Motorcycles provide great fun for riders. Especially in Southern California, where the weather is great year-round, motorcycles allow for quick and enjoyable transportation.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents happen frequently, oftentimes due to careless drivers. Whether you have been in an accident in a commonly dangerous area for motorcycles, like National City, Golden Hill, or nearly anywhere along I-15, or on your own street, you may have serious and life-threatening injuries.
Motorcycle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries that may require a lifetime of medical care and attention. No matter where in San Diego you were injured, someone else’s carelessness may have forever changed your life.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, you need to speak with an experienced and aggressive San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. You may recover compensation from the negligent driver. The only way to know for sure is to partner with a legal advocate who has your best interests at heart.
San Diego Motorcycle Helmet Laws
San Diego’s glorious weather makes it a perfect location for motorcycle riding. While motorcycles can provide a great deal of fun, they can also present dangers to riders when other drivers do not pay attention.
To keep yourself safe in case of an accident, you must prepare before every ride. Taking safety precautions can increase the chances of you walking away from a motorcycle accident. It’s also important to know and adhere to all California motorcycle laws. Not only can this keep you safer on the road, but it may also serve as your key to recovering compensation if another driver violated the law.
California law requires every person riding a motorcycle to wear a helmet. Both drivers and passengers must wear a helmet every time they are on a motorcycle.
One of the most serious injuries someone can suffer in a motorcycle accident is a head injury. You can prevent concussions and other traumatic brain injuries by wearing a helmet. You may still suffer an injury even while wearing a helmet, and you may still suffer serious pain, but wearing a helmet can save your life.
Lane splitting is the practice of riding between lanes or on the lines separating lanes. Usually done by motorcycles, scooters, and other two-wheeled vehicles, lane splitting is extremely dangerous.
There is no California law prohibiting lane splitting, but that doesn’t mean it’s a safe way to ride. Cars may rapidly change lanes or open doors, throwing you from your motorcycle and causing life-threatening injuries.
Driving Under the Influence
In California, it is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration level over 0.08 percent. Just like drivers of regular cars, it is illegal to drive a motorcycle after drinking too much.
Even for a first-time violation, you could face serious consequences. The most serious of consequences may include an accident where you suffer serious injuries that forever alter your life. You can avoid this by making the right decision and not getting on your motorcycle if you’ve had too much to drink.
Similarly, if you suspect the driver who hit you had been drinking, that may help to increase your chances of recovering compensation for your injuries. Speaking with a skilled San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine your next steps.
Motorcycle Accident Deaths
Deadly motorcycle crashes happen frequently across all of California, including the greater San Diego area. Unfortunately, many families are left traumatized and grieving the tragic and untimely loss of a loved one due to serious motorcycle accidents in the area.
Any time you deal with the loss of a loved one, it’s a tragic event. You may need to take time to absorb the loss and manage affairs, but you cannot take too much time before speaking with a lawyer.
We know it’s the last thing from your mind, but a lawyer can help make sure that your family can collect compensation for the loss of your loved one. You only have limited time to begin this process, so you must act quickly.
No amount of money can bring your loved one back. No amount of money can undo the suffering and pain that your family feels. Compensation can, however, make sure that your family does not face financial trouble because of someone else’s negligence.
You may qualify to collect compensation for:
- Final medical expenses
- Funeral costs
- Burial costs
- Lost financial support
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
To help your family, you should speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in San Diego. Your legal team can help you get the compensation you need, so you can be with your family to grieve and remember your loved one.
Damages You May Qualify To Collect
When you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident, you may qualify to collect compensation.
While not every case can result in damages, you may get compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
Depending on the type of injuries you suffered, you may qualify to recover substantial compensation from the negligent driver. Having a lawyer help you prove your case can prove particularly beneficial. It’s not as simple as just saying that someone else ran into your motorcycle. You have to show, using evidence, that the other driver acted negligently and caused your motorcycle accident and injuries.
