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Personal Injury Blog

Motorcycle Accidents: The Importance of Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Thursday, April 12, 2018

After being injured in a motorcycle accident, it is easy to become overwhelmed by everything you need to take care of such as going to doctors appointments and meeting with your insurance company. However, you do not want to make the mistake of attempting to go through this difficult time alone. An attorney can help to walk you through this oftentimes confusing process, and they will make sure that someone is looking out for your best interests during this difficult time. If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a motorcycle accident, here are just a few of the reasons you should consider consulting a personal injury attorney.

An Attorney Can Walk You Through The Legal Process

As we previously stated, filing a personal injury claim can be an extremely complex process. There will be various legal documents that you will have to file, forms that will have to be filled out properly, and all of this often has to be completed within a set period of time after your accident. The fact is that unless you have legal knowledge you will likely find yourself drowning in complex legal documents and terminology you don't understand. However, an experienced lawyer can help to walk you through this process and explain to you what is happening and what you are signing at each step of the way. They will also shoulder much of the burden by completing and filing the paperwork for you, ensuring that you have enough free time to focus on your recovery.

Get Help Establishing Fault

Unfortunately, more often than not a driver will not admit their fault in an accident. This means that it will be up to you to establish proof that the accident wasn't your fault, and that you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. This is where having an experienced lawyer on your side can be particularly critical, as they will have first-hand experience furnishing proof in cases similar to yours, and they will have experience working to get their clients the compensation they deserve. With a personal injury attorney working for you, you will have the best shot of proving the other driver's fault.

Have Someone Looking Out for Your Interests

Hiring a personal injury attorney is the only way to ensure that you have someone looking out for your interests during this difficult time. People often make the mistake of assuming that they do not need an attorney as their insurance company will watch their back; however, this is a misconception. The fact is that insurance companies are generally looking to close a claim as quickly and painlessly as possible. They are then often focused on looking out for their own best interest, and what is in the interest of their own pocketbooks, rather than on ensuring that you are being taken care of. By hiring an attorney, you will have someone looking out for you who will make sure that you are being treated fairly, and that you are properly represented, during this difficult time.

Benefit From Expert Knowledge

If you do not consult a personal injury attorney, you may also be leaving yourself open to being taken advantage of. The fact is that you likely do not know the full extent of what your injuries are worth. Thusly, without an attorney, you may agree to a settlement that is much lower than what you deserve. A personal injury attorney will have a great deal of experience assessing claims similar to yours, and they will be able to make sure you are properly compensated for your injuries, any time off of work, and your medical expenses.

Contact us to learn more about why you should consult a personal injury attorney after being injured in a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle Accidents: Does Not Wearing a Helmet Hurt My Case?

Thursday, April 05, 2018

While many experience the siren's call at least at some point in their life that lures them onto a motorcycle, there is no argument that they are slightly less safe than your standard car. While many operate motorcycles safely, it is not always the driver of these vehicles that are responsible for an accident. However, if a motorcycle is involved in an accident, the drivers are more at risk for injury simply because the vehicle lacks that protective metal shell.

However, in an effort to cut down on the rate of severe injuries and fatalities in motorcycle crashes, many states have adopted a mandatory helmet law for both drivers and passengers. This is the case in California, in which the law requires both driver and passenger to be helmeted while on the road.

However, while this law may be in place for the safety of the riders, not everyone listens to these laws, particularly if they ride in areas where they are pretty sure they won't run into law enforcement. However, while riding a motorcycle without a helmet is your choice, if you are involved in an accident, it may make your case more difficult.

How Wearing a Helmet Affects Your Case?

In motorcycle accidents, typically you are trying to recover damages for both the damage to your motorcycle and for any injuries. However, if you were not wearing a helmet in the accident, you can be sure that the opposing insurance company's first argument will be that you will be responsible for some of those injuries.

In California, since not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is technically illegal, the insurance company is likely to say that because you were breaking the law, they shouldn't need to cover some injuries. However, while they courts may agree, a case of the court completely preventing collecting compensation altogether is not likely to happen.

Yet, in making this decision, there are two factors that can affect how much compensation you receive if you were not wearing a helmet. These factors include:

  • Was There a Head Injury? - If you were in a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet and you actually did not suffer any head injuries, then the fact you were not wearing a helmet is completely irrelevant. However, if a head injury was present, it is likely that the courts will likely hold you at least a little bit responsible and modify the amount you will receive for the head injury alone while often covering the other injuries in full.
  • Was the Accident the Other Driver's Fault? - Similar to helmetless accidents where there is no head injury, if the accident was the fault of the other driver and they alone could have prevented it, then whether you are wearing a helmet or not does not matter. If the other driver had driven more safely, it can be argued that you wouldn't have those injuries in the first place. However, in this situation, the insurance company is still more likely to at least try to argue that the amount of damages should be limited due to your illegal behavior.

Need Help?

Were you hurt in an accident on your motorcycle in California? If you were not wearing a helmet, you may think that because you were acting illegally that you don't have a lot of options or even a right to compensation. However, that simply is not true. If you were in a motorcycle accident, due to the sheer nature of the vehicle, you may have more injuries than a standard car driver, and whether you were wearing a helmet or not, you can recover at least some compensation for your injuries. If you need representation in your case, contact us today.

