Motorcycling serves as one of America’s most beloved pastime. Enthusiasts can enjoy the beauty of the open road from the freedom of an open-air, two-wheeled pleasure ride. However, as most motorcyclists are aware, other drivers are not always paying attention when switching lanes or making sudden stops, and bikers usually bear the brunt of the injuries sustained in a motorcycle-automobile accident. If you were recently involved in an accident while riding your bike and would like to speak to an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney, the Law Office of Nelson C. Barry can advocate for you, so call today!
Prevalence of Motorcycle Injuries
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released its 2011 data to reveal that 4,612 motorcyclists were killed in accidents– a 2 percent increase since 2010. Additionally, nearly 81,000 motorcyclist injuries were reported that year – most of which occurred when a motor vehicle turned left or merged without braking for the motorcyclist.
In California, motorcycle injuries and fatalities are more prevalent than ever. According to the California Highway Patrol, motorcycle fatalities rose 175 percent between 2001 and 2008. A slight reduction in fatalities was shown in 2009 and 2010, however preliminary data for 2011 shows another increase in cyclist death.
Personal injury law works to benefit motorcyclists
Many people are skeptical of meeting with a lawyer – and we understand the hesitation. However, if you were recently injured in an accident, you likely have significant medical bills to cover in addition to lost time at work. A personal injury lawsuit can help you recover some of what you lost, including compensation for property damage (e.g., a totaled bike) incurred as a result of the crash.
If your accident was particularly brutal, perhaps you are no longer able to work or enjoy the activities you once could. If this is your situation, you may be able to recover additional money beyond the costs of your medical care and damaged property. Known as general damages, some juries or insurance companies are willing to award money for pain and suffering or mental anguish – damages that are not easily quantifiable. This type of award is generally available in the most severe cases and your personal injury lawyer can help you better understand whether your case likely qualifies.
Controversy Over California’s Helmet Laws
We always like to stay abreast of laws that may concern our clients, and we closely follow any changes in California’s helmet laws. Since 1992, Californians are required to wear helmets when riding a motorcycle. Many cyclists believe that wearing a helmet is a matter of individual choice and should not be mandated by statute – aside from requiring minors under age 18 to ride protected. Other activists contend that only riders age 21 and younger should be required to wear a helmet. To date, the California legislature has been unable to advance any changes in helmet laws, which may be a positive decision since 77 percent of motorcyclist fatalities involve rides over age 21 — a number sure to increase with the repeal of mandatory helmet laws for over-21 drivers.
Contact our office today!
If you are interested in speaking with a personal injury attorney about your recent injury, contact the Law Office of Nelson C. Barry today. We have extensive experience working with bikers and look forward to meeting you. You can reach us at (415) 587-0550.