Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
motorcycle accident lawyer
Why Should I Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
It may be difficult for injured riders to recover compensation following a crash, especially if they are pursuing their claim without the assistance of an attorney. Because Personal Injury Insurance Protection (PIP) in some states is only required for vehicles with four or more wheels, motorcyclists are not permitted to carry PIP coverage. Even if the motorcyclist owns a car that is covered by PIP insurance, the coverage does not extend to accidents that occur on the motorcycle. If the motorcyclist is uninsured, they may struggle to pay for costly medical bills, especially if the injury prevents them from working. If you were injured in a crash, an attorney can explain your options for pursuing compensation for medical bills and other losses — which could be further compounded by circumstances such as medical malpractice. If you contact an attorney immediately after the accident, he or she can begin to collect information and evidence to support your claim for compensation. To help build your claim, your attorney may: – Collect scene and police reports – Gather witness statements – Photograph the scene – Investigate the other motorist’s driving history – Reconstruct the accident scene – Recreate the accident – Review medical records – Consult experts – Contact insurance companies on your behalf
Aggressive lawyers from insurance companies
Without legal representation, you could lose out on money that you deserve. The legal process is filled with confusing jargon and frustrating paperwork that can make your head spin. On top of all that, insurance companies have teams of aggressive lawyers standing by to settle their cases for cheap. It’s easy to feel outnumbered.
We respect bikers, and we stand up for our clients. With your medical bills and lost wages piling up, we’ll work to get you the maximum amount of money that you deserve for you motorcycle injury. We have decades of experience dealing with the tactics insurance companies’ use to make you settle for cheap.
We generally tell all of our clients to remember these few tips:
- Don’t sign anything – Signing something could endanger your chance to recover money for your injuries. Consult an attorney before signing anything.
- Don’t let them record you – The insurance company will tell you it’s for “accuracy purposes,” but they will use it against you later. Just say, “No.” It’s your legal right.
- Don’t hesitate – In motorcycle accident cases, evidence can disappear quickly and make your case harder to prove. Don’t wait any longer. Call us today.
We won’t let bullheaded insurance companies push you around. Our team of experienced attorneys will fight for your legal rights, and we’ll get you the money you deserve.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims
If the motorcyclist was not at-fault, they may be able to seek damages from the party negligent in causing the crash. While motorcyclists are not covered by PIP insurance, they are also not bound by its restrictions. Injured riders are not limited in the damages they may seek to compensate for their losses, including damages for pain and suffering. Motor vehicle accident claims involve PIP insurance—which requires the injured party to pass an “injury threshold” to be able to pursue compensation from the negligent party—and do not allow for the recovery of pain and suffering damages. Motorcyclists do not have to pass an injury threshold to seek compensation for damages, which may include medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Insurance Negotiations After an accident, your attorney may contact the negligent party’s insurance company to negotiate a settlement for costs incurred as a result of the accident. He or she will leverage information collected to recover compensation for your expenses. If negotiations with insurance companies are unsuccessful or unsatisfactory, you may be able to pursue legal action against the negligent party with the help of your attorney. Negligence Motorcycle accidents lawsuits fall under the category of personal injury, which in turn is based on the theory of negligence. In other words, your attorney will have to prove that the other driver in the accident was at fault because he or she failed to exercise a reasonable standard of care. In order to do so, your attorney will conduct an investigation to learn more about the incident, including whether the other driver followed traffic laws, paid attention to his or her surroundings, was driving under the influence etc. Product Liability In some cases, a defect in your car, or the other party’s car, could have led to the accident. In these cases, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the car or its parts to recover compensation for your injuries. In these circumstances, the attorney will have a conduct an investigation to study the car and determine whether it had any defects prior to the accident. He or she will work alongside forensic experts to determine whether: – The defective motorcycle or part was “unreasonably dangerous” – The motorcycle was being operated as intended – The motorcycle’s performance had not changed since its initial purchase Some examples of what defects you may be able to file a product liability case for are defective tires, brakes, accelerators, and defective fuel systems. Wrongful Death If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you may have recourse to recover compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney can help the family of the deceased prove the negligence of the other driver was the cause of the victim’s death.
f you call us today, we’ll review your case for free. We’ll discuss your best options for compensation, and we’ll answer any legal questions you may have.
