Motorcycle enthusiasts can be found almost everywhere– the freedom of the open road is hard to resist. However, even the most ardent and loyal motorcyclists realize that accidents can be dangerous. Some victims may walk away relatively unscathed, but life will never be the same for many others.
If you or someone you know has been in an accident involving a motorcycle in Los Angeles or the surrounding area, contact us at the Salamati Law for a free consultation.
Motorcycles are less visible and stable
With motorcycles being less visible and stable than other vehicles, not only are accidents more likely, the lack of protection– unlike in an enclosed vehicle– increases the possibility of severe injury. According to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, in 2017 in California, 13,907 motorcyclists were injured in a crash, and 566 were fatal. Out of those 566 motorcyclists who died, the age group containing the most fatalities was 25-34. This cohort also saw the most motorcyclist fatalities since 2013.
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Types of Motorcycle Injuries
While there is no limit to the types of injuries that can be sustained in a motorcycle crash, the most common are the following:
- Head and brain injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Helmets are required for all motorcycle drivers and passengers in California. While helmets can reduce the severity of injuries, bikers can still suffer a serious head injury or brain injury. Whether due to a collision with another vehicle, the pavement, or an object, these collisions can permanently change the lives of the victims.
- Spinal damage or neck injury: The force and nature of colliding with the ground or an inanimate object are often traumatic for the spine and neck and can lead to severe injuries that can impact the victim and their family for years to come.
- Bone breaks and fractures: In the vast majority of motorcycle accidents, the bike will naturally topple over. Sometimes the bike falls on top of the occupants, and sometimes they are thrown off the bike. Broken legs, arms, wrists, shoulders, and pelvises are all common for motorcycle crash victims.
- Leg injuries: Some bikers will also suffer from shattered knees or feet in an accident. All riders should wear protective leather clothing, motorcycle boots, and knee pads at all times while on the bike to maximize safety.
- Road rash: This injury is worse than it sounds. The occupants of a motorcycle will almost certainly make contact with the pavement during an accident. In essence, road rash is a skin abrasion, and it can range from mild to severe. In milder cases, the skin will be red. In more severe cases, the skin will be seriously abraded, revealing underlying layers of fat and tissue.
- Muscle damage: These crashes can lead to significant muscle damage or even paralysis. Protective clothing and safe driving can help mitigate this risk.
- Biker’s arm: Many motorcyclists who are thrown off the bike in a crash instinctively try to break their fall with their hand or arm. In addition to a broken arm, this may also lead to permanent nerve damage, known as biker’s arm. By wearing a leather jacket and elbow pads, motorcycle occupants can reduce this risk.
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Most Common Motorcycle Injury
The most common motorcycle injury is to the head. Many riders tend to be thrown forward in an accident, greatly increasing the chance they will land on their heads.
Consequences of a Head Injury from a Motorcycle Accident
The greater the brain injury, the more pronounced the impact on the victim. Even a mild head injury can have long-term repercussions. It can lead to dizziness, headaches, fatigue, irritability, and issues with memory. A head injury can be debilitating, disrupting the body’s normal functions. There is also the risk of a coma or alterations in personality. A cognitive injury can include impairments in visual perception, loss of language – not the ability to speak, per se, but difficulty communicating.
Further, as the brain controls reasoning, injury in the area can disrupt the executive function. This could impact the ability to focus, multi-task, plan, organize, answer simple questions or make decisions. In addition, there can be the onset of disinhibition– a loss of behavior control.
At Salamati Law, we have encountered almost every type of brain injury and understand what it does to the victims and their families. Besides the pain and suffering, there are significant medical expenses and loss of employment and wages. We have seen families fall into emotional and financial ruin.
It’s our job to see victims and their families are protected through legal remedies. Whether in mediation or in front of a judge and jury, we fight to get compensation for all physical and emotional injuries.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Settlement
Legally, any harm or damage that results from a motorcycle accident falls under the arena of personal injury law.
While every case is different and can be influenced by any number of topics, some common factors affect the amount of a settlement or judgment.
- The nature and severity of the injury
- Past, present, and future medical expenses incurred
- The amount of time you missed work
- Whether or not liability is disputed. If it is not disputed, the defendant may be more likely to present a fair settlement offer.
- Whether or not you hire the right Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney. If you attempt to go it alone and negotiate directly with the insurance company, you will likely only receive lowball settlement offers. On the other hand, once you hire the right Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer, the defendant will immediately get the message that you are prepared to go to trial if necessary.
- How opposed the defendant is to go to trial. While some defendants may dig their heels in and refuse to settle, others may have an incentive to put this whole ordeal behind them as soon as possible.
Speak with a Motorcycle Injury Attorney
Motorcycle riders have to be twice as careful. There will always be motorists who run red lights and stop signs, who do not see the cyclists before changing lanes. When an accident happens, someone has to be held accountable, whether intentional or not. The legal system offers relief to riders and their families in these matters, which is taking responsible parties to court.
A $2 Million Settlement
A client was injured when a car struck his bike while he had the right of way. The victim suffered a mild traumatic brain injury that did not cause him to miss any time at work. However, we proved that he had a much more difficult time performing his job as an IT professional for a major law firm after the accident because of challenges to his thinking, and concentration. He received a $2 million settlement.
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Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident in the Los Angeles area, give the dedicated Southern California motorcycle accident attorneys at Salamati Law a call for a complimentary, no-obligation case review. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we will never send you a bill unless you win.