Motorcycle riders often get charged with negligence for an accident. In 2020, California lost 539 motorcycle riders to fatal negligent motorcycle accidents per the Injury Facts Report by the National Safety Council (NSC). From 2020 leading up to 2021, there were a total of 2229 motorcycle accidents, according to the Motorcycle Crash Report by the Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS). Some bikers ride aggressively at a high speed and often go unnoticed on the road. Such negligent riders are under immense threat of tragic accidents.
If you have been injured in a negligent motorcycle accident, it can be challenging to navigate the insurance and legal procedures on your own when you are still recovering from your injuries.
What Is Negligence?
‘Negligence’ is a legal term to determine liability in a situation where one party goes against their responsibility towards caring for another party and causes harm to others.
In simple terms, Negligence refers to acting in a careless manner that causes injury to another person or damage to property. For instance, in most negligent cases, the accident was preventable, but the rider chose to be negligent and disregarded the fact that they are putting another person in danger by their actions.
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Why Choose Shamon Law As Your Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers?
An injury can leave you with mounting medical expenses, lost income, and an inability to participate in your life fully. No accident victim should be left to fend for themselves.
Shamon law understands how important these cases are for our clients. Our experience includes going up against the big insurance companies and winning. We use our expertise to develop powerful cases, negotiate the best possible settlements, and win cases at trial.
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Negligent Motorcycle Behaviors
Riding motorcycles recklessly is common among bikers. Negligent motorcycle behaviors include:
- Road Racing
- Riding in groups
- Aggressive speeding
- Tailgating larger motor vehicles
- Riding under the influence of alcohol
- Failing to turn on the indicator
- Performing motorcycle tricks on shared roadways
Elements Of Negligence In Motorcycle Riders
To identify and prove negligence, the four elements of negligence must be properly defined and described.
Every rider has a civil ‘duty of care’ on the road to prevent and protect themselves as well as others. One holds the responsibility to ensure their actions do not put another in danger.
Breach of Duty
‘Breach of duty’ refers to when the motorcycle rider fails to perform their ‘duty of care’. They choose to act carelessly or recklessly which puts the other party in danger. For example, riding after consuming alcohol, speeding and swerving in the middle of the road, etc.
When the rider breached their duty, and their recklessness caused an accident that resulted in injuring the other party or damaging the property, it is termed as ‘causation’. For example, the rider collided with another vehicle while drunk riding and injured the driver of the vehicle. The rider decided to drink before riding; if they had made better choices in the first place, the accident wouldn’t have been caused.
‘Damage’ refers to the outcome of breach of duty and causation. It is the injuries or damages caused after the motorcycle accident. By proving liability for damage, it is evident that the plaintiff suffered from harm or experienced a form of loss out of the defendant’s recklessness.
Common Injuries Caused By Negligent Rider Accidents
Careless motorcycle riders can cause extreme injuries. Unlike a car, two-wheelers don’t have a safe occupant space, side protection layers, or a roof. An immense direct impact is made upon them when there is a collision, as well as when the rider is thrown off after a forceful impact or disturbance. Some of the most commonly reported accident injuries in San Diego are:
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries/Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Leg and arm fractures
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injury
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How Can A Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help?
Serious motorcycle accidents result in life-threatening injuries. It can be overwhelming to handle insurance documents and policies with a limited time to properly understand them. When the damages are severe, you are dealing with a large amount of money.
Often, insurance companies try to manipulate the situation by offering you the minimum compensation. In such cases, many victims are in a vulnerable state to question the offering as they are still recovering and are in need of money. As a result, the defendant gets away with unfair compensation despite being negligent and causing you harm.
To build a solid case, you need a legal professional to gather evidence that can back your claim, prove the four elements of negligence against the defendant, and calculate an accurate compensation price based on the damage. As your motorcycle accident lawyer, we will represent you throughout your case, from handling all communication with the insurance company and investigating evidence to negotiating a fair settlement amount.
What To Do After A Motorcycle Accident?
When you find yourself in a motorcycle accident, your priority should always be checking yourself and the other involved parties for injuries. Call 911 to report the accident and ask for emergency medical care. If you can, try helping everyone to safety from any further threats like fire or explosions.
If you can, take pictures of the accident as photo documentation for later investigation. At the same time exchange contact and insurance information with the opposing party, as we will have to reach out to their insurance company soon. You can also gather the contact information of witnesses of the accident. Your lawyer will contact them for their testimony as additional proof of your claim.
After you have received emergency care, and your injuries have been taken under control, you must now consult with a San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer specializing in negligent rider accident cases. Seeking legal advice will review all facts, educate you on your legal rights and policies, and help you through the processes.
California Statute of Limitation
According to the California Statute of Limitation, the deadline for filing a lawsuit for personal injury in negligent motorcycle accidents is 2 years from the date of the accident. While that of property loss is 3 years. In case the injury is discovered later, the deadline is 1 year from the date of discovery.
Damages Recovered After A Negligent Motorcycle Accident
Negligent riders have to pay three types of damage recovery compensation to the plaintiff for their careless actions.
Punitive damage compensation is specifically charged to negligent riders or drivers for failing to perform their duty and harming someone else. Such compensation is charged by the court as a form of punishment if the case goes to court.
Economic damages are compensations for direct losses of the plaintiff as a result of the accident. They include:
- Medical expenses
- Medication/therapy costs
- Lost work wages
- Property repair cost
After enduring severe accident injuries, the victim has to experience much more losses that cannot always be calculated in certain amounts. Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Withholding pleasurable/enjoyable experiences
- Degradation of quality of life
These damages are priceless. Therefore, Non-economic damage compensations are given as an attempt to make up for the losses in the form of financial gain to the plaintiff.
Contact A Top-Rated Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Proving negligence is not easy. We have seen many accident victims be sidelined from their claims for not being able to prove negligence on their own. It is extremely important to consult with a lawyer to understand the best approach and properly define all the elements of negligence and recover the losses you suffered.
Shamon Law has a team of expert motorcycle accident attorneys with years of experience in handling negligent rider cases in San Diego. We aggressively work on investigating the evidence and holding the defendant liable for the carelessness that caused you harm. Our approach involves incorporating large-scale resources and expert witnesses to further solidify the case. If you have been injured in a negligent motorcycle accident in San Diego, Call us at +1 619 458-3539 for a free consultation.