California Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
With motorcycles becoming more and more popular, the upward surge in related accidents has also increased quite significantly as well. The physical and financial damage that an accident can cause its victims is usually extreme.
If you or loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, then you will need the services of an experienced lawyer with expertise in representing motorcycle accident victims in California to handle your case.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will have a thorough understanding of the legal process needed to manage your case from the beginning to end. This thoroughness and experience will help you earn the compensation you need to recover from the physical and financial damage caused by the accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle riders face many challenges and dangers on California roads, usually caused by other vehicle riders. One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents are collisions with a car resulting from driver negligence. Too often drivers will fail to gauge a motorcyclist’s speed or proximity to their vehicle.
In addition, because motorcyclists lack any form of protective gear or structure, save for their helmet and elbow/knee pads, they are more likely to suffer critical injuries when they are involved in an accident.
Some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents in California include:
- Speeding: This is one of the leading causes of auto accidents across the United States. Speeding causes drivers to have a slow reaction time, thereby causing collisions leading to injury and even death.
- Distracted driving: Another popular cause of motorcycle accident is drivers who are distracted with their mobile phones (calling or texting), checking the GPS, or changing the radio. This negligent behavior puts other road users at risk.
- Switching lanes irresponsibly: Irresponsible drivers are usually found guilty of driving recklessly and switching lanes without giving a proper indication or checking for all blind spots. This results in accidents that could have easily been avoided if the driver had been more careful.
- Driving under the influence: This is a more serious offense and drivers who are found guilty of causing accidents because they were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may face both civil and criminal liability.
- Vehicle defects: The defect could be with the motorcycle or the vehicle that collided with the motorcycle. Whichever is the case, the manufacturer will be liable for the accident and damages caused.
- Dangerous road conditions: Conditions such as crumbling pavement, potholes, spills, debris, and lack of necessary signals and signs can increase a motorcyclist’s chance of losing control and colliding with another vehicle or object.
From our experience, some of the parts of the body that are most prone to injuries after a motorcycle accident include the legs, feet, head and neck. This could be broken bones, sprained ankles and concussions. Some of these injuries could be fatal, so having protective gear on at all times is essential to reduce your risks.
What Happens After a California Motorcycle Accident?
The aftermath of any kind of accident is usually one of confusion and fear. Because most people do not prepare for an accident, it usually comes as a shock when it happens and many folks do not really know what to do next.
Immediately after a motorcycle accident you should:
Move to a safe place
The scenes of most motorcycle accidents are often very dangerous with fuel spills and the possibility of an explosion. When you think about these possibilities, it is in the best interest of everybody involved to get to a safe place and tend to their wounds.
Get medical attention
The next obvious and the most logical step after an accident is to seek medical attention. If you are seriously injured, you will need to be taken to the emergency room (ER). The most common causes of death following a motorcycle accident are head and chest injuries, so getting an MRI scan is critical after being involved in a crash.
Report the accident
This is very important because a police report will help in filing a lawsuit against those responsible for the crash. Therefore, unless your injuries were so bad, an ambulance had to take you away; you should immediately call the police to report the crash.
Call a Reputable California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Finally, you will need to speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Getting a lawyer on board as early as possible will increase your chances of building a strong case where you can be financially compensated for your physical and emotional pains.
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a motorcycle accident, you can contact us for a free consultation today.
Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
There are several reasons why you need a motorcycle accident lawyer if you have been involved in a crash. We discuss some of the most important reasons below:
- A motorcycle accident lawyer will help you gather all the necessary evidence needed to solidify your case. A case is as strong as the evidence provided, so ensure you have a lawyer with an eye for detail.
- A motorcycle accident lawyer will help you evaluate your medical records and thereafter explain how it might influence your case. An experienced attorney will ensure all your medical records are documented and ready when leveraging a settlement for you.
- A motorcycle accident lawyer is the only one who can really determine the true value of your case because insurance companies will never be honest with you. You need a lawyer who knows their tricks and tactics and is capable of securing a fair settlement for you regardless.
Some cases settle before going to trial, while others go directly to trial. This all depends on the circumstances surrounding the case and the quality of evidence available. An experienced California motorcycle accident lawyer will help you cross all these hurdles and deliver the results you desire – fair compensation for your injuries.
Damages Available to Motorcycle Accident Victims
One of the reasons why it is imperative that you hire a top-notch motorcycle accident lawyer is because they have the experience needed to help you receive economic and non-economic damages that will cover your expenses and provide a cushion for you (and your family) while you recover from your injuries.
If you are not sure what damages (financial compensation) are available to you as a motorcycle accident victim, then the list below will bring you up to speed. Generally, the following are the most common factors used in determining just how much is fair to award in damages:
- Medical bills: depending on the severity of your injuries, this could run into tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Once your lawyer has established the liability of the other party, you are entitled to be compensated for hospital stays, surgery, doctor’s visits, tests, therapy and chiropractic care. You could also be entitled to the estimated costs of future medical bills assuming your condition requires ongoing treatment.
