Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
Liability in most motorcycle accidents is governed by the law of “negligence.” A person is negligent when he or she behaves in a thoughtless or careless manner and causes injury to another person. A driver must use care to avoid injuring other motorists, passengers, or pedestrians — basically, anyone that he or she encounters on the road. If a driver is not reasonably careful and injures someone as a result, the driver is liable for injuring the accident victim.
In many motorcycle accidents, it is the driver of another car or truck that is negligent. The driver can be negligent by doing something that he or she should not have done (for example, speeding through a red light) or by failing to do something that he or she should have done (for example, failing to check mirrors before making a left-hand turn).
Of course, the motorcycle rider might be the negligent one. An inebriated biker that swerves in front of a car, causing the car to crash, would most likely be liable for injuries suffered by the car’s occupants.
Injuries Often Associated with Motorcycle Accidents
California law CVC §27803 requires that all riders of a motorcycle wear a helmet while on any type of motorized bike. These helmets are required to be United States Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. This requirement helps with the reduction of head injuries, which are a significant contributor to motorcycle fatalities.
Even with a helmet, if a motorcycle rider hits their head hard enough during a collision, they can still suffer from head trauma. The severity can depend on the impact and the way the helmet fit on the head of the motorcycle rider. If a rider ends up with a traumatic brain injury, even if it is not fatal, these can lead to long-term disabilities.
When a motorcycle is involved in an accident, there are often broken or fractured bones due to the exposed body. Riding a motorcycle is not like riding in a car. A motorcycle has no protective barrier around them to safeguard against injury. During a motorcycle accident, every bone in the body is vulnerable.
It can be a long process recovering from broken and fractured bones. In most cases, regaining full strength and mobility requires physical therapy. These injuries or extensive therapies may not be covered entirely by insurance policies.
In an accident, motorcycles often slide across the roadway and pavement. Road rash is a result of the bike sliding along with the driver or rider’s body. Nerve damage can result from severe road rash cases. In some instances, skin grafts may have to be done to repair damage caused by extreme road rash.
How are Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Case Calculated?
Damages in a personal injury case are usually divided into two types:
• damages capable of exact calculation (generally called special damages), and
• damages not capable of exact calculation, i.e., pain and suffering
Special damages are the plaintiff’s past, present, and future lost earnings and lost earning capacity, including employment benefits, medical bills, and other financial losses. Special damages are capable of exact calculation because they are calculated to the dollar.
Pain and suffering is not capable of exact calculation. There are no guidelines for determining the value of pain and suffering. A jury cannot look at a chart to figure out how much to award. Because of this, judges generally instruct juries to use their good sense, background, and experience in determining pain and suffering.
Why You Need a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Going up against insurance companies after a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles can be intimidating. Trying to prove liability in these cases can be complicated at the time, and you will need to be knowledgeable about the area of motorcycle accidents and insurance claims. A Los Angeles motorcycle accident and personal injury attorney can help you with your case. Nabi Law has experts who can handle all of your motorcycle accident claim needs.
Just like any personal injury case, a motorcycle accident case will seek damages from the negligent party in the accident. The types of compensation often sought in these types of cases are:
• Expenses from medical treatment and rehabilitative therapies
• Lost income and wages from being unable to work
• Loss of ability to work
• Permanent injuries and disabilities from the injuries sustained in the accident
• Pain and suffering caused by the accident
• Significant emotional and mental distress
Nabi Law also helps identify any other compensation that may be needed in your particular case. We take great pride in seeing to your needs on an individual level. Don’t settle for just any Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer.