San Diego Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Motorcycle riders make up just 5 percent of all licensed motorists in California, but statistics reveal that they are more likely to suffer fatal or catastrophic injuries in a motorcycle accident. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reports that approximately 566 people are killed and 14,300 victims suffer injuries in motorcycle collisions statewide every year. Riders in Southern California are at a particularly high risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident.
Annually, there are 65 fatal crashes and almost 1,600 injury-causing collisions in San Diego County alone. The physical, emotional, and financial losses for victims of motorcycle accidents can be devastating, but you do have remedies under California law. It is possible to recover compensation from the at-fault motorist, and El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers will be at your side throughout the legal process.
Please contact our firm to set up a complimentary case evaluation with a San Diego motorcycle accident attorney who can advise you on your rights. It is also useful to review some general information about how these cases work.
How Motorcycle Crashes Happen in San Diego, CA
There are many reasons behind these collisions, but the main factor is driver negligence. Though the term is interchangeable with carelessness, there are certain facts you must prove to recover compensation. You need evidence showing that the at-fault motorist breached the duty to drive safely and that this breach was the direct cause of the motorcycle accident.
A driver could be negligent by:
- Drunk and drugged driving;
- Running red lights and stop signs;
- Failure to yield right of way; and,
- Distracted driving, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using a GPS.
Note that negligence principles also apply to motorcycle riders, and California’s law on comparative fault may affect your claim. This rule operates to reduce your compensation if you also breached the duty of care.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The two-wheeled design and lack of a metal protective barrier on a motorcycle mean the trauma to the rider can be extreme. Motorcyclists share the road with cars, trucks, and other vehicles that are much larger and heavier. Plus, a rider will almost always suffer a secondary impact when being tossed into the air and striking the ground.
Victims often suffer:
- Road rash, which is a painful injury that combines aspects of a burn and an abrasion;
- Traumatic brain injury, concussion, and other head injuries;
- Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries;
- Broken bones, particularly to the hips, legs, ankles, and lower extremities; and,
- Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash and herniated and bulging spinal discs.
If a serious accident happens, then you will probably have to stay a few nights under the observation of doctors and nurses. During this time you will be cared for and may be given medication, but these services are nowhere near free.
Steps in the Legal Process
If you successfully prove negligence by the at-fault motorist, you may be entitled to monetary damages for a wide range of losses. You can seek amounts for your economic damages, such as medical costs for treatment and lost wages. Noneconomic damages are also available for motorcycle accident victims, and this type of compensation is based on your lost quality of life.
Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and scarring and disfigurement are examples. However, in addition to having the required proof, you must also work through the two steps in the legal process. The team at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers will tackle the essential tasks involved:
- Filing an Insurance Claim: Motorists must carry auto insurance liability coverage for bodily injury under California law, so dealing with the insurer is the first step. You must complete all claims forms and submit them with supporting documentation that proves your case – i.e., fault by the other driver and the extent of your losses. Some motorcycle accident claims are resolved through settlement at this stage.
- Litigation: You must file a lawsuit in court if the insurer refuses to pay sufficient damages, and our motorcycle accident lawyers in San Diego will represent you throughout the proceedings. We will file the complaint to initiate litigation, deal with discovery and depositions, and attend all required court appearances. When the trial date arrives, we will apply our extensive trial advocacy skills and solid legal strategy to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Our San Diego Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Will Provide The Legal Support You’re Looking For
As you can see from this overview, the process of recovering monetary damages can be complex. It is smart to work with experienced legal counsel to ensure you receive fair compensation, so please contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers to learn how we can help. You can schedule a no-cost case review with a Southern California motorcycle accident lawyer by calling us at (213) 985-1120 or visiting our website.
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