Motorcycle Accident

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

by Staff Blogger | May 11th, 2020

m1 or m2 license in California?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 wheel device 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-wheel device 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 have a very specific 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 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 Handbook.

Find your local DMV office to identify the office you’ll visit to get your license.

What If You Don’t Already Have a Standard Driver 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 acceptable identity document or an acceptable 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 your  full legal name.

What Else Do You Need to Legally Operate 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 need to specific to your motorcycle, as your existing auto insurance policy for other vehicles won’t automatically include coverage for your motorcycle.

California motorcycle insurance requirements are 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 others involved in the accident, and $5,000 of coverage for property damage caused by a collision.

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

Berg Injury Lawyers handles motorcycle accident cases across Northern California. We have years of experience dealing with insurance companies on our clients’ behalf, and we can tell you that 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, and 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 Lawyers. We offer free consultations, and you’ll never see a bill from us unless we win your case.

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.

What to Expect: Motorcycle Accident Claims

by Staff Blogger | July 31st, 2019

Because motorcycles lack safety features, riders’ only preemptive option for protecting themselves is riding gear like helmets, jackets, gloves, and boots. But even the most well-equipped riders still face serious risks when they’re involved in accidents.

If you were recently hurt in a motorcycle accident, you may have suffered severe injuries that require extensive medical treatments. Those medical treatments can be hard on your finances, especially when your injuries make it difficult or impossible for you to go back to work. If that’s the case for you, you may need to file a personal injury claim to get the compensation you deserve. That’s where we come in.

How We’ll Help You Navigate Your Compensation Claim

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know how painful and traumatic motorcycle accidents can be. When you’re recovering from serious injuries, the last thing you want to do is deal with the insurance company and going back and forth on getting a fair settlement. Our California motorcycle accident lawyers can handle every aspect of your claim while you focus on getting better.

When we take on your claim, we’ll collect evidence to prove you weren’t at fault for the crash. Then, we’ll determine how much money you’re owed for your current and future accident-related expenses, including your medical bills and lost wages. Finally, we’ll negotiate with the insurance company to maximize your chances of getting the money you deserve.

Get an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Law Firm on Your Side

Insurance companies are often biased against motorcyclists. They wrongly assume that most motorcyclists are at fault for their own crashes, and that can make it difficult for injured riders to get fair compensation on their own. Hiring a law firm with experience dealing with insurance companies can help you get proper compensation.

Our attorneys understand what you’re going through, and we know how insurance companies often treat motorcyclists. We can protect you, your loved ones, and your rights to full compensation starting the day you call us. Contact us today for a free consultation.

3 Tips for Driving Safely Near Motorcycles

by Staff Blogger | May 15th, 2019

Motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable travelers on the road. Because motorcycles lack safety features, motorcyclists face more inherent risks than drivers and passengers in other vehicles, and their helmets and riding gear can only protect them so much during crashes.

Next time you’re on California’s roadways, be alert and aware of any motorcyclists riding near you, and  keep these three tips in mind to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident:

    1. Give motorcycles plenty of space. Don’t follow motorcycles too closely. In the event of an emergency, both you and the motorcyclist in front of you will need plenty of space to stop.
    2. Check your blind spots before merging or changing lanes. Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, and they can sometimes be hard to see. Look twice before moving over.
    3. Use traffic signals when merging. Give motorcyclists fair warning when you plan on changing lanes to avoid a collision.

Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Serving the Bay Area

If you or someone you love was harmed in a motorcycle accident, the California motorcycle accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers are here for you. We have more than 35 years of experience helping injury victims throughout California, and we have the knowledge and experience to build a strong claim on your behalf. Contact us today to get started with a free case review.

3 Reasons to Get a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident

by Staff Blogger | April 29th, 2019

If you were recently injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be too hurt to go back to work. And when you’re not working, you’re not earning the paychecks your family depends on. That can make it difficult to pay for your day-to-day living expenses, let alone your expensive medical bills.

To make matters worse, the injuries associated with motorcycle accidents are often painful and debilitating. Your priority right now is trying to get better—but you know you need help with your injury-related expenses. That’s where we come in.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help you in three important ways:

  1. We’ll collect evidence to determine who was at fault—Insurance companies are often biased against motorcycle accident victims. But even the most biased adjusters can’t argue with cold, hard evidence—and that’s what we’ll collect when we build your claim.
  2. We’ll calculate how much money you’re owed—Because motorcycle accident injuries can be life-threatening, the medical treatments you need may be expensive. In addition, you may be out of work for weeks, months, or even years. Let us calculate exactly how much money you deserve.
  3. We’ll negotiate to get you fair compensation—After we’ve established the accident wasn’t your fault and how much money your claim is worth, we’ll negotiate with the insurance company to get you paid. And if the insurance company won’t cooperate, we won’t hesitate to take your case to trial.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us get to work for you.

