The City of Santa Barbara sits on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara County, California, and hosts a population of about 88,665 residents. Tourists travel to Santa Barbara year-round due to its favorable weather conditions, beach access, and old Spanish architecture. The ocean views and fair weather also attract motorcyclists from all over the world to the Santa Barbara area. Like the rest of the country, Santa Barbara sees a fair number of motorcycle accidents.
In 2020, the number of motorcycle fatalities in the United States increased by 11% from 5,044 fatalities to 5,579 fatalities. This is the largest number of motorcycle fatalities recorded in one year since the Fatality Analysis Reporting System was started in 1975. If another person’s negligent or wrongful act causes a motorcycle crash, they may be liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries.
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact a Santa Barbara motorcycle accident lawyer at Frederick Law Firm immediately to see if you qualify to bring a personal injury claim.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Crash in Santa Barbara?
The immediate aftermath of a motorcycle accident is often a blur. Unfortunately, no one can anticipate when a motorcycle accident might happen. But, if you know what steps to take ahead of time, you might feel more prepared to act in the event of a crash. Here are some steps you should take after being involved in a motorcycle accident.
Get to Safety and Check for Injuries
Your safety is the first priority. Motorcycles lack basic safety features like airbags and seatbelts. This lack of safety features is why motorcycle accidents can cause especially devastating injuries. If someone crashes into you while you’re riding your motorcycle, you should try to get out of the roadway as quickly and safely as possible. If you fall onto the roadway, other drivers may not be able to see you over the height of their vehicle and run you over. Even if you think the accident was minor, you should get yourself and your motorcycle out of harm’s way to evaluate yourself for injuries.
Call the Police
If another person crashes into you and causes property damage or physical injury, you need to contact the police and report the accident. While contacting the police might feel intimidating, doing so can actually be a great benefit to your potential motorcycle accident claim. When you report the accident, the law enforcement agency will create an accident report. This accident report will likely include the following:
- Names of the parties involved,
- Types of vehicles involved in the accident,
- Names of the parties’ insurance carriers, and
- Officer’s opinion on who caused the accident.
All this information can be extremely useful in proving who caused the motorcycle accident. It can also provide valuable information about the person who caused the crash, like whether and to what extent they carry liability insurance. Additionally, if you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident, the police will contact an ambulance to transport you to the hospital.
Collect Relevant Information If Possible
In many motorcycle accident cases, the best evidence for your claim is available at the scene immediately following the accident.
If possible, try to gather some of the following evidence and information:
- Photographs of the vehicles,
- Photographs of the scene of the crash, and
- Names and contact information for witnesses to the accident.
Collecting this information can offer valuable proof in support of your claim and help your attorney investigate your accident.
Consult an Experienced Santa Barbara Motorcycle Accident Attorney
People often wonder whether hiring an attorney is actually helpful. Many motorcycle accident victims attempt to handle the accident claims process alone to save money.
But hiring a motorcycle accident attorney in Santa Barbara is actually the best way to maximize your recovery, which saves you money in the long run. An experienced attorney can help you gather evidence relevant to your case, negotiate with opposing parties and insurance companies, and prepare to take your case to trial if a fair settlement can’t be reached. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle collision in Santa Barbara, contact Frederick Law Firm today to talk to an attorney.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
As stated above, motorcycles lack the basic safety features that passenger vehicles possess. Additionally, motorcycles are significantly smaller than passenger vehicles, sometimes making motorcycles more difficult to see than regular cars. Factors that often lead to motorcycle accidents include the following:
- Distracted driving,
- Drowsy driving,
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
- Failure to look before changing lanes,
- Turning without checking blind spots, or
- Driving too fast for the conditions.
If you can show the at-fault party committed a wrongful or negligent action that resulted in the crash, they may be liable for your damages. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Santa Barbara, CA, today so we can start reviewing your case.
What If I Am Partially Responsible for a Motorcycle Accident?
California applies the rule of pure comparative negligence to personal injury claims. That means even if you were partially responsible for the collision, you can still bring a personal injury claim against the other party and collect compensation. However, your recovery is reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if the judge finds you 30% at fault for the accident and awards you $100,000, you will recover $70,000. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Santa Barbara, CA, can help you gather and present evidence to establish the other party’s responsibility for your injuries.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Frederick Law Firm Today
At Frederick Law Firm, we treat our clients like family and work tirelessly to secure favorable settlements on their behalf. Our founding attorney, Jacqueline Vitti Frederick, has over 30 years of experience fighting for those who suffered injuries in Santa Barbara motorcycle accidents.
We will take the time to listen to the facts of your case and craft a strategy that fits your needs. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle collision, contact a Santa Barbara motorcycle accident lawyer at Frederick Law Firm today for a free consultation.