Los Angeles Motorcycle Attorney
Though motorcycle accident deaths rose significantly in the United States in 2015, the good news is that in California, motorcycle deaths fell by 7%, per a May 19, 2016 Los Angeles Times story on a Governors Highway Safety Association report. Though the decrease in motorcycle accidents is a good thing, California still ranks second in the country in all motorcycle accidents. That is no doubt because of the large population of those who ride bikes.
But if you are one of the thousands who suffer serious personal injuries in a motorcycle accident, or if you are a family member who loses a loved one in a wrongful death because of a motorcycle accident, statistics have little meaning.
Motorcycle Accidents and The Law
A driver of a motor vehicle may be found negligent in a motorcycle crash for a number of different reasons, including:
- Not paying attention
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Driving too fast
- Driving too slowly
- Driving while drowsy or fatigued
- Being under the influence of alcohol
- Being under the influence of drugs (including, sometimes, prescription or over-the-counter medication)
- Reckless behavior
Who is Responsible for Your Motorcycle Accident
If your motorcycle accident is partially your fault, you still may have a motorcycle accident lawsuit. California recognizes comparative negligence. This means that all the parties responsible for the motorcycle accident are liable for the accident, and all can be held for damages proportionally to their percentage of fault.
For instance, even if you were found to be — for example — 10% negligent for the motorcycle accident, the other driver could be found to be 90% liable for the accident. In this example, if Santa Monica motorcycle accident attorney David Olan obtained a verdict for you of $100,000, the other driver would be responsible for compensating you $90,0000.
Depending upon the facts of your case, the driver who hit you may not be the only party responsible for your injuries. Others who may be liable include:
- Local, state, or federal government entities (for unsafe road conditions)
- The manufacturer of your motorcycle
- The motorcycle dealership or seller
- The manufacturer of the vehicle that hit you
- The seller of the vehicle that hit you
- The owner of the vehicle that hit you (if someone other than the driver)
- A passenger in the other driver’s vehicle
- A driver or pedestrian not hit in the accident
Liability in motorcycle accident lawsuits can be complicated. Santa Monica motorcycle accident attorney David Olan is experienced at investigating motorcycle accidents and ensuring that all those who are liable are held accountable.
Types of Damages You Can Recover
Victims of a motorcycle accident, and in some cases their families, may be able to recover compensation for:
- Physical injuries
- Emotional distress
- A wrongful death
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Vocational training
- Motorcycle repair or replacement costs
- Damage to other physical property
The Cost of a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Santa Monica motorcycle accident attorney David Olan takes motorcycle accident cases on a contingency basis. This means that you pay nothing until your case is resolved.
Time Limits to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
It is important to your case that you contact Santa Monica motorcycle accident attorney David Olan as soon as possible. He will begin immediately investigating your case to ensure that everyone liable for the motorcycle accident is revealed and is held accountable for your damages. David Olan also will interview witnesses before memories fade or people become difficult to find. And he will collect all evidence, before documents or vehicles are lost, destroyed, or altered.
Most importantly, there are statutes of limitation (deadlines) by which time you must file your lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, then you are giving up your rights to ever file a motorcycle accident lawsuit for the damages or losses you suffered.
Contact a Motorcycle Lawyer
Contact Santa Monica motorcycle accident attorney David Olan for a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Questions & Answers
Q: Do I need a motorcycle accident lawyer if I was partially responsible for the accident?
A: California law recognizes comparative negligence. This means if you are found to be less than 50% responsible for the motorcycle accident, you still may be able to seek compensation for your damages. For example, if you were found to be 10% liable and obtained a $100,000 verdict, that means you would get $90,000 worth of compensation.
Q: Is lane splitting legal in California?
A: Lane splitting is not illegal in California. Motorcycles are permitted to ride in a safe manner between rows of stopped or slowly moving cars. Unique to California, the lane-splitting law is intended to help to reduce the risk of motorcyclists being rear-ended in stopped traffic. The California Highway Patrol puts out a very helpful brochure on lane-splitting.
Q: Who can I sue if poor road conditions caused my motorcycle accident?
A: Many motorcycle accidents are caused by poor road conditions: metal plate coverings, potholes, cracked asphalt or cement, loose gravel, broken, missing, or hidden traffic signs, and so on. You may have a motorcycle accident lawsuit, depending on who owns the road you had the accident on. If it was in a parking lot or on a private road, the property owner and/or property manager may be liable for the disrepair. If it’s a public street, road, or highway, it may be owned by a government entity, such as the city, county, state, or federal government. Lawsuits involving road conditions are expensive and complicated and require the use of the best experts to prove your case, so contact an excellent motorcycle accident attorney.
Q: Can I still be reimbursed for my medical expenses in a motorcycle accident lawsuit if my health insurance paid for my medical care?
A: Assuming you settle or obtain a favorable verdict in your motorcycle accident lawsuit, you still would be entitled for compensation for your medical costs. Most health insurance policies have a “subrogation clause,” which means you have to pay back any monies your health insurance paid. But you would be reimbursed for any co-pays or uncovered bills, as well as, future medical costs, if that’s applicable.
Q: Can a motorcycle passenger bring a claim for injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident?
A: Absolutely. The passenger may be able to pursue claims against the motorcycle driver and the driver of the other vehicle. This way if both are considered liable, the passenger can collect from both. Even in a single vehicle accident, the passenger may be able to bring a claim against the motorcycle driver for damages. Since motorcycle drivers are required to carry a certain amount of bodily injury insurance, the passenger should be able to collect for their damages regardless of whether the motorcyclist has much money of their own.