If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident, there is a high chance that you’re in the difficult situation of attempting to sort through options, explore information about personal injury rights, and have to deal with multiple parties—all at once. To help you, we’ve gone ahead and answered a few of our most commonly-asked questions regarding motorbike crashes.
Everything You Need to Know about Motorcycle Accidents
THE INSURANCE COMPANY OFFERED ME A SETTLEMENT. DO I STILL NEED TO HIRE A LAWYER?
It’s not wise to accept an insurance company’s initial settlement offer without consulting an attorney first. Accepting an insurance settlement might resolve your case in a quick fashion, but you’ll likely end up with insufficient compensation for your medical bills and damages.
Despite what your insurance adjuster says, he or she is not looking out for your best interests. Insurance companies are businesses, and like most businesses, they care about profits above all else. If you want to counter the insurance company’s attempts at weakening your claim, get legal representation from a qualified motorcycle accident attorney.
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 a 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 all personal injury claims. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may have as little as 180 days from the date of the accident to file your claim. That’s why it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
WHAT DOCUMENTS SHOULD I PREPARE FOR THE MEETING WITH MY ATTORNEY?
It’s critical that you not keep any information from your attorney. The more information you provide, the better they will be able to help you with your case. 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 SEEK 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. A qualified attorney can give you a more thorough rundown of your potential recovery.
CAN I RECOVER DAMAGES EVEN IF I WASN’T WEARING A HELMET AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT?
While this circumstance may impact the amount of damages you can win, it does not bar you from pursuing compensation altogether. In 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 a 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 the court rules almost entirely against you.
WHAT IF AN UNIDENTIFIED DRIVER CAUSED ME TO SWERVE OFF THE ROAD AND CRASH BY CUTTING ME OFF?
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.
If finding the driver is not possible, an attorney can help you explore options such as pursuing damages through your insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage.
Contact us—we can help!
Since 2007, the experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm have collected more than $1 billion 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. Call us at (800) 522-7274 to learn more about your rights and legal options.