California Motorcycle Lawyer

Thrown or knocked off your bike and don’t know where to turn? California is a huge state with a vast array of freeways, highways, courthouses and yes, law firms. Of course, it is great enjoyment to ride.  Wind blowing in your face as you traverse the road, the smells of nature transitioning into the odors of the big cities. Riding can be a spiritual experience. There is also a certain allure to seeing cars and slower vehicles disappear in your rear view mirrors, as you blow past the rat race. With this freedom comes great risk however. Even a vigilant rider can be smacked down at a moments notice.  When this happens, dreams become a distant memory, and more pressing matters take hold, like “Who is gonna help me cover all these legal problems and assist me in recovering compensation for my bike and my pain and suffering?”

From the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, to the Gas-lamp District, in San Diego, all the way to the Venice Beach, or Santa Monica Pier in Greater Los Angeles, it goes without saying, that when you suffer a shocking injury, you need to know who to call for legal help. But just who do you call when you are away from home. Are you off kilter, laying in the hospital ward? is your ride in smithereens from the impact? Are you expected to be out of commission for many months, or even years? The motorcycle riders’ friend, statewide, attorney Michael Ehline, of Ehline Law Firm PC, fights to get the greatest financial reward allowed in a timely fashion. We also make herculean efforts to help get the grieving rider back on his or her bike.

Hire the Lawyer Who Rides Motorcycles

We are the lawyers you call because we are lawyers who ride. We know what your experiencing and empathize with you. Looking out for our clients, there are no fees unless there is a settlement. Also, we understand that there are many frequently asked questions when you or a loved one is involved in a motorcycle accident.

When you are down and out, in Northern or Southern California, you need the protection of an advocate who won’t leave you in the lurch. You are seeking a representative who will answer all your questions promptly, and fight aggressively for you, both in and out of court. How about a lawyer who served as a U.S. Marine?  That would be Michael P. Ehline, Esq., our lead advocate.

Serving all counties and cities, we will fight like lions, incessantly reasoning the insurance company and the tortfeasor who hurt you, to get you, the victim, paid the greatest recompense under the law. We can be contacted at 888-400-9721 twenty-four hours a day.

What we can do, is help to ensure the largest settlement amount in the shortest amount of time. What we can also do for you:

  • Filing a case: To ensure the settlement is reached as soon as possible we begin the case within days not months.
  • Settlement: At Ehline Law Firm PC, we will fight for the largest settlement by putting your case together properly and proving why you deserve this settlement.
  • Settlement Instead Of A Trial: In many cases when we put a case together because we investigate it so thoroughly we can obtain the maximum settlement the injured rider deserves out of court to avoid an expensive and unnecessary trial.
  • Experience: When Ehline Law Firm PC represents you, we know that your case has different elements from any other case, which means that it needs to be presented differently than any other case using whatever means necessary. To have your case represented any different can mean a large difference in the award you deserve.
  • About Michael Ehline: A long time motorcycle rider that believes the victim involved in a catastrophic accident deserves the highest amount in a settlement for their injuries, and to be able to get back on their bike.

First Things A Downed Rider Should Do After Crashing

Besides getting to the doctor or hospital right away, and getting an MRI, X-Rays, etc., there are many things a non comatosed or non mentally disabled rider needs to do to protect their ability to recover a financial reward. If the rider is too impaired, then the conservator, or guardian should act as follows:

Preserving Evidence

Bike with saddlebagsTo assist the attorney in building your case it is important to keep evidence such as the motorcycle that was involved in the accident or parts of it that are left. If this is not possible then it is important to have photographs of the bike.

