What Motorcycle Injuries Can You Sue For?

The devoted will tell you there is no greater thrill than riding a motorcycle. Unfortunately, a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney of the Salamati Firm has seen what can happen when that thrill turns to tragedy. On a daily basis, motorcyclists are getting into collisions and finding themselves hospitalized or worse.

The majority of riders are safety conscious. But all the responsibility in the world cannot stop another drunk driver, a distracted texter or some trucker who does not see a rider on their blind side.

If you or someone you know has been in an accident involving a motorcycle in Los Angeles or the surrounding area, give the Salamati Firm of California a call for a free consultation.

What Percent of Motorcycle Accidents Result in Injury or Death?

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 injury. According to a study by the federal government, the likelihood of a fatality with a motorcycle is three times more likely than with cars.

In 2014, over 4,000 riders died in motorcycle accidents in the U.S. This accounted for 13 percent of all deaths that resulted from a vehicular accident. Almost 45 percent of deaths in the same time period were the result of single vehicle crashes and almost 60 percent involved more than one vehicle. Over 90 percent of cyclists killed were male while over 65 percent of females who died were passengers.

While the Governors Highway Safety Association reported motorcycle accident related deaths were down in California almost 15 percent, it does not make the deaths and injuries we did see any less tragic.

Types of Motorcycle Injuries

The most common types of injuries from motorcycle accidents are:

  • Head injury
  • Spinal damage
  • Neck injury
  • Muscle damage
  • Leg, knee or feet injury
  • Broken arm
  • Bone fracture
  • Road rash

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. This is the leading cause of disability and death in motorcycle accidents. Wearing a helmet can reduce death up to 35 percent and reduce head injury by almost 70 percent, but there is no guarantee.

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 a lifelong impact. At the very least, it can lead to dizziness, headaches, fatigue, irritability and issues with memory. A head injury can be debilitating, disrupting the body’s normal functions, resulting in serious loss of movement to coma or alterations in personality. Cognitive injury can include impairments in visual perception, loss of language – not the ability to speak, per say, but difficulty communicating – reduced concentration or information processing and impaired reasoning.

As the brain controls reasoning, injury in the area can disrupt executive function. This could impact an ability to focus, multi-task, plan, organize, answer simple questions or make decisions. There can be the onset of disinhibition, a loss of behavior control.

At the Salamati Firm of California, we have encountered every type of brain injury aftereffect imaginable and what they do to victims and families. Besides the pain and suffering, there are massive medical expenses, and loss of employment and wages. We have seen families fall into emotional and financial ruin.

It’s our job to see these families are protected through legal remedy. Whether in mediation or in front of a judge and jury, we fight to get victims of motorcycle accidents compensation for all physical and emotional injury.

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, there are common factors that can affect the amount of a settlement or judgment.

  • Type of injury (broken bone, joint injury, wounds, nerve damage, vertebrae injury, head injury)
  • Past, present and potential medical expenses linked primarily to treatment
  • Type of medical treatment (doctors, specialists, therapists, rehabilitation, clinic, hospital)
  • Medication related to injury
  • Injury treatment’s period of time
  • Recovery period
  • Permanency of injury (scars, weakness, loss of mobility, stiffness)
  • Emotional, financial or physical distress
  • Disruption to lifestyle (missed school, work or training, loss of wages)
  • If there is any damage (motorcycle is totaled, etc.)

These are factors that can lead to higher settlement packages:

  • There is no shared fault on your part.
  • The defendant is not sympathetic or credible.
  • The way evidence bolsters your claim (witnesses, reports, medical records, etc.)
  • Your story is presented in an organized, professional and sensible manner.

These factors can lower potential compensation:

  • Finding there is shared blame for the accident or injury.
  • Impatience or disorganization on the plaintiff’s part.
  • The defendant presents a sympathetic story.
  • Your evidence is not strong (weak or lack of witnesses, reports, medical records, etc.).

Speak with a Motorcycle Injury Attorney

Motorcycle riders have to be twice as careful as a driver sitting in the cabin of a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds. There will always be motorists that run red lights and stop signs, that do not see the cyclists before changing lanes or any myriad of senseless reasons. But when it happens, someone has to be held accountable for the damage they have caused, whether intentional or not. The legal system offers relief to riders and their families in these matters, and that is taking responsible parties to court.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident in the Los Angeles area, give the Salamati Firm of California a call for a free consultation. We will review the details of the matter and discuss your legal options.

Motorcycle Accident Resources

  1. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/motorcycles/fatalityfacts/motorcycles
  2. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/how-the-negotiation-process-works-injury-case.html
  3. https://rideapart.com/articles/10-common-motorcycle-accidents-and-how-to-avoid-them
  4. https://www.headway.org.uk/media/2820/the-effects-of-brain-injury-new-template.pdf