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San Rafael Motorcycle Accidents

San Rafael Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycles are enjoyable to ride, but they are also dangerous in several ways. Motorcycles lack the safety features found in enclosed passenger vehicles. They offer very little physical protection in a collision and are smaller and harder to see than most standard passenger vehicles. If you ride your motorcycle in the San Rafael, CA area, it’s vital to limit your risk of having an accident as much as possible. However, despite your best efforts, you could experience an accident due to the actions of another driver.

If you or a loved one recently experienced a motorcycle accident because of another driver’s negligence or reckless misconduct, it’s vital to know your rights and your legal options for recovering your losses. California requires all drivers to have auto insurance, and an insurance claim is typically the first step after a motor vehicle accident. However, you may have trouble proving fault for your recent collision, and a successful insurance claim may only cover a portion of your total losses. You need legal counsel you can trust to ensure the fullest recovery possible under California state law in any personal injury claim.

San Rafael motorcycle accident lawyer

Is it Worth Getting a San Rafael Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

It is technically possible for a motorcycle accident victim to navigate their case unassisted by a lawyer, but this is very risky and challenging. The average person with no formal legal training is likely to make mistakes in handling the procedural requirements of their case, sometimes resulting in significant delays in their court proceedings. It’s also possible for the average person to overlook claimable damages, settling for less than they deserve. In addition to these risks, you would need to meet all the procedural requirements of your case while also managing recovery from your injuries.

Don’t make an already difficult situation worse by trying to manage all of these things on your own. Have an experienced and knowledgeable San Rafael motorcycle accident lawyer represent you and guide you through your case proceedings. Your legal team will not only handle your case on your behalf, allowing you to recover with peace of mind but also maximize your recovery process. Your attorney will be able to identify every channel of compensation available to you, and they’ll prepare you for each stage of your case proceedings.

If you are concerned about the potential cost of your legal fees, Rush Injury Law makes legal representation accessible and affordable to the people who need it most. We accept personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay any upfront legal fees, and our fee comes out of your final case award as a predetermined percentage. If we don’t secure a recovery on your behalf, you don’t owe anything for our legal services. We’ll carefully review the details of our billing policy during your initial consultation with our team.

How Much Are Motorcycle Accident Claims Worth?

Anyone who is struggling in the aftermath of a damaging motorcycle accident is likely to wonder how much compensation they could potentially obtain in a successful civil claim. The right attorney can help their client explore every avenue of compensation, and the value of a motorcycle accident case varies based on multiple factors.

In California, personal injury plaintiffs have the right to claim compensation for any economic damages they sustained due to a defendant’s actions. In most motorcycle accident cases, the plaintiff’s economic damages include:

  • Medical treatment costs for both immediate and long-term care. Most motorcycle accidents cause painful injuries, some of which may require extensive ongoing treatments. The defendant is liable for any medical expenses they incurred because of the defendant’s negligence or reckless misconduct.
  • Lost income and lost earning potential. The victim of a motorcycle accident may be unable to return to work for an extended period while they recover from their injuries. The defendant is liable for income the plaintiff loses during this time. Additionally, the plaintiff may have developed a permanent disability that prevents them from returning to work due to the defendant’s actions. The defendant is then also responsible for the future income the plaintiff could have expected to earn had their accident not occurred.
  • Property damage. The at-fault driver’s auto insurance may only cover a portion of the costs of repairing or replacing the plaintiff’s bike and other property. A civil claim can help the plaintiff recover the remainder.

Many personal injury plaintiffs are surprised to learn the true potential values of their cases once they secure legal representation. In addition to these economic damages, plaintiffs in California personal injury claims may also claim compensation for pain and suffering. Your San Rafael motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine an appropriate figure to include in your claim based on the severity of your injuries and the permanent damage you sustained.

Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Any motor vehicle accident is capable of causing devastating injuries, but motorcycle accidents tend to result in serious injuries much more often than standard passenger vehicle accidents. The motorcycle offers the rider virtually no physical protection in a crash. Even if the rider wears high-quality safety gear and a helmet, they face a risk of serious injury. These injuries can be caused by the primary impact of the other vehicle colliding with their bike and the secondary impact of hitting the ground.

Motorcycle accidents can easily cause severe and life-threatening injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, broken bones, and internal organ damage. It’s common for motorcycle accident victims to sustain multiple injuries, and they could face months in the hospital and a long recovery time. Many of these victims develop permanent disabilities from their injuries. They may be unable to work or live independently due to the defendant’s actions. The right attorney is an essential asset for motorcycle accident victims to secure as much compensation as they legally deserve for such severe experiences.

Proving Liability for a Motorcycle Accident Vicitims in California

If you intend to file a civil claim against the driver responsible for causing your recent motorcycle accident, proving fault is the first step toward your recovery. You must identify the party or parties responsible for the crash and then prove the full scope of your damages. You must also clearly show that your damages are the direct results of the defendant’s actions and not some other cause.

Some of the most commonly cited causes of motorcycle accidents that lead to civil claims in California include:

  • Distracted driving. All drivers have a responsibility to pay attention to the road while operating their vehicles. A few seconds of distraction is sufficient to cause a serious accident.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Intoxicated drivers endanger themselves and every other driver around them. If your motorcycle accident happened because of a DUI driver, they will face criminal prosecution in addition to liability for your civil damages.
  • Speeding. It’s vital for all drivers to abide by posted speed limits. Accidents at higher speeds are more likely to result in devastating injuries and fatalities.
  • Moving violations. Every driver has a responsibility to move with the flow of traffic and abide by posted traffic signs. Illegal turns, failure to yield the right-of-way where appropriate, and running red lights or stop signs can easily result in motorcycle accidents.
  • Poor visibility. Motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than standard passenger vehicles, especially at night and during severe weather.

Ultimately, if another driver’s actions in any way cause a motorcycle accident, the injured rider has the right to hold the at-fault driver accountable for their damages. If you are unsure who is at fault for your recent motorcycle crash, or if you think that multiple parties could bear liability for the incident, you need to consult a San Rafael motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you gather evidence and obtain witness testimony to help you establish liability.

Some motorcycle accident claims pertain to negligence, or a failure to act with reasonable care. Others involve intentional misconduct, or a willful disregard for the safety of others. When it comes to negligence, such as distracted driving, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant failed to uphold a duty of care they had in the situation in question and directly caused the plaintiff’s claimed damages. If a case revolves around intentional misconduct, the plaintiff’s civil case against the defendant is likely to unfold in tandem with a criminal case from the state.

California’s Pure Comparative Negligence Law

When it comes to establishing liability for a motorcycle accident and assessing the claimable damages in a civil claim, it’s vital for the plaintiff to understand California’s pure comparative negligence law. This law comes into play when a plaintiff bears partial responsibility for causing their claimed damages. If a plaintiff is partially at fault for causing their recent motorcycle accident, they still have the right to claim compensation for their damages. However, they will lose a percentage of their case award to reflect their partial fault. Many states adhere to modified comparative negligence statutes that bar plaintiff recovery at 50% or more fault, but California does not institute this limit.

It’s theoretically possible for a plaintiff to be found 99% at fault for causing their claimed damages; they would still have the right to recover 1% of their claimed damages. The plaintiff’s fault percentage translates to the percentage of their case award lost to account for their comparative negligence. For example, if a plaintiff is found 10% at fault in a $500,000 motorcycle accident claim, they would lose 10% of the case award or $50,000, resulting in a net award of $450,000 instead.

It’s common for defendants in vehicle accident claims to assert comparative negligence as a defense. The defendant in your motorcycle accident case may claim that you actually caused the accident somehow. Your San Rafael motorcycle accident lawyer will help you gather the evidence you may need to disprove allegations of comparative negligence from a defendant. In some cases, expert witnesses like engineers and accident reconstruction experts can testify as to how exactly an accident occurred. You may have several options available to help you minimize any comparative negligence you may absorb in your claim.

