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Malibu, Motorcycles, and Lawyers

Malibu is home to some of the most scenic areas of the United States. It’s where the sea meets the purple mountains’ majesty. The ride along the Pacific Highway is a motorcyclist’s dream for both beginners and experts. The Pacific Highway and all its interconnecting roads are well known by motorcyclists and well protected by Malibu motorcycle lawyers. 

There is no doubt that California has some of the most open scenic freeways in the United States. It could be among the reasons that California ranks the highest in motorcycle registrations. The other “sunshine” state Florida ranks number two in motorcycle registrations, however, California almost doubles that number. 

There are 6000 miles of freeways in California running through congested urban areas, mountains, valleys, and along the beach coast. All beautiful rides especially for motorcyclists. Combining the extraordinary amount of road miles with the highest number of motorcycles registered in any US State, it is inevitable that there are many types of motorcycle mishaps every day. Questions arise at every accident involving a motorcycle, from insurance coverage, to how do I contact the best Malibu motorcycle lawyer? 

Motorcycle Insurance Coverage

Many motorcyclists are forced to become insurance experts after an accident. This is the classic example of learning lessons in the school of hard knocks. After a motorcycle accident, many riders realize the minimum motorcycle insurance coverage isn’t enough. While the minimum insurance coverage gets them on the road legally, it fails to protect the riders. 

Beginner and experienced motorcycle riders love to ride along the Pacific Coast Highway and explore the scenery of beaches and mountains. It is for all motorcycle riders an extraordinary experience. The best advice that a Malibu motorcycle lawyer can offer is to check your insurance coverage limits before taking that beautiful ride. 

The State mandated minimum insurance coverages are $15,000 bodily injury per person, $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident, and $5,000 property damage- this is stated in insurance shorthand as 15K/30K/5K. Specifically, it means the operator of a motorcycle involved in an accident is covered for $15,000 for an injured person in a single accident and $30,000 for all injured parties in a single accident. The coverage under this minimum policy means that you can cause $5000 worth of property damage and be covered. Malibu motorcycle lawyers will advise that these coverages are not realistic.

To give you an example, a single-vehicle accident where a motorcycle runs through a garden gate can cause more than $5000 worth of property damage. Many motorcyclists are caught by surprise when the Malibu motorcycle lawyer informs his client that the insurance company will pay the maximum to fix the gate, but they are responsible for the remaining balance.  

The severity of cases varies, and property damage caused by a motorcycle accident can result in thousands of dollars worth of damage, a lot more than what an insurance minimum payout will cover. The minimum payments for bodily injury are even risker with a minimum coverage policy. The astronomical costs of medical care, physical rehabilitation, lost wages, disabilities, and even funerals are well known and minimum coverages will not be enough to cover these in most cases. 

Attorneys Know the Laws of Insurance 

It’s important to remember that motorcycle insurance is separate from regular vehicle insurance. The motorcycle owned or just purchased must be separately named and covered in insurance policies. If you find yourself in a motorcycle accident while cruising the PCH, it’s best to contact a Malibu motorcycle lawyer immediately to protect your rights. If you are unsure of what exactly your insurance covers, and are seeking advice on how to protect your assets, it’s best to be proactive. Contact a Malibu motorcycle lawyer for a consultation that could protect you in the future. No matter the extent of damages or injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact an attorney to protect your rights, maximize your settlements and limit your liabilities to the full extent of the law. 

When you have a legal issue, probably the most important decision you will make is picking a lawyer to represent you. The attorney you choose often can make or break your case and will undoubtedly influence the legal results.

Picking a lawyer to represent you is similar to choosing a doctor to treat your medical condition. You want the best doctor possible who has extensive experience in your condition. You want the doctor with the most up-to-date medical and treatment knowledge in that field. You also want a doctor who listens to you and keeps  you informed.

Just as you wouldn’t go to a chiropractor for a heart condition, you don’t want to go to a divorce lawyer or business lawyer to handle your personal injury or wrongful death case. Just as each medical specialist is steeped in his/her field, so, too, is each type of attorney knowledgeable in his/her practice area.

Here are some guidelines for selecting a personal injury lawyer or, for that matter, any type of lawyer you may need:

  • Experienced in Personal Injury Law:  This practice area is comprised of any situation in which you may have suffered serious personal injuries or lost a loved one to a wrongful death. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows the “players” and has existing relationships with insurance company representatives and defense attorneys. The personal injury lawyer knows medical specialists and experts in the field whom they can refer you to for medical care and to help prove your case. They also know the law that applies to your type of personal injury case. Because they have handled hundreds of personal injury cases, they are familiar with the strategies the defense attorneys are going to use against you.
  • Review the Lawyer’s Results: Most personal injury lawyers are proud of their results and list their results on their websites. Review the results and look for cases such as yours (motorcycle accidents, car accidents, etc.) and see what results the lawyers have gotten for other clients. Make sure the personal injury lawyer list verdicts as well as settlements. There are personal injury lawyers who never go to trial. They settle every cases. There is nothing wrong with settlements in the right situation, but the lawyer who isn’t going to take your case to trial is giving up a large bargaining chip to insurance companies and defense attorneys and your compensation could be smaller than it might have been if trial was an option. You want a trial lawyer who isn’t afraid to go to trial and who has won in trial.
  • Look for Involvement in the Legal Community: As ego-gratifying as it is, being noticed for excellence also tells the consumer that the lawyer’s peers respect his/her work. That’s why such designations as Best Lawyers in America, Southern California Super Lawyers, and Martindale Hubble’s AV-Rating are so important. They are not guarantees, but they are indicators. Also check out a lawyer’s involvement in the legal community. Have they been active in legal organizations? Have they written and published in legal publications? Are they involved in the community? All of these activities tell you something about the lawyer.
  • Know Who Is Going to be Representing You: It isn’t unusual for us to hear that people go to a large firm and meet with a specific senior attorney. Thinking this is the lawyer who will be representing them, they sign with the firm. As time goes on, they discover their case is being handled by a low-level associate and merely “overseen” by the senior attorney. At Olan Law, every case is handled — from consultation to final results — by senior attorney David Olan.
  • Take Advantage of the Free Consultation Offered: The free consultation offers two benefits, 1.) your discussion with the lawyer should educate you about the legal options that are open to you, and 2.) gives you a sense of the attorney’s personality and what it would be like to work with him/her. You want to be comfortable with the attorney you select and with his/her office staff. You want to know that if you have questions the firm will be appropriately responsive.

