California Motorcycle Accident Guide


What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

There’s a common saying among veteran motorcyclists: “When it comes to crashes, it’s not a matter of if, but when.” This may sound like an urban legend old riders tell young SQUIDs just to scare them into better behavior, but there is a seed of truth in the statement. As long as there are careless cagers on the road, riders will always be at risk, no matter how good they are or how long they have been riding. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared.

The actions you take immediately after a motorcycle accident can significantly influence how it will affect you down the line. Since your financial and physical well-being are at stake, there’s little room for mistakes.

It is highly recommended that you memorize the tips and pointers below. They can help you mitigate some of the expected, negative consequences of a motorcycle accident:

Get yourself out of harm’s way.
Needless to say, your safety is your number one priority. If able, get yourself off the roadway and out of traffic. Put enough distance between yourself and any hazard, such as a fire, gas leak, cliff, or damaged structure that is on the verge of collapse. However, if you are in a lot of pain and/or can’t move, do not force yourself to do so, otherwise you may cause yourself further injury.

Check yourself and others for injuries.
Riders rarely walk away from accidents without some kind of injury, due to the lack of protection that motorcycles afford. Also, some of the most serious injuries do not make themselves immediately apparent, especially when adrenaline is coursing through your veins. As such, you should get medical attention ASAP even if you feel fine.

Note: While lower extremity injuries are the most common type of motorcycle accident-related injury, they are usually not fatal. Injuries to the chest and abdomen, on the other hand, can be very serious due to the potential for organ damage and/or internal bleeding. Also, here you can find out about California motorcycle accident statistics.

Take notes and photos at the scene if you can.
Your notes should be detailed and your photos should be clear. The more information you have, the better.

Get medical attention, even if you “don’t feel a thing.”
Your health is your biggest priority. Why risk it? Have a medical professional give you a checkup and provide you with a report that establishes the full extent of your injuries.

Stay calm.
Being in a motorcycle accident is a shocking experience, but if you let your emotions run high and dictate your actions, you may end up making the situation worse. Avoid arguing with other involved parties or assigning blame to them. And do not whatsoever attack them or their property, unless you want to get into legal trouble. You already have enough on your plate as is.

Get a police report.
Even if there are no serious injuries, it is a good idea to call the police. Law enforcement may be needed to direct traffic, record details of the accident, and determine whether immediate legal action is required. Make sure you get the responding officer’s name, badge or ID number, phone number, and police report number.

Make sure that the investigating officers prepare a detailed report that is 100% accurate.
Have your attorney advance costs to obtain the report and evaluate it for inconsistencies. You may be able to leverage the narrative of the report in negotiations with the insurance company.

Gather information.
Your insurance company will need specific information in order to file your claim. Make sure you get the following details from all involved parties:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Vehicle make, model and year
  • License plate number
  • Insurance carrier and policy number

Take pictures.
You can use a camera or your phone. Just make sure that the pictures come out clear and capture all the necessary details: vehicle damages, injuries, skid marks, traffic signs and signals, and damages to surrounding properties. If it is not safe to take pictures immediately following the accident, do not bother. Again, your safety is your first priority – plus, you can always take pictures later.

Get information from willing witnesses.
A statement from a credible witness could prove extremely valuable in validating your side of the story in a legal dispute. That said, do not coerce any witness into saying or doing anything they don’t want to do. Instead, ask them politely for their contact information and let them know that they may be notified by the insurance company for their account of the accident. If they decline, do not push them further.

Watch what you say.
While you should never lie about the events of the accident, you shouldn’t disclose more information than is absolutely necessary, either. Remember, anything you say can be used against you later in the claims negotiation process. If you want maximum compensation for your losses, do not admit fault or downplay the severity of your injuries.

Listen to your doctor.
This is your health on the line here and your doctor knows how to take care of you better than you do. Take your doctor’s instructions and advice seriously. Also, make all of your appointments. If you do exactly as your doctor says, your recovery will be smoother and faster.

