Collisions involving motorcycles often cause devastating injuries and even death. Our attorneys are here to help.
Riding a motorcycle may be a thrilling activity, especially in California where the weather is warm and the coast begs to be seen, but it is also one of the most dangerous. To be sure, there are hundreds of motorcyclist fatalities reported throughout California every year, and even more accidents that leave motorcyclists with serious injuries.
When a motorcycle accident occurs, the motorcyclist and their family members are often tragically affected. The motorcyclist suffers from serious and disabling injuries, and both the motorcyclist and their family have to deal with the following:
- High medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Psychological challenges,
- And more.
Southern California motorcycle accident claims can be difficult to pursue on your own. Call our experienced San Diego motorcycle accident lawyers at (760) 827-1700 today for a free consultation.
Our legal team will provide the support and guidance you need.
How Motorcycle Accidents Happen – Determining Fault
Before you can begin the process of filing a Southern California motorcycle accident claim and pursue monetary damages for damages caused by the collision, it is important to first understand the role of fault in a motorcycle accident lawsuit.
Because California is a tort-liability state, or at-fault state, liability for damages that result from a crash is dependent upon fault for the accident.
What’s more, under the rule of comparative negligence in California, a plaintiff’s compensation award can be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault; as such, it is important that the degree of fault of the defendant is proved to the maximum extent possible.
Our San Diego motorcycle accident lawyers will investigate your accident, and work with experts if necessary, to determine exactly who’s to blame and who should be held liable.
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by the error of the driver of the motor vehicle involved.
Examples of such errors include:
- Failing to yield;
- Driving drunk;
- Driving while distracted;
- Driving aggressively;
- Tailgating; and
- Illegally changing lanes.
In some cases, a third party, such as the manufacturer of a vehicle/motorcycle or a party responsible for road maintenance, may be to blame.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us today to speak with an expert San Diego motorcycle accident attorney. We’ll review your case for free during your initial consultation.
Damages from a Motorcycle Accident – Determining the Value of Your Claim
In addition to proving that the accident would not have occurred but for the actions of the party against whom you’re filing a claim, you must also provide evidence of the extent of the damages that you have suffered as a direct result of the motorcycle crash. The damages sustained by a motorcyclist are often significant, especially when the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet.
Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain and head injuries;
- Facial and scalp injuries;
- Back and neck injuries;
- Spine and spinal cord injuries;
- Internal injuries;
- Road rash/burn injuries;
- Bone fracture injuries;
- Soft tissue injuries; and
- Amputation/loss of use of limb injuries.
Serious injuries are not the only thing that a harmed motorcyclist will have to cope with after a crash. To be sure, the above injuries can lead to physical pain and emotional anguish and suffering, and disability and impairment that prevents the motorcyclist from returning to their normal way of living, working and earning an income, or even maintaining normal relationships.
The financial and non-economic losses of such an experience can be great.
The specific damages you can pursue will vary based on the details of your case. Most people injured in a motorcycle accident, however, have the legal right to seek compensation for some or all of the following:
● Emergency transport/ambulance service,
● Emergency room treatment costs,
● Physician bills,
● Surgeon bills,
● Anesthesiologist bills,
● Hospital stays,
● Medical imaging and testing,
● Prescription medications,
● Assistive devices (crutches, etc.),
● Physical therapy,
● Rehabilitation services,
● Lost wages,
● Lost benefits,
● Pain and suffering, and
● Emotional trauma.
If your injuries require future treatment, or if you need ongoing care, your attorney might include the following values in your claim:
● Estimated cost for future medical treatment,
● Estimated cost for future care (in-home or residential),
● Estimated cost for physical therapy or rehab, and
● Diminished quality of life.
If you sustained a permanent disability, you may also have the right to compensation for any adaptive modifications necessary to your home.
If you cannot resume your job duties, or if you must assume a lesser job role due to your injuries, you may have the right to recover damages for:
● The estimated value of future lost income,
● The estimated value of future lost benefits, and
● Diminished earning capacity.
