Motorcycles are much more crash prone than enclosed vehicles by design. Drivers in closed vehicles are less susceptible to the dangers of weather and road conditions than motorcyclists and their passengers. They are also less stable than four-wheel vehicles and less visible to other cars and pedestrians. A distinct set of physical and mental abilities are needed to operate a motorcycle than to operate a car or a truck.
Due to the design of motorcycles, operators are at greater risk for accidents and injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured or fatally wounded in a motorcycle accident at the hands of someone else’s negligence, you should speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer today. Moody Law has the experience to handle motorcycle injury cases and will know how to get you the compensation you deserve.
How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help After Sustaining Injuries?
The injured party may concentrate on getting back on their feet and recovering from their injuries, while an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer concentrates on their client. The lawyer will manage every aspect of the claim or case, including dealing with insurance companies, helping clients seek care and treatment, and responding to any legal queries or issues that may come up. People sometimes make mistakes after a motorcycle accident and then have to deal with the consequences.
Facts can be missed when you are trying to balance all the aspects of your case while also recovering from your injuries. When you hire a lawyer, they handle everything for you, allowing you adequate time to recover. This enables you to unwind, recuperate, and not worry about the minute particulars of your case.
Personal injury lawyers are skilled in advocating for their client’s rights and handling settlement talks. The agreement struck can compensate for lost wages, medical costs, and other economic losses brought on by your injuries from the motorcycle accident. Additionally, if they suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident, an expert personal injury attorney can represent your loved ones in a wrongful death claim.
Finding the Right Attorney After a Motorcycle Accident
A motorcycle accident victim who hires a lawyer has a supporter and advocate whose mission is to help them obtain the compensation they need and deserve after an incident brought on by someone else’s carelessness. An attorney will put in a lot of effort on behalf of their client to make sure they get the most money for their losses and injuries.
When looking for an attorney, it is recommended to start by asking family and friends if they have ever had to work with a personal injury lawyer before looking for a motorcycle accident lawyer. Inquire about the success of their experience and whether they would suggest an attorney.
If that strategy does not work, it is time to use reputable browsers or search engines like Google. You should enter “motorcycle accident attorney” or a version of that followed by your location, Victorville, California when conducting a proper search.
Pick a few lawyers and set up free consultations with them. Find a person you feel at ease with when scheduling an in-person meeting. Ensure that the claim will be handled by an attorney and not the legal staff. Some “big name” attorneys will draw clients in before turning the matter over to a less experienced assistant to resolve. Motorcycle accident victims want an attorney to handle their case personally from start to finish, which is what you will get at Moody Law.
Responsibilities While Riding a Motorcycle
Accidents, on occasion, cannot be avoided. However, if you make sure to drive safely, you can prevent some potential collisions. Motorcycle accidents frequently include other road users rather than the motorcycle driver. However, it is always advisable to adhere to the California Department of Motor Vehicles‘ set of regulations and recommendations for motorcycle operators.
All licensed motorcyclist’s obligations are laid out in the California Motorcycle Handbook. The safety of you and others around you will be ensured if you are aware of the rules and your responsibilities as a motorcycle operator. California motorcycle rider’s primary duties are to:
- Put on the appropriate protective clothing, a helmet, and eye and face shields.
- Obtain the necessary licenses and permissions. In order to ride a motorcycle on public roads, all states require some sort of license or permit.
- Look over your motorcycle. Always check your motorcycle for proper care and upkeep before each ride.
- Drive sensibly, be visible, use signals, keep adequate distances between motorcycles and other cars, and avoid riding alongside them in the same lane.
According to California law under CVC 27803, every rider and passenger who is on a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle must wear a motorcycle safety helmet that complies with U.S. DOT standards. The maker of the motorcycle safety helmet is required to certify the helmet’s compliance with U.S. DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Most serious and fatal motorcycle injuries are head injuries, and with very few exceptions, head injuries can be prevented by wearing a motorcycle safety helmet properly.
Grounds For Filing a Claim After a Motorcycle Accident
There are many laws and details one should know before pursuing a legal claim against a party after a motorcycle accident. There are many reasons one could be prohibited from filing a claim.
California laws could impact a motorcycle accident claim. The main law that can prevent a claim is the statute of limitations. Under California law, the personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date of the motorcycle accident and three years for property damage.
Additionally, California is an at-fault state, which means you will file a claim with the liable party’s insurance and not your own insurance. The person that was marked to be at fault in the police report will need to provide their insurance to the other party. You may be more successful with filing an insurance claim vs. a personal injury lawsuit.
In addition to being an at-fault state, California is also a comparative negligence state, and they follow a pure comparative negligence law. This means that even if both parties share the blame, it is still possible to recover in a lawsuit. Even if you are 95% at fault, you can still file a claim.
If there are no laws that bar a person from filing a personal injury claim, then the injured party can proceed with the claim. Typically, a personal injury claim will be brought on the basis of negligence. It is the filing party’s responsibility to prove all four elements of negligence when bringing a claim.
Proving Negligence after a Motorcycle Accident
In a personal injury lawsuit, you must demonstrate that all four elements of negligence have been met in order to succeed on a negligence claim. The four proof-required aspects of negligence are:
- Duty of Care: Plaintiff must have been owed a duty of care by the defendant.
- Breach of Duty: The defendant must have violated their duty of care.
- Causation: The plaintiff’s injuries were brought on by the defendant’s breach of duty.
- Damages: The plaintiff incurred either an economic or noneconomic injury from the accident.
Each case is unique and calls for the demonstration of several elements. Personal injury attorneys are knowledgeable in the forms of proof needed to support your claim.
Duty of Care
People generally have a duty to refrain from engaging in negligent behavior, which is defined as any action or inaction that does not have the intention of harming others yet increases the likelihood that someone else may suffer harm.
