Riverside Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycles are very popular throughout California, and while most riders enjoy their time on their bikes without experiencing any issues, motorcycle accidents can and do happen regularly across the state. While less common than other motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle crashes cause far worse damage. Additionally, motorcyclists face unique risks that do not apply to the occupants of enclosed passenger vehicles.
Experienced Legal Representation for Motorcycle Accident Victims in Riverside
If you or a relative recently sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, you could have grounds for legal recourse if another party is responsible for causing the collision. A motorcycle accident is likely to cause a host of immediate and long-term damages, not all of which may be immediately noticeable. Additionally, the economic fallout of the incident can compound into a very challenging financial situation for the victim and their family, and this can happen very quickly.
You need legal counsel you can trust to have the best chance of recovering as fully as the law allows when another party is responsible for injuring you. The attorneys at Easton & Easton are an experienced team of attorneys who have successfully handled many personal injury claims in Riverside, including many arising from motorcycle accidents. We know the challenges that victims of these incidents face and how to guide them to the best possible outcomes for their recovery efforts. The sooner you speak with a Riverside motorcycle accident attorney you can trust, the more likely you are to reach a favorable outcome to the proceedings ahead of you.
Proving Fault for a Motorcycle Accident in Riverside
Before you can secure any kind of compensation for the damage you suffered in your recent motorcycle accident, you must first establish fault for the incident and identify the party or parties responsible. California uses the fault rule for resolving vehicle accident claims, meaning the party who causes the accident in question is liable for any and all resulting damages. In Riverside, a few of the most commonly reported causes of motorcycle accidents that generate personal injury claims include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, which is illegal in every state. DUI carries severe penalties for conviction, including fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension. Many defendants will also be required to have ignition interlock devices (IIDs) installed on their vehicles after completing their suspension periods. These penalties increase substantially when DUI results in bodily harm or death.
- Distracted driving, which is the most commonly cited cause of all motor vehicle accidents in the United States each year. Any form of distraction behind the wheel puts the distracted driver and everyone around them at risk. However, motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to distracted drivers because their vehicles are smaller and harder to notice than most passenger cars.
- Speeding, which can not only increase the chances of a motorcycle accident happening in the first place but also increase the chances of catastrophic or fatal injuries. If a driver exceeds the speed limit, they have much less time to react to sudden changes in traffic or road conditions.
- Poor visibility. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to accidents whenever visibility is restricted in any way. Inclement weather, driving at night, and driving through heavy traffic can all increase the chances of a motorcycle accident.
- Reckless driving. Unfortunately, not all drivers uphold their duty of care to operate their vehicles safely and responsibly. If a driver causes a motorcycle accident through clear disregard for the safety of others or any form of egregious negligence, they are likely to be charged with reckless driving as well as face a civil suit from the injured rider.
After you have determined how your accident happened, you must prove who is responsible for causing it. Unfortunately, many victims of motorcycle accidents are so severely injured that they have little to no recollection of the actual accidents, and they must rely on their legal representatives to help them identify those responsible for their damage.
When a motorcycle accident happens because of negligence, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty of care in the situation in question that they failed to fulfill. They must then show the full scope of damage caused by the incident in question and prove they are the direct results of the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause. When an accident results from intentional misconduct or criminal action of any kind, the state is likely to open a criminal case against the defendant, and this may modify the victim’s civil case in many ways.
Comparative Fault in Personal Injury Cases
California is one of few states to enforce a pure comparative negligence rule. Under this statute, a plaintiff may recover compensation for their damages if they bear partial liability for causing the damage. However, they lose a percentage of their final compensation equal to their portion of fault for causing the accident in question. So, for example, if the plaintiff is found 10% at fault in a $500,000 claim, this would mean losing 10% of their case award for net compensation of $450,000 instead.
Most states uphold a modified comparative negligence rule that bars plaintiff recovery if they are 50% or more at fault. There is no such limit in California, so it’s theoretically possible for a plaintiff to bear 99% fault and recover 1% of their total claimed damages. However, the higher the plaintiff’s fault, the more vulnerable they are to a countersuit from the defendant. Therefore, if you have any concerns about bearing partial responsibility for your recent motorcycle accident, it is crucial that you speak with a Riverside motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
Claimable Damages in Motorcycle Accident Cases
The state’s personal injury statutes are relatively flexible about the damages a plaintiff may seek from the defendant who injured them. But, first, they have the right to seek full repayment of all the economic losses they suffered, which often include:
- Medical expenses. Many motorcycle accidents cause severe or catastrophic injuries that require extensive ongoing treatment. Therefore, the plaintiff can seek accountability for all their immediate medical expenses as well as the cost of any and all ongoing medical care they will require to reach maximum medical improvement. Your Riverside motorcycle accident attorney can work with your medical team to gather any documentation you need to substantiate your claim for immediate and future medical expenses.
