law entitles them to do so.
Main Responsibility Owed By Motorcycle Passengers.
Leaning with the rider is probably the number one thing a motorcycle passenger can do to avoid tipping or flipping the bike while turning or cornering. Maintaining a proper center of gravity is crucial when riding with a passenger on the back of a motorcycle.
What Are Some Common Riding Dangers And Injuries For Motorcycle Passengers?
Motorcycle passenger injuries are often caused due to the negligence of the operator. Typically, the operator failed to conduct a property safety pre-ride rundown to explain things like leaning into corners and keeping feet on footrests. Other times the operator decided to ride with cold tires and loses control of the motorcycle, causing, or contributing to a multi-vehicle collision. When this happens, most passengers have no siss bars or handlebars to grab onto. Because of this, they can fly into the windshield or radiator of an oncoming car, truck, or bus, for example.
These high speed, high-velocity impact injuries from motorcycle collisions can result in compound bone fractures, facial cuts, lacerations, and disfigurement, as well as broken cheekbones, crushed ribs, and lungs. So in addition to road rash and heavy scarring, the victim may be down for weeks recovering from a broken pelvis, for example. And if that wasn't enough, the head impact alone can cause CTE and Mild Traumatic brain injuries that could take a lifetime to heal.
Experienced motorcyclists are cautious when riding. But when they have a high-risk passenger on the bike and acting recklessly, things can go wrong. Showing off his or her riding skills can put the passenger in danger. The harm can be great or small. To recap, getting thrown off a bike carries risks of scrapes, wounds, or wrongful death.
The passenger on most bikes is usually family, significant others, or friends. That person may have to sue the operator. This can be extremely emotional for the unwary victim passenger. It’s hard to sue someone you love, and it could destroy the relationship.
The injuries in a motorcycle wreck can be significant. So this makes it imperative to seek compensation. And that covers the damages.
Below are some of the ways motorcycle accidents happen due to failures of the operator:
- Colliding with another vehicle, obstacle, or solo crash. Here, the passenger can fly from the bike. The passenger may get hurt.
- Accelerating more than the posted speed limit or too fast for road or weather conditions. Excess speed raises the risk for any motorist on the road. Speeding on a motorcycle dramatically raises the risk of a crash. Also, this increases the risk of a severe injury or a killing.
- Acting recklessly. Also, this could be showboating, or just a custom and habit of riding like a jerk in general. Their actions may be weaving in and out of traffic. They may have a habit of riding too close to other vehicles. They may even be performing stunts with a person on the bike with them. Any of these actions can put both the operator of the motorcycle and the passenger in grave danger. Maiming or killing remains a real risk under these conditions.
- Operating a bike under the influence of alcohol or drugs (“DUI”) is a major no-no. It is not only irresponsible to run the bike, in this case, but it is also and against the law. generally a motorcycle while intoxicated is akin to putting a gun to your head. Also, it could put their passenger’s life in danger of wrongful death. Data statistics show grave outcomes. Approximately one-third of all traffic accident fatalities are due to DUI.
Resistance In Filing Los Angeles Motorcycle Collision Passenger Injury Claims.
As discussed above, the victim is usually someone close with the operator. Formal relationships make the passenger apprehensive about filing a legal claim. And this remains true even though it’s usually against the biker’s insurance often.
It’s even harder if one has to file a lawsuit to recover damages. And this can expose the personal assets of the motorcyclist. One of the biggest fears for the passenger is how it will affect their relationship. There can be other factors. Also, this is because these crashes are often dangerous with severe or fatal injuries to both people.
Some of these below factors can further complicate passengers seeking compensation:
- Passengers usually don’t want to ruin the personal relationship with the motorcycle operator. This fear isn’t unwarranted. But that's because the motorcyclist's insurance company provides the settlement for their policyholder. Sure their rates may go up. But if they were at fault, perhaps you’re doing the operator a favor. It could send a message that there are consequences to poorly riding. It usually costs the operator nothing out of pocket to get you meaningful compensation in the form of money damages claim of the passenger. Perhaps there is a small deductible. So motorists carry insurance in the event of an accident causing harm or damages. Sure this is someone the injured passenger knows well. But the person driving the bike is responsible for the injuries. Because the cause was no fault of the passenger on their motorcycle, someone must pay.
- The operator of the motorcycle did not have adequate insurance coverage for the damages. The passenger is seeking reasonable compensation. It is against the law not to carry insurance. But in a motorcycle crash, the costs can add up quickly due to the severity of injuries suffered. It could be the motorcyclist was under-insured. So that means there remains insufficient coverage. In this case, the passenger’s damages go unpaid. In that case, there are other methods of recovering compensation. One of these is to make a claim against your health or auto insurance for the damages. You may even be able to make a homeowner's insurance claim. Consulting a motorcycle accident lawyer helps. He or she can make this complicated process more comfortable and help you recover a higher amount of damages.
- Sometimes the operator of the motorcycle is not at fault for a collision. So this means the other vehicle's driver is responsible. But it could also be that a road crew did not fix a pothole. So the city or government agent may be liable in those cases. Even if the motorcyclist is uninsured or underinsured, it may be possible to get money. The operator of the motorcycle may have an insurance policy addendum for cases like this.
- If the driver of the bike died in the crash, the passenger might not know how to proceed. In this case, emotional factor plays a role from losing a family member, for example. Losing a significant other, or friend may cloud your judgment. In this case, you need a lawyer to insulate you. The help of an attorney may get passenger compensation. You may need help to get damages from the motorist's insurance policy.
Hiring A Victim’s Lawyer.
If you were a passenger on a motorcycle and injured in a crash, you may have questions. It is common to have questions about your legal rights and options to get damages. Also, this is an emotional situation between the injuries and the effects they have on your life. When the operator of the motorcycle is in a close personal relationship, you need a lawyer.
Our lawyers can assist you in evaluating your claim. We can explain your legal rights to recover damages. The damages the passenger may get are high. They include medical expenses, ongoing care. They also include rehabilitation, therapy, loss of wages. Sometimes they include the loss of opportunities, pain and suffering, and other damages. But to win you real money, your lawyer may need to employ accident reconstructionists, and even life care planners. Attorneys can determine the best way to proceed with your claim. Our motorcycle accident lawyers can help protect your rights in this complex process.
Recovering compensation is possibly a phone call away. Call us right now for a free legal consultation. Our number is (213) 596-9642. Don’t leave money damages on the table and don't blow the statute of limitations. Ehline Law Firm represents motorcycle passengers injured in Torrance, Central Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange, San Bernardino, Sacramento County, and the areas in between Northern and Southern California.