What Happens If You Hit Someone on a Motorcycle in San Diego?

Motorcycles can be incredibly fun to ride, but they are also some of the most inherently dangerous vehicles on the road for several reasons. Motorcyclists should always use the utmost caution while riding, but it is not always possible to predict other nearby drivers’ actions in changing traffic conditions. Drivers of passenger vehicle cars should also be extra cautious around motorcycles and do their best to avoid causing motorcycle accidents.

If you hit someone on a motorcycle in San Diego, you should understand your rights, legal options, and the first steps to take immediately following the incident. If you do so, you can potentially minimize your liability for their damages. Depending on how the accident occurred and who is at fault, the resulting legal case could involve substantial damages and expensive legal proceedings for all parties involved.

What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident?

If you hit a motorcyclist in San Diego while driving your car, you could be liable for the accident, depending on how the incident occurred. It is also possible for the motorcyclist to be liable for the crash depending on how they behaved immediately prior to the accident. No matter what your first impression of the incident might be, your first priority after a motorcycle accident should be your personal health and wellbeing and that of anyone else involved in the incident.

Call 911 to report the accident if you can do so and wait for first responders to arrive. If the motorcyclist appears injured, check on them but do not move them if they appear seriously injured. If you do not know what you are doing, you risk making their injuries worse. Once first responders arrive, answer their questions honestly and concisely, but say nothing that could be an admission of fault. Even something as seemingly innocent as “I’m sorry” could be construed as an admission of guilt and complicate your position in future legal proceedings resulting from the accident.

If you are unsure about whether you are liable for the motorcycle accident, contact a Palm Desert motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible and schedule a consultation. Your attorney can help you determine your legal position and formulate a strategy for the proceedings to follow.

What State Has the Highest Motorcycle Fatalities?

Statistically, Mississippi, Texas, and South Carolina have the highest numbers of motorcycle fatalities per 10,000 registered motorcycles. California ranks relatively low on this metric, but the state is so big. There are so many motorcycles registered in California that the total number of motorcycle fatalities in California is typically much higher than in these other states.

All motorcyclists and drivers need to understand that statistics may inform you about the general risk of a motorcycle accident in a particular state. Still, these accidents can happen anywhere for a number of unpredictable reasons. Ultimately, skill, awareness, and defensive driving are the best ways for all drivers to avoid experiencing accidents.

What Is the Safest Way to Pass a Motorcycle?

All drivers will eventually encounter motorcycles near them on the road. If you need to pass a motorcycle, you should do so safely. Unfortunately, many drivers hold misconceptions about motorcyclists and consider them reckless or careless. This causes some to fail to provide motorcyclists the same care they display to other passenger car drivers. If you pass a motorcycle too closely, the sudden change in air pressure in your car can cause the nearby motorcyclist to lose control. Additionally, passing too close to any vehicle can startle the driver and cause them to reflexively swerve, potentially causing an accident. Always pass motorcyclists with care to minimize the risk of causing a motorcycle accident.

Can You Be Safe on a Motorcycle?

While it’s true that motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than passenger cars, this does not mean that motorcycles are entirely unsafe. Riders can minimize their risk of experiencing an accident in several ways:

  • Increasing your visibility to other drivers can help them spot you more easily. This is important for motorcyclists as their vehicles are much smaller and harder to see than most passenger cars.
  • Using protective equipment such as a Department of Transportation-approved helmet, padded leather outerwear, and heavy boots and gloves can protect you from road debris and mitigate the damage from an accident.
  • Driving defensively and abiding by posted traffic signals is good practice for all drivers. Motorcyclists should use additional caution and avoid risky maneuvers considering the inherently dangerous nature of their vehicles.
  • Never operate any vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal and one of the most common causes of serious accidents in the United States. DUI is especially dangerous when a motorcycle is involved.
  • Avoid distractions while operating your vehicle. If you drive a passenger car, even a momentary distraction could cause you to miss a motorcyclist in your blind spot and cause a severe accident.

These tips can help motorcycles stay safer on their vehicles, and it’s wise for all drivers to practice these tips as well.

Determining Liability for a Motorcycle Accident

In the event you hit a motorcycle with your car in San Diego, it’s natural to assume you are going to face liability for the resulting damages. However, it’s essential to understand the process of determining liability for a motorcycle accident. It’s possible that you could only be partially liable for the incident, or an investigation could determine that even though you hit the motorcyclist, their actions constitute negligence.

A Palm Desert motorcycle accident lawyer is a great resource if you are unsure of your liability for a recent motorcycle accident in San Diego. An experienced attorney can obtain evidence such as traffic camera footage, cell phone records, and vehicle computer data to help you determine liability for a recent motorcycle accident. The right lawyer could potentially minimize or eliminate any liability you think you might hold for the incident.

When any vehicle accident occurs, liability falls on the driver or drivers responsible for causing the incident. Sometimes liability is immediately clear. For example, if a drunk driver swerves into opposing traffic and hits a motorcyclist head-on, the impaired driver will likely face full liability for the accident. It is also possible for an accident to generate more complex legal questions. It is not uncommon for one or more drivers to incur liability for an accident, and the resulting legal case can be very complicated.

Find Legal Representation in Palm Desert Today

If you recently experienced an accident with a motorcycle and are unsure about your level of liability for the incident, contact our firm. It’s vital to consult with a reliable and experienced Palm Desert motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can examine the facts of your case and help you develop the best possible legal strategy for minimizing any potential liability you might face and secure compensation for any losses you experienced from the incident.

At the Law Offices of Susan Handel, we understand how stressful it can be to experience a motorcycle accident and the difficulty of handling complex legal questions in the aftermath. If you need legal representation from an experienced and compassionate San Diego motorcycle accident attorney, contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about your available legal options.