Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Representing Injured Bikers
The Thrill Ends When Motorcycles Crash
Few vehicles on the road can match the thrill of riding a motorcycle. You’re totally exposed to the environment–you can see everything around you. Unfortunately, some of the things around you are automobiles and trucks driven by people who don’t pay attention, including motorcyclists. Far too often, this predicament ends with serious and sometimes fatal consequences. If you been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone’s negligence, the experienced Sacramento motorcycle accident attorneys at Demas Law Group can help.
Two Wheels Vs. Four
There are more than 1 million licensed motorcyclists in California and slightly less than 1 million registered motorcycles. These motorcycles include small Vespa-type scooters that aren’t legal for highway use, custom cruisers such as Harley-Davidsons, long-distance BMW touring bikes and powerful sport bikes. For the state’s 1 million motorcyclists, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) offers some sobering statistics. Recent statistics show that 373 motorcyclists were killed in vehicle accidents, and in 244 of those deaths, 65 percent, the motorcyclist was found to be at fault. Similarly, 9,818 motorcyclists were injured, and 5,530 of those riders, 56.3 percent, were found to be at fault.
Who Is At Fault in a Sacramento Motorcycle Accident?
Many of the accidents in which the motorcycle rider is found at fault involve just the motorcyclist and no other vehicle. The three most common reasons motorcyclists are found at fault are speeding, driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. This illegal behavior by a minority of motorcyclists not only endangers the lives of everyone else, it contributes to the still widespread belief that most motorcyclists are lawbreakers.
This belief is indicative of the non-riding public’s lack of regard for motorcyclists. It is estimated that two-thirds of accidents involving motorcycles and cars are caused by the automobile driver violating the motorcyclist’s right of way. This is often because they don’t see the motorcyclist when they change lanes, or they turn left across the path of a motorcyclist traveling in the oncoming lane, presuming that the smaller, lighter vehicle can brake in time to avoid collision.
The Consequences of a Motorcycle Collision in Sacramento
Regardless of whose fault the accident is, when a motorcyclist goes down on the street or highway, the results can be catastrophic. With no protection besides the safety gear they may or may not! be wearing, motorcyclists who crash are simply no match for asphalt, guard rails and moving traffic. Fatal head injuries are common, even when wearing a full face helmet. Spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis are a common feature of non-fatal motorcycle accidents. Broken limbs and ruptured organs are often common. To add insult to serious injury, sometimes motorcyclists are presumed to be at fault in accidents, even when they’re not. The experienced Sacramento motorcycle accident attorneys at Demas Law Group are aware of this, and if you or a loved one have been injured in such a crash, we can help you to start putting your life back together.
Maximizing Sources of Recovery
- A motorcycle rider is eight times more likely to be injured in a traffic accident than an automobile driver or passenger.
- When it comes to fatalities, motorcyclists are a shocking 37 times more likely to be killed than occupants of other vehicles.
- As many as 98 percent of California motorcycle accidents end up with one or more people being injured.
To make matters worse, the number of people being injured or killed in California motorcycle accidents has more than doubled in just the last 10 years.
What Are Sources of Recovery?
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, the likelihood is that you’re going to be faced with a large number of medical bills. You may be out of work for awhile, too, and you might require ongoing physical therapy or even plastic surgery. To cover all these expenses, it’s important to find out any and all sources that might be liable for your damages and injuries.
Once you’ve received medical treatment – and that’s the most critical thing after any motorcycle accident – you should contact a reputable Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney and let them investigate who it may be possible to file a claim against. There are several possibilities, including:
- The driver that caused the accident – the most obvious source of recovery
- The owner of the vehicle that caused the accident, which may or may not be the driver
- The employer of the driver – something many people don’t think of, but if the person who caused your accident was driving a company car or truck, your motorcycle accident lawyer can file a claim against both the driver and the employer.
- Governmental entities – the road you were on may have been badly designed or constructed, creating a dangerous situation that contributed to your accident and injuries. The government agency responsible for maintaining those roads can be held at least partially liable for your injuries.
Be warned, however! If you’re filing against any government agency, you will find yourself up against extremely strict statutes of limitations. If you miss those deadlines by as much as an hour, your claim will be dismissed regardless of validity. Again, this is where a knowledgeable Sacramento motorcycle lawyer could be invaluable to your claim.
