Motorcycle Accident

Tips For Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents in the Rain

by Staff Blogger | January 24th, 2023

Stormy, rainy, and icy weather increase the risk of accidents, especially for motorcycle riders. Roads become slippery, and the rain obstructs visibility, making it easy to lose control. If a motorcyclist has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Sacramento, they should get in touch with a motorcycle injury lawyer in Sacramento. At Berg Injury Lawyers we offer a free consultation, where we assess the merits of your case and advise of your legal options.

This article discusses safety tips that can help you avoid motorcycle accidents when riding in the rain.

Use Rain Gear

When thinking about rain gear, you must consider more than simply clothing that will keep you warm and dry. You must consider safety as well.

So, in addition to warm clothing, you should invest in a pair of gloves with grips to prevent your hands from slipping off the handlebars. You should also have a full-face helmet or shield to protect your eyes from the rain. Consider a helmet visor that does not get foggy or that is designed to improve visibility when it rains.

Another important thing in your rain gear arsenal is a pair of high-traction tires. These types of tires may need replacing more often, but it is better to spend a few dollars now and then than risk severe or fatal injuries.

Be Visible

Motorcyclists should stand out in low visibility and low light conditions. Candlepower bulbs have a higher light output than traditional headlamp bulbs, so you should consider them to increase visibility from the front. You should also install a brake light modulator to increase visibility from behind. Finally, be sure to wear bright and reflective gear to make yourself more visible.

Check Your Tires

Worn-out tires can cause the air pressure in your tires to go low or lead to dangerous blowouts. Under-inflated tires increase your chances of having an accident, even when riding in dry conditions. They also cause poor braking performance, poor handling, and reduced riding precision. These effects are enhanced in rainy or snowy weather.

You can avoid unnecessary accidents by inspecting your tires beforehand to ensure they are not worn out and that they have enough pressure.

Give Yourself More Time to Brake

Braking too fast can cause your motorcycle’s wheels to spin out. To avoid this, you should give yourself extra time to brake, and stop if the need arises. If you need to stop or reduce speed, you must brake earlier than you usually would, then ease into it.

Also, you might need to focus harder to see things in the rain. Going slower and keeping extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you will give more time to notice and react to hazards on the road.

Slow Down and Ride Safely

The faster you go, the higher the risk of hydroplaning. Riding fast also increases your lean angle, which is dangerous in slippery conditions. To avoid an accident, you must ride slower in the rain than you normally would. If you need to be somewhere by a particular time, you should leave earlier than usual to give yourself time to slow down and drive safely

Stand Up

Another safety measure when riding in the rain is standing up from time to time as you ride to remove the water that pools on your laps. If left for too long, water could seep past the zipper of your riding gear, making you uncomfortable and reducing your attention.

Never Tailgate

When traveling at highway speeds in normal weather conditions, you should always maintain 275 ft. between you and the vehicle ahead of you. This distance should be doubled when it is raining because you need that much more time to stop safely.

Be aware of “Black Ice”

Black ice is a glaze that forms on the roadway when light rain mixes with oil and grime and freezes over. It often blends in with the rest of the roadway but is actually translucent and very slippery.

Black ice is dangerous because it is hard to detect. Be wary of areas on the road ahead that look smoother and shinier than other parts of the road, especially at night and in the early morning.

Also, take note of any car ahead of you that suddenly swerves for no apparent reason. It probably hit a patch of black ice that you want to avoid. If you find yourself riding over black ice, slow down and avoid accelerating or braking until you have passed over it.

Avoid Puddles

It can be hard to know what is inside a puddle and how deep it is. What may seem shallow can damage or stop your wheels and throw you off your motorcycle. A puddle can also contain sharp objects that can puncture your tires. Riding over a puddle also increases the risk of hydroplaning. For these reasons, you should avoid puddles completely.

Look Out for Manhole Covers

You should avoid manhole covers and other metal surfaces because they could be raised, loose, or slippery. If you must ride over them, you should cross them in a straight line slowly without accelerating or braking.

Use Extra Caution at Intersections

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 70% of all car vs. motorcycle accidents occur at intersections. Some causes of accidents in intersections include left-turning cars and rear-end accidents. Therefore, you should pay extra attention to every vehicle and motorcycle in an intersection and determine who has the right of way.

