After a motorcycle accident, it is common for drivers of passenger cars and trucks to claim that they did not see the motorcyclist. Since they are smaller than other vehicles, motorcycles may go unseen, especially at intersections, and thus may be involved in serious head-on or T-bone crashes. If you are a motorcyclist who was injured in an intersection collision caused by someone else, you should consult an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney. At Black & DePaoli, we understand motorcycle culture and the bias that motorcyclists may face when presenting a claim to insurers and juries. Our firm works hard to help motorcyclists seek the greatest possible compensation for their injuries.
Bringing a Claim Based on an Intersection Collision
When they do not realize that a motorcyclist is at an intersection, drivers of larger vehicles may run red lights or stop signs, or they may fail to yield the right of way. Typically, motorcyclists are unprotected or barely protected from the force of a collision, and they may suffer catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and broken limbs. An injured motorcyclist will likely need to establish the other driver’s negligence in order to recover compensation. They will need to prove that it is more likely than not that the other driver breached a duty to use reasonable care and that this breach was the actual and legal cause of their injuries.
Often, the other driver will try to blame an intersection collision on a motorcyclist. A motorcyclist’s damages will be reduced by an amount equal to their fault for the accident under the comparative negligence rule. In cases involving a head injury, for example, a motorcyclist’s failure to wear a motorcycle helmet may be framed by a defendant as comparative negligence. California follows a rule of pure comparative negligence, which means that a motorcyclist may recover from an automobile driver who was partly at fault, no matter their own degree of responsibility for the collision.
What if the other driver lies about who had the right of way or when they crossed the intersection? When an intersection is controlled by a traffic signal, it may be possible to establish another driver’s liability by looking at the timing of the traffic lights. It may also be helpful to have witness contact information or, in complex cases, to hire an accident reconstruction expert. An accident reconstruction expert can look at the debris, skid marks, damage to the motorcycle, witness statements and depositions, and a traffic report to determine the probable cause of an accident.
The injuries sustained by a motorcyclist in an intersection collision may be catastrophic. A motorcyclist who successfully proves liability may recover both special and general damages from an at-fault driver. Special damages are economic damages, such as wage loss, medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and property damage. General damages are intangible losses, such as loss of consortium, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and scarring and disfigurement. Often, your attorney’s presentation of your case may make a significant difference to the amount of general damages that you are offered in a settlement offer or in a jury verdict.
Consult a Folsom Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Travis G. Black formerly worked in the insurance industry and as a law enforcement officer. He understands the kinds of issues that are likely to come up in your case, and he can persuasively present your case to both adjustors and juries. If you have been injured in an intersection collision, you should consult a Folsom motorcycle accident lawyer. We provide experienced legal representation to injured people from our Folsom office. To obtain a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney, contact us online or call us at 916-962-2896.