Perhaps more than any other vehicle on the road, motorcycles represent the quintessential American experience of feeling the wind in your face while riding at speeds that were once only imaginable (on a 2-wheeler, that is!). As of 2018, there were 8.3 million motorcycles registered in the United States and not surprisingly, California, along with Florida, topped the list of registrations with over 857,000 bikes registered in the state. \u00a0However, that same year over 4,500 riders were injured or killed on California roads. Of all the modes of transportation on the roads, motorcycles are by far the most dangerous because there is virtually no protection available for the rider. Motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than a passenger vehicle. Accidents such as hitting a car door opening and sudden stops that would cause minor to moderate injuries to someone in a car or truck are often fatal to a motorcycle rider. Even so, in 2019 there were 474 motorcycle fatalities in California which represented a 9.4% decline from the previous year. Of those deaths, 28 were not wearing a helmet and approximately 45 percent were accidents with one car. Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is mandatory in California because head injuries account for most serious and fatal motorcycle injuries. All helmets must be certified to comply with the U.S. DOT\u2019s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Helmets have been shown to drastically reduce the severity of head injuries by as much as 50 percent when a person is riding slower than 30 mph at the time of collision which is when most accidents occur. For many years, motorists have been exhorted to share the road with motorcycle riders to cut down on crashes and fatalities. However, there is just as much responsibility on motorcyclists to be aware of their surroundings and to drive defensively because in a collision between a motorcycle and a car, the car will almost always win. As a result, motorcycle riders must be experts on both road rules and road etiquette. Indeed, two of the main reasons for motorcycle accidents are caused by riders themselves: inexperience and left turn accidents where the rider misjudges the distance and speed of the oncoming car. Driving while intoxicated is also a problem as are sudden stops by motorists, unsafe lane changes, speeding, and opening car doors. There are also accidents caused by unsafe road conditions and defects in the manufacturing of the motorcycle or the car. The cause of an accident is far more than just an academic question. It is often at the heart of the question of liability. Who is at fault for an accident often ends up being the person who pays for the damages. More often than not, however, the question is not just who but how much fault should be apportioned to the person. Most accidents are caused by a confluence of different factors many of which involve another person or persons besides the motorcycle rider. California is a comparative fault state which means that in any situation where liability is to be determined, the fault of each party in contributing to the accident must be considered. So, in a motorcycle accident where a rider slams into an opening car door and is launched over the handlebars landing on a parked car, there are at least five potential tortfeasors or sources of fault: of course the driver who opened their car door without checking to see if there was someone coming and the motorcycle rider because they failed to stop (although this could have entirely been out of their control). Other parties include the car in the lane next to the rider which prevented the motorcyclist from getting out of the way of the car door, the city or county for poor lane marking and lack of warning signs to watch for bicyclist or other riders, and the manufacturer of the motorcycle for negligent design of the windshield that did not stop the driver from launching into the parked car. It is entirely possible that all five separate persons and entities have some degree of fault for the accident. Remember also that automobile insurance does not cover motorcycles and you will need to have a separate policy for your bike including liability insurance. The minimum required by California for a motorcyclist is $15,000 for bodily injury or death to one person per accident, $30,000 for total bodily injury or death per accident, and $5,000 for property damage per accident. As these are the bare minimums required, it is always advisable to have more insurance especially since the base policy may not pay for damage to your bike in an accident which could be substantial. Comparative fault questions are complex and require a great deal of research and understanding of the law. A skilled and competent motorcycle accident attorney in Encino is uniquely qualified to handle these types of questions and to ensure that motorcyclists in accidents receive the most possible compensation. The same knowledgeable and experienced motorcycle accident attorney will be able to pursue the necessary actions on your behalf against all potential tortfeasors who may be liable as well as dealing with your own insurance company to make sure that the insurance company fulfills its obligations to you. The proficient and trained lawyer will be able to drill down through the facts and get the necessary information from the other parties, witnesses, the police, and the insurance company to present the most compelling argument for your compensation and recovery. Their job is to fight for as much compensation as possible to make you whole as much as possible. Motorcycle riders are in a unique position to enjoy the road in a way that people in cars and trucks cannot even imagine. But with that freedom comes great risk in the form of much higher fatality and accident rates and riders need an accomplished and experienced experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Encino and Los Angeles on their side.