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San Jose motorcycle accident attorney, motorcycle accidentsMotorcycle accidents are often debilitating, or even fatal, to those involved. Additionally, the devastation is often preventable, which perhaps makes the emotional impact harder to swallow. Although victims and families may be left in the figurative paralysis of what to do, a quick legal reaction time boosts the chances of a successful outcome.

A successful claim enables victims to gain compensation for much of their loss. No two cases are identical. However, there are behaviors frequently identified as the causes of a motorcycle accident.

Top Causes of Motorcycle Crashes


b2ap3San Jose motorcycle injury attorney, motorcycle injuries_thumbnail_motorcycle-injuries-San-Jose.jpgStudies show that the inability of finding a trustworthy mechanic is the number one reason why many Americans do not ensure they perform proper maintenance on their investment. One study went so far as to say 86 percent of the population believes they pay outrageous costs for unnecessary repair work. Regardless of whether this belief is justifiable leads thousands to put off repair work beyond minor upkeep, often compounding any underlying issues.

Regular maintenance repair is imperative to the safety and functionality of all vehicles. While maintenance procrastination is a dangerous practice for drivers with traditional four-wheeled vehicles, motorcyclists should be even more cautious because a seemingly small issue, if left unresolved, can lead to motorcycle injuries or even death.

Mechanic’s Liability


Motorcyclists in California might wonder how they can ride more safely. It is important to anticipate specific dangers and consider what can be done to avoid or deal with them.

For example, avoiding excessive speed can help prevent the dangers of taking a corner too fast as well as going around a blind corner and hitting a patch of leaves, gravel or other debris that can cause an accident. Riders should also be observant so that they will notice cars changing lanes or making left turns.

Motorcyclists should space themselves between cars or while riding among other motorcyclists to avoid being hit from behind. They should not ride between a traffic lane and a line of parked cars so they do not hit pedestrians or car doors. Practicing the use of the front brake is also important. The front brake is more powerful than many motorcyclists realize and riders who are unfamiliar with its operation may lock the brake and be thrown.


Many motorcycle riders in California like to pay attention to both their appearance and their pocketbook. However, when buying a helmet, riders should never choose price or fashion over form and quality.

Not every helmet that is available for purchase will do a good job of protecting a motorcycle rider in the event of a serious accident. Many establishments sell so-called "novelty helmets" that come in a variety of interesting styles and are sold at a lower price. However, most of these helmets do not meet the safety standards set by the federal government.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study of several models of non-certified helmets and found that they offer almost no protection at all. Each model left a rider with a 100 percent chance of sustaining brain injury or skull fracture in a motorcycle accident. In the wake of the study, the NHTSA said that wearing a novelty helmet is essentially the same as wearing nothing at all.


It is natural for people to want to place blame in response to an accident. To some extent, it is important to do so. When it comes to motorcycle safety, the danger is that the public tends to prematurely place blame on motorcyclists.

A recent report related to motorcycle accidents in California takes a somewhat different perspective on the motorcycle danger theory. Researchers suggest that it is "Generation Y" that is making for more motorcycle crashes in the state. The following are some of the researchers' traffic safety points:

  • Relatively younger drivers (those born between the 1980s and 2000s) are choosing motorcycles as their mode of transportation.
  • More drivers are using cell phones behind the wheels of their vehicles and too distracted to drive safely.

Those trends combined mean that there are more distracted drivers on the road and also more motorcycles on California roads. At the same time, those realities put riders at risk of getting into an accident. A distracted driver is not likely to see a motorcycle, thereby causing an accident.


Many motorists can probably think about a time when they were sitting in heavy, slow traffic and wished that they could just maneuver their way around the stopped cars. Drivers are limited in what they can do to ease the strain of traffic, though California motorcyclists have a bit more options.

Lane splitting is what motorcyclists are engaging in when they travel between various lanes that are moving in the same direction. It is a legal driving practice as long as the riders are driving at a reasonable speed and aren't otherwise driving recklessly. A recent bill would have done away with some of the freedom for motorcyclists, but it has been put on hold.

State Sen. Jim Beall of San Jose introduced a bill last month that sought to more strictly limit lane-splitting by motorcyclists. If passed, the law would have only allowed motorcycles to split lanes when there are at least three lanes and high traffic, for example. But it didn't pass. Sen. Beall withdrew the proposal in order to evaluate the matter further.


California is one of the best states for motorcyclists to enjoy their rides, with mild temperatures year-round and thousands of miles of coastline to explore. Unfortunately, these advantages also put our state near the top of the list when it comes to fatal motorcycle accidents. There is a fine line between accidents that result in serious injuries and those that kill riders and passengers. That's because in any crash, a motorcyclist has little protection beyond a helmet and clothing.

