Motorcyclists enjoy riding on the scenic routes in and around Fresno. However, many motor vehicle drivers fail to safely share the road with motorcyclists, leading to severe and potentially catastrophic collisions. After a motorcycle crash, the experienced attorneys at Freedman Law can help you secure the compensation that you need to recover. Our Fresno motorcycle accident lawyers will fight tenaciously to protect your best interests and hold the at-fault driver accountable for your losses.
A motorcycle accident can happen at any time, in any place. Multiple factors can contribute to a collision, including poor weather, low visibility, and dangerous road conditions such as loose gravel, potholes, and debris. In many cases, however, negligent driving behaviors contribute to these accidents.
If a driver’s actions cause a motorcycle accident, he or she will be liable for the damages that the motorcyclist sustained. Examples of driver negligence include the following.
Additionally, motorcycle accidents can be caused by dangerous and defective vehicle parts. If a motorcycle component is defective and suddenly breaks, a motorcyclist can easily lose control of his or her bike and crash. In these situations, the manufacturer would be responsible for the motorcyclist’s losses.
California is a fault accident state, meaning that people who are responsible for motor vehicle collisions must pay for their victims’ damages. Just like motor vehicle drivers, motorcyclists are required to carry certain amounts of liability insurance to uphold this financial responsibility.
The minimum coverage thresholds for drivers and motorcyclists include the following.
You can choose to purchase higher amounts of coverage to protect your assets after an accident that you cause. You could also purchase optional forms of coverage to pay for your own losses in the event of a collision, such as personal injury protection coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.
Pedestrians, drivers, passengers, cyclists, and motorcyclists have the right to file a claim against a negligent party after a collision. As an injured motorcyclist, you have three main options to recover the compensation that you deserve.
Some motorcycle accident claims begin in the insurance stage and reach a settlement before going to trial. In some cases, you may want to file a lawsuit from the beginning or escalate your case to the courtroom so that you can secure the compensation you deserve. Our Fresno motorcycle accident attorneys are prepared to provide legal help and break down the options available to you.
In situations where Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance does not sufficiently cover damages, you may be entitled to full or partial compensation beyond your coverage limitations. Our expert Fresno personal injury attorneys will support you in bringing appropriate legal action against an insurance agency or defendant. Whether you are dealing with an uninsured motorist or an uncooperative insurance company seeking to limit your total payout for damages, we are committed to obtaining maximum compensation on your behalf.
As a victim of a motorcycle accident, you may have legal recourse to recover compensation for the following:
Since a motorcyclist’s relative exposure to the elements leaves them vulnerable to the negligence of other motor vehicle operators, the motorcycle rider is often vulnerable to serious injuries such as:
Our injury lawyer understands that the moments after a motorcycle accident can feel very overwhelming. You may be suffering from painful injuries, confusion, and shock. It can be difficult to know what to do next or how to protect yourself and your rights. By taking the following steps, you can seek the help you need and preserve evidence for your future case.
If you are able, call 911 and report the collision to the police. A law enforcement officer will visit the scene of the collision and document important information, such as the names of involved parties and witnesses. You can use this report as valuable evidence in your claim.
After the accident, notify the police and speak to the responding officer. Save his or her name and badge number so that you can find the report on a later date. Calling 911 will also bring emergency medical services to the scene, enabling you to receive treatment.
As soon as possible following the collision, seek medical attention. Save all records related to your treatment and injuries in a safe place and bring these documents to your attorney during your consultation.
You should always go to the hospital after an accident, even if you do not feel hurt. Motorcycle accident injuries may not appear for hours or days after the collision, sometimes with life-threatening symptoms. Seeking treatment will help you prevent dangerous complications.
Additionally, failure to seek medical attention could harm your future case. The insurance company may claim that your injuries are not serious or valid, denying your right to compensation. You will also lose valuable evidence to support your claim.
If you are able to move around the accident site without further injury or danger, document as much evidence as possible. Save physical evidence such as clothing and damaged possessions. Take as many photographs from as many angles as possible of the following objects.
Should I Speak to the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company?
We do not recommend speaking to the at-fault party’s insurance company until you consult an attorney. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters are known for using tactics to trick victims into admitting fault or pressuring them into accepting lower than fair settlement offers. In fact, you don’t even necessarily have to speak to the at-fault party’s insurer at all if you hire a lawyer, as they can do that for you.
Can I Still Recover Compensation if I Was Partially at Fault?
Yes, you can still recover compensation if you contributed to your motorcycle accident. Under California’s pure comparative negligence law, each party’s compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 and found 30% to blame, you will receive 70% of your award, or $70,000.
How Much Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Charge?
Most personal injury lawyers in Fresno represent motorcycle accident clients on a contingency fee basis. This is a type of agreement where your attorney advances the costs associated with pursuing your claim, and you are only responsible for legal fees if you recover compensation.
What Happens if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?
Motorcycle riders must wear a helmet at all times under California law. If you are involved in an accident without wearing a helmet, it can impact the amount of compensation you can recover. The at-fault party’s insurance company can blame the severity or cause of your injuries on your negligence for failing to wear a helmet. As a result, it can be extremely challenging to recover a full and fair settlement.
The Driver That Hit My Motorcycle Doesn’t Have Insurance, What Happens Now?
California does not require drivers and motorcyclists to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, which protects you when an accident is caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. If you purchased this optional coverage, you can file a claim under your insurance policy to pay for your damages. However, if you declined this coverage, you may be unable to collect compensation. The only option would be to sue the uninsured driver, but most drivers who operate a vehicle without insurance will not have the money or assets to cover your losses.
What Factors Affect the Value of My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
When determining the value of your claim, various factors will be considered. For example, the strength of evidence demonstrating the at-fault party’s liability, your degree of fault, and the severity of your injury and losses. The following will also often be taken into account:
Typically, the more severe your injuries and the lower your percentage of fault is, the more valuable your claim.
Are you the victim of a Fresno motorcycle accident? In these situations, trust the attorneys at Freedman Law to fight for your right to maximum compensation. We invite you to contact our law office online or call to discuss your legal options with a Fresno motorcycle accident lawyer.