Fresno Motorcycle Accident: How to File An Accident Claim
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating, leaving victims with severe injuries and mounting medical bills. If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Fresno, California, understanding the process of filing for financial compensation is a must.
This blog will guide you through the necessary steps to seek the compensation you deserve and highlight the importance of having a motorcycle accident lawyer by your side.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in California
According to Berkeley SafeTREC, in 2015, a total of 12,844 motorcycle riders sustained injuries in traffic collisions, marking a 2% rise from the 12,608 injured in 2014 and a significant 14% increase compared to the 11,300 injured in 2011. The leading causes of motorcycle collisions included unsafe speed, right-of-way violations, and improper turning.
- Among these riders, 491 (4%) tragically suffered fatal injuries.
- Additionally, there were 717 injured individuals (6%) who were riding as passengers on motorcycles.
- Notably, alcohol use among motorcyclists is relatively low, with only 7% of motorcycle operators having consumed alcohol prior to the collision, as opposed to 11% of operators of cars and light trucks.
Understanding the Laws That Affect Compensation
Navigating the legal landscape following a personal injury can be challenging, especially when seeking compensation for damages in California. To ensure you receive the rightful compensation you deserve, you have to have a clear understanding of the California laws that come into play.
- Statute of Limitations (California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1): This law sets a time limit within which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. In California, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident or injury. Failing to file within this timeframe may prevent you from seeking compensation through the court system.
- Comparative Fault (California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1431.2): California follows the rule of comparative fault, meaning the compensation you receive may be reduced if you are found partially responsible for the accident. Your awarded amount will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. However, if you are found to be 50% or more at fault, you may not recover any compensation from other parties.
- Joint and Several Liability (California Civil Code Section 1431.2): When multiple parties share responsibility for the injury, California’s joint and several liability law enables the injured party to seek full compensation from any or all responsible parties. This means that if one party cannot pay their share, the other responsible parties may be required to cover the shortfall.
- Vicarious Liability (California Civil Code Section 2338): This law holds employers accountable for the actions of their employees performed within the scope of their job duties. If an employee’s actions result in an injury, the employer may be held liable for the damages caused.
Filing a Claim for Compensation
When you find yourself facing the aftermath of a Fresno motorcycle accident, filing a claim for compensation becomes a crucial step towards rebuilding your life. Knowing how to navigate the process of seeking compensation is vital to secure the financial support you need.
- Medical Care: Seek medical attention immediately, even if your motorcycle accident injuries seem minor. A comprehensive medical evaluation will not only ensure your well-being but also create crucial documentation for your claim. Common injuries are broken bones, road rash, and neck and spinal cord injuries.
- Document Your Damages: Keep records of all expenses related to the accident, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and any other out-of-pocket costs.
- Do NOT Settle Too Early: Insurance companies may offer a quick settlement, but consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer first. Early settlements often fail to cover the full extent of your damages.
- Avoid Social Media Posts: Refrain from discussing the accident or your injuries on social media. Insurance adjusters may use your posts to downplay your claim’s value.
Potential Roadblocks to a Fair Settlement
Securing fair compensation for a motorcycle accident can be challenging due to various roadblocks:
Bias Against Motorcyclists
Insurance adjusters and some individuals may hold biases against motorcycle riders, perceiving them as reckless or inherently prone to causing accidents. Such prejudices can adversely impact a motorcycle crash victim’s claim for compensation.
To counter these assumptions, gather strong evidence that demonstrates responsible behavior and adherence to traffic laws. Providing evidence of the other driver’s negligence can effectively challenge these biases and help establish the true cause of the accident.
After a motorcycle accident, insurance companies may offer settlements that are far below what the victim truly deserves. These lowball offers aim to minimize the insurer’s financial liability and may not fully cover the victim’s medical expenses, property damage, and other losses.
Having a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer by your side can be invaluable in such situations. An experienced accident attorney in Fresno, CA will carefully assess the full extent of your damages, calculate fair compensation, and skillfully negotiate with the insurance company to secure a settlement that fully addresses your present and future needs.
In some cases, the other party involved in the accident may dispute liability, denying responsibility for causing the collision. This situation can lead to prolonged negotiations or even the need for legal action to establish fault.
A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can play a critical role in gathering evidence to prove liability. They will conduct a thorough investigation, analyze accident reports, collect witness statements, and consult with accident reconstruction experts if necessary. Establishing liability is pivotal to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses, and having a competent attorney advocating for you can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Having an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Fresno can make all the difference in your pursuit of fair compensation. A knowledgeable attorney will:
Protect Your Rights and Prevent Inadequate Settlements
Insurance companies are notorious for attempting to settle motorcycle accident claims quickly and for the lowest possible amount. If you’re not familiar with the legal intricacies of personal injury cases, you may unknowingly accept a settlement offer that does not fully cover your losses. A skilled personal injury attorney will safeguard your rights, advocate on your behalf, and ensure you don’t settle for an inadequate amount that could leave you struggling to cover medical expenses and future needs.
Conduct a Thorough Investigation
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney knows what evidence is crucial for building a strong case. They will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your accident, including gathering police reports, examining medical records, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing available surveillance footage. This diligent approach ensures all relevant information is brought to light, supporting your claim for fair compensation.
Skillfully Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Navigating negotiations with insurance adjusters can be challenging, especially when they aim to minimize payouts. A proficient lawyer possesses negotiation expertise and will skillfully advocate for your best interests. They will present a compelling case backed by evidence and expert analysis, maximizing the likelihood of securing a fair and comprehensive settlement that covers medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Legally Represent You in Court, if Necessary
While most motorcycle accident cases are resolved through negotiations, some may escalate to litigation. If a fair settlement cannot be reached outside of court, having a motorcycle accident lawyer who is well-versed in trial proceedings can be a tremendous advantage. Your attorney will be your advocate in court, presenting your case persuasively and fighting to protect your rights, giving you the best chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Consult with an Award-Winning Fresno Motorcycle Personal Injury Lawyer
Seeking financial compensation after a motorcycle accident in Fresno can be complex and challenging. Understanding the laws, documenting your damages, and avoiding common pitfalls is crucial. Nevertheless, having a dedicated Fresno motorcycle accident lawyer by your side is the best decision you can make.
With their expertise, you can focus on your recovery while they fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve. Remember that time is of the essence, so take immediate action after an accident and consult with a legal professional to protect your rights and interests.
Motorcyclist Attorney is committed to delivering justice and unwavering representation for our clients. Our motorcycle injury attorneys approach each case with passion, careful preparation, and strategic negotiation to ensure clients receive the rightful financial compensation they deserve.
We cater to Spanish, Filipino, and English-speaking clients, providing assistance with their motorcycle accident claims. Contact us now at (844) 284-9437 for a free consultation on your case.