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At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we have an experienced team of San Diego Motorcycle accident attorneys with backgrounds working at major corporate law firms, in prosecutors’ offices, and other high-stakes legal environments.
As one of the biggest and most well-known personal injury law firms in San Diego, we show a high degree of dedication to our clients as we work to help them maximize their potential results. Our firm understands your rights and shows determination and commitment when it comes to fighting to help you retain them following a serious motorcycle accident.
Take a look at our past motorcycle accident claim results.
While we cannot guarantee the results of your specific claim based on those past results, you can feel confident that the attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys will offer as much support as possible throughout your motorcycle accident claim.
While motorcycle accident fatalities throughout California saw a notable decrease in 2019, dropping 9.4 percent from the previous year, San Diego motorcycle riders are still at risk for accidents.
San Diego has many roads that may pose dangers to motorcycle riders. Most notably, SR-76 is host to many serious motorcycle accidents each year, as is I-5 and SR-78. While Oceanside Boulevard draws many riders due to the picturesque scenery, it too sees many motorcycle accidents each year.
Dangerous roads and intersections can increase accident risk for motorcycles for several reasons. Sometimes, dangerous roads may have significant traffic, which can raise the risk of any accident. Other times, certain roads may have poor visibility, which can prove particularly problematic for motorcycle drivers. Motorcycles already occupy less space on the road and prove harder to notice than larger passenger vehicles, so obstacles that interfere with visibility may prove even worse for them than for the average driver of a passenger vehicle.
Big cities, like San Diego, can pose more hazards to motorcycle riders than smaller, less-traveled areas. In big cities, drivers often pay less attention to the smaller vehicles in the vicinity. San Diego has relatively heavy traffic during the day, especially during its extended rush hours, which may last from 4 pm to 7 pm. During that time, drivers may feel pressure to stay on guard as they try to navigate through traffic as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they may fail to pay attention to the smaller motorcycles that can slip into their blind spots.
Negligent passenger vehicle drivers may have a hard time keeping up with the activities of others on the road. Drivers may drive while distracted or inebriated, which may increase the risk that they will cause a serious accident. Worse, many drivers may have a hard time keeping up with the movement of motorcycles around them, since motorcycles occupy less space and may not fit the visual profile of other cars on the road.
San Diego motorcycle riders may know that California has fully legalized lane splitting—the only state in the United States to do so at this time. Lane splitting means traveling between two lanes of traffic. For motorcycle riders, lane splitting may make it much easier and faster to get to destinations, especially in heavy traffic or when traffic crawls to a standstill in response to an accident or hazard.
However, lane splitting also brings with it several unique dangers. Lane splitting places the motorcycle in an area where other drivers do not necessarily expect a vehicle. As a result, it may significantly increase the risk that the motorcycle rider will sustain severe injuries in an accident.
Although California law allows lane splitting, the drivers of larger passenger vehicles may fail to give a motorcycle the space it needs to travel safely. Sometimes drivers may drift into other lanes or enter the lane a motorcycle is in to help them pass another vehicle rather than leaving adequate room for the motorcycle. As a result, if the motorcycle rider does not properly prepare for that action, it may significantly increase the risk of an accident. When lane splitting, motorcycles must not push another vehicle off the road. However, sometimes, drivers trying to complete those maneuvers may inadvertently cause a serious hazard.
San Diego typically experiences extremely mild weather. Most of the time, it does not rain and motorcycle riders can count on great weather as they head out on their journeys, whether it be for a long ride or a quick picturesque cruise.
When rain does fall, it can make the roads very slick, very quickly. Over time, oil drips onto the road as vehicles drive on it, making the surface slick. The light rains we typically get in San Diego can leave that oil at the surface of the road, making it even more slick. When we do get heavy rains, they can wash the oil off—but hard precipitation also creates motorcycling hazards.
Furthermore, many motorcycle riders who live in San Diego do not have significant experience riding in the rain—nor do other drivers. Drivers who do not drive in the rain regularly may have a harder time dealing with potential hazards, including sliding, skidding, or forgetting to allow adequate time and space to come to a stop. As a result, poor weather conditions may increase the risk of motorcycle accidents.
San Diego County has one of the highest rates of incidents of motorcycle crashes throughout the State of California. In a recent study, California Highway Patrol reported 1500 people were injured in a motorcycle accident in San Diego County in a single year. In California, motorcycle accident deaths were 17% of all road fatalities even though only 3% of registered vehicle owners rode motorcycles. The last reported year on file showed that 519 people died because of a motorcycle accident that occurred in California. At our firm, we understand the negligence and recklessness of many drivers who do not pay attention to motorcycles on the road. The lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys study the motorcycle accident rates and understand what it will take to help you when you have been injured in a motorcycle accident.
