Natomas Motorcycle Accident Attorney
There are over 800,000 registered motorcycles in the state of California. More than 11,000 motorcyclists are injured in accidents each and every year. Even worse, nearly 1,000 motorcyclists are killed in these collisions. According to theU.S. Department of Transportation, 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in either an injury or a fatality.
The unfortunate reality is that few people walk away from a motorcycle collision without injury. Where a motorcycle accident victim does survive, their injuries are often severe and debilitating. Much like bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents result most commonly from motorists’ failure to share the road with bikers and motorcycle owners.
The results of a motorcycle accident are often catastrophic. This is due to both the relatively little protection offered by motorcycles in crash situations and the high speeds that accidents normally occur at. Unlike bicycle accidents where cyclists rarely exceed fifteen to twenty miles per hour, motorcycle accidents commonly happen closer to the local speed limit.Common Motorcycle Injuries
When a motorcyclist is hit by a larger vehicle like a sedan, a pickup truck, an SUV, etc., the motorcyclist usually endures the worst of the damage. This is primarily because they are exposed to the full impact of the collision. Some of the worst injuries include:
- Amputation of a limb
- Traumatic brain injury
- Multiple broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Torn ligaments
Watch the YouTube video below for the top five most common motorcycle accident injuries and how you can prevent them.Establishing Negligence Critical for Achieving Success
Most motorcycle accidents are completely preventable and only occurred because a motorist was negligent. Drivers of motor vehicles often forget that they have a legal duty to share the road with motorcycles and to take caution when motorcycles are around.
Drivers often fail to see motorcycles and do not notice them until it is too late to prevent a crash. Or, even worse, the driver of a vehicle is intoxicated or texting while driving, and that is what caused the collision. These types of accidents result from what is legally known as negligence.
Negligence is defined as a wrongful act or a dereliction of a duty that deviates from a reasonable standard of care. Where an accident was preventable and would not have occurred had the driver of a vehicle taken appropriate precautions, the victim of the collision can recover financial compensation for his or her injuries.Potential Financial Compensation
Serious injuries often create a significant financial burden for accident victims. Motorcycle accident survivors often require extensive medical care, which means sky-high emergency room bills, in addition to being forced to take time off of work to recover. Fortunately, you can pursue financial restitution for these harms and losses.
The California legal system recognizes these post-accident financial realities and allows injured motorcyclists to seek reimbursement of their incurred and future medical expenses. These expenses typically include the cost of treatment at the emergency room and follow-up visits with your primary care physician and physical therapist. They can also include the cost of any surgeries you have to endure and pain medications you may have to take.
Along with medical expenses, you can seek reimbursement for your lost wages. Basically, any wages you would have earned had it not been for the motorcycle accident can be recovered. Moreover, if a disability resulted and you cannot return to work, you can seek future wages.
You can also pursue monetary compensation for the pain, suffering, and emotional trauma that is often endured in these types of accidents. Motorcycle accident victims may wind up suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and other inconveniences that warrant compensation.Comparative Negligence
If the evidence indicates that you were partly at fault for causing the accident, you can still pursue financial compensation through a personal injury claim. This is because California has adopted a pure comparative negligence system when assessing the award of monetary damages.
Comparative negligence basically means that each defendant is only liable for their percentage of fault and the injured motorcyclist is still able to recover monetary damages, even if they contributed to the accident. Though, any award of damages for a motorcyclist will then be reduced by their own percentage of fault.
For example, if you have $200,000 in damages stemming from a motorcycle accident and a jury determines you are 25 percent at-fault for the collision, then your monetary award would be reduced by 25 percent (which translates to a potential recovery of $150,000).Natomas Motorcycle Accident FAQ
Who is responsible for injuries or death to a motorcyclist?
Anybody or entity that causes a motorcycle accident through wrongful conduct can be held liable for the motorcyclist's injury or death. This includes other drivers, government agencies, part manufacturers, repair shops, or owners of private or public property.
Why do I need a motorcycle accident lawyer?
While the potential legal recovery for motorcycle accident victims is potentially large, you will first need to file a claim to start working toward attaining any financial compensation either through a settlement or jury verdict. This means you need to take action and contact an attorney right away. In California, there is a statute of limitations in place that limits the amount of time you have to file a claim. The statute of limitations for this type of claim is two years from the date of the collision. And it can be even shorter if you were involved in a collision with a vehicle owned by the city or state. In that scenario, you only have six months to provide notice to the city or state entity that you are planning to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim.
When should I file my motorcycle accident injury case?
You have two years from your accident date to file a claim. If the lawsuit is against a government employee or agency, the time period is only six months. If you are a minor, you'll have until your 19th birthday to bring a claim, unless it's a government claim, then it's within six months of the accident. These time limits can vary under different circumstances so it's important to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
I’m Ed Smith, a Natomas Motorcycle Accident Attorney. I have been serving the Natomas and Northern California community since 1982 and have dedicated my career to helping people injured in accidents. If you or a loved one has been hurt by a negligent driver, please call me at 916.921.6400or 800.404.5400 for compassionate, free, and friendly advice. I am also available online at AutoAccident.com.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 3.30.20]
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