Motorcycle accidents can lead to devastating injuries. Unfortunately, motorcycle accident victims often struggle to recover compensation after incidents caused by the actions of other drivers. At ABDI & Associates, we are here to help when you need a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney by your side. We have the experience necessary to stand up to aggressive insurance carriers and at-fault parties. Let us help secure the compensation you need today.
Turn to ABDI & Associates for Help With Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
When you work with ABDI & Associates, you are turning to a person with experience representing injury victims throughout the state. Shawn Abdi truly believes in standing up for those who need compensation.
· You will receive personalized attention. Attorney Abdi will listen to your story and craft a strategy moving forward that meets your goals and needs.
· If your injuries prevent you from coming to our office, we will come to you. Our goal is to make this as stress-free as possible for you.
· We have no problem pursuing all avenues of compensation for you, including taking your case to trial if necessary.
What an Attorney Will do for a Motorcycle Accident Case
A skilled motorcycle accident attorney will play a multi-faceted role for their client. First and foremost, contacting an attorney early will help ensure that your attorney can start investigating before any evidence is destroyed, discarded, or altered. This is crucial. An attorney can use their resources to gather various types of evidence, including:
· Photographs taken at the motorcycle crash scene
· Video surveillance footage (from homes, businesses, traffic cams, etc.)
· Statements from eyewitnesses as well as other drivers and passengers
· The police report
In addition to gathering evidence, an attorney will be the person responsible for handling all communication with other parties. This includes the insurance carriers, at-fault parties, and other legal teams. An attorney will negotiate with these other parties to reach a fair settlement offer while also preparing the case for trial.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The very nature of riding a motorcycle means that any type of accident comes with a heightened risk of injuries. Even when a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet, they are still incredibly exposed when compared to those inside traditional vehicles. There are no airbags or seatbelts to reduce the chances of an injury.
Some of the most common injuries that our motorcycle accident attorney in Los Angeles helps clients with include:
· Traumatic brain injuries
· Spinal cord trauma
· Lacerations, puncture wounds, and road rash
· Crush injuries
· Fractured or dislocated bones
· Major blood loss
· Scarring and disfigurement
Many motorcycle accident victims also experience a range of emotional and psychological injuries as a result of these incidents. This can include a range of symptoms, such as stress, fear, anxiety, sleeplessness, and more. Some crash victims also experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At ABDI & Associates, we want to make sure to recover compensation for every injury our clients sustain, including the acute traumatic injuries we listed as well as all “hidden” emotional and psychological injuries.
California Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Did you know that California has more registered motorcycles than any other state in the country? If we examine information from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), we can see that there are more than 870,000 total motorcycles in the state. Unfortunately, with this many motorcycles, there are also plenty of motorcycle accidents. The OTS data shows that there were nearly 13,000 total motorcycle crash injuries during the latest reporting year in California. 451 motorcycle operators lost their lives in crashes that same year.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in LA
Just like other types of vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents have a variety of causes. However, there is a tendency amongst traditional vehicle drivers to disregard motorcyclist safety. All it takes is one careless or negligent driver in the vicinity of a motorcycle to cause a major accident.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in California include drivers:
· Operating while impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications
· Operating a vehicle while distracted by a phone or another device
· Failing to yield the right of way
· Speeding or operating too fast for conditions
· Disregarding stop signs or traffic lights
· Failing to use turn signals
In addition to negligent driver causes of motorcycle accidents, these incidents can also occur due to poor roadway conditions. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to certain types of roadway issues, including loose gravel, uneven road surfaces, potholes, debris in the roadway, and more. In many cases, liability for these incidents could fall to a municipality or construction company responsible for the roadway where the crash occurred.
California Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Motorcycle helmets save lives. Many states in the US do not have mandatory motorcycle helmet requirements, but California does. When we examine Vehicle Code Section 27803, we can see that it is “unlawful to operate a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle if the driver or any passenger is not wearing a safety helmet.”
This means that not only does the motorcycle operator have to wear a helmet, but so do any passengers on the vehicle. It is important to note that motorcyclists in Cali are required to wear DOT-approved helmets, which are very different from novelty helmets or bicycle helmets. Briefly, a DOT-approves motorcycle helmet is one that:
· Weighs at least three pounds
· Has a chin strap attached with sturdy rivets
· Has a polystyrene foam liner that is firm and approximately 1 inch thick
· Has no design features or functions that protrude more than two-tenths of an inch off of the helmet’s surface
All helmets that meet these standards will be marked with a DOT-approved sticker, but please beware of counterfeit helmets with fake stickers. Motorcyclists should only buy a helmet from a trusted retailer.
