Motorcycles are an environmentally friendly, economical, and enjoyable mode of transportation, but when accidents happen, riders are vulnerable to severe harm.
Since motorcycle riders are out in the open and exposed to their surroundings, they are susceptible to serious or fatal injuries. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission for 2018 show that motorcyclists were four times more likely to be injured in a collision. Fatalities also occurred almost 27 times more frequently for motorcycle riders than for standard vehicle occupants.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a California motorcycle accident, you may feel overwhelmed from dealing with the physical and emotional consequences of painful injuries, mounting medical care expenses, and lost income from missed work. The Los Angeles personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC want to help. We will work alongside you and help you choose the best course to deal with the challenges you are facing.
We have a team of experienced motorcycle accident lawyers who will fight to recover the compensation you deserve for your losses. Don’t wait to call us at (314) 963-9000 to schedule a free case evaluation to see how we may be able to assist you.
Why Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, a personal injury insurance claim is the first way to hold the responsible party accountable and recover compensation for the negative impact on your life.
You may think you can deal with the insurance company yourself, but motorcycle accident injury claims can be complicated due to the severity of the injuries, relevant safety laws, and attitudes toward riders. Trying to evaluate and manage your own claim without being tripped up by the insurance carrier can be a daunting task when you should be focusing on recovering from your injuries.
Leave the investigation of your accident and settlement negotiations to a skilled lawyer from OnderLaw, LLC who will be armed with all the details and facts of your situation. We can push past the initial offer and gain a fair settlement that includes comprehensive reimbursement for all of your relevant costs. If a settlement is impossible, we are prepared to take your case to trial.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles are less visible and do not provide the structural protection of a standard vehicle, so riders are more exposed to hazards. Some of the main causes of motorcycle crashes include:
Distracted driving: People who multi-task while they are driving don’t completely focus their attention on the road, which is dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately eight people die every day in the United States from accidents involving distracted driving. Because motorcycles are so much smaller than passenger vehicles, inattentive drivers are even less likely to notice one in their path.
Unsafe turns: When motorists misjudge a motorcycle’s distance or speed while trying to make a left or U-turn, a collision can occur. Drivers may also pull out right after a car passes without realizing there is a motorcycle following behind.
Lane changes: Because of their smaller size, motorcycles can be less visible to other drivers, especially when the driver fails to check their blind spots. A motorcycle can easily be struck by a vehicle moving into their lane. Even if the rider is able to swerve away, they can be run off the road or into another automobile.
Tailgating: Being followed too closely by another vehicle puts motorcyclists at risk of a collision if they have to stop suddenly. A strike from behind can cause the rider to be thrown from the bike and likely to be harmed.
Debris: The size and structure of a standard vehicle offer some protection from debris on the road or flying through the air, but motorcycle riders can’t easily avoid these hazards. Driving over or being struck by an object can cause a motorcycle to crash or veer off the road.
Dangerous road conditions: Slippery road surfaces from weather or spilled liquids can cause a motorcycle to skid out of control. Other hazards, such as cracks or potholes, can also catch riders off-guard.
Driving under the influence: Attempting to drive while affected by drugs or alcohol is a danger to everyone on the road. Fatal outcomes can result from operating a vehicle in this condition, which could easily result in a severe crash. Statistics for 2018 from the Insurance Information Institute, state that 31% of the crashes that killed motorcyclists involved drunk driving.
Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles are less stable and crashworthy than regular vehicles, and they don’t have a heavy enclosure or airbags to offer protection. Despite the helmet use and the advanced skill required to operate a motorcycle, riders’ bodies are exposed to harm during a collision.
These are the type of injuries motorcyclists most often experience:
- Head trauma (traumatic brain injury)
- Broken bones
- Burns and disfigurement
- Road rash
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
Many of these injuries are catastrophic and can require extensive treatment and ongoing care. Even the less serious conditions may lead to complications and lifelong effects.
Proving Liability After a Motorcycle Crash
When it comes to proving who is at fault in an accident involving a motorcycle, it can be tough for riders to battle the bias against them. There is a common misperception that all motorcyclists are careless and drive dangerously. This notion can come from the way they are portrayed in movies and TV shows with dramatic scenes of daring motorcycle stunts.
During the process of a motorcycle accident injury claim, insurance companies or their defense counsel may attempt to paint the motorcyclist in the light of this negative stereotype. It is an attempt to minimize the claim and place more responsibility on the motorcyclist, so they won’t have to pay out as much money from the insurance policy.
In situations where a motorcyclist is riding between two lanes (lane splitting) when an accident happens, they can be accused of being reckless. The truth is that it’s completely legal in California for riders to lane split, as long as it is done in a safe manner. Lane splitting is actually considered less risky for motorcycles during stop-and-go traffic to avoid the consequences of sudden stops of vehicles behind them.
An OnderLaw, LLC lawyer will not allow you to be persuaded into accepting any unjust blame. We will present the facts so you are seen objectively and not as a stereotype. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to a lawyer’s wisdom and advocacy on your side.
The Injury Claims Process
If you have suffered injuries from a motorcycle accident caused by someone else, you have the right to file a personal injury claim with their insurance carrier. The point of the claim is to receive payment for your losses relating to the incident. These can include:
- Medical treatment
- Lost income and earning capacity
- Pain and emotional and suffering
(If your situation involves the loss of a loved one from the motorcycle accident, you may have the option of a wrongful death claim.)
Your claim must be supported by evidence that the other party was at fault for the accident and the medical records and bills from your injuries. It is important to have a clear understanding of the extent and duration of your treatment to calculate an accurate cost for your current and future expenses. Once your case settles, you will not have another opportunity for reimbursement of additional charges.
From this information, the insurance company will offer a compensation amount to settle the claim. If this first offer is not fair, your lawyer will negotiate until there is an acceptable settlement. Most claims are settled this way, but if an agreement can’t be reached, it may be in your best interest to pursue a lawsuit in the civil court system.
It is advisable to learn if you have a worthy claim as soon after the accident as possible because there is a time limit for filing injury and wrongful death claims and lawsuits. In California, the statute of limitations is two years from the date the injury occurred, or from the date of death of your loved one. If you don’t file before this period expires, you miss your opportunity to collect compensation.
Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC?
To get the justice and compensation you deserve from the parties responsible for your Los Angeles motorcycle accident, you need the best possible legal representation. OnderLaw, LLC has extensive resources and a team of highly qualified and experienced attorneys who thoroughly understand the complexities of motorcycle accidents.
OnderLaw, LLC is consistently recognized by the most prestigious legal organizations for our track record of successful results, and we work hard to earn our clients’ trust by treating every person with compassion and respect. We will fight hard for your rights and a successful outcome to your claim.
Protect Yourself by Contacting OnderLaw, LLC Today
You shouldn’t put off getting legal advice for your motorcycle accident injury claim. We don’t want you to miss out on any compensation you may be owed. An attorney is ready to discuss your case at no charge and assess how OnderLaw, LLC may be able to help you. We welcome you to contact us today by calling (314) 963-9000 or completing our online form.