Fundamentally, a motorcycle is regarded in the law as if it were an automobile, and the same basic and general rules are applied to motorcycle accident cases as are applied in car accident cases. California law makes clear: “A motorcycle is a motor vehicle.” (Chong v. California State Automobile Association (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 285.) Other cases have found a motorcycle accident is just as foreseeable as an automobile accident, and motorcycle riders face a much greater risk of injury in the event of an accident than do occupants of a car or truck. (See Nicolodi v. Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc. (1979) 370 So.2d 68.) A cause of action for personal injury or wrongful death can be brought as a result of a motorcycle accident.
It is not illegal for motorcycles to pass other vehicles that are driving in the same direction in the same lane. This is called lane splitting. California drivers of cars must keep a lookout for other vehicles – including motorcycles. The drivers must also control the speed and movement of their vehicles. If a driver fails to use reasonable care in driving a vehicle – that is negligence. People driving cars fail to pay attention to the road and keep a lookout for motorcycles and these drivers cause accidents. That is negligence. Having an attorney or lawyer to prove your case and put up the legal fight to hold the negligent driver responsible is very important after a motorcycle accident. Many times the motorcycle driver is blamed for the crash, and is offered less money because they say the motorcycle driver was at fault. As experienced lawyers, Gomez Trial Attorneys understands that motorcyclists are good drivers and have knowledge of how to drive and control a motorcycle – many times the car drivers are distracted and not paying attention.
Active military and service members are afforded the right to bring a case when injured in a motorcycle accident. Under the federal law, the Service members Relief Act allows an active military or service member who is involved in a motorcycle accident to have extra time to bring a claim while that member remains on active duty. And California courts have recognized a person who is in the military full time is exempted from the statute of limitations to bring a case during that time period of active duty. When a person is in the service, “the period of limitation is automatically tolled during the duration of the service.” (Syzemore v. County of Sacramento (1976) 55 Cal. App. 3d 517, 523.)
If you are a part of San Diego’s community of active duty service members – you have a right to bring a claim if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. Your injuries are compensable, even if you are not able to file a claim right away. Gomez Trial Attorneys has been proud to represent many veterans and active duty service members for injuries that have occurred in motorcycle accidents.
Below you can find some of the answers to the frequently asked questions you might have about hiring an attorney. If you don’t see your question on this list, Gomez Trial Attorneys are dedicated and available at (619) 237-3490 to schedule a free consultation. there you can ask, learn, and discuss all aspects of your injury and how we can assist you in filing your claim.
Some motorcycle victims and their families forego contacting a lawyer after a severe accident because they are worried about the cost of the attorney. This tragedy often involves victims receiving inadequate settlement amounts after suffering severe injuries, if they recover any losses at all. When you suffer serious harm as a result of another party’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial consequences, including your own attorney fees. It is industry standard for San Diego personal injury attorneys, including those who represent motorcycle accident injury victims, to offer free case evaluations and handle cases on a contingency fee basis.
When law firms take cases on contingency, clients don’t have to pay anything up front or out of pocket. In most cases, they will sign an agreement with the law firm that states the firm will deduct its fees from any compensation it secures for the client. Compensation might come from a negotiated settlement with an insurance company or court-awarded damages following a trial.
California’s Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) covers the state’s statutes of limitations rules, which are the time limits for taking legal action in civil cases. Like most states, California’s law is strict. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in San Diego, you generally have two years to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If it has been longer than two years, you should still consult a motorcycle accident lawyer regarding your eligibility to file a claim. Although rare, the court does make some exceptions and will grant limited extensions under specific circumstances to plaintiffs in personal injury cases.
Motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries that leave victims hospitalized for weeks or months. In the case of a traumatic brain injury, or any other injury or condition that causes a victim to be unconscious or physically and mentally unable to take legal action, a California court might toll—or pause—the statute of limitations time clock. Your attorney will advise you on whether you or your loved one’s injury might qualify for an extension.
It’s not uncommon for insurance companies that know their policyholder is at fault to quickly make a settlement offer. This might seem counterintuitive, as we all know insurance companies don’t like to pay out claims. These early offers are a tactic for the insurance company to avoid paying out a larger settlement claim or court-awarded damages in the future. If you have received an offer, you might be tempted to accept it. Insurance companies want the initial offer to be strong enough for you to accept it, but still less than the compensation you might receive later on.
It’s in your best interest to consider an early settlement offer as a jumping-off point for negotiations. You should avoid communicating directly with the insurance company. Insurance adjusters are trained to elicit statements from people to devalue their claims. Instead of jeopardizing your case, it’s best to enlist the help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Insurance companies take claimants with legal representation more seriously and avoid employing some of the strategies that they might otherwise try to use against you. Additionally, lawyers are trained negotiators who will strive to maximize your compensation.
Several different factors will determine the worth of your motorcycle accident claim, including the severity and nature of your injuries, economic losses related to your injuries, your likelihood for a full recovery, non-economic damages that stem from your injuries, the insurance policy limits involved in your case, and the extent to which you might have contributed to the accident that led to your injuries.
