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Damages From a Motorcycle Accident

Damages From a Motorcycle AccidentMotorcyclists face a number of dangers when out on the road. When a driver crashes into them and causes them to be injured, they may be entitled to damages due to the motorcycle accident. It’s important to figure out the ins and outs of motorcycle accidents and damages one could potentially receive and to consult with a personal injury lawyer.

Riverside, California personal injury lawyers Heiting & Irwin have over four decades of experience representing clients with motorcycle accidents. We have retrieved more than $400 million for our clients, and we’ll work hard to get you the settlement that’s rightfully yours.

Damages You Could Receive Following a Motorcycle Accident

After you get into a motorcycle accident, you could be eligible to receive damages, or a monetary award.

The most obvious damages one worries about would include all of your medical bills and all of your medical treatment. For instance, let’s say you got thrown off your bike and suffered from a broken leg as well as back and neck pain. The defendant could be responsible for paying all of your hospital bills, including bills for your medications and follow-up, specialists, physical therapy, and medical equipment.

Other obvious damages might be the damage to the motorcycle. You could receive the money necessary to cover repair costs for your motorcycle as well as anything else that was on it, and loss of use.

You may also be able to retrieve damages for loss of wages. And if the injury was so bad that you are unable to work for a time, or even unable to earn as much as you used to, then you could be entitled to damages for loss of earning capacity. Bonuses, raises and promotions are included.

Your injuries caused you to go through pain and suffering as well as a loss of enjoyment of life.  These “general damages” are also an element of damages to be recovered.

Punitive damages might be available, too, if the circumstances surrounding your accident were particularly egregious. For instance, let’s say the driver who hit you was drinking and driving. They were certainly being incredibly reckless when they were driving and hit you. This could increase your award or damages.

How to Improve Your Chances of Receiving Damages

If you’re a motorcyclist, then you will, of course, always have to take special precaution when going out on your bike. Check your tires and look around your bike to see if it needs any repairs. Always wear a helmet and pay attention, and signal to other people on the road when you’re making any turns. Keep your cell phone in a safe place and don’t look at it while you’re riding. Wear the proper motorcycle gear, and obey all the traffic rules.  This will not only help with a case but may save your life, or at least a great deal of grief.

If you’ve never been in an accident, here are some steps to take if you are able. First, exchange information with the other driver.  Then, gather evidence that proves you were not at fault for the accident. Call the police so that you can generate a proper record of the incident. Take photographs of the accident (and your injuries), and ask people who saw what happened for their identifying information and possibly witness statements. Note if there are any traffic cameras or other cameras from businesses that may have recorded what happened. If the driver offers you a cash settlement on the spot, don’t take it. Instead, collect their insurance information and go for evaluation and treatment of your injuries.

To improve your chances of getting damages, you should be vigilant about your treatment. Go to the doctor as much as you need in order to feel better. Closely follow your doctor’s orders, as well. If you don’t take your treatment seriously, then the defendant’s insurance company is going to do the same, and they will try to make it look like your injury really wasn’t a big deal… even if it was.

If the insurance company calls you and ask your information about the accident, refer them to your lawyers.  Insurance companies are known for offering very low settlements. Even if you don’t believe your injury is a huge deal, it could get worse. You don’t want to be drowning in medical debt, or worry about the bills and your future all because you thought you could get a quick buck with an insurance company’s initial offer.

It’s a good idea to call a personal injury lawyer as soon as your accident occurs. We can help you gather the evidence you need as well as bring about a claim against the defendants and their insurance company. The lawyers will work hard to get you the all the damages you deserve.

What if You Were Partially Responsible for the Accident?

Sometimes, an accident isn’t entirely the defendant’s fault. For example, you might not have been paying attention when you were biking, or you failed to put on a helmet before jumping on your bike. In California, there’s something called “comparative fault” that could apply to your case.

Essentially, comparative fault is a method for figuring out what percentage of the accident was each person’s fault. So if you were driving safely and paying attention when a driver was on their cell phone and hit and injured you, then the accident could be 100% their fault. But if you were looking at your phone too, then the accident could be 50% your fault. You could still receive a damages award – but total damages would be reduced by 50% if it went to trial and that was the jury’s finding.  You could receive money in settlement, as well as in trial.  You would not necessarily have to be involved in trial.

It’s always worth it to reach out to a personal injury lawyer, even if you think the accident was entirely your fault. You never know what they will find out through their investigation of your accident. If you’re worried about the costs, don’t be. Most personal injury lawyers will offer you a free consultation, and you won’t owe anything unless they win your case for you. Then, their fees will be based on a percentage of what they got for you.

There really is no risk involved in hiring a personal injury lawyer. They are trying to help you, to be able to focus on recovering and getting back to normal life. Most people would not be able to afford to have an attorney without a “contingency” (% of recovery as a fee) agreement.

Get in Touch With Heiting & Irwin for Help

If you experienced a motorcycle riding injury and want to recover damages from your accident, then it’s time to find a personal injury lawyer to represent you. Heiting & Irwin is here for you. We have dealt with many personal injury cases or all types, including many motorcycle cases and will work hard to get you the settlement that you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 951-682-6400 to start your case now.

The only past President of the State Bar of California ever elected from the Inland Empire, James Heiting handles civil litigation matters throughout California, recovering over $400 million for clients, dealing with wrongful death, serious injury, professional malpractice and transportation accidents. Also past President of Riverside’s County Bar, his firm has served the Inland Empire for over 30 years. View Attorney James Otto Heiting's Attorney Bio Here.

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