Passengers involved in motorcycle accidents can be entitled to compensation, depending on the circumstances. Working with Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers will help you understand whether you can pursue a financial settlement or sue for damages in court. These would cover the expense of your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Family members of a passenger who died in a motorcycle accident may also litigate to cover the unexpected cost of a funeral and burial.
What Motorcycle Injuries Can I Sue For?
The most common reasons include:
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Severe road rash
- Spine damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Who Can I Sue After a Motorcycle Crash?
Discover how much insurance money you can get for your injuries with the help of Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers.
You may pursue a settlement offer from:
- The Motorcyclist’s Insurer: California is a fault-based state, meaning that the insurance provider of the party who caused the accident must pay for all injuries. Sometimes it’s the motorcyclist’s insurer.
- The Other Driver’s Insurer: The other driver involved in the accident may be responsible for causing the accident– in which case, their insurance company may be ordered to pay for damages.
- Your Own Insurance Company: If your injuries exceed policy limits, you can apply your own insurance.
- A Combination of Insurers: Drivers can also share fault for causing an accident.
Most cases result in a settlement with the insurance company well in advance of a court date. However, if settlement talks fail to materialize into a fair offer, your lawyer may recommend pursuing a legal claim for damages. Typically, it is the insurance company that ends up paying the damages award.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Pursue a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
While you can technically go down to the courthouse and file the paperwork yourself, it is not advisable. Insurers are quick to capitalize off injured victims, knowing they are unaware of what constitutes a fair settlement offer and desperate to get any money to pay off bills.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you:
- Investigate the cause of the accident, using outside resources like accident reconstructionists
- Find the best possible medical care for your particular injuries
- File paperwork and keep track of all necessary documents
- Secure eyewitness testimony or expert depositions that strengthen your claim for compensation
- Accurately tally up all past, present, and future expenses, sometimes with a forensic economist’s help
- Negotiate for fair compensation, stop creditor phone calls, and cover upfront expenses of litigation
What California Laws Pertain to Passengers?
The California Vehicle Code §27800 requires passengers to ride on a securely fastened seat or attached sidecar designed for carrying passengers. Motorcycles must have appropriate footrests that are used at all times while traveling. Failure to ride on a “safe” motorcycle could result in partial liability. Children must be at least eight years of age and out of a car seat to legally ride on a motorbike.
Helmet laws apply to drivers as well as passengers. If you chose not to wear a helmet, you could still file a lawsuit, but you won’t recover full damages. For instance, if you are legally entitled to $500,000, but the defense argues you’re 25 percent liable for your injuries, you will only be able to collect $375,000.
Contact our team of Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers
Working with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles can help reduce the percentage of liability you assume so that you can secure the greatest amount of compensation possible. Immediately after seeking medical treatment, contact an attorney at Salamati Law for a free consultation to explore your rights.