Fair Oaks Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Most motorcycle owners and bikers have firsthand knowledge about how dangerous riding a motorcycle can be. No matter how careful a motorcycle owner is while riding, car and truck drivers may not always properly check for nearby motorcycles before turning or changing lanes. Additionally, motorcycles may fall within a vehicle’s blind spot.
Across the country, motorcycle accident injuries and deaths are on the rise, despite better driver education and awareness advertising campaigns. Nationwide, a motorcycle accident involving serious injuries occurs every four days. In the year 2015, approximately 4,976 motorcyclists died in collisions, which represents an 8.3 percent increase from the total number of motorcycle accident fatalities in 2014, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This means someone on a motorcycle is 29 times more likely to die in an accident when compared to someone in a sedan, pickup truck, SUV, etc. In addition to deadly wrecks, there were a staggering 88,000 motorcyclists injured in collision in 2015.
These accidents often result in very serious injuries that may result in the motorcyclist suffering debilitating bodily injuries and a significant downgrade in their quality of life.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents tend to be extremely brutal for the motorcyclist. This is because motorcycles themselves offer relatively little protection to the operators. They are exposed when a collision occurs. Given the high rate of speed and velocity in which many collisions occur, the motorcyclist often suffers catastrophic bodily injuries including broken bones, fractures, head wounds (including a traumatic brain injury), nerve damage, spinal cord damage, and/or paralysis. All of the injuries routinely require extensive medical treatment and time to recover.
Pursuing Compensation for Your Harms and Losses
Under California law, an injured motorcyclist has the ability to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company to seek compensation for their harms and losses (known as economic and non-economic damages in the legal world). The types of harms and losses that form the basis for a financial recovery in a personal injury claim include medical expenses such as visits to the emergency room, visits to your primary care physician, surgery, long-term care and prescription medications.
In addition to medical expenses, you can seek reimbursement for lost wages. Many motorcycle accident victims are forced to take time off of work to attend rehabilitative treatments and other appointments. Those lost wages are recoverable, including if you had to use vacation time or sick days that you accrued. If your injuries were so severe that you are unable to return to your prior employment, you could pursue future wages, especially if you are diagnosed as disabled.
In addition to lost wages, you can pursue damages for your pain and suffering (these are the non-economic damages referred to earlier). Non-economic damages do not fit neatly into an invoice or spreadsheet. They include the stress and anxiety resulting from the collision and any significant decrease in the overall quality of your life. For example, if you had to miss your son’s baseball game to see the doctor or you couldn’t walk your daughter down the aisle because your leg was broken.
In some cases, you could also pursue punitive damages. This is a financial award to an injured party that is not intended to make them whole or reimburse them for a loss. Instead, a punitive damages award is meant to punish the at-fault driver for reckless and egregious conduct.
Why You Should Hire a Fair Oaks Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycle accident injury claims often involve several complex moving parts. Skilled representation is one of the most important factors in securing a fair settlement or obtaining a sizable verdict from a jury. Additionally, insurance claims adjusters routinely try to take advantage of claimants who do not have legal counsel. They make low-ball offers and delay in getting back to you in the hopes that the statute of limitations will expire. A lawyer will be aggressive and make sure your legal rights are protected.
Watch Out for Statutory Deadlines
If you are considering taking legal action against the driver who hit you, do not procrastinate. Take action right way because you do not have an infinite amount of time to file a lawsuit. In California, a motorcycle accident victim has just two years from the date of the collision to file a motorcycle accident injury lawsuit claim in court. The time period is even shorter if you were hit by a government vehicle. In that situation, you only have six months to notify the government entity of your intent to file a claim.
Taking action sooner also strengthens your claim because it gives your lawyer more time to investigate your case, contact witnesses, collect and preserve vital evidence, and so forth.
Example of What Can Be Recovered Through a Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim
A jury in Los Angeles awarded an injured motorcyclist (and a former UCLA football player) $35 million for his injuries, according to ABC 7 News. The verdict was entered against Caltrans for creating a dangerous intersection that caused the accident. The motorcyclist suffered life-changing injuries. For example, he lost his leg and other extensive bodily injuries that required thirteen surgeries to correct. He will need a lifetime of medical care as a result of the accident.
The injured motorcyclist alleged that, in 2005, Caltrans ordered the painting of double-double yellow lines at a Redondo Beach intersection to prevent early left turns because of line-of-sight problems on the road. However, those lines were never painted. Caltrans failed to take action despite evidence of multiple left-turning accidents previously at the same intersection.
The motorcyclist sued Caltrans, a state agency, alleging that it had knowledge of the dangers associated with this intersection and failed to take reasonable steps to address it. The case went to a jury trial that lasted six weeks. Ultimately, the jury sided in favor of the motorcyclist.Fair Oaks Motorcycle Accident Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Fair Oaks motorcycle accident attorney. If you or someone you care about has suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident caused by a careless motorist, please call me for free and friendly advice. I can be reached at 916.921.6400.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
See some of my past verdicts and settlements.
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Visit my website at: www.autoaccident.com.
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