Long Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident in the Long Beach, California area? Our law firm may be able to help you get compensation if someone else is liable for your injuries. Contact Madison Law Group for a free consultation.

On a beautiful day in Long Beach, California, a motorcycle rider was cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway, enjoying the breathtaking ocean views when suddenly, an SUV ran a red light and collided with the motorcycle. The motorcycle rider suffered serious injuries, including broken bones and internal bleeding, and was rushed to the hospital. As he lay in the hospital bed, he knew he had a long road to recovery ahead of him. The medical costs were piling up, and he had no idea how he would pay for them.

Although this is a fictional account, accidents happen just like this on a regular basis in the Long Beach area and across California. In the span of one second, your life can change. The best way forward for anyone who was injured in a motorcycle accident is to seek legal representation as soon as possible. It may be the only way for you to pay all of your bills and truly move on with your life.

What Are the Common Causes of Long Beach Motorcycle Accidents?

Despite all the upsides of cruising along our scenic Pacific Ocean Highway, real perils exist for motorcyclists. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, just over 5,000 motorcyclists died in collisions, while roughly 84,000 suffered motorcycle accident injuries in 2019. Here are the most common types of motorcycle crashes:
1. Collisions With Other Vehicles
Crashes between motorcycle riders and other drivers take on many forms. These vehicles include cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, and 18-wheelers. The types of crashes that occur most often include:

  • T-bone: Also known as a broadside collision, this motorcycle crash occurs when a motorcycle collides sideways with another vehicle at an intersection.
  • Rear-end: This accident happens when an automobile hits a motorcycle from behind. It often results from a driver ignoring the tailgate or the road.
  • Head-on: Head-on collisions are one of the most dangerous types of motorcycle accidents and occur when a motorcycle collides with a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.
  • Sideswipe: In this accident, a car crashes side by side with a motorcycle when attempting to change lanes without checking their blind spot.

2. Lane splitting
Lane splitting is a practice where a motorcycle rider travels between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. This driving maneuver allows motorcycles to move quickly through traffic and avoid congestion.

Lane splitting is legal in California. Lawmakers believe lane splitting helps reduce the risk of rear-end motorcycle crashes and other accidents. However, this practice is only legal in California under certain conditions, such as when traffic moves at 30 mph or less.

Although legal, it’s risky behavior for Long Beach motorcycle riders who aren’t careful. Riders should only lane split when they have the experience and feel confident doing so. Plus, they must follow traffic laws and be aware of the surrounding traffic.

The dangers associated with lane splitting include the following:

  • Reduced Reaction Time: Riders have less time to react to unexpected obstacles or hazards on the road, such as sudden lane changes by other drivers or debris on the pavement.
  • Increased Risk of Collisions: Riding between lanes of traffic increases the risk of motorcyclists colliding with other vehicles, especially if drivers don’t see them or expect a motorcycle to be in their path.
  • Higher Speed Differential: The speed difference between a motorcycle and other vehicles on the road can be greater when lane splitting, making it more difficult for riders to avoid motorcycle crashes or maintain bike control.
  • Limited Space: Motorcycle drivers have limited space for splitting lanes. This traffic technique is more challenging with narrow lanes or moving between larger vehicles like buses and trucks.
  • Limited Visibility: Lane splitting reduces a rider’s visibility to other drivers, such as in blind spots or heavy traffic where there may be limited visibility due to congestion or weather conditions.

3. Speeding
The maximum speed limit for many Long Beach highways is 65 mph, and according to the Long Beach Municipal Code, the limit is 25 mph for city streets. If you have a “need for speed,” that thrill ride comes with hidden dangers, such as:

  • Reduced maneuverability: Motorcycles become harder to handle at high speeds, making it more difficult to avoid obstacles or quick turns to avoid motorcycle accidents.
  • Increased stopping distance: The faster a motorcycle travels, the longer the stopping distance needed. This can be dangerous if the rider needs to stop suddenly to avoid a motorcycle crash.
  • Wind resistance: The faster a motorcycle goes, the more wind resistance the rider will face. This increases the likelihood of becoming tired more quickly and losing control of the bike.
  • Reduced visibility: High speeds reduce a motorcyclist’s ability to spot potential road hazards or for other drivers to see the motorcycle.
  • Increased risk of injury: High-speed motorcycle accidents often result in more severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and fractures. Excessive speeding also increases the rider’s risk of being thrown from the motorcycle.

