California Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Expert California Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Motorcycle accidents are tragic events that often result in more serious harm to the motorcyclist than to any other party involved. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer understands the vulnerability and exposure motorcyclists face. These vulnerabilities are key drivers to catastrophic or sometimes even fatal injuries in collisions.
Motorcycle crashes can result in a variety of physical outcomes, ranging from road rash to head and brain injuries. On top of physical injuries, motorcycle accidents can also result in emotional trauma and property damage.
Although it is impossible to reverse the damages caused by such accidents, injured parties may be able to seek financial compensation through civil courts and personal injury claims. For this reason alone, victims should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney immediately after a motorcycle crash.
Our expert motorcycle accident lawyers have extensive experience handling these types of wrecks throughout the state. With a proven track record of success, we have helped thousands of individuals recover after accidents similar to yours.
Our mission is to protect the rights of crash victims and to assist them in negotiations with large insurance companies that may not have their best interests at heart. Contacting us is risk-free, and we encourage anyone in need of legal assistance after a motorcycle accident to do so without hesitation.
Why You Need A Trusted California Motorcycle Lawyer
Motorcycle collisions can be life-changing for a rider. If you have suffered a motorcycle accident in California, it is important to know your rights and to seek legal help from an experienced attorney. A trusted motorcycle accident lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in understanding the legal process, obtaining financial compensation for damages, and navigating laws surrounding personal injury cases.
A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer understands how insurance companies work and will fight on behalf of a client's best interest to ensure they receive fair compensation for their losses.
Motorcycle accidents lawyers understand the importance of gathering evidence quickly after an accident, including :
- witness statements
- police reports
- expert opinions
- medical records
These steps will enable them to build a persuasive argument on behalf of their clients when seeking financial compensation.
A trusted California motorcycle lawyer will work diligently to protect a client’s rights throughout the entire duration of the legal process. From negotiating settlements with insurance companies to filing lawsuits in court if necessary. They are prepared to take all necessary steps to obtain maximum compensation for their clients and receive the best settlement possible for their clients.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents in California
California is particularly susceptible to motorcycle accidents due to its higher-than-average population and the number of vehicles that travel on its roads. In California alone there are over 27 million motor vehicles in use on public and private roads. As a result there are several common types of motorcycle accidents that may occur such as:
Lane Splitting or Lane Sharing
Some motorcyclists choose to lane split. Swerving in between two lanes of congested traffic - in order to navigate through traffic jams. However, this can be extremely risky due to the small size of motorcycles and the lack of awareness from other 4 wheeled drivers.
While lane splitting, there is a high chance of colliding with another vehicle or being hit by a car that is not expecting a motorcycle to be weaving in and out of lanes. This is because most drivers are not accustomed to sharing the road with motorcycles in this way, and may not be actively looking out for them. Although lane splitting is legal in California, it can be dangerous and lead to serious injuries if done incorrectly or recklessly.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, left-turn accidents account for a significant proportion of fatal motorcycle accidents. These incidents account for upwards to 35% of all motorcycle accidents. Left-turn accidents frequently occur due to drivers failing to recognize oncoming motorcycles while making a left turn. In such incidents, the turning car often strikes the motorcycle as it continues straight through the intersection.
According to the rules of the road, the rider who proceeds through an intersection or a green light has the right of way. However, despite these rules, left-turn accidents occur as the driver may simply fail to notice the motorcyclist and turn directly into them. Sometimes the driver of a vehicle waiting to make a left-hand turn may actually see an approaching motorcycle, but wrongly assume that the bike is traveling at a much slower speed than it actually is, and turn into the rider, causing a head-on collision.
Head-on motorcycle collisions occur when a motorcycle rider collides with another vehicle, such as a car or truck, head on - directly in front of them. These collisions can occur at high speeds and often result in severe injuries or fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), head-on collisions account for around 10% of all fatal motorcycle accidents. In 2019 alone, there were over 5,000 motorcycle fatalities in the United States, with head-on collisions being one of the leading causes of death.
Blind Spots & Lane Switching
One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents involves vehicles simply failing to check their blind spots and side mirrors before changing lanes. This can lead to sudden and unexpected collisions, as the motorcyclist is often left with little-to-no time to react. Merging drivers assume that the coast is clear and attempt to merge, only to sideswipe a motorcyclist who was already occupying the space. These incidents can occur at any time and are especially dangerous for motorcyclists who lack the same protection that an average car has.
In addition, collisions can also be caused by:
- Distracted drivers
- Drunk drivers
- Aggressive drivers
- Poor weather conditions
- Failure to Yield
- Motorcycle manufacturing defects
As such, all motorists should remain vigilant and be aware of their surroundings while on the road. This includes regularly checking blind spots and mirrors, signaling properly, and being mindful of other vehicles, particularly motorcycles. Additionally, when pursuing damages from a negligent driver, having a reputable motorcycle accident lawyer on your team can be extremely helpful.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The effects of a motorcycle accident can be catastrophic. Victims may suffer from physical and emotional trauma in addition to financial hardships caused by medical bills, lost wages and property damage.
