Santa Monica Motorcycle AccidentsMcLachlan Law2023-01-10T17:09:14+00:00
Santa Monica Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Santa Monica Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Motorcycles can be very fun to use, and most experienced riders in the Santa Monica, CA, area are able to enjoy their time riding without any problems. However, it is vital for all motorcyclists to acknowledge the inherent dangers of these vehicles and know what to do when another driver hits and injures them. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents have a much higher chance of causing severe or fatal personal injuries than all other types of vehicle accidents.
Helping Victims of Motorcycle Accidents Recover in Santa Monica
If you are struggling because of a motorcycle accident caused by someone else, the team at McLachlan Law, APC, is ready to assist you in your recovery efforts. Rest assured that when you choose our firm to represent you, we will do everything in our power to streamline your recovery process and secure the most compensation allowable under California law for your damages.
Experienced legal counsel is an invaluable asset if you have suffered any type of personal injury. Your legal team can help you with every facet of your case, from compiling evidence and testimony to establishing liability to uncovering every bit of compensation available under state law. McLachlan Law, APC, leverages many years of legal experience on behalf of every client we represent and can provide the individualized legal counsel you need after a serious motorcycle accident.
Common Causes of Santa Monica Motorcycle Crashes
If you think any other party is responsible for causing your motorcycle accident, the first step in your recovery process will be proving exactly how they caused the crash in question. A few very common causes of motorcycle accidents in Santa Monica that generate contentious auto insurance claims and personal injury suits include the following:
Distracted driving, which causes most of the vehicle accidents reported throughout the country every year. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to inattentive drivers due to the fact that motorcycles are much smaller and easier to overlook than other passenger vehicles.
Driving under the influence (DUI), which is illegal and dangerous for the intoxicated driver and everyone around them. Any DUI accident resulting in serious injury or death could constitute a felony for the at-fault driver, and they will face criminal penalties alongside their civil liabilities to the victims of their actions.
Speeding. This is the most commonly reported contributing factor to the fatal motorcycle accidents recorded throughout the United States each year. Any time a driver exceeds the speed limit, they significantly reduce the time and distance they have to slow down or stop in time to avoid a collision.
Motorcycle accidents can happen in many other ways as well. When a motorcycle accident happens because of negligence, you must prove the defendant responsible owed a duty of care that they failed to fulfill and directly caused your claimed damages. You must also prove the full scope of those damages and clearly prove they resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
If the defendant caused your motorcycle accident through any type of intentional misconduct, they are likely to face charges from the state. In addition, depending on the nature of their actions, the fact that they injured you may enhance their penalties. For example, a standard DUI conviction will likely lead to a fine, a suspended driver’s license, and potential jail time. However, these penalties increase significantly when the DUI driver hurts or kills someone through their actions.
Filing an Insurance Claim for Your Motorcycle Accident in Santa Monica
California law allows the victim of a personal injury to claim full repayment of their economic losses from the party responsible for causing them. Additionally, state law permits a personal injury plaintiff to seek pain and suffering compensation that reflects the severity of their experience. Depending on how your accident happened and who is at fault, your recovery process could be multifaceted and complex. However, the right attorney can streamline your recovery efforts and maximize the final compensation you secure from the defendant.
Recovery from any vehicle accident is likely to start when you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. State law requires that all drivers carry auto insurance, and your Santa Monica motorcycle accident attorney will assist you with the claim filing process. However, if the driver who caused the accident has only a minimum coverage policy, this may not be enough to compensate you for all your damages. Additionally, the state has the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the country, so there is no guarantee that auto insurance will be available to you at all, depending on who caused your accident.
Every auto insurance policy in California must provide:
$15,000 minimum liability coverage for bodily injury for a single person.
$30,000 minimum liability coverage for bodily injury for multiple persons injured in an accident.
$5,000 minimum liability coverage for damage to property to compensate vehicle repair costs.
It’s often possible for drivers to resolve vehicle accidents through insurance alone. However, motorcycle accidents tend to generate much worse damage than other vehicle accidents. Your Santa Monica motorcycle accident attorney will assist you in filing your claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If any disputes arise between you and their insurance carrier, your attorney will resolve these issues on your behalf. If you receive a settlement from the insurance company that does not fully compensate your total losses, your attorney can then help you file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
What to Expect in a Personal Injury Case for a Motorcycle Accident
Most of the personal injury claims filed each year are generated by acts of negligence. “Negligence” is a legal term to describe failure to use reasonable care in a given situation. For example, if you were hurt by a distracted driver, they failed to uphold their duty of care to drive their vehicle attentively.
