When Do Motorcycles Have the Right of Way?
In a motorcycle accident, you’ll need to prove that someone else did something wrong that would have caused your injuries. In many cases, liability comes down to which motorist had the right-of-way and who failed to yield. In California, the burden of proof is on the Plaintiff (the one making the claim) to provide the otherside (Defendant) was negligent in causing the crash and injuries
To understand who may have been responsible for a car vs. motorcycle accident, you need to understand which person needed to yield. Then, you must prove what happened in your specific accident. Call LA Century Law today to discuss your case with a San Bernardino motorcycle accident lawyer.
Motorcyclists Must Follow All Traffic Laws
Generally, motorcycles must follow the same laws as any other motorist on the road.
Motorcycles are full participants in traffic. They have a right to their own lane. At the same time, they must also stop at traffic signs and yield the right-of-way like other drivers.
Motorcyclists have the right to their own lane in traffic. Just because they do not occupy an entire lane does not mean that a car can encroach on top of them in their lane. The driver of the car would be liable for an accident if they illegally entered the motorcyclist’s lane.
Rights-of-Way in Various Traffic Situations
Here are some rules about who has the right-of-way in various situations:
- At a four-way stop sign: the driver who arrived at the intersection first is the one who has the right-of-way. Oftentimes, it is hard to tell who arrived at the stop sign first, given that the drivers are traveling at different speeds.
- At a two-way stop sign: the motorist who does not have the stop sign is the one with the right of way. Motorists may need to stop for a motorcycle and vice versa.
- When there is a yield sign: the driver who has the sign is the one who must let the other driver through. If there is no vehicle in the other lane, the driver with the yield sign does not have to slow down.
- When there is a crosswalk: the pedestrian is the one who has the right-of-way once they have entered the crosswalk. However, the motorcyclist has the right-of-way when there is a traffic sign or signal that allows them to pass.
Lane splitting is legal in California. Motorcyclists are able to travel between two lanes of traffic to get somewhere faster. This happens in a traffic jam usually, which is quite common in the Los Angeles area.
Motorcycle Accidents That Drivers Can Cause
Drivers can cause accidents when they do not yield the right-of-way to the motorcyclist when required by law. The driver could encroach in the motorcyclist’s space, either because they did not see them or they were reckless.
Crashes that drivers can cause by failing to yield when required by law include:
- Head-on crashes: When a reckless or careless driver ends up in the motorcyclist’s lane
- Left turn accidents: When a driver cuts across the left lane in which the motorcyclist has established themselves
- Blindspot crashes: When the driver fails to look into their blindspot before changing lanes
- T-bone crashes: Where the two vehicles would strike each other at a perpendicular angle
No matter what type of crash is at issue, you are the one who has the burden of proof to show that the driver was negligent. Without meeting your burden, you will not be able to receive compensation. Your attorney’s job is to gather the proof and use it to compile your insurance claim or lawsuit.
The Insurance Company is Going to Try to Blame the Motorcyclist
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you will need to overcome the insurance company’s efforts to blame the biker first. Insurance companies do this because they know that they could be liable for a large amount of damages in a motorcycle accident case.
You need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to protect your legal rights. Your attorney will both obtain evidence that shows what occurred and fight for you to get as large of a settlement check as you possibly can.
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Case
You may be entitled to the following damages after a motorcycle crash injury:
- The complete costs of your medical care
- Property damages
- Lost wages for time missed from work
- Pain and suffering to compensate you for your post-accident experience
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Embarrassment and humiliation
- Emotional distress
If your loved one died in a motorcycle accident, your family would be entitled to be paid wrongful death damages that would compensate you for the losses that you suffered when a family member tragically died in a crash.
Call Our San Bernardino Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
LA Century Law will handle your motorcycle accident claim from beginning to end, battling the insurance company along the way. We know the tricks that insurance companies use to deny you full compensation, and we are always on guard for them on your behalf.
You can speak to a lawyer by calling us today or messaging us online. We will explain your case during a free initial consultation. You do not need to pay us anything unless you win your case.