On any American roadway, you will see all types of vehicles. Passenger vehicles, small commercial vehicles, tractor trailers, motorcycles, and on some roads, even bicycles all share the roadway as they travel to their destinations.
Any time there are vehicles on the roadway, there is the chance they will collide with each other. Every type of vehicle has unique handling and stopping needs, and every type of vehicle offers a different level of protection to its driver and occupants. Aside from bicycles, motorcycles offer the least amount of protection for riders, which puts riders at risk of suffering severe injuries in motorcycle accidents. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident that resulted from another party’s negligence, you may pursue compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim.
Motorcycle Accident Causes
Motorcycle accidents, like all other types of vehicle accident, have a variety of causes. A motorcycle accident can result from a vehicle malfunction on the part of the motorcycle or another vehicle, such as a brake failure. They can also result from debris in the roadway, potholes, or poorly designed roadways that force riders through sharp turns, blind turns, and inappropriately steep inclines and declines. Motorcycles are particularly sensitive to issues with the roadway because with only two tires, they require effort on the rider’s part to remain balanced. They are also lighter than cars and other vehicles and can be more difficult for motorists to see, especially at night.
Motorcycle accidents can also result from driver negligence. Driver negligence takes many forms, such as:
- Drunk driving;
- Distracted driving;
- Disregarding posted traffic signs;
- Aggressive driving; and
- Tired driving.
In your motorcycle accident claim, you must provide sufficient evidence to support your claim that the accident occurred because another party acted in a negligent manner. This can include a copy of the official police report that shows they were speeding at the time of the accident, eyewitness testimonies that they were driving in an aggressive manner, or a copy of the summons they received for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Injuries you can Suffer in a Motorcycle Accident
There are many ways you can be injured in a motorcycle accident. Some motorcycle accident injuries are fairly minor, like scratches and bruises. Others are severe and have complications that will change your life, like spinal cord injuries that lead to paralysis. After being involved in an accident, you should always seek medical attention for yourself as soon as possible, regardless of how severe your injuries feel.
A motorcycle accident victim can suffer one or more of the following types of injury:
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Broken bones;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries; and
- Joint dislocations.
A few examples of long-term complications that can accompany a motorcycle accident injury include:
- Memory loss;
- Loss of nerve sensation;
- Infection; and
- Permanent disfigurement.
Pursuing Compensation for your Motorcycle Accident Damages
As the injured victim, you have a few responsibilities after your accident. The first is to seek appropriate medical care for your injuries. This action achieves more than putting you on the path to recovery; making choices that promote a healthy recovery is part of your duty to mitigate your damages.
Another responsibility of yours is to follow your doctor and lawyer’s guidance through the claim process. Just like your doctor provides instructions for a physical recovery, your lawyer provides instructions for interacting with the negligent party’s insurance provider and keeping your claim on track.
Through your claim, you can pursue compensation for the following damages:
- Your medical bills;
- Your lost wages; and
- Your pain and suffering damages.
In addition to the evidence you provide to show how the other party was negligent, you need to provide evidence that shows how you suffered financially from the injury. This can include:
- Copies of your medical bills;
- Documentation of your current earnings to support a claim for lost wages;
- If you are unable to work for the foreseeable future or permanently, documentation showing your long-term wage loss;
- Documentation showing the emotional trauma you suffered and other ways the injury reduced your quality of life; and
- Copies of your receipts for expenses like transportation help, over-the-counter pain medication, and hired domestic help to handle household chores while you recover.
Even if you were partially at fault for your accident, you can recover compensation for your damages under California’s comparative negligence law. In this type of situation, though, the total compensation amount you can recover is reduced according to the percentage of fault you hold for the accident. For example, if you were 20 percent at fault and seeking $60,000 in compensation, you can only recover up to $48,000.
Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer
It is in your best interest to work with a personal injury lawyer to pursue your motorcycle accident damages. You certainly can represent your claim on your own – nobody will stop you from doing that – but when you have a lawyer, you have an advocate. You have somebody on your team who will work hard to gather a sufficient amount of relevant evidence to support your claim and negotiate with the negligent party’s insurance provider on your behalf. When you are recovering from an injury, you need to rest. Let your lawyer handle the heavy lifting for your claim.
Work with an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. Do not wait to start working with an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer – being proactive and working with a competent lawyer will make a significant difference in your claim’s success. To get started with our team, contact the Dolan Law Firm to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We can answer any questions you have and get your claim started.