Motorcyclists Face Higher Injury Risks

by Staff Blogger | March 6th, 2019

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know that most motorcyclists throughout California are committed to safe riding practices and wearing full gear all the time. Unfortunately, those safety precautions are no match for other motorists’ negligence. Whether they drift into motorcyclists’ lanes or simply fail to look out for motorcyclists, a driver’s careless mistake can result in life-or-death situations for motorcyclists.

Because riders don’t have the outer protection of a vehicle, they face a greater risk of suffering severe injuries if involved in a crash. In fact, recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to be killed and 6 times more likely to suffer injuries than those traveling in passenger vehicles.

How You Can Reduce Your Risks

The California motorcycle accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have seen the devastating effects of motorcycle accidents, and it’s our goal to help injured motorcyclists get maximum compensation after crashes that weren’t their fault. We also want to educate them on how they can protect themselves and reduce their risks of injury.

Whether you’re cruising around town or riding a longer distance, it’s important to wear all the proper safety gear, including:

  • A DOT-approved or Snell-certified helmet
  • Padded riding pants and jackets
  • Over-the-ankle riding boots
  • Gloves

Motorcyclists can also reduce their risks by following all traffic laws, riding at a safe speed, and riding defensively.

We Serve Injured Motorcyclists in California

At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know that even the safest, most experienced motorcyclists are vulnerable when other drivers are negligent. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident in California through no fault of your own, the motorcycle accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers want to help. Contact us now for a free case review.

Hurt on Your Motorcycle? The Insurance Company May Be Biased Against You.

by Staff Blogger | December 17th, 2018

Motorcycle accident injuries are often painful and disabling. Even the most well-equipped riders are still at risk of suffering broken bones, road rash, and even paralysis when they’re involved in accidents.

Despite the severity of motorcycle accidents and the challenges that victims often face, insurance companies may be reluctant to give injured riders the compensation they deserve. That’s because they often unfairly blame motorcyclists for their own accidents.

Although most motorcyclists are safety-conscious and extremely careful when they ride, insurance companies and their adjusters may have biases against them. They often think of motorcyclists as reckless and a danger to themselves and others. And when injured riders file claims seeking compensation after accidents that weren’t their fault, the deck may already be stacked against them.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California motorcycle accident attorneys know how unfair that bias is against responsible riders. That’s why we do everything in our power to help motorcyclists get a fair shake when they file compensation claims. From gathering evidence that proves riders weren’t at fault, to calculating exactly how much money they deserve and negotiating to help them get it, we’re here to help injured motorcyclists every step of the way.

Don’t let the insurance company deny your claim without giving it a fair and honest review. Call us today for a free consultation, and let our legal team build a case that the insurance company can’t ignore.

Motorcycle Accidents Often Cause Serious Injuries

by Staff Blogger | October 22nd, 2018

If you ride a motorcycle, you know how important it is to protect yourself every time you head out on California’s highways and interstates. That includes riding defensively, always being on the lookout for vehicles, and wearing full safety gear, including an industry-approved helmet, riding jacket and pants, gloves, and boots.

Taking those steps can significantly reduce your risk of being involved in an accident, but there’s always a chance you’ll be struck by a vehicle. That’s because motorists don’t always look out for motorcycles, especially at intersections or during times of reduced visibility. And while wearing all the gear, all the time can help reduce your chances of suffering serious injuries, the lack of protection and safety features on motorcycles means riders are always vulnerable.

Some of the most common serious injuries associated with motorcycle accidents include:

  • Head injuries—Industry-approved motorcycle helmets are designed to significantly reduce the risk of brain injuries or death during crashes. But they can only withstand so much force. When riders are thrown from their bikes or collide with vehicles or other objects, they’re still at risk of suffering debilitating head injuries.
  • Spinal injuries—No safety gear can provide adequate protection for riders’ spines during crashes. Everything from the forces generated at the point of collision to impact with the ground can cause permanent spinal injuries that can result in paralysis.
  • Skin injuries—Any area of skin that’s exposed during motorcycle crashes can be seriously injured. Road rash is a common and painful complication after motorcycle accidents, and it can leave victims suffering and disfigured.

At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help anyone who was hurt while riding on two wheels. Call us today for a free consultation.