Picking the lawyer for your legal situation isn’t about guessing or luck, it’s about doing the research to ensure that you have the best personal injury lawyer who can and will do everything possible to get you the best legal results possible. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Olan Law.

During the holiday season the media is filled with stories on motor vehicle accidents – including pedestrian and bicycle accidents – that break hearts every holiday season.

But, hiding behind the eggnog in the living room and on the top shelf of the bedroom closet and in the myriad stores and restaurants you frequent, lurks a lesser well-known danger. It’s the accident that causes serious personal injuries and sometimes a wrongful death resulting in a premises liability lawsuit.

Every homeowner, landlord, renter, management company, restaurateur, and shop keeper is at risk for a premises liability lawsuit if someone is injured – or worse – on your property. And the holidays, with its increase in entertaining, shopping, and traveling, are ground zero for such lawsuits.

A premises liability lawsuit is a negligence tort. Determining if you have a premises liability lawsuit and proving it can be complicated and takes an attorney who is experienced in handling premises liability lawsuits.

In essence, your trial lawyer needs to prove that either you knew about the danger or you SHOULD HAVE KNOWN about the danger.

Let’s say you own an apartment building and kids frequently skateboard on the stairway. Let’s hypothesize that someone using the stairway falls and is injured when the railing gives way. It is not enough to say that the management company or property owner did not know of the loose railing, because the question becomes: should they have known.

If you are the defendant in this example of a premises liability lawsuit, you, as the management company or property owner, would have to demonstrate that you have an appropriate inspection and maintenance protocol that was followed consistently.

During the holidays, accidents are more likely to happen than at other times of the year because most of us are out in stores, on the road, at parties, and hosting parties more often.

So it pays for you to take some common sense precautions and be aware of typical holiday accident scenes.

Dog bite cases always spike during the holiday. Your friendly pooch is suddenly accosted by a whole host of loud strangers coming and going in his territory. A dog not accustomed to children may suddenly find these little two-legged animals a threat. Gates and doors are not secured, letting Fido free to finally take on that annoying (in his world), neighbor’s dog.

Electric cords criss-cross floors and paths to light festive decorations or to heat dishes on a buffet or counter can become deadly. Guests can trip over the cords or suffer extensive burns when they are covered in hot food or liquid. Spilled liquids can cause falls. That glass patio door can be walked through. Tree roots and cracked walkways can be tripped over, breaking bones.

Alcohol comes with its own potential drawbacks. With one drink too many that annual Thanksgiving dinner argument that turns into fist-to-cuffs can evolve into a premises liability lawsuit against you. Of course we all know our liability if we allow a guest to drive under the influence.

So as part of your “Holiday To Do List,” take a risk inventory of your property and take care of any necessary maintenance. When guests come over, put your dog in another room for both his and your guests’ protection. If you are serving wine or spirits, be aware of how much your guests are drinking, and, of course, neither you nor your guest should ever drink and drive.

Accidents happen. Make sure your homeowners insurance is up to date and make sure you have an umbrella policy to protect your assets. Then take just a few common sense precautions, and you can keep the “happy” in the happy holidays for many years to come.

From my family to yours and from all of us at Olan Law, happy holidays.

Olan Law is pleased to announce David Olan’s invitation to join The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers, a professional association comprised of only the most qualified trial lawyers from across the country.

Membership is by invitation only and is offered to “only those attorneys who exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, leadership, influence, reputation, stature, and profile in the trial attorney community. . .”

Olan Law is honored that its founding partner is included in this list of preeminent trial lawyers.

Los Angeles personal injury attorney David Olan of Olan Law was recently named to Best Lawyers of America 2014 in the field of personal injury litigation.

“To be recognized by other lawyers to this prestigious list is a great honor,” says Olan. “It gives me great personal satisfaction to get justice for people who have been injured through no fault of their own or for the families of those who have suffered a wrongful death.”

For more than 20 years Olan has represented people who suffered serious personal injuries or a wrongful death from dog bites, animal attacks, car accidentsmotorcycle accidents, truck accidents, defective products, or assaults. He has earned clients multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.

Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 39,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

Olan Law is a leading Southern and Central California plaintiff law firm. In addition to representing people with serious personal injuries, it represents individuals who experience wrongful terminationdiscrimination, or sexual harassment, as well as insurance bad faith.

For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact David Olan at Olan Law at his Santa Monica office, (310) 566-0010, or toll-free at (866) 426-2667.