San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle riders can typically become severely injured in the event of an accident as they have few protections, aside from a helmet, to safeguard them in the event of a collision with a vehicle.
If you are involved in a collision with another motorist, a San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyer can assist you in seeking compensation from any potentially liable parties. A personal injury attorney will serve as your advocate and guide throughout the claims process.
Causes of Motorcycle Wrecks
While some motorcycle accidents may occur because of rider negligence, other reckless motorists may also be the cause of devastating collisions. A driver may fail to follow traffic laws by speeding or failing to stop at a red light, which may result in an accident. Additionally, due to their smaller size, motorcycles may be more difficult for drivers to see, causing drivers to collide with riders as they are changing lanes or traveling along a road.
Drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs or distracted by their cellphones endanger everyone on the road, especially motorcyclists. In situations such as these, motorists fail to uphold their legal duty to drive with care and responsibility. Therefore, they could be liable for any damages that occur as a result of their negligence. A skilled San Francisco motorcycle accident attorney can help you hold these drivers responsible for their negligent behavior on a your behalf.
Because of the lack of other safety features on motorbikes, riders may be vulnerable to significant injuries upon impact with another motor vehicle. If a motorcyclist is thrown off their bike when they collide with a car, they may sustain severe contusions and road rash from being dragged across the pavement.
Additionally, a rider may suffer other catastrophic injuries such as head trauma, neck and spine damage, and broken bones. Such bodily harm may leave individuals permanently impaired and unable to return to the daily routines they had before their accident occurred.
When motorcyclists become involved in a serious crash, they may be entitled to seek damages from those who caused their injuries. Potential economic and emotional damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Future medical care
- Pain and suffering
If an injured claiant becomes permanently disabled, they may need to make alterations to their home and vehicles. In these situations, compensation may be available for these expenses as well. A motorbike accident lawyer in San Francisco can work to ensure that you recover the full amount of compensation to which you may be entitled.
The Importance of Getting Medical Assistance
Even if you have only suffered some minor scrapes and bruises as a result of your motorcycle accident, it makes sense to seek medical treatment immediately. First of all, your injuries may be much worse than you initially realize. Your body may release adrenaline and other chemicals into your bloodstream that make you numb to pain. For this reason, it is never a good idea to refuse treatment from first responders. If they offer to transport you to a nearby hospital, you should accept – just to be on the safe side. If you fail to get medical treatment, you might get home only to slowly realize that your injuries are in dire need of treatment.
Secondly, your medical records become important pieces of evidence after you file a personal injury lawsuit. All of your interactions with doctors will be carefully documented, and you can use this information to back up your claims as you negotiate for a settlement. This medical evidence may also include things like medical images, doctor’s notes, and more.
Why Do I Need to Prove Negligence?
You need to prove that another party was negligent in order to receive a settlement. This is because California is considered a “tort state.” This means that instead of following a “no fault” system, the state follows an “at fault” system. Under a no-fault system, you could potentially receive compensation without ever holding anyone accountable for your accident. However, in California you must hold someone else liable before receiving compensation. This is why it is very important to establish negligence if you were injured in a motorcycle crash.
The good news is that you don’t need to place the blame completely on someone else’s shoulders, as you can be partly to blame for the accident and still file a personal injury claim. For example, you might have been speeding before hitting a car. As long as that other driver was doing something unlawful or negligent, you could still sue and hold them accountable. For example, they might have been texting while driving, or they may have ran through a stop sign.
In this situation, it may be determined that you and the other driver were equally at fault for the accident. This means that you would receive 50% of the settlement you would otherwise be awarded. Or you could be deemed to be 25% at fault, and you would receive 75% of your settlement. If you were 75% at fault, you would receive 25% of your settlement. Due to the fact that California’s comparative negligence laws are considered “pure,” there is no limit to this sliding scale. In other words, you could still file a personal injury lawsuit if you were 99% at fault for the accident. However, this may not be a logical course of action, seeing as you’d only receive 1% of a normal settlement.
Common Motorcycle Injuries
Motorcycle injuries are generally quite severe. This is because a motorcycle offers the rider virtually no protection from the elements. Unlike riding in a typical passenger car that boasts safety features like roll cages and airbags, riding on a motorcycle leaves you totally exposed.
A common motorcycle injury is “road rash.” This is when motorcycles fall over at high speeds, causing riders to slide across cement and suffer serious abrasions and cuts. Even if motorcyclists are wearing the protective equipment, entire layers of skin can be scraped away, causing disfigurement and extreme pain.
However, much more serious injuries tend to occur when individuals suffer fractured bones. This can occur in a number of different ways. For example, a motorcyclist may be struck by a car from the side, causing fractures to the legs and ribs. Motorcyclists may also suffer hip and arm fractures after serious accidents.
With all that said, the most serious injuries are those that are related to the head and neck. Skull fractures and neck injuries can cause life-changing disabilities or even death. These injuries are especially common when motorcyclists strike another vehicle or a solid object head-on. This causes them to fly forward, striking their head in a manner that can result in serious damage.
The Statute of Limitations
If you have suffered a motorcycle injury, it makes sense to get in touch with a San Francisco accident attorney as soon as possible. This is because the statute of limitations in California actually places a time limit on how long you can wait before taking legal action. In other words, you may lose your ability to sue and recover compensation if you delay for too long. Because of this, it is best to get in touch with a qualified attorney and take action as soon as possible.
Speak with a San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Attorney
After a serious accident, you may be facing a lengthy recovery period and mounting medical bills. Your injuries may have a significant impact on your ability to support yourself and your family. In this situation, a San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyer can help you file a claim for damages. Call today and schedule an initial case consultation.