Motorcyclists face greater accident risks than drivers of cars and other types of motorized vehicles, so it is especially important to adhere to safety precautions while riding on the Southern California roads. Statistics show that motorcyclists are nearly 30 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries than drivers of passenger cars. Any motorcyclist who is injured while riding through Malibu, Brentwood or another Los Angeles community can hire one of the best motorcycle accident attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers to explore your legal options.
Causes of Motorcycle Accident Collisions in California
Accidents are often blamed on the motorcyclist, so it is important to have a California motorcycle lawyer and their experts working on your behalf as soon as possible.
General causes of motorcycle collisions in California:
Weather and road conditions are more likely to cause accidents for Motorcyclists than other types of accidents. That’s because–as a two-wheel vehicle–the motorcycle is more likely to lose traction or balance. For example, a large pothole might shake car riders up, but that same pothole can easily throw a motorcycle off balance and cause an accident. Motorcycle crashes are also more likely to occur on curves and undivided highways.
Driving in rain or inclement weather is a particular challenge for California motorcyclists. Roads become especially slippery and visibility is reduced. This reduced visibility increases the chance that another vehicle will not see the approaching motorcyclist and will cause an accident.
Improper highway signage and traffic controls also may contribute to a motorcycle related accident.
Multi-vehicle motor crashes. In a multi-vehicle motorcycle crash, the other vehicle driver usually violates the motorcyclist’s right of way (GHSA, Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State. 2011 Preliminary data).
That’s because motorcycle are smaller visually than other vehicles on the road, and drivers of cars and trucks don’t necessarily look for or expect to see them. Drivers may also fail to check blind spots, misjudge the speed of a motorcycle or tailgate.
Intersections are a common location of multi-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles where the driver of another vehicle fails to notice the approach of a motorcycle.
Equipment: motorcycle and safety gear. Vehicle failure can cause a motorcycle to crash, if the bike has a manufacturing or parts defect.
Many states now have helmet laws, which have been proved to decrease the severity of injuries and reduce deaths from head injuries in motorcycle collisions. Motorcycle helmets must meet rigid standards, but sometimes they have defects or flaws that contribute to the severity of the injuries in the accident.
The experience of the California Law Offices of Jacoby and Meyers assures that they understand the complex factors that can cause these types of accidents and have the resources to fully study the details of the accident.
Other factors that can contribute to or cause a motorcycle accident and often do include:
- Lane splitting
- Open vehicle doors
- Driving under the influence
- Attempting to steer clear of objects on the road
- Drivers failing to check blind spots when changing lanes
Contact Jacoby & Meyers immediately after a motorcycle accident for a free consultation. This will assure that vital evidence is maintained and that an investigation begins immediately.
Liability Regarding Fault
The causes of motorcycle collisions are often complicated and require extensive research to establish fault and responsibility. This is particularly important since the assignment of fault determines the amount of settlement and compensation in a motorcycle crash. Many times, the motorcyclist is placed at least partially at fault in a police report, despite not being at fault for the collision. However, by having a Jacoby & Meyers motorcycle attorney aggressively fighting on your behalf, we can help you recover everything you are entitled to, no matter what the police report may say. In California, even if you are 99% at fault for a collision, you may still able to recover damages for your injuries because the other party is partially at fault (this is known as “comparative fault”).
If the motorcyclist is found to be 20% at fault in the accident, he or she will receive 20% less than the total amount of the damages. If he or she is identified as 50% at fault, the driver will receive only half of the total damages.
For these reasons, securing the services of a California auto accident lawyer can assure that the necessary research and documentation begin immediately. Jacoby & Meyers lawyers also know the most common causes of motorcycle crashes and have the technical experts and other resources necessary to aggressively pursue the claim.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Broken clavicles are common injuries in motorcycle accidents because many riders “go over the handles” and land on their shoulder, breaking their clavicle. These injuries are painful and in some cases require surgery.