For a more accurate estimate of what your claim value might be, contact us today to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation with one of our San Diego motorcycle accident lawyers. Our lawyers provide aid in valuing your claim and issuing a demand letter for damages. We believe that you should be compensated for 100 percent of your economic and non-economic losses, and will aggressively fight for this on your behalf.
Documenting & Supporting Your Southern California Motorcycle Accident Claim
A well-documented claim is essential for resolving your case quickly and recovering the maximum damages for your injuries.
We obtain evidence and documentation to identify the at-fault party and prove liability. That evidence might include:
● Police reports,
● Accident scene photographs,
● Witness statements,
● Medical records,
● Wage and income statement, and
● Accident scene reconstructions.
To obtain the necessary documentation and evidence, we put our extensive resources to work for you. The sooner we can get started on the investigation, however, the better our chances for recovering critical evidence that can become lost or degraded over time.
We must also carefully document all damages you experienced as a result of your motorcycle accident injuries.
For the damages you have already incurred, we document your claim with copies of medical bills, doctor and hospital records, receipts, etc.
To substantiate the value of required future medical treatment, long-term care, diminished earning capacity, or disabilities, we may call on subject matter experts to provide opinions:
Medical experts provide opinions and testimony regarding the nature and extent of treatment your injuries will require in the future.
Economic experts estimate the value of future income, benefits, and opportunity losses.
Vocational Rehab Specialists
Vocational rehabilitation specialists provide opinions about your diminished earning capacity. They may also provide testimony regarding any special accommodations you require to perform your job.
Life Care Experts
Lifecare planning experts provide information on the type and extent of care you will require in the future if you are unable to care for yourself to any degree.
The Basics of a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit – What to Do After a Crash
Following certain steps in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can help to improve your chances of recovering your maximum compensation amount.
After a crash, we encourage you to do the following:
- Report the accident to the police;
- Seek medical care;
- Exchange information with the other driver;
- Gather evidence at the scene (names of witnesses, pictures of damages, etc.) if you are physically able; and
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
From there, there are a few important things to know:
- You should never admit fault to an insurance adjuster, or give a recorded statement without a lawyer present.
- An insurance adjuster may seem like they’re working for you, but in reality, their job is to save the insurance company money by finding ways to diminish the value of your claim.
- You do NOT have to accept a motorcycle accident settlement. In fact, we usually encourage our clients to reject first-time settlement offers and renegotiate for a higher settlement value.
- You only have a limited amount of time to take action. The statute of limitations in California is two years from the date of the accident.
Should I File a Motorcycle Case?
Filing a claim after being involved in a serious accident may seem daunting. Indeed, focusing on your injuries and recovery is surely your top priority, and there is no doubt that filing a motorcycle accident claim can be a confusing and overwhelming experience, especially when coping with serious injuries and other financial losses.
Our lawyers want to reassure you that filing a claim may be the best thing to do, and the only way to recoup the damages to which you’re entitled. What’s more, when you hire our law firm, we will handle all the legal heavy lifting for you, managing all the details of your case so that you can focus on your recovery.
Many people ask us about the value of the average motorcycle accident settlement – while this may be information that is important to you in making the decision about whether or not to pursue a claim, please note that settlement values vary on a case-by-case basis. The amount that you are able to recover will be based on fault, the extent of damages, and the types and amount of insurance coverage available.
How a San Diego Motorcycle Accident Attorney Protects Your Legal Rights
Insurance companies go to great lengths to minimize their payouts for personal injury claims such as motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, because motorcycle riders have little protection in a crash, their injuries are often severe.
Accident attorneys protect your legal rights by representing you in all interactions and negotiations with the insurance company and its lawyers.
Often, the insurance company will contact you shortly after an accident and request a recorded statement. The insurer can use any part of your statement against you to refuse your claim or minimize your payout. The insurance company might also offer you a low settlement offer, hoping you don’t realize the true value of your claim. If you accept their offer, you lose all rights to pursue any further damages for your losses.
When you trust a San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer from Levinson Law Group, you can rest assured that we will fight tirelessly to protect your legal rights and recover the compensation you deserve.
Call Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Southern California Today
We know how devastating a motorcycle accident can be. When you need an advocate on your side who is committed to helping you recover your maximum compensation award, you need the legal team at the Levinson Law Group.