If you get involved in an accident at an intersection, speak to a personal injury lawyer immediately. With the help of a Motorcycle injury lawyer, Sacramento motorcyclists who are involved in accidents can hold the at fault party financially accountable for their injuries, the damage to their bikes, and other related losses.

Ride the Dry Line

If there is a dry area on the road or pavement, use it. If not, try riding in the tire tracks of other motorcycles and cars ahead of you, as their tires may have pushed water off the road briefly. But be sure to keep your eyes on the road as you ride the dry line.

Know When Not to Get Out on the Road

If your tires and rain gear are not fit for riding in the rain, do not go riding. Likewise, you should avoid getting out on the road if the rain is too heavy or if there are reports of flooding.

Know When to Get Off the Road

After all the safety measures mentioned above, riding a motorcycle in the rain is still dangerous, and your safety is still not guaranteed. Therefore, if you decide to ride in the rain, it is important that you recognize when it is time to get off. For instance, there is no point in risking your life by continuing to ride after a slight downpour has turned into a storm. Simply find a safe place to pull over and wait until the storm has passed.

Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Sacramento?

The tips above can help you reduce the risk of having a motorcycle accident if you are forced to ride in the rain. If possible, you should keep rain gear strapped to your bike or stored in your saddlebags in case you need them when riding.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Sacramento, a motorcycle injury lawyer at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you. Our dedicated, compassionate, and determined lawyers protect the rights of injury victims throughout Northern California.

Contact us today for a free case assessment. 

What Is the Difference Between a California M1 and M2 License?

by Staff Blogger | January 18th, 2023

This blog was originally published on May 11, 2020.

m1 or m2 license in California? | Berg Injury Lawyers

You’ve made up your mind: you want a motorcycle. California’s scenic roads and highways are calling your name! Once you purchase or borrow a motorcycle and (hopefully) a helmet, all that’s left to do is to start up your bike and take off, right?

Not so fast, rider. Before you get on that chopper, you’ll first need to get a special license to legally ride a motorcycle in our state. An M1 or M2 license is a requirement for motorcyclists in California. If you want to ride a motorcycle and are interested in learning which license is best for you, we have you covered.

What Is an M1 License in California?

When you have an M1 license in California, you can legally operate any two- or three-wheeled vehicle equipped with a motor and no pedals, such as motorcycles and sit-down scooters, as well as any motorized vehicle in Class M2, which includes mopeds and motorized bicycles.

What Is an M2 License in California?

When you have an M2 license in California, you can legally operate motorized bicycles, mopeds, and any bicycle with an attached motor, as long as they go no faster than 30 MPH on level ground and are equipped with fully operational pedals. You cannot legally drive a motorcycle or any two- or three-wheeled vehicle without operational pedals with an M2 license.

Which License Do You Need to Operate a Motorized Scooter in California?

If you want to legally operate a motorized scooter, you only need a standard driver license and not an M1 or M2 license. California defines a motorized scooter as a “two-wheeled ‘device’ powered by a motor with a floorboard that is designed to stand on when riding.” Sit-down scooters do not fall into this category.

Should You Apply for an M1 or an M2 License?

An M1 license will cover many bases, so most applicants will likely be best served by applying for it. If you only have need to ride a motorized bicycle, then an M2 license might be enough. As of January 1, 2020, California no longer requires an M2 license for mopeds.

How to Get an M1 License

If you’re over 18, you’ll need to take a vision, knowledge, and driving test. However, if you complete a motorcycle basic rider course, you can have the driving test requirement waived. If you’re under 18, you’ll be required to pass vision and knowledge tests. You’ll also need to complete a motorcycle basic rider course approved by the California Highway Patrol. Lastly, you’ll be asked to provide a Certificate of Completion of Motorcycle Training. The steps provided by the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles are as follows:

  • Complete a driver license or ID card application.
  • Pay the application fee.
  • Pass a vision test and a knowledge test.
  • Give a thumb print.
  • Have your picture taken.

