Request Free Consultation
motorcycle accident lawyers los angeles

Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Request Free Consultation

If you have ever looked at Los Angeles motorcycle accident data, you’d be hard-pressed to lay eyes on a brand-new motorcycle and not imagine a destructive accident.

According to the latest report from the California Office of Traffic Safety, the number of motorcycle accident fatalities decreased from 523 in 2018 to 474 in 2019. Although fatal motorcycle accidents have decreased, they still pose a significant risk to bikers throughout California. Especially with the incredibly high level of traffic and large number of roadways in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Bikers and cyclists, even when following all state safety protocol, such as wearing helmets and protective gloves, pants, boots and jackets, have comparatively little protection when colliding with a motor vehicle (whose driver is protected by seatbelts and a large metal cage that’s designed for impact). In addition to these threats, common road hazards like potholes, ice, cracks or road conditions such as slick roads provide a much greater risk for motorcyclists than drivers.

Motorcycle accident injuries are often serious – even fatal. They range from road rash, to broken bones, bruises and scrapes to spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. Motorcycle crashes can leave riders paralyzed, as amputees, or with other types of permanent disability. While the hospital bills for a single injury alone can put financial strain on the biker’s family, those who are permanently disabled in bike crashes often face a lifetime of medical bills and an inability to work.

At Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP, our motorcycle accident lawyer team advocates for innocent riders who have faced injury and harm due to careless drivers. We have a solid track record for success in ensuring insurance companies compensate motorcycle accident victims to the fullest extent possible.

Our clients have been able to claim monetary damages to cover their medical expenses, both current and ongoing, as well as money for lost income, rehabilitation and noneconomic losses like pain and suffering.

Why Choose Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP?

  • We win cases. Our success rate is over 99% resulting from the hard work and dedication of our personal injury attorneys and staff. We have obtained over $5 billion in recovery for clients since 2010.
  • We’re committed to our clients. Our law firm has gained an excellent reputation in Los Angeles and throughout the nation for our passionate commitment to our clients’ success.
  • We know the law. Our lawyers know how to navigate the complex laws that often surround motorcycle accident claims, including California’s lane-splitting law.
  • We do it all. We are a full-service personal injury law firm that takes care of every aspect of a claim, from crash investigations to civil trials.
  • We absorb the risks. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not pay any legal fees until we win your case.

Navigate this Page

Meet Your Attorneys


Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP is renowned for its vast expertise in managing complex legal cases stemming from injuries or deaths due to negligence or misconduct. Our lawyers are frequently lauded for their outstanding work by their peers, legal groups, and top-tier national publications. Recognized as a “Tier 1” firm in categories like Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation, Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation, and Plaintiffs Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®, we maintain the highest possible ranking. The National Law Journal also lists us among the leading Plaintiff’s law firms in the nation.

Our practice involves confronting major corporations and governmental bodies responsible for our clients’ injuries, ensuring they are held accountable. Our highly esteemed personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles are dedicated advocates for consumer rights, undeterred by the power or financial resources of the opposing parties in their pursuit of justice.

When to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Motorcycle accidents are often serious enough to warrant a phone call to a personal injury attorney. If you suffered a serious injury with expensive medical bills, serious injuries or long-lasting repercussions on your life, including disabilities or permanent scars, contact us for assistance with the claims process. Our attorneys can maximize your odds of securing fair recovery using proven negotiation and litigation tactics. We can strengthen your case against an at-fault party and combat insurance company bad faith on your behalf. We offer free case evaluations and represent injury claims throughout Los Angeles county.

Case Results

The following are a few examples of just some of the successful motorcycle accident case outcomes our attorneys have achieved:

Our attorneys can maximize your odds of securing fair recovery using proven negotiation and litigation tactics

How California Law Hurts Bikers

California is one of the few states that allows lane-splitting, a practice in which motorcyclists can drive on the lane divider (the double yellow or white line) between slowly moving or stopped vehicles. Bikers like this practice because it allows them to move more quickly through stopped or slow traffic, but it does sometime result in serious collisions. Drivers don’t always know to look for a lane-splitting biker, and may pick up speed when the traffic begins to clear without checking for someone alongside them or allow them back into the lane.

California did not technically legalize lane-splitting. Instead, it removed the law that banned lane-splitting, making the state neutral on the subject. California neither allows nor disallows lane-splitting. California lawmakers made this change primarily because of a study from UC Berkeley in 2015 that claimed motorcyclists were not necessarily at greater risk of injury when lane-splitting. Researchers found when performed safely, motorcyclists were not at undue risk of crashing while lane-splitting. The study also recommended a few tips for lane-splitting safely.

