If you drive a motorcycle, or have recently been involved in a motorcycle accident and have sustained injuries, you will want to keep this guide handy. It will tell you everything you need to know about what to expect after a motorcycle accident, how to partner with the best possible personal injury firm, and how to get a fair amount of money to pay for your medical and other bills.
If you have any questions at any time, don’t hesitate to call Kuzyk Law at 661-945-6969 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Part 1: Why Hire a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Getting behind the wheel is a dangerous proposition – especially when you’re riding on two wheels with exposure on all sides. Motorcycle crashes are an unfortunate occurrence on winding roadways, highways, side roads and congested city streets. Motorcycle-involved deaths have been rising for the last 22 years, especially in Southern California, says The Mercury News.
Sadly, motorcycle accidents are so common in the LA area that the only time they make the news is when they snarl traffic and lead to big delays. The national rate of motorcycle fatalities is about 28 times higher than those that involve motor vehicles.
Bike injuries happen due to the carelessness of another person, whether that’s another driver, someone in charge of posting warning signs, road maintenance personnel or a manufacturing defect in the bike itself. If you have been hurt due to the fault of another, your legal rights have been violated and you are entitled to proper legal counsel to get the financial compensation you deserve.
If you have experienced a motorcycle injury, you need strong reputation behind you, in the form of a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles. Let’s examine why you should hire a Lancaster motorcycle accident lawyer.
On the surface, an accident resulting in injury can involve a lot of he-said, she-said, especially if there are many witnesses involved. However, in order to rule in your favor, the court needs evidence to find an accused person liable for damages. Your mere word and version of the facts won’t suffice. You need proof, which you may not have the resources or skill set to produce adequately.
Nor should you: your main concern should be focusing on healing and recovery rather than on putting on your detective hat. That’s why you need a legal representative working tirelessly on your behalf to accumulate all evidence required to back up your claim. Your attorney will analyze the situation, identify the issues, speak with accident re-constructionists, consult with medical doctors, and identify the person responsible. They can also extract testimony from eye witnesses and other relevant people in order to build the strongest case in your favor.
Optimal Financial Compensation
The suffering you undergo after a motorcycle accident can be extensive and painful. In the case of spinal cord injuries, for example, partial paralysis can result, leading to many years of rehabilitation. Those visits are costly and can easily bankrupt anyone not prepared to handle this long-term financial commitment.
It takes a lot of money to obtain the medical support necessary for healing, recovery and rehabilitation. With all the money you have lost due to time off work, especially if you are the breadwinner, one of the main concerns is how you will pay the medical bills.
Your motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles, with help from your team of doctors, will be able to calculate the financial implications of your physical, emotional and professional suffering. In your defense, your attorney will present bills, reports, statistics and other pieces of evidence to bolster your claim.
Motorcycle accident injury cases, as all personal injury cases, involve a lot of daily minutiae, documentation, filing and more that comes as part of obtaining the best settlement or win possible. This takes skill and experience, of course, but also a lot of time. Instead of hassling yourself with these details, especially as you try to recover, let your lawyer fulfill all legal formalities and guide you every step of the way. Place your faith in your attorney, who will coach you to properly and fearlessly face any and all questions that may come your way. You shouldn’t have to do anything until absolutely essential.
In the end, a Lancaster motorcycle injury lawyer can play a major role in helping you regain control and order in your life after the crash. Don’t leave your financial future up to chance. You owe it to yourself to at least sit down for a consultation.
Part 2: Tips for Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
Most of the time, motorcycles and other motor vehicles exist peacefully on the roadways. But sadly, there are way too many times when tragedy results, mainly due to the rate of speed and lack of driver protection. As such, motorcycle accidents are considered to be the worst kind of crash because they so often result in grave injuries, from TBI to spinal cord injuries to broken bones.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to perish in motor vehicle crashes and five times as likely to sustain injuries than occupants within a passenger car. Have you been involved in such an accident while riding your bike? The party or parties responsible should pay.
To help you get the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills and time off work, choose a highly skilled motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles to increase your chances of success. Yes, it can be daunting and scary to consider your injuries, the long road ahead andhow you will possibly pay for it all. However, this isn’t the time to get lax about researching the best motorcycle accident attorney for you. Here are four tips to guide you.
1. Look at Success Rates
Many lawyers offer sub specialties within personal injury law. However, you have to make sure your chosen lawyer has vast experience with your particular type of personal injury: motorcycle accidents. With personal injury law growing more complex each and every year, you need an expert who has the comprehensive knowledge and experience to get a fair settlement for your claim in a timely manner. Remember, the insurance adjuster on the other side of the claim knows the process better than you. They will try to get away with whatever they can to discredit you, going so far as to imply that you were the careless one and you caused the accident that contributed to your injuries. That’s why you need an equal or greater match of skills from a motorcycle accident lawyer who has the in-the-trenches experience over many decades to win favorable verdicts and settlements.
2. Check the Reviews
Preliminary research online will reveal many reviews and client testimonials that can enlighten you overall as to the worth of a particular attorney. Those are all well and good but the real gems come from people you know. Ask around for word of mouth reviews from your friends and family. Which lawyers have they used for personal injury cases? Were they happy with the process overall? Did they get the justice they were looking for? Look for reviews that show a motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles who has shown compassion and a willingness to go the extra mile.
3. Conduct Interviews
This is your turn to be the interviewer. Don’t waste your free initial consultation. Go with questions in hand and ask whatever you need to. Some good sample questions to ask include:
- What is your rate? How do you charge? Do I have to pay now or later? (Keep in mind most lawyers don’t charge you anything until your case results in a win or settlement.)
