Modified: November 13, 2022

How to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

How to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
California has many motorcycle riders who enjoy the warm weather and sunshine, and it’s also got higher numbers of motorcycle registrations within the US. However, having so many motorcyclists on the road also means more car accident cases and motorcycle injuries. Generally, motorcycle accidents are a common issue throughout the state. There are about 600 motorcycle crash deaths each year and countless accidents.

While car accidents are plentiful, motorcyclists tend to see worse injuries and property damage because the bikes are much smaller. It’s more likely for someone to get injured in a motorcycle crash than in a car crash because there are no airbags, surrounding steel cage, or other safety features that trucks and cars have. Insurance companies also tend to stereotype motorcyclists and label them as driving recklessly, even if they did everything right. That often affects motorcycle accident settlements. If you’ve recently been involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault and included a motorcycle injury, contact Ehline Law Firm today. Here, you work with a dedicated motorcycle accident lawyer with many years of experience to handle cases like yours. Contact us today to request a free consultation with an attorney on the team. That way, we can answer questions. Our phone number is (213) 596-9642.

We know that everything is done on a case-by-case basis. Still, we can help you determine what settlement is proper for you, taking into account punitive damages, motorcycle injury concerns, property damage, and the other parties involved.

Do You Have a Motorcycle Accident Case?

If you suffered serious injuries, you are the accident victim. However, your insurance policy might not pay out, and the at-fault party’s insurance company might not.

You deserve to get a fair settlement, and Ehline Law Firm can assist.

We ensure that the motorcycle accident settlement is as high as possible to help with the plaintiff’s injuries. The at-fault driver should be held responsible for motorcycle injury cases like this.

Don’t rely solely on insurance companies to do the right thing. Let us help you!

What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash

If you have been involved in a car accident and were riding a motorcycle, there are certain things you should do if you’re stable enough. You want a solid case to present after you heal from the motorcycle accident and are ready to fight for your rights.

However, it would help if you always focused on your safety and that of the people around you. Don’t continue with the steps shown below if you don’t believe it’s safe to do them:

Prioritize Everyone’s Safety

  • Before doing anything else, you should check your body for any injuries and ensure that you are safe where you are.
  • This is only possible if you’re stable.
  • Those with brain injuries or suspected brain injuries should move as little as possible.
  • If you don’t have a head injury and nothing seems serious, move your vehicle and yourself out of the traffic flow.
  • That might not be possible if your vehicle isn’t drivable, and you shouldn’t worry if that’s the case. Exit the car and move to the shoulder, sitting down if necessary.
  • Those who can and do move their vehicles should not stray far from the crime scene because first responders must assess you.
  • With that, law enforcement may want to do a work-up of the scene to get a better picture of what happened to try and assign fault.
  • Once you’re safe, try to make sure that others are, as well. If they look injured, don’t try to move them because they could have brain injuries or back injuries.
  • Overall, such a movement could make things worse. Just try to keep them calm and comfortable until paramedics arrive.

Call Emergency Services

  • When you and the other people involved are finally safe and out of the way, call 911 immediately if no one else has done this.
  • Generally, that’s not an issue because everyone has cell phones.
  • However, it doesn’t hurt to call again, so don’t feel embarrassed if the dispatcher says they’ve already sent the paramedics and they are on the way.
  • It’s actually illegal not to call upon emergency services and warn them of the accident.
  • First responders can check for any serious injuries and treat you for them. Police officers must also fill out and file a police report, which can prove highly useful for your settlement value later.

Take Photos/Get Proof

  • If you feel well enough, it’s best to take photographs of the accident scene, the other vehicles, the current road conditions (such as skid marks left by vehicle tires), and property damage to your vehicle.
  • However, don’t overexert yourself. If you can’t take the pictures, ask someone nearby to do it for you. Make sure to get copies or request their contact information so that you can give it to the police for reference later.

Gather Necessary Contact Details

If you’re okay to do so, try and get contact details from the witnesses.

