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Ranked #1

Personal Injury Firm in Los Angeles

West Coast Trial Lawyers


Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney

1) What Do I Do After A Motorcycle Accident?

Seek Medical Attention: Your physical well being should be your first priority. Please seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you are hurt, call 911. If you seem to not be seriously injured, check on everyone involved to see if they need medical treatment.

Many motorcycle accident victims riders feel fine immediately after an accident, but wake up days later and experience severe pain. Many injuries take hours or days before any adverse symptoms will take effect. This is why it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately, whether your injuries seem serious or not. Unless you are evaluated by a medical professional, the insurance company is likely to argue that you were not really hurt at all.   

Document the Motorcycle Accident: Gather as much information as you can about your motorcycle accident and please include:

  1. License plate numbers
  2. Names and contact information for anyone involved in the accident
  3. The driver’s license and insurance information
  4. Year, make, and model for any vehicles involved in the accident
  5. Contact information for any available witnesses
  6. Photos and videos of your injuries, property damage, and the accident scene

DO NOT Speak About The Motorcycle Accident: The moments following a motorcycle accident can be very emotional. It is crucial at this delicate time that you are careful about what you say. DO NOT apologize for the accident and DO NOT suggest who may be at fault. 

Even if you think you were responsible for the accident, please DO NOT admit fault. There are many factors at play that you might not know about. The driver, for example, could have been texting, intoxicated, or driving recklessly. Liability is best determined in a court of law.

2)Motorcycle Accident Risk Factors, Causes And Injuries

Any motorcycle rider is at a heightened risk of injury and death. However, there are a number of factors that may put them at a greater risk, including:

  1. Helmet Use: According to California Vehicle Code Section 27803, motorcycle riders and their passengers must wear a helmet. A motorcycle rider and their passenger can both be ticketed for not wearing a helmet. 
  2. Age: Throughout the last few decades, the death rate for motorcyclists age 50 and older has steadily risen. More than 35% of motorcyclist deaths in 2016 involved riders who were 50 and over.
  3. Sex: Over 90% of all motorcycle fatalities involved males.
  4. Alcohol Usage: More than a quarter of motorcyclist fatalities involved a rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08%.

Motorcycle accidents can be caused by:

  1. Collisions with a curb, street signs, or lampposts
  2. Cars pulling in front of a motorcycle rider
  3. Loose gravel 
  4. Motorcycle malfunction
  5. Hazardous weather 
  6. Vehicles recklessly merging into a bicyclist’s lane
  7. Tailgating
  8. Poor road conditions

Even while wearing helmets and protective equipment, a motorcycle rider may suffer various injuries including:

  • Road rash
  • Joint breakage
  • Broken bones
  • Neck and spinal cord injuries
  • Facial disfigurement
  • Scarring
  • Loss of limb(s)
  • Internal bleeding
  • Head injuries
  • Brain damage
  • Concussion
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye injuries
  • Hearing damage

3)Proving Liability After A Motorcycle Accident

A negligent party will be held liable for any injuries caused to a motorcycle rider. In order for an aggrieved party to recover damages, the accident victim must show that the driver was negligent. This includes proving that:

  1. The driver owed the motorcyclist a duty of care
  2. The driver breached his or her duty of care through negligence
  3. The driver’s negligent actions were the significant factor that caused the motorcyclist’s injuries

4)Can I Sue After A Motorcycle Accident?

Yes. The individual who was responsible for causing your motorcycle accident may be liable for your injuries. In order to recover damages you must file a personal injury claim. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, please talk with a motorcycle accident attorney even before you talk to the other driver’s insurance provider. 

Auto insurance companies are not on your side. They want to settle your claim for as little as possible and will pressure you into settling quickly. A motorcycle accident attorney with West Coast Trial Lawyers can deal with the insurance companies so that you can focus on your health and well being.

