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Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Los Angeles, CA

When a motorcyclist is involved in an accident with other vehicles, the aftermath can be devastating. While it’s the duty of all drivers to act with care when a biker is nearby, thousands of motorcycle accidents still occur every year in California. If you or someone you love was injured in a Los Angeles motorcycle accident, recovering damages can help you cope. Talk to our motorcycle accident lawyer to learn more about filing a personal injury claim in Los Angeles today.

Dedicated Legal Counsel for Motorcycle Accident Victims

Motorcycle accidents commonly result in serious or even life-threatening injuries. Whether it was you or a loved one who was harmed, it’s crucial that you retain an attorney who can help you hold the liable party accountable.

At The Law Offices of Christian J. Amendt, our head attorney has been advocating for personal injury victims for over 24 years. We’ve seen firsthand how motorcycle accidents can transform lives, which is why we’re committed to protecting victims and their families in court. We offer personalized representation for motorcycle accident victims, and our team can negotiate to maximize the damages that you recover. Don’t wait to ask how we can help you pursue justice today.

The Facts About Motorcycle Accidents in California

Both car and motorcycle accidents are more common in California than in most other states. This is largely due to the state’s huge cities, dense population, and crowded roads. However, many accidents could be prevented if drivers simply act with caution. Here are some basic facts about motorcycle accidents in California:

  • According to the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 12,544 motorcycle accidents occurred in 2022.
  • Of the 12,000+ motorcycle accidents that occurred in 2022, the SWITRS found that 2,822 of them were in Los Angeles alone.
  • In just California, the SWITRS found that more than 650 people lost their lives to motorcycle accidents in 2022.
  • According to the National Safety Council (NSC), motorcyclists make up 14% of all traffic fatalities.
  • The fatality crash rate for motorcycle accidents is exponentially higher than that of car accidents.

What Should You Do If You’re Involved in a Motorcycle Crash?

After being in a situation as stressful as a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles, it can take days or even weeks for your body and brain to start feeling normal again. While your world may have changed quickly, it’s important to regain your composure and ensure that you take the steps needed to protect yourself and pursue justice. If you or someone you love was hit by a car while riding your motorcycle, follow these steps if you’re able to:

  1. Move yourself to a safe location, out of the road.
  2. If you have your phone, call emergency services immediately. If you are too injured or don’t have a phone, try your hardest to flag down someone who can call 911 for you.
  3. Healing should be the most important thing on your mind after a serious accident. It’s crucial that you seek emergency medical care and get all the treatment and diagnoses you need before trying to take legal action.
  4. After you’ve begun your journey of healing, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you create a substantial motorcycle accident claim in Los Angeles.
  5. Once you’ve found a lawyer you can depend on, you can work together to recover the damages that you deserve.

What Qualifies as a Serious Injury in California?

The severity of your injury tends to influence the size of your motorcycle accident claim. This makes it important to educate yourself on the legal definitions of certain injuries, especially if you’ve sustained a serious one. Under California law, a serious injury is an injury that results in severe impairment, bodily injury, disfigurement, or long-term health issues.

While helmets can help protect motorcyclists to a certain extent, anyone who rides a motorcycle has minimum protection if an accident occurs. This causes serious and sometimes even catastrophic injuries to occur. The following are common serious injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents:

  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Because motorcycles don’t have large windshields, like cars, there is nothing to prevent a driver from being thrown from their bike when they are hit. If a biker is thrown from their vehicle, their body experiences intense jolts and blunt force trauma that can result in permanent spinal cord damage. Spinal cord injuries can result in a loss of coordination and motor function and, sometimes, even paralyzation.
  • Internal Bleeding: When your body experiences trauma, such as severely fracturing a bone or being thrown to the ground at a high speed, it can begin to bleed internally. Internal bleeds are just as dangerous as external bleeds and can result in the death of a patient if they don’t receive the proper treatment in time. It’s imperative that anyone involved in a motorcycle accident gets checked for internal bleeding during their initial emergency visit.
  • Neck Injuries: Your neck is incredibly vulnerable when you are operating a motorcycle. While helmets are able to provide some neck support, you have little to no neck protection if you’re involved in an accident. This can often result in severe lacerations, whiplash, and other long-term neck injuries.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Traumatic brain injuries are also caused by sudden, violent jolts or hits to the head. TBIs can cause mood swings, hallucinations, decreased mental capacity, and more. Because TBIs can leave someone with lasting damage, safety groups across the country implore motorcyclists to wear their helmets. If you don’t wear a helmet, you face a much greater risk of sustaining a TBI if you get in an accident.