Manufacturers Aren’t Always Blameless
Did the brakes fail on your motorcycle? Did the clutch cable snap, or was there a failure in your safety equipment? In any of these cases, the company that manufactured the faulty equipment could and should be held responsible for at least some of your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering.
Of course, the odds are fairly high that you’ll have enough on your plate to deal with, without having to investigate who or what might be held liable for your bumps, bruises and broken bones. This is perhaps the most important reason to find a good Sacramento motorcycle lawyer. As well as giving you free advice regarding your claim, a good personal injury attorney will also:
- Investigate all the circumstances surrounding your accident and determine who can and should be held liable
- Handle the negotiations with the insurance companies – if insurers know their client(s) may be held liable, they will be most eager to settle. The problem is, if you don’t have an attorney representing you, there’s a strong possibility you won’t be offered a settlement that’s anywhere near fair or necessary to meet you and your family’s needs.
- File the necessary paperwork on time, as they will be fully aware of the statutes of limitation and any other relevant deadlines
How Much Is My Sacramento Case Worth?
When the attorney has all the necessary information, he or she will evaluate the case. This does not mean that the attorney will tell the victim how much the case is worth; in fact, it is almost impossible to do this. What the attorney can do, however, is to discuss with the victim the types of damages he or she may be able to collect. Possible damages from a motorcycle accident include:
- Medical payments. Most motorcycle victims incur medical bills. Sometimes, these bills are significant. The victim may be entitled to payment of all medical bills by the at-fault driver, including ongoing costs for rehabilitation or medication.
- Property damage. The victim may be entitled to payment of costs to repair or replace the motorcycle damaged in the accident, as well as compensation for any other personal items that were damaged or destroyed in the crash.
- Loss of income. Many people miss work while they are recuperating from a motorcycle crash. In most cases, victims can ask for payment of wages lost due to missed work while recovering from an accident.
- Living expenses. Victims often have increased travel and living expenses during recovery. If a victim is forced to pay for child care, housekeeping or travel to and from medical appointments, these expenses may be recovered through a personal injury lawsuit.
- Pain and suffering. A victim is usually entitled to some compensation for his or her emotional pain and suffering. Under California law, victims can recover sums to be determined by the parties or a judge for their mental anguish.
- Punitive damages. In some cases, a motorcycle accident victim is able to recover punitive damages due to the fact that the at-fault driver is guilty of extreme negligence. For example, if the driver is drunk at the time of the accident, the victim may be entitled to more compensation than if the accident was truly “accidental.”
A personal injury attorney will discuss the facts of a case with the victim and help him or her determine the best way to recover damages.
Call (916) 444-0100 Today
When a motorcycle accident occurs, lives often change. Entire family’s futures are put in jeopardy, and Sacramento motorcycle lawyers feel very strongly that if someone else is at fault for the accident, they should at least be responsible for providing the financial means to cover your medical costs and look after your family’s needs.
Clearly, making a claim after a motorcycle accident is not as straightforward as may first have appeared to be the case. It’s important not to be put off, however, as the ramifications could be devastating.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, the first thing you should do is get the medical attention you need. After that, contact a qualified accident lawyer, as soon as you possibly can. Remember, you may be dealing with very strict time limits.
The consultation is free, and a reputable personal injury attorney will answer your questions and advise you of the best way to maximize your sources of recovery. If you decide to proceed with a claim, the lawyer will handle all the paperwork, negotiations and necessary investigations, giving you the time and peace of mind to begin your recovery.
Featured Motorcycle Accident Video:
Demas Law Group, P.C. represents many people who have been seriously injured in motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle accident cases can be very different and unique from a traditional auto vs. automobile accident. Oftentimes, the insurance company will fight and try to blame the motorcyclist.
May 5, 2014
Highest Rated Lawyers by Clients & Peers
Why Should You Take Action Immediately?
- The statute of limitations can run out.
- Key pieces of evidence can disappear.
- The sooner you start, the greater your chances will be of securing a full and fair compensation for your injuries. If you wait, complications can arise before you decide to file.