Common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents include :
- traumatic brain injury (T.B.I)
- spinal cord damage
- broken bones
- road rash
- muscle strains
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) TBI occurs when the head is struck violently or when the brain is deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time. Symptoms of TBI can range from mild headaches to paralysis. Common symptoms victims may experience are memory loss, loss of basic motor skills and difficulty concentrating or other cognitive impairments.
Spinal cord damage can be especially catastrophic due to its potential to cause paralysis or other permanent disabilities. The vertebrae in the spine protect the delicate nerves that allow us to move our arms and legs; when they are damaged, there can be serious consequences including quadriplegia or paraplegia depending on where the spinal cord was injured.
Broken bones are common in motorcycle accidents as well, particularly when riders are thrown from their bikes during a collision with another vehicle or an object such as a guardrail or tree. Broken bones require medical intervention, often involving surgery and a lengthy recovery process. In some cases, victims may permanently lose mobility due to bone fractures that do not heal properly or require extensive rehabilitation therapy.
Road rash is a type of abrasion that involves the skin being scraped off as it rubs against asphalt or concrete at high speeds; it can result in scarring and infection if not treated promptly by a doctor.
Also, soft tissue injuries such as muscle strains and whiplash may also occur due to sudden jerking motions associated with impact during an accident.
Victims should seek immediate medical attention after experiencing any sort of trauma resulting from a motorcycle crash, regardless of how minor it may seem at the time. Injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents often have lasting effects that require extensive medical care and rehabilitation services. These costs can add up quickly, causing financial strain on victims who may not be able to afford necessary treatments without help from an experienced attorney familiar with California motorcycle laws. Enlisting a reputable motorcycle accident Lawyer is imperative when seeking compensation for damages from at-fault parties.
At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our qualified California motorcycle accident attorneys are readily available to assist victims of personal injury. We have over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. With our track record of recovering more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your motorcycle accident case.
Motorcycle Accident Liability in California
One or more parties will be held liable for a motorcycle accident if they are found to have committed negligent actions. In order to acquire recoverable compensation, the plaintiff is required to show proof that the defendant was negligent. Below are the elements of negligence that are expected to be proven in a personal injury claim:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care; and
- The defendant’s negligence actions were the main cause of the plaintiff’s injuries
A negligent driver is often found as the main cause of a motor vehicle accident, including motorcycle accidents. Common types of negligence a driver has contributed to motorcycle accidents in California include the following:
- Texting and driving
- Drowsy driving
- Following too closely
- Making dangerous lane changes
- Driving while intoxicated
- Failing to obey traffic laws
Negligent drivers are not the only ones who can be found at-fault for causing a motorcycle accident. There are several other potential guilty parties who are capable of contributing to injuries or damages in such an accident. This includes the:
- Manufacturer of the motorcycle
- Auto dealership
- Maintenance technicians
Poor road conditions may also be a main factor in the cause of a motorcycle accident. If the roads have not been properly constructed to make it possible for drivers and riders to safely use, chances of an accident are highly likely to occur. Whether it is a missing sign, potholes, crack pavements, or unsecured road construction zones, the government agencies have full responsibility in ensuring that all roads are safely accessible for the public to use. Those who fail to meet these obligations can be held accountable for damages. This includes:
- The California Department of Transportation
- Other third parties
Lastly, bad weather conditions can also have the ability to cause a motorcycle accident. Harsh weather, such as rain or snow, can make it difficult for motorcyclists to navigate their vehicles without losing control.
Recoverable Damages in a California Motorcycle Accident
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to pursue legal actions against the party at-fault for damages. To ensure all of your losses are taken into consideration, your California motorcycle accident attorney will divide your damages into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are monetary in nature. Some of the most common types of economic damages awarded in motorcycle accident claims include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and loss of earning capacity.
Non-economic damages do not have a monetary value. Your California motorcycle accident attorney will need to measure these accordingly. Common types of non-economic damages you may likely obtain include emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.
Victims of a motorcycle accident may also be entitled to receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are granted on top of compensatory damages to punish the defendant for committing negligent or malicious behavior. Generally, punitive damages are rare and may only be awarded at the court’s discretion.
How Long After a Motor Accident Can You Claim?
In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims relating to motor vehicle accidents is two years from the date of the accident.
California follows what is known as a “discovery rule” which allows for additional time beyond the two-year period if it can be proven that the injured party was unaware of their injury until some point during or after this time frame. Regarding motorcycle accidents, this may include injuries that were not immediately apparent and only started to cause pain or other symptoms at a later date.
There are also certain exceptions that apply only to minors who have been injured in an accident. If they are under 18 years old when they suffered an injury due to a motor vehicle accident, they will have up until their 20th birthday to file a claim against any negligent parties involved in causing the crash. Note, this is only if the legal parent or guardian did not file a claim on behalf of the minor. This rule allows children to file their own claim at a later date, after they reach the legal age of adulthood, instead of relying on their parent or guardian to file on their behalf.
