Motorcycle accidents all too often result in devastating personal injuries or death to bikers and their passengers. Because bikers are generally protected from injury by nothing more substantial than helmets and leather riding gear, brain and organ damage, limb amputation, paralysis, and bone crushes or fractures are not uncommon consequences of these sometimes horrific crashes. Injuries of this magnitude can have lasting effects, including multiple surgeries, long-term therapy, substantial lifestyle changes, and chronic and debilitating pain.
When a motorcycle accident is caused by someone’s negligence or a defect in a motorcycle or other vehicle, the heartache can be all the more intense. If you were injured or one of your loved ones has died in a motorcycle accident and you have reason to suspect that the accident was caused by someone’s negligence or a defective bike or other vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation through legal action. The Killino Firm’s San Francisco motorcycle-accident personal-injury and wrongful-death attorneys have extensive experience with motorcycle-accident cases, including those arising out of accidents caused by driver or rider negligence, defective or negligently maintained roads, poorly designed or operated construction sites, or defects in motorcycles or other motor vehicles. Contact The Killino Firm’s San Francisco motorcycle-injury lawyers at 415-278-9278 for a cost-free evaluation of your case and additional information about your legal rights and options.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Driver or Rider Negligence
Motorcycle accidents are often caused by driver negligence. Drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care at all times for the safety of pedestrians and other drivers and vehicle occupants, including motorcyclists and their passengers. The failure to exercise such care is considered negligence under the law and may result in the liability of drivers whose negligence is determined to have caused motorcycle accidents and bikers’ resultant injuries and deaths. Thus, motorists who fail to keep a proper lookout for motorcycles, crowd cyclists out of lanes, change lanes or turn without signaling, or fail to yield the right-of-way to cyclists may be found liable in negligence personal-injury or wrongful-death actions for motorcyclists’ injuries or deaths ruled to have been caused by such negligent driving.
In some cases, motorcycle accidents may be caused by the negligence of motorcyclists, themselves, with resulting death or injury to motorcyclists’ passengers. Bikers owe the same duty of reasonable care to their passengers as other drivers owe to motorcyclists. Thus, a biker’s negligent driving (such as riding while impaired by alcohol) may be found to constitute negligence causal of a motorcycle passenger’s injury or death, leading to the biker’s liability for damages suffered by the injured passenger or deceased passenger’s survivors as a result.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Unsafe Roads and Construction Sites
Road defects or debris and negligently designed and operated construction zones can also cause motorcycle accidents and resultant injuries and deaths. Potholes that are left unrepaired and accident debris or fallen tree branches that have not been cleared away, for example, may cause bikers to lose control and collide with other vehicles, guardrails, or other stationary objects. Non-governmental entities and individuals responsible for road maintenance and repair may be found liable for injuries and deaths sustained in accidents caused by negligent road maintenance and repair, while governmental entities and their employees may be relieved of such liability under some states’ governmental immunity laws.
Construction sites that are poorly designed and/or negligently operated may also cause motorcycle-accident injuries and deaths. As is true with respect to governmental entities and employees responsible for road maintenance and repair, governmental entities and employees responsible for construction zone design, maintenance, and operation may be relieved of liability for negligently caused motorcycle-accident injuries and deaths under applicable state governmental immunity laws.
Non-governmental entities and employees may be found liable, however, for motorcycle-accident injuries and deaths caused by negligent construction-zone design or operation. Thus, a change in road grade that is not adequately warned of and that causes a biker to lose control and collide with another vehicle may result in the liability of those responsible for a construction zone’s operation for the biker’s resultant injury or death.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Defective Bikes or Other Vehicles
Defects in motorcycles or other motor vehicles frequently cause traffic accidents and motorcyclists’ injuries and deaths. A defect in a motorcycle’s tires that affects the bike’s stability, for instance, may be found to constitute a cause of a motorcycle accident and result in the liability of the bike’s manufacturer and others involved in the bike’s production and distribution. Defects in motorcycle helmets may also be found to have caused or enhanced a biker’s motorcycle-accident injuries. In such cases, the designers, manufacturers, suppliers, assemblers, wholesalers, and retailers of the bikes or helmets may be found strictly liable (without proof of negligence) for injuries and deaths determined to have been caused by these defects.
Defects in other motor vehicles may also be found to have caused motorcycle accidents and motorcyclists’ injuries and deaths. A defective steering mechanism that causes a driver to crash into a motorcycle, for instance, may be found to have caused the motorcyclist’s injury or death and result in the liability of the vehicle’s manufacturer and others involved in the vehicle’s production and distribution.
If you have been injured or one of your family members has died in a motorcycle accident due to someone’s negligence or a defective vehicle or safety equipment, The Killino Firm’s San Francisco motorcycle-accident attorneys are ready to fight for the justice you deserve from those who have caused your injury or loved one’s death. Contact The Killino Firm at 415-278-9278 for aggressive and dedicated assistance with your motorcycle-injury case.