Motorcycle accidents are among the leading causes of road fatalities and injuries in California. Often, these accidents occur due to reckless driving, faulty bike parts, and hazardous road conditions.
Under California personal injury laws, victims injured in motorcycle accidents can file insurance claims or lawsuits against the parties responsible for the accident. In the unfortunate event of a fatality, the deceased’s family is entitled to file a wrongful death compensation claim.
How Motorcycle Accident Claims Are Resolved in California
There are two ways to resolve motorcycle accidents in California: through a settlement or a court verdict at trial. Like most personal injury cases, a vast majority of motorcycle accident claims are resolved through settlements.
When determining how much to pay your claim, the liable insurance company will always want to pay the least amount of money possible. In other cases, the settlement value might not reflect the actual damages of what your case is worth.
This is why it is imperative to have experienced personal injury attorneys on your side to help you fight for fair compensation. If the insurance company fails to offer a fair settlement amount, our personal injury lawyers at Golden Gate Legal will help you seek justice in court.
Factors That Will Impact the Value of Your Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim
Besides working with experienced personal injury lawyers, there are other factors that will impact the value of your claim. These factors include:
- Evidence of Fault
Before settling your claim, the liable insurance company will first look at the evidence available to support your claim. They will look at police statements, eyewitness statements, photos of the injuries, photos of the scene of the accident, and statements given by other victims.
- Partial Fault
If you were partly at fault for the accident, the value of your personal injury claim will decrease in proportion to your degree of partial fault. That means that if you were 20% at fault, your claim’s value will be 20% less than what it would have been had you not been at fault.In California, you are still entitled to recover damages, even when you were partially responsible for causing the accident. However, your settlement amount is decreased by the percentage of your negligence.
- Insurance Policy Limits
California law requires motorists to carry liability auto insurance in minimum amounts of $5,000 for property damage, and $30,000 per accident or $15,000 per person for bodily injuries.If the at-fault driver only has the legal minimum amount of auto accident insurance, that might not be enough to compensate your claim fully. In other instances, a driver could be driving without insurance coverage. If the at-fault driver did not have insurance coverage, it may be impossible for you to recover damages if you did not purchase underinsured and/ or uninsured motorist coverage.The amount of the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage will determine the maximum recovery amount you can receive in your motorcycle accident claim. Unless there are other insurance policies or funds from which you can claim recovery for damages, the value of your claim is tied to the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage limit.
Frequently Asked Questions
In California, motorcycle accident victims have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for damages against the liable party. This time bar is known as the statute of limitations, and it will be strictly enforced if you fail to institute a lawsuit in time.
However, there are a few exceptions to the statutes of limitations in some motorcycle accident cases. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you might have as little as 180 days from the date of your accident to file a claim.
To avoid forfeiting your right to pursue legal remedy due to a statute of limitations time bar, it is important that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. Our attorneys at Golden Gate Legal will help expedite the process.
Like other personal injury cases, the type of damages that you can recover will depend on the circumstances surrounding your accident and the severity of the injuries sustained. You can seek damages for medical bills, lost wages, motorcycle repairs, and pain and suffering.
If the driver that hit you was reckless (e.g. driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs), you may be entitled to pursue punitive damages as well.
If you have sustained serious injuries in a motorcycle accident in California, you will need the help of experienced motorcycle accident injury attorneys to help you recover fair compensation for your injuries.
The attorneys at Golden Gate Legal are knowledgeable and experienced in handling motorcycle accident claims and can help you recover the compensation that you deserve.