In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, injured riders are confronted with challenging questions concerning medical bills, liability for the accident, and what role the insurance companies will play in covering their costs. Here are two significant insurance issues faced by motorcycle accident victims after a crash.
Liability Depends on Who Caused the Accident
Reagrding motorcycle crashes, California is a tort liability state. In other words, insurance companies pay out claims depending on who was at fault in the accident.
If a car changed lanes, didn’t see you on your motorcycle, and collided with you, they are likely 100% at fault, and your claims will be paid by the car driver’s insurance company. If you skidded in the rain, you are likely 100% at fault and your insurance will pay.
Fault can also be divided, if two or more parties were at fault. If, for example, a car collided with you, but you weren’t wearing a helmet, a court may find that you are partly at fault for certain injuries you sustained. California law requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet, which have been demonstrated to lower the risk of injuries and deaths.
You Need to Have Records of What Happened
Insurance companies pay depending on who was at fault. This may be clear cut, but it also may be subject to dispute. What if the driver of a car who hit you claims that you swerved into his lane, and he didn’t have time or space to brake, for example?
Disputes happen in traffic accidents all the time, and motorcycle collisions are no exception. It’s important, then, to have records of what happened.
If you are in a motorcycle accident, you should:
- Take pictures of the scene and any injuries or damages to property. If you have a smartphone, use the camera. Take multiple shots, both from a distance and up-close, of damage or injuries. Remember, cuts and bruises fade. It’s important to take pictures as soon as you are safe.
- Call the police. Police will interview the parties and write up an official report about what they found. If the case goes to court, the police report can be evidence about what happened.
- Take notes. Jot down how fast you were going, what the weather conditions were like, and what occurred. Don’t rely on your memory. As soon as you are out of danger, safe, and have been cared for medically, make your record.
- Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
Let a Seasoned Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles Help
To make sure you take full advantage of your legal rights to monetary compensation after a road accident in southern California, contact Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney Sean Salamati. If you anticipate having difficulties getting payment for insurance claims, or the other parties are claiming you were at fault, you need a lawyer who is skilled in negotiation strategy and has the track record to prove it.
Don’t settle for anything less than you have a legal right to! If you or a loved one been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, let the Salamati Law Firm help. Call us today! We will provide a complimentary consultation about your case. We charge no fees whatsoever unless we take on your case and win!
Additional “Motorcycle Accident Insurance” Resources:
- Consumer Reports. State-By-State guide to motorcycle helmet laws. July 4, 2014. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2011/06/state-by-state-guide-to-motorcycle-helmet-laws/index.htm
- Insurance Information Institute, Motorcycle Crashes, http://www.iii.org/issue-update/motorcycle-crashes
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Costs of Injuries Resulting from Motorcycle Crashes, https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/motorcycle_html/overview.html