Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also be incredibly dangerous. Motorcyclists can suffer serious injuries that affect their lives for years after. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident in California, it is important to understand your legal options and the potential value of your California motorcycle accident claim.
In this blog post, we review some of the basics regarding motorcycle accidents and the factors that affect the value of a motorcycle accident settlement.
Common Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents?
Because motorcycles are much smaller than cars and trucks on the road, they are less visible to drivers of other motor vehicles. This puts motorcyclists at greater risk of being involved in an accident. Additionally, the lack of protection that a motorcycle provides to its rider means motorcyclists often sustain devastating injuries when an accident does occur.
Common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Internal injuries
These injuries can be life-changing and may require extensive medical treatment and ongoing care.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in California
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), in 2020, there were 11,680 motorcycle accidents that resulted in 11,086 injuries and 504 fatalities. Common causes of motorcycle accidents in California include:
- Distracted driving
- Lane splitting
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to yield the right of way; and
- Unsafe lane changes
What is a Motorcycle Accident Settlement?
In personal injury cases such as with motorcycle accidents, a settlement is an agreement between the injured party and the at-fault party’s insurance company. The injured party agrees to accept a certain amount of money in exchange for releasing the at-fault party from any further liability related to the accident.
Damages Available After a Motorcycle Accident in California
The aim of a motorcycle accident settlement is to compensate the victim for the injuries and losses they incurred as a result of the motorcycle accident. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident in California, you may be entitled to compensation for a variety of damages. These damages can include:
- Medical expenses: This includes all medical expenses related to your injuries, including hospital bills, doctor’s fees and prescription medication.
- Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
- Property damage: If your motorcycle or other personal property is damaged in the accident, repair or replacement costs may be compensated.
- Pain and suffering: This includes compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and other non-economic losses.
Factors That Can Affect the Size of a Motorcycle Accident Settlement
Insurance companies use a variety of factors to determine the amount of compensation for pain and suffering in a motorcycle accident case. These factors can include:
The severity of the injuries
One of the biggest factors that can affect the size of a settlement is the severity of the injuries sustained in the accident. Obviously, the more severe the injuries, the more expensive the medical bills will be, and the more the injured party will suffer in terms of pain and suffering. In addition, more serious injuries may lead to lost wages and a decreased ability to earn a living in the future.
The amount of insurance coverage
Another important factor that can affect the size of a settlement is the amount of insurance coverage that the at-fault party has. If the at-fault party has only the minimum amount of insurance required by law, it may not be enough to cover all the injured party’s expenses. In this case, the injured party may need to file a lawsuit in order to recover additional damages.
The degree of fault
In California, a degree of fault in an accident can be shared by both parties. If the injured party is found to be partly at fault for the motorcycle accident, the amount of the settlement may be reduced accordingly. For example, if the injured party was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, they may be found to be partially at fault for their injuries.
The skill of the attorney
Finally, the skill and experience of the attorney representing the injured party can also have a significant impact on the size of a settlement. A skilled attorney will know how to negotiate with insurance companies and will be able to build a strong case on behalf of their client.
The Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement Amount for Motorcycle Accident Claims in California
It is difficult to pinpoint the average settlement for motorcycle accidents in California. This is because every motorcycle accident case is unique. Even if two accidents seem similar, the value of each settlement can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including the severity of injuries, the specific circumstances involved, and the quality of the victim’s legal representation.
In California, the average motorcycle accident settlement amount can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. An experienced San Diego motorcycle accident attorney can evaluate all of the factors in your case to determine an accurate value for your motorcycle accident claim.
Speak With An Experienced California Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident in California, contact an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney to evaluate the circumstances involved and determine an accurate value for your claim.
Our team of attorneys will help you fight for the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, and more. Don’t wait any longer, contact the experienced California motorcycle accident attorneys at Lehr Law, APC at (858) 240-9993 or by requesting a consultation online today.