In 2019, it was reported that the United States had 5,014 fatal motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a traffic accident in comparison to a driver in a passenger vehicle. The fatality rate for California motorcyclists has actually doubled since 1999.
California has over 800,000 registered motorcycles, which is more than any state in the country. Riding a motorcycle is especially popular because of the state’s great weather and many scenic routes. Bakersfield doesn’t have nearly as many motorcyclists as Los Angeles, but the disparity in population makes its motorcycle statistics that much more alarming. When adjusted for population size, motorcycle accident statistics in Bakersfield are noticeably worse than in Los Angeles, a city with more square footage and a larger population.
Below are the most recent (2017) motorcycle accident statistics for Bakersfield and Kern County:
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident and would like to take legal action against the party at-fault, our Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorneys will help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Please don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (661) 299-7554 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Bakersfield personal injury law firm.
If you have suffered injuries after a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone’s negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you will typically be entitled to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your losses.
A negligent party will usually be held liable for any injuries caused to a motorcycle rider. However, in order for you to recover damages for your injuries, you must show that the driver was negligent. This means proving that:
Not all motorcycle accidents are caused by a driver’s negligence. Many accidents may also be caused by defective motorcycles or motorcycle parts. According to California products liability law, businesses who design, manufacture, or sell faulty motorcycles or motorcycle parts can be held liable for losses caused by negligence.
If you have suffered injuries because of a defective motorcycle or motorcycle part, you do not not have to prove the manufacturer or distributor was negligent. Strict liability after a motorcycle defect case can be imposed for manufacturing defects, design defects, or failing to warn a user of known defects. However, in order to recover damages, you must show that:
An example of a products liability motorcycle case: Let’s assume that Frank just purchased his first motorcycle from his Bakersfield Harley-Davidson dealership. Frank is aware of the potential dangers involved with riding a motorcycle. Therefore, he gets his license, takes the necessary classes, and purchases protective gear. In other words, Frank is confident and prepared to safely ride a motorcycle.
Frank immediately goes out for a ride. Everything is going well and he is enjoying himself. Suddenly, the brakes malfunction and Frank cannot stop at a red light. As a result of the defective brakes, Frank is hit by a car and experiences severe injuries, including incomplete paralysis.
In the above example, Frank did everything right. Furthermore, he didn’t play any role in causing the accident. Frank would almost certainly be entitled to file a product liability claim against the motorcycle manufacturer and retailer for his injuries and losses. Given the seriousness of his injuries, Frank would likely qualify for significant damages.
Motorcycle accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Below is a brief explanation of the types of damages an injured Bakersfield motorcycle accident victim may recover for his or her losses. Damages are a monetary award determined by a court of law to compensate an injured individual for injuries and losses sustained as a result of another party’s negligence.
Economic damages are intended to compensate an accident victim for losses a dollar amount can objectively be attached to. The total amount of compensation is calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an injured motorcyclist has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. A few examples of economic losses include loss of earning capacity, medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intended to compensate an injury victim for losses that are thought of as subjective. For example, non-economic damages may include compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The third category of damages a Bakersfield court may award an injured motorcyclist is punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded as punishment and only when a defendant’s behavior is particularly harmful or deliberate in nature. There is no real standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. It is awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, if a driver deliberately knocked you off your motorcycle and you suffered serious injuries, you may be entitled to punitive damages.
A Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers can recover compensation for losses you have suffered, including medical bills, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and more.