If the other driver is stable at the time, request their insurance details, but also get their:

  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Full Name
  • Insurance policy details.

At Ehline Law Firm, we also hope that our clients ask the attending law enforcement officers for their badge numbers and full names because it is often beneficial to help you get a higher settlement value from the at-fault driver.

While you might require medical treatment and are the injured motorcyclist here, it’s best not to try aggravating the other driver.

They may also be hurt, so it’s best not to yell or get into a fight. Save that for the lawyers when they present you with a higher final settlement.

Seek Medication Attention

You should seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident. That’s for your benefit to ensure that there are no underlying issues.

However, it’s also suitable for your insurance claim.

  • Typically, insurance companies try to deny or devalue the settlement value if you don’t go to the doctor within two weeks of your motorcycle accident.
  • Some people aren’t focused on the average settlement they could get at this time.
  • They’re more worried about having to pay the medical expenses out of pocket.
  • Now isn’t the time for that.
  • Hospitals cannot refuse to treat you for the inability to pay.
  • It’s prudent for the motorcycle driver and injured rider to go to a doctor or hospital as soon as possible. This often raises the final settlement slightly and ensures that things are done fairly.

Never Accept Liability While at the Scene of the Accident

  • The people with you at the accident scene can include witnesses, law enforcement personnel, and the other driver(s).
  • They could take whatever you say while there and twist it around so that you seem guilty.
  • That way, they don’t pay as much from their insurance policy, even though they might be the at-fault driver.
  • Many people lose out on the average settlement amount because they accept fault outright at the scene or apologize, which can be seen as admitting guilt.
  • Only answer the questions that law enforcement and paramedics ask you.

Be Careful with Words when Talking to Insurance Companies

  • Witnesses and first responders often twist things around, but many insurance companies hold whatever you say against you.
  • That could significantly affect your settlement amount, so make sure that you speak with a personal injury lawyer before contacting your insurance company.
  • This way, your medical expenses are more likely to be covered.
  • Most law firms offer a free consultation, so you can find out what your average settlement might be before filing a claim.

Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer to Handle Your Motorcycle Accident Claim

  • Your first goal is to focus on getting better. You can consider calling a California motorcycle accident attorney when you’re mentally and physically well enough.
  • Though brain injuries can be serious, it’s still better to do it sooner than later.
  • That means the personal injury lawyer can be on the case fast to get evidence relating to the motorcycle accident claim.
  • The longer you put off contacting a lawyer, the harder it could be to ensure that the evidence is good enough to get a fair settlement for a motorcycle crash.

How Much Do Typical Motorcycle Accident Cases Settle For?

It’s often problematic for us to give you a number for your motorcycle accident settlement because there are various factors that we must use to calculate motorcycle accident settlements.

Overall, the settlement value of the motorcycle injury claim is decided by looking at the financial, emotional, and physical damages you’ve suffered because of the motorcycle crash.

Your compensation also depends significantly on these features:

  • The insurance policy
  • The other driver’s insurance policy
  • How much the medical bills are, and what future medical expenses might there be
  • The severity of the property damage
  • Whether pain and suffering comes into play.

The compensation you get depends on all the facts relating to your case. Each accident brings a different result and might not be an average settlement.

Therefore, it’s best to speak with a motorcycle accident attorney to better understand the factors affecting your settlement and the options available for your case.

However, accidents that result in head injuries often have a higher earning capacity than others.

Those who require physical therapy may have a higher earning capacity for financial recovery because the person suffers longer to return to where they were before the accident happened.

Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement Amounts

As we mentioned earlier, it’s hard to tell an injured motorcyclist their average motorcycle accident settlement, especially when a head injury is part of the situation.

It’s vital to remember that every case is different. Some cases could have a motorcycle accident settlement amount of $9,000, but one might settle for $200,000.

Several factors must be considered to determine a fair settlement amount after a crash. While motorcycle accident settlement calculators are available online, they don’t have the power to give you a representative estimate of your settlement value.