Motorcyclists may try to brace their fall with their hands, resulting in a fractured wrist.
When a rider hits the pavement, they often land on their shoulder and side, which can result in broken ribs. Broken ribs are extremely painful and require extensive time to heal.
One of the scariest injuries, some motorcycle riders suffer from a brain injury, whether from their head hitting the asphalt at a high rate of speed, or from having their helmet fly off of their heads due to the impact.
Road rash is very common in motorcycle accidents since the motorcyclist is usually driving at a high rate of speed at the time of the collision. Road rash can vary from scrapes to severe scarring.
From minor to major injuries, motorcyclists can suffer a wide range of debilitating and sometimes permanent injuries when involved in accidents. A few scrapes and bruises are generally nothing to worry about, but broken bones injuries, deep lacerations and other more serious injuries require prompt medical attention. Motorcyclists may also endure concussions or brain injuries and other internal injuries that are not always initially obvious. An evaluation from a medical professional is always advisable when involved in a motorcycle accident so that all injuries can be treated. Immediate treatment would be recommended depending on the nature and severity of your injuries. An ambulance, emergency room or hospital visit may even be warranted.
In addition to obvious pain and discomfort, injuries caused by motorcycle accidents can have devastating effects. Motorcyclists who are seriously injured may sustain paralysis or permanent disfigurement. In severe cases when arms or legs have experienced major trauma, limb amputation may be necessary. Many of the worst injuries occur in accidents that result in motorcyclists being ejected from their bikes.
Statistics about Motorcycle Crashes
Accidents involving Motorcycles in California and across the nation are on the rise. Motorcycle accident lawyers specialize in motorcycle incidents.
Motorcyclists drive at higher speeds with minimal protection on highways and roads that are increasingly congested. These factors, in part, account for the steady increase in motorcycle-related accidents, injuries, and deaths.
The number of motorcyclists is also increasing, particularly among people over 40. This has led to a recent increase in fatalities and injuries to motorcycle riders in that older age group.
An estimated 148,000 people have died in motorcycle-related accidents since 1966. Motorcycle riders are far more likely to be involved in a serious collision; in 2013 alone, the California Highway Patrol reported over 12,000 motorcycle riders were injured or killed. The risk of injuries to motorcycle riders is 9x higher than those in automobiles and the number of injuries continues to increase. In fact, you are 37x more likely to die in a motorcycle collision than a vehicle collision.
Because of assumptions or stereotypes about motorcycle riders, it is even more important to have an experienced and knowledgeable team fighting for you. With over 44 years of experience, thousands of cases, and over One Billion Dollars recovered, Jacoby and Meyers have the resources to get you and your family everything you deserve.
The California Office of Traffic and Safety found that motorcycle fatalities increased by 91% from 2001 to 2008. In Los Angeles County alone, motorcycle traffic collisions increased by 62% between 2004 and 2008.
The significant risk of serious injury or death in a motorcycle accident makes it imperative that a person involved in the accident–or the person responsible for his or her care–hire a California accident lawyer immediately.
Jacoby & Meyers has more than 44 years’ experience handling motorcycle-related cases in California.
With a track record of winning more than 100,000 cases as California accident lawyers, Jacoby & Meyers can assure that each vehicle accident has the best chance of recovering appropriate damages for injuries and property damage.
A lawyer there is always available to discuss the accident with you, at no charge.
After A Motorcycle Accident in California
- Get away from the vehicles immediately. A motorcycle crash scene is very dangerous, both because of other vehicles on the road and because fuel leaks and spills are common.
- Get medical care. Motorcyclists and riders are far more likely to be seriously injured than those involved in other vehicles.
- Go to an emergency room for immediate care, even if you feel all right initially. Remember, the adrenaline rush that accompanies the accident can mask serious symptoms for as long as 36 to 48 hours. Head and chest injuries are the most common causes of death in this type of accident. Be examined by a physician and have all necessary diagnostic tests, including MRIs and x-rays.
