Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
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Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Known for its scenic roadways and temperate year-round climate, California has one of the highest numbers of motorcycles on the road. Unfortunately, L.A.’s heavily congested highways and precarious, twisting roads have contributed to the rise in deadly accidents that claim lives each year. Motorcycle accidents are so common, they only make news headlines when they cause major traffic jams. Yet, the effects cause tremendous heartache and hardship for the victims and their families.  

Serving residents in the greater Los Angeles area, motorcycle accident lawyers at Ellis Law have been fighting for victims’ rights for more than two decades. We help injured clients obtain justice and fair compensation for serious injuries, as well as the wrongful death of loved ones, without charging any upfront attorney fees or costs to pursue litigation.  

California motorcycle accident statistics 

Figures are not yet compiled for 2019-2021, but we know that: 

  • California reported 509 motorcyclist fatalities in 2017. 
  • There are 6 fatalities for every 10,000 registered motorcycles in the state. 
  • Motorcycle deaths in California accounted for roughly 15% of the nationwide total in 2016. 
  • Some 14,400 motorcyclists are seriously injured in accidents in 2016. 

Risks facing motorcyclists in Southern California 

Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a crash per vehicle miles traveled than motor vehicle occupants. Cyclists and bikers, even when wearing helmets and protective gear, have very little protection in the event of a collision. Injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident are often life-threatening, as bikers aren’t protected by seat belts, airbags, or the metal frame of a passenger vehicle.  

Injuries run the gamut from broken bones and ruptured discs to catastrophic brain and spinal cord trauma. Some bikers end up amputees or paralyzed and are permanently disabled following a motorcycle crash. Hospital bills and costly medical treatments put a financial strain on those who are unable to work due to their injuries, placing added stress on the victim and his family. In some cases, the injuries are fatal.  

Compensation available in motorcycle accident lawsuits 

When you need an experienced attorney, the team at Ellis Injury Law protects victims who’ve been harmed through no fault of their own. Our legal team has a proven track record of successfully taking on insurance companies to ensure injured motorcyclists receive the compensation they deserve.  

We’ve helped our clients secure monetary damages to cover:  

  • Current and ongoing medical expenses, 
  • Long-term expenses like rehabilitation or PTSD therapy, 
  • Lost income and reduced earning capacity,  
  • Home modification expenses due to disability
  • Pain and suffering, and other non-economic losses. 

When a loved one has died, we work with spouses, children, and sometimes parents or estate heirs to recover money for the funeral and burial, losses of guidance and companionship, as well as lost income and value of household services. When the decedent lingered under medical supervision for some time prior to passing away, a survival cause of action can provide the estate with money to compensate for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. A free consultation with Ellis Injury Law’s Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers and wrongful death attorneys is the best way to explore your full set of legal rights following a fatal collision.  

Causes of motorcycle accidents in LA 

Lawyers working on motorcycle accident cases have identified the following leading factors in crashes: 

  • Limited visibility – Motorists often fail to see motorcycles on the road because these small-sized vehicles so easily drift into one of the driver’s blind spots. It can be hard to see a motorcycle on the road due to glare and obstructions. Worse yet, many motorists aren’t giving the road their full attention.   
  • Cars Turning Left – Some 42% of car/motorcycle crashes involve a turning car hitting a motorcyclist traveling straight through the intersection. In some cases, the motorcycle is attempting to pass the car. Since lane splitting is allowed in California, this situation is all too common.  
  • Sharp Corner Turns – Corners can be dangerous to motorcyclists, as much control is required. It is easy to misjudge how tight a turn is or to wipe out after hitting some loose pavement.   
  • Hazardous Road Conditions – Loose gravel, uneven payment, road debris, or slippery surfaces can cause a motorcycle to slide out. Sometimes local municipalities can be held liable for failing to maintain the roadways. 
  • HeadOn Collisions – More than three-quarters of collisions between motorcycles and passenger cars involve head-on collisions. A majority of these crashes are fatal for the motorcyclist who is often crushed or thrown from the vehicle at high speeds.     
  • Lane Splitting – California is the only state that expressly permits the practice of lane splitting, which is when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of cars, typically during a traffic jam. Motorcycles passing so close to passenger cars reduces visibility and can be dangerous without proper safety training.  
  • Driver Inattention – Many accidents are caused by passenger vehicle drivers who are speeding, tailgating, changing lanes without looking, failing to obey traffic signals, or who generally aren’t paying attention while driving.  
  • Recklessness – Speeding, aggressive tailgating, swerving through traffic, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are reckless driving behaviors known to cause accidents (and lawsuits).   

