Lakewood Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
The Lakewood Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Bisnar Chase have over 40 years of experience handling catastrophic bike collision cases. Our legal knowledge and resources allow us to take on the most serious cases and win millions in compensation for injury victims.
We've built a reputation on being diligent and successful and our personal injury law offices maintains a 99% success rate. We also operate on a contingency fee basis which means if we do not win, you do not have to pay.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call 323-238-4683 and receive a free evaluation from a top-notch legal expert.
What to Do After a Bike Collision in Lakewood
The city of Lakewood, California is a very congested area with access to many local freeways. With that convenience comes the danger for motorcycle riders who are often injured from impatient drivers and heavy congestion.
Riders that have been involved in an accident must:
- Contact the police: Call 911 immediately. An ambulance will then be contacted, and you will be treated for your injuries. Do not leave the scene of the collision. Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense and may result in a fine or jail time.
- File a police report: California drivers are required to file a police report if there were catastrophic injuries or fatalities present. The report must also be filed within 24 hours. Even if there were only some minor damages, it would still be beneficial for you to file a police report so you can later use this as evidence when filing your insurance claim.
- Collect evidence: Different types of information that you should gather after a motorcycle wreck include witness accounts, pictures of the incident, or if you can take the bike home, the motorcycle damage. Note that you should take not only photos of your injuries and vehicle damages, but also the street and weather conditions.
- File an insurance claim: After the incident, you need to call your insurance company right away. You will then be asked to provide a brief description of what occurred, what vehicles were involved, etc. Next, you will be assigned an adjuster that will personally handle your claim and negotiate on your behalf. You must follow up with your adjuster to learn the status of your claim.
- Speak to a Lakewood motorcycle accident lawyer: As soon as you receive an offer letter and recognize that the amount provided will not cover all of your losses, speak to a motorcycle accident attorney in Lakewood, California. Bisnar Chase has collected over $650 Million for our clients in judgments, settlements, and verdicts. We have helped over 12,000 clients get fair compensation. Call 323-238-4683 today for a free consultation with one of our trusted legal team members.
Who is At-Fault for Your Injury?
California operates as an at-fault state, which means that the negligent party of an incident is financially responsible for the victim's losses. In some personal injury cases, police officers determine who breached the duty of care to the victim.
Parties that can be held liable for your losses can be:
- Reckless drivers
- Government entity
Compensation You Can Recover For a Lakewood Motorcycle Accident
At times, insurance companies can discourage a bike accident victim from fighting for certain types of compensation. It is critical that those injured in a collision carefully review their policy to understand what they are entitled to. The law firm of Bisnar Chase recognizes that insurance or legal jargon can be confusing to many who have not been involved in this situation. We offer free legal advice to individuals who need help when reviewing their insurance policies.
Medical bills: Policyholders usually have what is known as PIP (personal injury protection) in their plan. PIP coverage provides you what you need to pay off medical bills after an incident. The process of being billed for your injury involves first your health insurance being billed. If any other payments need to be made, PIP will cover the rest. When there are still many medical expenses that need to be paid off, and neither the insurance company nor your health insurance refuses to cover your bills, talk to a Lakewood motorcycle injury attorney to explore your legal options.
Loss of income: Motorcycle riders that have experienced severe physical and emotional harm from a wreck sometimes cannot go back to work immediately. In some cases, a bike victim may not be able to return to work for the rest of their lives. To prove that you have lost wages due to your injuries, you must provide the amount of vacation/sick time you have used to recover and how much money you would have earned if you were working. You are also entitled to compensation for missed opportunities such as promotions and raises.
Property damage: There are many types of insurance policies, but each policy needs to have some kind of liability insurance that covers property damage. There are times though, that the at-fault party does not have car insurance. Only motorcyclists who have uninsured motorist coverage will be compensated. At times, people do not have this in their policy, though. Costs such as motorcycle repairs, motor vehicle rentals, or even a new motorcycle will need to be paid out-of-pocket. Preventive measures like adding uninsured motorist coverage can help you later down the road when filing for compensation.
Pain and suffering: The legal term "pain and suffering" is defined as the physical and emotional harm a person experiences after a motorcycle or car accident. Obtaining compensation for pain and suffering is not easily measured. Various factors need to be present to be proven. "Pain and suffering" is considered a non-economic damage. Mental anguish falls into non-economic damages. Mental anguish can be verified by being evaluated by a licensed therapist, psychiatrist, or family member testimonials.
