Injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents are often catastrophic and those victims can suffer from life-long pain and/or disabilities, preventing them from working or even performing simple daily tasks.
If you find yourself involved in a motorcycle accident, it is crucial that you seek an experienced California motorcycle accident lawyer to ensure you are properly compensated for damages and injuries.
An Overview Of California Motorcycle Laws
In California, not only do motorcyclists need to follow the same laws that apply to drivers in regular passenger vehicles, but there are specific laws that only apply to motorcyclists.
Lane-Splitting & Lane-Sharing
Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist maneuvers in between two lanes of traffic in order to move around vehicles. In 2016, California passed a law that allows motorcyclists to do this on state roadways. There are some laws that can help protect riders when lane splitting:
- CVC 22400 prohibits motorists from driving at a speed that is so slow it impedes or blocks the normal or reasonable movement of traffic unless it is necessary for safety
- CVC 22517 makes it illegal for motorists to open or leave open vehicle doors unless it is reasonably safe to do so and will not interfere with the movement of traffic
Lane sharing is when two motorcyclists ride side-by-side in a single lane of traffic. California has no restrictions on this.
Helmets & Safety Equipment Requirements
There are numerous regulations in California on what the equipment motorcycle rider must wear, as well as other equipment that must be on the motorcycle itself.
- CVC 27803 requires motorcycle drivers and riders to wear helmets at all times. The helmet must be in compliance with standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation
- CVC 26709 states that motorcycles must be equipped with right and left mirrors
- According to CVC 27801, handlebars may not be installed in such a position that puts the driver’s hands more than six inches above his or her shoulder height as he or she is sitting on the seat
- Working turn signals, both front and rear, are required for all motorcycles built and first registered on January 1, 1973, or later
- For motorcycles and exhaust systems manufactured from 2013 on, exhaust systems must be compliant with the Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act
There is no California law that restricts the age of the passengers riding the motorcycle. However, the passenger seats must be securely fastened to the motorcycle behind the driver’s seat, and passengers must have footrests in place, which must be used while the motorcycle is in motion
Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
Insurance is a necessity for all motorcyclists. They are required to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance:
- $5,000 for property damage
- $15,000 for bodily injury to an individual
- $30,000 for bodily injuries to multiple victims
In California, a motorcyclist may face up to a one-year driver’s license suspension if they do not carry the minimum amount of insurance coverage required.
What To Do After A Motorcycle Accident In California
Unlike automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents have a higher probability of those individuals involved being injured. If you find yourself involved in a motorcycle accident in California, follow these steps below to ensure the incident is correctly documented and you are taken care of, both physically and financially.
1. Report The Incident To 911 & Request Medical Personnel
If you are physically able to report the motorcycle accident without causing yourself further harm, call 911 and request they send emergency medical assistance. The medical professionals that arrive will not only tend to your potential injuries but will also report the injuries from the accident to the official police report.
2. Gather Evidence & Exchange Necessary Information
Gathering evidence and acquiring important information from all parties involved can help expedite the lawsuit and compensation process. Below is a list of information that should be exchanged between all parties, regardless of the outcome of the accident:
- First & last names
- Phone numbers
- Insurance information (provider(s) & policy number(s)
Here is a list of evidence you should obtain/gather from the scene of the motorcycle accident:
- Date & time of incident
- Location of incident
- Type, color & model of vehicle(s) involved
- Driver’s license information & license plate number(s) of parties involved
- Pictures of your motorcycle and of the accident scene
- Officers information that were at the scene
- Speak to witnesses & collect their contact information
- Obtain a copy of the police report
3. Speak To An Experienced California Motorcycle Accident Law Firm
As soon as you are able to do so, begin the process of working with a California motorcycle accident law firm with a long history of obtaining compensation for its clients. Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers are able to fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve and provide you with some much-needed peace of mind.
Focus On Healing, Let Us Focus On The Rest
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in California, it is important that you focus on healing. You shouldn’t have to spend your time arguing with insurance companies or worrying about medical bills. Instead, contact the experienced California motorcycle accident attorneys at Lehr Law, APC by calling (858) 240-9993 or by requesting a consultation online today.