If you get injured while riding a motorcycle and you believe the other party directly contributed to your injuries, you should seek help from a motorcycle injury lawyer. This is true, even if you were partly at fault.
If you ride a motorcycle in California and are partly to blame for your accident, you still can sue for compensation. It does not matter the degree of fault, as California’s law of comparative negligence apportions the fault between or among the involved parties.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence assigns fault by assigning the blame of the plaintiff and defendant(s) in a case. Therefore, damages are awarded in specific amounts, determined by each party’s role in an accident. Three forms of comparative negligence are used for determining blame – pure comparative negligence modified comparative negligence and slight/gross negligence.
A motorcycle injury lawyer in California must follow the rules set forth for pure comparative negligence. Therefore, a plaintiff may receive damages, even if he or she is determined to be almost totally at fault. For example, if the court finds the plaintiff to be 95% at fault, he or she will still be awarded 5% for the assessed damages.
What the Statistics Show
That is important to note, as the Insurance Information Institute states that motorcyclists often get injured from riding without a helmet. This happens more frequently if the rider is riding with a passenger. According to the site, about 1,000 injuries occur per year for every 100,000 registered riders.
Statistics reveal that climate plays a major role in motorcycle injuries and fatalities. Therefore, warmer states have higher fatalities rates. The Motorcycle Legal Foundation further supports the danger of riding a motorcycle, stating that approximately 25 motorcycle accidents end in death for every 100,000 miles driven. On the other hand, automobile fatalities are recorded of about 1.5 deaths for the same number of miles..
Therefore, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should review your rights with a motorcycle injury lawyer without delay. Explain the incident with the attorney while the events are still fresh on your mind. You have a two-year statute of limitations to file a claim in California, so the sooner you contact legal counsel, the better.
What You Will Need to File a Claim
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, regardless of the extent of injury, you need to talk to an attorney, as medical bills can mount up fast and insurance companies often negotiate claims that fall below a recipient’s cost-of-living and settlement needs.
Gathering the Evidence for Your Motorcycle Injury Claim
To begin the process, you will need to gather documents related to your motorcycle accident claim for compensation. These documents include the following items:
- Medical bills related to your past and current medical care.
- Bills for prescribed medications
- Property damage bills (damage done to your motorcycle)
You should have contact numbers for eyewitnesses, as these can be quite helpful. If you don’t have this information, you can still supply a copy of the police report and hopefully photos of the accident scene.
The major part of a personal injury motorcycle claim involves bodily injury, so you need supporting medical records to proceed with the process. Don’t give any supporting documents to the other party’s insurance company before contacting a motorcycle injury lawyer.
Your attorney will know what documents to provide to ensure a fairer settlement. An adjuster will use the inexperience of a claimant to lower the amount for the claim. That is why you should always contact a lawyer about this type of legal filing.
What You Will Need to Support a Property Damage Claim
You will also need to seek compensation for property damage, which covers the cost of replacing or repairing your motorcycle or related gear. To submit the claim, you need to include an estimate for repair.
If the total for repairs cost over the value of your motorcycle, the bike will be declared as “totaled,” and you will be given an amount equal to the current market value of the bike. You can get this information from resources, such as the Kelley Blue Book.
Serving a Complaint
If you end up filing a lawsuit instead of negotiating an insurance claim, your motorcycle injury lawyer will draft a complaint. The complaint will be served to the other party or the defendant. The defendant is given 30 days to provide a written answer to the complaint and its allegations.
The next step, in the process, called discovery, involves turning over medical records and bills, taking depositions or testimonies from the plaintiff, defendants, and witnesses.
You will need to submit all the details regarding damages and the degree of fault for all the parties in the case. Experts will be deposed to offer their opinions about the reasons for the accident and what they believe are reasonable damages.
Contact a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer Now
You may wonder who to contact in California about filing a lawsuit for a motorcycle accident claim. Phone an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer. Call Belal Hamideh Law at (562) 526-1224 now.