4.1 Can I Sue On Behalf Of A Family Member Who Was Killed?

As the surviving spouse or registered domestic partner of someone who was killed after a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim to recover damages.

The family members who are entitled to file a wrongful death claim include:

  • The surviving spouse
  • The surviving domestic partner
  • The decedent’s children
  • The decedent’s grandchildren, if the children are deceased
  • Anyone entitled to the decedent’s property according to California intestate succession laws

Recoverable damages after a wrongful death lawsuit will include:

  • Burial costs
  • Funeral costs
  • Financial earnings the decedent would have earned had he or she survived
  • Compensation for the loss of support and companionship the decedent would have provided

4.2 Can I Sue For Poorly Maintained Roads?

Poor road conditions can easily cause a rider to lose control and crash. Poor road conditions that may cause a motorcycle accident include:

  • Water leaks
  • Damaged road signs
  • Potholes
  • Damaged light posts
  • Broken cement
  • Uneven sidewalks
  • Loose gravel
  • Raised asphalt

Every property owner has a duty to repair road conditions that may lead to a motorcycle crash. If a city or property owner fails to maintain their roads in good condition, he or she may be held liable for injuries or damages caused.

According to California premises liability law, property owners are all required to maintain their property in reasonably safe conditions. This includes:

  • Maintaining their property
  • Inspecting their property
  • Repairing potentially dangerous conditions
  • Giving enough warning about any dangerous conditions

A city or a government agency may also be responsible for dangerous road conditions. If you are filing a personal injury claim against a city, county, or any state government agency, you must prove that:

  1. The property where you were injured was owned/controlled by a city, county, or state government agency
  2. This property already had hazardous conditions when the accident occurred
  3. These hazardous conditions created a reasonably foreseeable risk for the injury that was suffered
  4. The city/county/state was aware of the hazardous conditions for enough time to take reasonable action to address it
  5. The motorcycle rider was injured
  6. Hazardous conditions were the significant factor in causing a motorcycle rider harm

4.3 Can I Sue For Motorcycle Malfunctions?

Not all motorcycle accidents are caused by poor roads or a driver’s negligence. Some accidents may be caused by defective parts or machinery. According to California products liability law, any businesses who designed, manufactured, or sold a defective part can be held liable for injuries caused.

In these cases, an injured motorcycle rider will not not have to prove that the company was negligent. Strict liability after a motorcycle defect case can be imposed for:

  1. Manufacturing defects
  2. Design defects
  3. Failing to warn a user of any defects

In order to recover damages, an injured motorcycle rider needs to show that:

  1. The defendant designed, made, distributed and/or sold the defective product
  2. The product was defective when it left the defendant’s’ possession
  3. The motorcycle rider used this product in a reasonable manner
  4. The motorcycle rider was harmed or injured because of the product defect

5)Available Damages After A Motorcycle Accident

Available damages after a motorcycle accident will typically cover financial loss or harm that was caused by the accident. 

The injured motorcycle accident victim is entitled to sue for compensatory damages, including:

  • Emotional Distress  
  • Lost Wages
  • Medical Bills
  • Loss Of Consortium
  • Physical/Occupational therapy
  • Medication and Medical Supplies
  • Lost Earning Capacity
  • Disfigurement or Loss of Limb
  • Scarring

An injured motorcycle rider may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are separate from compensatory damages. Punitive damages may be awarded on top of the normal compensatory damages an aggrieved individual may be entitled to, and are intended to punish a wrongdoer for their negligent or malicious behavior. Punitive damages are rare and are only awarded at the court’s discretion.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you have sustained injuries as a result of a motorcycle accident, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible. A motorcycle accident attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering from your injury. 

Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email info@westcoasttriallawyers.com to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring and compassionate legal team.

References

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&sectionNum=27803.

https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/400/400/

https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/1000/1001/

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=PROB&division=6.&title=&part=2.&chapter=1.&article=

https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/1000/1000/

https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/1200/1200/



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