What Is A Failure To Yield Motorcycle Accident?

Wave Image

Accidents involving traditional vehicles and motorcycles often lead to significant injuries and property damage. A leading cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure to yield the right of way. A driver can fail to yield to a motorcyclist in a variety of scenarios. Here, we want to examine a failure to yield motorcycle accident and whether or not motorcyclists can recover compensation for their losses.

Motorcycles Are Vehicles – Drivers Must Yield Appropriately

Data available from the California Office of Traffic Safety shows that there are more than 850,000 total motorcycles registered across this state, more than any other state in the country. Data also reveals that nearly 11,500 motorcyclists sustained injuries as a result of collisions with other vehicles during the most recent reporting year. 

One of the issues with motorcycle incidents is that drivers in traditional vehicles often do not pay attention to smaller vehicles around them, including motorcycles. Additionally, motorcycles fit right into larger vehicles’ blind spots, further complicating the roadway dynamics. The reality is that motorcycles are considered complete vehicles under California law, and drivers must yield to them just like they do any other vehicle on the roadway. Motorcycles have the same rights as regular passenger vehicles and large commercial trucks and buses.

Failing to yield the right of way to a motorcycle can occur in a variety of ways. This can include the traditional failing to yield the right of way at a stop sign, stop light, or yield sign. But why would a motorist fail to yield to a motorcyclist in the first place? These incidents can occur in a wide variety of ways, often due to:

  • Distracted driving
  • A driver failing to see the motorcyclist
  • Impaired driving
  • Aggressive or intentional driving behaviors

Proving Liability After a Failure to Yield Motorcycle Crash in California

After a motorcyclist sustains an injury in an accident caused by another driver’s failure to yield the right of way, it is essential to report the incident to law enforcement officials. Motorcyclists should be able to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering damages.

Proving liability after a failure to yield crash is important and begins right after the incident occurs. Individuals at the scene of the incident can gather as much evidence as possible if the scene is relatively safe and the injuries are not severe. Cell phones can be used to take photographs or video surveillance of the entire area, including injuries, property damage, debris or skid marks, etc. This evidence can also be used to show the direction in which the vehicles were traveling at the time the incident occurred, which could reveal that one of the drivers failed to yield the right of way.

There may be additional types of evidence needed to prove liability, including eyewitness statements, accident reports, police reports, vehicle black box data, and more. We encourage you to reach out to a skilled California motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you examine every aspect of your case and put you on the path to recovering compensation.