  • Do not lane-split when surrounding traffic is moving at over 50 miles per hour (mph).
  • Do not exceed the speed of surrounding traffic by more than 15 mph.
  • Be on the watch for motorists attempting to change lanes.
  • Always wear a motorcycle helmet.

According to researchers, the difference in speed between surrounding traffic and the lane-splitting motorcyclist was a greater predictor of injury than speed alone. The study not only concluded that prudent lane-splitting was reasonably safe but also that it could prevent serious motorcyclist injuries in collisions. The study found that lane-splitting motorcyclists were 8% less likely than non-lane-splitting counterparts to suffer head injuries in collisions, 10% less likely to suffer torso injuries and about half as likely to suffer fatal injuries.

California dropped the language prohibiting lane-splitting in its motorcycle traffic laws in 2016, the year after Berkeley published its study. The California Department of Motor Vehicles initially posted lane-splitting general guidelines similar to the safety tips given by Berkeley researchers, but later took them down due to lack of official rulemaking.

Now, the California Highway Patrol does not regulate how motorcyclists lane-split other than to encourage safety, courtesy to other drivers, prudence and common sense.

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Los Angeles

Motorcycle accidents are caused by many of the same factors that cause ordinary car accidents – driver inattention, inebriation, dangerous driving, road conditions, and faulty equipment. However, one factor that is usually specific to motorcycle accidents is visibility. Oftentimes, motorcycles are struck in situations where a car might not have been struck due to their relative size. Drivers are accustomed to driving with other cars, so when drivers make quick glances, they are often looking for other cars and not motorcycles. In other words, motorcycles are easier to overlook.

However, motorcycles being easier to miss in a quick glance does not mean that they cannot be seen. Two of the common causes of motorcycle accidents include the following:

Left Turn Incidents

Left turns are statistically much more likely to cause accidents than right turns due to their position on the road. When a driver makes a left turn, they have to look out for oncoming traffic in addition to cross coming traffic in both directions.

If a driver misjudges an apparently clear path before turning left, they can strike or be struck by a vehicle coming from three different directions: from oncoming lanes, from traffic on the left, or from traffic on the right.

When a driver makes a left turn, he or she must ensure that each of these paths are completely clear. Unfortunately, drivers sometimes fail to notice motorcycles approaching from one of these directions, thereby causing an accident.

Lane Changing Accidents

Lane changing accidents occur when a driver moves to change lanes into a lane that is not clear. These accidents usually happen when another vehicle is in the lane changing vehicle’s “blind spot,” which is the section of the road directly behind and adjacent to a car that cannot be seen in the driver’s rear-view or side-view mirrors.

While most drivers are universally aware of blind spots, these accidents still affect motorcyclists frequently because the “blind spot” is more dangerous for motorcycles. Cars are much larger, so they move out of a driver’s blind spot much faster than motorcycles.

Furthermore, many vehicle “blind spot detection” technologies may not be able to detect motorcycles, and drivers have come to over-rely on these technologies when lane changing. Responsible drivers should always look over their shoulder before changing lanes, and when they don’t, they run the risk of causing an accident and being liable for resulting injuries.

How Is Fault Determined in A California Motorcycle Accident?

California law allows that more than one person may be responsible for an accident. At Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP, we work closely with law enforcement, witnesses and experts who can help us determine exactly who is at fault in your case. In cases where the motorcyclist and driver are both at fault, your attorney will determine who is more at fault – being partially responsible for the crash doesn’t deprive a victim of their right to damages. It simply means they may receive less compensation than they might have if no fault was attributed to them.

California is a pure comparative negligence state. In cases involving both the plaintiff and the defendant’s shared fault for the accident, the courts will assign a percentage of fault to each party based on the facts. The courts will then reduce the plaintiff’s compensatory award by his or her degree of fault, if any. If the courts find the motorcyclist 25% responsible for causing the crash, for example, he or she would receive $75,000 of a $100,000 award.

If more than one defendant shares fault for your motorcycle wreck, California law holds that each defendant may be jointly and severally liable for your damages. All defendants may be jointly liable for your economic damages, meaning each may have to pay the full amount of your economic losses. Each may be severally liable for your noneconomic damages, however, meaning only liable for each defendant’s percentage of fault. Our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you understand liability in your particular accident.

contact us for a free consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

The thrill of riding a motorcycle is the exact reason that many motorcyclists enjoy using motorcycles, but that thrill comes at a great risk. Motorcycle accidents cause more serious injuries than car accidents because of the complete lack of safety equipment available on motorcycles, in addition to the motorcyclist’s exposure to the outside world.