Your attorney will use solid numbers and past cases to calculate the value of your claim. In some areas, he or she might even call upon experts, such as life care planners who can better quantify the cost of future medical treatment, or accident reconstruction specialists who can help determine liability for the insurance company and the court. Below you will find a more in-depth explanation of the factors mentioned above:
Generally speaking, the more severe your injuries are, the more your claim will be worth. For example, a broken leg that heals in six to eight weeks will cost far less than a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) that requires hospitalization for months. When injuries cause permanent disability or indefinite, chronic issues, the value of a claim also increases. Some examples include limb amputations as a result of getting pinned under a motorcycle, spinal cord injuries that lead to paralysis, or back injuries that cause chronic lifelong pain even after corrective surgeries.
The aftermath of a severe motorcycle accident often causes serious financial burdens, or at least adds a significant amount of financial stress for victims and their families. Medical bills are likely piling up, and time away from work results in lost household income. Although insurance might cover some medical expenses, severe accidents include significant medical expenses. The total cost can easily reach six figures, sometimes seven figures in the most extreme cases. Common medical expenses which can add to the value of your claim include:
Beyond medical costs and lost wages, other expenses that might increase the value of your motorcycle claim include the cost of modifying your home to increase access, such as by adding ramps or handrails, and the cost of replacing domestic services, such as lawn care and cleaning.
Some catastrophic motorcycle accident injuries require lifelong care. If your loved one is in a permanent vegetative state (PVS), has permanent paralysis of some or all of the body, or has suffered a mentally incapacitating injury, the chances of a full recovery are slim to none. No amount of money can undo such damage, but when the damage is this severe, the value of a motorcycle accident injury claim greatly increases. In these situations, your attorney will gather expert analysis and testimony concerning the costs of required long-term care and the value of lost future wages. Not only does a catastrophic injury increase future medical costs, but it likely means the injured victim will be unable to partially or fully return to gainful employment.
Severe motorcycle accidents wreak havoc in all aspects of a victim’s life. In addition to the financial challenges in the wake of a motorcycle accident, victims must deal with the physical pain of injury and recovery, as well as changes in their personal relationships and quality of life. When your attorney values your claim, he or she will take into account the non-economic damages you have suffered, which might result in additional compensation. These damages include:
When you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy and insurance carrier will play a big role in the value of your claim. Unless the driver is independently wealthy or has a significant amount of high-dollar assets, it will be very difficult to recover damages beyond the insurance policy limits, even if the court rules in your favor. Fortunately, California has minimum insurance coverage requirements, and anyone who has a loan on a vehicle is typically required to carry full liability coverage. If you or your loved one has suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident, your attorney will likely seek full compensation up to the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy limits, at the very minimum.
A motorcycle accident attorney is a valuable person to have in your corner to ensure you that seek compensation for the full cost of your injury and hold accountable the driver who harmed you. Oftentimes, injured victims and potential clients don’t know the entire scope of how a lawyer can help them or about the things he or she will do to build, support, and win a case. Below are a few of the ways a motorcycle accident attorney can help you from the first time you meet:
After a motorcycle accident, you will certainly need to deal with insurance companies. The insurance company will call you nonstop and many times will try to ask you questions that will later be used against you in a court of law. The insurance companies recognize Gomez Trial Attorneys – and they know that if they do not settle for the top result available – we will go to trial and seek more than was ever offered to settle. We take the necessary care to navigate the insurance companies and make certain that you do not need to deal with this complicated system. This is so important for compensation of medical bills, future medical care, lost property, time missed from work, and your pain and suffering. Some of our case results include:
$6,000,000 settlement after dirt biker crossed highway and Ambulance driver struck the dirt biker.
$5,000,000 settlement after motorcycle accident trial against the U.S. Border Control for an illegally stopped car in the roadway.
$2,500,000 settlement after motorcycle accident against County of San Diego arising from dangerous condition on a road.
$500,000 settlement after motorcycle accident where driver of SUV made a left turn into motorcycle driver.
Former Client Testimonials
“You really need an expert to navigate the process of negotiating a settlement with all these different parties. More importantly, you want an attorney you can trust and give you peace of mind.”
– Liesel P. (Former Client – Motorcycle Accident)
“As soon as you walk through their doors you know you are going to be well represented. They treat you like family and make sure that their clients are taken care of. If you want great representation, talk to Gomez Trial Attorneys.”
– Sergius A. (Former Client – Motorcycle Accident)
“These guys took care of me like I was their child after a motorcycle accident last year. They fought tooth & nail for me and I could not be happier with the results. They’re personable and helpful. I’d recommend them to anyone needing legal help.”
– Christine S. (Former Client – Motorcycle Accident)
Injured in an accident? Get a real trial lawyer. Get Gomez. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys for a free consultation. To get the compensation that you deserve, you need an experienced and powerful legal team. A San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys can aggressively pursue the best result for you and your family.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“I got into a motorcycle accident in June 2019 and they were able to help me get the maximum amount of settlement that they could while still maintaining the utmost professionalism. I couldn’t have found a better attorney then Gomez Trial Attorneys. One of, if not, the best Law Firm I have ever known. Definitely worth more then 5 stars but google wouldn’t let me put anymore.”
Review by: Cody N.
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