You are enjoying a motorcycle ride down a California highway; you’re obeying traffic laws; when, all of a sudden, a careless driver strikes you.
As a motorcycle enthusiast and rider, this is one of your worst fears and if this has happened to you, it is likely that you are left with physical and emotional trauma. It is also very likely that you will be experiencing financial distress.
Although the immediate future may seem desolate, you should know that the State of California allows for victims of motorcycle accidents the opportunity to seek and obtain financial compensation for injuries sustained because of negligence. Here, we will discuss various challenges you may face when filing a personal injury claim and what you can do to build a strong case.
Stereotypes in Motorcycle Accident Claims in California
While a majority of motorcycle enthusiasts drive safely and make sure to obey all traffic laws, there is still a devastating stereotype that implies that riders are careless and aggressive when on the road. A majority of insurance companies are familiar with these stereotypes and they often do not hesitate to use them to their gain.
Every insurance company is concerned with protecting their interests, and this usually means that they will look for ways in which to reduce the amount the give a victim following an accident. One method in which they attempt to do this is by shifting the blame on to the victim. Fortunately, by obtaining sufficient evidence and seeking medical care shortly after the accident, you can prevent this from happening to you.
Comparative Fault in California Regarding Motorcycle Accidents
After a motorcycle collision, it is common for the responsible party to attempt to blame the victim for the accident. This is because California follows the comparative fault doctrine, which allows for the responsibility of an accident to be shared among various parties based on their degree of responsibility.
If the careless driver or his or her insurance company is able to place even a small degree of responsibility of the accident on you, it is likely you can lose a portion of the damages. For instance, if you have been found 10% liable for the accident because you were slightly driving over the speed limit when the other driver struck you, you will only be able to be awarded 90% of the financial compensation.
Because of this, it is likely that the other party will attempt to implicate you in order to undermine your opportunity to receive sufficient damages.
Further Examining Liability Relating to Motorcycle Accident Claims
After a motorcycle accident, there are numerous ways to identify what party was responsible. In many cases, it will be a matter of what party was engaging in careless behavior. The following are common examples of negligent acts that could result in a motorcycle accident:
Distracted Driving – Arguing or text messaging while driving are both negligent behaviors that could cause a roadway accident when the driver is not focused on the road.
Drowsy Driving – According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were approximately 800 casualties because of drowsy-related accidents in 2017. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a survey that showed that 1 in 25 motorists have reportedly fallen asleep while behind the wheel.
Driving While Under the Influence – Driving while intoxicated is against the law and can have various repercussions beyond the liability of a collision. Motorcycle accidents involving intoxicated drivers are among the deadliest traffic accidents.
The Importance of Filing for a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Depending on the facts of your case, there are many ways in which a motorcycle accident can affect your life. The following are damages you may be able to collect:
- Existing and imminent medical expenses,
- Loss of wages and earning capacity,
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering,
- Diminished quality of life, and
- Motorcycle repairs and/or replacement
As an Injured Motorcyclist, Defend Your Rights – Obtain the Legal Support of a Qualified Attorney
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused because of another’s negligence, you have the legal right to seek financial compensation. Consider seeking the legal support of a qualified law firm who will help you build a strong case and defend your rights in a court of law.
R. Steven Peters is a personal injury lawyer in Orange County serving Southern California who has over 40 years of dedicated experience helping motorcycle accident victims obtain financial restitution following accidents caused by careless drivers. If you were injured because of another’s carelessness, fight for the compensation you deserve; contact the support of a well-versed and qualified law firm as soon as possible.