Updated: Nov 28, 2022
What Can Victims Do After Motorcycle Accidents In California?
According to the latest statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are 4,976 fatal and non-fatal motorcycle accidents in the United States (IIHS). You could suffer serious permanent injuries from a moment of reckless madness on the highway. This is exacerbated by the fact that, unlike other cars, motorcycles lack a protective cocoon against accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the United States Department of Transportation, motorcycle-related road accidents have been on the rise for the past decade. According to current statistics, 73.48 deaths for every 100,000 motorcycles are recorded. Motorcyclists are also a high-risk category of road users.
The following factors, according to the IIHS, contribute to the high risk of motorcycle accidents:
Since motorcycles are small, they are less visible on highways.
The occupants are exposed in the absence of a protective shield, such as that used in four-wheeled vehicles.
Balancing on two wheels rather than four decreases a motorcyclist's steadfastness, making them more vulnerable to accidents.
California's Ridership Laws are Worth Noting
In response to an increase in fatal motorcycle accidents in California, the legislature decided to enact legislation that would provide some safety and rights to motorcycle riders while on the road. The following are some of the laws worth revisiting:
Law on lane splitting: It is legal to snake through slow-moving traffic, even though it is a high-risk activity to engage in. You are only permitted to travel at a speed of no more than 10 mph faster than the surrounding traffic.
Lemon laws cover motorcycles: Cutting through the legalese of lemon rules, you are entitled to compensation if you spend more time in the garage than on the road with a freshly purchased bike. Contact a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney to learn more about your legal choices.
All riders must wear approved helmets from the Department of Transportation: Motorcycles that have been fitted with an exhaust system that complies with EPA regulations.
Traffic safety laws are continually changing to keep up with the changing demands and use of the roads. To stay up to date with the new regulations, contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
In the case of motorcycle accidents, California's legislative laws restrict the grace period to two years from the date of the accident. There are certain exceptions to this law, such as when suing a government agency or a government facility. An experienced California Attorney For Motorcycle Accidents can handle the specifics.
What To Do If You're Involved In An Accident?
Motorcycle incidents are among the worst and most serious in Los Angeles. This is because motorcyclists are at risk of fatal injury in the event of an accident. After an accident, there are a few things you can do.
Check for accidents in yourself and other victims.
Given that they are considered one of the worst and most serious incidents, it is clear that the chances of escaping injury are slim to none. If you or one of the other victims is injured, call 911 as soon as possible for assistance. Whether or not you are injured, it is important that you seek medical care to ensure that you are in good health. This is important because some people can have internal injuries that aren't visible on the outside.
The benefits of getting medical attention as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident include allowing the doctor to properly evaluate your condition and determine the extent of your injuries. Head injury, road rash, muscle damage, leg injury, and broken bones are some of the most common injuries suffered in this type of accident. Treatment that starts soon after the accident will increase the likelihood of a speedy recovery while also assisting in creating evidence for the injuries suffered in the accident. Make sure you have a well-documented medical report that you can later discuss with your motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles.
People should be relocated.
It's important that you and everyone else involved in the accident get to a safe place. This will assist you and the other victims limit any further injuries to which you might be subjected. However, ensure you're not relocating a survivor whose illness prevents them from doing so, as you could end up tampering with them and worsening their injuries.
Roadside cliffs weakened buildings that could collapse, structures or automobiles on fire, and an automobile with leaked fuel are some of the factors that could result in further casualties. Using flares, hazard signs, or warning triangles to inform other road users about the accident as you drive to safety from the roadway. The aim is to ensure there aren't any more injuries on the scene. Consider one of our prescreened motorcycle accident lawyers in our California Attorney Search.
Maintain a Calm Attitude
It is important to maintain your composure while riding a motorcycle. Do not engage the other parties in a dispute, assign responsibility for the accident, physically engage the other party, or intentionally cause collateral harm. This will assist you in avoiding statements that may be used against you in court. Calmness will allow you to compose yourself and collect information that will aid you in seeking justice for the damages you have sustained. The details you gather should be reliable and comprehensive, covering all aspects of your accident. The following is some of the information to keep track of:
A valid driver's license
For the vehicles involved, the insurance company and policy number are given.