If you’d like to know what to expect on the knowledge test, the California DMV provides a practice exam. Once you take the real deal, you’ll have three chances to pass it. To study up, check out California’s Motorcycle Guide. Find your local DMV office to identify the office you’ll need to visit to get your license.

If you don’t already have a California driver license, you’ll be required to take a few extra steps in addition to the ones listed above. You’ll be asked to present an identity document or a residency document if you’ve never had a driver license or ID card in California. Just like you would with any other driver license, you’ll also provide your Social Security Number and full legal name.

What Else Do You Need to Legally Operate a Motorcycle in California?

In addition to obtaining an M1 license, you’ll need to buy insurance. Like all motorists, motorcycle operators are legally required to carry liability insurance in the event of a crash. Your policy will be specific to your motorcycle, as your existing auto insurance policy for other vehicles won’t automatically include coverage for your motorcycle.

California’s required motorcycle insurance coverage is known as “15/30/5 coverage.” This means you’ll need $15,000 worth of coverage for injuries suffered by another person, $30,000 of coverage for injuries to all others involved in the accident, and $5,000 of coverage for property damage caused by a collision.

You can learn more about riding a motorcycle in California by checking out the following resources:

If You Need Help After a Motorcycle Accident in California, Call Us Today

Berg Injury Lawyers handles motorcycle accident cases across Northern California. Our San Francisco personal injury lawyers have years of experience dealing with insurance companies on our clients’ behalf, and having an attorney can make a huge difference in the amount of money you’re offered after a crash.

Motorcyclists face a stigma that can affect the amount offered to them by insurance companies. It’s unfair, but it doesn’t need to be that way. When you work with Berg Injury Lawyers, we make sure you’re treated fairly by insurance companies. If you’ve been involved in a crash, call the Northern California motorcycle accident attorneys at Berg Injury LawyersWe offer free consultations, and you’ll never see a bill from us unless we win your case.

Settlement Factors in a Motorcycle Accident Case

by Staff Blogger | January 9th, 2023

When you’re hurt in a motorcycle accident, you may want to seek compensation for your medical bills and other financial losses. The events leading to the accident, the insurance policies, and whether an at-fault driver can pay for the damages can all affect your compensation.

Read on to learn what factors into a settlement in a motorcycle case and how our professional California motorcycle accident attorneys can help you determine what your case is worth and advocate for maximum compensation.

What Is a Settlement in a Motorcycle Accident Case?

A settlement is when two parties agree on an amount the plaintiff receives for the case without going to trial. Both parties give up their right to a future court case when they agree on a settlement amount.

For instance, say you sustain severe injuries after an accident with a car while riding your motorcycle. You required months of physical therapy after the accident and lost wages due to your inability to work. You want $50,000 as compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. The case would settle if both sides were willing to compromise and agree to the compensation.

How Much Are Most Motorcycle Accident Settlements?

The average motorcycle settlement depends on the severity of your injuries. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that motorcycle crashes resulted in a total $16 billion in direct costs nationally. Around 18% of direct motorcycle accident costs are medical expenses, second to 44% in lost wages.

Those who ride motorcycles are at a greater risk of sustaining severe injuries than passengers in other vehicles, with older riders suffering more serious injuries than younger riders. On average, the cost of nonfatal crashes ranged from $2,500 for minor injuries to $1.4 million for severe injuries. Motorcycle accident victims who suffer severe brain injuries may not be able to work and may require ongoing care, increasing their medical expenses.

Motorcycle Accidents and California Law

Since California is a fault-based auto insurance state, the state considers the at-fault party responsible for damages incurred to the rider. The state also considers comparative negligence when more than one party is liable for the motorcycle crash. 

According to California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) 406, there must be a 100% allocation of liability among all parties involved in the motorcycle collision. You may face liability in the collision if your actions partially caused your injuries. For example, if you weren’t wearing a helmet per California law.

If your lawyer persuades the jury that the other driver was also negligent, you will receive compensation, although the award damages are reduced according to your own percentage of fault. Your lawyer can use evidence from the accident to help prove the other driver’s negligence and calculate a fair settlement amount.