Don’t let the insurance adjuster fool you into jeopardizing your own claim.
No matter s/he may claim, the fact of the matter is s/he is not on your side. It is highly recommended that you relay all communication with the adjuster to your trusted attorney. This way, you will ensure that your right to full and fair compensation is protected by someone who knows what they’re doing.

Don’t blow the statute for filing a lawsuit.
Personal injury lawsuits involve arduous tasks and complex procedures. Waiting till the last minute could mean a rejection of your case. If that happens, you will lose the right to pursue compensation altogether. Be prompt, be smart, and file ASAP.

Get a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in California.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can advise you on issues ranging from medical treatment to evaluation of damages. A lawyer can also handle all communications with the insurance company in your stead, so you can focus on recovery. Statistically, those who retain a lawyer get significantly higher payouts than those who go without one. In cases involving serious injuries and high potential damages, a lawyer is pretty much a necessity.

lancaster motorcycle accident

Motorcycle Accident Guide: Tips & Pointers after a Wreck in California

If you’re an avid motorcyclist who rides on a frequent basis, chances are you will eventually take a spill, if you haven’t already. In fact, it’s a common saying among veteran motorcyclists that “every rider goes down at least once.” In the vast majority of cases, a crash on a bike will mean injuries to the rider. Although you can take measures to minimize the risk of a serious injury, there are some elements that are outside of your control. So it doesn’t hurt to be prepared in case something bad occurs.

It is highly recommended that you memorize the tips and pointers below. They can help you mitigate some of the expected, negative consequences of a motorcycle accident:

The Insurance Company Offered Me a Settlement. Do I Still Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

Don’t accept the insurance company’s initial settlement offer without consulting with an attorney first. If you do, you would certainly resolve your case in quick fashion but most likely end up with insufficient compensation for your medical bills and other damages.

In spite of whatever the insurance adjuster says, he or she is not looking out for your best interests. Insurance companies are businesses, and like any other business, they prioritize their profits above all else. If you want to counter the insurance company’s attempts at weakening your claim, get legal representation from a qualified personal injury attorney. You won’t regret it.

How Soon Should I File a Motorcycle Accident Claim?

In California, victims of motorcycle accidents typically have two years from the date of their accident to file their suit against liable parties. This deadline, also referred to as the statute of limitations, is strictly enforced – if you fail to file in time, you will be barred from pursuing compensation for your losses.

Keep in mind that the standard two year statute does not apply to every single personal injury claim. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may have as little as 180 days from the date of the accident to file your claim. Therefore, it is highly advised that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible, before your claim is put in jeopardy.

What Documents Do I Need for the Meeting With My Attorney?

Do not hold back anything from your attorney. The more information you provide, the better he or she will be able to achieve an optimal case outcome. Give your attorney police and medical reports, key eye witness statements, medical bills, the opposing party’s insurance information, relevant photographs and video footage, and any other documentation pertaining to your accident and/or injuries.

What Damages Can I See In a Motorcycle Accident Claim?

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may seek the following types of damages: medical expenses, wages lost during recovery, and pain and suffering. If you were hit by an impaired or reckless driver, you may pursue punitive damages as well. However, punitive damages are rewarded only in certain limited circumstances. Speak with an attorney to receive a rundown of your potential recovery.

Can I Recovered Damages If I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet at the Time of the Accident?

While this circumstance may impact the amount of damages for which you are eligible, it does not bar you from pursuing compensation altogether. In such cases where both parties are at fault, California determines damages based on a comparative negligence standard. This means the court will look at the details of your case, assign percentage of fault to each involved party, and then decrease your damages by the equivalent percentage of your fault. You may still recover damages even if you were 99 percent at fault.

What if an Unidentified Driver Caused to Swerve Off the Road and Crash?

It’s understandable if this scenario has left you feeling like you have no possibility of recourse or recovery. However, with assistance from an experienced attorney, you may still be able to identify and locate the liable driver and get justice from him or her. And if finding the driver is not possible, then you may still pursue damages through the uninsured motorist coverage provided by your insurance policy. You may have options – contact an attorney who can help you explore all of them.

Since 2007, the excellent personal injury legal team at Wilshire Law Firm has collected more than $100 million on behalf of our clients. We can help you get the full and fair compensation you need to get your life back together and bring about a better tomorrow. Contact our offices to learn more about your rights and legal options.

