Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
At MKP Law Group, LLP, our attorneys exclusively represent injury victims. For years we have fought on behalf of clients hurt in accidents due to the negligence of another party. We realize that it can be difficult to afford quality Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers, so we always work on what is known as a contingency fee basis, meaning WE DON’T GET PAID UNLESS WE WIN. There are no upfront, out-of-pocket costs to our clients.
Our experienced personal injury accident attorneys have recovered millions on behalf of our clients and will fight hard on your behalf to ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries. Our motorcycle accident injury attorneys work with a team of medical experts throughout Los Angeles and California to ensure that you or a loved one receives top-notch medical care for a speedy and healthy recovery. While you recover, we are there to deal with the insurance companies.
We are a team of renowned motorcycle injury attorneys representing injury victims throughout the State of California. MKP Law Group, LLP’s team strives to make the process as easy and quick as possible for you. Our experienced team is attentive, dependable, and tenacious. Call us today at 310-285-5353 to schedule your 100% free consultation.
Why Hire a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
Anyone who drives a motorcycle has undoubtedly encountered the various dangers that are associated with them. After all, this is why so many states have made it mandatory for motorcyclists to wear helmets.
Additionally, the reason this information is so well known has to do with how truly frightening the statistics on motorcycle accidents are. Did you know that over 80 percent of motorcycle accidents end with at least one of the parties involved suffering from serious injuries?
If you have been a victim of a motorcycle accident, you need to contact a local Los Angeles personal injury attorney as soon as possible so that they can begin to build your case. Insurance companies are notorious for attempting to blame the motorcyclist first thing. We know that that’s often unjust. So, we are ready to fight for you and get you the compensation and the justice that you deserve.
Common Causes of Los Angeles Motorcycle Accidents
There are many reasons motorcyclist’s accidents and wrecks cause so many injuries. While some of the causes are personal driver errors, many are not. Some of the most common causes of motorcycles accidents are:
- Other drivers being distracted while they are behind the wheel
- Drunk drivers or drivers under the influence of illegal substances
- Other drivers operating their vehicle aggressively
- Other drivers not following traffic rules
- Defective motorcycle parts
- Hazardous road conditions
What to do After a Motorbike Accident in Los Angeles?
After an accident, you may be in shock, have sustained serious injuries, or simply have no idea what to do. These can be difficult moments for an injured motorcycle rider, so here are the best steps to take if you are a victim of a Los Angeles motorcycle wreck:
1. Call 911
Calling emergency aid means the police and required emergency responders will arrive at the scene of the incident to provide the required support to those in need.
Plus, police will issue an official police report that will detail the accident and conclude who was at-fault for the motorcycle vehicle accident. The police will also obtain the contact and insurance information of all parties should you be unable to do so yourself.
2. Document and Collect Information
If possible, take photos of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and your injuries. You should also get the contact and insurance information from all the drivers who were involved in the accident. Collect as much contact information as possible from any eyewitnesses.
3. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you or a loved one has suffered severe injuries as a result of a motorcycle or car accident, do not hesitate to seek medical treatment. It is crucial that you receive proper care as soon as possible. Even if you do not believe you were seriously hurt, you may have internal injuries or a brain injury that is not immediately apparent. Making sure you get proper medical treatment is very important for your claim.
4. Determine The Severity of Your Case
While calling your insurance carrier is important following an accident, the thing is, if you are involved in a complicated situation you should consider contacting an experienced personal injury motorcycle attorney first. Our team at MKP Law Group, LLP is happy to provide a 100% free initial consultation to evaluate your motorcycle accident injury case.
Often, insurance adjusters will attempt to get you to make damaging statements or make you lowball settlement offers for far less than your motorcycle accident claim is actually worth. Understanding how to respond to the difficult questions insurance companies will ask you without hurting your case is crucial.
This is especially problematic in cases involving dangerous head injuries, spinal cord injury, or even wrongful death.
What Not to do After a Motorbike Accident in Los Angeles
Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident
You should only leave the scene of the accident if you are seriously injured, and there is a medical emergency. Otherwise, it is best to stay at the scene to collect the necessary information and to give a statement to the police.