Major Factors in Motorcycle Accident Settlements

Many factors affect how much you can receive in your motorcycle accident case. When you file a compensation claim with the other driver’s insurance, the company will examine all aspects of the case to determine a settlement amount. These factors include the following:

Financial Damages

Specific financial damages form the basis of your settlement, such as your medical bills, lost wages, and property damages. The value of your compensation also includes intangible losses, such as emotional pain and suffering that you and your family members suffer due to your changed quality of life.

The Driver’s Actions

Photos, dashcam videos, and smartphone footage can demonstrate whether the driver of the other vehicle was negligent in causing the motorcycle accident. These negligent actions can include:

  • Speeding and racing
  • Aggressive driving, such as illegal passing and running red lights
  • Distracted driving, like texting and eating snacks

These may prove the driver violated traffic laws and caused the crash. Lawyers can also use your medical bills and records to connect your injuries to the crash.

Availability of Witnesses

If you have witnesses who saw your accident, they can provide details about what transpired before, during, and after it. This information can help determine fault and provide insight into what took place.

Other Things to Consider

A driver’s auto liability insurance policy may limit what they pay for injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents. The minimum auto insurance limits are $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage.

If your medical expenses exceed $15,000, you may not receive the full compensation for your injuries. You may instead need to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit to recover the full extent of your damages.

The party’s ability to pay also factors into your motorcycle accident settlement. For example, if the other driver doesn’t carry the required minimum liability insurance or any insurance, you may have trouble obtaining compensation. You can file for compensation against your own insurance if you carry uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance.

If you don’t have this coverage, you can seek damages from the driver in a personal injury lawsuit; however, damages would come from their personal assets, which means you may not see compensation.

Is it Better to Settle Your Motorcycle Accident Claim or Go to Trial?

You and your lawyer can accept or reject any settlement offer during the settlement process. You can also negotiate a better deal for future medical expenses and motorcycle replacement parts.

You can take your case to court if the insurance company refuses to negotiate further. You may feel more satisfied with justice when the negligent parties are found guilty of causing the accident, and the jury may award you the maximum amount.

It is best to explore your legal options with the motorcycle accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers, who can help you maximize your compensation in a motorcycle accident case.

Contact a California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Case

An experienced personal injury lawyer at Berg Injury Lawyers can determine whether a settlement offer is fair based on the factors that apply to your accident. Our attorneys can discuss your options if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident.

Contact our law office today to discuss your case with a skilled lawyer in a free, no-obligation consultation.

Failing to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet Could Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

by cj SEO | September 20th, 2022

Motorcycle accidents are one of the most dreadful accidents you can suffer, especially if you’re not wearing a helmet. Cruising through open roads brings a freedom that many riders enjoy. Unfortunately, that sense of freedom comes with a risk. Head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents. Consequently, all motorcyclists need to wear helmets on the road. Although it is not a legal requirement in all states, wearing a helmet significantly reduces the risk of suffering from a severe brain injury in an accident. If a car driver or another motorcyclist was in the accident, you may need a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento

In 2016, there were 5,286 motorcycle riders killed in traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), where 94% were riders, while 6% percent were passengers. Wearing a helmet is the best way to protect yourself while riding a motorcycle. If you’re a motorcycle rider in Sacramento, failing to wear a helmet could affect your injury case if you’re involved in an accident. However, Berg Injury Lawyers can help handle your motorcycle accident case in Sacramento and throughout Northern California. 

California’s Helmet Law

California’s helmet law protects riders of all ages from severe head injuries. Under the law, all riders must wear a helmet that meets Department of Transportation standards. In fact, according to California Code Section 27803, “a person operating a motorcycle shall wear a safety helmet meeting standards established by the department.” This means the helmet must have a hard outer shell, a padded lining, and straps that secure the helmet in place. Additionally, the law requires that riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet at all times when riding, regardless of whether they are on a public road or private property. The fine for riders who violate the law is up to $250 for the first offense, and for repeat offenders it’s up to $1,000. f

The Case for Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet

California’s helmet law is one of the most critical and practical laws. The law requires that all motorcycle riders and passengers wear a DOT-approved helmet while riding. This simple law effectively reduces severe injuries and fatalities in motorcycle accidents. This is true even if you are an experienced rider or only riding for a short distance. While some riders may view helmets as a nuisance, the truth is that they can make a difference in life and death outcomes. In Sacramento alone, there were about 116 traffic accidents involving motorcycles, according to a 2019 report by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). Therefore, make the wise choice and wear a helmet to avoid suffering a brain injury.