There’s no obligation to use our services after your free consultation. If you decide to hire our attorneys, we’ll immediately begin building your case by:
- Sending investigators to your accident scene
- Determining the cause of the accident
- Documenting and gathering evidence
- Standing up to pushy insurance companies
- Dealing with the hassle of complex paperwork
We’re committed to our clients. We’ll cover all the upfront costs, and you won’t pay us a cent until we win your case.
What Compensation Can Be recovered?
In negotiations or litigation against an insurance company or negligent party, the attorneys in our office may be able to help you recover compensation for the following: Past and Future Medical Expenses: Victims can file to receive compensation for emergency visits, hospital care, surgery etc. if the injuries were directly related to the accident. Lost Wages: Motorcycle accident victims can claim compensation for wages they could have earned if the accidents hadn’t taken place. Victims can recover compensation for the period of time they had to be away from work to recover. Pain and Suffering: As motorcyclists may not be offered PIP insurance, they may file a lawsuit to claim compensation to combat their pain and suffering after the accident. To determine whether the victim requires compensation, factors such as the nature of the injury, along with the duration and extent of pain, will be considered. Mental Anguish: Victims and families may also be provided compensation for the emotional pain they had to face after the incident. Emotional suffering includes feelings of fright, embarrassment, nervousness, worry, and grief. Loss of Consortium: The surviving spouse may be awarded compensation for the loss of services, assistance, aid, society, and companionship of his or her loved one in the case of a wrongful death caused by a motorcycle accident. Surviving parents may be awarded compensation for the loss of love, affection and companionship of their minor children as a result of their wrongful death. Likewise, minor children may be awarded compensation for the loss of services, assistance, aid, society and companionship of their parents as a result of their wrongful death.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can occur for a number of reasons, including driver negligence. Negligent acts that may result in an accident include the following: – Swerving in front of a cyclist – Cutting off motorcyclists at intersections – Failing to follow posted speed limits – Failing to yield when appropriate – Failing to leave sufficient room between vehicles – Failure to see a motorcyclist changing or entering lanes – Neglecting to pay appropriate attention to other drivers – Driving under the influence Failure to yield and an inability to recognize motorcyclists in traffic are among the common causes of motorcycle accidents. These crashes may also be caused by motor vehicles drivers who do not exercise proper care when making left-hand turns at intersections. Left-turn accidents are commonly caused by drivers who: – Misjudge the motorcyclist’s speed or distance – Fail to see the motorcyclist – Panic and stop in the motorcyclist’s path – Rely on the judgment of another driver, who also fails to see the motorcyclist
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists have little protection from the elements and other vehicles; therefore, injuries sustained in an accident can be serious and life-threatening and may include the following: – Bone fractures – Severe head trauma – Spinal cord injuries – Neck injuries – Brain damage – Disfigurement – Loss of limbs – Paralysis – Death If you were injured, or lost a loved one, in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. To find more about motorcycle accident lawsuits, fill out our free case review form today. Reach out to us if you’ve faced any type of personal injury. Our attorneys handle several specific areas of practice and want to help you.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in California
Identifying the cause of your motorcycle accident is generally one of the first steps toward obtaining financial compensation in California. California is a fault car insurance state, meaning the at-fault party will be the one that lawfully must pay for your losses. The party that caused your accident may have to pay for your medical bills, motorcycle repair or replacement, lost income, noneconomic damages, and more. One or more parties could share fault for your injuries.
- A driver. If a negligent or distracted driver crashed into your motorcycle, his or her insurance provider may owe you for your damages. A driver may cause an accident by texting and driving or other form of distracted driving, driving drunk, speeding, breaking roadway rules or ignoring a motorcyclist’s right-of-way.
