San Bernardino Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

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San Bernardino Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a motorcycle collision, or your family member died as a result of one, a San Bernardino motorcycle accident lawyer can review your case and discuss what legal options you have and what you may be entitled to.

Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates has represented numerous clients with their personal injury claims. Our experienced, knowledgeable, and adept team of law professionals is familiar with handling various types of negligent accidents that caused our clients’ bodily harm and other damages, including car, truck, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic collisions, wrongful death, slip-and-falls, and defective products. We also focus on all forms of medical malpractice cases.

Best San Bernardino Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

What Causes Motorcycle Accidents to Happen?

Just as with any type of motor vehicle accident, motorcycle collisions can occur for several different reasons. Distracted or reckless driving is a common cause of a motorcycle accident. In addition to negligent car motorists, some crashes may arise due to motorcycles and their riders being much smaller compared to other vehicles on the road; for this reason, motorcyclist injuries are often serious or catastrophic.

These are some of the most observed circumstances leading to a motorcycle accident:

  • Drivers speeding or tailgating. Speeding over the mandated limit can make it more difficult to stop or slow down in the event the car in front of you stops unexpectedly. Additionally, motorists should refrain from tailgating the vehicles in front of them to avoid collisions if they suddenly slam on the brakes.
  • Motorists driving while intoxicated from alcohol or other substances. Drunk drivers, or those under the influence of drugs, are operating a vehicle while their faculties are greatly impaired– diminishing their ability to drive safely and endangering others on the road.
  • Lane splitting and inattentively changing lanes. Motorcyclists should refrain from “lane splitting” or weaving through seemingly stopped vehicles during slow traffic. Other drivers are less likely to see motorcycles in general, but especially when they’re moving unexpectedly or when the driver themself changes lanes suddenly and/or without checking their surroundings.
  • Left-turn accidents. When a motorcyclist is turning left, they should be especially careful since oncoming cars may fail to see them and continue through the intersection. Drivers without full visibility of the lane the motorcyclist is trying to enter can prove to be perilous for the rider as well.
  • Car door collisions. Sometimes, while a motorcycle rider is moving along the road, a driver leaving their parked car next to the roadway simultaneously opens their door, and an accident ensues.
  • No-contact crashes/attempting to avoid an accident. A motorcycle accident does not necessarily entail a car colliding with a motorcycle and its rider. If a driver is operating their vehicle recklessly or moves towards the motorcyclist while seemingly unaware of them, this can cause the rider to “lay down” their bike or force them to move offroad in an attempt to avoid crashing.

Who Is Responsible for a Motorcycle Accident in California?

For most motorcycle accidents, the circumstances leading up to the incident make it clear that the other driver was responsible, or at least mostly at fault. In cases where it’s less certain what occurred or if the motorcycle rider was also partially responsible, California’s pure comparative negligence doctrine comes into play; some states disqualify the victim plaintiff from compensation if they’re more than half at fault or liable at all, but this isn’t the case in CA.

Under California law, anyone can pursue a personal injury claim and receive a compensation award as long as they aren’t 100 percent at fault for the accident. Personal injury victims can be compensated even if they’re up to 99 percent responsible for the accident, but their settlement would be 1 percent of what they’d receive if they weren’t partially liable.

This means that if you’re 60 percent at fault, you’ll receive 40 percent of the full settlement amount, and if found to be 20 percent responsible, your compensation would only be reduced by that percentage, etc. This also means that the opposing party, the other driver involved, can also receive a settlement reduced by how much the percentage they’re liable; thus, a defendant’s lawyer will often argue that the injured plaintiff is at least somewhat at fault for the accident, too.

Potential Bodily Injuries Following a Motorcycle Crash

Motorcycle riders may sustain injuries from a traffic accident that range from minor harm to serious injury to permanent and life-altering physical damage or even wrongful death. Many circumstances of the crash may influence how severe a motorcyclist’s injuries are. Generally, motorbike riders are likely to suffer greater injury compared to passenger car drivers because their body is not shielded by an enclosed vehicle and, thus, endure the full force of the impact.

Possible injuries include muscle and ligament damage, fractured or shattered bones, road rash from skidding across the pavement, burns, traumatic brain injury, wounds to the head or neck, damage to the spinal cord and surrounding nerves, internal bleeding, and organ damage.

Even with adequate medical care and recovery time, some motorcycle accidents leave victims with long-term or permanent damage, including partial or full paralysis, scarring, amputations, diminished or loss of function in a certain body part, cognitive disabilities, epilepsy or other disorders the injured person did not deal with before the crash.

Do Injury Lawyers Get Paid Upfront in California?

The vast majority of attorneys who work in personal injury law will not require their client to provide payment for legal services until, and only if, the lawyer can win the injury case and earn the injured victim a settlement payout. This is known as working on a contingency basis, with the lawyer’s payment referred to as a “contingency fee.” The contingency fee comes from a percentage of the compensation awarded to the victim.

The benefit of this payment arrangement is that the client is not put in further financial risk if their case cannot be won, which encourages hesitant parties to pursue the compensation they’re legally entitled to for suffering damages. Some lawyers may require a retainer fee upfront as a sort of down payment for their legal counsel, but under whatever circumstances, your attorney will discuss their payment options and what they expect to charge you should they win the case beforehand.

Once you and your attorney agree on their percentage rate, you will both sign an agreement that prevents changes or uncertainty regarding the percentage down the line. Typically, lawyers will charge in the range of 33 percent of the total settlement.

FAQs

Q: How Much Is a Motorcycle Accident Settlement in California?

A: A motorcycle accident settlement in California depends on the details of the accident, including the severity, how many liable parties there are, and the ability to prove subsequent damages. Speaking with an attorney experienced in motorcycle injury claims is the most effective way to get an accurate approximation of a case’s potential settlement factors

Q: How Much Do Accident Attorneys Charge in California?

A: Accident injury attorneys typically only charge their clients if they’re able to win the case and the victim is compensated. Lawyers’ fees for personal injury cases are paid from a percentage of the client’s settlement payment; this is known as a contingency fee and requires you and your lawyer to enter into a contractual agreement that specifies the exact percentage your lawyer is to take, commonly in the range of 33 percent, so there aren’t any arguments during the proceedings.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Motorcycle Accident in California?

A: The statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident is the same as other personal injury cases in California: two years, meaning the injured motorcyclist must file their injury claim and begin their case within that time frame. It may seem like plenty of time, but it’s very important, and to your benefit, that you take legal action by filing an official injury claim as soon after your accident as you’re able.

Q: What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident?

A: After a motorcycle accident, get out of the road if possible; cars will likely keep traffic flowing; don’t worry about moving your bike, which can leave you vulnerable to further harm. It may be wise to keep on your helmet or other protective gear as a precaution in case removing it will worsen any injuries. Call for an officer and ambulance to arrive at the scene and document proof if possible. Afterward, you may consider contacting a personal injury lawyer.

Contact an Experienced, Professional Law Firm for Your Injury Claim

Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates are here to assist anyone who was harmed as a result of another person’s negligence. Our legal team is professional, qualified, and compassionate with each of our clients, ensuring their story is heard and that their case gets the attention it requires. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced injury attorney.

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