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San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Throughout the years our personal injury law firm has represented 100s of people just like you that were injured in a motorcycle accident in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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MJQ Law represents the victims of serious motorcycle accidents in San Francisco and across the Bay Area. Our skilled San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyers take action immediately to secure financial compensation from any careless driver who causes a crash.

We fight to earn victims the support they need to make a full recovery and return to their rides. We also help families who have lost a loved one in a tragic motorcycle accident seek wrongful death support to protect their futures.

Contact us for a free, no-obligation motorcycle accident case consultation. This is a no-risk way to find out what your case may be worth. It’s vital information that you’ll need as car insurance companies look for ways to blame you for your motorcycle accident and deny you compensation.

Motorcycle Accident Dangers in the Bay Area

Riders in San Francisco can hop on a motorcycle to head to work or just to catch some sunshine and fresh air. Many motorcyclists head out on weekends for rides down to Santa Cruz or Monterey, or up north along Highway 1 or Highway 101.

Sadly, there’s no route that will be free of reckless drivers. So many drivers drive distracted and aren’t paying enough attention to spot a rider traveling beside them. They can change lanes on The Embarcadero and come over on a rider who was in the blind spot they didn’t check. They can turn left from Divisidero Street in front of riders they didn’t notice were approaching.

These mistakes and others put defenseless motorcyclists in jeopardy each day in the Bay Area. The California Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) tracks motorcycle accidents in San Francisco each year.

In 2020, they recorded 372 motorcycle collisions involving injury in San Francisco. In 2021, that figure rose to 422 crashes. Sadly, motorcycle fatalities also rose over the same period. Eight riders lost their lives in 2020. The lives of 13 riders were claimed in 2021 in San Francisco accidents.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in the San Francisco

After a frightening crash between a motorcycle and a car, truck, or SUV, the lives of those on the motorcycle will be at the most risk. If possible, riders should get out of harm’s way immediately afterward. That means getting out of the way of traffic where they could get hit again.

911 should be called as soon as victims can manage it. Once the scene is secure, motorcycle accident victims who are left strong enough should begin to document what happened. This is the first step in building a strong case to prove that a driver was completely at fault. Unfortunately, car insurance adjusters will be looking to prove otherwise, no matter how clear-cut the fault is.

Try to collect these forms of powerful evidence on your San Francisco motorcycle accident scene:

  • Get checked out by paramedics no matter how minor your injuries seem. Go to the emergency room if necessary. If you have to leave, ask someone with you or a witness to gather a few details for you at the motorcycle accident site.
  • Give San Francisco Police or the California Highway Patrol a full account of how your accident occurred. Officers will create a collision report that will serve as evidence in your favor for your injury claim.
  • Get photos of each aspect of your motorcycle crash. Show the lane the at-fault driver came from. Show traffic lights and lane markings that played a role in what happened. Show your damaged motorcycle and the damage it did to the vehicle. Take pictures of your injuries and damage to your clothing. Capture photographic proof that you were wearing a helmet if you were.
  • Chat with Witnesses. Find out what they saw and secure their contact information so your San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyer can reach out to them for testimony.
  • Keep your damaged motorcycle and any damaged personal items.
  • See your doctor in the days that follow. The shock of being thrown from your bike can cause you to overlook the pain of certain injuries. The pain from a serious hairline fracture or a traumatic brain injury may stay hidden until the next day or until a doctor can take X-rays. Follow your doctor’s advice and keep all medical receipts.
  • Call a San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Attorney. Insurance companies commonly try to blame motorcyclists for every accident. This is unfair treatment, but this tactic often costs collision victims thousands of dollars in compensation. Riders, most of all, need a skilled legal representative protecting their interests. A lawyer will prove you weren’t at fault and demand more for what you’ve been put through. The lawyer handles these frustrations while you are free to focus on healing and returning to your motorcycle.

How Much Is My Motorcycle Accident Case Worth?

This is one of the first and most frequently asked questions we get when meeting motorcyclists who have been injured in a motorcycle accident. The short answer is: it depends.

Any SF motorcycle accident lawyer who tells you otherwise or guarantees a huge payday is likely someone that shouldn’t be trusted. Your attorney would need to investigate the details of your case before being able to determine how much you should be demanding in a motorcycle accident injury settlement..

Working up your case and positively influencing those factors is part of our professional service and something MJQ Law excels at.  Once we have a handle on what we think your case can be worth, we will share that figure with you and then go after more!