- Pain and suffering: another factor that the law allows to be used in evaluating a claim is the pain and suffering sustained because of the accident. Some of the injuries can be mild such as a whiplash or minor concussion, but it can easily be critical and could sometimes even lead to disability. Although there is no yardstick to measure pain and suffering, an experienced attorney can walk you through the process and ensure you get a fair settlement.
- Wage loss: finally, loss of wages or income is another important factor that could be used to maximize your compensation. Your lawyer will work with you to map out how long you have been away from work and what the cost implications of that are. That information can then be used to calculate your damages. If the accident has left you disabled, an economist will have to come in and work with your attorney to calculate your future losses.
Calculating how much you can recover for your accident case is only achievable with the help of an experienced lawyer. You can contact us today to learn more about calculating the exact compensation you should expect from your motorcycle accident case.
Motorcycle Accident Claim Process
One of the most frequently asked questions we get during our free consultations is how long an accident claim process is in California. The answer to that depends on the case.
When we cannot reach a settlement offer we are happy with, we usually file an injury claim. The following steps are what you can normally expect in a typical case:
1) Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Insurance adjusters are professional negotiators hired to do just one thing – protect an insurance company’s profits. And you know what? They do an amazing job. Which is why you should never accept a settlement offer without consulting with a lawyer first. We cannot stress how important it is that you get an experienced California motorcycle accident lawyer working on your case.
2) Present a Demand Package
A demand package is an outline of the value of your case i.e. how much we want in a settlement. This is based on the investigations we will carry out to determine the true value of your claim such as the extent of the injury sustained, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. All of this will be prepared as a document (called the demand package) and sent to the at-fault party’s insurance company, which will then be reviewed by their adjuster.
3) Receive a Settlement Offer from Defendant’s Insurance Company
Once the insurance company’s adjusters have gone over the demand package we sent over, they will offer a counteroffer, which is also called a settlement offer. Our job, if you hire us to represent you, is to evaluate if this offer will cover your accident-related expenses and any future expenses you may incur as a result. If so, we accept the offer and move on; if not then we proceed to filing a lawsuit.
4) Filing a Lawsuit
As we discussed earlier, if the settlement offer is fair and you are pleased with the offer, we will go ahead, settle your case, and move on. However, if we believe the defendant’s insurer is unwilling to make a fair offer, we will suggest filing a lawsuit on your behalf and take them to court.
5) Prepare Your Case for Court
Once we determine we are taking your case to court, the first step would be to file a complaint in the civil court system and begin a process called discovery. This process involves the exchange of documents (e.g. medical records, photographs and other relevant documents) between your lawyers and the attorneys for the offending party. Next, we will start gathering evidence such as depositions and recordings of sworn testimonies to be used during your trial.
6) Going to Trial and Winning a Fair Settlement
Usually, when the defendant’s attorneys realize that we are serious, they settle out of court before matters escalate. Nevertheless, if that does not happen, the case will go to trial and your lawyer will have to present your case in court in front of a judge and jury. After both parties present their case, the judge will deliver a final decision on your claim.
Can I Still Be Compensated For Injuries If I Was Not Wearing A Helmet?
Another common question we often get is whether people involved in a motorcycle accident are entitled to compensation even if they did not have their helmet on at the time of the incident.
The answer is yes, you can still pursue a motorcycle injury claim even if you were not wearing a helmet. However, the compensation you will receive might not be as much as you could expect if you had been wearing one.
The defense lawyer will try to prove that you were negligent by not wearing your helmet and thus contributed to the extent of the injuries sustained. Nevertheless, Megeredchian Law is well equipped to handle your case and get you a fair settlement, even if you were not wearing a helmet. We suggest you contact us today for a free consultation.
Time Limits for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawsuit
Motorcycle accidents, just like car accidents, usually have a time limit of two years from the date the accident occurred to file a lawsuit as stipulated under the California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1. This is called statute of limitations and it is defined as the maximum time available for people who have suffered injury or abuse to file a lawsuit against the person or organization responsible. If you do not file a lawsuit within this timeline, you will be barred from doing so forever.
However, if your claim is against the government, e.g. a city or state worker who collided with you while on their official duty, the statutes of limitations are quite different. In this case, instead of two years as described above, you have six months to file a claim from the date of the accident.
Additionally, if the government rejects your claim, you have another six months from the date of rejection notice to file a lawsuit according to the California Government Code 945.6. But there is a loophole; if you do not hear back from the government agency after sending in your claim, i.e. they never accepted or rejected your claim, then you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
Note: A case against the government needs a competent lawyer who can work fast to build a demand package, prepare for a lawsuit, gather the necessary evidence and generally hold you by the hand throughout the entire process. Six months is a short time so if you or a loved one were involved in an accident with the government, contact us today because time is of the essence.
Why Choose Megeredchian Law For Your Case?
Hiring the right lawyer can make all the difference in your motorcycle accident case and the settlement you receive. At Megeredchian Law, results are paramount. Our attorneys strive to aggressively pursue justice for you with your objectives and goals driving our efforts. Moreover, you are more than a case number at Megeredchian Law. You’ll have 24/7 access to your attorney and we’ll keep you updated at every step in the case.
Interested in obtaining legal guidance for your motorcycle accident claim? Our consultations are free with no strings attached. You can request a free consultation by filling out the form here or calling (888) 243-2050.