Accidents and serious injuries can happen, no matter how experienced, skilled, lawful, and proactive a motorcycle driver may be. When negligence is a factor, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed by the injured party or loved ones. 

Liability issues in motorcycle collisions 

Establishing liability in an incident requires the knowledge and skill of an experienced motorcycle attorney who understands California vehicle laws. 

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, your lawsuit may list the following causes of action: 

  • Negligence (on behalf of the other motorist involved) 
  • Manufacturer liability (due to defective motorcycle parts) 
  • Poor road design or maintenance (suing the local municipality) 
  • Wrongful death (to compensate dependents for their sudden losses) 

What not to do after a motorcycle accident 

California is an “at-fault” state for motor vehicle accidents, so no doubt the other driver’s insurance company will be calling you soon after the crash to settle. Even if liability appears to be obvious and insurance companies get involved, NEVER sign a document or agreement without having your case reviewed by an attorney. If you sign a document waiving your right to sue or accepting an offer, there is not much anyone can do should your losses escalate higher than anticipated.   

After seeking immediate medical attention and reporting your accident to the state, the next person to call is your attorney to begin investigating what happened and what compensation may be owed to you. Having legal representation will ensure your rights are protected so the most favorable settlement can be reached. A personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law will prepare your claim and protect your best interests should the case go to trial. 

Factors affecting a motorcycle accident settlement 

The amount of compensation recovered in a settlement or court award will vary depending on factors such as: 

  • The extent of injury – Soft tissue damage that is likely to fully heal within a few weeks is not valued as high as broken bones, spinal cord damage, or head and brain trauma.  
  • The permanence of injury – Scars, amputation and permanent disabilities capture the highest sums.  
  • Losses – Tangible losses like medical bills, time off work for recovery, and property damage are considered in the determination of how much a claim is worth. Often the subjective damages like “pain and suffering” are based on the economic damages multiplied by 1-5, depending on crash severity.  
  • Quality of life – If you were an avid musician or athlete prior to the crash and you can no longer participate in a hobby you love, this loss in quality of life will be considered. Are you able to continue working and earning your livelihood in the same field? Can you take care of yourself and get around?  
  • Perceived fault – There is a natural bias against motorcyclists that presumes the driver must have been operating the bike recklessly. Insurance adjusters and juries may be less likely to award motorcyclists a high sum compared to passenger vehicle occupants.  
  • Liability – Strong cases for negligence often lead to earlier settlements and higher payouts.  
  • Availability of insurance – Defendants with few assets will only be able to pay up to the liability limits of his or her auto insurance policy. Jury verdicts that exceed this amount can lead to difficulty with collections unless the award stipulates assets must be liquidated or wages can be garnished.  
  • Past precedent – Your attorney will look at the database to see the state’s past history of settlements and jury awards in cases that are similar to yours. Searches can be narrowed down to particular courts and judges for an even more accurate picture of what is likely to be gained during negotiations and trials. 

Every case is unique, but generally, payouts have ranged from $50,000 into the millions-of-dollars for victims. 

Do you need a motorcycle accident lawyers in Los Angeles? 

In the tumultuous and stressful aftermath of a collision, it’s imperative to seek legal assistance from skilled lawyers who understand California traffic law and liability issues. Our attorneys will handle all legal aspects of your claim so you can focus on your emotional and physical recovery. 

If you choose to retain a lawyer at Ellis Law, you are assured: 

  • Personal attention and professional service 
  • Experience with mediation and arbitration 
  • Proven courtroom skills and preparation for a potential trial 
  • Resources to provide expert witness testimony if necessary 
  • Results: numerous multi-million verdicts and settlements 
  • A free case evaluation and no attorney fees unless your case is won 

We have the resources necessary to win your case – and win big. In order to establish causation and liability, our team will work with professional accident reconstructionists to investigate the scene of the accident, looking for identifying clues such as skid marks that may build a stronger case. We also collaborate with industry professionals to provide our clients with the expert testimony that is sometimes necessary in personal injury or wrongful death cases. We can work with forensic economists to get a realistic assessment of future costs associated with your injuries. If a motorcycle accident lawsuit is warranted, we offer comprehensive representation and will diligently fight for your rights in order to maximize the value of your case. 

Advocating for the rights of LA accident victims 

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you need a veteran lawyer by your side – one who will advocate for your rights for fair and full compensation. Call our office at 888-981-9744 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our California attorneys who can assist you in determining your rights and appropriate legal action. You owe no money upfront to pursue litigation, as our attorney fees and costs come out of successful settlements and verdicts. We have recovered over $350 Million on behalf of our personal injury clients over the past two decades.  

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