- A roadway. Motorcycles are vulnerable to even minor roadway defects. If a pothole, loose gravel, rubble, storm debris, an unsafe construction site, grass clippings or another roadway defect caused your motorcycle wreck, you could have a case against the City of Los Angeles for failing to properly maintain its roads.
- A vehicle part. If your motorcycle experienced a tire blowout, brake failure, electrical problems, or another type of auto defect that caused your accident, the motorcycle manufacturer could owe you financial recovery through the laws of product liability.
Most motorcycle accident cases are tort claims. A tort claim seeks to hold the party that committed negligence or wrongdoing (a tort) accountable for the victim’s damages. Your Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney will need to prove the defendant caused your accident for you as the injured rider to obtain compensation based on tort laws. A qualified injury attorney may be able to help you prove your case as a motorcycle rider, starting with determining fault.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The injuries in a motorcycle accident are often severe. With hardly any protection for the motorcyclist, an impact with the road and/or another vehicle can cause a wide range of injuries. A motorcyclist is about 28 times more likely to die in an accident than a passenger vehicle occupant, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motorcyclists are also much more likely to suffer serious injuries. The motorcycle accident lawyers at plaintiff accept clients with all types of personal injuries:
- Broken bones
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Lower extremity injuries
- Internal injuries
- Road rash
- Scarring and disfigurement
Catastrophic and permanent injuries are common in serious motorcycle accidents. Crash survivors often live with the repercussions of their accidents for life. Common long-term injuries include brain damage, paralysis and physical scars. Motorcyclists may also suffer emotionally and psychologically from the trauma of a collision. Working with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney can help you fight for maximum compensation for your motorcycle injuries, including tangible and intangible damages.
California Helmet Law and Motorcycle Accident Claims
Wearing a helmet can drastically reduce your risk of a serious head injury or brain injury in a motorcycle accident. California has a universal helmet law. Under this statute, every motorcyclist and motorcycle passenger must wear a helmet while riding. The helmet must be federally approved for safety and fit snugly on the wearer’s head. If you do not wear a motorcycle helmet in California, you could receive a traffic citation and fine. Failure to wear a helmet could also be something the defendant in a crash case uses as evidence against you.
Since not wearing a helmet would be breaking the law in California, the defendant can use it as a reason to place some liability for your motorcycle injuries with you. For this defense to work, however, your injuries must have some connection to your failure to wear a helmet. In general, the injury must be to the head, brain, face or neck to qualify. An injury to the body typically will not give a defendant grounds to base a defense on your illegal failure to use a helmet. To assert that your lack of a helmet contributed to your injuries, the defendant must show sufficient proof that this was the case, such as medical or safety expert testimony.
As an injured motorcyclist, do not assume you do not have grounds for compensation if you were not wearing a helmet during your motorcycle accident. California uses a pure comparative negligence law, which does not bar plaintiffs from recovery automatically for being partially at fault for an injury. Instead of barring recovery with any percentage of fault, the courts will reduce your judgment award by how much you contributed to your injuries. If not wearing a helmet made you 20% responsible for your traumatic brain injury, for example, you would receive 20% less of an awarded verdict. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you combat the helmet defense during your motorcycle accident claim.
Who Is Liable for Motorcycle Accidents While Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting refers to someone on a motorcycle riding between two lanes of same-direction traffic. Studies have shown that lane splitting can save time, reduce traffic congestion and help prevent accidents such as rear-end collisions. Many people, however, believe lane splitting is dangerous for the motorcyclist and surrounding drivers. It is a controversial subject among bikers, motorists, lawmakers and safety organizations. California was the first state to allow motorcyclist lane splitting. If a motorcyclist in California lane splits recklessly, however, he or she could be liable for a resultant accident.