How Do Motorcycle Helmets Protect You?

Motorcycle helmets protect riders from severe head injuries during a crash. The critical part of a helmet is the outer shell, usually made of rigid polycarbonate plastic. This material can spread the force of an impact over a larger area, helping to prevent penetration. The inner lining of a helmet is typically made of soft foam that helps to cushion the head and absorb energy. In addition, helmets often have a chin strap that helps to keep them securely in place in the event of a collision. By wearing a properly fitting helmet, riders can significantly reduce their risk of suffering a serious head injury in an accident. When choosing a motorcycle helmet, select one that is sized correctly and meets current safety standards. 

What Happens If You Are Injured When Not Wearing a Helmet?

First, insurance companies often view riders who do not wear helmets as more reckless than those who do, especially since it’s illegal in California. Thus, they may be less willing to offer a fair settlement. Additionally, if you file a personal injury lawsuit, the jury may view you as partially at fault for your injuries since you were not wearing a helmet. This could result in a reduction in your damages. 

Nevertheless, California follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which means that you can still recover compensation despite being partially at fault during an accident. As a result, an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer can build a strong case on your behalf and help you recover fair compensation. But, of course, every case is different, and many factors will affect the outcome of your claim.

Things You Can Receive Compensation for Whether You Wear a Helmet or Not

Some of the things you may receive compensation for whether you wear a helmet or not include:

  • Medical expenses: You can receive compensation for all your costs related to the accident, including hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and more.
  • Pain and suffering: With proper representation by a personal injury lawyer, Sacramento residents may get compensation for the physical pain and emotional damage you endured due to your accident.
  • Lost wages: If you can’t work because of your injuries, you can receive compensation for the wages you have lost.
  • Loss of earning capacity: If the accident resulted in a permanent disability that has prevented you from returning to work or achieving the same amount of money as you did before the accident, you could recover compensation for your lost earning capacity.
  • Property damage: You can receive compensation for the damage to your motorcycle and any other property damaged in the accident.

When to Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer 

To say the least, the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be tedious. To some extent, it can be more costly than you can imagine. We recommend contacting a personal injury lawyer in case of the following:

  • The other driver was uninsured or underinsured.
  • You were not wearing a helmet at the accident.
  • You suffered severe injuries in the accident.
  • The insurance claim offer is too low.
  • You are unsure of how to handle your claim.

Berg Injury Lawyers Can Help You With Your Sacramento Personal Injury Case

If you or a loved one has injuries from a motorcycle accident, Berg Injury Lawyers is here to help. With more than three decades of experience advocating for the rights of personal injury victims, our attorneys know how to get results. We’re not afraid to take on big insurance providers and will fight tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers. We conveniently have offices in Sacramento and other Northern California cities, and we offer a no-fee guarantee.

What Is California’s Lane-Splitting Law in 2021?

by Staff Blogger | September 10th, 2021

Each state has its own motorcycle laws. Some states allow motorcyclists to ride without a helmet, while others don’t. Some have extensive requirements for obtaining a motorcycle license, while other states are less stringent. One popular—and controversial—motorcycling technique that is also regulated by states is lane-splitting. Though most states have laws forbidding lane-splitting, California is a little different. First, let’s establish what we mean when we say lane-splitting.

What’s Considered Lane-Splitting in California?

Lane-splitting is when a motorcyclist travels in between lanes to navigate traffic. For example, if there’s a traffic jam on Interstate 280 and a motorcyclist travels between lanes of traffic, riding down the white lane divider line, they’re lane-splitting.

What Is California’s Lane-Splitting Law in 2021?

Obviously, motorcyclists are still required to follow all the rules of the road. But unlike many other states, California does not have a law forbidding lane-splitting. California even issued lane-splitting safety tips for motorcyclists in 2018. Some of the tips include:
  • Understanding that lane-splitting is more dangerous when done at higher speeds.
  • It’s safest to split between the lanes that are furthest to the left on roads with three lanes or more.
  • Avoid lane-splitting near large vehicles, such as tractor-trailers and buses.
  • Stay visible and avoid lingering in other vehicles’ blind spots.
  • Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing and using high beams in the daytime.
Note that riding on the shoulder of a road is not considered lane-splitting and is not legal. If a motorcyclist rides on the shoulder in California, police officers can (and likely will) give them a ticket.

