What Bikers Need to Know about California Motorcycle Laws

California is one of the most beautiful states in the nation and provides amazing scenery to enjoy during a motorcycle ride. Unfortunately, accidents do occur on our roadways, and those accidents can have devastating results for motorcyclists involved in them. If you are a California biker, there are certain laws you need to be aware of and follow closely if you find yourself in a situation where you are pursuing compensation. In this article, the attorneys at the San Diego-based Law Offices of Elliott Kanter will explain these laws and what you need to know.

Motorcycle Laws in California

California is one of the most popular states for motorcycle ownership. As of 2017, there were 842,543 registered motorcycles in the state of California — the highest in the nation. Having more motorcycles on the road leads to a higher number of motorcycle accidents, as there were 16,505 motorcycle accidents in 2017,  causing 15,527 injuries and 541 fatalities. This means an astounding 97% of motorcycle accidents in our state result in either injury or death. California laws regarding motorcycles are in place in an attempt to make the roads safe for bikers. These laws include:

  • All riders must obtain a motorcycle-specific learner’s permit first, followed by a motorcycle license. This license requires passing a written test, skills test, and vision exam. Riders under the age of 21 must also complete a California Motorcyclist Safety Progam.
  • Specific safety and personal protection requirements, including DOT-certified helmets being worn at all times while on the road, left and right rear-view mirrors on the bike, functioning turn signals on the front and back, as well as handlebar height and exhaust system regulations.
  • California motorcyclists are required to carry specific minimum insurance coverage amounts, including $30,000 for bodily injury for multiple victims, $15,000 for one victim, and $5,000 in property damage coverage.

Knowing the elements of California laws that are specific to motorcycles will put you in an informed position when taking your bike out on the road, and also preserve your chances of successfully winning financial compensation in the event of an accident. If you are involved in a traffic accident on your bike, your motorcycle is hit by a car, or another incident occurs, the key factor in the outcome of any legal action is your ability to prove the fault of the other party.

The Importance of Proving Fault

Determining fault in a motorcycle accident is crucial for a biker seeking to receive compensation. California’s “percentage of fault” system works the same for motorcyclists as it does for drivers operating other types of vehicles. The risks involved in riding a motorcycle can sometimes work against the rider in a case in which responsibility is disputed, but closely following the law can help you prove the fault of the other party.

If a motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet, made an illegal turn, or committed other traffic violations, it may not completely place the fault on the motorcyclist, but it can have a substantial effect on the amount of compensation to which they are entitled. In order to maximize your chances of receiving the greatest amount of compensation, you should not only follow motorcycle laws but also work with a skilled motorcycle accident attorney.

What an Attorney Can Do for You

In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, your physical injuries, property damage, and financial concerns will have you wondering what your options are. Rather than attempt to face these complicated matters on your own, it is in your best interest to consult with a seasoned motorcycle attorney who will give you the insight and legal guidance you need in order to work toward a positive outcome. Working with our motorcycle accident attorneys will be advantageous for you when dealing with insurance companies as we fight aggressively on your behalf and work to position you for the best possible outcome. A successful claim can include financial compensation to help with medical bills, cover for potentially lost wages due to an inability to work, and pay for repairs to your damaged property.

Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in San Diego, California

While a motorcycle ride can bring excitement and enjoyment for the rider, being involved in an accident while riding your motorcycle can leave you in difficult physical and financial situations. If you are a motorcyclist in the San Diego, California area and are in need of dependable legal representation following a traffic accident, our attorneys have the skill and experience you need to seek a favorable solution. Contact the Law Offices of Elliott Kanter today to schedule a free consultation.


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