Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Los Angeles highways are legendary for traffic congestion. With so many vehicles in a confined space, and the frayed nerves of drivers stuck in stop-and-go traffic, collisions are inevitable.
Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to serious injuries in collisions with other vehicles in heavy traffic because of their lack of protection. Many drivers do not account for the short stopping distance of motorcycles. Drivers who follow a motorcycle too closely in stop-and-go traffic often wind up rear-ending the motorcyclist, because the motorcycle stops much faster than a larger vehicle. These accidents with larger vehicles can crush bikers from behind, or throw them from their motorcycles. Moreover, a crash that causes relatively minor damage to a car can cause catastrophic injuries for a biker.
The California motorcycle crash attorneys at Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, work to ensure motorcyclists get the compensation they need and deserve for serious injuries suffered because of negligent drivers. We also represent family members in wrongful death actions when a negligent or reckless driver kills a motorcyclist in an accident.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists face many hazards on the road. Our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys regularly handle a wide variety of motorcycle accidents, including:
- Car door accidents. If a driver opens a door into traffic while parallel parked, a motorcyclist can crash into the door.
- Rear-end crashes. If a car is driving too fast or following too closely, it can easily rear-end a motorcycle when it stops quickly.
- Lane-change accidents. A driver who isn’t paying attention and doesn’t see a motorcycle can switch lanes and sideswipe a motorcycle.
- Turn accidents. When a motorcyclist passes through an intersection, a driver might make a sudden left-hand turn and either run into the motorcycle or pull right in front of it.
- Passing accidents. A vehicle that pulls out into the other lane to pass another vehicle might strike a motorcycle coming in the other direction.
These are only some ways that a driver can collide with a motorcycle. Every situation is different, so you should meet with a motorcycle accident lawyer to review the facts of your case. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, California law may entitle you to financial compensation for your injuries.
Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Motorcycles provide less protection to their riders than passenger cars provide their occupants, so motorcyclists often suffer far more serious injuries in accidents. Our Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers have obtained compensation for clients who suffered:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe gashes and wounds, including road rash
- Limb loss
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries
These injuries require immediate medical attention and ongoing care for weeks, months, or even years into the future. In particularly serious crashes, motorcyclists might never fully recover from their injuries but remain bedridden, cognitively impaired, or even paralyzed. The most serious motorcycle accidents are fatal.
What Losses Are Recoverable in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
If someone else was responsible for your motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, our motorcycle accident attorneys will review your case to help you determine whether you are eligible to file a legal claim.
Damages that victims commonly recover in motorcycle accident cases include:
Medical care. You may receive a lump sum of money to pay for past medical care. If you will need medical attention in the future, you may recover money to pay for those expenses as well.
Medical expenses often include:
- Transportation to the hospital in an ambulance
- CT scans
- Blood tests
- Assistive devices such as wheelchairs, canes, or crutches
- Doctor appointments
- Hospital stays
- Prescription medications
To help calculate possible compensation, your lawyer will need to see bills or receipts for all of the medical care you have received. If you need continuing care, then your lawyer may estimate the costs of this assistance or retain an expert who can calculate the amount you may need for future medical care.
Lost wages. Motorcycle accidents frequently leave victims with injuries that prevent them from working. If you find yourself in this situation, you may recover compensation for lost wages. Our Los Angeles attorneys can help you document the extent of wage losses by collecting proof of payment, such as paystubs or profit-loss statements for the self-employed.
If your injuries are so severe you can’t return to your old job, you may also recover compensation for lost future wages. To claim lost income, however, you may need to present evidence justifying the future losses you are claiming. This often requires the assistance of experts, and the representation of an experienced lawyer can have a significant impact on any amount of damages for loss of future income you ultimately recover.
Property damage. Your Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer can pursue compensation for any damage to your motorcycle or other personal property damaged in your accident. Our attorneys can help you document the cost of replacing or repairing your bike. You might pursue property damage compensation as part of your lawsuit, or as a separate insurance claim. If you choose to pursue an insurance claim, then the driver’s insurance may limit the amount you can recover.
Pain and suffering. Motorcycle accidents can cause crushing pain. After a vehicle weighing two or more tons slams into you, you might never return to your normal life because of the pain or disability caused by your injuries. The law allows accident victims to receive a sum of money to help compensate them for this pain.