What Compensation is Available After a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident?
If you sustain an injury in a motorcycle crash caused by the actions of someone else, you will likely be able to recover compensation for your losses. This compensation can come through a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier or even through a personal injury lawsuit verdict. At ABDI & Associates, our goal is to recover maximum compensation on your behalf. This can include both economic and non-economic damages:
· Economic damages. We can also refer to these as special damages. This includes the losses a motorcycle accident victim sustains that are relatively calculable after the incident. By gathering bills and receipts, an attorney can calculate a victim’s:
o Emergency medical expenses
o Doctor’s bills
o Prescription medication costs
o Physical therapy and rehabilitation
o Lost wages
o Out-of-pocket expenses
o Property damage expenses
· Non-economic damages. We also refer to these as general damages. However, these are not as easily calculable as the economic damages mentioned above. What we mean by that is, there are usually no direct bills or receipts that can show a motorcycle victim’s:
o Physical pain and suffering damages
o Emotional and psychological distress
o Loss of quality of life damages
o Loss of consortium for a spouse or family members
Even though it is not as easy to calculate the non-economic damages, they are just as crucial. We want to make sure that our clients recover compensation for all of their losses.
How Much is Your Motorcycle Accident Claim Worth?
There is no set amount of money for how much a motorcycle accident claim in Los Angeles is worth. The reality is that every single motorcycle accident is different. There are factors that must be taken into account for every claim in order to adequately calculate compensation for crash victims. Some of these factors include:
· The severity of any injuries
· How much physical and emotional pain and suffering a person experiences
· Whether or not a person can work while they recover
· Whether or not there are any temporary or permanent disabilities
· Total property damage expenses
· Whether or not there was any shared fault for the crash
When determining the total economic damages for a claim, an attorney and their client will gather all the bills and receipts that come in as a result of the incident. The total of these expenses will equal the total economic damages. However, calculating non-economic losses is more challenging. That is because these are more immeasurable expenses that do not necessarily have bills over seats. Remember, we said that non-economic damages revolve around a person’s physical and emotional pain and suffering.
When working to calculate not economic losses, an attorney could use a “multiplier method.” Using this method, an attorney will take the economic damage total and then multiply those by a set number (usually a number ranging from 1.5 to 5) to reach the non-economic total. For example, if a person experiences $500,000 worth of medical bills and other economic losses, a multiplier of “three” could be used to reach a non-economic total of $1.5 million. Overall, the attorney would seek $2 million through a settlement for their client.
Time Limit for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Los Angeles
It is crucial for motorcycle crash victims in Los Angeles to keep deadlines in mind. First and foremost, the insurance carriers involved in these claims are going to have their own reporting deadlines. Typically, an auto insurance carrier requires that a claim be reported within a day or two after the incident occurs. Failing to report an accident to an insurance carrier could result in the carrier delaying or denying the claim.
It may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in these cases. In California, the personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that a motorcycle crash victim has a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. Failing to do so within this time frame will mean the case gets dismissed, and the crash victim will be unable to recover the compensation they need for their losses.
If you have any questions about whether or not you still have time to file your motorcycle accident claim in Los Angeles, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. At ABDI & Associates, our team will examine the facts of your case and move forward with your claim as promptly as possible so we can make sure that no deadlines are missed.
What About Partial Fault for a Motorcycle Crash?
One of the most common tactics that other parties will use to limit how much money they pay in compensation to a crash victim is by blaming the victim for actually causing the incident (or at least partially causing it). This could be an effective way to limit how much compensation gets paid out, but the reality is that individuals will still be entitled to compensation even if they are partially responsible for causing their own injuries.
California operates under what is considered a “pure comparative negligence” system. This means that a person can recover compensation even if they are up to 99% at fault for their injury. This differs from how other states handle shared fault, where a person is usually prohibited from recovering compensation if they are 50percent or 51% or more responsible for their own injuries.
However, injury victims in California will receive reduced compensation depending on their percentage of fault for the incident. For example, if a person is involved in a motorcycle crash and sustains $100,000 worth of damages, but a jury determines that they were 30% responsible for the incident for some reason, then the individual would receive $70,000 instead of the full $100,000.
