Though they only comprise a small percentage of total motor vehicle crashes, the California Office of Traffic Safety reports that motorcycle accidents are on the rise. There was an 11 percent increase in fatalities from 494 in 2016 to 548 in 2017.
Another 14,400 motorcyclists were injured in crashes, some with catastrophic injuries that lead to devastating losses.
At Starpoint Law, our team is dedicated to ensuring you get the highest possible compensation as the victim of a motorcycle crash.
We have extensive legal experience in dealing with insurance companies, but we’re equally prepared to take your claim to court if necessary to protect your rights. Please contact our office to set up a free consultation with one of our motorcycle accident attorneys in Los Angeles. You may also find it helpful to review some important information on these cases.
Motorcycle Riders Face Unique Risks
Motorcyclists face safety risks in ways that other motorists don’t, the most obvious being the size and weight differential between the vehicles. From a cursory look, you can see that even a compact car is larger than a motorcycle. Plus, the average passenger car is approximately 2,900 pounds, while a motorcycle weighs in at 604 pounds – about 80 percent less. As you may expect, the rider is much more likely to be seriously injured in an accident involving a car and a motorcycle.
However, motorcyclists also encounter additional threats, such as:
- There’s no metal barrier to protect the motorcycle rider from the force of the other vehicle;
- A rider may wear a helmet and other safety gear, but this equipment does little to prevent injuries from a violent impact; and,
- California law allows lane splitting, in which motorcyclists can travel between two lanes of traffic. Many riders do exercise this maneuver, especially in heavy traffic or when stopped at a light. Unfortunately, other motorists aren’t expecting a rider to split lanes, so they don’t anticipate it and can cause an accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
In general, motorcycle crashes happen because someone was driving carelessly or recklessly. Many of these incidents are caused by:
- Exceeding the speed limit or traveling too fast for conditions;
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs;
- Failure to yield to a motorcycle rider; and,
- Other violations of California’s Rules of the Road.
In addition, distracted driving has become a serious problem in California. Though it’s against the law, motorists may text while driving, talk on the phone, post on social media, or engage in other risky acts. They pose a threat to everyone on the road, including motorcycle riders.
Regardless of the specific causes, injury claims for motorcycle accidents are based upon the legal concept of negligence. A Los Angeles motorcycle injury attorney can assist with your case, in which you need to prove four essential elements with solid evidence:
- You must show that the other motorist had a legal duty to drive safely;
- That person breached this duty by driving carelessly, violating the law, or engaging in risky conduct behind the wheel;
- The other motorist’s breach of duty was a direct cause of your motorcycle accident injuries, such that the crash wouldn’t have occurred but for the breach; and,
- You suffered losses because of your injuries.
A Los Angeles Motorcycle Lawyer Will Protect Your Rights
Based upon the above factors, the likelihood of severe or catastrophic injuries is high for motorcycle riders. Though the initial pain is excruciating, medical complications can linger for years or even a lifetime. Head injuries, paralysis, amputations, and related injuries require extensive medical treatment, forcing bills to skyrocket. Plus, a victim of a motorcycle accident may be unable to work.
You may be entitled to compensation for these losses, but these claims can be complicated. Our motorcycle accident attorneys Los Angeles can handle the legal process, which involves:
Filing an Insurance Claim:
Motorists in California are required to carry auto insurance to protect victims of crashes, including motorcycle riders. The process starts with filling out the necessary forms and collecting supporting documentation, such as medical records, paychecks and details on your income, and other paperwork. The key is to provide sufficient evidence regarding fault of the other driver and the severity of your injuries.
Still, regardless of the sufficiency of your supporting documents, an insurance company may still deny your claim or make a low counteroffer. A Los Angeles motorcycle lawyer has the experience and skills to overcome challenges in the claims process.
If your attorney cannot reach a fair, reasonable settlement with an insurance company, the next step is taking the case to court. Litigation is very complicated, and you put your rights at risk if you don’t have a legal background. It’s wise to have legal representation to handle litigation tasks, including:
- Drafting the complaint to initiate the lawsuit;
- Appearing in court for status conferences and other hearings;
- Bringing motions on your behalf and defending those filed by the other party;
- Preparing and responding to discovery requests, including interrogatories and depositions; and,
- Representing you at trial.
Seek Compensation for Your Losses as a Motorcycle Accident Victim
Regardless of whether you settle your claim with an insurance company or must go to court, the available monetary damages are generally the same. With help from a motorcycle injury lawyer in Los Angeles, you may be entitled to recover compensation for such losses as:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Losses that impact your personal relationships with your spouse, children, and other loved ones; and,
- Many more, depending on your circumstances.
Discuss Your Legal Options with Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Los Angeles
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, you need solid legal representation to fight for your rights. To learn more about your legal remedies, please contact Starpoint Law to schedule a no-cost case evaluation. We can explain how these cases work and why it’s critical to retain a motorcycle lawyer in Los Angeles to assist with your claim.