Two recent crashes highlight the importance of keeping a sharp eye out for motorcycles. One of the accidents happened in Hayward just after noon on Wednesday. A 24-year-old motorcyclist was heading south on a city street when a car pulled out of a driveway and collided with his bike. Emergency responders attempted to revive him as he was taken to a local hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead after he arrived. Police said neither driver appeared to be impaired, but the motorcyclist had the right of way and the car driver may not have seen the man before directly blocking his path.

Meanwhile, authorities are still looking for a car driver who caused a crash that seriously injured a motorcyclist in San Diego at the end of last month. The driver made a U-turn in the Linda Vista area of the city -- directly into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, police said. The rider, a 32-year-old man, tried to avoid a collision by laying down his bike before the impact. In the process he was thrown from the bike, resulting in injuries that required him to be hospitalized.


Motorcycle riders know that their vehicles make them more vulnerable to serious injury in some types of accidents. For this reason many riders choose to drive more defensively and anticipate crashes that could cause them to be seriously injured. But there are some crashes that can be impossible to prepare for, and the injuries motorcyclists suffer tend to be more severe because they don't have the extra protection of a seat belt or a car frame.

The rider in a motorcycle accident that occurred on San Francisco's Bay Bridge last week may have been extremely lucky in this respect, even though he was injured. He was driving behind a semitrailer on the bridge early in the morning on Wednesday when some debris suddenly fell off the truck's underside. It turned out to be the truck's drive shaft, which is a very large, long, heavy piece of machinery. After it fell off the truck it lay directly in the motorcyclist's path. Whereas a car or truck might have been able to drive over it with little more than a jarring bump and some suspension damage, the motorcycle was no match for the large debris in the road. The motorcyclist crashed upon hitting the large chunk of metal.

Fortunately in this case, the motorcyclist suffered relatively minor injuries. But considering the traffic on the Bay Bridge and the size of the debris in the road, it's surprising that the incident didn't cause a chain-reaction crash or more serious damage to the motorcycle or its rider. Every year people are seriously injured or killed in accidents caused by debris that falls off of trucks or cars. And the victim need not be riding a motorcycle to suffer injuries.


For many, riding a motorcycle is a fun and exciting experience because of the amount of control required to ride the motorcycle and the sense of thrill and risk associated with them. But the risk of a motorcycle accident can be very real, and even when taking safety precautions such as wearing a helmet and protective clothing, a motorcycle accident can end fatally.

An off-duty sheriff's deputy for San Mateo County was killed recently in a tragic motorcycle crash. The officer, who was wearing a helmet, was heading southbound, when a car attempted to make a left turn in front of him. The motorcycle crashed into the side of the car. The driver, a 64-year-old woman, reported that she did not see the motorcyclist and authorities took a blood sample to test for drugs or alcohol. No charges have been brought at this time.

A San Jose car accident can be tragic, and when a motorcycle is involved, it can be even more so because motorcyclists are exposed without the protective frame and air bags that cars have. Additionally, motorcycles are often more difficult for drivers to see. In fact, two-thirds of vehicle-motorcycle accidents involve a violation of the motorcycle's right of way by the vehicle. Liability in motorcycle accidents, like car accidents, is determined under the theory of negligence. All drivers and riders are required to use reasonable care under the circumstances, and failure to meet that level of care can constitute negligence.


The state of California has rules that all motorcycle riders must follow. They're required to wear helmets, pass rigorous proficiency tests and even have limits on how high their handlebars can be. Most motorcyclists in the state adhere to the rules, which make for a safer riding experience. Unfortunately, these requirements don't always protect them from reckless drivers.

A 22-year-old Southern California man who loved riding and working on motorcycles was killed earlier this month when another man lost control of his vehicle and ran into him. Police believe the other driver was intoxicated at the time, and that it wasn't his first drunk-driving incident. In addition to felony charges of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident, he's facing a misdemeanor for driving while his license was suspended for a previous drunk-driving conviction.

The accident happened while the young motorcyclist was heading home from work, riding in the carpool lane on the 105 Freeway. As usual, he was riding legally and complying with all the rules of the road. But a van traveling nearby suddenly went out of control and ran into the motorcycle, pinning the young man against the median. Making matters worse, the van didn't stop after forcing the motorcyclist off his bike, according to the California Highway Patrol. When an officer who witnessed the crash finally pulled over the van, the driver passed out behind the wheel -- clearly intoxicated, the officer said.


California's Office of Traffic Safety recently reported that after a two-year decline in the rate at which motorcyclists were killed in accidents, fatalities are creeping up again. The state hit a peak in 2008, when 560 people lost their lives in motorcycle accidents. The year 2009 saw only 394 motorcycle deaths, and just 352 in 2010. Transportation and safety experts can't say exactly why the drop happened, but they were pleasantly surprised it was so dramatic.

