Motorcycle Accident attorney
San Bernardino Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
After undergoing a motorcycle accident in San Bernardino, it is not uncommon for victims to sustain serious injuries. These injuries can be life-threatening or can even result in wrongful death in some cases. Injuries can range from traumatic brain injuries to spinal cord injuries and beyond.
If another party’s negligence led to you being injured in a motorcycle crash, then you have the right to receive compensation for your losses. These losses can quickly pile up and often go beyond the extensive (and often long-term) medical care that you will need to receive. For instance, the amount you lose in wages and future income can also be significant.
The best way to ensure you are properly compensated for your losses is to get in touch with a CA motorcycle accident attorney. Through working with a personal injury lawyer, it is possible for motorcycle accident victims to receive the maximum settlement for their case.
Kampf, Schiavone & Associates has been providing top legal services to injury victims since 1985. We are experienced when it comes to defending motorcyclists who were seriously injured on the road and will fight to win you the compensation you are owed.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident?
If you are wondering if it is worth getting a San Bernardino motorcycle accident attorney for car accidents or motorcycle crashes in which you were injured, the answer is yes; it is very important to work with an attorney.
The losses someone sustains following a motorcycle accident can be extensive. Furthermore, if you do not work with a personal injury lawyer, it can be difficult to receive the compensation you are actually owed.
From the beginning of the claims process, it can be difficult to fight for the settlement you are owed. For instance, negotiating with insurance companies is rarely a simple procedure and can be difficult for those who have personal injury experience.
Remember that insurance providers are profit-driven companies, and their ultimate goal is not to ensure that you are properly compensated for your losses. Instead, their primary objective is to pay you the lowest possible settlement they can feasibly manage. Statements you make while speaking with your insurance company could even be misconstrued and interpreted as admissions of fault. This could have a negative impact on the amount of compensation you receive.
In court, your attorney will use the evidence gathered during their investigation to prove the opposing party’s fault. If you are unable to present the correct evidence to a judge, it can be difficult to prove the other driver’s negligence and liability in the motorcycle crash.
What Should I Do If I Was in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you are looking to receive compensation after a motorcycle accident, you will start out by negotiating with your insurance provider and/or the other driver’s insurance company. An insurance claims adjuster will be tasked with performing an investigation of the motorcycle crash before you can begin negotiating with the provider. Through these initial negotiations, you and your attorney can attempt to secure fair compensation for your losses — including both economic and noneconomic losses.
When you agree to a settlement with an insurance provider, you will typically be required to sign away your right to sue the at-fault party at a later date.
Nevertheless, it is not always possible to negotiate with an insurance company for a fair settlement. If you and your lawyer are unable to reach a fair settlement, that is when the process of litigation will begin. Once your motorcycle accident claim has been taken to court, your objective will be to receive money damages for the losses you have suffered. To receive the best possible settlement, you will also need to demonstrate that the other party was at fault for the accident.
Who Is At Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?
Proving fault is one of the most important steps of any motorcycle accident claim. The amount you are eligible to collect in damages depends on how at fault you were for the crash compared to the other driver. If you can demonstrate that the other driver was 100% at fault for the accident, then you will receive a larger settlement than if you were only able to show that they were 80% at fault.
When a serious motorcycle crash occurs, the other vehicle’s driver is at fault for the incident. This is the case for several reasons, including:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield
- Left-turn accidents
- Unsafe lane changes
- Brake checking
- Opening a car door into the lane
Although the drivers of cars are often responsible for motorcycle crashes, they also tend to experience less severe injuries than the motorcyclist. It is entirely possible for someone behind the wheel of a car to sustain only minor injuries after a crash with a motorcyclist. In contrast, the motorcyclist suffers catastrophic injuries — this is true even if the individual on the motorcycle had taken all the necessary safety precautions, such as wearing a helmet.
How Is Negligence Proven During Motorcycle Crash Claims?
Proving negligence is at the core of any personal injury claim. When you attempt to prove that the other party was negligent, you are trying to demonstrate that they acted carelessly and put those around them at risk of harm. If another reasonable individual wouldn’t have acted in the same way in the same circumstances, the behavior was negligent.
There are five steps to successfully proving negligence during California personal injury claims. These steps are:
- Establishing Duty of Care
First, you will need to demonstrate that the other driver had a duty of care to abide by in the first place. This is relatively straightforward for any roadway accidents, as all drivers have a legal duty to obey traffic laws and to not endanger those around them on the road.
- Breach of Duty
Next, you will need to show that the other party’s duty of care was breached. Demonstrate exactly how they failed to exercise reasonable care — for instance, were they speeding or driving recklessly? It is also possible that the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which is another type of breach. During your lawyer’s investigation, they can help you uncover the specifics.
