Due to the pleasant weather and beautiful surroundings, Stockton has its fair share of motorcycle enthusiasts. Unfortunately, tragedy frequently strikes motorcycle riders. In some cases, drivers do not notice riders and collide with them. If a negligent driver contributed to an accident that injured you, a Stockton motorcycle accident lawyer could help.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney could review your accident report, identify potentially responsible parties, and approach their insurance companies to obtain a reasonable settlement for your injuries. If the insurers do not negotiate in good faith, a representative could pursue a lawsuit on your behalf.
Typical Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The exhilaration of riding a motorcycle comes with risks. Bikes offer riders no physical protection, so even a minor mishap could cause significant injuries. California Vehicle Code § 27803 requires motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear helmets, regardless of age or experience. Helmets are proven to reduce fatal head injuries, but a rider still might emerge from an accident with permanent impairments. Depending on the specifics of a collision, a rider could suffer virtually any type of injury, including:
- Severe abrasions and friction burns often called road rash
- Shoulder fractures and dislocations
- Complex fractures and traumatic amputations of the lower limbs or feet
- Thoracic injuries, like rib fractures and damage to the lungs and heart
- Abdominal injuries, including damage to the liver, bladder, and kidneys
- Disfiguring and blinding facial injuries
- Head injuries and skull fractures
- Spinal cord damage
According to a recent article in the Archives of Bone and Joint Surgery, riders on larger bikes with bigger engines are more likely than others to suffer significant thoracic and abdominal injuries.
Motorcycle accident injuries almost always require hospitalization and sometimes need multiple surgeries, extensive rehabilitation, and leave motorcyclists permanently disabled. After getting to know the injured biker and their family, an attorney in Stockton could calculate the family’s losses and include them in a compensation claim.
Motorcycle Collision Causes
Drivers in Stockton sometimes fail to notice motorcycles until they are far too close. This tendency increases as drivers favor SUVs that might have more prominent blind spots than sedans. In addition, as vehicle manufacturers produce vehicles that insulate against engine noise, a driver might not hear an approaching motorcycle.
Apart from not noticing a motorcycle, some drivers do not exercise caution when sharing the road with bikes. Motorcycle accidents could happen if a driver:
- Tailgates a motorcycle
- Merges into a biker’s path
- Turns in front of an oncoming motorcycle
- Makes a wide turn, cutting off a bike in the adjacent lane
- Exits a driveway or parking space into an oncoming motorcycle
- Opens a vehicle door into a biker’s path
Parts failure and poor road conditions also contribute to many motorcycle accidents. A hardworking attorney could investigate the circumstances of a crash to identify all the parties who might bear some responsibility. Each of them could be liable for the biker’s medical care, lost wages, and diminished quality of life after the accident.
How to Strengthen a Claim After a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists still face the stigma of being outlaws or at least risk-takers. Unfortunately, this perception hurt a biker trying to secure appropriate damages after an accident. Therefore, injured motorcyclists should seek help from a skilled attorney in Stockton immediately after a crash.
Insurance companies for other involved parties often approach riders after an accident, seeking to settle the case for a particular sum. Although a quick settlement might be appealing, motorcyclists should not entertain these offers. Instead, riders should refer the insurer to their legal representative. Forcing the insurer to communicate through an attorney serves two purposes—it reduces the likelihood that the insurer will take advantage of the injured biker and encourages the insurer to negotiate in good faith.
It is also critical for an injured motorcyclist to follow their medical professional’s recommendations. Other parties could construe a biker’s medical non-compliance as contributing to their injuries. According to California Civil Code §1714, insurance companies can reduce the value of a settlement accordingly.
Trust Your Motorcycle Accident Claim to a Stockton Attorney
Motorcycle accidents often have life-altering impacts. Even if you recover completely, healing is stressful, time-consuming, and expensive.
The negligent parties that contributed to your accident should pay for your suffering. Contact a Stockton motorcycle accident lawyer immediately after your crash to review your case with a seasoned professional.