It is possible to go over several factors most commonly figure into motorcycle accident claim to determine what your Motorcycle accident settlement check may look like. You could earn compensation for these factors and more:

– Past “Paid” Medical Bills

– Cost of Future Medical Treatment.

– Support for physical pain and emotional trauma endured.

— Support for a Loss of Enjoyment of Life. A loss of the ability to ride a motorcycle.

— Past and Future Lost Wages.

– Loss of Earning Capacity.

– Cost to Repair/Replace Motorcycle/Equipment/Clothing.

– Wrongful Death Benefits for the Families of Victims.

What Are Some Common Types of Injuries from San Francisco Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle accident injuries are often the most serious that we encounter.  Of course, you are more vulnerable on a motorcycle than in a steel car, where you are protected in a vehicle that drastically out-weighs a motorcycle.  Due to the severe injuries suffered by motorcyclists, it is critical to find a lawyer that is experienced in fighting for liability, and locating and exposing insurance policies to cover your damages – that’s us!  Here is a list of common types of injuries suffered by motorcyclists in motorcycle vs. car accidents:

-Burns and scars

-Road rash



-Brain injuries

-Spinal cord injuries

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, we are SF motorcycle accident lawyers that can secure the money to pay for the best care available.  We are experienced in dealing with motorcycle bias and consistently get great settlements for our clients regardless of what the police report says or the inevitable obstacles we will encounter.  We understand you and are motorcycle-minded.  Contact us now for a FREE consultation by submitting an online inquiry.

Does your law firm specialize in motorcycle accident cases?

We handle a lot of motorcycle accident injury cases for Bay Area victims and their families.  It is one of the most common types of cases we handle in our office.  We have seen it all, but here are three motorcycle accident cases we recently resolved for our clients.

Motorcycle Accident: $550,000 settlement  Our client, B.C. suffered severe injuries after a car being driven by a lab technician pulled out in front of him at a two-way stop sign in Davis, CA as he left work for the day.  Liability was clear and undisputed, however the driver had minimal insurance limits.  As a result, we sued the driver’s employer alleging that his commute was covered by the company’s insurance policy despite the fact that employees are not typically covered during their commutes – citing Lobo v. Tamco, (2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 297, we alleged an exception existed because the company had come to rely upon the use of the driver’s personal vehicle.  The case was vigorously defend by the employer throughout litigation, but after we defeated a summary judgment motion and trial approached, the employer relented and settled the case for a reasonable value.

Motorcycle Accident: $100,000 settlement Our client, V.D. collided with an automobile while traveling down Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco after a car turned left in front of him, thereby causing him to tear his PCL in his knee, which required surgery.  Making the case difficult, the police report found our client to be at fault due to him speeding, and included a statement from our client in the report that he admitted he was going twice the speed limit – our client denied he ever said that to the officer.  Despite the problematic police report and alleged negative statement against our client, we recovered the insurance policy limits for our client from the driver of the car.

Motorcycle Accident: $50,000 settlement Our client, J.P. was traveling east down Bush Street in the far right lane with the timed lights when a car suddenly ran the red light and pulled into his lane.  The driver, a 20-year old Starbucks employee, was leaving work and was distracted by her phone looking for directions when she unknowingly rolled into the intersection and clipped our client’s bike, forcing him to lay it down at 40mph.  She was driving daddy’s car.  Client suffered an injured ankle and other minor injuries, but made a speedy recovery.

I was injured in a motorcycle accident. Do I need a San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyer?

We’re sorry to learn that you were injured in a motorcycle accident, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the you need to hire a San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyer.  Now, most of the calls we get from people that have been involved in motorcycle accidents suffered serious injuries, but if you suffered only minor injuries (soft tissue) and it is clear that the other person was at fault, you may be able to handle your claim with the other person’s insurance company yourself and we will tell you if you fit into that category – we never allow a client to retain us unless we can add value to the process.

Submit an online inquiry for a free consultation to discuss whether you fall into this category.  If you do, we will happily give you some free advice/tips to handling your claim without a lawyer.  That said, if you suffered serious injuries or fault isn’t crystal clear, you need to hire an injury lawyer or else you will likely be costing yourself a lot of money.

What are some common types of motorcycle accidents you handle?

