Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits Mount as Injuries, Deaths Spike | Ellis Injury Law

Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits Mount as Injuries, Deaths Spike

January 8, 2014

Ellis Law Corporation


Seasoned bikers know that California offers some of the most exhilarating motorcycle riding in the country.  But smart Los Angeles motorcyclists are also well aware of the inherent risks of motorcycle riding. California motorcycle accident statistics are telling.

According to a recent federal report, the prevalence of deadly motorcycle accidents is 35 times that of fatal car accidents.

Carelessness and legal liability on CA roadways

Despite the best efforts of motorcycle riders who understand that most bike accidents can be avoided by following simple safety rules, most crashes are caused by simple carelessness. The basic rule is if one person involved in an accident was not as careful as the other, the less careful one must pay for at least some of the damages suffered by the other party. Legal liability for almost all accidents is determined by this rule of carelessness.

Accidents happen (even when you’re careful)

Motorcycle accidents can also be caused by factors outside of the biker’s control.  Many Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawsuits are based on some of these uncontrolled factors:

Road hazards (potholes, uneven heights between lanes, poorly maintained roadways, etc.). A municipality or public agency can be found negligent if a hazardous road condition existed and proper warnings were not posted. If an accident is caused on “property” (the roadway) that is dangerous because it is poorly built or maintained, the owner of the property is liable, regardless of whether he or she actually created the dangerous condition.

Unsafe car drivers. Cars making turns in front of a motorcycle account for 42% of all accidents between a motorcycle and a vehicle. Around 66% of all motorcycle accidents are caused by a car driver violating a biker’s right of way. If the motorcyclist was also found to be careless and contributed to an accident, compensation may be reduced by the extent such carelessness was also responsible for the accident (this is known as comparative negligence).

Defective motorcycle equipment or dangerous design.  If an accident is caused by a defective product  or unreasonably dangerous design, the manufacturer and seller of the product may be held liable.

Grounds for filing a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawsuit

There are four basic elements to a negligence claim. The plaintiff (the person suing) must show that:

  • The defendant was required by law to be reasonably careful.
  • The defendant did not exercise adequate care. In determining if the defendant was careful, the law compares the driver’s conduct to that of a “reasonable person.”
  • The plaintiff was injured or suffered losses.
  • The injuries that were suffered by the plaintiff were caused by the defendant’s behavior.

If you have suffered injury in a motorcycle accident in LA as a result of the negligent or reckless driving of another, you may be entitled to compensation for all related medical expenses, lost wages, emotional trauma, rehabilitation, and other non-economic losses.

The Ellis Injury Law firm offers skilled legal advice in these complex cases. Call 310-641-3335 to schedule a free case review with a personal injury attorney to discuss your options for filing a Los Angeles motorycle accident lawsuit.