Overall, it’s best to call Ehline Law Firm and speak with a personal injury attorney to get an accurate sum and evaluate the case.

Length of Time for Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits to Settle

The length of time it takes to settle after a motorcycle accident can vary, too, unfortunately.

It depends on the many circumstances relating to the case, making it challenging to offer a specific time frame.

With that, recovery times may differ, and the amount of evidence to collect is time-consuming. Everything must be in place to prove your case is solid.

Highly rated personal injury lawyers are often your best bet. If you choose to hire someone, your lawyer can focus on the settlement’s investigation and insurance settlement negotiation aspect.

When you enter that phase, you can make demands of the insurance company and the insurance company from the at-fault driver.

Most motorcycle riders and their lawyers tend to succeed at that point, so no other steps are needed.

Just argue the settlement value and keep going until you get that amount.

However, it’s not always that simple. Negotiations might not result in a fair amount, so you must move forward with the legal process and create a lawsuit.

That’s where the lawyer is most helpful. Lawsuits are often lengthy and involve confusing steps, with the first one being called the discovery stage.

During the trial discovery stage, both sides can question each other, gather evidence, and collect documentation. Your attorney and that of the at-fault driver speak to witnesses, bring in experts, and refer to police reports. Often, legal teams reach an agreement at this point, but sometimes a mediator is necessary to settle cases out of court.

If mediation isn’t successful, your case likely goes to trial. Now, your attorney presents the case in front of a jury or judge.

A court trial could take a few days or months, but it depends on the complexity of the case. Overall, jury verdicts are the final say.

Is It Possible to Sue the Individual After Settling with the Insurance Company?

Many times, once you settle with the appropriate insurance company, your case is closed. Therefore, it’s impossible to make any further claims.

The settlement is designed to wrap up the case, and that means the motorcycle rider can no longer request compensation once things are settled with the insurance company.

Still, a personal injury attorney could tell you that there’s an exception to the rule.

Once the insurance company has settled your case, it agrees to pay you a specific amount of money to finish the claim.

The agreement includes specific terms to prevent the motorcycle rider from requesting more compensation later.

When you sign the waiver to release your cash settlement, that stops you from making future claims.

You can only file more than one lawsuit if you prove in court that you only agreed to that settlement from coercion or fraud.

Common Causes for Motorcycle Accidents in California

The most common causes of motorcycle accidents in California are drivers who disobey right-of-way laws on the road and drivers straying from their primary lane.

A head-on collision between two vehicles often causes fatal motorcycle accidents. That’s more dangerous than other accident types.

That collision type can include one vehicle turning in front of the other or being on a two-lane road going the wrong way. Other common causes of California motorcycle accidents include:

  • Road rage Aggressive drivers, risk all other drivers’ lives on the road and may cause serious crashes.
  • Lane splittingWhen a motorcycle rider cuts between slower vehicles traveling fast between the lanes, they may lose control or startle the car driver to where they swerve and hit them.
  • Defective motorcycle partsSometimes, no driver is at fault. Instead, the manufacturer is to blame. If a crucial component of the motorcycle is faulty, the motorcycle rider might lose control, causing a collision.
  • Too much front brake force If a motorcycle rider brakes too forcefully, the momentum could throw them over the handlebars, resulting in a motorcycle accident.
  • Bad weather conditions – Snow, rain, ice, or high winds could make for dangerous situations. They might cause a motorcycle accident if the driver isn’t careful.
  • Speeding A motorcycle rider should always follow the speed limits. Violations may cause an accident.
  • Road defectsPotholes, roadworks, uneven road surfaces, and missing stop signs could cause accidents.
  • Not checking the mirrors Riding a motorcycle means being aware of your surroundings. However, another careless driver might not check to see if you’re coming, which means you could get into an accident. Along with that, some drivers might park and open their door without looking, causing you to run into them.
  • Drunk drivingReports from the NHTSA indicate that about 27% of motorcyclists were involved in a fatal accident because they were drunk driving.
  • Distracted driving Motorcycles might be harder to see, so they might miss them and cause accidents. If the driver isn’t focused, That often happens when changing lanes, but they may not check blind spots, either.

