Santa Clara Motorcycle Accident Lawyers 

Santa Clara Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Motorcycle accidents frequently result in catastrophic consequences, causing severe injuries, considerable financial burdens, and a challenging recovery journey. It is important that you understand your legal rights to know what actions you can take. Our team at Suits Litigation can provide information for navigating the complex process of a motorcycle accident claim.

The legal team at Suits Litigation and our Santa Clara auto accident lawyers understand the unique challenges you face after a motorcycle accident crash. We are dedicated to providing compassionate support and aggressive representation to ensure we do everything we can to get the most out of your case. We can never make a guarantee, but we thoroughly investigate the accident, gather critical evidence, and leverage our extensive knowledge of California laws to bring you the best possible outcome.

What to Do Immediately After a Motorcycle Accident

You should always seek the medical attention you need after an accident, even if your injury is minor. Not all injuries are going to show up at first because of the adrenaline masking the pain, so do not assume you are fine. Once you receive medical care and get that documentation, you should gather evidence by taking photos of the damage, injuries, and surroundings and collect contact information from witnesses.

It is important to remain calm and avoid admitting fault or apologizing to anyone at the scene. Even the slightest statement you make could make it seem like you were at fault when you were not. Stick to the facts when speaking with the police or other parties involved, and let your motorcycle accident attorney handle any communication with insurance companies or the other party’s legal team.

How to File an Accident Report

Filing an accurate and thorough accident report with the police in Santa Clara, CA, is a critical step after you experience a motorcycle crash. This document serves as an official record of the incident and can play a vital role in insurance claims and legal proceedings. When the police arrive at the scene, provide them with a clear, factual account of the events leading up to the accident. 

When detailing an accident, include specific information such as the exact location, time, date, road conditions, weather, and traffic patterns, along with any contributing factors or hazards. If you have collected evidence like photos or witness contact details, submit these to the police to be included in their report.

If the police do not respond to the scene of a motorcycle accident, you may still need to file a vehicle collision report with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within ten days of the incident if the damage exceeds $1,000 or if anyone was injured or killed. Your lawyer can assist you in completing and submitting this report, ensuring that all necessary information is included and that your rights are protected throughout the process.

Be Sure to Follow Up on the Report

In the days following the accident, contact the police department to request a copy of the accident report. Review the report carefully to ensure that the information is accurate and complete, and if you notice any errors or omissions, request an amendment from the police station. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will use the accident report as a starting point for their investigation into the crash and may use the information contained in the report to support your claim for compensation.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can occur due to various factors, and understanding these common causes is important for both riders and other motorists to help prevent crashes. By identifying the most frequent contributing factors, riders can take steps to protect themselves, and all road users can work together to create a safer environment for motorcyclists. 

Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists
  • Failing to check blind spots
  • Not using turn signals
  • Potholes
  • Debris
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Slick conditions caused by weather or spills
  • Manufacturing or design defects in brakes, tires, or steering components
  • Inexperienced motorcycle riders
  • Lack of proper training or skills
  • Difficulty with basic maneuvers (cornering, braking, swerving)
  • Operating a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or fatigue

To minimize motorcycle accident risks, riders and motorists must understand common causes and actively work to address them. Collaborative efforts and a focus on safety can lead to a decrease in both the number and seriousness of motorcycle accidents, which can create a safer space for everyone on the road.

Why You Should Always Seek Medical Attention

Seeking medical attention after a motorcycle accident is vital, even if you initially think you are fine. A medical professional can assess your condition, document injuries, and provide treatment. Promptly seeking care demonstrates the seriousness of your injuries and can prevent the other party from arguing that your injuries are unrelated to the accident.

Hidden injuries, such as internal bleeding or concussions, may not show symptoms immediately but can have serious consequences if you do not get treatment. By seeking medical attention right away, you can ensure that any injuries are properly diagnosed and treated and that you have the necessary documentation to support all of the statements you make in your claim.

How to Handle an Insurance Claim After a Motorcycle Crash

Handling an insurance claim after a motorcycle accident can be complex, but taking the right steps is crucial to ensuring you receive the compensation you may be entitled to. First, report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, providing a clear, factual account of what happened. Be honest about the details of the accident and your injuries, but avoid admitting fault or apologizing, as this could be used against you later.

Keep detailed records of all medical treatment, expenses, and correspondence with insurance companies. If the other party’s insurance company contacts you, do not provide a recorded statement or sign any documents without consulting your lawyer, as adjusters may use tactics to get you to admit fault or downplay your injuries.

When considering settlement offers, remember that initial offers from insurance companies are often low and may not fully account for your losses. Work alongside a motorcycle injury lawyer who can assess the true value of your claim, negotiate on your behalf, and handle communications with insurance companies and the other party’s legal team. If negotiations fail to result in a fair settlement, your lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit to pursue the compensation you deserve.

Possible Forms of Compensation

If you have sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident because of another party’s negligence, you might be eligible for different types of compensation. These can include some of the following, but not limited to:

  • Medical expenses (current and future)
  • Lost wages and future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Property damage
  • Punitive damages (in cases of extreme negligence or intentional harm)

Your motorcycle accident lawyers will help you assess the full extent of your damages and fight for the compensation you desire. They will gather evidence to support your claim, such as medical records, expert testimony, and witness statements, and use this information to negotiate with insurance companies or present your case in court.

It is important to remember that every case is unique, and the compensation you may be entitled to will depend on the unique circumstances of your accident and the severity of your injuries. An motorcycle injury attorney can provide a realistic assessment of your case to help you understand what to expect throughout the legal process.