California’s comparative negligence law may play a role in crashes involving lane splitting. If the defendant has evidence that you were lane splitting at an unreasonable speed or otherwise recklessly, this could lead to a reduced compensatory award. If you were within your rights under California’s lane-splitting law, however, lane splitting alone most likely would not diminish your financial recovery. Use a dedicated motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles for a motorcycle accident claim with a complicating factor such as lane splitting.
Compensation for Motorcycle Accidents
The value of your motorcycle accident claim is important to you as an accident victim. Whether you suffered a catastrophic injury such as a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury, or a less severe injury such as road rash, you deserve to know how much compensation you may be able to receive for your property repairs and medical bills. The best way to receive an accurate answer is through a free consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney . Each motorcycle accident case is unique, with no average settlement value. You may need a lawyer to help you identify, list and calculate your damages.
- All past and future medical expenses
- Losses of income
- Disability-related costs
- Motorcycle repairs or replacement
- Legal fees and out-of-pocket costs
- Rental car fees
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional damages
- Lost quality of life
- Punitive damages
As a general rule, a motorcycle crash claim involving serious to catastrophic injuries will be worth more than a minor injury claim and fatal motorcycle accidents will be worth even more than those resulting in catastrophic injury. A jury will base an award on the severity of the victim’s injuries and how greatly they impacted his or her life. If your case settles rather than going to trial, an insurance company will assess your medical bills and other tangible damages to evaluate its value. A motorcycle accident attorney can help you maximize your financial recovery using proven legal strategies during negotiations.
What Is the Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations in California?
Act quickly to bring your motorcycle accident claim to make sure you meet California’s deadline, or statute of limitations. In California, all plaintiffs with personal injury claims must file their lawsuits with the civil courts within two years of the date of the collision or injury discovery. Failing to bring an action for an injury or wrongful death within two years generally bars a plaintiff from recovery in California, with a few exceptions. Do not wait longer than two years to ensure you meet your state’s deadline. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident, while important evidence and information are still available. We can make the claims filing process faster and more efficient for you.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Los Angeles
The steps you take or do not take after a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles can determine the fate of your motorcycle accident injury claim. It is important to take certain actions to protect your right to recover. You or your Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney will need to collect evidence, identify the at-fault party, and file your injury claim within California’s deadline. Partner with a lawyer from the beginning for the best odds of recovering fair compensation.
- Get someplace safe. If it is safe to do so, remain at the scene of the accident or as close to it as possible. Check yourself and others involved in the wreck for injuries.
- Move your disabled motorcycle. If you can, move your wrecked motorcycle off of the road to prevent further collisions.
- Call 911. Report any motorcycle accident in California that causes injuries, more than $1,000 in property damage or motorcycle fatalities to the police. Request an ambulance, if necessary.
- Exchange information. Obtain the other driver’s personal information, as well as the name of his or her insurance company. Do not admit fault for the motorcycle crash.
- Take photos. Take pictures of the crashed motorcycle, the scene of the wreck and other important features using your cellphone or a camera, if possible.
- Go to the hospital. Once the police permit you to leave, go directly to a doctor or hospital. Prompt injury treatment looks good to insurance companies. It can also help you heal. Visit a doctor even if you think you have no injuries.
- Report the crash to an insurance company. Contact the insurance company of the party you believe caused the motorcycle accident. File a report right away – ideally within 24 hours of the crash.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. An insurance company will check to see if you followed a treatment plan. If not, it may use this as evidence to assert that you exacerbated your injuries.
- Collect information. Gather information about your accident to show a personal injury attorney. This can include copies of your medical records and police reports.
- Contact an attorney. Before speaking to a claims adjuster, consult with a lawyer about your case. A Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand your rights.
The insurance company that hears your claim will not want to maximize your financial recovery as an injured motorcycle rider. The insurance claims adjuster may try to convince you to settle for less compensation to optimize the company’s profitability. Hiring an attorney from the beginning can protect you by having a professional negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. An attorney will not allow you to accept a lowball settlement offer. Before you get too far along in the claims process, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer for a review.