- Gather information. In a multi-vehicle crash, get information about the other drivers and their vehicles:
- Insurance coverage
- Driver’s license number
- Vehicle license number
- Vehicle registration
- Notify the police immediately and make sure there is an accident report. Call the police immediately. A police report documents the facts of the accident as well as all the parties involved and witnesses.
- Call a reputable and experienced California motorcycle injury lawyer. Time is critical in securing evidence at the scene and identifying the causes of the accident.
The sooner you have the services of an attorney who has extensive experience with motorcycle cases, like Jacoby & Meyers, the better chance you have of receiving the best recovery for your accident.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Cases We Handle
California is the only state that allows lane-splitting, however, because of distracted automobile drivers and those trying to jump between lanes, many motorcyclists are hit while they are splitting lanes. This often results in a motorcycle rider being side-swiped, or an automobile stopping short causing the motorcycle rider to hit the rear of the automobile in front of them.
Many motorcyclists are injured because of another collision that results in one of those parties striking the motorcyclists resulting in the motorcyclist being injured.
Motorcycles cannot easily ride over roadway debris, whether it’s something dropped from a construction truck, debris from a previous accident, or something that fell off another vehicle, many California motorcyclists are injured by debris or trash in the roadway.
Jacoby & Meyers: Real Motorcycle Accident Lawyer. Real Results.
Motorcycles are not always given the respect they deserve on the road. Because they are so small and fast, they are often underestimated by other motorists. When you drive a motorcycle, extra precaution should always be taken. However, when other drivers act negligibly and cause damage to you and your vehicle as a result, you need to stand up and fight for your rights.
Whether or not you choose to file a claim, when you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you should speak to traffic collision attorneys who can handle your case. Over the past thirty years, the lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices have represented clients who have been injured in a variety of traffic accidents. We can help you with your motorcycle accident lawsuit.
Jacoby & Meyers has repeatedly been able to pursue and win motorcycle injury cases.
Jacoby & Meyers has demonstrated staying power, with complex claims that have taken many months to research, litigate and win. Their network of technical experts, automotive expert, product experts, medical resources and economists has repeatedly demonstrated their ability to fight and win tough cases.
Call us today and we can:
- Provide you with an understanding of your legal situation
- Get you medical attention if you need it—even without health insurance
- Have your property or car fixed
- Conduct research and investigation on your case
When an accident occurs due to the irresponsible actions of someone else, the lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers believe that person needs to be held accountable. We want to fight for the rights of injured victims who were hurt in motorcycle accidents, and we can help you get the justice you deserve.
Motorcycle Accident Recovery and Compensation
When sustain injuries from a motorcycle accident, you need an experienced team of motorcycle attorneys to represent you on your road to recovery. Every case is unique, but some items that we can help recover for your injuries include:
Your medical bills may be high, especially if you’ve been to the Emergency Room after your motorcycle collision. An experienced motorcycle attorney can help make sure that any Medical Bills you have received because of your collision else are covered.
But medical bills do not stop at just an Emergency Room. You may need further care, like a chiropractor, an orthopedic or even surgery depending on the extent of your injury. Make sure your medical bills are covered by working with a California motorcycle attorney.
Pain and Suffering
You are entitled to receive compensation for your pain and suffering caused by someone else. However, there is no set amount of pain and suffering you are entitled to, having a knowledgeable motorcycle attorney working on your case can help you maximize your recovery.
If you have missed time from work, or are now unable to work, you may be able to recover money for your loss of earnings. Calculating how much your lost earnings are can be as simple as showing the time you had to take off from work, or as complicated as requiring a skilled economist to analyze your potential earnings and your lifetime economic losses due to your accident.
If the person who hit you was committing a crime, for example, driving under the influence, you may be able to recover punitive damages in excess of what you would normally receive.
