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Who Can Be Held Liable in a Motorcycle Accident in California?

Motorcycle accidents in California occur quite often. Motorcyclists are predicted to sustain serious or fatal injuries as they do not have enough protection to defend themselves against forceful impact from other vehicles. As a result of these injuries, motorcyclists may be required to receive immediate medical treatment. With costly medical bills stemming from hospital stays, doctor visits, medication prescriptions, or therapy sessions, a motorcyclist will likely face a financial burden.

If the motorcyclist was employed before the accident occurred, they will experience lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and other employee benefits. Facing so many losses can cause psychological injuries, as well. This includes emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. Fortunately, a motorcyclist will be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the party at-fault to recover damages from the motorcycle accident.

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.

To schedule a free consultation, please contact our 24/7 legal team by calling 213-927-3700 or filling out our quick contact form.

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:

  • Speeding
  • 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
  • Motorcyclist

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
  • Municipalities
  • 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.

California’s Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accidents

Since a motorcycle accident falls under personal injury, you will be given two years starting from the initial date of the incident to file a claim. If you exceed the deadline, you will no longer be qualified to pursue legal actions against the other party at-fault for damages. However, California does allow a few exceptions that may extend the amount of time you are given to file a personal injury claim. You must be a minor, out-of-state, incarcerated, legally insane, or incapacitated to be granted an extension.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

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.

Contact us today by calling 213-927-3700 or filling out our quick contact form to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.

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