When are Drivers Liable for Motorcycle Accidents in Los Angeles?
We all know that motorcyclists have a certain reputation in Los Angeles. Those who choose to travel by this means are often labeled “daredevils” or “thrillseekers”. Because of this stigma that is attached to riding a motorcycle, it is often difficult for people to sympathize with riders who become injured. These individuals may dismiss these injuries as inevitable, stating that the rider “had it coming” or muttering that it “serves them right”. But there are many motorcyclists who carefully follow traffic rules and become injured due to no fault of their own. While it is true that riding a motorcycle may be more dangerous than other means of travel, the true danger always comes from negligent motorists, not the type of vehicle they are operating.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles, you may be dealing with serious injuries. Perhaps you are now faced with expensive medical treatments, and you are not sure how you are going to pay for these medical expenses. These financial pressures may be further deepened by your lack of income, as severe injuries often stop injured motorcyclists from attending work. Sometimes, these injured victims never work again. You might have also suffered considerable mental trauma due to your crash, and this may require counseling and a long recovery process.
Due to all of these factors, you may be left with no choice but to take legal action. If someone else’s negligence led to your motorcycle crash, you are fully within your rights to file a personal injury lawsuit. In order to do this, you will need to get in touch with a qualified personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. Our legal professionals can guide you toward a positive legal outcome, helping you pursue a fair, adequate settlement that reflects the true extent of your injuries. Using this settlement, you can pay off your medical expenses, cover missed wages, and get compensated for a range of non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or PTSD.
But in order to win your lawsuit, you will need to establish that the party who caused your accident was negligent. How exactly do you go about doing this? What is negligence, and when might a driver’s negligence be linked to your motorcycle accident? These are some of the topics we will be exploring in this article. The most important thing you need to know about negligence is that it can sometimes be difficult to establish, which is why working with a qualified attorney is so important.
In order to “win” your lawsuit and recover a settlement, you will first need to establish that someone else’s negligence led directly to your injuries. Since California is an “at-fault” state, you must hold someone else accountable before you can file an injury claim after a car accident. This is not the same system as a “no-fault” car insurance state, in which you would simply turn to your own insurance provider to recover a settlement without ever holding anyone accountable.
In order to establish negligence, you will need to highlight four “elements” when you go before a judge. All of these “elements of negligence” must be present for a driver to be held liable for your injuries.
- Duty of Care: First, you must establish that the driver owed you a duty of care. This is relatively straightforward, as all drivers owe each other a certain duty of care when they take to the roads. They are expected to maintain their vehicle, operate their vehicle safely, and obey traffic laws.
- Breach of Duty: You will then need to show that they “breached” this duty of care. This means that they acted in an unreasonable manner and knowingly behaved in such a way that caused you harm. For example, they might have run a red light.
- Causation: Next, you need to show that this “breach of duty” led directly to your injury. For example, they might have run a red light and hit you. But causation is not always so straightforward. They may have run a red light without hitting you, but their actions may have caused another car to swerve into you.
- Damages: Finally, you must show that the driver’s behavior resulted in legitimate injuries or losses for you. This often involves showing the court your medical records, receipts for medical expenses, X-Rays, and other forms of similar evidence.
Motorcycle Laws in Los Angeles
In many cases, a negligent driver will try to avoid liability by claiming that you were violating some kind of traffic law before the accident. They may claim that you were speeding or weaving in between lanes in a reckless manner. They may also try to claim that you were violating one of the many laws that apply specifically to motorcyclists in Los Angeles. These include:
- Those with learners’ permits cannot ride after dark or carry passengers
- You must have functioning indicator lights
- You must have at least one mirror
- You must wear a helmet
Other than that, the motorcycle laws in Los Angeles are fairly generous. Lane splitting is allowed, as is lane sharing. With all that said, the defendant will likely attempt to accuse you of some kind of traffic violation in order to escape liability, so it is important to have a solid grasp of these motorcycle laws.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Los Angeles area for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped a number of car accident victims seek justice and compensation, including those who have been injured by motorcycle accidents. We appreciate that motorcyclists are often viewed unfairly by society, and we know that in the majority of motorcycle accidents, riders were doing absolutely nothing wrong before being injured. With our help, you can strive for a fair, adequate settlement and get the medical treatment you need. We can also help you hold negligent drivers accountable so that they are deterred from hurting other motorcyclists in the future. Book your consultation today.