Have you or a loved one been injured in a motorcycle accident?
Don’t put yourself at risk of getting taken advantage of by the insurance company and their lawyers. Call and talk to one of our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers today for a free consultation – don’t guess about your legal rights or the value of your case.
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A motorcyclist who is involved in an accident is three times more likely to be injured and fourteen times more likely to be killed than someone in an accident involving two cars. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 75% of all motorcycle accidents involve another motor vehicle, and the motorcyclist is injured in 98% of the collisions. When there is no other car involved, cyclists are injured 96% of the time. Of all motorcycle accident injuries, only 45% were deemed to be minor.
Motorcycle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries including spinal cord injuries, severe brain injuries, and even wrongful death.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The vast majority of motorcycle accidents in are not the biker’s fault. In fact, the fault lies with the other driver nearly 80% of the time.
The most common cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure of drivers to see motorcycles in traffic. It is far from uncommon for the driver of a car who hit a biker to say he or she never even saw the motorcyclist.
Approximately 65% of the time, the accident occurs when the driver of a car fails to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist, and makes a left turn in front of him or her. This is classic driver inattention, and shows the driver was negligent; that is, he or she failed to exercise ordinary care.
Animal involvement and pavement defects, including ridges and potholes, together account for approximately 3% of motorcycle accidents. Weather played a factor in only about 2% of the cases.
Unfortunately, California motorcycle riders frequently encounter unfair bias or prejudice against them. Such being the case, it is virtually impossible for an injured California biker to receive fair compensation in California for his or her motorcycle accident injuries. It is almost always necessary for injured California motorcycle riders to hire a California motorcycle accident lawyer to represent them. Without a California motorcycle accident attorney on your side you will have virtually no chance against a California insurance company and their motorcycle accident defense attorneys.
There are several different theories or doctrines under which a driver can be found to be liable for causing an accident and injuries to someone.
A person who acts negligently is liable for injuries caused by that negligence. In a given scenario, there are several people who may be liable for the injuries.
Liability of the Driver
Negligence law demands that a driver exercise ordinary care and skill when operating a motor vehicle. The driver must act as a reasonable person would act under like circumstances.
For example, if a driver’s tire blows, causing an accident, one question to be addressed is whether that driver acted reasonably in not checking or replacing the worn tire. If the driver did not exercise ordinary care in the maintenance of the tire, then that driver acted negligently, and is liable for the resulting injuries. Also, if a driver loses consciousness while driving and causes an accident, it is necessary to ask whether that driver acted reasonably in getting behind the wheel in the first place. If he or she had a history of blacking out, then the act of driving, itself, was likely negligent.
Liability of the Owner
There are circumstances in which the owner of a vehicle can be liable for injuries, even if he or she was not driving the car at the time of the accident. This theory of liability, called negligent entrustment, arises when a vehicle owner entrusts his or her vehicle to an unfit, incompetent, or reckless driver. For example, if the owner lends his car to someone who has been drinking alcohol or to someone who the owner knows is otherwise unfit, and the borrower causes an accident where you are injured, the owner has acted negligently and may be liable to you for your injuries.
Liability of the Employer
Under the theory of vicarious liability, an employer is liable for the negligent conduct of its employees, as long as the employee was acting within the scope of the employment. For example, if a delivery driver causes an accident while delivering a product on the job, then the delivery driver’s employer is legally responsible for your injuries. Even if the employee works in an office, if that employee causes an accident while running a work-related errand, then the employer is said to be vicariously liable for the negligence of the employee, and therefore liable for your injuries.
Negligence per se
A person’s conduct is presumed to be negligent when that person violates a law or ordinance, and as a result someone is injured. For this doctrine to apply, the injury must be the sort that the statute sought to avoid.
For example, if a person fails to yield the right of way to a motorcyclist, causing an accident, that person is deemed to have acted negligently, since the law requiring yielding the right of way is designed to prevent accidents. A driver who causes an accident while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is presumed have acted negligently. Once that liability is established, only the questions of causation and the amount of damages remain.
Do not ride your motorcycle impaired:
If you are tired, have had alcohol, or otherwise compromised in any way.
Wear a safety helmet:
It is the single critical factor in preventing, or reducing the severity of, head, neck, and face injuries.
Wear heavy boots, jacket, and gloves:
This is effective in preventing or reducing abrasions and lacerations, which are frequent, though rarely severe injuries.
Stay healthy and physically fit:
Riding motorcycles, especially larger ones, takes balance, skill, and physical strength.
Avoid congested roads:
Too much stimulation will affect your ability to react to hazards quickly, and the more cars there are, the more likely you are to be hit.
Keep a greater distance between yourself and other vehicles:
The more distance between you, the more time you will have to react.
Every year, take a motorcycle safety course:
Keep your skills and techniques current.
WHAT TO DO:
If you or a family member has been injured in a motorcycle accident:
1.Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries: Go to an emergency room or an urgent care as soon as you experience any pain or discomfort following the accident. Even if you don’t see any external injuries, it is extremely important to be evaluated for fractures, closed head injuries, and internal bleeding. If you do not you’re your injuries require emergency medical care, see your family doctor as soon as possible. If you delay in seeking medical care, you could be making a costly mistake. If you do not have medical insurance, the Law Office of Slaughter & Slaughter can provide medical referrals for treatment. They work with physicians, chiropractors, and therapists who specialize in treating people who have been injured in an accident.
2.Limit your communication with insurance companies. It is generally okay to tell the insurance adjuster about property damage sustained in the accident; however, do not talk to the adjuster about your injuries. The adjuster’s job is to obtain information to use against you when it is time to pay your claim. The goal is to pay you as little money as is possible to settle your claim. So, with regard to your injuries, simply tell the adjuster you were hurt in the accident and that you are seeking medical treatment. Decline to go into any further detail.
3.Contact an experienced attorney. Let the attorney deal with the insurance adjuster. If you try to handle your own injury claim, you may be at a severe disadvantage. You could be losing thousands of dollars by settling your claim without having proper legal representation. As tempting as it may be, don’t be lured into signing a release in exchange for a quick settlement. Once you sign that release, you cannot ask for more money, which will be tragic if you find out that your injuries have not fully resolved and you need additional medical care.
The Law Offices of
Slaughter & Slaughter
402 West Broadway,
San Diego CA 92101
Visit us on Google at Motorcycle Accident Lawyers San Diego
There is no reason to suffer alone from the effects of an motorcycle accident. We can help you bring a claim and strive to get the compensation you and your family will need for a lifetime of coping with this catastrophic injury. Our compassionate personal injury lawyers want to see you achieve the best resolution possible.
We serve clients throughout Southern California, including Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and the communities of La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, Encinitas, Escondido, Pacific Beach, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chula Vista, and surrounding areas.
Don’t delay, call today for more information and a free evaluation of your claim.
Call now for a FREE consultation 888-207-5321