California Statute of Limitations

In California, you ‌typically have two years from the date the accident took place to file a personal injury claim and three years for property damage claims. Consult with motorcycle injury lawyers as soon as possible to protect your rights so the time that passes does not add up too quickly, and then you miss your chances.

Missing the deadline to file your claim can result in losing your right to seek compensation entirely, even if you have a strong case. Certain exceptions to the statute of limitations do exist, for instance, in situations involving minors or when injuries are discovered afterward; however, these exceptions are not common.

To protect your rights and ensure you have the best chance of securing the compensation you deserve, it is crucial to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. They can help with deadlines that apply to your case and take quick action to collect evidence and build a strong claim to potentially prove your side of the story.

Psychological Effects of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can cause psychological effects such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, fear of riding, sleep disturbances, and difficulty concentrating. These effects can be debilitating and may require professional treatment. A lawyer can help you seek compensation for the mental and emotional impact of the accident.

The psychological impact of a motorcycle accident can be just as severe as the physical injuries, and in some cases, even more so. You may experience flashbacks, nightmares, and intense fear or anxiety related to the accident, which can make it difficult to return to daily life and activities.

Address these psychological effects as part of your overall recovery plan and involve working with a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, to process the emotional trauma and develop coping strategies. Your motorcycle injury attorneys can help you include the cost of mental health treatment in your claim for compensation and ensure that the full impact of the accident is recognized and addressed.

Dealing With Long-Term Injuries From Your Crash

Long-term injuries like spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injuries can have lasting consequences. You may require ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, and assistance with daily activities. Dealing with long-term injuries can be physically, emotionally, and financially draining. You may be unable to work or participate in activities you once enjoyed, and you may require significant modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate your injuries.

Make sure you work with a motorcycle accident lawyer who understands the long-term impact of these injuries and can fight for the compensation you need to cover your ongoing expenses and support your quality of life. This may involve consulting with medical experts, life care planners, and other professionals to assess your needs and build a strong case for compensation.

When the Motorcycle Manufacturer is at Fault

In some cases, a motorcycle accident may be caused by a defect or malfunction in the motorcycle itself rather than the actions of another driver or road conditions. If a manufacturer’s negligence in designing, manufacturing, or testing the motorcycle led to your accident and injuries, you may have grounds for a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

Product liability claims involving motorcycle defects can be complex and challenging to prove. To succeed in such a claim, you must demonstrate that the motorcycle or one of its components was defective, that the defect existed when the motorcycle left the manufacturer’s control, and that it directly caused your accident and injuries. Examples of potential defects include faulty brakes, tires, steering systems, or fuel systems.

Pursuing a product liability claim requires a thorough investigation. You must work with legal representation and possible accident reconstruction professionals who can examine the motorcycle, identify the defect, and gather evidence to strengthen your case. A lawyer will also handle negotiations with the manufacturer’s legal team and, if necessary, take your case to trial to fight for the compensation you feel you need to cover all expenses associated with your losses.

Potential Defense Strategies

When seeking compensation after a motorcycle accident, you may face challenges from the other party or their insurance company as they attempt to minimize their liability and reduce the amount they have to pay. It is important to be aware of the potential defense strategies they may employ and how a lawyer can counter these arguments.

One common defense strategy is to claim that you, the motorcycle rider, were partially or fully at fault for the accident. They may argue that you were speeding, riding recklessly, or violating traffic laws at the time of the crash. If successful, this strategy can significantly reduce or even eliminate your compensation under California’s comparative negligence laws.

Another defense tactic is to argue that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident occurred. If the other party can prove that your impairment contributed to the crash, it can seriously undermine your claim and make it difficult to secure compensation.

The other party’s insurance company may also try to argue that you failed to wear proper safety gear, such as a DOT-approved helmet, at the time of the accident. While California law requires all motorcycle riders to wear helmets, failure to do so does not automatically bar you from seeking compensation. However, the insurance company may use this information to argue that your injuries would have been less severe had you worn a helmet during the crash.

Why You Should Have a Lawyer on Your Side

The legal process after a motorcycle crash can be time-consuming and emotionally draining, especially when you are also dealing with injuries and recovery. Having motorcycle accident attorneys on your side can significantly impact the outcome of your case and help you secure the compensation you deserve. A lawyer will thoroughly investigate the accident, gather essential evidence, and interview witnesses to build a strong case on your behalf. They will also manage all interactions with insurance companies and the legal team of the other party, protecting your rights and ensuring that you don’t inadvertently say anything that could jeopardize your claim.

Your lawyer will have a deep understanding of California’s motorcycle accident laws and the tactics insurance companies use to minimize payouts. They will accurately assess the value of your claim and consider many factors, such as current and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. With this knowledge, they can negotiate a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your losses.

If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will be prepared to take your case to trial. They will present compelling arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and fight vigorously to protect your rights in court. Throughout the legal process, your motorcycle accident lawyer will provide guidance, support, and regular updates on the progress of your case. They will answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you make informed decisions about your claim. By handling the legal aspects of your case, your lawyer allows you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery.

Let Suits Litigation Help With Your Motorcycle Accident Case

Attempting to handle a motorcycle accident claim on your own can be risky and may result in a lower settlement or even a denial of your claim. Insurance companies often take advantage of unrepresented claimants, offering low settlements or using tactics to minimize liability. By working with our team, you can give yourself the best chance of securing potential compensation.

You have rights and should try and seek justice if possible. You do not have to put off the process when you have our team by your side. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to see how and if we can help you move forward with your case.