When a person owes another a legal duty of care but breaches it, this is referred to as a tort. Everyone has a responsibility to use reasonable care to prevent harm to other people and their property. All drivers owe a duty of care to other road users, whether that means other drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, or anyone legally using the road.
Duty of care is the easiest to establish in motorcycle accident cases because it is an inherent responsibility of all drivers.
Breach of Duty
When a duty of care is owed but is not upheld, there has been a breach of duty. Duty breach is a crucial element in negligence lawsuits. A person commits a breach of duty when their actions fall short of the required level of care.
The defendant is deemed to have violated that obligation if their actions fell short of the expected level of care. By texting while driving, for instance, a driver might violate his responsibility to drive safely around other motorists, which would be a breach of the duty of care.
Other examples of breach would be speeding while driving, reckless driving, driving while under the influence, not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, or any other unlawful action while driving.
Due to the subjective nature of every negligence case, determining causation can be challenging. Because it is not always easy to ascertain the cause of negligence, there must be legal guidelines to follow. Causation, as used in law, denotes the cause-and-effect connection between an occurrence or action and the outcome. The thing that causes an effect is the act or process.
To prove causation in a personal injury case, you must go beyond simply proving that the defendant was negligent. The complainant’s injuries must have been brought on by the negligence of the defendant. In order to establish causation under tort law, you must show that the defendant’s acts had a significant impact on the circumstances that resulted in your injury.
You must demonstrate that they were the direct causes (factual cause) and proximate cause of your injuries. In other words, their breach of duty caused your injuries.
A person must typically have been injured or incurred property damages in order to be able to recover in a negligence case. In California, a victim may be eligible for one of three categories of damages:
- Special damages: monetary recompense for financial losses, such as funeral costs, missed wages, and medical expenses
- General damages: payment for non-financial losses, including pain and suffering, mental distress, disfigurement, or the absence of a loved one’s company in society
- Sometimes Punitive Damages: These are meant to penalize and discourage wrongdoers as well as the community at large from engaging in purposeful behavior that might hurt others
If you did not sustain any injuries or your motorcycle was not left damaged, then you will not meet all elements of negligence. Even if you are angry for having been in an accident and have some minor cuts and bruises that did not require any medical care or treatment, you still cannot bring a lawsuit on the basis of negligence. All four elements of negligence must be met to succeed in court.
Compensation You Can Receive After Motorcycle Accident
The amount of compensation you may be entitled to after a motorcycle crash depends on the seriousness of your injuries and the extent of the damage to your vehicle, as well as the insurance coverage that each driver has.
According to California law, you will only be able to file an insurance claim with the provider of the at-fault driver. Unless the other driver did not have insurance, then you can file under the uninsured driver’s policy of your own insurance. You might be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against a careless driver if your injuries are severe and your damages are more than the insurance policy’s limitations.
Damages in Motorcycle Accidents
Special damages, also referred to as economic damages, compensate an accident victim financially for out-of-pocket costs they experienced as a result of the incident. Common examples of exceptional damages include the following:
- Costs associated with maintaining or replacing the motorcycle
- compensation for lost wages and diminished earning ability if your injuries prevent you from working
- Current and anticipated medical bills
- Costs associated with any medical procedures, treatments, prescriptions, and rehabilitation
General damages, often referred to as economic damages, compensate victims of motorcycle accidents for non-financial losses sustained as a result of the motorcycle collision. These types of damages are occasionally the most important part of a lawsuit or personal injury claim. Some examples of general damages include the following:
- emotional discomfort or mental agony
- past suffering or future suffering
- physical disability
- Decline in quality of life
- Scarring or deformity
With the exception of situations involving medical misconduct, California does not set damage restrictions on compensatory awards for personal injury lawsuits. In California, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering are limited to $250,000 in medical negligence lawsuits. The $250,000 cap on medical malpractice claims remains rigid, regardless of the severity of the harm or the number of defendants, thanks to MICRA, a 1975 law.
It’s crucial to remember that the cap only applies to non-economic damages. You can be confident that a complete damage award will cover your injury-related expenditures, including any medical bills, missed income, and diminished earning capacity, without any limitations or damage cap.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Compared to other drivers on the road, motorcycle riders have a mortality rate in a fatal driving collision that is 28 times higher than other vehicles. Additionally, they have a four times greater chance of being injured in a crash, as reported by Forbes from the date of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
From the same data set, in the most recently reported year, there were 5,579 motorcyclists killed in roadway accidents, and 2,143 of these deaths occurred from no wearing a helmet.
Motorcycle riders were responsible for 14% of all traffic fatalities, 17% of all occupant fatalities, and 3% of all occupant injuries in the most recent year, despite accounting for only 3% of all registered vehicles and 0.6% of all vehicle miles traveled in the US, According to the National Safety Council.
Looking at the data from the Insurance Information Institute over the last 10 years, helmet use has gone down, and injury and fatality rate has increased.
Looking at California specifically, there are over 800,000 registered motorcycles, which is nearly double, if not triple, of most other states, even with similarly sized states, such as Texas, according to the research conducted at UC Berkeley. From the same date, it was shown that there are typically over 12,000 motorcycle injuries reported each year, with roughly 4-5% fatal.
Hiring a Victorville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured or experienced property damage as a result of a motorcycle accident, you may be considering whether it is beneficial to employ a motorcycle accident lawyer. Although it is entirely up to you whether to do so, there are several advantages to doing so.
The attorneys at Moody Law in Victorville are available to talk with you about your case. Our lawyers are aware of the difficulties and stress that follow an accident. While you focus on your rehabilitation, let him handle your case.
To speak with an attorney now, call us or complete our online form.