Whether for pure recreation or as a means of getting from place to place, motorcycle riding is inherently a part of life on California roads. Collisions happen frequently. Reach out to an motorcycle accident lawyers in California. Nationwide in 2020, there were 5,579 motorcyclists killed, 14 percent of all traffic fatalities.
At Wilshire Law Firm, our best motorcycle accident lawyers in California work to ensure justice in each injury case. We understand that bikers often have the deck stacked against them during the claims process.
Bikers need a motorcycle accident law firm in California that knows how to deal with insurance companies and can protect the value of their claim. We can help. Call us 24/7 at (800) 501-3011 to begin a free and confidential review of your case.
California Motorcycle Accident Guide
- Motorcycle Accident Settlements and Compensation
- Deadlines for Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits – California Statute of Limitations
- Recovering Damages with a Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer
- Determining Fault in Motorcycle Accident Cases
- Steps To Take After a Motorcycle Crash
- Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
- The Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
- Free Case Review with a California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle Accident Settlements and Compensation
If you are injured as a result of a motorcycle crash, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at Wilshire Law Firm can help you seek a fair settlement. We aim to recover compensation for your injuries, property damages, medical bills, and other monetary damages.
You can be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical bills directly related to the injuries
- The cost of future medical treatment
- Missed wages as a result of time spent away from work
- Decrease in future earnings as a result of the injuries
- Property damages
- Any non-economic damages affecting your loved ones, such as loss of companionship or moral support
Call the California motorcycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm today for a free consultation on the compensation you may be eligible for after a motorcycle accident.
Deadlines for Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits – California Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations – the deadline to file your claim – is generally two years from the date of the accident, but many factors can either shorten or lengthen the timeline of a motorcycle accident case.
In the case of a fatal motorcycle accident, family members and eligible parties may need to file a wrongful death lawsuit. California law dictates that survivors of the victim have exactly two years following the accident to file a wrongful death suit in court.
Recovering Damages with a Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer
Damages refer to the expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses incurred due to a motorcycle accident and any severe injury. Depending on the circumstances of each motorcycle accident case, motorcyclist victims may be entitled to compensation for everything from costly surgeries, doctors’ visits to the home and lifestyle modifications.
Our California motorcycle accident attorneys can assess the value of an injury claim. We may call on medical and vocational experts, accident reconstructionists, and more, to identify the cost of a motorcycle accident case while working hard to get injured victims and families the justice they deserve.
A motorcycle accident victim may be able to recover these damages following an accident:
- Specific Damages – Past and future medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, necessary repair and replacement services, home and vehicle modifications, etc.
- General Damages – Physical pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional distress
Determining liability comes with certain challenges. Insurance companies have claim adjusters whose only job is to give a motorcycle accident victim as little money as possible. Multiple parties can be found at fault for an accident, making a well-planned investigation vital to the motorcyclist victim’s chances of recovering damages.
Wilshire Law Firm’s skilled motorcycle accident attorneys have the resources to help gather important photos, witness and expert testimony, and other relevant material to identify the parties responsible for your injuries.
Determining Fault in Motorcycle Accident Cases
In the event of an accident, victims may look to hold the following entities responsible:
- Negligent drivers
- An at-fault driver’s employer
- Manufacturers due to a product defect
- Property owners
- Public entities such as a city or state, due to poorly maintained roadways
- Construction contractors
California is ruled as a comparative negligence state. This means that if someone is injured due to an accident, they may be partly to blame for the accident or injuries. However, they can still be eligible for compensation with the help of a California motorcycle accident lawyer at Wilshire Law Firm.
Even if a motorcycle accident is partially a victim’s fault, they may still be able to recover some of the damages they have suffered. As a Comparative Fault state, California allows bikers injured in a motorcycle accident to recover a reduced percentage of their damages.
The amount of damages an injured motorcycle rider can recover is directly tied to the percentage they are determined to be at fault for the accident. This means that motorcyclist victims who are 99% at fault for an accident may still be able to recover part of the damages they have suffered.
To ride a motorcycle responsibly and defensibly, bikers must utilize safe riding strategies to address identified hazards in a predictable manner. These strategies can go well beyond knowing basic traffic laws and regulations.
If the driver of a car is not driving defensively near a motorcyclist, they can be found guilty of negligence and liable for injuring the motorcycle accident victim. On the other hand, a motorcyclist can also be found negligent if they were riding without lawful care.
Our team of California motorcycle accident lawyers is well-versed in determining negligence in motorcycle accidents.
