San Diego Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Unfortunately, California motorcycle riders are very often exposed to certain situations in which there is a very real possibility of serious injuries from a motorcycle accident. This is true in San Diego County, Southern California, and throughout the great State of California where many people enjoy riding their motorbikes outdoors.
If you have been in a motorcycle injury accident, you may be facing severe injuries, emotional distress, physical pain, chronic pain, and financial hardships where you are needing the help of a California motorcycle accident attorney.
Usually, motorcycle road accidents occur because of negligence - that is, California motorcyclists are usually susceptible to accidents because motorcycle riders and drivers are often overlooked on the roadways by other drivers because of their small size. However, sometimes accidents are caused because of a variety of different reasons.
These injury cases can be due to another at-fault vehicle, truck, or another motorcyclist, or can be due to the motorcyclist himself or herself - or sometimes fault can be found by the street, highway, or roadway itself and the government entity that controls or maintains the road.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in San Diego
While motorcycle riders aren't always blameless in a collision, the majority of these wrecks are caused by negligent motor vehicle and truck operators. They have a duty to drive safely and to share the road with motorcyclists. However, there are numerous reasons why this duty is breached:
- Speeding. Drivers who exceed the posted speed limit need a distance of at least 16 vehicle lengths to slow down or stop effectively to avoid hitting a car or motorcycle in front of them—and that's only if road and weather conditions are good. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders can suffer more serious injuries because the force of impact is more significant when motorists speed.
- Unsafe lane maneuvers. When drivers fail to signal before changing lanes or don't check their blind spots for nearby motorcycles, they can collide with a rider or cause them to be struck by another vehicle if they try to swerve out of the way. The danger increases if a motorcycle rider is lane splitting—which is legal in California.
- Intoxication. Motorists affected by drugs or alcohol are much more likely to cause a motorcycle accident because their vision, judgment, reaction time, and other driving skills are significantly impaired.
- Left turns. Drivers must yield to oncoming traffic before making a left turn onto a road or at an intersection. When they fail to see a motorcycle behind a passenger vehicle or try to beat the light, they can be held responsible if they cause a crash.
- Open doors. Occupants of motor vehicles parked along the street should check for oncoming traffic before opening their doors to enter or exit the vehicle to avoid the path of a rider.
- Road hazards. Potholes, cracks in asphalt, and debris are much more dangerous for motorcyclists, and they can lose control no matter how skilled they are. If the lack of road maintenance caused the accident, a city or local municipality may be liable for restitution in an injury compensation case.
Other Factors that Contribute to Motorcycle Accidents
- Motorcycle mechanical failures leading to accident and injury;
- High or excessive speed accidents;
- Defective motorcycle design;
- Faulty or shoddy repair work on the motorcycle;
- Wheel wobble accidents (can be due to a variety of factors);
Interestingly, over 80% of all multi-vehicle accidents that happen to involve a motorcyclist are not the fault of the motorcyclist. Usually, these types of accidents are due to the inattentiveness of a vehicle driver who just does not see the motorcyclist, or who turns in front of the direct path of the bike or sometimes happens to follow way too closely and rear-ends the motorcycle causing property damage and bodily injuries. Obviously, due to speed and the fact that motorcyclists have less protection than someone inside the compartment of a car, motorcycle crashes can end up to be catastrophic injuries resulting in permanent brain damage, paralysis, and even death.
Reasons You Should Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
You could suffer devasting injuries in a motorcycle crash that may require expensive medical treatments and force you to be off work for months or longer while you recover. If your accident was caused by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from them under California law.
You may consider filing your claim with their insurance company on your own to save money. However, this would be a big mistake. If you want to receive all the compensation you deserve in your settlement, you should retain an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your collision. Here are five ways a lawyer can help you.
Evaluate Whether You Have a Claim
When you meet with a lawyer to discuss your motorcycle crash, they will be able to advise you whether you have a claim for compensation against the at-fault driver. If they determine that you are entitled to compensation and you retain them, they would conduct an extensive investigation into the cause of your accident and your injuries.
They would also collect the evidence you need to prove your case and obtain the maximum recovery from the insurance company. This could include obtaining the following:
- Police report
- Witness statements
- Pictures and videos of the accident scene, damage to your motorcycle and the vehicle that struck you, your injuries, and more
- Surveillance footage of nearby businesses that may have recorded the collision
- Black box data from the other driver’s vehicle
- Medical records
- Paystubs and other documentation of your wage losses
- Expert witness reports
Determine the Value of Your Claim
Under California law, you are entitled to compensation for your past and future medical expenses lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damages from the negligent driver. Once your lawyer has completed their investigation, they would determine how much your claim is worth.
It can be complicated to figure out your future medical and wage losses and how much you should receive for the pain and suffering you endured. However, a skilled lawyer who has settled many motorcycle crash claims will have the knowledge and experience to know how much money you should receive in your settlement.
File Your Claim
Your lawyer would take over all communications with the insurance company and file your claim for you. They would send the insurance adjuster a demand letter outlining how the at-fault driver caused your motorcycle accident, the injuries you suffered, the medical treatments you need, and the damages you deserve.
Negotiate Your Settlement
One of the benefits of hiring a lawyer is that they would negotiate your settlement for you. The insurance company would most likely try to take advantage of you and get you to make a mistake that could weaken your case if you tried to settle your claim on your own.
A motorcycle accident lawyer would have strategies to defeat the insurance adjuster’s arguments, such as that you were at fault in causing the crash or that your injuries were not that serious, and unfair tactics to deny your claim or pay you less than you are owed. In addition, they would be able to collect any additional evidence you need to resolve legitimate disputes with the insurance company.
File Your Lawsuit
You will need to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver if their insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement or the deadline to sue, referred to as the statute of limitations, will expire soon. You need an attorney licensed in California to file your civil lawsuit on your behalf.
They will understand the complicated laws and court procedures you must follow when litigating your case. When selecting your lawyer, you want to be sure to pick one who has a track record of success in taking motorcycle accident cases to trial as well as settling them out of court.
Were you injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault in San Diego or Southern California? Start a live chat or fill out my convenient online form to schedule a free case review to learn about my experience in these cases and how I can help you.
Contact an Experienced San Diego Car Accident Attorney Today
Were you or someone you know seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in the State of California? Do you have questions like what is your motorbike accident case worth? Do you seek legal compensation for your injuries and property damage? Do you want swift justice for what you have gone through and still going through? Do you simply want to make sure the same thing does not happen to someone else?
You can find out whether you have a valid case at no cost to you. That’s because we offer free consultations. To request a free consultation with our team, reach out by calling 619-813-7955 or filling out the online contact form below. We have been proudly servicing clients throughout San Diego, California, and the surrounding areas.