Registration of automobiles
Numbers on license plates
Officer's badge number and number at the scene
The number of the police report
You can also gather the personal information of any witnesses who were present at the motorcycle accident scene. Only collect accurate information from witnesses who are willing to share it with you; do not obtain any information without their permission.
Keep an eye on the situation.
It's important to stay at the scene before the cops arrive. This ensures that the other parties do not tamper with the possible facts. As law enforcement officers arrive, remain calm and obey their orders. Leaving the scene will harm your arguments because police officers can only speak with the other party when they arrive, which means they will not hear your side of the story. If you are in pain, do not insist on remaining at the scene because you might suffer from life-threatening injuries.
Please report to the officers.
Make sure you tell the police officers about the motorcycle accident as soon as possible. This is crucial because their presence at the scene aids in traffic management, determining if immediate legal action is required, and even documenting specifics of the motorcycle accident. When making a comment, keep the conversation between you and the law enforcement officer tasked with investigating the accident scene to a minimum.
One thing to remember is that they never confess or admit guilt to others. Provide only the most basic details of how the accident occurred, and leave the rest to the investigation team. Note that the police report is important because it will aid in expediting of your lawsuit, so you can request a copy after all is completed.
Notify the insurance provider.
It is important to contact the insurance provider immediately after the crash to prevent your reimbursement claim from being denied. When you contact the insurance provider, you simply inform them that you have been in an accident. Give them basic details about the accident, such as the time and place. If the insurance company wants to learn more about your injury or the damage to your motorcycle, it's best not to tell them without first consulting an L.A. Motorcycle Accident Attorney.
You are not responsible for speaking with the insurance firm directly; instead, hire an L.A. Motorcycle Accident lawyer to do so. Motorcyclists are sometimes regarded as irresponsible, which basically ensures that the insurance provider will attempt to keep you liable even though you are the victim.
Insurance firms will want to undercompensate you or not compensate you at all for your losses. As a result, it is important to obtain legal counsel from attorneys with extensive experience dealing with motorcycle injuries. A California Motorcycle Accident Attorney may assist you in obtaining your right to financial compensation, which your insurance provider can deny. In most cases, insurance companies deny coverage to motorcyclists based on minor problems such as not wearing full protective gear at the time of the crash. You should be cautious about what you tell the insurance adjusters because they are skilled at tripping you up.
In The Event of a Motorcycle Accident, You Should Contact An Experienced Motorcycle Injury Lawyer
A Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer best handles motorcycle accident lawsuits. You should obtain legal advice from a well-trained and resourceful specialist to support you with this incident. The California Motorcycle Crash Attorney's primary responsibility is advising you on the best legal course of action. For example, they will direct you on which questions to answer, when, where, and to whom. Here are a few scenarios in which you may need to use an attorney's expertise:
When the other parties involved in the motorcycle accident make false allegations against you
When your insurance provider rejects your application, it's important to know what to do next.
When the cost of your medical care or the cost of repairing your motorcycle exceeds your insurance coverage.
When you have severe physical injuries and the costs associated with them as a result of your accident
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Drugs
Motorcycle incidents involving drugs or alcohol occur when the driver or another motorcyclist is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Prescription medications and recreational drugs both affect normal brain function, resulting in poor judgment and driving irresponsibility. Drug intoxication increases the likelihood of crashing by five times. When there is a higher concentration of alcohol in the blood, the risk of injury and death rises dramatically.
When a driver or a motorcyclist's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds 0.8 percent, that individual is intoxicated and should not be driving or riding legally. As previously stated, alcohol impairs the operator's brain function, increasing the risk of misjudgment and injuries.
Intoxicated riders are often involved in group rides intended for amusement and leisure. Group riders are likelier to break safety laws like not drinking and riding. If a group of people drives while inebriated or under the influence of drugs, they are more likely to speed, take the wrong lanes, or even break traffic laws. They can take unnecessarily dangerous risks, putting themselves and other road users in danger. When drunk driving occurs late at night, the likelihood of an accident rises dramatically.
