Compared to passenger cars, motorcycles are unstable. It is fairly common for a motorcycle rollover to occur and for a rider to be ejected. Unlike people in passenger cars, people on a motorcycle are virtually unprotected and may suffer catastrophic injuries, even if they were not traveling very fast at the time of the rollover. Motorcycle rollover accidents sometimes result from a rider laying the bike down to avoid a negligently driven car. The California motorcycle accident lawyers at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC are here to help you determine whether you may have a claim after a crash.
Motorcycle Rollover Accident Claims
It is common for insurance adjusters working on behalf of an at-fault driver to blame a motorcyclist for a rollover accident or argue that the injuries are exaggerated or attributable to something other than the rollover. This problem is especially likely in situations in which a motorcyclist gets up right away at the scene of an accident. Similarly, manufacturers of motorcycles are likely to defend against a product liability claim by arguing that the motorcyclist did something wrong in operating the motorcycle.
A Folsom motorcycle accident lawyer can develop evidence and arguments that support your claim to ensure that your position as a victim of a motorcycle rollover accident is as strong as it can be. This may mean that you try to hold multiple people or entities at fault for the accident and use different theories to hold them accountable. When another driver is to blame for the rollover accident, you will most likely need to show negligence. This means that you will prove that the at-fault driver owed a duty to use reasonable care, did not meet this duty, and caused the rollover.
Often, an at-fault driver will try to redirect blame back to the motorcyclist. California follows the rule of comparative negligence. Under this rule, a plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by an amount equal to their percentage of fault. For example, if you try to lay your bike down due to a negligent driver and wind up in a rollover, the at-fault driver may argue that your efforts to lay the bike down were an overreaction that contributed to your injuries and that your damages should be reduced accordingly.
Sometimes a motorcycle rollover accident is a result of a defective part. You may be able to recover damages directly from the manufacturer under a theory of strict liability, negligence, or breach of warranty. Strict liability is a theory that allows you to recover from a manufacturer for a rollover accident as long as you can show that there was a manufacturing or design defect that caused the rollover and your resulting injuries.
If you establish liability, you may be able to recover a wide range of damages, including both economic and noneconomic losses, such as your medical bills, medical mileage, out-of-pocket costs, property damage, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and mental anguish. Your ability to actually recover the damages that you are awarded may depend on insurance coverage issues. For example, you may not be able to recover damages even if you establish liability in situations in which an at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. It is vitally important that you carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your motorcycle so that you are able to make a claim against your own policy in case an at-fault driver is not insured. In these claims, you will be in an adverse relationship with your own insurer, which means that it is still helpful to retain an experienced Folsom personal injury lawyer to help you protect your rights.