San Diego Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Unfortunately, the number of motorcycle accidents in San Diego is increasing. Locally, these types of collisions are regularly occurring as a result of careless or negligent acts of other drivers on the road. Motorcyclists today face increased dangers on the road that result in serious injuries. When a collision occurs, it is important to know that your legal rights and to understand what you are entitled to recover from the person or persons at fault for the crash.
Parts of San Diego, California Prone to Motorcycle Accidents
Urban areas like San Diego have a higher rate of motorcycle accidents because there are more cars on the road. Traffic is much heavier, and that means more chances for a motorcyclist to be involved in a crash. Drivers are in a hurry causing them to drive recklessly, run red lights, and switch lanes without warning because stop-and-go traffic increases tempers and causes road rage to be an issue.
Furthermore, winding roads are difficult to navigate when you do not know what is around the next corner. The proximity of San Diego to the ocean creates many foggy and misty days that reduce visibility and tire traction. Even under the best circumstances, a motorcyclist must be vigilant to avoid collisions. However, the most cautious and attentive motorcyclists can never be fully prepared for drivers who are distracted or careless.
Length of Time to File a Claim
It is important that you act quickly after a collision to protect your rights. Contacting a lawyer is the first step to ensure that you are compensated for your damages and your losses. In California, you are required to file a claim for damages prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Claims regarding vehicle collisions must be filed within two years from the date of the incident, in accordance with the State of California Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations. If you fail to file the lawsuit within two years, you will likely lose your right to sue the person responsible for your injuries.
If the crash involves a public or government entity (i.e. trash trucks, city vehicles, etc.), you must act more quickly to preserve your rights. Failing to file a claim with the appropriate government office within six months of the date of the crash may result in your claim being denied. Therefore, consulting a San Diego motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible may prevent you from failing to meet deadlines that will prevent you from recovering your losses.
Persons Who Can Sue for Damages
If you have been injured in a crash, you can sue the person responsible for the accident for damages including medical expenses, related property damage, loss of potential income and pain and suffering. However, there may be other claims that you or a loved one may have in addition to these general damages. For example, if you are unable to perform household chores or you are unable to be intimate with your spouse, your spouse may have a loss of consortium claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer who handles motorcycle crash cases can advise you of all the claims that you may have related to a collision.
If the motorcyclist was killed from injuries sustained in the accident, his or her family can file a claim against the other party. It is devastating when you lose a loved one, especially when it is due to a preventable accident. No amount of money will ever replace your loved one; however, an award for damages can help with costly funeral expenses and medical bills as well as provide for the needs of your family.
Amount of Monetary Compensation
There is no magic formula used to determine how much money someone will receive from a motor-vehicle collision claim. It all depends on the injuries sustained in the accident and the circumstances of the accident. In most cases, injured parties can receive reimbursement for actual losses such as medical bills and lost wages in addition to money for pain and suffering. If the individual sustained an injury that will require ongoing medical care or will prevent him from returning to work, he may receive an amount for future expenses.
In some cases, if the acts of the defendant was grossly negligent or so egregious that the court believes the defendant should be punished, the plaintiff may be entitled to punitive damages. A monetary award intended to “punish” extremely bad behavior, punitive damages are to deter the defendant and others from repeating the behavior in the future.
Although a San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer cannot tell a client exactly what he or she may receive as compensation for injuries sustained in a collision, experienced personal injury attorneys can explain how medical expenses as well as pain and suffering are compensated.
Why An Attorney is Necessary
Yes, you should always consult an attorney after a crash that involves injuries. Individuals who retain attorneys typically receive much more money for their claim compared to individuals who try to settle the claim without an attorney. Motorcycle accident attorneys have experience in dealing with the complex issues involved in these types of personal injury cases as well as the knowledge of specific laws and requirements that are specific to motorcycle accidents.
Most motorcycle accident attorneys in San Diego offer free consultations, and, if you hire the attorney, you will not be required to pay any attorney’s fees or costs until or unless you receive compensation for your injuries. Therefore, it makes sense to consult with an attorney as soon as possible following a motorcycle accident. You have nothing to lose by learning more about your rights and by having someone on your side to protect your rights.