Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
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 including the wrongful death of a loved one.
Motorcyclist accident fatalities in California have spiked dramatically over the past ten years. According to the CA office of Traffic Safety, this figure has increased 153.4 percent from 1998 to 2007. While motorcycle fatalities dropped from 321 in 2011 to 318 deaths during the first nine months of 2012, preliminary data highlights the grim realities facing today’s bikers.
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.
Risks facing motorcyclists in Southern California
Cyclists and bikers, even when wearing helmets and protective gear, have very little protection in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle. Many accidents are caused by drivers who aren’t paying attention while changing lanes or those who are speeding or fail to obey traffic signals. 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 financial strain on those who are unable to work due to their injuries, placing added stress on the victim and his family.
When you need an experienced motorcycle accident 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, lost income, reduced earning capacity, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and other non-economic losses.
Causes of motorcycle accidents in LA
The majority of motorcycle crashes in Los Angeles involve head on collisions with a passenger vehicle, or left-hand turns made by cars, striking the biker sideways. Regrettably, most of these incidents prove fatal for the biker. Statistics show that an increasing number of motorcycle accidents are caused by distracted drivers on cell phones. Other times, crashes are tied to some other type of driver negligence or impairment.
This past year alone, three local motorcyclists died in lane-splitting accidents. California is one of a few states that permit this practice, where motorcyclists can drive along the lane divider between slowly moving or stopped vehicles. Although safe under normal circumstances, lane-splitting has been blamed for a growing number of biker injuries and fatalities, as some drivers aren’t aware or on the lookout for passing bikers.
In addition to their reduced visibility to other drivers, motorcyclists face a slew of road hazards that pose serious threats. These include potholes, unexpected objects and pavement irregularities and icy or slick patches.
The bottom line is that motorcyclists are at greater risk for serious accidents on California’s roadways, and even when obeying traffic laws and anticipating road hazards, bikers are prone to severe or fatal injuries.
Liability issues in motorcycle collisions
Establishing liability in a motorcycle accident 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:
- Manufacturer liability due to defective motorcycle parts
- Road design
- Wrongful death
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. Having legal representation will ensure a more favorable settlement, and a personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law will protect your best interests should the case go to trial.
The amount of compensation recovered in a settlement or court award will vary depending on factors such as the extent of your injuries and whether you suffered permanent disability that will affect your ability to earn income. Payouts have ranged from $50,000 into the millions of dollars for motorcycle accident victims.
Motorcycle accident lawyers in Los Angeles
In the tumultuous and stressful aftermath of a motorcycle accident, 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 motorcycle accident lawyer at Ellis Law, you are assured:
- Personal attention and professional service
- Experience with mediation and arbitration
- Proven courtroom skills
- Results: numerous multi-million verdicts and settlements
- A free case evaluation and no attorney fees unless your case is won
To establish causation and liability, our team will 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.
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 1-800-INJURED to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our California motorcycle accident attorneys who can assist you in determining your rights and appropriate legal action.
[Derek Turbin]: “Here at Ellis Law over the past couple of years we have had hundreds of motorcycle cases, and what you’re dealing with in a motorcycle accident is the injuries tend to be more severe. What we have to do with the more severe injuries because obviously they have less protection than they would having a car accident, we need to get them over to prompt care, they have to be taken care of medically, immediately.
Some times you’re dealing with traumatic brain injury, a lot of times you’re dealing with injuries to the spinal cord and the nerves around the spinal cord. So what we have to do is we have to make sure they’re taking care of it and that they’re taking care of it quickly.
Once we know that they’re stable, once we know that they’ve gotten the appropriate care, they’re care is underway, they’re operating stationary, then the next step in the process is establishing liability.
In cases like our client and the defendant change lanes or were in a little bit of a tug-o-war over liability, we send people out to the scene of the accident, We send out a private investigator, we send out the fact finders to establish exactly what happened at the scene of the accident. Take photos of the scene, check the skid marks, we’ll go to an actual reconstruction expert. And it’s also our job to get the wheels rolling, to get off and running with this. Deposing the defendant, sitting down in a room in front of a court reporter trying to get all the facts from them, work on the inconsistencies in their statements, work on comparing that to the scene of the accident and the evidence of the scene of the accident is two-fold: to figure out what they’re saying, how they’re recollection of the accident doesn’t quite make sense with what actually happened.
Once we’ve established liability, we get all the facts out that we need and we lay out exactly what happened in the accident and ultimately proved that the defendant is the one at fault, the defendant is the one that caused our client’s injuries, that’s when we start the settlement discussion. That’s when we work on making sure that our client is compensated for the rest of their lives, start to the medical bills. Obviously first and foremost their medical bills have to get covered. We have to make sure those medical bills are covered by the guilty party.
Once we have all that accounted for the current medical costs, the future medical costs, the vocational living, the changes in lifestyle as well as the loss of earnings. We have a lump sum that we are shooting for which is also going to take into account pain and suffering. We usually go for triple or quadruple that number that we’ve come up with to account for their pain and suffering and that’s when the negotiations start. That’s when we bring in Andy who’s our closer, the tough fighter, who with the experience has a little bit of intimidation with the other side. We’ll bring him in to engage in a lot of these settlement negotiations.
At the end of the day we always have to make sure that our client is compensated fairly, our client can live comfortably for the rest of their life through a good settlement.”
- LA Times, Motorcycle deaths spike in 2012 http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/25/business/la-fi-mo-autos-motorcycle-deaths-spike-in-2012-20130424
- California Office of Traffic Safety, Motorcycle Assessment http://www.ots.ca.gov/pdf/Publications/Motorcycle_Safety_Program_Technical_Assessment_for_the_State_of_California_REV.pdf
- Governors Highway Safety Association, Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State 2012 http://www.ghsa.org/html/publications/pdf/spotlights/motorcycles_2012.pdf