How Long Does it Take to Settle a Motorcycle Accident Injury Case?

The majority of civil claims filed in California ultimately settle privately outside of court. A swift settlement process is beneficial to both the plaintiff and the defendant. The defendant can put the situation behind them more quickly and avoid a protracted court battle, and the plaintiff obtains compensation for their damages as soon as possible. Once you exhaust the defendant’s insurance coverage, settlement can allow you to obtain compensation for any civil damages that their insurance can’t cover. If the defendant accepts their responsibility for your damages, settlement negotiations may not take very long.

However, if the defendant contests liability, or if they claim that the damages sought in your claim are excessive, swift settlement may not be possible. You may need to go to court to have a judge rule on your case. If your motorcycle accident claim proceeds to litigation, you face a much longer legal process for obtaining your recovery.

Dealing With Insurance After Motorcycle Accidents in San Rafael, CA

California state law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements:

  • An auto insurance policy must provide at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person.
  • The policy must also provide at least $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for all persons injured in a single accident.
  • Insurance must also include at least $5,000 in property damage liability coverage.

These forms of liability coverage come into play when the policyholder causes an accident. If another driver caused your recent motorcycle accident, you can file a claim against their auto insurance policy. You will also likely need to report the accident to your own insurance carrier. Every insurer has different policies when it comes to the time you have to report an accident. Always contact your insurer to report an accident as soon as possible. If you intend to file a claim against the driver who caused your accident, you should contact their insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible. However, do not actually file your claim until you speak with an attorney.

While all auto insurance carriers in the US have a legal duty to process claims in good faith, insurance companies are for-profit organizations that lose money when they pay out claim settlements. Most insurers will look for any reasons they can find to reduce a settlement or deny a claim. Having a San Rafael motorcycle accident lawyer help you with your insurance claim will significantly increase the chance of securing maximum coverage from the at-fault driver’s policy. In the event the at-fault driver does not have insurance, you could file a claim with your own auto insurance carrier if you have underinsured/uninsured driver coverage.

Even if you manage to secure the maximum amount of compensation from insurance, you could still have remaining damages and long-term losses to address. At this point, filing a civil claim against the at-fault driver offers the best chance of securing compensation for your remaining losses.

What to Expect from Your San Rafael Motorcycle Accident Attorney

It’s natural to feel hesitant about filing any personal injury claim, especially ones pertaining to life-changing injuries from a motorcycle accident. The right attorney can have a tremendously positive influence on the outcome of your case. They can help you maximize your recovery from your damages and hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions.

When you choose Rush Injury Law to represent you as your San Rafael motorcycle accident attorney, we will carefully review your case. We will help you identify the biggest challenges and opportunities you are likely to encounter as your case unfolds. We’ll assist you in gathering the evidence you will require for proving liability, as well as establishing the full range of your claimable damages. If your case involves any technical or highly complex details, we may arrange for expert witness testimony that can support your claim.

Recovery from your motorcycle accident will likely require an insurance claim followed by a civil suit against the driver responsible for your accident. Our team can assist with your insurance claim, corresponding with claim adjusters on your behalf. We’ll also address any unfair pushback from insurers to ensure you receive appropriate compensation for your damages. Once we have exhausted all your recovery options through insurance, we’ll prepare you for filing your civil claim.

Ultimately, every motorcycle accident claim is unique, and you need legal counsel you can trust to navigate this difficult situation as effectively as possible. Rush Injury Law has years of experience representing clients in San Rafael, CA and surrounding areas in a wide range of civil cases, and we can put this experience to work in your case. If you are struggling in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident and are ready to discuss your legal options, contact Rush Injury Law today. You can schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate San Rafael motorcycle accident lawyers.

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