How to Prove Fault: Help from a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If negligent driving or reckless driving is the cause of a traffic accident involving a motorcycle rider, the injured victim can seek compensation for damages. However…
The injured party must prove driver negligence to the insurance company. This is difficult without legal experience, but working with a knowledgeable Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer holds reckless drivers accountable and improves the success rate of recovering maximized settlements.
Even the most cautious riders can fall victim to another’s negligent driving, often attributed to distractions, blind spots, and road rage. Here is a look at why negligent drivers of passenger vehicles are liable in most motorcycle accidents and how an experienced personal injury lawyer assists clients recover maximum compensation.
Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Los Angeles County continues to take strides in promoting safe driving, as negligent driving has been a major concern in recent years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2020 Motorcycle Traffic Safety Fact Sheet, traffic accidents involving motorcyclists resulted in 5,579 fatalities. In addition, nearly 83,000 riders suffered motorcycle injuries. It has been found that the most common reasons for driver negligence include the following.
Driver negligence is when someone operating a motor vehicle fails to act with reasonable care and engages in distractions while behind the wheel. Examples of distracted and negligent driving include driving under the influence, fatigued driving, and speeding.
Additionally, as cell phone screen time continues to increase, so does smartphone usage while driving. This form of distracted driving is particularly dangerous because it takes a driver’s attention off the road and both hands off the steering wheel.
If a negligent driver was on the phone and caused a traffic accident that resulted in personal injuries to a victim, a motorcycle accident attorney can subpoena cell phone records to prove that driver was at fault.
Eye-tracking data shows that motorcyclists and other motor vehicle drivers see differently while on the road, as saccadic masking causes the brain to selectively block imaging data. This ultimately causes individuals to process visuals in varying ways.
This phenomenon impacts the habits of car driving and motorcycle riding, as both types of motorists interpret hazards differently. Therefore, everyone will not see the same threats or dangers as one another.
In other car accident cases, drivers simply fail to check for blind spots before changing lanes. When it comes to car drivers, they often do not see motorcycle riders due to their smaller stature. If motorcycles go unnoticed, traffic accidents become imminent.
Left-Hand Turn Accidents
Negligent driving can also cause a car accident with a motorcyclist when making a left turn at a traffic light. This occurs when the driver fails to leave enough space between his or her vehicle and the nearby motorcyclist.
Another common cause of left-turn accidents is when a negligent driver fails to stay within the lane and swerves into the neighboring pathway of a motorcycle.
Splitting lanes is legal in the state, under California Vehicle Code §21658.1. Lane-splitting is riding a motorcycle between rows of vehicles that are either stopped or moving in the same lane. Although legal, it is dangerous when a negligent driver is present.
It is illegal to block or impede a motorcyclist, as it can cause an accident and serious injury. Drivers of larger passenger vehicles have a legal duty to follow safe driving standards and are expected to leave enough passing room for motorcyclists to proceed.
While negligent driving causes many car accidents involving motorcyclists, government entities can also be liable, as the state is responsible for maintaining safe and driveable roadways.
If the county or city neglects the upkeep and conditions of its public roads and highways, they could be found at fault. For example, California is the fifth-worst state for reported potholes, which have been found to be particularly damaging in many car accidents and resulted in over $26 billion in vehicle repairs in 2021.
Unmaintained roadways are extremely dangerous for motorcycle riders, as well as other motorists, and can result in wrongful death accidents.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Proves Liability
A motorcycle accident victim suffering from a personal injury that was caused by a negligent driving accident has the right to compensation. An experienced car accident attorney will prove liability by presenting the four elements of negligence.
This consists of:
- Everyone owes a duty of care, which is to exercise ordinary care by driving in a reasonable manner. This includes following traffic laws to avoid endangering others. It must be indicated that the involved parties owed this legal obligation.
- The negligent driver breached the duty of care, failing to operate in a reasonable manner. Examples include rolling through stop signs, running red lights, or failing to follow other traffic laws.
- By breaching the duty of care, reckless driving caused the motorcycle accident. In order to prove liability, there must be a connection between the breach partially or fully causing the accident. This is often evident in police reports and other evidence.
- The reckless driving resulted in damages. A personal injury attorney will correlate the accident to sustained economic damages and non-economic damages. An attorney can also pull up the driving record of the other involved parties to determine if they have been guilty of similar reckless driving in the past, further proving they were at fault.
Ultimately, any monetary losses or hardships that resulted due to the motorcycle accident may qualify for compensation. The purpose of compensating victims is to help them recover back to the same state (physical, mental, and financial), pre-motorcycle accident.
Recoverable Damages from a Negligent Driving Case
When a motorcyclist suffers from a reckless driving accident, a personal injury claim can be filed to recover losses. In a car accident case or similar auto accident case, there are two categories of losses that qualify for fair compensation. These are economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic damages typically hold a monetary value and are supported with receipts or invoices. Examples include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
- Non-economic damages do not have a fixed monetary value. However, this form of loss still qualifies for compensation. Examples include loss of consortium or pain and suffering
Personal Injury Damages
Every case is unique, so damages will vary. The insurance company of the at-fault party is responsible for paying back these damages. which can include:
- Ambulance and paramedic fees
- Medical bills (ER visits, surgeries, physical therapy, counseling)
- Pain management and prescriptions
- Repair or replacement of the motorcycle and other personal property
- Loss of wages or future earnings from the inability to work
- Permanent disfigurement
If reckless driving from the at-fault driver caused a fatal motorcycle accident, surviving family of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Recoverable damages in this type of case include funeral expenses, burial costs, and loss of income. The psychological impact the untimely passing caused on the family will also be taken into account.
Contact the Top Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were injured in a personal injury accident caused by another party’s reckless driving, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Angeleno Accident Lawyers offers a free consultation and will review your legal options at no charge.
Our personal injury law firm specializes in motorcycle accident cases and fights to hold the at-fault parties accountable. Contact us today to begin building your winning case.