Litigating the Motorcycle Accident Claim
Successfully bringing a claim for damages for injury and property loss due to a motorcycle accident calls for knowledge and experience. As soon as possible after a motorcycle accident, you should secure the services of a competent California motorcycle accident attorney with proven success in representing motorcycle crash victims.
Your motorcycle accident attorney will help you decide whether to file a lawsuit and against whom. Even if you file a lawsuit, you may never have a formal trial. Most motorcycle accident claims are settled before trial, through negotiations between the biker’s lawyer and the representatives of the opposing party.
Settlement is not always possible, however. The other side may disagree about who caused the motorcycle accident or may not want to pay enough to cover your damages. If settlement is not possible, then a trial before a judge or jury will be necessary to decide your case.
Most claims for motorcycle accident-related damages are brought under the legal theory of negligence. Someone is negligent under the law when he did not intend to do harm but caused injury anyway because he did not act in a prudent and careful manner.
States’ laws concerning negligence are similar, requiring proof of four elements to establish a motorcycle accident claim:
- Duty. The defendant had a duty to act with care toward others so as not to cause them harm. Every driver is expected to operate the vehicle safely.
- Breach. The defendant breached that duty, such as by driving unsafely or failing to repair a pothole.
- Causation. The defendant’s failure to use care was a contributing cause of the motorcycle accident.
- Damages. You suffered injury or property damage because of the motorcycle accident.
Your motorcycle accident attorney will seek to prove these elements through witnesses and evidence. Before trial, the attorney will use this evidence to show the other side that settlement is in their best interest. If settlement is not possible, your motorcycle accident lawyer will use this evidence to prove your case in court.
If the other driver is able to prove that you were at least partially responsible for the motorcycle accident, your recovery for injury and property damage may be diminished in proportion to the level of your fault.
For example, if an automobile driver carelessly turned in front of you, he may be found at fault for the accident. But he may be able to prove that your speeding was a contributing factor to the motorcycle accident. In that case, a judge or jury may apportion damages between you based on your percentage of fault. Say your total damages added up to $100,000. If the car driver is considered 75% at fault and you 25% for the motorcycle accident, you would receive only $75,000 ($100,000 x 75%).
This gets even more complicated if the other driver files a countersuit against you. Consider our example in which the motorcycle rider was found 25% at fault. Now assume the other driver can prove he had $100,000 in property damages because his expensive import car was totaled. The cyclist would still be entitled to $75,000 from the car’s driver. But he would also owe $25,000 ($100,000 x 25%) for his share of the damage to the driver’s car.
Preventing the other side from placing any of the blame for the motorcycle accident on you is crucial to your optimum recovery of damages. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney will put as much effort into disproving any fault on your part as he puts into proving your opponent’s fault in causing the motorcycle accident.
Time is of the Essence in Motorcycle Accidents
As your motorcycle accident attorney can tell you, you have only a limited time to file your motorcycle accident claim. The law places time limits on lawsuits to protect those who might be sued from having to defend a claim years after the event. With the passage of time, evidence may be lost, memories fade and key witnesses may die or become untraceable. Wait too long and you will lose your right to recover damages for your injury and property damage.
Act quickly after a motorcycle crash to protect your claim. As soon as possible, retain a reputable and experienced motorcycle accident attorney to help you being the process.
Finding the Right California Motorcycle Accident Attorney is Key
Attorneys at The Reeves Law Group have handled thousands of personal injury claims, including numerous motorcycle accident claims. Our motorcycle accident attorneys know what it takes to get you the highest possible recovery for your injury and property damage and will do everything necessary to get you what you are entitled. They have valuable experience and proven success in:
- Identifying all possible defendants.
- Employing the services of the best motorcycle accident reconstructionists.
- Locating and getting testimony from important witnesses.
- Preserving crucial evidence.
- Vigorously advocating on behalf of motorcycle accident claimants with insurers and their opponents’ lawyers, as well as in court.
The attorneys at The Reeves Law Group have dealt with many motorcycle accident victims and understand what you have been through. They will do all that is necessary to get you the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has suffered damages following a motorcycle accident, please contact our law firm at (800) 644-8000 as soon as possible for a free consultation with an attorney.