Is Lane-Splitting Safe?

The Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at UC Berkeley conducted a study that found only 17% of motorcycle crashes from 2012 to 2013 involved lane-splitting. Studies also suggest that the greater the difference between overall traffic and the motorcycle splitting lanes, the more dangerous lane-splitting becomes. So, it’s important for motorcyclists to avoid traveling more than 10 MPH faster than surrounding traffic. Researchers believe that lane-splitting is safest at speeds under 50 MPH.

Lane-Splitting Isn’t Popular with Other Motorists

The fact that California permits lane-splitting draws the ire of many non-motorcyclists. Several surveys suggest that drivers believe this practice should be illegal. And many drivers don’t even realize that it’s not illegal. As is typical on our roads, other drivers often have a bias against motorcyclists. It’s not uncommon for drivers to fail to give motorcyclists the space they need to safely navigate our roads. Sadly, the stigma facing motorcyclists on our roads often follows them into the accident claims process. Insurance companies are notorious for offering motorcyclists lowball settlements or to deny their claims altogether, even when their accidents are caused by drivers purposefully failing to yield to a motorcyclist.

If You Need Legal Representation, We Have Your Back

If you or a loved one was injured by a negligent driver in California, you should know your legal rights so you don’t get taken advantage of by insurance companies. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California motorcycle accident attorneys have years of experience ensuring motorcyclists get the compensation they’re entitled to by law. We can help you explore your legal options. Simply contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation. This content was originally published in October 2020 and updated in September 2021. 

5 Tips for Motorcycle Road Share

by Staff | May 17th, 2021

Whether you are commuting to or from work or heading out for fun, sharing the roadways with motorcyclists is common. Unfortunately, road sharing results in a higher number of accidents daily, often leading to devastating injuries or death.

According to statistics, California has the highest number of registered motorcycles of all 50 states, so the likelihood of sharing the roadway with more than one is exceptionally high. A large percentage of collisions occur due to passenger vehicle distracted driving or failure to see a motorcyclist, so learning how to avoid these is the best way to get started in creating a safer state when it comes to road sharing.

When an accident does happen, you’ll need to seek legal advice to determine what your options are going forward. Contact a knowledgeable legal team specializing in motorcycle law and accidents so you can receive the thorough and experienced legal help you need.

With so many motorcycles on the road, keeping everyone safe is critical. You can do your part by staying alert and aware. Here are the 5 tips for motorcycle road share, creating a safer commute for everyone.

1. Stay Aware and Check Your Blind Spots

When in a passenger vehicle, be on the lookout for motorcyclists sharing the road and keep your distance. Knowing where these are at all times can help you stay focused and keep everyone safe.

One of the top causes of motorcycle accidents is a car driver’s failure to notice a motorcycle in time, often leading to severe injuries or even death. Passenger vehicle drivers often experience inattentional blindness; when the brain doesn’t always register what it is seeing. A motorcycle is an unexpected sight, often causing the brain to disregard or fail to notice it. Train yourself to look specifically for motorcycles as you drive, making it a habit to counteract inattentional blindness.

Double-check your blind spots every time before changing lanes. Motorcycles are easy to miss in a quick glance toward your blind spots, so make a conscious effort to check twice. Use your signal light to change lanes to alert a motorcyclist who may be driving at a faster pace.

2. Stay Back and Avoid Tailgating

When a motorcycle is ahead of you, allow for plenty of space between you and avoid getting too close. Just like a passenger vehicle, a motorcycle may have to slow or stop suddenly due to emergencies or change lanes to avoid an accident.

Motorcyclists may not always use their brakes right away but instead slow down by downshifting or relaxing the throttle, so always gauge your speed and distance. To be safe, stay two car lengths away from a motorcycle at all times.