Treatment and Care After a Motorcycle Accident in California

A bad motorcycle crash can result in serious injuries requiring days or even weeks in the hospital followed by a lengthy rehabilitation process. But it’s not just the physical injuries that will make you think long and hard before getting back on your motorcycle again. The psychological trauma you have experienced can leave you unable to ride for the rest of your life. If the crash was caused by another vehicle, then talk to reputable motorcycle accident lawyers as soon as you can.

You want to start riding again, but fear is stopping you. You do have the ability to overcome your fear, but it will take some effort and work. Here is how to get back on your motorcycle after a particularly bad crash.

Receiving Treatment for Your Injuries

The most important thing after you are injured in a crash is to get medical treatment. Even if the injuries do not look serious, go to the hospital and have a medical checkup because you may have sustained internal injuries. If you have one or more broken bones, then get them x-rayed and receive a plaster cast as soon as possible. If the doctor recommends a hospital stay, then get yourself admitted and stay there for as long as is necessary.

After you are discharged, the doctor may recommend a period of rehabilitation, which may include a stay in a rehabilitation center, physiotherapy, and other types of therapies to restore your health and mobility. The entire treatment process may take several months. However, it is important that you recover fully before trying to ride again.

Receiving Treatment for PTSD

If you were involved in a really bad motorcycle accident, then you may have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is a mental health problem that some people have after they have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, such as an accident, combat, or sexual assault.

The symptoms of PTSD include frequently reliving the event, recurring nightmares about the event, images of trauma that follow you wherever you go, inability to fall asleep, change in eating patterns, and the urge to avoid people, places, things, and situations that remind you of the event.

The most common treatment for PTSD is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which includes cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and medication. CBT can last from three to six months.

In cognitive therapy, your therapists will help you understand how your trauma is causing stress, and teach you how to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. In exposure therapy, your therapist will talk about the trauma repeatedly and teach you to conquer your fear of the trauma. In EMDR, your therapist will help you change the way you react to the memories of your trauma. Medication may include serotonin, which can lessen your worries and sadness.

Getting Back on Your Motorcycle

Once you have fully recovered, both physically and psychologically, you can get back on your motorcycle. You may feel a little apprehensive the first time. Most experienced bikers will tell you that getting back sooner rather than later is better. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can immediately start riding like you used to before the crash. Take it slow and easy. Take only short rides for the first few days and then gradually increase the distance as your confidence builds up. Pretty soon, you will be riding like before.

Get Legal Representation from Qualified Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Now, while you are recovering from your physical injuries and psychological trauma, don’t forget one very important thing: to file a personal injury claim if another motorist was responsible for the accident. Medical bills, rehabilitation, and therapies can cost you a lot of money. You can recover the costs and other expenses with a fair settlement. So, talk to the skilled and experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm as soon as you are able to.

What To Do After Motorcycle Accident - Wilshire Law Firm

California Motorcycle Accident Guide: Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured in a motorcycle accident? Our lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm can get your bike repaired, your gear replaced, and your medical bills paid – with no out-of-pocket costs for you. If necessary, we can get you a cash advance within as little as 48 hours.

With 20 office locations, Wilshire Law Firm serves the entire state of California. If you can’t come to us, we will come to you, whether you’re at your place of business, your home, or even the hospital. You are part of the Wilshire Law Firm family, and we are here to accommodate all of your needs.

Our staff is on standby, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to provide you with immediate legal assistance. Don’t wait – call us today at 1-866-344-0588 for a free consultation. California Motorcycle Accident Guide: Get Help Now

Our team understands the ups and downs of dealing with motorcycle accidents, and all the details that come with motorcycle crashes better than any other personal injury motorcycle law firm in California.*

Getting started is as simple as switching gears!

Just pick up the phone and give our team of motorcycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm a call today.

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By submitting this form, you agree to receive telephone calls and text messages at anytime, which include hours outside of business hours (8:00 a.m. PST - 9:00 p.m. PST). This is so that we may reach you as soon as possible in order to consult on your potential case.