In an effort to combat any allegations of fault placed on you by the other parties involved in the crash, we encourage you to work with your attorney who can examine every aspect of your case and push back against insurance carriers and legal teams.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident in Los Angeles
There are various steps that we encourage motorcycle crash victims to take after an incident occurs. Some of these steps need to take place immediately, within the first half an hour after the crash. However, we understand that these incidents can be chaotic, and you may not be able to take all these steps in this exact order. We encourage you to do everything within your power to maximize your chances of recovering compensation.
1. Assess for injuries. Right after a motorcycle accident occurs, you need to check yourself, any passenger, and others involved for injuries.
2. Call 911. You or somebody at the scene needs to dial 911 and let the dispatcher know where the incident occurred and whether or not there are any injuries. Do not assume that somebody else at the scene has called 911. You need to do it yourself or physically watch somebody do it. This ensures that police, fire, and EMS personnel get to the scene and a prompt manner.
3. Seek medical treatment. You need to seek medical treatment very soon after a motorcycle accident occurs. Even if you do not feel much pain immediately after the crash, you still need to let a doctor conduct an evaluation and make a decision about treatment options. In some cases, there are injuries that do not show signs or symptoms until hours or even days after a crash. Delaying treatment could hurt your chances of recovering compensation from the insurance carrier.
4. Gather evidence if possible. If it is safe to do so at the scene of the crash, you can begin gathering as much evidence as possible. We always encourage individuals to use their cell phone, if it is still working, to take photographs of everything they say. This includes damage to vehicles, skid marks, debris, causes of the crash, traffic signs, weather conditions, and more. If you see any eyewitnesses to the incident, get their names and contact information written down as soon as possible. These individuals can provide valuable testimony to insurance carriers or during a personal injury trial to back up your claim.
5. Contact an attorney. You need to consider contacting a motorcycle accident attorney in Los Angeles very soon after the incident occurs. When an attorney gets involved early in the case, they can help with the evidence collection and ensure that they are the ones to handle communications with other parties involved.
6. Report the incident to the insurance carrier. You will need to report the crash to your insurance carrier relatively soon after the incident occurs. You can have your attorney do this if you have already reached out to one. The insurance carrier only needs to know that the incident occurred and that you were seeking treatment for your injuries. You should also give the insurance carrier the name and contact information of any other driver(s) involved. You do not need to go in-depth when you make your initial report. Additionally, if the other party’s insurance carrier calls, you do not need to speak to them right away. Absolutely do not give a recorded statement to any insurance carrier, and do not sign over a complete medical authorization.
7. Continue medical treatment. We encourage you to continue all medical treatment prescribed by your doctors until after you have reached maximum medical improvement. If you discontinue treatment recommended by a doctor before you have fully recovered, the insurance carriers could use this as a reason to lower your settlement or deny the claim.
8. Stay off of social media. We strongly encourage you to stay off of social media after you sustained an injury in a motorcycle accident. This includes not posting about the incident on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or any other Internet site that you use. Additionally, not only should you not post about the particular motorcycle accident you were involved in, but we encourage you to stay off of social media altogether. The attorneys and insurance carrier for the other side will try to find your postings, and they could use them against you.
For example, if you make a post about something as simple as taking your kid to his football practice, the insurance carrier could say that there is no way you are seriously injured if you are able to get up and go do the things you are doing. Even if you think your social media is private, it is not. All it takes is for a friend or family member to like or share your posts in order for them to become public in many situations.
Paying for a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be a confusing experience, particularly when you are worried about finances. It can seem impossible to afford an attorney to help represent you, but you do not need to worry about that.
At ABDI & Associates, we take motorcycle accident claims in Los Angeles on a contingency fee basis. What this means for you is financial relief while your case is ongoing. There will be no upfront or out-of-pocket costs on your end. You will not have to pay any legal fees until after we successfully recover compensation for your losses. This type of fee arrangement helps ensure that everyone, regardless of their financial status, can stand up to those who cause them harm.
Call a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a Los Angeles motorcycle accident caused by the actions of another driver, you need legal assistance as soon as possible. At ABDI & Associates, we have the resources necessary to help you get through this. Our goal is to help secure the compensation you need for your medical bills, lost income, property damage expenses, pain and suffering losses, and more. When you need a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by filling out the contact form at the bottom of this page, or you can call us at (888) 772-2529.