Motorcycle accidents in the state of California are some of the most severe accident types, causing serious injuries and death to multiple riders every year. In the year 2013, the number of motorcycle fatalities increased to 453 from 447 the previous year, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. If you have been in a motorcycle accident in San Diego, refer to this brief guide as an overview of what you need to know.
Who Is Liable for My Injuries?
California is an at-fault insurance state. Under California’s laws, all motorists—including motorcyclists—are required to carry insurance. In the event of an accident, the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for damages.
However, an injured motorcyclist is also allowed to step outside of the no-fault system and file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver. Filing a lawsuit can make sense when your insurance company is not paying your full damages amount, or when your injuries are particularly severe.
What Damages Am I Entitled to Recover?
Assuming that you were not responsible for the occurrence of the accident, you have the right to seek damages for all losses that you have suffered. Recoverable damages in a motorcycle accident claim or a lawsuit may include:
- Medical expenses;
- Future medical expenses and treatment;
- Lost wages;
- Pain; and
You can also recover compensation for the value of damages to your motorcycle.
If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet, Will My Claim Be Affected?
All motorcycle drivers and their passengers are required under law to wear a helmet while operating or riding upon a motorcycle in California – this law is found in section 27803 of California vehicle code. If you were not wearing your helmet at the time of your crash, then, you were in violation of a statute, and may face consequences (such as a ticket) as a result.
If you sustained head injuries in the accident that may have been prevented had a helmet been worn, then you may be considered partially at fault for your injuries, and your damages amount will be reduced proportionately. If the injuries that you incurred were not to the head, and the use of a helmet would not have prevented the injuries from being sustained, then it is unlikely that your compensation amount will be reduced.
How a San Diego Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
Being injured as a motorcyclist can be scary. If your injuries are severe, it is important that you seek the help of a legal professional to guide you through the process of recovering the amount of money that you need and deserve. Whether filing a claim with the insurance company or filing a lawsuit is the right choice for you, the experienced San Diego motorcycle accident attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP want to represent you. To learn more about your options and how our team can be of assistance in helping you, call us today at 858-350-8855 or request a free case consultation online.