Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycles are a great mode of transportation and enjoyment. Unfortunately, motorcyclists lack the protection of cars and other large vehicles when they’re in an accident. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable during accidents because they are more likely to sustain life-threatening injuries. Riders know their vulnerability and often take action to keep themselves and others on the road safe. However, they cannot always steer clear of careless and reckless drivers who fail to notice a motorcyclist. Sometimes even the most skilled motorcyclist can be impacted by the recklessness of other drivers and end up with severe injuries.

Insurance providers will often try to shift blame to motorcyclists whenever they believe they can get away with it. This bad faith practice can leave a motorcyclist with thousands of dollars in expenses due to the consequences of the accident. An experienced and trusted Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer can protect your rights when negotiating with insurance companies. A motorcycle accident lawyer understands the bad faith tactics of insurance companies and can work to build the best counter arguments to help ensure you recover fair compensation for the harm you’ve suffered.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

For Bakersfield motorcyclists, it’s important to understand the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Recognizing and understanding the factors and situations that most often lead to accidents can increase their odds of avoiding them. The most common reasons motorcyclists end up in accidents are:


When drivers speed, it increases the risk that they will not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision. Driving too fast also increases the odds of drivers losing control of their vehicle.

Cars Failing to Yield the Right-Of-Way

Drivers may fail to yield the right of way to motorcyclists because:

  • They don’t see the motorcyclist
  • They don’t understand the law
  • They behaved negligently 

Motorcyclists are especially at risk when drivers are making a left-hand turn. Drivers often fail to look carefully enough for motorcycles or misjudge the distance of the motorcyclist before making a turn. 

Improper Turning 

Making improper or illegal turns, such as illegal u-turns, can cut off motorcyclists and result in severe injuries or death. 

Driver Distraction 

Drivers are meant to pay strict attention to the road at all times. Engaging in illegal behaviors such as texting and driving, drunk driving, and other such behaviors increases the risk of drivers colliding with motorcyclists. These reckless driving behaviors often result in severe crashes because the driver could not hit the brakes or try to avoid the collision.

Lane Splitting

Although now legal in California, lane splitting is risky if not done properly. As defined by California’s vehicle code, lane splitting is when a motorcycle rider comes in contact with the ground between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane (this includes divided and undivided stress, roads, and highways). Motorcyclists will often lane split during high traffic times, but if they’re not visible or do not check before doing so, it can cause an accident.



Liability in a Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident

As with most motor vehicle accidents, an injured motorcyclist must prove the driver’s liability in the accident to recover compensation. Most of these cases hinge on the theory of negligence. Negligence refers to the failure of an individual or entity to behave with the reasonable level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. To succeed in establishing negligence in the claim, the injured motorcyclist must prove each of the following elements of negligence. 

Duty of Care

The injured motorcyclists must show that the driver owed them a legal duty to prevent causing unreasonable harm to the motorcyclist. All individuals on the road owe one another a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent harm, meaning that drivers owe motorcyclists a duty of reasonable care. 

Breach of Duty

Breach of duty encompasses the driver’s behavior that led to the collision. The driver breached their duty of care by failing to exercise reasonable care to avoid harming the motorcyclist. 


To receive compensation, the motorcyclist must prove that their injuries were the direct or proximate result of the accident caused by the driver’s breach of duty. 


Damages refer to the monetary award the injured motorcyclist can receive and the harm they sustained due to the collision. The motorcyclist must prove the damages exist and the extent of damages to determine the amount in damages they can receive. 

Evidence of liability is critical to strengthening a motorcycle accident claim. Important evidence may include:

  • Police reports
  • Pictures of the scene (including property damage, skid marks, and physical injuries)
  • Medical records
  • Medical bills (including bills from care providers, rehabilitation centers, and home healthcare services)
  • Video footage 
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Surveillance footage of the accident from local businesses
  • Accident reconstruction reports
  • Expert testimony

Drivers often fail to account for or observe motorcyclists in traffic, which leads to accidents in which the driver is the responsible party. However, insurance companies often attempt to place blame on motorcyclists to protect their financial interests. They often claim motorcycle riders are inherently reckless even though most motorcyclists pride themselves on being safe riders. These claims of reckless riders are often successful, even the police will agree. Which is why it is important to contact a Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer to protect yourself against insurance companies whose priority is themselves, not you. 

Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Injuries in Bakersfield

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you might be able to recover the following damages:

  • The cost of past and future medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Property damages
  • Cost of household service ( if an individual’s injuries require them to hire a lawn service or house cleaners while they recover)
  • Physical, mental, or emotional pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement or physical impairment
  • Loss of enjoyment of daily activities
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium or companionship
  • In some cases, the court may award punitive damages (The purpose of these damages is to punish a defendant for their wrongful conduct)

Motorcyclists who’ve been injured by negligent drivers deserve to recover fair compensation. Unfortunately, due to biases about motorcyclists, recovering fair compensation can be challenging. Working with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who knows how to protect your best interest will ensure you are not wrongfully accused or deprived of the compensation you deserve. 

Contact Karns & Karns Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Bakersfield

Motorcycle riders are far more vulnerable to severe injuries than those riding in enclosed vehicles. Cars have various safety features that help protect occupants during accidents, but motorcyclists have little to no protection. When a motorcyclist does their part to keep others on the road safe, but ends up with severe injuries due to a negligent driver, they should be able to hold that driver accountable. 

Karns & Karns is an injury law firm committed to helping injured motorcyclists in Bakersfield. Our attorneys understand insurance company bias and their tactics to protect themselves financially. We know that motorcyclists are often treated unfairly during insurance negotiations and work tirelessly to protect our clients against bad faith tactics. If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, Karns & Karns can help you pursue the compensation you are owed.

Schedule a consultation with us at (888) 381-8044 or fill out our contact form. Karns & Karns is here to help.


Hear what others have said about us

Thank you so much for all the work everyone contributed to bringing my case to a successful conclusion. I am truly grateful to everyone.

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Most knowledgeable and helpful personal injury firm in town. The best.

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I have used the lawyers at Karns & Karns on a number of legal matters over the years. Their skill and expertise is unmatched in my opinion. When my family was the victim of fraud, I turned to the lawyers at Karns & Karns. After a long litigation battle which eventually went to arbitration, I was awarded over $1,500,000.00. The lawyers at Karns & Karns were extremely prepared and I would recommend them to anyone.

John B.

I was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Bill Karns was with me every step of the way. Even though the other driver said the accident was my fault, I recovered over $1,300,000.00. Mr. Karns was professional, courteous, and skilled. I would recommend him and Karns & Karns to anyone involved in a major personal injury case.

Hank E.

After a horrible incident and life-changing event, Mike and Bill brought hope back into my life.

Mona L.

I was traumatically injured on the job by a negligent forklift driver. I reached out to Karns & Karns when I began to suspect that my other attorneys didn’t have the expertise to resolve a complicated case where the defendant, a massive organization, said I was at fault. I’m certainly glad I did. Bill and Mike treated me with respect, knew the law, and did exactly what was necessary to make the defendant accept responsibility for their bad acts. I recovered $1,000,000.00, and I have Karns & Karns to thank for that.

Ed B.

I can personally attest to the fact that Karns & Karns are perhaps the most responsive attorneys in California. To receive the sort of attention that I got from Mike and Bill is noteworthy.

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My experience with Karns & Karns is that they truly care. As a disabled veteran, I can’t ask for any better than two top gun lawyers whose main job is to get the best for me and my well-being.

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