Taking Pictures

Taking pictures of your injuries, in a journal like fashion, along with photos of the incident scene as quickly as possible really helps a lawyer and jury see what your did, or did not see during the cataclysmic event. Very important because this can help establish causation, infra. If stronger and more powerful evidence could have been obtained and wasn’t, the jury will view the evidence you did produce with “distrust”


Causation is defined as: “A substantial factor in causing harm is a factor that a reasonable person would consider to have contributed to the harm. It must be more than a remote or trivial factor. It does not have to be the only cause of the harm.” [2. CACI Sec 430] This is how we determine who is liable for the bills and pain and suffering of the victim under negligence rules. In 1996, the police reported approximately 67,000 motorcycle related mishaps, and out of this number there were 27,000 wrecks that did not involve other vehicles. There are a number of these spills that occur every year, that are caused by bikers that lacked experience, or did not adhere to the operating limitations of the motorcycle. Motorcyclists need to be extra vigilant, the biker has to be more alert at intersections, as this is where most collisions happen that involve other vehicles. Statistics show that approximately one-third of these calamities that occur yearly, are due to drivers who turn into the path of the biker. So if it was rider error, it is the rider’s fault, unless a defective bike, pothole, of other outside condition was a “substantial factor” in causing the loss. If it was a motor vehicle, and the rider’s fault, then the damages award to the rider would be reduced based upon the California Pure Comparative Negligence” test.

Getting Paid

There are different resources that might be available to a suffering victim for payment of medical care. It can be confusing, and the plaintiff should understand what coverage is available by different insurances. Legal counsel can assist the injured victim in understanding what the different insurance will cover, and what it will not. Insurance companies will also in many cases only pay part, or will preserve a claim for repayment from the defendant’s insurance company(ies) involved.


This in effect means that when the case is settled, the insurance company will receive a part of the client’s settlement in repayment for medical services the company paid for.

Some of the insurances are:

  • Medical insurance that is provided by the company the injured rider works.
  • Motorcycle insurance, there are provisions in some motorcycle
  • Insurance policies that will cover some medical costs.
  • Medicare or government provided insurance in some cases could be provided for the injured client.
  • Workman’s Compensation, this is a possibility if the motorcycle accident occurred while on the job.

Defensive Riding

In the year 2004 there were 76,000 riders injured in vehicle wrecks, and 4008 riders suffered fatal injuries. This research also showed that there were about 1158 riders wearing helmets that lived, along with 640 riders who sustained fatal injuries. It is believed by many that if they had been wearing a helmet, more might have been saved in the year 2003. In defensive driving, the biker needs to be visible at all times and this includes when motorists are making left turns, because the driver might not see the motorcycle. This leaves the biker to make defensive riding maneuvers to avoid an accident. Other defensive riding the motorcyclist must be aware of and prepared for is inclement weather, surfaces that become slippery and obstacles and debris on the roads.

The Indispensable Rider Training Courses

Damages mitigation is important. A jury wants to hear that the rider had training before he or she decided to go riding. The new biker should attend a motorcycle training course to be educated in how to safely operate the bike. They must also depend on their helmet as well as their protective clothing and eye protection as it shows in statistics that they can lessen the severity of injuries during an accident

How Long To Settle My Case?

A definite answer is hard to give as far as what amount of time will it take to recover damages. However, what is easy to answer, is that the insurance company involved will in most cases try not to pay out a settlement or they will try to lower the amount the injured victim should receive.

Going To Court Can Delay Justice

Taking a case into court can often take more than a year to go to trial, the Ehline Law Firm understands this and a suit will be filed in days in most cases, not months like many other law firms.

Trained Attorneys Help Get Cases Resolved Faster

With the experience of injury attorneys, each case is skillfully prepared, and many can be settled without the long wait to go to trial. This occurs because the case is prepared in such a way that the defendant in the case understands they have little choice but to settle out of court, or it could cost them much more by waiting to go to trial, spoiling their defense.

Distinguishing Motorcycle and Car Accidents

There are many differences that are obvious between the motorcycle and the automobile and then there are some that are not so obvious. One of the things that is very obvious is the weight difference, autos weight thousands of pounds in most cases and the motorcycle weights several hundred pounds.

Cars are Safer During an Impact

The CDC recently divulged, that in 2008, accidents involving motor vehicles like light trucks and passenger cars that resulted in loss of life, were lower than ever.  Simultaneously, killings of riders went to a record high. In fact, this was greater than twice the number of 1999 or 2008. This makes sense, since cars are safer.