The Devastating Effects of Long Beach Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents happen in a flash, but can leave long-lasting negative impacts, depending on what kind of injuries are sustained. Here are the most common motorcycle accident injuries:
1. Head and Brain Injuries
Among the most life-changing catastrophic injuries are head and brain injuries, such as concussions, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injury. After a motorcycle accident it’s typical for motorcycle drivers to experience the following long-term effects:

  • Cognitive impairment: Brain injuries can cause long-term cognitive impairments, such as loss of memory, difficulty solving problems, and decreased attention span.
  • Emotional and behavioral changes: Brain damage can also lead to emotional and behavioral changes, such as depression, anxiety, irritability, and impulsivity.
  • Communication difficulties: Depending on the severity and location of the brain injury, individuals may experience difficulty with speech and language, including both understanding and expressing language.
  • Physical impairments: An injury to the brain can cause the loss of motor coordination, seizures, and chronic pain.
  • Increased risk of dementia: According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a history of a TBI increases the chances of developing dementia, especially if someone experiences a severe injury or multiple TBIs.

Treatments for Head and Brain Injuries
A head or brain injury can have life-changing impacts ranging from cognitive deficits to paralysis. Fortunately, there are treatment options to help improve quality of life, such as:

  • Brain injury rehabilitation programs: According to the Brain Injury Association of America, brain injury rehabilitation programs can help individuals with brain injuries regain lost abilities and relearn basic life skills, such as self-care, communication, and mobility.
  • Medications: Doctors prescribe certain medicines to treat specific symptoms of brain injuries, such as headaches, seizures, and mood disorders.
  • Surgery: A surgical intervention may be required to address physical damage to the brain, such as bleeding or swelling. Surgeons may remove damaged tissue or alleviate pressure on the brain.
  • Assistive devices: Individuals with more severe brain injuries may require assistive devices to help with mobility, communication, and other activities of daily living. Examples of assistive devices include wheelchairs, speech-recognition software, and bath benches.

2. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are among the worst injuries you can sustain. Here are some of the outcomes that can occur with this type of injury:

  • Paraplegia: This form of paralysis affects the legs and lower body. It can result from a spinal cord injury below the first thoracic vertebrae.
  • Quadriplegia: Quadriplegia, or tetraplegia, is paralysis affecting the arms, legs, and torso. It can result from a spinal cord injury that occurs in the cervical region of the spine.
  • Loss of sensation: Patients with spinal cord injuries often experience a loss of sensation or feeling in the affected parts of the body.
  • Breathing difficulties: Depending on the location and severity of the spinal cord injury, the muscles controlling breathing may be affected, making breathing difficult without assistance.

Spinal Cord Injury Effects
The long-term effects of spinal cord injuries are both physical and emotional. Here are some ways these injuries have a long-lasting impact on a person’s life:

  • Loss of mobility: Based on the spinal cord injury location and severity, a person may experience partial or complete paralysis, limiting their ability to move around independently and engage in daily activities.
  • Chronic pain: Spinal cord injuries can cause chronic pain and discomfort, further limiting a person’s ability to engage in physical activity and impacting their overall quality of life.
  • Emotional suffering: The emotional side effects of spinal cord injuries include depression, anxiety, and feelings of social isolation.
  • Financial strain: The costs range from $1.5M to $4.7M yearly for spinal cord injuries, including medical bills, rehabilitation, and assistive devices. The expenses can put a significant financial strain on individuals and their families.
  • Changes in social relationships: Spinal cord injuries can also affect a person’s social relationships. Those suffering may struggle to maintain connections with friends and family or experience discrimination and stigma due to disability.

