Fresno Motorcycle Accident Attorney
When a motorcycle is hit by a larger vehicle like a sedan, SUV, or truck, the consequences are often life-changing. Motor motorcycle riders often suffer catastrophic injuries or even lose their lives in crashes due to their lack of physical protection. A prime example was a tragic accident at Friant Avenue and Copper Avenue at the Fresno intersection. The driver of a Ford Taurus made a left-hand turn directly in front of two motorcycles, and this caused a collision that ejected both motorcycle riders into the intersection. One of the motorcyclists was transported to the hospital with significant injuries, including head trauma. Unfortunately, the other wound up losing his life due to the severity of his injuries.
Motorcycle accidents are quite common in California, including the Fresno area. The city provides access to multiple major state roads, such as Highway 99 and Highway 41. Given that Fresno's population exceeds 500,000, congestion is also a severe issue. When roads are congested, there is a higher chance of motorcycle collisions.
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, call our law firm at (559) 377-7676 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.Hold the Reckless Driver Accountable
If you were injured on your motorcycle, you have the right to take legal action and pursue a personal injury claim against the motorist's insurance policy. It is important to exercise this right because a serious injury often results in large medical bills and significant time away from work, meaning lost income and financial stress. A motorcycle accident injury claim allows you to seek financial restitution for your medical bills, lost wages, and other harms and losses associated with the wreck.What Does Comparative Negligence Mean in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
In some instances, when a motorcycle rider is hit by a motor vehicle, the motorcyclist may bear some of the blame for causing the collision. California law allows you to still seek a financial recovery for your harms and losses. This is because California has embraced comparative negligence as the standard for personal injury claims. This means a jury can compare the negligence of both the motorist and the motorcyclist and assess fault on a percentage basis while still awarding damages to the injured party.How Does Comparative Fault Affect the Value of a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
For example, you were hit by an SUV in Fresno and have $150,000 in economic and non-economic damages. A jury determines that you were 30 percent at fault for causing the collision. If a jury awards you $150,000 in damages, that award will be reduced by 30 percent since this was your assigned portion of comparative fault.
This is a much more equitable system than what is utilized in some other states. Five states still use contributory negligence as their governing standard in personal injury cases. Contributory negligence prohibits an injured party from recovering any money damages if they contributed to the collision. Conversely, California allows an injured party to seek a financial recovery, even if they were 99 percent responsible for causing the wreck.
Other states chose a modified form of comparative negligence where the injured party is prohibited from obtaining a financial recovery if they were found to be more than 50 percent at-fault for causing the collision.Ways to Improve Your Chances of Receiving a Sizable Settlement
When you file a personal injury claim, the valuation of that claim is affected by a myriad of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the amount of economic and non-economic damages, and the amount of available insurance coverage. In addition, factors under your control can influence the outcome of your case and whether you receive a substantial settlement offer. Here are some tips to improve the chances of securing a large settlement.
- Hire a Fresno Motorcycle Accident Attorney - First, hire an attorney as soon as possible to collect vital evidence, file the necessary legal documents, and interview witnesses. Next, make sure you go to all your medical appointments and follow the treatment plan set forth by the doctor. You do not want to give the insurance adjuster any reason to consider denying your claim or making a low-ball settlement offer. Failing to go to medical appointments or skipping treatment sessions is a big red flag that insurance companies seize upon to try and reduce or deny your claim.
- Keep Good Records - Next, keep a journal and retain all documents and invoices related to the accident. This includes copies of your medical records, receipts, pay stubs, W-2s, etc. In addition, keep a journal detailing the essential activities and events you cannot participate in due to the accident and your injuries. This journal can be used as evidence to substantiate your claim for damages related to mental anguish, emotional distress, and psychological trauma (i.e., pain and suffering).
- Be Discrete - Don't Discuss Your Accident - Finally, do not post messages about your case online, and make sure to enhance the privacy settings on all your social media accounts. Why? Because the insurance company will likely conduct an investigation into your background and try to find incriminating or questionable photos on your Facebook profile, Twitter account, Instagram, etc. You should assume that these accounts will be viewed by the other side during your injury claim.
The following video explains why some insurance companies offer far less than you deserve.No Large Upfront Legal Fees
After a serious accident, you are probably under tremendous financial stress. Do not let your financial troubles stop you from hiring an experienced and skilled Fresno motorcycle accident lawyer. With a good accident attorney, you pay nothing upfront, and a legal fee is only owed if they obtain a large settlement or verdict on your behalf.Fresno Motorcycle Accident FAQ
Who can be held liable for my injuries in a motorcycle accident?
Anybody who contributed to your motorcycle accident can be held responsible. Typically in a motorcycle accident involving injury, the car's driver is found to be at fault. If the motorcyclist is at fault, he can be responsible for his passenger's injuries.
I wasn't wearing a helmet in the accident. Can I still bring a claim against the at-fault driver?
You can still file a personal injury claim for damages against the other driver's insurance. But if you've suffered a head or face injury, your failure to wear a helmet may reduce your losses. You may not get as much compensation as you would have if you wore a helmet.
Will my motorcycle accident go to trial?
Most motorcycle accident cases settle out of court. But motorcycle accident cases can be more difficult to settle than car accident cases because insurance companies are more likely to try them, hoping that the bias against motorcyclists will hold down damages or help them win the case.Fresno, CA Motorcycle Accident Law Firm
The motorcycle accident injury attorneys at AutoAccident.com have represented bikers in Fresno County and greater California communities since 1982. We are prepared to protect your right to fair compensation after a crash caused by negligence. To learn more, call (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
Check out some of our past Verdicts and Settlements.
Editor's Note: updated 5.16.23 Image by SplitShire from Pixabay sb ds [cs 1208]