Damages and Compensation in California Motorcycle Accident
Compensation in a motorcycle case requires complex analysis and follow-up after the accident. An experienced motorcycle crash lawyer in California or the state where the accident occurred can make a critical difference in the compensation for property damage and injuries.
Medical Bills and Care. The serious injuries that are typical in a motorcycle accident can create huge medical bills. Hospitalization for a head trauma, for example, can easily cost more than $50,000.
These expenses often extend beyond the first hospital stay to include necessary long-term care, including follow up surgery, therapies, chiropractic care and reconstructive surgeries as well as skilled nursing care during an extended convalescence.
Reimbursement for Life-Altering Injuries. The severity of the accident will sometimes cause injuries that permanently alter a person’s physical or mental abilities. In these cases, the costs of rehabilitation, re-training, long-term therapy or lifetime care may also be included in the recovery after an accident.
Pain and Suffering. The range of injuries from a motorcycle collision can cause pain for a few days, for a period of weeks or months or for the rest of an injured person’s life.
All these injuries cause weeks, months, or a lifetime of pain and suffering. Our legal system allows a person to receive compensation for this pain and suffering, but does not set a standard for these costs. A resourceful California motorcycle injury lawyer has economists who can calculate these costs and recommend an appropriate settlement.
Loss of Wages and Lifestyle. If a motorcycle has caused you to lose work time or to permanently be unable to work, you may be able to receive a settlement that includes the value of your lost wages and physical abilities. Calculating the amount of these costs requires a skilled economist who can analyze earning potential and project the long-term economic costs of these disabilities.
Punitive Damages. Punitive damages are not common in a motorcycle related accident. However, they might apply if the driver of another vehicle was committing a crime, was motivated by road rage or was driving under the influence.
All of these factors require complex research and analysis. An auto accident lawyer has access to the technical experts, medical experts and economists who can put together a complete picture of the damages involved in your accident.
Sources of Recovery After a California Motorcycle Accident
Drivers, Owners and Employers of other vehicles involved in the accident. In a multi-vehicle accident where the other driver was at fault, responsibility for the accident may not stop with the driver. If the person was driving a company-owned car or was driving on business, then the business might also share responsibility and have financial liability.
Government Agencies. Federal, state and local agencies are responsible for maintaining roads, streets and highways. If the design, construction or maintenance of a street or highway was the cause of a motorcycle crash or a contributing factor, one or more of those agencies can be held at fault and responsible.
Manufacturers. The motorcycle manufacturer can also be held responsible if the motorcycle had a defect in parts, design or manufacture. Manufacturers or defective safety gear like helmets may also be held responsible if their failure contributed to the injuries in the accident.
Hiring an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in California
An experienced auto accident lawyer knows how to assess responsibility for all of these factors. They also have resources for investigating the accident, analyzing the various factors involved in the accident and identifying the costs and reimbursement necessary.
Since motorcyclists are often blamed for the accident, it is important for the California accident lawyer to establish that the responsibility and fault does not rest with the motorcyclist. The lawyer and the experts must demonstrate that others involved in the accident or other factors like unsafe highway conditions or a defective motorcycle caused the accident.
There are specific guidelines and timelines for pursuing injuries caused by government agencies, if the road conditions contributed to the accident. A motorcycle accident lawyer knows the complex and time-consuming process necessary to win a claim against these organizations.
Motorcycle accident attorneys in California are standing by at Jacoby & Meyers to help motorcyclists rebuild their lives after their accidents. An attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company of the party who was at fault for the accident. If a settlement cannot be reached and the other driver is clearly liable and a recovery is obtainable (either through insurance or personal assets of the defendant), the attorney will help the client file a lawsuit with the court and manage all aspects of the case from presence at court hearings to filing of legal briefs and other documents. An argument consisting of all evidence to support the client's claim will be prepared and presented before a judge to try to get a fair ruling. If compensation is awarded to the client, this money can go toward covering the costs of medical care, lost work wages and other financial losses related to the motorcycle accident.