Who Can You Sue After Having a Motorcycle Accident in California?

After motorcycle accidents, you and the lawyer can determine who was at fault and who should accept liability for the crash.

Each driver on the road owes a duty of care to pedestrians and other drivers. That means they’re legally required to be reasonable and responsible to ensure that everyone else is safe.

If a driver breaches the duty of care, and that breach caused the accident, liability lies with that person. Many people can be found liable, including the motorcycle rider. The motorcycle accident settlement reflects the actual damages of the car accident minus the part the rider was at fault for.

These people could be held liable after a motorcycle accident:

Motorcycle Riders

If the motorcycle rider behaved negligently or recklessly, they are likely to be found liable for the property damage, injuries, and pain and suffering any other accident victims might experience. Reckless driving can include speeding, distracted driving, and more.

The motorcycle crash might not have occurred if the motorcycle rider hadn’t done anything wrong.

The driver of the Other Vehicle

As with the motorcycle rider, the other vehicle’s driver could be negligent or reckless. If that’s the case, they’re liable for damages sustained by the motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle Manufacturers

If the motorcycle rider was injured in a motorcycle accident because the motorcycle manufacturer or any manufacturer of parts distributed a faulty product, causing a malfunction that led to an accident, they are liable for it. This defect is also a form of negligence because they owe the consumers a duty of care.

Government Entities

Sometimes, the state of California and its government entities could be liable for a motorcycle accident if it’s caused by something under that government’s jurisdiction.

These include poorly maintained roads, evil road designs, and missing road signs that the motorcycle rider is required to drive carefully.

Who’s Liable to Pay?

Whoever’s found liable is responsible for paying the motorcycle accident settlement. If you were personally involved in a motorcycle accident or are now being sued for causing it, it’s best to contact Ehline Law Firm today.

We don’t discuss personal details about your case through the attorney-client relationship with anyone who doesn’t require the information.

Call Ehline Law Firm to Get Information on Starting a Motorcycle Accident Settlement!

Motorcycle accident victims can do their part by hiring an experienced lawyer to help them with their injury cases.

Motorcycle accident claims are often complex and confusing whether or suffered emotional distress, need to receive economic damages, or a family member was killed. We offer a free consultation, so please call (213) 596-9642 to get started.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in California

California is one of the few states requiring everyone riding a motorcycle to wear a helmet, whether the driver or passenger. It doesn’t matter if you’ve completed the safety course recently; wearing a helmet is essential.

Though some states allow you to ignore the helmet warning if you’ve got at least $10,000 in PIP insurance coverage for medical injuries caused by the motorcycle accident, California isn’t one of them.

Plus, helmets effectively prevent fatalities and reduce the likelihood of a head injury. Helmets might not protect you from other injuries, but not wearing one can expose you to death.

With that, you might be considered at fault if the car driver can prove that you weren’t wearing a helmet when you were involved in a motorcycle crash.

That can lower the monetary value of motorcycle accident settlements.

Types of Damages Available After a Motorcycle Accident in California

Being involved in a motorcycle accident often means suffering physical, mental, and financial harm. After the accident, you might want to file a lawsuit to help you with damages.

The motorcycle accident settlement can consist of these expenses:

Medical Bills

If you sustained injuries during the accident, you could argue that you’re owed the cost of your medical bills in the final settlement.

Likewise, if the injuries are long-lasting, it’s possible to claim future medical expenses and the costs to alter your lifestyle, even after the medical bills are paid. That can include making amendments to the home or hiring a caregiver.

Motorcycle accident settlements often include physical therapy and other medical care for broken bones, internal bleeding, and soft-tissue injuries.

Lost Wages

If the motorcycle accident requires you to take time off from work, you probably have lost wages. You can be paid compensation for the lost wages.

If you can’t return to work, you can claim a loss of earning capacity, the price of job retraining and future lost earnings.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering are complex and involve any physical or mental suffering that surfaced because of the motorcycle accident.