Treatments for Spinal Cord Injuries
The most common ways healthcare providers treat spinal cord injuries include:

  • Immobilization: The first step in treating a spinal cord injury is immobilizing the spine to prevent further damage. This treatment may involve using a neck collar or backboard.
  • Medications: Meds like corticosteroids can reduce swelling and inflammation around the spinal cord. Physicians use other prescription drugs to manage pain or muscle spasticity.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery is an option for removing bone fragments, herniated disks, or other objects pressing on the spinal cord.
  • Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation is a critical component of spinal cord injury treatment. It may involve physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other forms of therapy to help patients regain strength, mobility, and independence.
  • Assistive devices: Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, braces, and other adaptive equipment, can help people with spinal cord injuries live more independently and engage in daily activities.

3. Road Rash
An unexpected motorcycle accident is a terrifying event. Depending on the crash, the rider can be thrown off their bike and sent sliding along the pavement. A road rash occurs when friction between the pavement and the biker’s skin causes abrasions or scrapes. These rashes can be painful and take a long time to heal. Side effects may include infections or nerve damage.

The different type of road rash injuries include:

  • Avulsion: This injury is where a layer of skin is torn off, exposing the underlying muscle or bone. Avulsions may require skin grafts to heal.
  • Compression: This injury occurs when a body part is crushed between two hard surfaces. This can cause deep bruises and scrapes, requiring a lengthy healing time.
  • Open wound: This is the most common type of road rash injury. The skin gets scraped away by friction with the pavement, causing open wounds with intense pain and the possibility of i
  • Burn: Road rashes can cause friction burns when the skin rubs against the pavement at high speed.
  • Contusion: A contusion is a type of deep bruise that can result from a road rash injury. Contusions can be very painful and may take a long time to heal.

Ways to Prevent Road Rashes
Although the tropical Long Beach climate favors T-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops, that attire isn’t ideal for riding a motorcycle. The clothing to wear to prevent road rash includes:

  • Leather jackets: A good quality leather jacket is a popular choice among motorcyclists because of its durability and ability to protect against abrasions in the event of a crash.
  • Leather pants: Like leather jackets, leather pants can protect against road rashes. They can also help shield the knees and hips.
  • Riding suits: Riding suits are one-piece suits designed for motorcycle riders. This riding gear is made of leather or other abrasion-resistant materials and often includes extra padding for added safety.
  • Gloves: Motorcycle gloves can help protect the hands from abrasions during a crash. The best sturdy materials for gloves include leather or Kevlar.
  • Boots: Motorcycle boots help shield the feet and ankles from abrasions and other motorcycle accident injuries. Wearing boots made from high-strength materials, like leather, and a slip-resistant sole ensures a secure grip while riding.

Road Rash Treatments
Road rashes are the least severe of motorcycle accident injuries. However, they still require careful medical attention. The treatments include:

  • Cleaning and Dressing the Wound: Doctors will remove any dirt, debris, or foreign objects from the wound and then cover it with a sterile dressing to prevent infection.
  • Antibiotics: If the wound is deep, bacteria can enter the body. Medical doctors may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection if the road rash injury is severe.
  • Pain Management: Physicians may prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to help control the pain.
  • Skin Grafting: Surgeons perform this procedure for severe road rash cases. Grafting promotes healing and reduces scarring by taking healthy skin from another body area and transplanting it onto the road rash injury.
  • Physical Therapy: After the rash wound has healed, a healthcare professional may recommend physical therapy to improve mobility and flexibility. PT can help reduce the risk of scarring and improve the overall appearance of the affected area.
Were you involved in a motorcycle crash? Are you suffering from any of these common motorcycle accident injuries? Contact an experienced Long Beach motorcycle accident lawyer. We can handle all aspects of your personal injury case to get you the compensation you deserve. Request a free consultation.

A Long Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Gets You Results

At the Madison Law Group, we know reckless drivers are a main cause of motorcyclists getting injured in motorcycle accidents. After a serious crash, the last you need to grapple with is how to cover the medical costs resulting from a motorcycle accident. And that’s where a motorcycle lawyer can help. You are entitled under the law to compensation for injuries sustained, medical bills, and lost income.