- Lost income. The victim of a motorcycle accident could be left unable to work for an extended time due to the severity of their injuries. If the defendant’s actions cause you to miss work or if you must use accrued vacation time during your recovery, they are responsible for repaying these losses.
- Lost future earning potential. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents often cause life-changing injuries, some of which interfere with victims’ ability to work and live independently. If you suffered any long-term or permanent loss from your recent motorcycle accident in Riverside, you could seek repayment for the future income you are no longer able to earn.
- Property damage. The at-fault driver’s auto insurance may cover some of your vehicle repair costs, but any outstanding property losses can be included as economic damages in your personal injury action.
When you have an experienced Riverside motorcycle accident attorney representing you, you have the best chance of maximizing the compensation you receive for your economic damages. However, this may not be the end of your recovery, depending on the severity of the harm you experienced.
Pain and Suffering in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Most people are aware of the concept of claiming compensation for “pain and suffering” in a civil suit, but most will find it hard to assign a monetary value to these intangible losses when they experience personal injuries. The state does not limit pain and suffering compensation in motorcycle accident claims or other vehicle accident cases. However, the plaintiff must have sound reasoning behind the amount they seek in their claim.
Your Riverside motorcycle accident attorney can provide valuable guidance in determining fair pain and suffering compensation for your recent motorcycle accident. There are generally two methods used for calculating non-economic damages in personal injury claims:
- The multiplier method is used when a plaintiff has suffered extreme harm involving long-term or permanent damage. Their attorney will calculate their total economic damages and then multiply this figure by a factor of one to five, depending on the severity of their condition.
- The “per diem” method is most often used when plaintiffs are expected to make full recoveries. The plaintiff’s attorney will help them determine a fair amount of daily compensation, and the defendant will be required to pay this amount for every day the plaintiff spends recovering.
If you or your family member suffered any type of permanent harm from the motorcycle accident in Riverside, CA, your pain and suffering compensation could be the largest compensation you secure from your successful civil claim. If you are unsure how to calculate an appropriate amount for your damages, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced Riverside motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
Motorcycle Accidents FAQs
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Receive for a Motorcycle Accident?
A: California law allows you to seek compensation for any and all economic losses the defendant caused you to suffer. These are likely to include vehicle repair costs, immediate and future medical expenses, lost wages, and future earning potential. You also have the right to claim pain and suffering compensation in proportion to the severity of your experience and the level of long-term harm you face. Your Riverside motorcycle accident attorney is the best asset you have for maximizing your final case award.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Riverside Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
A: If you are hesitant about hiring legal representation due to the anticipated high cost of your attorney, it’s important to remember that the team at Easton & Easton accepts cases on a contingency fee basis. You only pay a legal fee once we win your case, and your fee is a predetermined percentage of the final case award, so there are no unwelcome surprises at the conclusion of your proceedings. In addition, you will not pay anything upfront or any ongoing legal expenses for the duration of your case, and you owe nothing if we are unable to secure compensation on your behalf.
Q: How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
A: The time your case will take to reach a conclusion largely depends on whether the defendant accepts liability for the damage they’ve done. If they agree to settlement negotiations, it may only take a few weeks to finalize your case and obtain a settlement offer that meets your needs. However, if the defendant refuses to negotiate, denies liability for your damages, or asserts comparative fault, you will need to prepare for protracted litigation that can take months to resolve.
Q: Will My Riverside Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help Me Secure a Larger Case Award?
A: The right attorney can dramatically improve the final compensation you receive in any personal injury case. When you choose Easton & Easton to represent you, we have the experience to identify every channel of compensation available in your case. As a result, we are often able to exceed our clients’ expectations in terms of their recoveries, and the sooner you secure our legal representation, the better your chances are of maximizing your case award.
Q: What Happens If I’m Partially at Fault for My Recent Motorcycle Accident?
A: California enforces the pure comparative negligence rule. This means that a plaintiff may still recover compensation for their damages if they are partially to blame for the accident in question, but they will lose a percentage of their case award. The judge overseeing your case will assign a fault percentage based on your level of liability, and this is the percentage that is deducted from your final compensation. For example, if you bear 30% of the fault for the accident in question, you lose 30% of your case award. There is no fault threshold that bars plaintiff recovery under the pure comparative negligence rule.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have extensive professional experience handling all personal injury cases on behalf of our clients throughout the Riverside area and surrounding communities. If you or a loved one is struggling with injuries and financial losses another party caused, we can help. Contact our firm today and schedule a consultation with a Riverside motorcycle accident attorney to learn more about your options for legal recourse.