Accidents involving motorcycles are not uncommon. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were about 89,000 motorcycle injuries in 2017 alone. Just as concerning is the fact that motorcycles crashes are about 27 times more likely to be fatal than ones involving only passenger cars. That is because compared to enclosed vehicles, riders have significantly less bodily protection on the road.
Even with implemented laws ensuring rider safety according to California Vehicle Code § 27800 accidents remain inevitable. If you were in a motorcycle accident and suffered injuries, you can claim to get compensation. Contact a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss the merits of your case. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at 800-959-1444 for a free initial consultation.
What to Do After Your Accident
Following your motorcycle accident, below are a few essential steps to take in securing the validity of your claims:
Seek Medical Attention
If you have not done so already, seek medical attention. Even if you do not have any visible injuries, whiplash, bone fractures, mild concussions, among other health problems may not show up for some time after the accident. Not only could they worsen without immediate care, but it could be harder to link them to your accident in the future. Insurance companies might deny your claim if you cannot prove the injuries were a result of the motorcycle collision.
Keep a record of everything related to your motorcycle accident, including medical history, hospital bills, repair estimates, and earnings lost during your recovery. Ensure that you have photos of your injuries and damaged property—these will be useful in calculating a fair settlement amount. If there are witnesses, obtain their contact details as well.
Notify Your Insurer and Hire a Lawyer
Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as you can. It is to give them a heads up of potential claims and increase your chances of financial recovery. Sometimes, they deny compensation for failing to make a timely report of the incident. Moreover, you may want to consider consulting a motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles to help with the process and explore your legal recourse.
For a free legal consultation with a motorcycle accidents lawyer serving Los Angeles, call 800-924-3113
Pursuing Compensation Involves Proving Liability
California is similar to most states that implement an at-fault scheme when pursuing compensation for accidents, including motorcycle-related accidents. It means that you can only recover economic losses if you prove that these resulted from another party’s actions. As the one seeking compensation, the burden of proof lies with you. A motorist is liable for the damages suffered if they acted negligently by failing to exercise reasonable care while on the road. Distracted driving, speeding, and disobeying traffic laws are a few examples of negligence.
When pursuing damages under a fault-based insurance system, you have two options—file it with your insurance company or proceed with third-party claims from the at-fault motorist’s carrier. If your insurance company pays you, they will subrogate your payout or recover the amount from the at-fault driver or their insurer.
However, many insurance companies deny third-party claims, citing comparative negligence as a reason. If this happens to you, reach out to a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC. They will offer sound legal advice on your next steps, which may include filing a lawsuit. Call to discuss your case with a team member today.
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Statute of Limitations
When you get into a motorcycle wreck, the last thing on your mind is probably paperwork. However, it’s important to make sure you get your claim filed in court within the statute of limitations. In California, that means you have to file your motorcycle accident injury claim within two years of your initial accident. However, there are often exceptions that might force you to file earlier. Accidents with government vehicles, for example, often require you to notify the government regarding your intent to sue. Let a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney discuss the details of your case with you and file a claim on time so that you retain your right to pursue the compensation you deserve.
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California Follows a Pure Comparative Negligence System
Negligence is a commonly used basis in determining liability for accidents—one party has acted in a way that caused the unfortunate incident. For instance, a driver switched lanes without signaling and checking all sides, sideswiping a nearby motorcycle. The fault lies with the vehicle driver, and they must pay for the rider’s injuries and damaged property.
Often, there are situations where multiple parties contributed to the motorcycle crash. Comparative negligence applies when two or more parties are responsible to a certain degree, which reduces the amount they can each recover. California follows pure comparative negligence wherein you could seek compensation, even if you are 99% at fault for the accident. In this case, you would recover just one percent of the total damages.
Despite this, it is still best to refrain from admitting fault as others can use your statement to reject your claims. Instead, consult with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer before giving any narrative to the at-fault motorist and their insurer.
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Damages You Can Collect from Motorcycle Accidents
Under state law, personal injury victims have the right to be compensated by liable parties. Compensatory damages are classified as economic or noneconomic. Between the two, the latter is harder to calculate for and quantify—what is the value of emotional distress, pain and suffering, inconvenience, disability, disfigurement, and loss of consortium or affection? There is no limit to noneconomic damages in California, but if you are an uninsured motorist, you are not allowed to recover other than your financial losses.
Keep in mind that claims payout differs for every case, but it will likely include past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, repair or replacement costs, and other out-of-pocket payments.
Why Work with a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash, you may consider hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer, regardless of legal recourse that you take. At Ben Crump Law, PLLC we understand how difficult it can be to recover from the unfortunate incident. Our team will help you start to finish, whether you pursue claims or proceed with personal injury lawsuits.
Insurance companies will try to negotiate the lowest possible settlement amount or put most of the blame on you for a third-party claim. We will thoroughly investigate the accident and gather evidence to prove the other party’s fault, holding them liable for damages against you.
Call 800-959-1444 today for a no-obligation initial consultation with a member of our team today. The call is free, and we never shy away from the tough cases.
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