California Motorcycle Laws
Motorcycle laws are different and usually more complex than the other motor vehicle laws. These laws are broad, covering everything from motorcycle training to an individual’s rights and options following a motorcycle accident. Each state, and even different local jurisdictions, has different laws governing motorcycles and their riders.
Since California motorcycle laws can be so complex, it is vital to consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer if you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident. Experienced attorneys understand these laws and can help you during your motorcycle accident case.
California Rider Safety Equipment
Safety and equipment laws are designed to keep riders and passengers safe. California has some of the most stringent motorcycle laws in the nation.
If you plan to ride a motorcycle in California, here are some things to consider when riding:
- A motorcycle license is needed to ride in California.
- Regardless of age, a safety helmet must always be worn.
- Daytime headlights are required for all vehicles manufactured after 1978.
- Only helmet speakers with a single earphone are allowed.
California Motorcycle License Law
You are not allowed to operate a motorcycle in California without first earning a motorcycle rider’s license. The license to operate a motorcycle is called either an M1 or an M2. With an M1 license, you are allowed to operate any motorcycle. With an M2 license, you are allowed to operate any motorized bicycle, moped or scooter.
To get an M1 motorcycle license, you must first pass a written exam about the road’s motorcycle laws, regulations and dangers specific to motorcyclists. Upon successful completion, you are issued a learner’s permit. This permit allows you to ride a motorcycle during daylight, without passengers, and not on the freeway. Once you pass your road test, you receive your permanent motorcycle license.
California Lane Splitting Laws
California is the only state where “lane splitting” is legal. This means that motorcycles can “split” lanes with cars moving in the same direction.
Motorcycle Accident Insurance Laws
Just as it is mandatory for your automobile, it is the law to have adequate insurance for your motorcycle. The California state minimum requirements are $15,000 for injury/death to one person, $30,000 for injury/death if multiple people are hurt in the accident, and $5,000 for damage to property. However, we recommend having as much insurance with the highest possible limits you can afford. The same goes for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Have the highest possible limits you can afford. We recommend no less than $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident for both liability and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
Also, remember to have collision and comprehensive to cover damage to your motorcycle. The higher the deductible, the lower your premiums. However, you will have to pay more out-of-pocket in the event of a loss. Medical payments coverage is necessary as well and get the highest limit you can afford. Finally, umbrella or excess policies can provide significantly larger limits, should you desire those. Feel free to contact our office for a free review of what your insurance will cover in the wake of a motorcycle accident to make sure you are sufficiently compensated.
Free Consultation with Our Los Angeles Lawyer
Motorcycle Accident $2,300,000
City employee causes collision with police motorcycle.
Motorcycle Accident $2,100,000
Motorcyclist suffers brain injury in collision.
Motorcycle Accident $1,250,000
Vehicle turns left in front of motorcycle, causing collision.
Motorcycle Accident $312,000 Settlement
Rear-ended motorcyclist sustains knee injury.
Motorcycle Accident $250,000 Settlement
Motorcyclist injured when vehicle changes lanes in his path.
Motorcycle Accident $200,000 Settlement
Motorcyclist Suffers Torn ACL.
Motorcycle Accident $175,000 Settlement
Motorcyclist injured in chain-reaction collision.
Motorcycle Accident $161,609 Settlement
Motorcyclist injured when struck by left-turning vehicle.
Motorcycle Accident $100,000 Settlement
Vehicle making U-turn collides with motorcycle.
At Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, we believe in developing strong attorney-client relationships built on honesty, trust, and communication. As a client, you will always receive direct, personal attention from Scott; your case will never be passed off to an associate or paralegal. Instead, you can always rely on dedicated representation from a highly experienced and award-winning attorney who is ready to fight for you.
With more than 30 years in practice and over $125 million recovered for his clients, Scott is known for his aggressive approach to litigation. Some of his accolades include:
- Inclusion in the Southern California Super Lawyers® list since 2007, a distinction reserved for only the top 5 percent of all personal injury lawyers in the region
- Named a “Top 100 Super Lawyer”
- Named a Top 25 Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers in California by the National Trial Lawyers Association since 2010
- Maintains a 10.0 Superb rating on Avvo
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At Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, we understand the importance of securing a favorable outcome in your case, fast. More than 95 percent of our clients’ cases settle within 5 to 9 months, and our clients are very satisfied with the results (see our client reviews!). We only file lawsuits when absolutely necessary, such as in cases where the defendant disputes liability or refuses to pay for the full extent of our client’s damages.
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