What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

When many people hear the term “catastrophic injury,” they tend to assume it’s another name for a serious injury. However, when dealing with personal injury law, catastrophic injuries refer to devastating injuries that cause lifelong health problems and the inability to perform “gainful work.” Catastrophic injuries tend to result in impairments or disabilities that take away an individual’s ability to continue making a sustainable income for themselves.

Catastrophic injuries may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Loss of limbs
  • Amputations
  • Losing your vision
  • Losing your ability to walk
  • Paralyzation

Damages That You May Recover With a Successful Claim

Personal injury claims are designed to provide financial aid to victims who were injured in accidents caused by others. There are a variety of different damages that you may be awarded in a motorcycle accident claim, all of which fall under two main categories:

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are damages that are awarded to victims to help compensate for their losses. This means that these damages are meant to cover past, present, and future debts that are a result of the victim’s injury. The following are compensatory damages that you can request with a motorcycle accident claim:

  • Lost Wages: When you have to take time away from work because of an injury you didn’t cause, the least you deserve is coverage of the income that you’re losing. Lost wages should supply you with the payment that you would be earning if you weren’t injured.
  • Coverage of Medical Treatment: Medical treatment is expensive, especially if you have routine checkups or treatments to attend after being injured. However, no matter how serious your injury may be, you still have the right to request damages to cover medical bills if you had to seek treatment.
  • Compensation for Emotional Suffering: Compensatory damages cover more than just medical bills for physical injuries. If your motorcycle accident was traumatic and caused you to endure pain and emotional suffering, you may be awarded damages for these troubles as well.
  • Coverage of Property Damage: Most motorcycle riders take pride in their vehicles. When it’s damaged or totaled in an accident, fixing or buying a new one can be pricey. Luckily, you may be able to receive property damage coverage if you have a successful personal injury claim.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages serve a much different purpose than compensatory ones. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are used to punish, deter, or reform the guilty party for their reckless behavior. Punitive damages are not awarded in every personal injury case. They are most commonly mandated when the offender was acting in an especially dangerous manner, or they are a repeat offender. If an individual is granted punitive damages, these may be much greater than all their compensatory damages combined.

How Do You Prove Fault in a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident?

California is an at-fault accident state. This means that if a driver was acting negligently or recklessly and caused an accident, they can be held at fault by both insurance companies and the courts. To file a personal injury claim against someone who caused a motorcycle accident, you first must be able to prove that they are liable.

To prove fault in a motorcycle accident, you and your lawyer need to work together to collect evidence that blatantly demonstrates the fault of the party in question. Video evidence, medical records, photos of your motorcycle, and eyewitness testimonies are all pieces of evidence that can help your claim. Make sure that you work to prove fault as soon as you can after an accident. Otherwise, insurance companies may try to dispute your claim.

What Do You Do If You Lose a Loved One to a Motorcycle Accident?

Losing a loved one in an accident is tragic and overwhelming. While grieving should always be your first priority, it’s also important to take legal action if your loved one’s accident was caused by someone else. In California, a wrongful death occurs if someone loses their life due to the negligence or recklessness of another person. This means that if a fatal motorcycle accident is caused by a driver who is distracted, speeding, or behaving in other negligent ways, they may be held accountable for a wrongful death.

