If you’re a motorcycle rider, you know there is nothing quite like being out on the open road with the wind at your back and the California sun on your skin. But what makes motorcycles so enjoyable can also make motorcycle accidents severe and even fatal. At Banafshe Law Firm, our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney has decades of combined experience helping people get back on their feet after a crash. We work to ensure that those responsible for the accident are held fully accountable and that insurance companies live up to their promises. We have a strong track record of successful results for clients in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.
Our attorneys understand the pain and stress that comes with a motorcycle collision, for you and your family. We work diligently to our clients’ full compensation, including medical bills, pain and suffering, missed wages and the other financial implications of the accident. Our lawyers offer you the freedom to focus on your physical and emotional recuperation with the confidence that comes with knowing that we are fighting to get you the complete remedies available under the law.
We also take the hassle out of haggling with insurance companies by working directly with them on your behalf. Our lawyers understand the strategies that these companies often use to try to limit payouts. We have successfully resolved insurance disputes for many clients.
It should be noted that — in California — motorcyclists may also be lured into dangerous situations on the roadways by virtue of the lane splitting laws in the state. Lane splitting is legal in California, but that does not necessarily mean that doing so is the best decision under any given circumstance. If you lane split when doing so would expose you to a heightened risk of harm, then you could be found negligent. Contributory negligence in California will reduce your overall damage recovery, which, as noted above, could have far-reaching implications for your ability to cover all your losses in the event of a catastrophic injury.
Any vehicle accident comes with the risk of a serious injury. Motorcycle collisions, however, are particularly hazardous because little or nothing is protecting you as a rider from an oncoming vehicle or in the event you are thrown from the bike. That’s not to mention that unsafe roads and poor weather can raise specific hazards for motorcyclists.
Some of the injuries most frequently sustained in motorcycle accidents include:
These and other injuries often at first seem less severe than they actually are, sometimes because you may be in a state of shock. They can, however, have significant long-term consequences, which includes requiring extensive medical treatment and limiting the type of work you can perform. A Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney can help advise you on the types of long-term damages you should seek.
Accidents can and do happen. Although the threat of a crash is part of life on the road, there are a number of factors that can increase the chances of a collision.
Here are some of the factors that commonly contribute to accidents:
As a result of this unique “dangerousness,” motorcyclists tend to sustain severe or even fatal injuries when involved in an accident. An impact that might only cause the passengers in a car to suffer minor injuries, could lead to a catastrophic injury for a motorcyclist. Catastrophic injuries (i.e., injuries that substantially impair the ability of the affected individual to maintain their original lifestyle and to work over the long-term) require significant compensation to cover the losses suffered by the plaintiff. As such, motorcycle accident litigation tends to be just as much about maximizing damages as it is about “winning.” It’s not sufficient to win the case but to have the jury undervalue your losses — effective litigation requires both a win and an adequate recovery of damages.
It is important to understand the cause of the crash to determine who is responsible for the injuries and other damage. A seasoned Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney can explore the circumstances, including using accident reconstruction experts as needed, to help determine how the accident happened.
If you are injured in a motorcycle or other accident, you have the legal right to seek compensation for your injuries and any property damage. The compensation awarded in these cases is typically referred to as “monetary damages.”
The extent of the monetary damages to which you may be entitled varies based on the specific circumstances of the accident. This is why we recommend contacting a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney. In California, if you are injured in a motorcycle collision, you can seek compensation for medical bills directly related to those injuries as well as the expected cost of future medical treatment. You can also recoup money for any missed wages as a result of time away from work resulting from the injuries. That’s not to mention any decrease in your future earning capacity that is related to the injuries.
Your loved ones may also have the right to seek certain noneconomic damages. That includes “loss of consortium,” or the loss of companionship, moral support and intimacy stemming from the injuries.
To successfully recover money damages, you may have to prove that the person or entity responsible for the crash was negligent. A Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney can explain this further, but this legal term refers to a person who fails to live up to what courts call a “duty of care.”
California law, for example, imposes specific responsibilities on car and motorcycle drivers. They are generally required to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner and to refrain from dangerous behavior behind the wheel. That means obeying traffic laws and signs, maintaining appropriate speeds and properly signaling turns and lane changes, among other safe driving techniques. It also means refraining from drinking and driving or texting behind the wheel and avoiding distractions that can take a person’s attention off of the road ahead.
California is a comparative negligence state, which comes up in situations where a person injured in a crash is also at least partly to blame for the accident or the injuries.
California law, for instance, requires all motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear a helmet at all times. The law also makes it illegal for a passenger wearing a helmet to ride with a driver who is not wearing a helmet. If you are riding a motorcycle in the Golden State, you may be partially responsible for those injuries if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Similarly, if you are a motorcyclist and speeding when your bike collides with a truck that changes lanes without signaling, you may be required to shoulder some of the blame.
California’s comparative negligence system allows you to generally seek money damages if you are injured in a motorcycle or other accident, even if you are partly to blame for the crash. In other words, if you are found to be 15 percent responsible for the collision, you can still recover 85 percent of the money damages that you incur. Proportionate fault is typically determined by a judge or jury.
Comparative negligence is treated as a legal defense. A person or entity accused of causing an accident raises comparative negligence as a way to try to limit liability. Proving comparative negligence is much like proving traditional negligence: the person or entity being sued (defendant) has to show that the person suing (plaintiff) failed to live up to a duty of care and that this directly contributed to the accident. A Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney can advise on these issues.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is vital that you seek the counsel of an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney. Insurance companies often push low-ball settlement offers in the aftermath of a crash, using pressure tactics on accident victims who may not be fully aware of their legal rights. A seasoned attorney can help get you the best possible deal and preserve your right to go to court if needed.
At Banafshe Law Firm, our Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers understand the pain, stress and confusion that can come with being involved in a crash. We also know how insurance companies often approach these situations and what judges and juries regularly look for in these cases. We have had significant success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table for the people that we represent.
We are pleased to offer free initial consultations from our office in Beverly Hills with our seasoned Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney. During these meetings, our team will review your case with you and let you know what you are likely to receive in money damages. Our lawyers let clients concentrate on getting back on their feet while we fight to get them the compensation they deserve.