California has the largest number of licensed motorcyclists in the country, which is likely in part because California has a mild climate throughout the year and scenic views that attract riders from around the world. The number of riders on California roads makes it imperative that motorcyclists and drivers exercise caution to ensure the safety of each other. Despite that, drivers often fail to drive as cautiously as necessary and when an accident occurs, motorcyclists are at the greatest risk of injury. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Oceanside, have your case evaluated by an experienced Oceanside motorcycle accident attorney to ensure that you are knowledgeable about your legal options.
California has two options for motorcyclists seeking a license. The M1 license allows a motorcyclist to ride any motorcycle with a motor. The M2 license, which is more restrictive, only permits the rider to operate motorized scooters, mopeds, and motorized bicycles. As such, any legal motorcycle rider on an Oceanside highway must have a valid M1 license.
Motorcyclists that are over the age of 21 are required to pass a written test. Before taking the written test, a rider that is over 21 must complete a driving test or a motorcycle safety course. Motorcyclists, who are under 21, must have completed a motorcycle safety course or basic rider course in California or have maintained a motorcycle learner’s permit for at least six months, prior to taking the test.
As an Oceanside motorcycle lawyer can explain, California is a unique state for motorcyclists, for more reasons than just the ocean views along curving roads within hours of open desert highways. California is one of few states that permit lane splitting, which is the practice of riding between lanes of traffic. Motorcyclists often do this to pass slower or standstill traffic.
Despite it being legal, it is a risky activity that could still result in a driver being ticketed because of nuances in the law. If motorcyclists opt to split lanes, they should not exceed 10 miles per hour. Riders that are deemed to be splitting a lane unsafely can be ticketed.
Motorcyclists on Oceanside roads are required to comply with traffic laws and regulations. Not doing so not only leads to being cited but in the event of an accident, can impact a rider’s ability to recover from injuries suffered during the accident or those that stem from the accident.
California follows a contributory comparative negligence standard in all personal injury cases, which extends to motorcycle accidents. Under this standard, while an injured victim can recover damages for injuries sustained during the accident, the amount that they are allowed to recover is limited to the percentage of fault that is impugned to the other party.
This law is designed to ensure that accident victims are compensated, but the other party is not entirely responsible for injuries when the injured victim is also responsible for the injuries or the extent of the injuries suffered. If a motorcyclist is seriously injured after being hit by a driver that changed lanes without checking their blind spot, the driver is likely liable for the injuries.
The motorcyclist’s injuries may be more significant, however, if they were not wearing a helmet, which is required by law. The amount of fault attributable to the rider for not wearing a helmet would impact the amount that they would be able to recover.
How an Oceanside Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one were involved in a motorcycle accident and suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence, then do not hesitate to contact an Oceanside motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible so they can advise you of possible next steps and begin building your case to get you the maximum compensation possible.