Every year, thousands of individuals lose their lives in motorcycle accidents. Those who use motorcycles are much more susceptible to serious injuries as compared to those who travel in motor vehicles. In fact, some suffer permanent disability as a result of a motorcycle accident. These individuals may be entitled to damages in a personal injury claim.
Why Are Motorcycle Accidents So Dangerous?
There are a number of reasons why motorcycle accidents are so dangerous as compared to accidents that involve other motor vehicles.
First, motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable as they travel. They are exposed to harsh weather conditions, for example. In addition, if they collide with another vehicle, they do not have the protection of the frame of a vehicle. Whereas individuals in a car may only suffer minor injuries in an accident, the same accident could be deadly for a motorcyclist.
Many motorists are simply careless around motorcycles as well. They may not carefully look for motorcyclists as they travel and they may pass a motorcyclist too closely or tailgate a motorcyclist on a busy road. Many motorists seem to forget that a motorcycle comes to a stop much more quickly than a vehicle does.
Obtaining a Favorable Result in a California Motorcycle Accident Claim
Motorcycle accident claims are a type of negligence claim. In a negligence claim, the injured victim must first show that the at-fault party had a duty to the victim. In motorcycle accident cases, establishing this element is usually simple: all drivers who travel on public roadways have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe and reasonable manner.
Next, the accident victim must show that the at-fault party breached this duty. Generally, breaking a traffic law is an example of negligence. Speeding, texting while driving, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and running red lights are all examples of breaching this duty.
Finally, the accident victim must show that the at-fault party’s negligence was the direct cause of his or her injuries. This is called establishing damages.
Damages may include:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of future medical care
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of employment benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Your San Rafael motorcycle accident attorney will make sure that all available damages are sought in your case.
Defenses to Motorcycle Accident Claims
In an accident claim, the at-fault party’s insurance company will likely try to avoid liability. Many insurance companies try to assign blame to the injured victim in an accident.
Some at-fault parties will argue that the motorcyclist was not wearing proper protective gear. Although helmets are required in California for motorcyclists, the law is vague on other types of protection. These individuals may argue that the motorcyclist’s injuries would not have been so severe if he had worn more durable gear.
Others may try to argue that the motorcyclist was not paying attention and caused the accident. At an intersection, for example, the at-fault driver may argue that the motorcyclist did not have the right of way.
Some drivers may argue that motorcyclists have preexisting conditions that are the cause of the motorcyclist’s pain and discomfort, as opposed to the accident itself. They may also argue that the motorcyclist is playing up his injuries to try to obtain more money from the claim.
However, experienced attorneys know how to examine medical records and consult with medical experts to prove that a motorcyclist’s injuries are legitimate and related to the accident.
How Can an Attorney Help?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you obtain the maximum amount of compensation available under the law. These attorneys have a network of individuals, such as expert witnesses and accident reconstruction engineers, who provide valuable insight into motorcycle accident claims and help strengthen the victim’s position.
These attorneys take over the legal process so that accident victims are able to focus on recovering from their injuries.