- Do I have a case, based on your initial understanding of the facts?
- How many cases similar to mine have you dealt with? What’s working in my favor and against?
- Can you give me insight into your strategy? Are you aggressive and leave nothing to chance, or do you take a more laid-back, methodical approach?
- How long will it all take from start to finish? Don’t expect a firm answer on this, though; no good lawyer can tell you with certainty what the outcome will be or how long it will take to achieve.
- Will you primarily handle my cases? Who else will be involved?
4. Ensure Adequate Resources
It stands to reason that a larger law firm will have more resources than a small one to thoroughly investigate your claim. Research is expensive. It takes staff members, time, dedication and access to the right professionals in order to do it right. From your lawyers to the paralegals, it takes a village to get the desired results. Because you were in a motorcycle accident, your lawyer may very well have to hire an accident reconstruction expert to get the facts straight. They will have to locate witnesses, review police statements and even consult with a doctor to understand the nature of your injury and how long it will take to recover. Choose a well-established law firm with vast resources to properly handle your case.
5. Focus on Expertise
Many lawyers offer many specialty areas. You want to find one that specializes not only in personal injury law, but motorcycle accidents as well. Because injury law grows more complex every year, comprehensive knowledge and experience are both critical in achieving a fair settlement for your claim. Don’t doubt for a minute that the insurance adjuster on the other side of the claim knows exactly what they’re doing. You need an equal or greater match of wits from a motorcycle lawyer who can go toe to toe with the insurance companies. You can’t always get this knowledge from books. There is no substitute for in-the-trenches experience over several decades.
Part 3: How to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents and Stay Safe on the Road
Due to the high speeds involved and lack of protection for the driver, motorcycle accidents are considered to be the worst type of accident there is. The chance for extreme injury and death is high, with motorcycle riders being 26 times more likely to die in motor vehicle crashes and five times more likely to be injured than passenger car occupants, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The path to recovery is a long and arduous one for those who have suffered grave injuries in a motorcycle accident. If you have been involved in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, it’s imperative to secure the services of a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles. You need a professional with not only a deep understanding of the legal process necessary in these types of cases, but also someone who isn’t afraid to consistently go after the compensation you’ll need to overcome your injuries.
Tips for Motorcyclists
Staying safe on the road is a two-way street, with both motor vehicle drivers and motorcyclists responsible for respecting each other on the road. Sometimes, a motorcycle accident is unavoidable, especially when weather is a factor. But there are many steps you can take to avoid these accidents as much as possible. Here are some tips for you as a motorcyclist:
- Operate as though no car can see you: While it’s true that many motor vehicle drivers are indeed distracted behind the wheel, often times, it’s simply that they just can’t see you due to blind spots. To play it safe, assume no one can see you and operate defensively at all times. Keep away from potential blind spots by staying in front of or behind the nearest car. If you see a car backing up, assume they can’t see you and just let them go. If you see a car merging into your lane, give them enough space to get by. This isn’t the time to get territorial!
- Keep an eye out for obstructions in the road: From other cars to rocks to debris, it’s important to be hyper-vigilant about what’s around you. By doing this, you can better avoid anything that may enter your space. These can include patches of gravel, oil slicks, puddles, branches and parked cars.
- Check your mirrors – A LOT!: Being aware of your surroundings relies on continued use of your mirrors.Complacency leads to accidents. Being aware will alert you to speeding drivers who come up quickly behind you or decide to change lanes by turning on their blinker. These subtleties are too important to miss. The most common type of crash is one where cars turn left into an unsuspecting motorcyclist. Give those cars plenty of breathing room.
- Don’t ride between cars: It can certainly be tempting to swerve between cars in traffic to save time, but this is a disaster waiting to happen. The danger goes up even more when you’re driving between an active lane of traffic and a lane that’s parked. Someone could suddenly open their door and hit you, a driver could cut in front of you, or a driver could merge into another lane unexpectedly.
Why Accidents Occur
There are many contributing factors as to why motorcycle accidents occur. From faulty equipment and poor weather to driver error and distractions, staying safe can be like navigating a mine field. Here are some of the more common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Driver Error: The most common accident arises when a car turns in front of a motorcycle and hits it when trying to change lanes. Another common one is running into a biker at a stop sign. Common reasons include inattention, distractions and blind spots.
- Faulty Equipment: This can happen through no fault of the driver, when safety equipment fails to work properly. In this case, lawyers may pursue a products liability case.
- Dangerous Road Conditions: Cars and bikes these days come equipped with many safety features that help protect us, such as anti-lock braking systems and traction control. But even these features designed to keep us safe are no match for driving rain, oil slicks on the road, and poorly maintained streets.
Bottom line is that accidents involving motorcycles are much more dangerous and costly than those involving just cars. Studies show that severe injuries are 10 times more likely to happen with motorcycle crashes, which cost about twice as much as car accidents to treat during the first two years post-collision. According to Reuters, the average cost associated with motorcycle crashes is approximately $4,500 compared with about $2,350 for car accidents.
Injuries commonly associated with motorcycle accidents include traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and back and neck injuries. These injuries can be long lasting and extremely expensive over the long term. Getting what you deserve financially can help you get back on the road to recovery.
Contact Kuzyk Law
Despite all our precautions, motorcycle accidents unfortunately continue. If you have been a victim of a motorcycle accident and need help securing fair compensation for your injuries, contact Kuzyk Law at 661-945-6969 to speak to a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles.