A motorcycle rider has some incredible options for a beautiful and scenic ride no matter which direction they head in. In addition, California’s decision to legalize lane splitting in 2017 has created an even more appealing option for cutting through gridlock traffic on a motorcycle while commuting for work. Motorcycles are economical, easy to find parking for, and exciting — all great reasons for someone to use this method of transportation and enjoyment. However, a rider is always at the risk of being hurt in a motorcycle accident no matter how experienced or responsible they are for their own actions. Other drivers and their behaviors are often the biggest risks to a rider, and motorcycle accident victims face a much higher risk of catastrophic injuries when compared to a car accident at similar speeds.
Riders know and accept the risks that come with this type of motor vehicle, but it is equally important to know that there is legal help out there in the event that you are hurt. Working with Fresno motorcycle accident lawyers is one of the best ways for a victim to improve their chances of getting the money they deserve, and not just the money the insurance company would like to pay. The team at Grossman Law Offices is here to provide you with the support you need to get through this difficult experience with fair compensation.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Fresno Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Our law firm offers a free consultation for anyone who has been injured in a motorcycle accident that someone else caused in or around Fresno. Trying to navigate a complicated personal injury case while trying to focus on recovering from your injuries can feel impossible, which is why it is so important to connect with a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
During your consultation, an injury attorney will be able to go through the specifics of your situation and provide you with examples of past motorcycle accident cases we have successfully represented, so you know that you are not alone. Our injury lawyers will be able to provide you with legal advice about what next steps to take and help you understand the benefits of working with our team of Fresno motorcycle accident attorneys.
Read more below to get a better sense of how motorcycle accident cases work, and contact us as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation.
The Importance of Working With Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Motorcycle accident cases are very confusing for anyone who is inexperienced with personal injury law, and this is especially true when the individual has recently suffered from serious injuries that are both physically and emotionally distracting. Insurance companies know this and will work aggressively to settle a claim as quickly as possible, for as little as possible.
While a victim continues to struggle with the impact of lost wages, their medical bills will keep climbing, and the thought of their financial future can be terrifying. This is when an insurance company makes their first settlement offer with the hopes that the victim simply accepts the one-time payment, frequently waiving their rights to any additional legal action, and closes the case before realizing they are entitled to much more. Insurance companies try to make the administrative aspects of a claim as simple as possible to keep some victims from thinking they might need professional support, but working with an attorney from day one is the to build the strongest case possible.
When you are working with a personal injury attorney, they will be able to take on the entire claims process while you focus on your recovery. As the impacts of your accident continue to reveal themselves, your lawyer will help you stay confident and focused on recovery with the knowledge that there is an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer fighting to recover all of the compensation you are rightfully owed.
How Dangerous Are Motorcycle Accidents?
In 2019, a total of 111,000 motorcycles were reported to have been involved in motorcycle accidents throughout the United States, resulting in 561 motorcycles involved in crashes and 25.47 fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles. When compared to car accidents, the difference is staggering: 477 passenger vehicles involved in crashes with a rate of .89 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven — meaning that a motorcycle rider is nearly 29x more likely to die in a crash than someone involved in a car accident.
In California, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety, Motorcycle fatalities decreased 15.57% from 578 in 2017 to 488 in 2018. While encouraging, the fact remains that motorcycle accidents are extremely dangerous and pose a significant risk of death. Helmets play a significant role in decreasing the likelihood of a fatal crash, but a rider is still at risk of many other serious injuries.
Common Causes of California Motorcycle Accidents
The following are just a few examples of the many different ways that a motorcycle accident can happen. Whether or not your own accident cause is listed below, contact us as soon as possible to speak directly with a Fresno motorcycle accident attorney and to get a better idea of your legal options for seeking fair compensation.
When a driver — whether on a motorcycle or another vehicle — ignores the speed limit, they increase the risk of an accident AND the risk of serious injuries due to a more severe impact. Speeding requires a faster reaction time to avoid obstacles or unexpected hazards, increases the distance required to come to a complete stop, and puts everyone else on the road at risk. Speed is a very common factor in many personal injury cases, including those involving motorcyclists.