Unfortunately, insurance companies often dispute pain and suffering claims. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, our accident attorneys can help you document your pain so that you recover just compensation. Records that we might collect to support your claim include:
- Medical records showing the severity of your injuries
- Testimony from friends and family who can attest to the pain you have suffered
- A journal in which you document how your injuries have impacted your life and the level and severity of the pain
- Testimony from doctors and medical practitioners that demonstrate the extent of the pain management required to treat and control your pain, including rehabilitation programs and prescription meds
Wrongful death. Thousands of motorcyclists die in collisions each year. California law allows families to recover compensation for the loss of a loved one wrongfully killed by negligent or reckless drivers.
Depending on the circumstances, survivors might recover compensation including:
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of care, comfort, society, affection, solace, companionship and emotional support
- Funeral and burial expenses
Results That Speak for Themselves
We have won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for motorcycle accident victims. Our recoveries include:
- We obtained a $6.4 million court verdict for a 17-year-old motorcycle passenger who suffered a brain injury.
- We secured a $5.5 million settlement for a motorcycle rider who suffered brain damage in an accident caused by dangerous road conditions when a nearby hotel flooded the roadway with water from the hotel pool.
- We secured a $3.7 million verdict against the state of California in a wrongful death case involving a young boy and a related injury case involving his father who lost his leg because of defective roadway conditions.
- We obtained a $1.9 million settlement for a motorcyclist whom a Los Angeles County MTA bus sideswiped.
Although past accomplishments do not guarantee future success or indicate the amount of your potential award, these recoveries demonstrate just a few of our victories for injured victims. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash, contact the law office of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, for a free initial consultation with an attorney.
Motorcycle Accident Causes
Driver negligence causes many motorcycle accidents. Common forms of driver negligence include:
- Following too closely behind a motorcycle
- Driving without sufficient sleep
- Driving while texting or talking on the phone
- Changing lanes without checking
- Failing to yield at an intersection
- Failing to obey traffic signs
- Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs
- Failing to use turn signals
No two motorcycle accidents are the same. Our Los Angeles accident lawyers know how to perform a full investigation to uncover whether another driver acted negligently, or whether the city or another governmental entity negligently designed or maintained a hazardous road condition that caused your accident. A proper investigation requires time, money, and expertise, which many accident victims lack as they try to recover from injuries and get their lives back on track.
Tackling Jury Misconceptions Head-On
Motorcycle accident cases are some of the toughest to win at trial, because most jurors have never driven a motorcycle and do not understand the conditions motorcyclists face on the road. Common jury misconceptions include:
- Not understanding that cars require a much greater stopping distance and must allow more space when driving behind a motorcycle.
- Not allowing motorcycles enough room, crowding them in their lanes.
- Not knowing that bikers have a right to do different things than cars. (For example, motorcycles in California can legally ride between lanes of traffic—lane splitting—and can use carpool lanes.) This makes some drivers unjustifiably angry and can cause road rage towards motorcyclists.
You need lawyers who can explain the unique challenges—and rights—of riding a motorcycle to a jury. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, our attorneys understand juror misconceptions and can help jurors overcome them to recognize that a driver, not the motorcyclist, was at fault for an accident.
The Evidence It Takes to Win
To counteract the misconceptions and prejudices of a jury, it’s extremely important to provide clear-cut, understandable, and compelling evidence regarding the cause of the accident. Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, does this in a truly exemplary manner.
We understand the importance of high-caliber, customized, and persuasive evidence of negligence and causation. We maintain an evidence warehouse where we store damaged motorcycles for post-crash examination, testing, and mechanical review.
When appropriate, we work with expert accident investigators and skilled designers to create crash scene reenactments, build models, and produce live trial demonstrations, all of which can play a pivotal role in securing a favorable verdict from a jury. In some instances, judges have brought juries to our evidence warehouse to see the wreckage for themselves.
Other evidence that can help prove your case includes:
- Eyewitness testimony. Did any other people see your accident? If so, our attorneys can interview them and possibly call them to testify at trial.
- Medical testimony. Emergency and medical personnel might have overheard or seen something that will prove helpful to your case.
- Your own memories. You are an important witness and can testify as to what actions you took before the collision. If the driver who struck you made statements—such as an apology—then that information is also helpful.
- Surveillance video. Many businesses have surveillance cameras that record their parking lots and adjacent roads. If a video captured the crash, we may locate it and introduce it into evidence.
- Your medical records. Medical evidence can help establish the point of impact as well as the severity of your injuries.
- The other driver’s medical records. These records might reveal a medical condition that should have prevented the other person from driving. Records might also show the driver was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
- The other driver’s driving record. A driving record may show prior incidents of reckless driving, speeding, driving while intoxicated, or even other accidents.
- The other driver’s phone records. If the driver was texting, emailing, or talking on the phone while driving, then phone records can help prove this. We may request subpoenas to obtain these records.