Even if you can prove that the other driver failed to exercise reasonable care, you still must show that it was their actions that led to your injuries (and any other losses). Essentially, if the other driver’s actions never occurred, you would have never sustained the injuries that you did.
- Proximate Cause
It is also essential that the injuries were a foreseeable consequence of the other driver’s actions. During a California motorcycle crash claim, serious injuries are generally considered a foreseeable consequence of negligent or reckless driving.
- Determining Damages
If the previous four steps were successful and you have proved the other driver’s negligence, you will need to demonstrate the damages you are owed. This will be based on the harm or losses you have suffered. This could include financial losses, property damage, bodily injury, and more.
Pure Comparative Negligence and Its Effect on Your Case
California is a pure comparative negligence state. This is fundamental to the process of determining liability and damages during a personal injury case.
According to pure comparative negligence, the motorcycle accident victim can be deemed partially at fault for the crash. A percentage of fault will need to be determined, and based on how at fault either party is, the amount of damages they are eligible to receive will be reduced.
For instance, maybe the motorcyclist sustained $100,000 in total damages. If they were 0% at fault for the crash, they are eligible to collect that full amount. On another hand, if that same motorcyclist is deemed to have been 20% responsible for the accident, the amount of damages they are eligible to collect will be reduced by that same percentage. As such, they will only receive a maximum of $80,000 in damages.
To see the best possible outcome to your motorcycle crash claim, you will need to prove that the other driver was 100% at fault for the accident.
Common Damages During a Motorcycle Crash Claim
The damages someone receives during a motorcycle crash claim can vary, depending on the specifics of the situation.
Victims can collect both economic and noneconomic damages. It is generally easier to prove economic losses in court since they can often be confirmed using bills and other documents. However, not all of your losses are going to have a definitive price tag, making them more difficult to prove to a judge.
Many motorcyclists who experience a crash will be able to collect noneconomic damages, as well. Noneconomic damages often relate to pain and suffering, or any other loss without a definitive dollar amount attached to it.
Economic Damages During a Motorcycle Accident Claim
There are several kinds of economic damages that someone could potentially collect following a motorcycle crash. Some of the most common economic damages are:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity (or lost ability to earn an income)
- Damage to your motorcycle
- Future medical expenses and care
Noneconomic Damages During a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Motorcyclists may also be eligible to collect various noneconomic damages. Some of the most common are:
- Pain and suffering (emotional, physical, and/or psychological)
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Long-term disability or disfigurement
How Much Does a CA Motorcycle Accident Attorney Cost?
As with other types of personal injury attorneys in California, clients are typically charged on a contingency fee basis. This system often makes it more feasible for accident victims to hire an attorney without worrying about whether they can afford legal services.
Using a contingency system, clients will not be required to pay their attorney any payment or fees unless they receive compensation through their claim. This means that if the attorney cannot collect a settlement for their client, the client will not owe them any money out of pocket.
The motorcycle accident lawyer will collect a certain percentage of those funds as payment if damages are received. The amount each attorney collects will vary, so this is important to discuss with your lawyer early in the legal process. If your motorcycle crash claim is more complex, then it is likely that you will owe your attorney a larger contingency fee.
Generally, an accident lawyer will receive somewhere between 33% and 40% of your total settlement.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The injuries sustained during a motorcycle crash are often severe. The protection offered to the motorcyclist by their vehicle is far less than what the car’s driver is afforded. Even when a motorcyclist takes the necessary safety precautions and wears a helmet, it is still possible for them to sustain serious injuries during a crash.
Some of the most common types of motorcycle crash injuries are as follows:
- Injuries to the lower extremities/hands and feet (bruising, cuts, abrasions, fractures, and sprains)
- Head and neck injuries (including whiplash and traumatic brain injuries)
- Spinal injuries (sometimes resulting in temporary or permanent paralysis)
- Injuries to the upper extremities (including road rash and broken bones)
After being involved in a motorcycle crash, your top priority should be to receive the necessary medical care. Then, you can focus on securing compensation to pay for the medical expenses you have incurred.
Kampf, Schiavone & Associates Defends Motorcycle Accident Victims in CA
After experiencing a motorcycle accident in California, you shouldn’t be forced to pay for losses and expenses resulting from another party’s negligence. If the negligence of another driver led to your motorcycle crash, then you are rightfully owed compensation for the losses you have suffered, including both economic and uneconomic damages. To ensure you receive what you are owed, you should contact a trusted California motorcycle crash lawyer.
Since 1985, Kampf, Schiavone & Associates has been protecting the rights of injured motorcyclists in California. In that time, we’ve accumulated an extensive record of verdicts and settlements, as well as many positive client testimonials. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with us, simply reach out today through our online contact form.