Then in 2011, the fatal accident rate went back up to 414, marking an 18 percent increase from the previous year. Why the sudden rise again? It's as shocking as the decline, and just as mysterious.

Experts do have some educated guesses, much of them having to do with the economy. The country's recession was nearing its peak around the time that accident rates were falling. It's possible that ridership went down as people tried to save money. Motorcycle sales also started declining in 2008, and fewer bikes on the road could have led to fewer accidents. As the economy began to strengthen again in 2011, more people may have started riding again.


One of the most common excuses that automobile drivers offer in the wake of their involvement in a motorcycle accident is a failure to see the smaller vehicle. Numerous nationwide campaigns have urged motorists to increase their awareness of motorcycles, whose riders are seriously injured and killed by the thousands each year. Still, there are plenty of crashes involving motorcycles that happen even when another driver is perfectly aware of the bike's presence, which can make the accident all the more tragic for the victims and their families.

A California Highway Patrol officer who was off duty when his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck in Fairfield appears to have been in plain sight before he was killed in the accident. The crash happened on Friday of last week as the officer, who was riding a personal vehicle, was traveling on state Route 12. According to a CHP report, a pickup truck heading toward the westbound officer was traveling east but slowed down to make a left-hand turn into a driveway. Apparently seeing the motorcycle coming toward him, the truck driver tried to accelerate to complete his turn in front of the biker, but did so too late. The motorcycle crashed into the side of the truck and the officer was thrown from the bike. He died after hitting another passing car.

If the pickup truck driver had exhibited just a bit of patience by waiting for the motorcyclist to pass, the off-duty officer might still be alive today. Instead, his loved ones are now forced to plan a funeral as they come to grips with his death.


Fans and loved ones of former professional baseball player Frank Pastore have been hoping for a miracle since he was critically injured in a motorcycle accident in Southern California last week. The Nov. 19 crash left Pastore with serious head injuries and he remains in a coma.

According to officials with the California Highway Patrol, the former major league pitcher, who now hosts what is arguably the largest Christian talk radio show in the U.S., was on his way home from radio station KKLA that Monday night when the accident happened. As he was riding his motorcycle in the carpool lane of the 210 Freeway in the area of Duarte, a car that was traveling in an adjacent lane suddenly sideswiped the bike, causing him to lose control. He was thrown from the motorcycle and landed on the pavement.

Now, more than a week later, the 55-year-old's condition is relatively unchanged. He remains in critical condition in the intensive care unit, and doctors are unsure what to expect in the coming days, weeks and months. His family members are asking for prayers from his listening audience and his baseball fans.


Even on the best driving days, with clear visibility for miles and very little traffic, riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. Obstacles and poor driving conditions that cars can often easily and safely overcome pose a greater risk to motorcyclists. Motorcycle accidents can take lives in an instant, leaving surviving family members and friends grieving.

One family is grieving for the loss of a father in a tragic highway accident. The man was riding a motorcycle on the road when a tractor attempted to make a left turn. The tractor driver did not see the man on the motorcycle, and the motorcyclist attempted to swerve around the tractor. Unfortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful. The motorcycle caught on the tractor wheel, causing the motorcyclist to be thrown from the bike, which resulted in fatal injuries. No other vehicles were involved in the accident, and no one else was injured.

The lack of a protective frame and other safety mechanisms, such as air bags, make riding motorcycles dangerous in the event of a crash. While many states have laws that require motorcyclists to wear helmets to prevent serious brain injury in the event of an accident, the rest of a motorcyclist's body is left unprotected, and accident victims are susceptible to serious bodily injuries.


Whenever a motorcycle is involved in an accident with another motor vehicle on a California roadway, the consequences can be catastrophic for the motorcycle rider. This is because motorcycle drivers are unprotected and remain vulnerable from a serious impact from another motor vehicle.

This was the case in a recent collision between a motor vehicle and a motorcycle driven by a California Highway Patrol officer.

The accident happened during rush hour on a I-80 in Sacramento County. At that hour, the traffic was stop-and-go. When traffic starts up and then halts to a stop on the freeway, rear-end collisions are not uncommon.


Just a generation ago, it wasn't all that common for car drivers and passengers to automatically reach for their seat belts when they stepped inside a vehicle. Statistics have shown time and time again that seat belts save lives and prevent many serious injuries, but wearing them just wasn't second nature for many people. That has changed, however, due to public messaging and laws in many states that result in fines for people who don't wear their seat belts or make sure that children are buckled up.

