| Read Time: 4 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

Can I Make A Claim or Sue For A Hit and Run Motorcycle Accident?

Riding motorcycles is an excellent activity for the wild at heart. There isn’t much in this world that compares to cruising down an empty highway at one with your bike, with the wind howling in your ears. Not to mention the practical advantages of motorcycles: their fuel efficiency; the ease of parking; and their maneuverability. For many, there is simply nothing better than riding a motorcycle.  Still, there is one less-than-savory fact about riding a motorcycle: it’s more dangerous than driving a car. Due to their size, motorcycles are harder than other vehicles to see, so they are easier to hit accidentally. Furthermore, motorcycles do not offer the same physical protection that the frame, body, and windows of a car offer their drivers. Outside of your protective gear, there is nothing between you and your surroundings.   Hit and Runs and Motorcycle Accidents Hit and runs, which are illegal for good reason, can happen to anyone. People think they can drive away from their mistakes, but more often than not, they are caught. Because motorcycles are small, some drivers may feel more emboldened to drive off after hitting a motorcyclist than they would after a car accident, especially if they feel that their car is undamaged. They think to themselves, Who will know?   Motorcyclists often ask us what they should do after a hit and run. After all, they are entitled to compensation from the responsible party. The logical way to seek compensation for a hit and run is to file an insurance claim or initiate a lawsuit. But it may be difficult to identify that person.  How Do They Find the Responsible Party? The truth is, hit and run drivers aren’t always found. In fact, in many cases, they aren’t. Many people wonder how authorities find the responsible party after a hit and run. After all, the responsible party probably thinks they can get away with it; otherwise, they wouldn’t flee the scene. One way authorities track down hit and run drivers is by speaking with witnesses at the scene of the accident. Those witnesses may have the license plate number of the responsible party thanks to their memory or dash cam. Police can also use traffic cameras to find the responsible party. Still, it doesn’t always work. What You Can Do If Authorities Cannot Identify the Responsible Party If the police cannot identify the responsible party, you won’t have anyone to sue, and you won’t have anyone else’s insurance policy to file your motorcycle accident claim with. Really, all you have is your own insurance provider. Depending on your coverage, your insurer may compensate you for some or all of the damages you suffer. Of course, you will have to pay your deductible, and your rates may increase, but that all depends on your particular policy. If you have collision coverage, your insurance provider may compensate you for part or all of the damage done to your vehicle. If you have personal injury protection or PIP coverage, your insurer will compensate you, up to a limit, for damages associated with your injuries. Finally, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurer may treat a hit and run as such, and compensate you both for injury damages and property damage. All of this depends entirely on your individual insurance policy. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you review your options and negotiate with your insurance company to recover fair compensation. What You Can Do If Police Identify the Responsible Party If the police are able to identify and track down the responsible party, you have more options. You can file a motorcycle accident claim with the responsible party’s insurer, or you can file a lawsuit against them. Whether you need to file a lawsuit will depend on a few things—notably, the extent of your damages and how negotiations go with the responsible party’s insurer.  If the total value of your damages exceeds the insurance policy limits, you will probably need to sue to recover those damages. Similarly, if the insurance company is unwilling to negotiate fairly regarding your damages, you will need to sue to recover them. If you have an attorney on your side from the start, your chances of negotiating a fair settlement without having to file a lawsuit are far greater. Without an attorney advocating for you, insurers are more likely to employ unethical tactics to avoid paying out the entirety of your motorcycle accident claim. Silva Injury Law Can Help If you were in a hit and run on your motorcycle, you should contact a car and motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Doing so will help you make the most educated and well-advised decision on how you should proceed to seek compensation. Silva Injury Law can help you do just that. When you speak with an attorney on our team, we will work closely with you to develop the best possible legal strategy from the start. If your damages exceed the responsible party’s policy limits, you can sue right off the bat. If the authorities can’t find the responsible party, we’ll help you identify alternative sources of recovery. Similarly, we can handle all the negotiations with insurance companies and other parties so that you don’t have to. That way, you can focus on what is most important: recovering from your injuries and moving forward with your life. Don’t wait; take action now by calling SIlva Injury Law for your free consultation.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