Inexperienced drivers must actively process a lot of information on the road that experienced drivers think of as second nature. As such, they may miss a motorcycle in their side mirrors, forget to signal a turn, or accidentally make an unexpected maneuver in the line of travel of someone else. New drivers pay higher insurance premiums because of this increased risk, but their higher costs do not translate to a higher payment for a victim.
Failure to Signal Turns or Lane Changes
Turn signals are essential in avoiding accidents, and sudden lane changes or unexpected turns can be deadly to a motorcyclist. This failure can happen while moving in the same direction, opposite directions, or while passing through multi-way intersections where clear communication of intent is essential to avoiding an accident and injuries.
The California DMV suggests thinking of the road as 3 separate lanes, and to adjust your positioning according to traffic conditions around you.
When a driver decides to get behind the wheel after consuming more than the legal limit of alcohol (0.08 BAC for adults) or any other mind-altering substances, they put everyone else on the road at risk of an accident due to their decreased reaction abilities, skewed risk tolerance, reduced perception, and more. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety: 42% of all drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes who were tested, tested positive for legal and/ or illegal drugs in 2018.
Blind Spot Accidents
A motorcycle is a much smaller vehicle than even a small passenger car, meaning that there is a significantly higher risk of another driver failing to notice motorcyclists before committing to a lane change or turn. This is a major issue that motorcyclists must be on high alert for in order to operate their vehicle defensively and hope to anticipate a dangerous move from another driver.
Be aware of any blind spots you may be riding in while moving in the same direction as other vehicles.
Seeking Compensation After a Fresno Motorcycle Accident
Lawyers understand the tactics that insurance companies use to reach low settlement agreements after a Fresno motorcycle crash, which is why it is so important to partner with an attorney as soon as possible following your accident. Personal injury law (which encapsulates motorcycle accident claims) is a complicated area of law that an experienced injury lawyer can navigate while their clients focus on getting care for their injuries. A motorcycle accident commonly results in more serious injuries for the motorcycle rider than the others involved due to the lack of structural protection on such a small vehicle. This means that things like medical bills and impacts to a victim’s earning capacity are often impacted more greatly.
Your injury lawyer will initiate your personal injury claim with the liable party’s insurance company while managing their own investigation in order to calculate the manage damages you have suffered relating to your injuries, lost wages, and a range of other impacts that a Fresno motorcycle accident will cause.
Calculating Compensatory Damages
Fresno personal injury lawyers focus on recovering what are known as “compensatory” damages for their clients, meaning that these damages are meant to compensate a victim for measurable losses and injuries following an accident. These are divided into two parts: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are the easiest to calculate, although they are not always the most obvious. They seek compensation for all impacts of a Fresno accident that have measurable dollar values, things like medical bills, impacts to income, and the cost of services a victim paid for to help them while they recover. After a Fresno motorcycle accident, there are many different financial impacts that someone will suffer, all of which have they deserve to be repaid for. Many people fail to recognize the damages beyond the major ones like their medical bills and earnings.
Something that experienced attorneys in Fresno knows to do that many others overlook is to be sure that EVERY economic damage is accounted for, no matter how minor it may seem at first glance. Each of these damages adds up, and there is no reason why someone should be financially responsible for someone else’s dangerous driving that caused these costs and losses. Attention to detail and a deep understanding of the types of damages that victims suffer will help increase your settlement amount significantly.
Non-economic damages are much more difficult to calculate because they apply to impacts and injuries that do not have any measurable dollar value associated with them. Fortunately, motorcycle attorneys have a range of tools and calculations at their disposal in order to reach an accurate dollar value for each of these impacts. They include things like the pain and suffering a motorcycle rider endures after a Fresno accident, as well as the emotional impacts of such a traumatic event like fear, depression, PTSD, and loss of enjoyment.
These are often the most difficult damages for an individual to advocate for themselves because of how nebulous and subjective they are, but this does not mean that they are any less important. Your attorneys will fight to get you the money you deserve.
Contact Us Now To Work With a Fresno Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Take advantage of our Fresno law firm’s offer of a free consultation as soon as possible to partner with an experienced and aggressive attorney from day one. From the moment you report your Fresno motorcycle accident to the insurance company, their top priority becomes trying to settle your case as quickly as possible. When we handle your case from the start, they know that you are willing to fight to get everything you deserve.