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Establishing Liability

Motorcycle Accident Claim in California

California Motorcycle Law

But first, let's talk about who is responsible for paying for what and how to go about making sure that you are reimbursed for those towing and storage expenses. Who eventually ends up paying depends on proving liability - who is at fault for your motorcycle accident.

Generally, if any driver breaches any legal duty or California Vehicle Code, that person may be held "liable" for another's damages. Next, we need to confirm insurance coverage for the negligent auto driver and to make a claim to have their insurance pay for your out-of-pocket towing and storage expenses.

However, as a former service officer for a police department in Los Angeles, as a former traffic judge pro tem, and an attorney for over fifteen years, I have learned that there is an inherent bias against motorcyclists even though they are not at fault for the accident.

90% our clients? cases are "Failure to Yield" cases i.e. violations of the California Vehicle Code 21403(a). Where the auto driver fails to yield and turns left directly in the motorcyclist path causing the accident. The other types of cases we have are red light violations, unsafe speed cases, (rear-enders), and unsafe lane changes, where the auto driver merges directly into the biker among other cases. However, the facts of each case is unique and requires a detailed legal liability analysis.

In almost all of our cases, the auto insurance company representative or later, the defense attorney, will allege and argue that our motorcyclist was driving at an "unsafe speed" (even though the police report indicates that he was driving well within the posted speed limit) or was "inattentive" and therefore could have avoided the accident by having the proper reaction time and observance of the traffic conditions.

Unfortunately, with our motorcycle cases, many motorcycle accidents are caused by actions and circumstances that can have disputed liability and may lead to frustrating, long legal battles, just to prove which party is at fault.

Sometimes, our motorcycle accident cases can be complex or disputed from the initial stages of the investigation. If, for example, the investigating Police Officer will not determine a "cause" of the accident. What happens when your matter has a liability dispute? We first recommend that you mitigate your out-of-pocket expenses and damages until the liability issues can be resolved. You may need a good competent motorcycle attorney to represent you who knows the law, application of the law, and is aggressive in supporting and promoting their bikers? rights to establish liability.


Tom Reinecke

California Motorcycle Lawyer