Wrongful death expenses: When a loved one has passed away due to another's negligence, surviving family members can then file a wrongful death claim. The claimant can file for losses such as funeral expenses, loss of income the deceased would have earned in their lifetime, and medical bills that the deceased accrued when attempts were made to save their life. Entities that can be potentially liable for a wrongful death include a negligent driver, manufacturer, or governmental body.
The Worth of Your Lakewood Motorcycle Accident Case
Determining how much your injury claim is worth is a complex process due to multiple factors that need to be considered. There is no fixed amount that each motorcycle accident victim will receive due to every collision being different. For example, an individual who lost a limb in a bike wreck may be awarded a more significant amount than someone who suffered a fractured bone in their arm.
The insurance company places losses in two separate categories: special damages and general damages.
Special damages are referred to as economic damages (medical bills, motorcycle damage) that can be calculated. General damages or non-economic damages (emotional trauma, pain and suffering) are losses that are not tangible.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
In a one-year study period, 4,985 motorcycle riders lost their lives on the road. Experts also conclude that those who drive a motorcycle are 27 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than a passenger driver. What are the causes of these types of incidents? More importantly, what preventative measures can be taken to decrease the chances of a bike collision taking place?
Causes and steps to take to prevent an accident include:
Reckless lane changing: Lane changing can quickly become dangerous if you fail to let others know that you are changing lanes. Whether you are a passenger or motorcycle rider, you are putting yourself and others at risk if you do not correctly change lanes. Ensure that you turn on your signal, check your mirrors and blind spots, and always check if there is enough space to fit when changing lanes.
Opening car doors: Bikers should be aware of car doors opening in busy streets. When exiting the vehicle, passengers must check to make sure it is safe to do so. At times, car drivers are also parked on the wrong side of the street, which can increase the possibility of opening a car door on a cyclist. Car passengers have the responsibility to look before leaving the vehicle.
Lane splitting: Lane splitting is allowed in California only if it is safe to do so. This action can be left to interpretation which can lead to many participating in reckless driving. When a rider is near a car on a highway, the vehicle is not anticipating that someone will zoom quickly by them. They could then crash into a cyclist when changing lanes.
Hazardous road conditions: Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to the elements since they have less protection than a passenger vehicle. Protective gear such as helmets and durable outerwear can only help so much. Different types of road hazards can involve rough roads, debris on the highway, or black ice.
Typical Motorcycle Wreck Injuries
Motorcycle safety is imperative when riding. The average motorcycle weight is 700 pounds compared to a car that could be up to 4,000 pounds; the collision for the cyclist can be fatal. Those who do survive the ordeal could be left with highly debilitating injuries.
Common injuries that riders experience when involved in an accident could be:
Amputations: The blunt force from a bike crash can lead to many losing limbs. Fingers, hands, or legs can become wedged in between a passenger vehicle and the pavement. Not only can this be physically painful but also emotionally. Losing a limb can alter a person's life completely, and they may need psychological therapy.
Bone fractures: There are a plethora of fractures that a motorcycle accident victim can experience that can be classified as open or closed. The difference between open (compound) and closed (similar) fractures lies in breaking the skin. Compound fractures break the skin and expose the bone. Broken bones are treated with splints, casts, traction, or surgery.
Road rash: Healthline.com defines road rash as a superficial injury to the skin. The outer tissue is ripped away by a rub or a scrape against another object. Several kinds of abrasions can occur in a motorcycle accident that ranges from being first to third-degree burns. Third-degree burns are the most severe of the scrapes because layers of the skin are exposed. These types of injuries require treatment, such as reconstruction surgery or skin grafting.
Sheriff Killed in Motorcycle Accident in Lakewood
Deputy Thomas J. Albanese was killed at the intersection of Del Amo and Paramount Boulevard while riding his motorcycle.
The woman involved in the incident was driving her Mercedes Benz and struck him at such force that Albanese was catapulted off the bike. Experts said that he died on impact.
In an afternoon press conference, Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated the driver of the Mercedes "may have had the green and [was] rolling through on the green, but the intersection wasn't clear yet." The investigators will be able to piece together the sequence of events.
Lakewood Motorcycle Accident Lawyers You Can Depend On
Many motorcycle accident cases we see include catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. Most of the injuries include severe back injuries, traumatic brain injuries and amputations.
These difficult cases require a skilled Lakewood Motorcycle Accident Lawyer who understands compensation factors for catastrophic and fatal injuries.
Call 323-238-4683 today for a free consultation and begin the process of getting the compensation you deserve.