Avoid Making Statements to the Other Parties
It is wise to avoid speaking with the other drivers at the scene. Often, people make damaging statements at the scene by saying, “I’m OK.” This type of statement could act against you later on in the case. Never underestimate your injuries at the scene of the accident. Also, never admit fault for the accident.
Do Not Forget to Gather Evidence
Sometimes the police are not able to respond to every accident scene, and thus no police report will be made. So, you must obtain the other drivers’ contact and insurance information and any witness contact information to sufficiently support the claim.
California Law and Filing Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims
In 2017, 749 motorcyclists’ lives could have been saved if they been wearing helmets, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
These numbers underscore the importance of always wearing motorcycle helmets.
In 2016, over 40% of motorcycle accident victims who died were not wearing helmets.
Universal Motorcycle Helmet Laws in California: Obligatory
California has a universal helmet law that requires all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet at all times.
Helmets can be the difference between life and death for motorcycle riders in the event of a motorcycle crash. Numerous studies have shown that they greatly reduce the likelihood of head injury like traumatic brain injuries.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting Laws in California: Legal
On the other hand, California is the only state where “lane-splitting” is legal. Lane splitting is when a motorcycle rider goes between two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction, whether the cars are stopped or moving. After much debate, California passed AB-51 in 2016, which legalized the practice of lane-splitting.
Lane-splitting reduces traffic commutes for motorcycle riders and overall traffic congestion. Though helpful in reducing traffic congestion, lane-splitting at high speeds can be extremely dangerous and has led to numerous motorcycle crashes by inattentive drivers or distracted driving. The common problem is, they fail to check their mirror for motorcycle riders before changing lanes.
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim in California
In California motorcycle accident cases, the motorcycle rider, or the heirs of a cyclist involved in a wrongful death action, can sue for damages against any at-fault party. At-fault parties include cities and municipalities who have neglected to properly indicate road construction or other dangerous conditions of public property (lack of necessary traffic signals, inadequate lighting, missing guardrails, potholes, etc.).
Other accident victims injured by motorcycle riders such as pedestrians can also sue for damages stemming from a motorcycle crash.
It’s important to remember, California is a comparative fault state. So, even if the motorcycle rider is partially responsible for the motorcycle crash, they can still sue.
The Statute of Limitations in California Accident Cases
The statute of limitations for California for motorcycle accident claims depends on the party being sued. This law of limitations acts as a deadline to file a law.
Talk to an attorney to understand which timeframe applies to your case so you can be sure to file on time. If you don’t, the court can dismiss your lawsuit without even considering it.
Generally speaking, there are two statutes of limitations that apply to California motorcycle accident cases:
Private Individuals: 2 Years
Suits against private individuals (drivers, other cyclists, etc.) for motorcycle accident cases must be filed within 2 years from the date the motorcycle accident occurred.
Exception for Minors: If the bicycle accident victim is a minor at the time of the incident, a claim can be filed at any point until the minor’s 18th birthday. After the minor turns 18, the standard 2-year statute of limitations applies.
Note: If the individual being sued dies (whether in the bicycle accident or otherwise), a lawsuit must be filed within 1 year of the incident.
Governmental Entities: 6 months
Suing governmental entities like the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) or governmental workers have a statute of limitations of 6 months, meaning a claim must be filed against the governmental entity within 6 months of the motorcycle crash.
Common Injuries Sustained In Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can cause catastrophic injury for victims and fatal motorcycle accidents can be traumatic for surviving family members.
A vehicle provides bodily protection with airbags and the car structure, which cushions the driver from the crash. Motorcyclists, however, are directly exposed to the impact.
So, often injured riders involved in accidents find themselves with life-threatening injuries.