California Motorcycle Helmet Laws May Affect Your Lawsuit
California law states that all motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear a helmet at all times . If you are riding a motorcycle and are involved in an accident that results in injuries, you may be found partially responsible if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
California’s comparative negligence ruling allows you to seek compensation if you are injured as a result of a motorcycle accident, even if you weren’t wearing a helmet.
Do You Need Motorcycle Insurance? What If I Am Not Insured?
If the other party was at fault for an accident, you can still seek compensation for your injury even if you did not have insurance at the time of the motorcycle accident. The compensation will be limited due to the lack of liability coverage.
In California, all drivers must carry liability insurance, separate for cars and motorcycles . This covers another person’s injuries if you are at fault in an accident. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident and did not carry insurance but are not at fault, you will still be penalized for not carrying insurance.
The penalty is not being able to seek compensation for pain and suffering. You can only seek compensation for economic damages (including property damage, medical bills, and lost wages).
If you did not have insurance at the time of your accident but are not at fault, contact our California motorcycle accident law firm for a free consultation.
Steps To Take After a Motorcycle Crash
Even with a helmet on, a motorcycle rider rarely walks away from an accident unscathed. The steps injured bikers take following a wreck can make all the difference in their physical, mental, and financial well-being. Injured motorcyclists may be in pain, unconscious, or unable to move following an accident.
If possible, you should attempt to do the following after a motorcycle accident:
- Remain Calm
- Get to Safety
- Check Yourself for Injuries
- Alert Emergency Services
- Document the Accident
- Exchange insurance and contact information
- Take photos of the accident scene
- Don’t Admit Fault
- Contact a California Motorcycle Crash Lawyer
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The danger surrounding motorcycle accidents is well-known. Motorcyclists have little protection during a crash and are commonly ejected from their bikes, with catastrophic or potentially fatal injuries likely to follow.
Several causes contribute to motorcycle accidents, chief among them being driving under the influence. NHTSA data indicates that drugs and/or alcohol were involved in nearly 25 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes, higher than any other driver classification.
Other leading causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Driver or biker inexperience
- Unsafe road conditions
- Unsafe lane changes or improper turns
- Distracted or reckless driving
- Malfunctioning or defective motorcycles – Product Liability Lawyers
- Impaired visibility
- Lane splitting
While most states have made lane splitting illegal, California allows the practice, meaning that other motorists are required to share the road and ensure the safety of the motorcycle rider around them. Despite this, lane-splitting accidents that result in severe injury to a motorcyclist are all too common in California.
Other accident types that commonly require the services of a California motorcycle accident lawyer are:
- Left-turn accident
- Failure-to-yield accident
- Hit-and-run accident
- Multi-vehicle accident
- Intersection accident
- Head-on collision
- Rear-end collision
- Merging collision
- Side-impact or T-Bone collision
Contact a California motorcycle accident attorney at Wilshire Law Firm if you’re involved in a traffic collision. We will go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies and have a proven track record of helping injured motorcyclists get the compensation they deserve.
The Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
In addition to less-severe injuries like whiplash and road rash, the following motorcycle collision injuries are common:
- Paralysis (paraplegia/quadriplegia)
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Broken bones/bone fractures
- Neck/back or spinal cord injuries
Many motorcycle crash survivors face a steep climb on their path to recovery. Surgical procedures may be necessary, and intensive rehabilitation is often required for months, potentially years.
Motorcycle Accident FAQs
The insurance company offered me a settlement. Do I still need to hire a lawyer?
It’s wise to consult an attorney before accepting an insurance company’s initial settlement offer. Accepting an insurance settlement might quickly resolve your case, but you’ll likely have insufficient compensation for your medical bills and damages.
Despite what your insurance adjuster says, they are not seeking 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 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 speaking with an attorney as soon as possible is essential.
What documents should I prepare for the meeting with my attorney?
It’s critical that you do not keep any information from your attorney. The more information you provide, the better they can help you with your case. Give your attorney police and medical reports, critical 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.
Free Case Review with a California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Do not delay in starting your injury claim after a motorcycle accident. Our award-winning team of more than 400 legal professionals can handle every aspect of your case, from paperwork and discovery to depositions and litigation. Our motorcycle accident lawyers can also help arrange access to medical treatment until victims have achieved Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). Reach out to a California personal injury lawyer.
We use Contingency Fees with our clients – you pay no fees unless you win. Since 2007, we’ve transformed thousands of lives, have recovered over $1 billion for our clients and will fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Call us 24/7 at (800) 501-3011 to get started on your free case evaluation.