(1) Cars Turning Left
This is the most common cause of all motorcycle accidents (42% of all motorcycle vs. car accidents). This happens most frequently when cars make a left-hand turn across a lane in which a motorcycle is proceeding straight, resulting in a T-bone accident.  These types of accidents can also occur when a motorcycle is passing the car on the left.  These accident happen because the driver of the car fails to see the motorcycle.  Beyond wearing visible clothing, using appropriate lights and driving responsibly, there is very little a motorcyclist can do to avoid these dangerous accidents.  Almost always, the driver of the car is found to be at fault for these accidents unless the motorcyclist is deemed to have been speeding or driving recklessly.

(2) Road Hazards
Due to the less stable nature of motorcycles, they are at a higher risk of danger when encountering unexpected objects on the road or irregular surfaces, such as potholes and slick pavement.  When motorcyclists are injured by road hazards, someone is typically to blame.  Did the hazard fall from a truck?  If so, we will track it’s origin and hold the company responsible that failed to safely and properly secure their load. (Tip: make sure to save and photograph the hazard on the roadway.  It is critical evidence.) Was the roadway in a state of disrepair?  If so, we will go after the governmental agency responsible for maintaining it.

(3) Lane Splitting
Lane splitting is perfectly legal in California when done safely.  That said, ~17% of all motorcycle vs. car accidents involve lane-splitting, so it can be a dangerous maneuver.  Ironically, accidents involving lane-splitting tended to leave the motorcyclists less injured than other types of motorcycle vs. car collisions – perhaps due to the reduced speed present when lane-splitting occurs ( think: rush hour traffic).  Studies have shown that motorcyclists are not subject to increased likelihood of injury if their lane-splitting speeds are 15 mph slower than the flow of traffic.  Perhaps not coincidentally, California Highway Patrol typically will cite lane-splitters if they are traveling more than 15mph faster than the flow of traffic (CVC 22350: Unsafe Speed For Conditions).  Still, motorcyclists should use extra caution when lane-splitting.  In a 2012 study conducted by the California Office for Traffic Safety, almost half of all drivers said they thought lane-splitting was illegal, two-thirds said they disapproved of it, and 7% admitted they had swerved to block a motorcycle trying to lane-split (<– unbelievable!).

Even though lane splitting is legal in California, you should know that when accidents happen, motorcyclist usually are found to be at fault despite the fact that CVC 21658 states that drivers can only change lanes when it is reasonably safe to do so (that includes ensuring a motorcycle isn’t legally lane-splitting).  Again, this is one place where the public bias against motorcycles makes things more difficult for injured riders. However, often times after we thoroughly investigate these types of cases, we are able to establish that it was the car driver who caused the accident in violation of CVC 21658, allowing for our clients to be fully compensated for their injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions After San Francisco Motorcycle Accidents

What if I wasn’t wearing a helmet when I got hit in a Bay Area motorcycle accident?

You must still demand injury compensation. California law requires riders and passengers to wear motorcycle helmets. But victims without helmets, struck by careless drivers, can still earn support for their injuries.

How long can I wait to file a San Francisco motorcycle injury claim?

California allows motorcycle crash victims to file claims up to two years after a crash. However, victims should act quickly, because evidence can disappear and witnesses can be difficult to reach after just a few months.

What if I can’t afford to pay a San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

You still deserve the best legal representation. In fact, you won’t need any money now to hire our motorcycle accident lawyers. MJQ Law doesn’t get paid unless we win your case. Then, our fee comes out your award.

Contact a San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a motorcycle crash caused by a negligent driver, don’t trust insurance companies to automatically do the right thing and provide support. Allow The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan to deal with the most frustrating parts of injury claims and insurance hassles so you can focus on getting better.

Contact our offices for a free motorcycle accident case consultation that comes with no obligation to you or your family. Let us work to get the most out of your San Francisco motorcycle accident settlement. You should never have to pay medical bills out of your own pocket due to a reckless driver’s mistake.

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    Did You Know?

    In 2015, there were 5 motorcycle deaths on San Francisco streets; up from 3 in 2014 (source: CCSF)
    Every year there are more than 100 motorcycle accidents in San Francisco that result in serious injuries to motorcyclists. (source: CCSF)
    In 2013, there were 11,664 motorcycle crashes in California that resulted in serious injuries to the rider; there were 467 deaths. (source: SWITRS)
    Of the 467 motorcyclist deaths in California in 2013, the police found the motorcyclists to be at fault in 317. (source: SWITRS)
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