One Drunk Driver Plus One Motorcyclist Equals Potential Disaster
Given the number of cars and motorcyclists traveling on area roads each day, there is a significant chance that a drunk driver will eventually collide with a biker, mainly because motorcycle riders are often harder to spot and avoid even when a driver isn’t impaired. If you or a loved one were riding a motorcycle and were hit by a drunk driver, seek legal help right away. We all know that drinking and driving don’t mix. Contact a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney today to discuss your rights and options.
The Consequences Can Be Deadly
When drivers fail to follow the law regarding drunk driving and decide to get behind the wheel anyway, they can easily swerve into an unsuspecting motorcyclist. Bikers are at an increased risk of injury or death when they are involved in drunk driving accidents because their motorcycles do not have the same safety protections as cars. The absence of seatbelts, airbags, doors and side paneling means that riders can easily be flung off their bike and sustain severe injuries to their bodies. What’s more, drunk drivers have difficulty spotting bikers whose vehicles are far smaller than a standard car.
Know Your Rights and Options Under the Law
When a driver has been drinking, they won’t be as quick to respond to any obstacles in their way, and controlling their vehicle will be that much harder. Because driving requires the ability to respond at a moment’s notice to objects in your path, a drunk driver is likely to be a danger to most people on the road. Motorcyclists, as previously stated, lack the enhanced protections that cars do, so an accident with a motor vehicle can be fatal.
When a drunk driving accident occurs while you were on your bike, you will likely be entitled to compensation for your injuries. How much you will be able to obtain ultimately will depend on the facts of your case. For example, suppose the officers who responded to the accident were able to determine the driver’s blood alcohol level was over the legal limit. In that instance, you will have a strong case for obtaining compensation for your injuries, plus pain and suffering to account for the driver’s irresponsibility.
Bear in mind, however, that insurance companies will also try to argue that the motorcyclist was somehow responsible for the crash. The strategy behind this approach is that when it’s found that a motorcyclist also played a role in the accident, the insurance company will be able to pay less because of California’s comparative negligence rule.
Comparative negligence essentially discounts a portion of your compensation depending on the percentage of fault the court finds. For example, if they find that the driver was 80 percent to blame and you, as the biker, were 20 percent to blame, you will receive a settlement for 80 percent of your total damages.
Contact a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving accident while you were riding, an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney can ensure that you receive the total amount of compensation you are entitled to under the law. Contact our offices today.