This distance also helps if a motorcyclist’s turn signal does not self-cancel out. Many motorcycles do not have turn signals that shut off after a certain amount of time. Keeping your distance allows you plenty of time to react if a motorcyclist does decide to make a turn.

3. Be Extra Cautious in Bad Weather and at Night

Rain, sleet, and snow make the roads extra treacherous and slippery for two-wheeled riders. Windy conditions may cause motorcyclists to lose stability in their lanes, pushing them too close to other cars and barriers.

Both weather conditions and nighttime driving reduce visibility, requiring extra caution on your part to ensure you don’t miss a motorcycle near your car. Slow down in poor weather and at night, and increase your following distance. Turn off your high beams when a motorcycle approaches you, and refrain from passing if possible.

4. Use Extreme Caution at Intersections

Busy or blind intersections are dangerous for cars and trucks, but they can be deadly for motorcycles. Slow down, turn down your radio, and come to a complete stop at every intersection. Look both ways twice before proceeding, and pay attention to the flow of traffic. Proceed slowly through the intersection. Many drivers find it helpful to crack their window open and listen for the sound of a motorcycle approaching at an intersection.

5. Stay in Your Lane

No matter how small a motorcycle may be, they are entitled to the same amount of space in a lane as a car or truck. Treat a motorcycle exactly like another passenger or commercial vehicle and follow the same rules of the road. Do not try to share a lane with a motorcycle, and remain slow and steady while passing.

Contact Your California Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today

All motorists are responsible for driving safely, looking out for others, sharing the roadways, and obeying traffic laws. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to severe injury if involved in a collision with a car or truck. It only takes one small move or action to cause an accident, so stay safe by following these tips every time you venture out on the roadways.

If you, a loved one, or someone else you know is involved in a motorcycle accident, seek legal advice from our experienced California motorcycle accident lawyers today. We’ll review your case, negotiate with the insurance companies, and advise you on how to proceed.

What to Do Before, During, and After Getting on a Motorcycle

by Staff Blogger | October 12th, 2020

safety tips for motorcyclistsWhether you’re a seasoned motorcycle veteran or a complete newbie, you probably already understand the importance of motorcycle safety. Following basic safety practices can mean the difference between a long, healthy motorcycle riding career and a tragic one. However, regardless of your experience, frequently revisiting the fundamentals will make you a better, safer rider. So, we want to review the steps to take before, during, and after getting on a motorcycle. Here’s what all motorcyclists need to know. As you can see, there’s a lot for motorcyclists to keep in mind. Other drivers aren’t always the best about sharing the road with motorcycles, so it’s important to always stay alert to potential threats and drive defensively. Keep a checklist of these safety precautions in your garage, so you can review them before riding. And if you have the misfortune of being involved in a crash, know that legal help is available.

If You Need Legal Help, Get Berg!

Though motorcyclists can do everything in their power to make sure their next ride is safe, they can’t control what other drivers do. And insurance companies are notorious for offering motorcyclists far less than they deserve after they’re injured in a crash. Don’t make the mistake of accepting the first settlement offer an insurance company gives you. If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, contact the California motorcycle attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers to request a free consultation so you can better understand your legal options.

The Leading Causes of Motorcycle Crashes in California

by Staff Blogger | March 16th, 2020

Motorcycle crashes are notoriously deadly. Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in crashes than other types of motorists. That’s a reality that most motorcycles know instinctively when they get on their bikes and share the road with less-than-generous drivers. If you ride, you already know some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Each time a driver follows you too closely or veers into your lane, you get a glimpse of how motorcycle accidents occur. But it’s important for all motorists, whether drivers or riders, to be aware of what causes accidents so we can all do our part to save motorcyclists’ lives. Check out our helpful infographic below for more information.

A Closer Look at the Numbers in California

All the information above applies to motorcycle accidents in our state as well as in the broader U.S., but we can dig a little deeper to learn about the specific causes of crashes in California. First, let’s look at the most recent data about the number of motorcycle accidents, which was last updated in 2016. In 2016, 548 motorcycle fatalities occurred in California, which was an 11% increase from the previous year. There was also a 9% increase in motorcyclist deaths from not wearing a helmet from 2015 to 2016. Data from the California Office of Traffic Safety lets us see even more recent data. There were 113 people injured or killed in motorcycle accidents in Sacramento in 2017. In Sacramento County, 500 people were injured or killed in motorcycle accidents in 2017.