Under California Vehicle Code 23153, drug-related motorcycle collisions are charged as DUI causing injuries to others. This legislation prevents pedestrians and motorcyclists from being injured by drivers. This means that the driver will pay a DUI bill and a personal injury claim if the motorcyclist or injured party decides to file one.
The following are some of the medications that have been linked to motorcycle accidents:
drowsiness-inducing prescription medications
The use of alcohol is prohibited
Recreational drugs that disrupt the brain's normal functioning
Drug-related motorcycle accidents can occur when a rider is under the influence of drugs, hits a pedestrian or property, or collides with another person's vehicle. In such cases, the injured parties will file a lawsuit against the motorcyclist for compensation.
When a motorcycle accident happens, the police will likely take all drivers' blood alcohol concentrations, check their licenses and qualifications, and gather witness statements. These findings, along with your own testimony, will be used to show the court that the driver or operator was incompetent and that their negligence caused the injuries.
Damages Recoverable in Drug-Related Accidents
When you are injured due to the negligence of another driver or motorcyclist, you have the right to be paid for your losses. Motorcycle accidents can result in severe and life-altering injuries that can result in disabilities, limb loss, chronic pain, and back pain. You should be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning power, property loss, and pain and suffering with the assistance of your motorcycle injury lawyer.
The amount of compensation you earn for each category is determined by the form of injury and accident circumstances. Medical bills for you or a loved one will place a burden on your finances in most cases. You have the right to sue the at-fault party for reimbursement of medical expenses, including care, surgery, medicine, and any counseling or rehabilitation needed to complete your recovery. In certain cases, the accident could necessitate lifelong medical treatment, necessitating even further compensation.
You will sue the other party for loss of income and, in some cases, loss of earning power if the accident prevents you from doing your daily job. The latter occurs after an accident leaves you permanently disabled, limiting your ability to participate in the job market. You can be limited in the type of work you may do due to an accident. Your LA Motorcycle Accident Attorney should be able to successfully settle your case so that you are fairly compensated for your loss.
In the majority of motorcycle accidents, both the rider and the motorcycle are damaged. The other party should reimburse you for any lost or damaged property if your motorcycle is partially or completely damaged. The respondent's insurance provider will frequently give you a settlement for the broken bike. The payout you earn will cover any necessary maintenance or, in some cases, will cover the cost of a new bike. If you're still able to ride after your recovery, filing a claim for property damage is a good idea.
Motorcycle accidents result in different amounts of pain and discomfort, depending on how effectively the counsel negotiates your case and the facts you bring to the court. Ideally, you should keep a journal of your pain and emotional distress during your recovery time to record your feelings. A strong case of mental, psychological, and physical suffering will help you win your case and get a higher settlement.
Some motorcycle accidents are fatal, and your loved ones could perish as a result. In this scenario, the surviving spouse or relatives may be eligible for wrongful death compensation. Although money cannot replace the person you have lost, the damages you collect for their death will give you a sense of justice. Your relatives will be compensated for the loss of companionship, funeral costs, and medical costs incurred due to the accident.
What Happens If A Drunk Motorcycle Driver injures you?
Motorcycle passengers are also at risk of being injured in drug-related motorcycle crashes. You have the right to sue the cyclist if you are injured due to the crash. Whether or not a vehicle was involved, you have the right to sue the motorcyclist if they were involved in the crash. To win a personal injury case against a motorcyclist, you must show that they were negligent and caused the injuries.
Pedestrians may be injured by a drugged motorcyclist, whether on or off the lane. They are liable for the accident in any case, and they should pay you for the losses they cause.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
As soon as you are involved in an accident, you can contact the at-fault party's insurance agent to seek compensation for your injuries. You must file your claim immediately after the accident, usually within 24 hours. Additionally, seek medical help as soon as possible. Early medical care reduces the chance that the insurance provider will reject your claim because your injuries are minor or unrelated to the accident.