Some of the most common injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull fractures
- Eye injuries
- Broken jaws, cheekbones, and noses
- Broken bones and fractures
- Neck and head
- Lacerations & Road Rash
- Ligament Tears
- Back injuries and spinal cord injuries
- Internal hemorrhaging
- Internal organ injuries
The majority of these injuries require that the injured person seek emergency medical attention, including an ambulance ride. This type of medical assistance does not come cheap, and therefore, the victims of these accidents often find themselves in enormous debt from medical expenses.
Recoverable Damages from Motorcycle Accidents
Additionally, as they recover, the injured victim most likely will not be able to work, making their financial situation even more worrisome.
An injury victim’s medical bills, both for past treatment and necessary future treatment, are fully recoverable. Still, there are frequently other damages we can recover on behalf of an injury victim.
Other types of damages that are recoverable in motorcycle accident claims include:
Medical Bills & Expenses
Motorcycle injury victims are entitled to full reimbursement for all medical bills and expenses stemming from the motorcycle accident, including ER bills, prescription drug costs, physical therapy, medical equipment/devices, and continued nursing care.
Pain and Suffering
These damages are not quantifiable with an exact dollar amount. Instead, they stem from the loss of enjoyment of life, physical pain, and suffering, difficulty performing daily activities or household tasks, loss of dignity, and inability to engage in hobbies or recreational activities.
Loss of Earnings/Wages
These are damages that are incurred when a victim was hurt and missed work leading to the loss of wages or other income. These damages include the loss of future wages, or diminished earning capacity, as well as for past lost wages.
Loss of Consortium
If the victim was legally married at the time of the motorcycle accident, they and their spouse are entitled to damages for loss of companionship or loss of love for deprivations to the spousal relationship (including loss of sexual relations).
In cases where the at-fault party acted with extreme recklessness, malice, or intent to harm, victims can sue for punitive damages.
Funeral & Burial Expenses
In a situation where the victim dies as a result of the motorcycle accident, a wrongful death claim will be brought, and we can recover any burial, funeral, or cremation expenses that were incurred as a result of the motorcycle accident.
The legal team at MKP Law Group, LLP, works with medical experts of all kinds, accident reconstructionists, economists, and all types of motorcycle experts to successfully handle motorcycle accident claims on behalf of injury victims.
We understand that every motorcycle accident claim is different. So we work closely with our clients to fully understand their damages, both physical and emotional. Working together is the only way we can help victims recover their full damages.
Remember, our team will fight the insurance companies on your behalf on a no out-of-pocket contingency basis to make sure that all injury victims receive first-class legal representation regardless of their financial situation.
Stats on Motorcycle Accidents in Los Angeles, CA
California weather makes it a popular place to own a motorcycle. With lots of space and sunny skies, taking a motorbike for a picturesque ride is a lot of people’s idea of a perfect weekend.
While motorcycles don’t make up the majority of road traffic, motorbike rider’s wide-open position while seated on their bike leaves them in a dangerous spot. This is especially true on speedy roads or busy highways.
Here are some stats about motorcycles in California:
- Motorcycle fatality rates are significantly higher than car or light truck accidents. NHTSA
- California has the most registered motorcycle drivers in the U.S. In 2018, a reported 822,844 total residents registered their private and commercial motorcycles. Statista.com
- Road trauma to motorcyclists continues to be of increasing concern. In 2016, data shows motorcycle accidence are 28 times more likely to result in fatalities than vehicle crashes. Governors Highway Safety Association
- In 2017, in Los Angeles County alone, 4,992 killed or injured in motorcyclist accidents. OTS Crash Rankings 2017
Motorcycle Accident FAQ’s
What if the insurance company claims I am at fault?
If the insurance company tries to blame you, but the reality is that the accident was the fault of another negligent party, stand your ground.
Often there is a misconception that motorcyclists are reckless and irresponsible. However, more often than not, many other motor vehicles on the road do not want to share the roadway with smaller vehicles like motorcyclists or simply do not see motorcyclists in the roadway.
So, if you have been in a motorcycle or even bicycle accident, be sure to collect every shred of evidence to prove your innocence, and another’s negligence. This includes documenting the accident scene with your own videos or photos before any vehicles have been moved. It is also great to have eyewitness accounts from parties not involved directly in the accident. Calling the police or California Highway Patrol to create a traffic collision report is another useful way to document the incident.