Our motorcycle accident lawyers have won major settlements for our Southern California clients since 2000. We know how to negotiate with motorcycle insurance providers. We don’t back down when seeking justice for our clients. If a settlement isn’t good enough for you or the insurance company wants to play hardball, our team has the resources and skill necessary to go to trial.

The Madison Law Group is a personal injury law firm with a 24-hour call-back policy. No matter what type of motorcycle accident you’ve been in, an experienced Long Beach motorcycle accident lawyer will call you back within 24 hours to discuss your case, free of charge.

What You Need to Know Immediately After a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle accidents can get complicated from a legal standpoint. If you pursue a lawsuit, it helps to know what you should do when you find yourself in this situation.
What to Do When You Have a Motorcycle Accident
1. Call 911
The 911 operator will send out first responders to attend to injured parties. Make sure to provide the operator with details, such as the location of the motorcycle accident, vehicle description and injuries.
2. Speak to the authorities
Officers can document the incident and ensure everyone receives medical attention. They can also help determine who was at fault, which is essential for filing insurance claims or lawsuits.
3. Exchange info and take pictures
Exchange information with the other driver, including names, phone numbers, insurance details, and license plate numbers. These items will be necessary when filing a motorcycle accident claim with your insurance company, or if legal action occurs. You should also use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene if you can, as well as any injuries to both you and your motorcycle.
4. Seek medical attention
Some catastrophic injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, may not show symptoms right after a motorcycle accident. Even if you feel fine, get medical treatment immediately anyway. Delaying treatment could result in serious health problems, and a lack of medical records from the day of the accident could hinder your potential motorcycle accident case.
5. Gather documents
Collect documents, such as insurance policies, proof of damages, medical records, and police reports. This paperwork helps the insurance adjuster process your claim and make a determination about liability.
6. Call your insurance provider
Report the accident to your motorcycle insurance agent. This report kick-starts the motorcycle accident claims process, so you can cover the cost of bike repairs or future medical treatment.
7. Contact a Long Beach motorcycle accident lawyer
Schedule a free consultation with our motorcycle accident attorney at Madison Law Group. An experienced Long Beach motorcycle accident lawyer can help protect your legal rights, negotiate with your insurance company, and obtain the maximum compensation that is rightfully yours.

Heads Up: Navigating California’s Helmet Law for Motorcyclists

Regardless of its popularity in Long Beach, people who ride motorcycles face a greater risk of serious injury and death than other motorists.

In 2017, 5,172 motorcyclists died in crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reported that 749 of those lives could have survived if they had worn helmets.

Wearing a proper full-face motorcycle helmet gives riders maximum head and face coverage, reducing the risk of skull fractures and other traumatic head injuries.

California passed the motorcycle helmet law in 1992. This legislation requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear Department of Transportation-approved helmets that meet the agency’s safety standards. The law aims to improve motorcycle safety and reduce the fatalities and injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents.

Motorcyclists who violate the motorcycle helmet face fines and penalties, including impounding their motorcycle. The law applies to all motorcycle riders and passengers, regardless of age or experience level.

Proving Fault: The Key to Winning Your Motorcycle Accident Case

In most motorcycle crashes, at least one person who was involved in the wreck will be considered liable for it. Under the law, that person is legally obligated to pay the person injured full compensation for their losses.

If you can prove the defendant meets all four criteria for establishing negligence in a personal injury case, there’s a strong possibility you can win in court.

The four criteria to prove liability in motorcycle accident cases include:

  • Duty of care – You must establish that a duty of care existed. Drivers on the roadways have a duty of care to drive reasonably safely and follow all traffic laws.
  • Breach of duty – You must prove that the duty of care was breached; for example, running a red light would be breaching a driver’s duty of care.
  • Causation – You must prove that the breach of duty caused the injuries that you sustained.
  • Damages – You must prove that the injury caused damages. This is typically proven through providing copies of medical bills, lost wages, and other costs.

How Comparative Liability Affects Motorcycle Accident Cases
California adheres to a legal concept called comparative liability. This means the courts determine the degree of fault among all negligent parties involved in motorcycle accident claims. If you contributed to the motorcycle accident, courts would reduce your award based on your level of responsibility.