After you submit your claim, an insurance adjuster will offer you compensation for your losses and prevent a lawsuit. Since insurance firms are profit-driven businesses, they can almost certainly give you a settlement that falls well short of fully compensating you for your losses.
It is always a good idea to turn down these offers. If you accept the settlement deal, you waive the right to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.
To avoid the possibility of a lawsuit, insurance firms hurry to make a settlement offer to the injured party. This is because if the plaintiff wins the case, they will be forced to pay a large sum of money.
The insurance agent considers the real treatment costs, the extent of the injury, collateral harm, and pain and distress damages when determining the compensation offer. After computing these figures, they settle on the maximum sum they are willing to pay. They then make an offer that is at least 25% less than the original price. This allows them to negotiate in a safe environment.
Employ a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney to assist you if you are involved in a drug-related motorcycle accident. Take the insurance company's offer to your lawyer so that they can give you sound legal advice about whether or not the payout covers the injury's damages.
To prove that you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, the LA Motorcycle Accident Attorney will assist you in collecting the necessary documentation, such as medical records, police reports, and witness statements. In addition, the prosecutor can calculate the costs and their value to assist you in determining the sum you will accept as a settlement.
Following that, the California Motorcycle Accident Attorney will work with the insurance firm to try to get you a better deal. The insurance company's response will decide whether you go to court or not.
You and your lawyer can file a complaint in court if you believe the reimbursement amount is insufficient. Following filing the case, you must go through a series of court procedures to decide if you are entitled to compensation and the sum you will receive. At this point, the court will determine the most appropriate compensation to compensate you for all of your losses.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Alcohol
Motorcycle accidents involving alcohol account for almost half of all motorcycle accidents in California. 75 percent of these collisions involve a motor vehicle, and most result in the cyclist's death or serious injury. If you or a loved one is injured in an alcohol-related motorcycle crash, you can recover damages by bringing a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Motorcycle injuries rise by at least 5% when alcohol is consumed. The main explanation for this is that alcohol is a sedative that causes the nervous and muscular systems to slow down. The higher your blood alcohol level, the more likely you are to drive or ride recklessly.
Most motorcycle accidents involving cyclists are caused by peer pressure to drink and drive during group activities. These collisions, however, are not limited to inebriated group riders. If you are a solo cyclist or a motorist who is driving intoxicated, you are more likely to be involved in a collision.
Driving or riding with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than.08 percent is illegal in California. Commercial drivers, such as those who work for rideshare and Uber, do not surpass the legal limit of .04 percent. The law assumes that the average person is inebriated at this stage. Depending on your tolerance and how long you've been drinking, you may be intoxicated even with a lower BAC.
Many people are more likely to be careless on the road when they have consumed alcohol. Speeding, driving, or riding in the wrong lane, weaving through traffic, ignoring traffic lights and signals, inattentiveness, and aggressiveness on the road are all examples of reckless conduct.
When a motorist or passenger consumes alcohol before riding or driving, they have already breached the motorist's duty of care. Certain laws bind road users, requiring them to avoid foreseeable harm to themselves, others, and property.
When appealing for damages after a motorcycle accident caused by alcohol, you must show that:
The defendant was careless in his actions.
The accident caused harm to you or a loved one.
It's important to remember that a personal injury case is a legal matter that isn't affected by whether or not the defendant has been charged with or convicted of a DUI crime. A DUI conviction, on the other hand, makes it easier to prove negligence.
Alcohol-Related Motorcycle Accidents Cause a Wide Range of Injuries
Motorcycles are a safe and reliable mode of transportation. However, in the event of an accident, they pose a greater risk of severe injury and death. Furthermore, some factors raise the risk of injury. There are some of them:
Failure to wear a helmet: wearing a helmet reduces the risk of death by at least 37% and the risk of severe head injury by 69%. Since wearing a helmet can save your life, California Vehicle Code 27803 allows all motorcyclists and passengers to do so.
Age: Relative to younger motorists, cyclists over the age of 40 are more likely to die in motorcycle accidents.
Unlicensed riders: unlicensed riders account for more than a quarter of all fatal motorcycle crashes.
