Motorcycle accidents are common in the Los Angeles area. Listen to the news stations and inevitably you will hear “Motorcycle Down”. To anyone who has ever ridden a motorcycle or one who has been involved in a motorcycle accident, those word make you shudder. Experienced riders have fewer accidents, but even the best riders can be hit by a negligent motorist.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may have legal remedies if the accident was caused by the negligence of another. Sometimes there are eye witnesses to an accident. Occasionally, someone will admit fault. But don’t count on it. Likely, the injured motorcyclist will not even remember what happened. So, the injured party is dependent on witnesses and traffic reports.
Unfortunately, many motorcyclists involved in a collision with a car, are seriously hurt or killed. Traumatic brain trauma is a common injury. In California, motorcyclists are required to wear helmets. Beware, not all helmets are equal. If a rider is willing to spend $20,000.00 on his ride, he or she ought to be willing to buy the safest and best helmet on the market. It’s your brain we are talking about.
Obviously, good medical care is the first priority for one injured in a motorcycle accident. Once that is taken care of, determining liability for the accident is in order. Liability is another way of saying fault. If someone other than the motorcyclist caused the accident, the next thing to determine is whether or not the negligent driver has insurance and the amount of that insurance. I realize no amount of money can ever make right the injuries and pain and suffering that follow a motorcycle accident. But that is what the law offers – financial compensation for one injured by the negligence of another.
In California, a lawsuit to recover damages for personal injuries must be filed within two years of the accident; however, don’t wait that long to consult with an experienced attorney. The other guys insurance company will often try to swoop in and get a statement from the injured motorcyclist before he or she is represented. Don’t talk about the accident, your injuries, or your state of recovery with the insurance company for the negligent driver. They are trained professionals and what you say could be an harmful admission which could be used in court.
Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
People who are injured by the negligence of another and seek an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles and surrounding areas aske similar questions at the outset of a case. In this blog post, I have framed a few common questions and my answers to those questions.
Q. Do I need a personal injury lawyer?
A. If you want to maximize your recovery and ensure that your rights are fully protected, you would be well served by retaining an attorney to represent you. It is true that people have the right to represent themselves in court; however, they are expected to know the rules of Civil Procedure, the Local Rules, the rules of Evidence, and the law in general. Secondly, without training and education, a person representing himself or herself in a lawsuit will be facing a trained, educated professional. So while it is not mandatory to be represented by an attorney in a personal injury claim or lawsuit, prudence dictates that you retain an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Q. If I am injured by another’s negligence, do I have to file a lawsuit?
A. No. Proceeding with a lawsuit is always the client’s prerogative. Furthermore, the great majority of cases settle before a case even has to be filed.
Q. Should I give a statement to the other party’s insurance company?
A. No. Insurance company adjusters are trained and skilled professionals whose job is to protect the company they work for. Giving a recorded statement without the advice of counsel may hurt your case. Statements made to the opposing party’s insurance company could constitute admissions that would be admissible in court.
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