- Photographs of your injuries. A trial might not take place for at least a year after the accident. In the interim, severe injuries and bruises will fade and your visible wounds might heal. Vivid, color photographs can remind jurors that you suffered horrific injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence.
- Photographs of the accident scene. Ideally, you can get photographs of the final resting positions of both the vehicle and your motorcycle. Also helpful are photographs of the surrounding area that might show obstructions, such as tree limbs obscuring stop signs or parked cars reducing the visibility of an intersection.
- Recorded 911 conversations. The other driver might have made admissions to emergency personnel that you can use to help prove your case in a lawsuit. We may request a copy of the 911 conversation.
The more helpful information your attorney can gather, the stronger your case and the greater your chances of recovering compensation. One advantage of working with Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys like Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, is that we understand the evidence that juries find persuasive and know how to go about collecting it legally. Call one of our attorneys today for a free consultation.
An investigation into the accident might reveal that you are partially to blame for the crash. For example, you might have broken the speed limit or something may have distracted you while motoring down the road. Some people wrongly believe that they can’t receive compensation if their own negligence partially contributed to the crash.
In California, motorcycle accident victims may receive compensation for their injuries so long as someone else was at least partially responsible. In cases involving contributory negligence, the apportionment of fault often is determined by the legal arguments made by the parties, making the assistance of an attorney extremely important. At Greene, Broillet and Wheeler, LLP, we aggressively advocate for our clients’ rights and attempt to minimize their own liability for an accident, if any, to the extent possible under the law.
Protect Your Rights Now
Accident victims in California do not have an indefinite amount of time to bring lawsuits. The sooner you reach out to a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer at Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, the better.
By contacting a lawyer soon, you can help preserve evidence. As time passes, accident witnesses prove harder to find and their memories fade. You might not find all of the evidence you need to help you at trial.
Another reason not to delay: You don’t want to allow California’s statute of limitations to run out. This law gives motorcycle accident victims only two years from the date of the accident to bring suit against a private party. The deadline is much shorter if your case involves a driver who works for state or local government—such as a police officer or municipal bus driver—or claims against a city or other governmental entity for negligent roadway design or maintenance. In those instances, the deadline is only six months.
If you wait too long, a judge will throw your case out of court. This means no reimbursement for your medical expenses and no replacement of your lost wages. The driver responsible for your injuries walks away completely free from liability—all because you waited too long to file a lawsuit.
At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we are committed to protecting our clients’ legal rights—but we need to hear from you first. Our team of dedicated motorcycle accident lawyers will help you preserve evidence and bring legal action before the statute of limitations. Don’t delay.
Free, No-Risk Consultation
At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we offer free, no-risk consultations to motorcycle accident victims and their families so that they can get a better sense of their cases and the services we offer. When people contact us, we ask them to tell us what they know about their accident so we can get a feel for the surrounding circumstances.
Potential clients also get time to ask our lawyers questions that will help them decide whether we have the right experience to handle their case. Questions you might ask an attorney include:
- How many motorcycle accident cases have you handled? When was the most recent one?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case based on what you know now?
- What evidence would help strengthen my case? Am I likely to find it?
- How do you communicate with clients? Do you prefer to talk on the phone or send emails?
- Will you answer my questions or do you have an assistant handle communication with clients?
Whether meeting with our Los Angeles attorneys or with another firm, pay close attention to the answers to these questions. You will work closely with your accident attorney to build the strongest case possible, and trust is the foundation of any successful attorney-client relationship. If you don’t think a lawyer has enough experience, schedule a consultation with someone else.
Also, determine whether you like the lawyer’s communication style. To bring a successful lawsuit, you need to understand what is happening in your case. This means you need to understand the legal issues so that you can make choices about how your lawsuit will proceed. As the client, you control all of the important decisions, such as whether you want to settle or go to trial. If a lawyer talks over your head—or if you were too intimidated to ask questions—then you might want to go to a different law firm.
Fee Agreements That Make Sense
Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP’s contingency fee agreement makes quality attorneys affordable to struggling accident victims. Under this arrangement, you pay no attorney fees unless we win your case, and then we will receive only a percentage of your settlement or court judgment. You keep the rest. If we lose, you owe us nothing.
Put Skill and Experience on Your Side in Court
Motorcycle accidents often cause devastating injuries, leaving victims and their families in vulnerable financial positions. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we fight to get motorcycle accident victims the compensation they deserve. To speak to us about your motorcycle accident claim, please contact a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer at Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. We represent clients in the Los Angeles area, throughout Southern California, and across the entire state. We also consult with attorneys and clients nationwide. Call today for a free consultation at (310) 576-1200.