California allows dependent family members who were left behind from wrongful deaths to file a claim and request damages to “mend” their loss. Wrongful death claims provide more long-term damages than the average personal injury claim, and they are meant to help make up for losses such as permanently lost wages. If you believe that your case qualifies as a wrongful death, consult The Law Offices of Christian J. Amendt to see what legal action you could take.

Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in LA

Navigating your life after a serious motorcycle accident can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to heal and file a legal claim at the same time. Luckily, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can help relieve some of the stress that your current situation brings on. At The Law Offices of Christian J. Amendt, our team works tirelessly to advocate for the damages that you deserve by leveraging our considerable legal skills.

The following are just a few reasons why you need an experienced lawyer on your side after a motorcycle accident:

Knowledge of Personal Injury and Insurance Laws

Most people looking to file a personal injury claim after an accident have little to no experience with the law. This can put them at an extreme disadvantage, especially if their claim goes to trial. By working with a seasoned personal injury lawyer, you can trust that their knowledge of personal injuries, motorcycle accidents, and insurance laws can drastically enhance your case. Together, you can work to build a case that effectively fights for the damages you need.

Negotiation Skills

Whether your case is being settled privately or it has to go to trial, you’re going to need strong negotiation skills to win the damages that you rightfully deserve. It is absolutely imperative that you have an experienced personal injury lawyer with you when you are negotiating the terms of a motorcycle accident claim. That way, they can ensure that you’re not being taken advantage of while also using their negotiation skills to fight for the funds you need.

Legal Support During Difficult Times

The physical, emotional, and financial toll that a motorcycle accident can have is immense. When you add legal issues on top of it all, it can be easy to feel distressed. Working with a passionate personal injury lawyer provides you with the opportunity to seek legal advice and support from a reliable professional for the entirety of your case.

Advocating for Your Rights

Unfortunately, many people who cause motorcycle accidents are quick to put the blame on the motorcycle driver instead of themselves. When this happens, it’s critical that you have an attorney present who can advocate for your side of the story. In most cases where the biker was injured, it should be easier to prove that the other driver was at fault.

Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident FAQs

Q: What Is the Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations for Claims in California?

A: Any California resident who is injured in a motorcycle accident has two years to file a claim against the party who is liable. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, if the victim who was injured was a minor, their two-year time limit won’t begin until they are 18 years old. Exceptions to the two-year limit also apply when the victim was incapacitated for an extended period of time or if they discovered a serious injury years later.

Q: Can You Still Take Legal Action If You Weren’t Wearing a Helmet During a Motorcycle Accident That Was Caused by Someone Else?

A: It’s critical that all motorcyclists wear helmets, not only to protect themselves but also to adhere to the state’s laws. However, just because you didn’t wear a helmet doesn’t mean that you don’t have the right to file a personal injury claim. While it’s possible that the insurance company may reduce the amount of damages awarded, the person who caused the accident is liable for a majority of your injury.

Q: Is Lane Splitting Legal in Los Angeles, CA?

A: Back in 2016, the state of California passed legislation legalizing “lane splitting.” Lane splitting gives motorcyclists the opportunity to drive in between lanes when traffic is congested. However, lane splitting requires a high level of caution from both motorcyclists and drivers. Unfortunately, lane splitting is a leading cause of accidents because many drivers don’t see bikers coming up behind them in traffic.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Settle a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Los Angeles?

A: Because your motorcycle accident claim is a personal injury, it adheres to both insurance laws and state laws. California’s insurance laws state that a settlement must be made within 85 days of the personal injury claim being filed. However, if the claim is going to trial, it may take longer than 85 days for a judge to make a final decision on the settlement. The intensity of your accident, the severity of your injury, and whether your claim goes to trial all impact how long it takes to settle your claim.

Get Compensation for Your Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Today

Here at The Law Offices of Christian J. Amendt, we do everything in our power to protect our clients’ rights and maximize their compensation. With decades of experience, you can trust our team of personal injury professionals to fight for you. Contact The Law Offices of Christian J. Amendt to take action after being injured in a Los Angeles motorcycle accident.