In the event of a fender bender, the driver of a typical motor vehicle, not only has the weight, seatbelts and airbags to protect the driver, but there are also I-beams in the doors, and a roof. Overall, the car is much more stable, because it travels on four wheels instead of two. Also, when in traffic, it will not go unseen as many motorcycles are according to drivers. Have you ever heard the saying: “loud pipes save lives”?  This is why.  Riders want loud pipes to alarm drivers that a motorcycle is in the vicinity. Look out!

Performance Capabilities of Bikes

The performance and accident avoidance capabilities of a motorcycle, on the other hand, are not without merit. A bike can stop faster, and can avoid some accidents because of the ability to move in and out of situations quickly.

Importance of the Helmet

According to research the statistics show that a rider who is involved in a motorcycle accident and are wearing a helmet the risk of a fatal injury decreases by approximately 29%. The decrease in severe brain injuries is approximately 67%, although there are states where the helmet law has been repealed and many riders no longer wear helmets. Along with these numbers in the states where the helmet law has been repealed approximately only between 35 and 50 % of riders wear helmets and even less wear other protective gear.

Riders need to remember their motorcycle helmet is their first and only line of defense in an accident and motorcycle injury statistics show that wearing a helmet can greatly reduce the risk of fatalities and brain injuries in riders involved in accidents. If the helmet is not a full face helmet wear eye and other face protection, also wearing long pants, a jacket gloves and boots can help to lessen injuries or avoid them when involved in an accident.

Avoid Accidents – Be Attentive

Be vigilant when it comes to watching the road, watch for bumps, large cracks, holes and other debris. Riders also need to watch and be prepared for motorists entering the road from side streets or driveways. Riders also need to watch the road for things like large cracks in the road, debris, holes and other road hazards.

Obey The Laws

Riders who are new to motorcycle riding should take a course to educate themselves about motorcycles and riding safely and all riders should be licensed. It is of the utmost importance that bikers follow the laws when on the road and stay with the speed limits; statistics show that many of the riders that have been involved in fatal accidents were speeding. The statistics show that this amount is as many as forty percent of riders involved in fatal accidents were speeding.

Riders should always make certain that their head light is on and working properly even during the daylight hours and in many states it is the law.

Overcome Police Bias

You don’t want a biased police report complicating your efforts to get what you deserve. Much of the time, the officer assigned to investigate your traffic incident, has his or her own notion of who’s to blame. Many cops assume the rider is to blame. This can stem from the investigator’s personal experiences, or just because he or she doesn’t like motorcycles. Either way, it’s not fair to you when it wasn’t your fault.

The Bike You Have May Bias the Cop Against You

Another factor in their bias may be the type of motorcycle you ride. Some patrolmen see sport bikes as too fast or too powerful for the road. Others look at those who ride cruisers like Harley-Davidsons or Victories like they are all in “Biker Gangs.” Again, this preconceived notion is unfair to the rider and may get in the way of compiling an accurate, fair report. Finally, if you were riding in excess of the speed limit, most reporting officers will automatically hold you responsible even if your speed had nothing to do with causation (See supra.)

Lane Splitting

You may have been “lane splitting”, which is completely legal, and going faster than the rest of the traffic and been hit by a careless driver of an automobile. The reporting officer, in taking the statements of all parties will rely on the driver of the auto for your estimate of speed. Most of the time, the driver of the car will overestimate your speed because he was traveling slowly or even stopped just before he or she struck your motorcycle.

Exhaustive Traffic Collision Investigation?

Unless the reporting officer has done an exhaustive investigation of the scene, interviewed ALL WITNESSES, and measured skid marks to calculate approximate speed and reaction time, he will rely on the driver’s statement as the estimate of speed. This being the case, the reporting officer will asses blame against you, the motorcycle rider. In most situations, however, the rider could not avoid the collision.

Fleeing the Scene?

Sometimes, the driver causing the malady drives off without knowing he or she was to blame. If you were alert and got the license number, we can track the driver down and help get you the compensation you deserve.