The use of alcohol
The following are some of the most common motorcycle-related injuries:
When a biker falls off the bike, he or she can suffer broken bones. Legs, elbows, feet, ankles, and arms are among the most commonly affected bones.
Broken hips, knees, and pelvic joints may be broken as a result of the effects of the crash.
In most motorcycle accidents, head injuries are normal.
They happen when the head collides with the ground or an obstacle during a collision.
The effect can be reduced if you are wearing a helmet.
Mild to serious head injuries are possible.
You may lose consciousness, experience internal bleeding, suffer concussions, or sustain serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury.
A fractured collarbone, whiplash, paralysis, and, in extreme cases, a broken spine is all possible neck injuries.
Spinal injuries may occur due to a collision with the biker's back or leg.
Loss of limbs may occur immediately after an accident or as a result of other injuries.
Nerve damage can happen in any part of the biker's body that has been severely injured. A biker's arm, for example, can cause nerve damage to the affected arm.
A road rash is an accident that occurs when a vehicle slides over the road's surface. The rough surface rubs against exposed skin, potentially causing lasting injuries such as skin irritation, infection, and nerve damage.
Most of these accidents can be avoided by wearing proper protective equipment and adhering to traffic laws. However, if they happen due to someone else's negligence, you can sue the person for the damages you incur.
There are some things you can do if you are involved in a motorcycle accident:
As soon as possible, seek medical help.
In case of an emergency, dial 911. Assist people who have been wounded in getting medical attention. You may not notice the effects of the accident in some situations, but you should always go to the hospital to be tested.
Obtain information on any other bikers, drivers, or passengers who were involved in the crash.
Other details to keep track of include vehicle types (model, make, color, and year) and witness contact information. Take pictures of the accident as soon as possible to provide a visual record of it. Reconstruction experts can more easily recreate the accident scene with the help of photographs.
Avoid accepting blame or making claims that might be construed as such.
Notify the insurance company of the accident; do not admit responsibility or place blame on the other driver. To decide if you have a lawsuit, contact a California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer.
Damages That Can Be Recovered On A Motorcycle Accident
The damages cover the financial and non-financial injuries you will recover from the crash in an alcohol-related motorcycle accident case. They are as follows:
Economic damages compensate you for any financial losses incurred as a result of the accident. These are the most straightforward to measure since the value is already known or can be easily calculated. The following are examples of economic losses:
Wages that have been lost. An injury sustained in a motorcycle accident can prevent you from working temporarily or permanently. The at-fault group should reimburse you for any missed income due to the recovery. If your opportunity to gain in the future is harmed due to the accident, the court will determine the amount of the profits you would have earned otherwise. You must provide proof of your wages at the time of the accident and medical reports demonstrating the seriousness of your injuries. Salary, overtime, fees, self-employment revenue, bonuses and raises, and missed benefits, are all recoverable. The court considers the following factors when assessing missed wages:
The expected duration of your injuries
Your health before the accident
When and whether you'll be able to return to work
The maximum number of years you may have served before retiring.
Your previous earnings
Benefits raise, and the employer's policies determine incentives.
Your achievements, accolades, skills, ambitions, and passions
Other pertinent details
Health-care costs. Because of the severity of motorcycle accidents, it can take months for you to heal. In certain cases, you will need medical treatment for the rest of your life. Medical bills can be daunting and financially draining for you and your family. Fortunately, if any person was at fault for the accident, you are entitled to liability for these costs. Hospital expenses include the costs of physiotherapy, counseling, and rehabilitation due to injuries.
Harm to property. It's possible that your motorcycle was involved in an alcohol-related motorcycle accident. You may file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover the repair, renovation, or replacement costs.
These are given to you to reimburse you for the intangible damages you suffered from your motorcycle accident. Non-economic damages can greatly increase your payout, particularly if you employ a good California Personal Injury Lawyer. The following are examples of non-economic damages:
Suffering and pain
Loss of spousal assistance, parental guidance, or consortium
These damages are subjective and determined by how well you and your Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer present the case. Non-economic losses are not limited in California, so they can push the final payout over a million dollars.
The court can require an analyst economic expert to calculate economic and non-economic damages.
Damages for retaliation
These damages are determined case-by-case based on the at-fault party's actions. They are intended to punish acts of gross negligence that result in the injury of others. Punitive damages are used to deter drivers from engaging in high-risk, high-reward actions that could result in injury or death.
The court will determine the value of punitive damages after taking into account factors such as:
The defendant's financial capability
The essence of the crime committed by the defendant
The victim's repercussions as a result of the defendant's actions
The defendant's criminal records
The defendant may have benefited financially from the crime
How the Process Goes in California
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an alcohol-related motorcycle crash, you've already considered filing a case against the at-fault group. You can manage small claims yourself, such as minor injuries, by calling the at-fault party's insurance agent. When there's a lot on the line, you'll need all the professional support you can get.
Personal injury policies are difficult to understand. They are connected to other laws, which could be too time-consuming to track down. As a result, making a significant claim on your own could result in you accepting unfair compensation. On the other hand, a prosecutor is familiar with these rules, as well as previous court cases that are close to yours and how to manage the legal system.
Hiring an accomplished California Attorney For Personal Injury is one of the most crucial moves. The attorney will assess your case and give you an idea of what your case could be. He or she can also assist you in collecting facts and filing your lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. Personal injury cases in California have a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident.
You should also have as much detail about the injury and accident as possible. Witness accounts, doctor's notes, copies of imaging materials such as x-rays, and police reports are all evidence you received at the accident scene.
Determine who is to blame so you don't spend time and money chasing the wrong guy. Cyclists or motorists are the most likely at-fault parties in an alcohol-related motorcycle accident. You should also figure out whether you were to blame for the crash. In most personal injury cases, contributory negligence plays a significant role, and it can result in a decrease in the payout.
When you have achieved full medical recovery or have recovered from your injuries, it is best to file a complaint. It is possible to measure past medical costs and forecast future expenses in this manner.
Your counsel will start the appeals process by giving the insurance company a notice letter. Your plan to file a complaint is communicated to the insurance provider via the notice. The inquiry, collection, and discovery of evidence is the next step. At this stage, your California Motorcycle Injuries Attorney can seek the assistance of an accident reconstruction specialist. He or she will also deliver a demand letter detailing the losses and costs incurred due to the accident.
The talks between your CA Personal Injury Lawyer and the insurance provider will then begin. The insurance provider will sometimes make an initial offer, which your California Motorcycle Accident Attorney will accept or deny based on the amount. You'll have to go to court if you don't agree during the negotiating period.
Your California Attorney For Personal Injury will file legal papers against the wrongdoer. The next move entails the gathering of facts and the presentation of new evidence. The court would then order all parties to mediate to reach a satisfactory settlement.
The case will go to trial if the parties can not agree during mediation. The jury will render its decision after the trial.
Damages for Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is described as a death that could have been prevented if the at-fault party had behaved responsibly. Wrongful death differs from most personal injury lawsuits in that the accident survivor is represented by his or her bereaved family.
Damages may be recovered by the deceased's dependents, including:
The value of financial support provided by the deceased
Gifts or benefits that the deceased may have offered you are no longer available.
Expenses associated with a burial or funeral
The worth of domestic services (In some instances, the deceased was a stay-at-home parent who contributed to the family in ways other than the breadwinner.) When measuring these benefits, the court would factor in the cost of daycare, housekeeping, and meal preparation.)
Loss of consortium, instruction, advice, moral support, and love are examples of non-economic damages. Finding A Wrongful Death Lawyer after your loved one dies from someone else's negligence can help you sue for damages that the incident has caused your family.
Find California Personal Injury Lawyers for Motorcycle Accidents In Los Angeles
1000Attorneys.com is a California Bar Association-Certified Lawyer Referral Service that can refer you to a prescreened Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney best fit to handle your claims. Contact us on our 24/7 lawyer referral hotline at 1-661-310-7999 or complete our inquiry submission form for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.