Unfortunately, it is also well documented that motorcycles cause a significantly higher rate of fatalities than other types of motor vehicles. But in addition to death, motorcycle accident injuries commonly include the following:

  • Paralysis
  • Coma and vegetative state
  • Head trauma and traumatic brain injuries
  • Road rash and skin burns
  • Lacerations, cuts, and broken bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Loss of limbs
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement

In addition to being incredibly painful, these injuries can be expensive. Medical bills and other associated expenses such as travel, home care, and medications can add up quickly. If an accident victim is forced to miss work, they may be missing wages for the time they had to take off. In the worst cases, an injury can leave victims unable to return to work entirely, resulting in a complete loss of earning potential for the future.

Your Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP motorcycle accident attorneys can assist you and your family in identifying how your physical injuries can result in legal compensation, and then seek that compensation aggressively from the parties responsible for your motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions

What Compensation is Available After a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident?

Distracted and negligent drivers cause life-changing motorcycle collisions every day. If you or a loved one have been in a motorcycle wreck in Los Angeles, you have rights. You may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver, a motorcycle manufacturer, the City of Los Angeles and/or another party. With help from one of our motorcycle accident attorneys, you may be able to obtain the compensation you need to move forward. A settlement or jury verdict could reimburse you for many damages.

  • Medical expenses. Past and future health care costs, including surgeries, doctor’s appointments, travel expenses, rehabilitation and prescription drugs.
  • Property repairs. The full costs to repair your damaged motorcycle or to replace a totaled motorcycle, based on the pre-crash value of the vehicle.
  • Lost wages. Most or all of your lost wages from needing time off work for medical care and/or recovery, as well as lost future earnings for a disability.
  • Non-economic damages. A compensation award for your intangible pain, suffering, distress, anguish and trauma.
  • Punitive damages. You may receive additional punitive damages as a way to punish the at-fault party for egregious wrongdoings.

The total amount of compensation you could obtain after a motorcycle accident depends on the specific circumstances of your accident and losses. You can receive an accurate estimation of the value of your claim during a free consultation at Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP. We will review your case, help calculate your losses and offer counsel as to how we believe you should proceed.

Does Not Wearing a Helmet Affect a Motorcycle Accident Claim?

It is against the law to not wear a motorcycle helmet while riding in California. All motorcycle riders and their passengers must wear Department of Transportation approved headgear. Helmets can drastically decrease the risk of serious and fatal head and brain injuries in a motorcycle accident. They could also impact a personal injury lawsuit after a crash. Failure to wear a helmet could become evidence against the plaintiff if he or she is attempting to obtain compensation for a related injury. An injury to the body and not to the head, however, may have nothing to do with whether the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet.

Defendants have the right to use a motorcyclist’s illegal failure to wear a helmet as evidence against him or her during an injury claim. This defense may be valid if the victim suffered a traumatic head or brain injury and if wearing a helmet reasonably would have prevented the injury in question. The defendant may need proof to support this assertion, such as testimony from a safety expert or crash reconstructionist stating that wearing a helmet would most likely have prevented the victim’s injuries.

Since California is a pure comparative negligence state, a victim may still recover partial compensation even if not wearing a helmet affected the claim. The victim will simply recover less than he or she would have had he or she been wearing a motorcycle helmet. The courts will deduct the victim’s percentage of fault from the overall compensation awarded. Help from an attorney could minimize a motorcycle rider’s fault, with or without a helmet, to maximize the potential recovery award.

How Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Help

When you work with one of our lawyers, you gain not only an attorney, but also an advocate, a counselor, and a fighter for your interests. Being involved in a motorcycle accident is a devastating and traumatic experience, and we understand that. Our aim is to ensure that the process for obtaining compensation is as stress-free as possible, so that you can focus on what matters most – recovering from your injuries. More specifically, the following is a list of ways that a motorcycle accident attorney can assist you and your family:

Strong Legal Representation

The most important thing an attorney can offer to his or her clients is the ability to handle the client’s legal affairs in a manner that is fast and effective. Our team of lawyers at Panish | Shea | Ravipudi, LLP has been assisting California families for more than 35 years, and our track record is replete with big wins against all kinds of defendants.

Entrusting your legal battle with a team that is experienced and capable also provides you with a peace of mind. Your attorneys should take care of things and avoid adding more stress to an already stressful time in your life.