Determining the cause of a motorcycle accident is a critical aspect of case preparation. When we investigate, we often work with experts in accident reconstruction, building our case regarding liability, fault, injuries and damages on your behalf.
To schedule a consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who handles motorcycle accident cases, contact Jacoby & Meyers LLP today for your free consultation at 1-888-522-6291 or contact us online.
Our attorneys have extensive experience with motorcycle accident cases, and we can present your case to the insurance company and a jury in the most effective way possible.
Hopefully you have never had to file a personal injury or motorcycle accident claim; but if you have, you know how complicated and frustrating it can be to deal with insurance companies and at-fault parties. We’ve seen thousands of motorcycle accident cases and learned a few things along the way. The seven secrets below will help you know what to expect and what steps to take to ensure your rights are protected and you do not end up with a minimal settlement.
Make sure you know the following things before you talk to the insurance companies:
1.) Insurance Companies Often Try To Low Ball You With A Low Initial Offer
Insurance companies are businesses, some are even publicly traded companies, like Mercury Insurance, which means that their ultimate goal is to turn a profit. One way to make a profit is by settling potential claims for as little as possible. If your injury claim is worth $20,000.00, but you agree to settle for $5,000, then the insurance company has saved itself $15,000.00. Hiring an experienced California Motorcycle Attorney can help to make sure you get the full amount you are entitled to.
2.) The Other Party May Say The Collision Is Partially Your Fault – Even As Little As 5%
Because California is a comparative fault state, if you are partially at fault, you can still recover. However, the reverse is also true, if an insurance company finds you at fault, even 5%, not only can their insured try to sue you, but they can discount the amount of money you are owed for your property damage or bodily injury claim. An experienced lawyer can help clearly illustrate fault and protect your rights.
3.) Insurance Companies May Try To Trick You Into Signing Paperwork For Quick Money
Insurance Companies love to try to settle their claims as quickly as possible – they will sometimes try to get an injured person to sign a “Release” soon after a collision. This offer is generally lower than what you would receive by hiring an attorney. Some people agree to sign these releases in order to receive “quick money” only to later regret this decision when faced with high medical bills and an uncertain future. Don’t rush to settle. Have a motorcycle accident attorney review the details of your case before you sign any paperwork.
4.) You Probably Won’t Have To Go To Trial
Hiring a lawyer does not mean you will end up in trial – in fact, less than 5% of all cases even get near trial. Trial can be incredibly expensive for both sides, as such, in most cases it is better for everyone to settle the issue outside of Court.
5.) There May Be More Insurance Coverage
Just because you are told that a person only has a certain amount of insurance coverage, it does not mean a knowledgeable attorney cannot find additional insurance. The defendant may have been working for someone at the time of the collision, driving for a ride-share company like Uber, or may have additional insurance such as an umbrella policy, that an experienced attorney can help to uncover.
6.) Insurance Companies Rarely Pay For Medical Treatment Until Bills Are Submitted For Reimbursement.
Insurance companies generally do not give you money up-front for your medical treatment, rather they require you to go to the doctor, get the bill, then submit that bill to the insurance company in hopes that they will repay you. Even if you do submit these medical records to the insurance company, they may not pay all the bills as being “reasonable and customary” – leaving you owing doctors money.
7.) The Insurance Company May Delay Talking To You In Hopes You Don’t Treat Your Injuries – Also Known As Gap In Treatment
An insurance company won’t tell you to go to the doctor, but you should always go to the doctor if you believe there is a chance you may be injured in a motorcycle accident. Injuries sometimes do not appear for days after the collision, and after adrenaline wears off. However, insurance companies hope that you avoid the doctor and allow them to offer you a low settlement amount. If you do not see a doctor for several weeks, this is called a “gap in treatment” and insurance companies use this to offer you less than you deserve.
Knowing these facts will help you take the proper steps to establish a clear case and ensure a full and fair settlement after an accident.