Road Hazards and Motorcycles
Cities, counties, construction companies, and other entities in California have a legal duty to maintain their roadways in a safe manner. They also have a duty to warn about defective roadway conditions and make the necessary repairs promptly. When roadways contain serious defects – including large cracks, deep potholes, or open manholes – a cyclist may lose their balance and fall from their bike onto the ground. The bike might also tip over, causing the cyclist to fall and sustain serious injuries. When a cyclist suffers injuries in an accident, they may be eligible to bring a claim or file a lawsuit against the responsible municipality or other entity for damages.
If you suffered injuries in a recent motorcycle crash, you should first seek prompt medical treatment at a hospital emergency room or urgent care center. Next, you should talk with a knowledgeable OC motorcycle accident attorney in your area. Your lawyer can determine your eligibility for filing a claim and help you evaluate your legal options. If you are eligible to file a claim against a responsible municipality or other entity, your lawyer can help you satisfy the necessary notice requirements and file your claim or lawsuit in a timely manner. Finally, your lawyer can help you recover the full damages that you deserve for the injuries which you suffered in your accident.
Injuries That Cyclists Suffer in Accidents
Unlike car drivers and passengers, cyclists have very little protection when an accident occurs. Cyclists do not have an outer metal shell or covering that surrounds them in a crash. Rather, they have direct exposure to their surrounding environment. When a crash happens, they will likely fall off their bike, fall to the ground, and suffer serious injuries which may require hospitalization, surgical procedures, and physical therapy.
Some of the most common injuries that motorcyclists suffer in accidents stemming from roadway hazards include:
- Traumatic head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Full or partial paralysis
- Soft tissue neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Road rash
If you suffered any of these injuries in your motorcycle crash, you should seek medical treatment right away. At a hospital ER or urgent care facility, the responding physician can take the necessary x-rays and other imaging studies, allowing them to render an accurate medical diagnosis. Moreover, they can provide you with emergency medical treatment, and if necessary, recommend follow-up care if your symptoms worsen. While you focus on getting better, a California motorcycle accident attorney can start handling the legal aspects of your personal injury claim and advocating for your legal interests.
Filing a Claim
If you can demonstrate that your motorcycle accident resulted from another individual or entity’s negligence, you may be eligible pursue a claim for damages against that party’s insurance company. Potentially responsible parties in roadway defect cases may include cities, states, counties, construction companies, supervisors, and others. A lawyer can help you identify all potentially responsible individuals and entities in your accident case and pursue the proper claim or lawsuit.
The claims-filing process usually starts when a lawyer submits copies of the accident victim’s medical records, bills, lost wage documents, injury photographs, police reports, and victim impact statements, to the insurance company adjuster. The adjuster will then review all of these documents and decide whether to accept fault for the crash. If the adjuster accepts responsibility, they might make an initial offer to resolve your case through settlement.
Your lawyer can help you negotiate a favorable settlement offer from the adjuster. However, if the adjuster will not increase their offer significantly, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf in the California state court system.
In addition to filing a claim and negotiating on your behalf, your attorney can help you decide whether you should accept a particular settlement offer or file a lawsuit and pursue litigation.
Recovering Damages for Your Injuries
The damages that motorcycle crash victims may recover for their injuries vary from case to case, depending upon the extent of their injuries, the extent of their medical treatment, and the cost of their treatment. Moreover, if the cyclist suffered a permanent injury, such as full or partial paralysis, they will likely recover more compensation than if they suffered relatively minor injuries.
Some of the most common damages that motorcycle accident victims may recover include compensation for their:
- Related medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of spousal companionship
An experienced California motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine which of these damages you can recover in your personal injury claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can then help you take the necessary legal actions to maximize your monetary damages.
Call a Knowledgeable California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a person you care about suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle crash, you should contact an experienced California motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can review all of your legal options with you and help you file a claim that seeks monetary damages for your injuries.
If the insurance company will not offer you fair compensation, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and litigate your case. Finally, your attorney can represent you at all courtroom proceedings and zealously advocate for your legal interests.