That includes a loss of enjoyment in your life because you can’t participate in sports and play instruments as you did before your accident.

Applying for pain and suffering damages often requires a personal injury lawyer because pain and suffering are hard to prove or calculate in your compensation amount.

Property Damage

Unfortunately, the vehicle is likely to be damaged during the motorcycle accident. Expenses can be added to the final settlement value if it’s bad enough to require professional repairs.

Wrongful Death

If you lost a family member because of a motorcycle accident, you might file a wrongful death lawsuit against the other truck driver. Your motorcycle accident settlement covers funeral expenses and the loss of consortium.

Punitive Damages

Some motorcycle accidents have the at-fault party doing something very wrong, or they’ve done it before. The judge could give additional or punitive damages to the victim to punish them.

However, this isn’t common and shouldn’t be expected in the potential settlement you receive from the truck driver.

Call an Experienced Attorney for Assistance

If you feel you are owed those types of damages, it’s best to contact a personal injury lawyer from Ehline Law Firm.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine the forms of damages you might be owed, building up evidence for them to provide you with a fair settlement. Please call today for a free case evaluation.

Amounts that Insurance Companies Provide for Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering may be brutal to calculate, so you shouldn’t rely on an online calculator to predict your pain and suffering owed.

As with your motorcycle accident settlement, the results can vary. The average payout for pain and suffering depends on various factors, such as:

  • Indirect and direct economic costs of the injury
  • Long-term consequences of the injury
  • The severity of the injuries

The standard method for calculating the pain and suffering value uses the “multiplier method.” That’s when the economic damages are added together and multiplied by a number from one to five, depending on your injuries’ severity.

For example, if the accident victim sustained a life-altering injury and has $10,000 in medical bills, the attorney could argue for $50,000 to be fair.

Common Injuries Following Motorcycle Accident Claims

Motorcycle accidents may occur between two motorcycles, an animal/pedestrian and a motorcycle, a motorcycle and another vehicle, or the motorcyclist.

Because a motorcycle doesn’t provide the same protection as a truck or car, the driver may be more susceptible to severe injuries. Examples of motorcycle accident injuries can include:

  • Death
  • Fractured, crushed, or broken bones
  • Traumatic head injuries
  • Organ damage or internal bleeding
  • Quadriplegia
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Bruises, scrapes, and cuts
  • Severe burns
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Neck injury (whiplash).

Psychological accident injuries are also possible after a motorcycle accident. Examples of such mental distress can include insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, or anxiety.

If you or your loved one have sustained severe injuries after an accident that wasn’t your fault, please call Ehline Law Firm to organize your free consultation.

You can speak with a personal injury lawyer to see if you’re owed compensation and how to begin the claims process. You must receive justice after being injured because someone was negligent.

What’s Pure Comparative Negligence? Does It Affect My Claim?

California is a state that uses pure comparative negligence methods. The state courts allow the injured parties to get damages, even if they’re up to 99% at fault for the motorcycle accident.

The court assigns liability and awards an appropriate settlement based on the comparative negligence rules during the motorcycle accident case.

Overall, comparative negligence in the motorcycle accident case means that a judge might reduce the settlement amount you receive based on how “at fault” you were.

For example, if a motorcycle accident occurred because the other person was driving drunk, but you were speeding, the judge might reduce the settlement by 10 percent.

That reduction reflects your liability for not following the posted speed limit where the incident happened.

However, the amount is much smaller for you because drunk driving is more severe than going over the speed limit by a few miles per hour.

Accident attorneys should conduct a full investigation so that you’re compensated appropriately. This is calculated with the rules in California’spure comparative negligence laws.

Often, this is why many people hire an attorney; the legalities surrounding pure comparative negligence are pretty confusing.

How Does Being Injured In a Fault State Affect My Case?

California is a fault state, but what does that mean? The at-fault state puts the financial responsibility and blame on individuals.

Those responsible for the motorcycle crash are also responsible for the losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damages.

If the state is no-fault, it means that the parties involved have insurance coverage to take care of damages and injuries, regardless of who is at fault.

How Car Insurance Works

In California, all drivers must have car insurance for their vehicles. Driving without it is against the law and may result in fines if you’re found to be operating any motor vehicle without proof that you’re insured.

When you buy auto insurance, you must understand your coverage. Sadly, most drivers don’t do that until they’re trying to file a motorcycle accident claim. Insurance plans must meet the minimum policy requirement (15/30/5 rule).

That means the insurer has to pay up to:

  • $5,000 for property damage
  • $30,000 for the injury/death of multiple individuals
  • $15,000 for the injury-death of one person

Drivers in California don’t have to purchase PIP insurance as they might in other states.

When someone is in an accident, they show proof of insurance. The police often request this from each party. During the information exchange, the drivers must also provide contact information and license,

After breaking all that down, you may wonder why you need car insurance if you might be found partly to blame. Though we might say the at-fault person must pay you restitution, we often mean the person’s car insurance company.

However, if the amount they owe exceeds the minimum policy, they must pay the rest out of pocket.

Most motorcycle accident cases are severe enough that the negligent person must make payment arrangements to cover what the insurance company didn’t.

With that, these companies work hard to pay you as little as possible, which is why it’s best to work with a lawyer. The other driver did something wrong and must be held responsible.

One more thing to focus on is contributory negligence. California doesn’t use this method because it’s pretty strict. With this, you get paid nothing if your actions played any role in your accident.

Because California is a fault state, that doesn’t come into play. While your settlement amount might be lower from your part in the incident, it’s often by 10 percent or so.

Typically, the at-fault party did something far worse than you, which led to the events.

Be Aware of the Time Limits on Your Claim

If you, a loved one, or a friend were recently in a motorcycle accident, it is vital to act as quickly as you can. Personal injury lawyers can help you with your motorcycle accident claim because they do it every day.

However, there is a time limit for how long your personal injury case has before it can’t be filed. In California, the statute of limitations means that you have only two years from the accident date to pursue a claim and receive a personal injury settlement.

After that period, there’s no chance of getting a motorcycle accident settlement, and you are barred from filing a claim forever.

That means you cannot receive the settlement you’re owed. If you’ve already lost a loved one because of a motorcycle crash, you have the same two years to file from the date of the person’s death.

In addition, it’s best to get medical care within the two-week period after the accident. Even if you feel well, there might be an injury that you can’t see or feel.

It’s better to get medical attention so you have proof of any injuries. Your lawyer can pull that information to help prove your case for compensation.

Without medical record proof, insurance might claim that the injuries happened before or after the accident. This could lower the amount of compensation you’re owed.

Overall, it’s best to go to the doctor if you don’t need the hospital. From there, you should call Ehline Law Firm as soon as you can to organize a case evaluation to determine if you’ve got a case and what settlement offer you might see.

Contact Ehline Law Firm for Legal Assistance

If you were hurt in a motorcycle collision that wasn’t your fault, it’s essential to speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer to help you with your motorcycle accident claim.

We have many years of experience, and our personal injury lawyers handle cases like this all the time.

Typically, people in motorcycle accidents have soft-tissue injuries, head injuries, and large amounts of medical bills. It’s extremely helpful to have motorcycle accident lawyers on your side to help you recover lost wages, medical expenses, and all the rest.

However, your average motorcycle accident settlement can vary based on many factors. Generally, insurance companies try to present a lower settlement offer than you deserve, going in the opposite direction. That’s why you need someone on your side who can handle motorcycle accident claims and get all the compensation.

Please get in touch with Ehline Law Firm at (213) 596-9642 for a free consultation. Once you choose to work with us, you have a single point of contact and benefit from our attorney-client relationship.

We discuss your average payout, focus on any additional compensation you might be entitled to, and go over all of your legal options. Please call today to receive free legal advice from a competent, caring injury lawyer, or use our website contact form.

Top Notch American Injury Lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.

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