Should I accept a settlement offer?
Never accept the first settlement the insurance company offers. Even if the insurance company acknowledges that the other driver was at fault and offers you a quick settlement following your motorcycle collision, these offers are often much less than your claim is actually worth.
Determining the value of your case is especially important if you have any injuries. The problem is that many insurance companies will offer low settlements to get the paperwork done and off their desk, saving them lots of money in time and payments.
It is always best to speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to get help in determining the actual value of your claim in order to maximize its value. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and fight on your behalf to get you what you deserve.
Should I get a motorcycle accident lawyer?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle collision, you are likely suffering from the traumatic event and trying to deal with your injuries while paying off medical bills. Working with a lawyer can not only help make the process easier for you and let you focus on your recovery, but a personal injury attorney understands the process, laws and can counter the insurance company’s efforts to devalue your case.
Injured motorcyclists are often left suffering from severe injuries resulting from the accident. If you are an injured motorcyclist trying to recover from your injuries, navigating the insurance, the maze of paperwork and the entire legal process can leave you feeling overwhelmed. You might just want to accept the first offer the insurance company makes. Don’t let that happen to you. Working with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer can help get you the money you deserve. Call MKP Law Group, LLP now for your free consultation or fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Our attorneys know how to fight on your behalf against the insurance company in order to get you the compensation you deserve.
What compensation can be recovered?
Determining your case’s value and what you may receive as compensation is a complicated process that requires a thorough analysis of your case. Every accident is different so valuation varies case-by-case. There is no one formula that we can use to calculate your losses.
Rather, compensation is determined based on the severity of your injuries, lost wages, predicted future losses, the cost of medical bills, and more. Other considerations like the value of pain and suffering may also be part of the equation and are often based on precise formulas that can be unique for each injury case. The team at MKP Law Group, LLP will analyze your medical records and also conduct an in-depth interview with you in order to learn how your injuries have affected your everyday life.
Do I need a license to drive a motorcycle in California?
Yes. In California, two-wheeled vehicles with motors can only be operated by those who have the appropriate license. There are two driver’s license classes for two-wheel vehicle operation, including Class M1 and Class M2.
To learn more about California motorcycle laws, you can check out the California Motorcycle Handbook.
Can I still file a claim if I wasn’t wearing a helmet when the accident occurred?
Yes. However, it is important to understand that this may impact the amount of damages you can recuperate. Since California uses a pure comparative negligence system, you may be considered partially at-fault if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
For example, if the other driver was at fault for the accident, but you weren’t wearing a helmet, you may be charged with 25% of the responsibility for your injuries. So the maximum you can recover is 75% of what would have been owed to you if you had been wearing a helmet. This just means that you can still recover against the at-fault driver but that recovery will be reduced by the amount of fault you personally contributed to the incident.
Contact a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney at MKP Law Group, LLP Today
When you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you need to know what your rights are. This incident could change everything that you knew about your life to be true. We want to make sure that you can get back up on your feet and move forward even after the most serious of injuries. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a motorcycle accident contact our law firm today at 310-285-5353 so that we can start fighting to get you the compensation you deserve.
At MKP Law Group, LLP, we have motorcycle injury lawyers that are highly experienced in handling motorcycle injury accident cases and have obtained large settlements on behalf of our clients.
Not only can we give you a better idea of whether or not your case has enough clout for us to move forward with it, but we will also fight passionately to get you the compensation that we think you deserve. Plus, we know how to deal with insurance companies so that you do not have to and, instead, can focus on getting better.
MKP Law Group, LLP’s team strives to make the process as easy and quick as possible for you. Our team is experienced, attentive, dependable, and tenacious, so call us today to schedule your 100% free case evaluation. As always, if we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us a dime.
We proudly service clients in the city of Los Angeles and other cities in Los Angeles County including Santa Monica, Westwood, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Pasadena, Glendale, and more. We also represent clients in Orange County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County as well.
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