Getting Paid for Custom Parts

In California it is possible to be paid for custom work and after market parts on a motorcycle, however in many cases the rider has to provide proof of the bikes worth to the insurance company. This is most cases is because the insurance company does not understand motorcycle accidents or the worth of the motorcycle. This can be the cause of not receiving a proper settlement from the insurance company.[2. Custom Parts “Getting Paid“] You must understand motorcycle insurance claims and the duty to pay for repair or replacement.

There are ways to prove the bike’s worth and some of them are:

  • By getting letters from the motorcycle dealer and after market parts dealer.
  • Getting letters from the motorcycle community of which you are a part.
  • Photographs and any other evidence of the worth of the bike.

When a motorcycle rider is involved in an accident there are also costs that they can be compensated for and this includes the repair or replacement of the motorcycle and after market parts, this means a fair market price. Other expenses include:

  • Compensation for custom work.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Vehicle rental fees.
  • Lost wages as well as future lost earnings.
  • The loss of the title and tax if the motorcycle is replaced.

This might sound impossible to receive from an insurance company but with an experienced legal representative, and a properly prepared case it is an obtainable goal to receive the property damage settlement that is fair.

The Pizza Delivery Guy Example of Multiple Defendants and Sources of Recovery

For example, if an employer allowed an employee in Santa Monica, with a bad driving record to deliver pizzas in a Santa Monica company truck and there was a bicycle collision in Huntington Beach, the tortfeasor employer could be held liable for negligent entrustment and negligent hiring. If an employer allowed an employee with a bad driving record, who delivers pizzas in his own car, and there was a motorcycle death, the employer could be liable for negligent hiring, but not for negligent entrustment because there was no vehicle entrusted to the employee by the employer. Both are negligent, because both situations could be avoided by the employer’s exercise of reasonable, ordinary care, and both resulted in a personal injury accident. The lawsuit could be filed in Huntington Beach where the injuries occurred, or in Santa Monica, where the defendant employer has his pizza place.

Both above fact patterns require that the deep pocket negligent employer pay you, rather than the typically judgment proof, or penniless pizza delivery guy, but he too is also liable for the Huntington Beach motorcycle accident or bicycle accident, as a matter of California tort law.

This is a matter of California public policy and helps avoid the “self help” of the days of old – like the wild west – where people were dueling and taking out physical revenge for payment for their personal injuries. But without a good California bicycle accident lawyer, or California motorcycle accident lawyer, you face an insurance company that increasingly treats valid insurance claims as “junk”, or “frivolous lawsuits.” (e.g., the recent insurance company television campaign of “swoop and swat” commercials, & political “junk lawsuit” speeches, that are not based upon sound statistics, clearly pander to big insurance company political donors, and taint potential civil juries) Ehline will act as your sword and as your shield against the insurance company and its team of highly paid trial lawyers and politicians.

If the below elements are met, your case would be desirable to Ehline Law Firm PC, to determine whether or not you have a claim against another, the following California Jury Instructions will be helpful.

First, the reader must determine whether or not the owner, driver or operator of the injuring causing vehicle was negligent.

If you are seriously injured when you are run over by a car, you will need help. You will need money for hospital bills, lost wages and loss of use of your motorcycle or bicycle. Contact a licensed professional and get free legal advice as a confidential communication that is private, privileged and confidential. Our local attorneys are local because we are statewide.

If we mutually decide to enter into to a legal, binding relationship with our local law firm, you will get prompt, attentive, caring support and will deal with a highly experienced trial attorney and highly trained staff of legal secretaries and paralegals. We are the best. We are a cut above. We want to protect your legal rights. We want to protect your claims. We hope you learned why you should retain a bicycle accident attorney in Los Angeles for crash on motorcycle incidents.

Getting Help

To reach California motorcycle accident attorney, Michael P. Ehline, Esq., call 888-400-9721.

633 W 5th St #2890
Los Angeles, CA
Phone: (213) 596-9642
4445 Eastgate Mall #200
San Diego, CA
Phone: 1.619.312.6050
50 Francisco St. #460
San Francisco, CA
Phone: 1.415.684.7688

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