Your Santa Monica motorcycle accident attorney will be invaluable for gathering the evidence needed to firmly establish liability for your damages. This may include traffic camera footage, statements from witnesses who saw the accident in person, and even insights from various expert witnesses. For example, if you have no recollection of your accident due to the severity of your injuries, an accident reconstruction expert could assist you in proving exactly how the crash occurred.
After proving the defendant liable for your accident, you can hold them accountable for all economic damages their insurance can’t cover. After exhausting the coverage available through their policy, you can seek compensation for outstanding damages such as:
Medical expenses. When you have suffered a physical injury due to the actions of the defendant, they are responsible for the cost of all medical care you need to reach maximum medical recovery. This includes immediate health care costs such as hospital bills and ambulance transportation fees, as well as long-term medical expenses for managing severe injuries and their symptoms into the future.
Lost income. Your motorcycle accident may have left you without the ability to work until you get better. The defendant who caused your accident is responsible for repaying these lost wages. Additionally, if your accident permanently disabled you, the defendant would have to cover you for the future income you are no longer able to earn. An experienced Santa Monica motorcycle accident attorney is the best resource to consult for accurately calculating anticipated future lost income.
Damage to property. The at-fault driver’s insurance might cover some vehicle repair costs. However, if the damage to your property exceeds what their insurance can compensate, any remainder can be included as economic damages in your personal injury action.
After your attorney has uncovered every channel of economic recovery available to you, the next step in your recovery process will be establishing a suitable amount of pain and suffering compensation for your damages. There is no limit to the amount of pain and suffering compensation you can seek for a motorcycle accident.
If you are expected to fully recover from your injuries within a relatively short time, your attorney may aim for a “per diem” settlement that awards compensation every day until you reach maximum medical improvement. However, for more serious injuries causing permanent harm, an attorney would likely seek a large lump sum, calculated by multiplying the client’s claimed economic losses by a factor that reflects the severity of their new circumstances following the accident.
Remember that the state upholds a pure comparative fault rule. This means that if you bear any partial liability for causing your accident, you will lose a percentage of your case award equal to your percentage of fault. It’s common for defendants in these cases to assert comparative fault in their efforts to deflect liability, but the right attorney will help you firmly assert their responsibility for your damages and help you maximize your final case award.
Q: How Much Does a Santa Monica Motorcycle Accident Attorney Cost?
A: It’s normal to worry about the cost of your legal fees when you must pursue a personal injury claim in Santa Monica. When you choose McLachlan Law, APC, we take your case on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing until we secure compensation on your behalf, and your legal fee is a percentage of the total compensation you obtain. There is no fee if we are unable to win your case, so there is no financial risk to you from seeking our help with your motorcycle accident claim.
Q: Do I Really Need a Santa Monica Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
A: Technically, you can pursue recovery from your motorcycle accident on your own, and there is no legal requirement for you to hire a lawyer to represent you in these recovery efforts. However, doing so will dramatically improve your chances of reaching your ideal result. When you have experienced legal representation, you can focus on recovering from your accident while your attorney manages your civil claim proceedings on your behalf.
Q: What Happens If a Motorcycle Accident Is Fatal in Santa Monica?
A: In the event that the victim of any personal injury does not survive, their family can file a wrongful death suit against the party responsible for causing their death. Motorcycle accidents have a much higher fatality rate than other vehicle accidents, and unfortunately, many victims of these incidents sustain catastrophic or fatal injuries. If you must file a wrongful death claim in Santa Monica, an experienced attorney is essential for reaching the best possible results.
Q: How Much Pain and Suffering Compensation Can I Claim?
A: Pain and suffering may seem subjective, but most attorneys in California use two methods for calculating these intangible losses. For plaintiffs expected to fully recover from their injuries, “per diem” compensation is more commonly sought, which awards a set amount of compensation every day until they reach maximum medical recovery. If they face long-term or permanent complications, their attorney may use the multiplier method to seek a large lump sum instead, multiplying their total economic damages by a factor representative of the severity of their condition.
Q: How Long Does It Take to Settle a Motorcycle Accident Case in Santa Monica?
A: If the defendant in your case is clearly at fault for your damages, it is in their best interest to resolve the case as swiftly as possible. Settlement gives both parties a chance to reach a resolution in a much shorter time than a court case would require, and they also have the chance to reach more personalized results than a judge would deliver. Your Santa Monica motorcycle accident attorney will provide an estimate of how long your case will take to settle, and you will need their counsel and guidance if you must resolve your claim through litigation.
McLachlan Law, APC, has the professional experience and resources you need to recover as fully as possible from your motorcycle accident. Our team has successfully represented many clients in the Santa Monica area in a wide range of personal injury cases, including those pertaining to motorcycle accidents. Contact us today and schedule your consultation with a Santa Monica motorcycle accident attorney to start building your case right away.
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