For example, a motorcycle rider’s brake lights are out, and they stop unexpectedly. Then an SUV, which follows too close behind, rear-ends the bike. In this scenario, the biker is partly liable for the accident because of the broken brake lights. However, the SUV driver is accountable for driving too close behind.

If the motorcyclist wins the case for $100,000, the court may determine the degree of their negligence is 30 percent. As a result, the court will reduce the compensation to $70,000.

Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

You do not have to, but it usually will benefit you to do so. Every Long Beach motorcycle crash accident is different. In some motorcycle accidents, filing a lawsuit is necessary to recover damages. Lawsuits arise when one or more of the parties involved reject the terms and conditions of any settlement offer.

For example, an insurance company presents a lowball offer of $20,000 to a motorcyclist who sustained a spinal cord injury. This is probably not even enough to pay the medical bills alone, let alone lost wages. The plaintiff can reject the offer, build a strong case with their motorcycle accident lawyer, and take the case to trial to see what the jury will award.

Consulting with a Long Beach motorcycle accident lawyer can determine whether settling a claim or pursuing a court case is the best choice of action for your case.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Claim?

There is no specific timeframe or deadline to settle a motorcycle accident case or any personal injury lawsuit. These negotiations can get intense, with a lot of going back and forth between the motorcycle accident lawyer and the insurance company. It could take weeks or months before the parties agree, and longer if an agreement cannot be reached.

Don’t let your motorcycle accident claim spin out of control. Hire a motorcycle accident attorney now and let them take control of the situation. You can get financial relief for your injuries and damages with the right legal representation. Don’t hesitate to contact the Madison Law Group today for a free case evaluation with a motorcycle accident lawyer.

Getting Fair Compensation for Your Motorcycle Accident Case

Long Beach motorcycle riders injured in collisions due to another person’s negligence have the right to receive compensation. This financial award covers the financial expenses or losses resulting from the accident. The damages fall into the categories of economic, non-economic, and punitive.
These damages cover expenses for doctor visits, hospitalizations, physical rehabilitation, and prescriptions. Economic recovery also includes lost wages.
These damages focus on intangible costs that have no specific monetary value attached to them,  such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and more.
In some cases, courts grant these awards to the motorcycle accident victim when the defendant exhibited egregious actions that harmed the motorcycle rider. For instance, a driver with a history of driving under the influence runs a red light and collides with a motorcyclist causing life-threatening injuries.

Do You Have a Loved One That Was Killed in a Long Beach Motorcycle Accident?

One of the most devastating outcomes of a motorcycle crash is when the motorcycle rider dies because of someone else’s reckless behavior. California law provides recourse for those whose loved ones passed away in situations like this.

Family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. The purpose of this type of suit is to compensate the surviving family members for their loss.

Of course, no amount of money can replace the devastation of losing a loved one. Still, compensation can help relieve the financial burden. Additionally, these lawsuits hold the negligent parties accountable for their reckless behavior.

In California, deceased loved ones can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These family members include:

  • A surviving spouse
  • A domestic partner
  • Children

In some cases, the decedent’s parents, stepchildren, or putative spouse (someone with a good faith belief they’re legally married to their partner) may also be able to bring a wrongful death claim. If you’re considering filing a lawsuit on behalf of your deceased family member, talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer. They can help guide you through the legal steps to secure justice.

Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney on Your Side

There are several benefits to joining forces with a Long Beach motorcycle accident attorney. One, we can handle every aspect of filing a motorcycle accident claim so you can focus on your recovery. Two, a motorcycle accident lawyer knows how to deal with insurance companies to recover the maximum compensation for your injuries. Three, we investigate your motorcycle accident case and can determine whether it is best to settle or go to court. Finally, if going to court is the best legal action, a motorcycle accident attorney has experience, knowledge, and resources to fight for the best possible outcome.

Our Winning Team

The Madison Law Group has helped many clients win settlements and court victories. Together, we can stand up to those responsible for your motorcycle accident and injuries. You deserve trustworthy legal representation, justice, and full compensation.

Contact us now if you’ve been in a motorcycle crash. Schedule a free consultation, and an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will call you back within 24 hours — Guaranteed.