Fresno Motorcycle Accident Attorney
When a motorcycle is hit by a larger vehicle like a sedan, truck, or an SUV, the ramifications can be life-altering. A prime example was the tragic accident that occurred at the intersection of Friant and Copper Avenue in Fresno. The driver of a Ford Taurus made a left hand turn directly in front of two motorcyclists causing a collision that ejected both riders into the intersection. One of the motorcyclists was transported to the hospital with major injuries and head trauma. Unfortunately, the other motorcyclist wound up losing his life due to the severity of his injuries.
The accident described above highlights just how serious accidents involving motorcycles can be. In many instances, the operator of the motorcycle suffers catastrophic bodily injuries or loses their life in the collision.
Motorcycle accidents are quite common in California, including Fresno. The city provides access to multiple major state roads. Considering the fact that Fresno’s population exceeds 500,000, congestion is also a serious issue. When roads are congested, there is a higher percentage chance of collisions occurring.Hold the Reckless Driver Accountable
If you were injured on your motorcycle, you have the right to take legal action and pursue a personal injury claim against the motorist’s insurance policy. It is important to exercise this right because a serious injury often results in large medical bills and a significant amount of time away from work, meaning lost income and financial stress. A motorcycle accident injury claim allows you to seek financial restitution for your medical bills, lost wages, and other harms and losses associated with the wreck.Pursuing a Claim When You Were Partially At-Fault
In some instances, when a motorcyclist is hit by a vehicle, the motorcyclist may bear some of the blame for causing the collision. If you find yourself in this situation, do not despair. California law allows you to still seek a financial recovery for your harms and losses. This is because California has embraced comparative negligence as the standard for personal injury claims. This means a jury can compare the negligence of both the motorist and the motorcyclist and assess fault on a percentage basis, while still awarding damages to the injured party.Comparative Negligence
For example, let’s say you were hit by an SUV in Fresno and have $150,000 in economic and non-economic damages. A jury determines that you were 30 percent at-fault for causing the collision. This means that if a jury awards you $150,000 in damages, that award will then be reduced by 30 percent since this was your assigned portion of comparative fault.
This is a much more equitable system than what is utilized in some other states. There are five states that still use contributory negligence as their governing standard in personal injury cases. Contributory negligence prohibits an injured party from recovering any money damages if they contributed to the collision. Conversely, California allows an injured party to seek a financial recovery, even if they were 99 percent responsible for causing the wreck.
Other states chose to go with a modified form of comparative negligence where the injured party is prohibited from obtaining a financial recovery if they were found to be more than 50 percent at-fault for causing the collision.
Ways to Improve Your Chances of Receiving a Sizable Settlement
When you file a personal injury claim, the valuation of that claim is affected by a myriad of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the amount of economic and non-economic damages, and the amount of available insurance coverage. In addition, factors under your control can influence the outcome of your case and whether you receive a substantial settlement offer. Here are some important tips that you can use to improve the chances of securing a large settlement.
Hire a Fresno Motorcycle Accident Attorney
First, hire an attorney as soon as possible so they can get to work collecting vital evidence, filing the necessary legal documents, and interviewing witnesses. Next, make sure you go to all of your medical appointments and follow the treatment plan set forth by the doctor. You do not want to give the insurance adjuster any reason to consider denying your claim or making a low-ball settlement offer. Failing to go to medical appointments or skipping treatment sessions is a big red flag that insurance companies seize upon to try and reduce or deny your claim.
Keep Good Records
Next, keep a journal and retain all documents and invoices related to the accident. This includes copies of your medical records, receipts, pay stubs, and W-2s, etc. In addition, keep a journal detailing the important activities and events that you cannot participate in as a result of the accident and your injuries. This journal can be used as evidence to substantiate your claim for damages related to mental anguish, emotional distress and psychological trauma (i.e. pain and suffering).
Be Discrete - Don’t Discuss Your Accident
Finally, do not post messages about your case online and make sure to enhance the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts. Why? Because the insurance company will likely conduct an investigation into your background and try to find incriminating or questionable photos on your Facebook profile, Twitter account, Instagram, etc. You should assume that these accounts will be viewed by the other side during the course of your injury claim.No Large Upfront Legal Fees
After a serious accident, you are probably under a tremendous amount of financial stress. Do not let your financial troubles stop you from hiring an experienced and skilled Fresno motorcycle accident lawyer. With a good accident lawyer, you pay nothing up front and a legal fee is only owed if they obtain a large settlement or verdict on your behalf.Fresno Motorcycle Accident AttorneysI'm Ed Smith a Fresno Motorcycle Accident Attorney. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident because of the negligence of another party, I can help. Please call me at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, free, and friendly legal advice. I can also be reached online at AutoAccident.com.
I have been serving the Fresno and greater California communities for over thirty years as an injury lawyer. Check out some of my past Verdicts and Settlements.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Forum. This organization is reserved for injury lawyers who have achieved million-dollar case verdicts and settlements for their clients.
For more information on motorcycle accident cases and a variety of personal injury claims visit my website, AutoAccident.com.