But What About the Causes of Motorcycle Crashes in California?

How did these crashes happen? Here are the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in California, specifically:
  • A failure of the non-motorcyclist to give the motorcyclist the right-of-way.
  • Other motorists turning into the path of a motorcycle (in about one-third of all multi-vehicle crashes involving motorcyclists).
  • Driving or riding after consuming alcohol (in about 43% of all motorcycle crashes)
Then, of course, there are the common culprits of all crashes, including motorcycle crashes:
  • Distraction
  • Fatigue
  • Failure to adjust driving to the conditions of the road
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Failure to follow traffic signs or signals
As California motorcycle accident attorneys, we’ve seen first-hand how devastating a moment of distraction or one careless turn by a motorist can be for motorcyclists. Sadly, even though motorcyclists aren’t at fault for these crashes, they often face a stigma in each stage of the claims process. Motorcyclists can be discriminated against by fellow motorists, law enforcement agencies, and insurance companies. This is one of the many reasons we suggest that motorcyclists like you contact an experienced attorney immediately following a crash—you deserve to have your rights protected.

Have Questions? Contact Berg Injury Lawyers

We know motorcycle accidents, and we want to hear from you if you’ve been injured by a careless driver. Schedule a free consultation with our team, and we’ll listen to your case and let you know your legal options. Contact Berg Injury Lawyers today to get started.

Motorcycle Wreck? Don’t Let the Insurance Company’s Bias Cost You.

by Staff Blogger | January 6th, 2020

There are many reasons to ride a motorcycle over driving a car or truck. They’re easier to park, are extremely fuel efficient, and they have excellent acceleration and handling. But all those perks come at a huge cost: safety. Motorcycles have no safety features to protect riders, and even the most well-equipped riders can still suffer serious injuries during accidents. In fact, nearly 80% of motorcycle accidents result in injuries, and 4% are fatal. The injuries associated with motorcycle accidents are painful, debilitating, and often disabling. Victims may need expensive medical treatments, and they may be unable to work for long periods of time. Getting compensation is a big priority for motorcycle accident victims, but insurance companies don’t often cooperate. That’s because insurers and their adjusters are typically biased against motorcyclists, and they often approach motorcycle accident claims believing that the riders were responsible. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know that injured victims face enough hurdles already when trying to get compensation for accidents that weren’t their fault. If you or someone you love was hurt in a motorcycle crash, the last thing you need is to deal with is an insurance company that has already made its mind up about who caused the accident. Get in touch with our California motorcycle accident lawyers. We’ll investigate the crash, collect evidence that proves you weren’t at fault, and negotiate to get you paid fairly and on time. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re ready to put our experience to work for you.

We Protect Injured Motorcyclists’ Rights

by Staff Blogger | October 14th, 2019

Riding a motorcycle has several advantages over driving a passenger vehicle. First, motorcycles are far quicker and more agile than most cars, trucks, and SUVs. They’re also extremely fuel efficient and easy to maintain. But they have one big drawback as well: the risk they pose to riders. Put simply, motorcycles are unsafe during crashes. Around 31 percent of automobile crashes result in injuries, but only 0.29 percent result in fatalities. However, nearly 80 percent of motorcycle crashes result in injuries, and 4.24 percent result in fatalities. The chances of being seriously injured in a motorcycle accident are high, and when it happens, it’s important to have experienced legal representation on your side. Motorcycle accidents are often extremely expensive to recover from, and victims often feel the financial repercussions for years. They may need expensive medical treatments both upfront and well into the future, and they may be too hurt to go back to work for long periods of time. To make matters worse, insurance companies are often skeptical of motorcycle accident injury claims. Their bias means they frequently view motorcyclists as being at fault for their own crashes, even when evidence suggests otherwise. If you or someone you love was hurt in a motorcycle accident, it’s vital to have an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney working in your corner. At Berg Injury Lawyers, our legal team knows the challenges that motorcyclists face after crashes, and we do everything we can to help them get maximum compensation. Contact us today. We have years of experience helping injured riders just like you, and we know what it takes to win.