Motorcycle collisions in California increased by 23% between 2003 and 2012. During that same period, motorcycle crashes in Los Angeles County increased by 49%. The number of motorcycle collisions peaked in 2008 and fell during the next two years, but motorcycle accident fatalities increased by 15% in Orange County, and by 59% in Los Angeles County, between 2010 and 2012.
Per mile traveled, motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger vehicle occupants. They are 5 times more likely to be injured. Since motorcyclists are not protected by a “cage,” the injuries they suffer in a crash tend to be more serious than the injuries sustained by people who survive car accidents.
When a motorcycle rider is killed due to a driver's negligence, surviving family members can make a wrongful death claim against the driver's insurer. Injured motorcyclists can make a personal injury claim against a responsible driver. Since insurance adjusters have a bias against paying claims in motorcycle accidents, representation by a skilled motorcycle accident attorney is the key to receiving a fair settlement.
Timothy J. Ryan & Associates has spent decades negotiating insurance settlements for motorcycle accident victims. In cases that cannot be settled, Timothy J. Ryan uses his formidable trial skills to persuade juries to return the verdicts his clients deserve. Because Timothy J. Ryan & Associates charges contingent fees, accident victims pay nothing unless they receive compensation.
To have your California motorcycle accident insurance claim evaluated by an experienced professional, call Timothy J. Ryan & Associates at 800-838-6644.
Making Motorcycle Accident Insurance Claims
If your bike is damaged in a motorcycle collision, you can make a property damage claim under the “collision coverage” provision of your own insurance policy, even when the accident is your fault. Your insurance company will subtract the amount of your deductible from any payment you negotiate. If the driver of a passenger vehicle caused your collision, you can make a property damage claim against that driver's insurance company. It will be more difficult to collect fair compensation from the driver's insurer, but no deductible will be subtracted from the settlement.
Personal injury claims and wrongful death claims can also be made against a driver who is at least partially to blame for causing a motorcycle accident. Riders who survive a motorcycle accident may experience a variety of injuries that entitle them to compensation. They include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Spine injuries
- Broken arms, legs, and elbows
- Road rash
- Facial scarring and other disfigurement
- Burn injuries
- Nerve damage
- Shoulder dislocations
- Broken jaw bones and teeth
- Stretched or torn ligaments, tendons, and muscles
Some injuries heal over the course of time. Riders never make a full recovery from other injuries. A permanent disability caused by a spinal cord injury may leave a rider confined to a wheelchair. A head injury may impair a rider's ability to think, communicate, or process information.
Motorcycle injuries can be devastating. When a negligent driver has adequate insurance coverage, an injured rider can pursue an insurance claim that will improve the quality of the rider's life.
Settling Motorcycle Accident Insurance Claims
Most people want to settle their motorcycle accident insurance claims rather than enduring the stress of a trial. If you suffered significant injuries or if a family member died in a motorcycle crash caused by a careless driver, you should never try to negotiate with the driver's insurance adjuster on your own. Any settlement you make will be final, so if you later discover that you were entitled to more money, it will be too late to renegotiate.
Compensation that an injured motorcycle rider can receive in a settlement with a negligent driver's insurance company might include:
- Medical bills (including bills you expect to incur in the future)
- Other healthcare expenses (such as speech therapy and dental work)
- Vocational rehabilitation expenses
- Wage loss (including loss of future income you would have earned)
- Expenses to cope with a disability (such as remodeling to make a home wheelchair-accessible)
- Residential expenses for assisted-living facilities (when injuries prevent a rider from functioning independently)
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
If a wrongful death resulted from a motorcycle crash, certain members of the victim's family can recover compensation by making a claim against the negligent driver's insurance company. Compensation includes loss of financial support as well as loss of love and companionship.
Having an experienced motorcycle accident attorney negotiate your settlement gives you the best chance of recovering the compensation you deserve. When you are represented by the Orange County personal injury attorney Tim Ryan, insurance adjusters know that they will need to make a fair settlement to avoid the risk of paying more after a trial. Whether you are making a personal injury or a wrongful death claim, the firm's decades of experience handling motorcycle accident insurance claims will help you achieve justice.