Keeping track of any medical treatments related to an accident as well as all communication with insurance companies and other involved parties is extremely important. All communications should be documented, including dates and times. Medical records may also need to be gathered for evidence in cases where injuries do not become apparent until weeks or months later.
The best practice after suffering any type of injury due to a motor vehicle accident is to seek medical attention and legal advice as soon as possible in order to ensure your rights are protected. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can provide guidance on how long you have to make a claim and help you navigate through the convoluted legal process. Attorneys can help ensure that all deadlines are met for filing claims, negotiating settlements, and taking any necessary steps towards possible litigation if necessary.
How Much Do Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Charge in California?
The cost of hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer in California can vary significantly depending on several factors of each case. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they do not collect payment until the case is settled or won. In many cases, this method allows for clients to get excellent legal representation at a low cost or even no cost if their claim is unsuccessful. Other attorneys may charge at an hourly rate, but this is rare when dealing with most personal injury cases. For example, our attorneys at WCTL only work on contingency fee agreements.
There may be other costs associated with motorcycle accidents such as
court filing fees, expert witness fees, and other related expenses but these are generally covered by the contingency fee agreement as well.
A qualified motorcycle accident lawyer can offer counsel on what type of settlement might be reasonable and provide guidance throughout the process so that you have peace of mind knowing your case is being handled correctly.
How Much is a Motorcycle Accident Claim Worth in California?
A motorcycle accident can result in significant financial losses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Emotional suffering damages
- Punitive damages
Pursuing a motorcycle accident claim can help you recover these losses and hold the at-fault party accountable. But the value of a motorcycle accident claim in California depends on various factors, including:
- The severity of the injuries
- The amount of property damage
- The at-fault party's insurance policy limits
The majority value of a motorcycle accident claim depends on who is found to be at fault for the accident. If the other party is fully liable for the accident, you may be able to recover the full value of your damages. However, if you are found to be even partially at fault for the accident, your damages may be reduced. Making the counsel of a reputable California motorcycle accident lawyer imperative when handling your personal injury case. Handling claims without legal assistance can result in missteps, leading to smaller payouts for clients and less than favorable outcomes.
What if I am Partially at fault for the Motorcycle Accident in California?
California is a comparative negligence state, which means that fault can be divided among multiple parties involved in an accident. Comparative negligence allows for a fairer allocation of damages based on each party's level of fault. This can become trickier when multiple parties are involved in an accident, such as pile ups or multi vehicle accidents. This also comes into play if one party was at more fault than the other.
Therefore, determining partial fault can be difficult in motorcycle accidents and may involve many factors.
These factors can include:
- speed of the vehicles
- actions of the drivers
- road conditions
- Weather conditions
When it comes to insurance claims, your compensation may be reduced based on your level of fault. For example, if you are 50% at fault for an accident, you may only receive 50% of the damages you are entitled to. If you decide to file a lawsuit, your level of fault may be taken into consideration. A judge or jury may assign a percentage of fault to each party involved in the accident, which can affect the amount of compensation you receive.
Even If you are partially at fault for a motorcycle accident, it is essential to take the right steps to protect yourself legally. The first thing you should do is contact a motorcycle accident lawyer to advise you on your rights and help you navigate through the legal process.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Will Negotiate For Your Highest Settlement
When dealing with insurance companies, there are several areas that must be addressed:
- Liability: Establishing who is liable for causing the accident and determining how much responsibility each party holds.
- Evidence: Gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, photographs, and video footage to help establish liability.
- Damages: Calculating damages based on medical bills, lost wages, and other economic losses along with pain and suffering damages.
Our expert attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers have extensive experience in negotiating with major insurance companies and securing the highest settlement value for our clients' losses.
We take great pride in standing up for those who have been wronged due to someone else's negligence or recklessness on the road. With over 1.5 billion dollars won in settlements, WCTL guarantees our clients an extraordinary level of communication and professionalism. Whether you have been injured or lost a family member in a motorcycle collision, you can depend on our team of skilled attorneys to fight for your rights and get you the justice you deserve. With our vast knowledge, experience, and dedication to each case we handle, there's no doubt that West Coast Trial Lawyers will negotiate for the highest settlement amount possible—giving you the peace of mind and professional care you deserve.
Q: How long do I have to file a motorcycle accident claim in California?
A: In California, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
Q: What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
A: California uses a comparative negligence system, which means that your damages may be reduced if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident.
Q: How much can I recover for my motorcycle accident claim?
A: The value of a motorcycle accident claim depends on various factors, including the severity of the injuries, the amount of property damage, and the at-fault party's insurance policy limits.
Q: What if the other driver does not have insurance?
A: If the other driver does not have insurance, you may be able to recover damages through your own uninsured motorist coverage.
Q: What if I was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident?
A: California requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, your damages may be reduced.
Q: Is it worth it to hire an attorney if I am partially at fault?
A: Yes, it is still worth it to hire an attorney if you are partially at fault for a motorcycle accident. They can help protect your rights and ensure fair compensation, even if you are partially at fault
If you have sustained injuries as a result of someone’s negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. Our California motorcycle accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can recover compensation for the losses you have suffered.
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