Comparative Fault in California Motorcycle Accident Cases

If you have been involved in an accident while driving your motorcycle, it is likely that the insurance companies and adjusters will attempt to defeat any claims you have through comparative fault. In order to overcome this, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney at Silva Injury Law.   COMPARITIVE FAULT IN CALIFORNIA   It is extremely common in cases involving a motorcycle accident that both the parties involved are partially at fault. When it is not clear that one party is the victim and the other is at fault, the courts will apply what is called the “pure comparative fault” method in order to determine which parties are entitled to compensation and what amount that compensation should be.   California’s comparative fault law is a pure comparative fault standard in cases that involve negligence and injury. Comparative fault, put simply, means that an individual will be compensated for an injury claim based on the individual’s share of the fault for the accident. Essentially, the more you are at-fault for the cause of the accident, the less compensation you will receive for your incurred damages.   As California has a pure comparative fault standard, this allows victims of accidents to recover compensation even if they are as much as 99 percent responsible for the accident.   As an example, you are involved in a motorcycle accident and you have a subsequent claim wroth $100,000. The insurance company can claim that you are 60 percent at fault for causing the crash, and if they succeed the compensation that you receive for your injuries would be reduced by 60 percent.   COMPARATIVE FAULT IN CASES INVOLVING MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS   It is unfortunately common for motorcycle accident victims to be struck by an automobile. These accidents can be the automobile driver’s fault, when they fail to check and see a motorcycle before pulling into an intersection or changing lanes. These accidents can also be the motorcyclist’s fault if they are driving negligently or recklessly. Most likely, it is a combination of fault.   There are unfortunate stereotypes which surround motorcycle drivers. Many believe that bikers are reckless and dangerous in the way they drive, exceeding safe speeds and irresponsibly driving through traffic. Insurance companies have a tendency to rely on these stereotypes and will often allege that a rider is responsible for causing a crash. Insurance companies will use this tactic as a way to reduce the amount they must pay in a claim. Under comparative fault standards, the more blame that is placed on the biker, the less money an insurance company is required to pay.   AN ATTORNEY CAN HELP IN YOUR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CASE   An experienced personal injury attorney can understand the various tactics used by insurance companies, including the attempted use of comparative fault to reduce the potential value of a valid claim. If you have been injured while driving your motorcycle, you have a right for fair compensation. An attorney at Silva Injury Law can help you navigate insurance companies and comparative fault claims to ensure that negligent and reckless drivers are held responsible for the injuries and suffering they have caused you and your loved ones.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Auto Accidents

When Accidents Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries

Over a million people in California are diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) each year. Most of these injuries are caused by car accidents, slip and falls, falling objects, assaults, medical malpractice, sports injuries, and explosions. The severity of a TBI can range from mild to catastrophic, but all TBI’s require immediate diagnostic testing and appropriate treatment. It’s not always possible to know how great an impact a TBI will have on a person’s future. That’s why it’s important to speak to a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.   What Is A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a blow to the head disrupts the function of the brain. There are two main types of TBI, penetrating and non-penetrating. Penetrating TBI’s are injuries where an external object enters the brain tissue. Non-penetrating TBI’s are caused by an external force that results in the brain moving within the skull. Both types of TBI cause injuries that can range from mild headaches that resolve quickly to severe brain damage with long lasting consequences. That’s why it’s important to seek medical treatment immediately after any type of head injury.   Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) Many TBI’s are are not symptomatic immediately after an accident, so it’s important to look out for the following symptoms in the weeks following a head injury:   – Loss of consciousness – Nausea – Drowsiness – Dizziness – Blurred vision – Problems concentrating – Headaches – Balance problems – Speech issues – Abnormal mood or behavior   TBI’s can lead to brain bleeds, strokes, and serious irreparable brain damage if they are not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.   Compensation for Victims of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) California allows victims of TBI caused by the negligence of other parties to collect a large amount of compensation to cover their medical expenses, long term care, current and future lost earnings, pain, suffering, and mental anguish. In the most severe cases it’s possible for family members to assert their own claims for loss of services and loss of companionship of their spouse or parent that sustained a catastrophic TBI. When a TBI causes a person’s death, their family can make a claim for the loss of support, loss of inheritance, and other financial losses due to the death of their family member. Collecting compensation can greatly improve the quality of life for victims and their families. That’s why it’s important to contact a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident to discuss your legal rights.

Continue Reading

| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

What To Do If You Have a Motorcycle Accident Injury

People that don’t ride bikes can never understand the feeling of freedom and exhilaration you feel riding down the highway on a motorcycle, but with this thrill comes risk. Motorcycles offer much less protection than closed vehicles, so it’s much more likely that you’ll suffer serious or even catastrophic injuries in a crash. It’s important to hire an attorney that’s familiar with motorcycle accident injuries and the insurance and safety laws that are often different than for other types of vehicles. That’s why you should consult with an experienced motorcycle accident injury attorney as soon as possible after your crash. What To Do After A Motorcycle Accident The first thing to do after an accident is to assess the physical condition of yourself and others involved. If there are injuries, immediately call 911 for the police and an ambulance. Never let anyone talk you into “not involving the police,” and “working it out without the insurance companies,” as reporting an accident is a legal requirement as well as condition of most insurance policies. If you are able to take photos or talk to witnesses, you should do this while waiting for the police and the ambulance. If you’re injured, don’t “be brave” and refuse the ambulance. Some internal injuries may not have symptoms and failing to get immediate help can be fatal. It’s helpful for your legal matter to show that your injuries were serious and caused by this accident by going immediately to the hospital by ambulance from the scene. If your condition is stable, this would be a good time to call an experienced motorcycle accident attorney for advice based on the facts of your accident. Motorcycle Accident Injuries Since many riders still don’t wear helmets, head injuries remain the most common motorcycle accident injury. Traumatic brain injuries can be minor, severe or even fatal due to direct contact between the head and the road at high speeds. Road rash is caused by contact between the skin and the road as thin clothing is scraped away along with layers of skin. Road rash can be serious enough to cause infections or nerve damage. That’s why smart riders wear leather jackets, heavy denim pants, boots and gloves. Muscle damage can be prevented or reduced by wearing knee and elbow pads under clothing and by getting medical attention as soon as possible after a crash. Wearing protective padding can also reduce the risk of sustaining “biker’s arm,” a type of nerve damage in the arms that is a common motorcycle accident injury. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call Silva Injury Law, Inc. today!

Continue Reading