The California Highway Patrol is hopeful similar efforts will reduce the rate of motorcycle accidents in the state. One of its stations is teaming up with a private business to spread awareness of motorcycles on California's roads and press drivers to keep a watchful eye out for them. The idea is that if drivers can learn to instinctively look for motorcycles before changing lanes or turning at intersections, fewer motorcycle riders and passengers will be injured or lose their lives.

Swiss Dairy's headquarters are in Riverside, California, an area that has seen more than its share of motorcycle accidents. Riders flock to the area to enjoy the open highways and incredible views, but with so much car and commercial traffic, the number of motorcycle accidents is high. The company joined ranks with CHP recently, signing onto its "Look Twice, Save A Life" campaign by offering to display the campaign slogan on its fleet of 220 trucks.


A California motorcyclist recently lost his life in a motor vehicle accident in a Livermore neighborhood. Speed appears to be a factor but there is speculation that he may have been simply avoiding a small animal. Friends and family are grieving the loss of a good man, a victim of an unfortunate accident.

Studies have shown that there are plenty of reasons for motorcycle accidents. Often, someone else is at fault (such as another driver) and the injured motorcyclist (or that person's family in the case of a fatality) seeks compensation from the other party involved in the accident.

Three-fourths of the accidents that occur where a motorcycle is involved also include another vehicle, most often a passenger car. Two-thirds of those accidents are the fault of the driver of the car, not the motorcycle.


In previous blog posts we've discussed the vulnerability of motorcycle riders, who aren't as visible to other drivers as a car or truck. If they do become involved in an accident, they have little protection from injury or death. Although campaigns exist in California and nationwide to promote motorcycle awareness, accidents continue to seriously injure motorcycle drivers and their passengers.

A motorcycle crash that killed a 31-year-old Brentwood, California, man last week is still under investigation. The collision happened Thursday as the motorcyclist was traveling west on a stretch of road in Brentwood that runs through about two miles of farmland. A FedEx delivery truck heading east turned into a private driveway, cutting off the motorcyclist's bath and causing him to crash his bike into the side of the truck, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Emergency responders tried to revive the motorcyclist, but he was soon pronounced dead at the scene. The FedEx truck driver wasn't arrested or cited, but the CHP maintains the investigation isn't complete. A CHP officer said her department will try to find witnesses to the crash and investigate why the truck driver failed to notice the motorcyclist directly in front of him. The crash occurred just before 5 p.m., well before sunset, so sun glare in the driver's eyes would not have been an issue. Other factors, such as whether the driver was fatigued or otherwise impaired, will also be taken into consideration.


Being injured in a traffic accident is undoubtedly a traumatic event. Even if you aren't seriously hurt, you're likely to experience some degree of shock in the aftermath. You may also feel angry at the person who caused the accident if you're not at fault. But no matter how upset you are, you should resist the urge to take revenge immediately after the crash.

That's precisely what happened after a motorcycle accident last month in Belmont, California. A San Jose man driving a Toyota Prius was traveling north on Highway 101 when he came upon a group of more than 20 motorcycles in the fast lane. He decided to use his cellphone to record video of the group, but he failed to notice when traffic slowed down. As he swerved suddenly to avoid the vehicles in front of him, he struck one of the motorcycles, bounced off the center divider and hit another motorcycle. Another two motorcyclists lost control of their bikes as they tried to avoid the crash.

The Prius driver got out of his car, which was stopped in a center lane of the highway. According to witnesses, that's when some of the uninjured motorcyclists approached and began punching him in the head. At one point the driver was also threatened with a knife, California Highway Patrol officers said.


Riding a motorcycle in California clearly has a lot of advantages: You can cruise among mountains and along the coastline as you save money on gas, and the climate makes motorcycling a year-round option. You can also do something that's not allowed in any other state: lane-splitting, or driving between lanes of traffic.

It's a controversial practice that's often viewed as a motorcycle accident risk, but transportation officials maintain that when done responsibly, lane-splitting is perfectly legal. As part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, California's Office of Traffic Safety released a survey, believed to be the first ever to gauge drivers' opinions on the practice. According to the findings, 53 percent of drivers think it's against the law, but 87 percent of motorcycle riders do it. And 7 percent of drivers admitted to trying to block motorcyclists from driving between lanes.

Police in the state say there's nothing wrong with lane-splitting when it's done at safe speeds. In fact, many California Highway Patrol officers rely on it. One officer who's been riding for more than 11 years says it can be a significant time saver for him as well as the average motorcycle commuter, but warns that any rider who does it should take reasonable precautions. These include always signaling turns and lane changes, being aware of traffic patterns and watching for other vehicles turning or changing lanes -- especially without using a turn signal.

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