Additionally, ensuring that you work with an experienced lawyer means that you can be confident that you are seeking the fullest amount of compensation that you are entitled to. Our team of attorneys is ready to determine what specific claims for damages you may have after your motorcycle accident, and then fight hard to obtain compensation for each and every dollar to which you are entitled.

Negotiation with Insurance Companies

In personal injury lawsuits, the defendants are almost always represented by insurance companies, which universally seek to pay as little as possible for claims made against them. Insurance companies and their lawyers are notorious for making lowball settlement offers to plaintiffs in an effort to make a lawsuit go away fast.

Our team of attorneys is experienced in dealing with insurance companies and their lawyers, and we’re not afraid to negotiate with them.

We’ll work hard to obtain a settlement on your behalf that fully and fairly compensates you for your injuries. But if the insurance company doesn’t make an offer that is fair to our clients, we’re also not afraid to take cases to trial.

Requesting Documentation and Records

In calculating claims for damages, one of the most difficult parts is gathering documentation to support a plaintiff’s claims. Requests for copies of documents must be made to hospitals, insurance companies, employers, healthcare providers, property repair shops, banks, and any other entity that may have information to support your claim.

Making these requests is a lengthy and sometimes frustrating process, and in some cases, records may be difficult to obtain. A motorcycle accident attorney can assist you in obtaining these records, and take a frustrating process off your plate entirely.

What To Do If You Are In a Motorcycle Accident

A motorcycle accident is a significant and traumatic event that can leave a victim in shock and traumatized in many different ways. The following is a list of things to do if you find yourself involved in a motorcycle accident.

Call 911 and ensure your own safety.

First and foremost, take steps to ensure that you are safe and taken care of. As soon as possible after the accident, call 911 and seek medical attention. As soon as authorities arrive on the scene, seek medical care before doing anything else, and then provide details on the accident to the police afterwards for purposes of a police report.

Try to collect evidence.

If you are able, attempt to collect evidence from the accident scene. This can be done by taking photos of the damage and the scene, including your motorcycle and other vehicles involved. If you are injured, take pictures of your injuries and the physical extent of those injuries. However, if you are transported from the accident scene to the hospital and are unable to collect evidence from the crash site, don’t worry.

As soon as you are able, write down or record a detailed narrative of what happened before, during, and after the crash. Record as many details as possible, and you may be shocked to later see how many details you have forgotten in a short amount of time.

Contact an attorney.

As soon as possible, contact an experienced and capable Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney. An attorney can assist you in determining whether you may have a legal claim for compensation, and can then assist you in pursuing it. Our team of lawyers at Panish | Shea | Ravipudi, LLP is ready to assist you.

Contact a Lawyer if You or a Loved One are in a Motorcycle Crash in Los Angeles

If you or a loved one are in a motorcycle accident, contact an attorney at Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP right away – before you sign any document or agreement. Our experienced team of motor vehicle accident attorneys will review your case and work to protect your interests.

Client Testimonial

“I cannot express enough how thankful I am to this law firm. I was involved in a terrible car vs. motorcycle accident in 2018 and the lawyers at Panish Shea & Boyle represented me in my court case. Not only were they an excellent legal team, all sharp, well-oiled and extremely successful in the court room. The Panish Shea & Boyle team helped me after the accident in the two year period between the accident and court date, from helping me schedule doctor appointments to making sure I could keep my lights on in the interim. I cannot stress enough how helpful it was to have them on my side and I though I hope no one I know has to go through something similar if they did I would ABSOLUTELY recommend them to Panish Shea Ravipudi.” -Matthew Rada 

At Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP, you will get personal attention from accomplished Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers with a deep understanding of California traffic and liability law. Don’t take on the additional burden of advocating for yourself when you’ve been through the shock and stress of a crash. Let our “Tier 1” law firm handle your legal needs during this difficult time.

Call our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers today at (310) 477-1700 for a FREE, confidential case evaluation with our motorcycle accident attorneys.

Areas We Serve in Southern California

Downtown Los Angeles | Hollywood | West Hollywood | Beverly Hills | Santa Monica | Venice | Malibu | Pasadena | Long Beach | Glendale | Burbank | Culver City | Westwood | Silver Lake | Echo Park | Koreatown | San Pedro | West Los Angeles | Boyle Heights | Eagle Rock | Sherman Oaks | North Hollywood | Encino | Studio City | Bel Air | Pacific Palisades | West Los Angeles | Highland Park | Manhattan Beach

How Can We Help You?

If you have a legal matter you would like to discuss with an attorney from our firm, please call us at (310) 477-1700 or complete and submit the e-mail form below, and we will get back to you.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

*Required Fields