Without a trusted motorcycle accident lawyer at your side, you risk missing out on potential compensation for your injuries. This can leave you in a troublesome situation. Partnering with the right legal team can give you the peace of mind that your motorcycle accident case is in the right hands.
Not Wearing a Helmet Could Reduce Your Compensation
Helmets are one of the most important safety items you can wear when on a motorcycle. Choosing to ride a motorcycle without a helmet could put you at risk of great physical harm. You could suffer life-altering injuries if you get into an accident.
Physical harm isn’t the only danger you face if you choose to go without a helmet. Not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle could put you in legal harm, as well. California law clearly states that anyone on a motorcycle must wear a helmet. A police officer can pull you over and give you a citation for not wearing a motorcycle helmet.
If you are in an accident when you are not wearing a helmet, you may struggle to collect as much compensation. Because you broke the law by not wearing a helmet, the other driver’s lawyer could argue that you are partially responsible for your injuries and that, if you were wearing a helmet, your injuries would not be so severe and would not require as much medical care.
This isn’t just some far-fetched idea, either. California law permits this argument and allows a reduction of compensation if the victim was partially responsible for the accident or increased the seriousness of the injuries suffered by breaking the law.
What this means in practice is that if a court determines that you are partially responsible for the accident or the severity of your injuries, the court may reduce your ultimate compensation by your level of liability. This is just one of the many reasons why it is vital to your ability to collect maximum compensation that you work with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in San Diego. Your lawyer can review all of the information about your accident and help determine whether you are partially to blame. Knowing all of the facts of an accident helps your legal team prepare.
Quick Settlement Offers
Part of your lawyer’s job is to negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company. Soon after your motorcycle accident, you may receive a phone call from the insurance company representing the negligent driver. The insurance adjuster may want to take a recorded statement from you. Do not give one.
The insurance adjuster is looking for any reason to deny or reduce your claim. Let your lawyer do the talking for you.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your motorcycle accident, the insurance adjuster may even offer you a settlement. You may get excited when you hear that information, but you need to be careful with these early settlement offers. The insurance adjuster is trying to settle your case for as little as possible. Despite what the insurance adjuster may tell you, they are not trying to help you cover all of your expenses. They are trying to protect their company’s bottom line.
The insurance adjuster may pressure you to take the offer quickly, that it’s only good for the day, and that you don’t need a lawyer to review the offer or help you. Do not listen to insurance companies when they make these arguments.
Unlike the insurance company, a San Diego motorcycle accident attorney will have your best interests in mind. Your lawyer will tell you that, if you sign the settlement offer, you will waive your right to bring any future claims against the insurance company for this accident. If you discover months or years later that you still have medical bills to pay, but your settlement funds have run dry, you will be out of luck. You and your family will be on the hook to cover the rest of your medical expenses.
Not only that, but you may also be on the hook to cover your other financial losses. Motorcycle accident injuries are often serious and require many months or years to fully recover from. That can leave victims, like you, out of work indefinitely, making it difficult to cover your regular expenses, let alone your medical bills.
That’s another benefit a trusted legal advocate can bring to the table. Your lawyer will investigate your accident and work with medical experts to create an accurate estimate of your future medical needs. Understanding the medical hurdles you face can give your legal team a better idea of how much your medical bills may amount to and how much time you will spend out of work. Remember, you may qualify to collect compensation for your lost wages and lost earning potential. With the right legal team at your side, you maximize your chances of recovering compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
An Attorney Can Help You Recover
Motorcycle accident injury victims in San Diego benefit from retaining the services of an experienced attorney. You want to retain an attorney with the experience and the resources required to help you hold the negligent party liable for your accident and injuries.
You also want an attorney with motorcycle accident injury trial experience. Some law firms shy away from trials, as they often prove expensive and time-consuming. While your attorney will likely try to settle your case quickly, some insurance companies refuse to settle for a fair and reasonable amount. If that’s the case, your attorney may need to take your claim to trial to help you recover maximum compensation.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a San Diego motorcycle accident, you need to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Contact an experienced San Diego motorcycle accident attorney today to learn about your legal options and to determine your best path forward.