Motorcycles may be fun, but they sometimes encourage risky behavior and present many inherent safety risks to riders. Motorcycle accidents happen for many of the same reasons that other vehicle accidents occur, but these incidents tend to result in more devastating injuries and expensive economic damages. Motorcyclists are inherently vulnerable to crash impact forces in an accident due to the lack of safety features on most bikes that are standardized for most enclosed passenger vehicles.
Defensive driving can limit your risk of causing an accident, but there is little you can do to minimize the damage another driver is capable of causing through negligence or intentional misconduct. Even the highest-quality riding gear and helmets can only reduce the severity of injuries, not prevent them completely. According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other agencies, the most commonly reported motorcycle accident injuries in the United States are traumatic brain injuries.
A brain injury is one of the worst injuries any person can suffer. The brain is extraordinarily complex and capable of doing incredible things, but it is also highly vulnerable to physical damage. Motorcycle accidents can easily result in head and brain injuries that can be life-threatening without immediate medical intervention. Any brain injury can potentially cause lifelong adverse effects for the victim.
The brain injuries reported from motorcycle accidents in the United States typically fall into “open” and “closed” designations. An open head injury is an extreme medical emergency that demands immediate treatment. This type of injury occurs whenever a foreign object physically damages the skull and ruptures brain tissue. Closed head injuries occur when impact force or momentum shift causes the brain to strike the inside surface of the skull. This will cause a concussion in most cases, but contusions or bleeding on the surface of the brain are also possible effects.
Brain injuries are unpredictable and can be very difficult to treat. It is also possible for symptoms to alleviate or worsen at unexpected intervals following a brain injury, and any victim faces an uncertain road to recovery. When this type of injury occurs due to the negligence or misconduct of another party, the victim and their family have the right to pursue compensation for their damages.
California law requires all drivers to have auto insurance, and an initial insurance claim can be a valuable source of compensation. However, a serious brain injury is likely to require medical care that will cost much more than the at-fault driver’s insurance can provide. Additionally, there is never any guarantee a claimant will have an easy time with their insurance claim. Even if they secure a fair settlement, the at-fault driver’s coverage may only cover a fraction of the cost of their brain injury, prompting the victim to take further legal action.
If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury in a motorcycle accident that someone else caused, it is vital to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after your accident. A good attorney can make filing your auto insurance claim much easier and expedite your receipt of this initial source of recovery. In addition, if any controversies arise with the insurer, your legal team can help you resolve them. Finally, once you have obtained your claim payout, you can determine whether further legal recourse is essential to fully recover your damages.
California’s personal injury laws allow the plaintiff of any personal injury suit to seek full compensation for all the economic damages they sustained due to a defendant’s misconduct or negligence. When it comes to a brain injury from a motorcycle accident, the plaintiff’s claimable economic damages are likely to include vehicle repair or replacement costs, medical expenses for immediate emergency care, ongoing health care costs for treating severe injuries, lost wages during recovery, and lost earning potential if the victim cannot return to work because of their injury.
Alongside your economic damages, you can also seek compensation for your pain and suffering. Again, this may sound like it would be difficult to quantify, but your attorney is likely to use the total of your claimed economic damages as a starting point for calculating suitable pain and suffering compensation. For example, if you sustained $250,000 in economic losses and developed a permanent disability due to the defendant’s actions, your attorney may seek several times this amount on your behalf to reflect the severity of your situation.
Anyone who intends to file any personal injury claim in California must understand the state’s law regarding negligence and responsibility for civil damages. The state enforces a pure comparative fault rule, meaning a plaintiff can still recover damages if they bear partial fault for causing those damages. For example, if an investigation shows a plaintiff is 10% at fault in a $50,000 claim, they will lose $5,000 or 10% of the final case award to reflect their comparative negligence.
Depending on the total value of your case, even slight comparative negligence can make a significant dent in your final recovery. If you have any concerns about bearing partial liability for your recent accident or if you are unsure how to accurately determine fault for your recent motorcycle crash, you need to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A good lawyer can help you through the insurance claim process and build a personal injury case on your behalf when insurance can’t fully cover your losses.
Perry Personal Injury Lawyers has years of experience representing victims of motorcycle accidents in their recovery efforts, including victims of life-changing traumatic brain injuries and other catastrophic injuries. Our goal in every case we accept is to help our client fully understand their legal options so they can make informed decisions about their recovery efforts. If you believe you have grounds to file an auto insurance claim and/or a personal injury suit against another driver in Southern California, legal counsel you can trust significantly improves your chances of maximizing your recovery. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help.