What If My Brain Injuries Don't Show Up Right Away?

Thursday, March 01, 2018

brain injury

After an accident, broken bones and lacerations are bad injuries to have. However, when it comes to non-fatal injuries, traumatic brain injuries are the worst injuries that you can receive from an accident. The issue is that the brain is a complex organ and controls so much in the body. This means that even small injuries to the brain can manifest themselves in a wide variety of symptoms and can greatly affect your daily lives.

However, because brain injuries are so serious, they often qualify victims for large payouts to cover their treatment and any long-term effects of the brain injury. Yet, there is a major problem that can come from brain injuries that occurred during an accident - they don't always show up right away. The real issue is that so many people don't realize that they have a traumatic brain injury until much later when the symptoms and other effects start to show up. However, if you are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury from an accident months or even years in the past, can you still receive compensation to cover it?

What To Do If Brain Injury Symptoms Show Up Later?

It is recommended that as soon as an accident is over, you visit a doctor. Even if you feel fine, the doctor can examine any symptoms as well as examine the specifics of the accident to see if a brain injury may be present. However, if they manage to overlook it and you manifest symptoms or discover an injury later, you may still have some options available.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

If you are injured in an accident, brain injury or otherwise, California gives you a set statute of limitations in which you can pursue compensation. In California, this time limit is two years after the accident. If you try to pursue compensation for an injury any later than two years, your case likely will not be heard.

However, there are quite a few exceptions to this statute of limitations time period. The exception that will typically apply to those with traumatic brain injuries is the delayed discovery rule. In this exception, the statute of limitation time period is suspended and actually begins when the victims suspects or should suspect that they were injured by some wrongdoing. This means that if you feel fine for months after an accident, then manifest symptom and discover there is some injury to the brain that likely came from that accident, then this is when the clock starts.

However, the issue with using the delayed discovery exception is that is much easier for the person that caused the accident to argue that you injured yourself in some other way. This is even more suspect if you have been in other accidents, even minor ones, since the accident you are holding suspect.

This is why it is so crucial that if you even hit your head a little bit or were subject to a motion that would make your head rapidly snap back and forth that you have a doctor check it out at the time. Not only will this increase the chances of detecting a brain injury early, but it will document that one may have been caused by that particular accident.

Need Help?

Have you been the victim of a brain injury whose symptoms didn't start showing up until much later? Unfortunately this means that you are in for a tough fight for compensation, but the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman are ready to fight for you. If you need representation to get the compensation that you deserve, then contact us today.

 

Motorcycle Accidents: Why Motorcyclists Need Advocates

Thursday, July 14, 2016

In a vehicular accident involving motorcycles, motorcyclists are often in greater danger than people in passenger cars or trucks.

Motorcyclists are left exposed on their vehicles, their bodies more vulnerable during a crash. The Insurance Information Institute reports data from 2013 showing that motorcyclists are "26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and five times more likely to be injured."

This information isn't meant to downplay the fact that car and truck occupants can also get injured in a collision with a motorcycle. It only highlights the heightened vulnerability of the motorcyclists.

What can motorcyclists suffer after motorcycle accidents?

Motorcyclists can sustain fatal damage to their bodies. Even if they survive, they may have to struggle with brain and spinal injuries, internal bleeding, organ damage, amputations, broken bones, and disfiguring lacerations.

Their medical treatments often include hospitalization, which can involve days or weeks in intensive care. They may need to undergo multiple surgeries. Along with the immediate treatment for injuries, they may require physical rehabilitation and multiple follow-up checkups.

Depending on the nature of their injuries, they may need to change their entire lifestyle. Maybe they'll no longer be able to work at their current job. Maybe they'll need to rely on wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, and additional assistive devices. They may have to renovate their homes to accommodate their new medical needs.

It's important for motorcyclists to contact a reputable attorney in the aftermath of an accident. An attorney can help you determine who was at fault during the accident and assist you with exploring different options for covering medical bills and other losses. To best heal, recover, and adjust to your new life, you need an attorney to advocate for you so that you aren't struggling alone with huge expenses.


Lane Splitting and Motorcycle Accidents in California

Friday, January 29, 2016

Riders are often tempted to ride the white line or lane split when they are in a typical Los Angeles traffic jam. If you have a motorcycle accident while riding between lanes, your conduct will be used against you to show that you bear some or most of the responsibility for the accident. Even if your lane splitting contributed to the accident, you can still protect your right and opportunity to recover a monetary award for damages that were precipitated by another driver.

Lane splitting is not explicitly illegal in most U.S. jurisdictions, but you should avoid arguing the legality of your actions if a trooper pulls you over. Your objections will probably result in citations for failure to signal a lane changes or reckless riding.

Lane-splitting accidents typically occur when you ride between lanes and a driver abruptly turns into you. The attorney for the other driver will argue that the accident itself is evidence of unsafe lane-splitting riding, thus shifting some responsibility for the accident to you. You can counter these arguments by collecting all available information about the accident immediately after it happens. This information includes photographs of traffic conditions. Those photographs should show the distance between the two lanes of cars. If there are any witnesses, ask for their contact information but do not ask them to make any statements or guesses about what caused the accident. Let your attorney handle witness interviews.

Note the damage to your bike and the car that was involved in the accident. