FAQS ABOUT MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS IN LOS ANGELES
What You Should Do After A Motorcycle Crash Injury
After a motorcycle accident, you have two options for securing compensation for your injuries and other losses: a personal injury claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
It is important for you to understand the difference between the two.
In a personal injury claim, you file an insurance claim with your insurance provider and/or that of the at-fault driver. This initiates an investigation that will be managed by someone known as an insurance claims adjuster.
After the investigation is complete, you engage in negotiations until the insurance company offers you a financial settlement to compensate you for your injuries, financial losses, and property damage. In exchange for accepting the settlement, you typically have to sign a release in which you agree to give up your right to sue the at-fault driver in court.
A personal injury claim is typically the first course of action after a motorcycle accident. If the claims negotiation and settlement process breaks down and it appears that you won’t be able to obtain adequate compensation for your injuries, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury lawsuit is a civil legal action in which an injured person makes a demand for money damages that take into account the severity of his or her injuries and other losses suffered as a result of a serious accident.
Many personal injury lawsuits settle before reaching trial, but some go to trial and a judge or jury will decide the amount of money the injured person is entitled to receive.
How Do I Prove Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you file a personal injury lawsuit after a motorcycle accident, your lawsuit will likely include a claim or claims against the at-fault driver for negligence.
The definition of negligence is the failure to act with the level of care that a reasonable person would have used under the same or similar circumstances.
In California, there are five elements of a standard negligence claim. An “element” is a critical building block of a legal claim. If you cannot establish all of the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence, your claim will not succeed.
Duty: The defendant must be obligated by law to act in a certain way toward the injured motorcyclists. In the case of a motorcycle accident involving a passenger vehicle or commercial truck, the “defendant” would be the at-fault driver. There is almost always a legal duty for drivers of passenger vehicles and commercial trucks to exercise reasonable care toward motorcyclists on the roadway.
Breach of duty: The driver must have breached his or her duty to exercise reasonable care. If a driver breaks a traffic law and hits a motorcyclist, the court may automatically assume that the driver has breached his or her duty of care under a legal theory that is recognized in California called “negligence per se.”
Cause-in-fact: The injured motorcyclists must prove that the driver actually caused his or her injuries and other losses. This element is sometimes referred to as “but-for” causation because the injured motorcyclist must show that but for the actions of the driver, his or her injuries and other losses would not have occurred.
Proximate cause: The driver in a motorcycle accident case will only be legally and financially responsible (or “liable”) for the harms suffered by the motorcyclist that were foreseeable as a result of the accident. In most motorcycle accident lawsuits in California, serious injuries are considered to be foreseeable consequences of negligent driving and proximate cause is established.
Damages: The injured biker must show that the motorcycle accident caused him or her to suffer legally recognized harm, typically in the form of bodily injury, financial losses, or damage to his or her motorcycle and other property.
An experienced motorcycle accident will gather evidence from the parties who were involved in the accident, law enforcement officers, your medical care providers, and other experts in order to help build your case and establish that the driver who injured you was negligent in causing your injuries.
Are Motorcycle Accidents Treated Different Than Car Accidents?
Technically, motorcycle accidents and auto accidents are treated identically under the law, but as a practical matter juries are less kind and less favorable to motorcycle riders than they are to automobile drivers. And this is very often an unfair stereotype.
The jury sometimes assumes that the motorcyclist is crazy, taking unnecessary risks, etc – but we do an awful lot of motorcycle injury cases, and these stereotypes can be overcome just by demonstrating that the person was doing everything right, and was just trying to get to work and that it was not their fault.
How Will Comparative Negligence Impact My Case?
California courts apply a legal theory known as pure comparative negligence to personal injury cases, including motorcycle accident lawsuits.
Under this theory, if there is evidence that the plaintiff was also substantially at fault for the accident, the amount of money he or she ultimately receives will be reduced by the percentage of his or her responsibility.
In many motorcycle accident lawsuits, the at-fault driver will argue that the injured motorcyclist was also negligent in causing the accident. While this is sometimes true, this is often used as a defense tactic by the at-fault driver’s lawyers to reduce the amount of damages you receive for your injuries and other losses.
This is one of the many reasons why it is important to hire an experienced and aggressive motorcycle accident lawyer to handle your case.
What Types of Damages Are Available in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
The ultimate goal of any motorcycle accident lawsuit is to secure compensation for the victim’s injuries and other harms that he or she suffered. In California, a plaintiff who succeeds in his or her motorcycle accident lawsuit can expect to receive compensation for the following types of damages.
Costs of Past and Future Medical Treatment. If you succeed in your lawsuit and the other party or parties were totally at fault, you can expect to receive full compensation for the costs of any past and future medical treatment needed as a result of the injuries you sustained in the accident. This includes costs for time spent in an emergency room or care facility, copayments for visits to your doctor or other treatment facilities, costs of prescription drugs and other medical supplies, and the cost of any ongoing physical therapy or long-term care.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering. If the injuries you sustained in your motorcycle accident were severe and lead you to experience extreme pain and emotional suffering, you may be entitled to compensation. Your lawyer can help you determine whether it’s appropriate to pursue compensation for this type of damage as part of your lawsuit.
Lost Wages. Many motorcycle accident victims are forced to take time away from their jobs to recover from the serious injuries they suffer in accidents. Unfortunately, some are left unable to work for extended periods of time or become permanently disabled. If you lose wages or have your ability to work is impacted as a result of a motorcycle accident, you deserve to be compensated for your financial loss.
Damage to Property. If your motorcycle or property you were riding with at the time of the accident was damaged, you may receive compensation for the fair market value of your bike and other property at the time of the motorcycle accident.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident In Los Angeles? The Law Offices Of Gerald L. Marcus Can Help!
California motorcyclists are not powerless after an accident. Even if you are suffering from serious injuries and unable to work, you can still take matters into your own hands.
In particular, you might be able to file a claim for compensation if someone else is responsible for the accident.
The Law Offices Of Gerald L. Marcus is an award winning California Motorcycle Accident Law Firm. We have been helping injured victims get the justice and compensation they deserve after an accident.
At The Law Offices Of Gerald L. Marcus, we have experience holding the following entities responsible for collisions our clients suffer:
-Motorists for driving negligently or recklessly
-Motorcycle manufacturers for putting defective motorcycles or motorcycle parts into the stream of commerce
-The government for not properly maintaining roads
Each case is different, so you need an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney to help you build your case for compensation. For example, suing the state or one of its municipalities is a much different process than seeking compensation from the driver of a passenger vehicle on the road.
You need to meet deadlines and give the government notice of your claim before you can file a lawsuit in court.
To learn more about how we can help, please reach out to us as soon as possible. One of our motorcycle accident attorneys will be happy to meet with you to discuss the circumstances surrounding your crash.
We can help identify whether you have a valid legal claim and against who.
Avoid delay! California does not give injured bikers an unlimited amount of time to pursue compensation for their injuries. The sooner you contact us, the faster we can go about getting you compensation for your injuries.
If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash you should call us right away.
We will help you through this difficult time and be with you every step of the way.
At The Law Offices Of Gerald L. Marcus, we have a track record of success and have recovered over $250 Million Dollars for our clients injured in Southern California. We also maintain a 95% success rate and there is NEVER a fee unless and until we win your case.
Call 818-784-8544 for IMMEDIATE help!
For more info relating to motorcycle accidents and how we can help you, CLICK HERE.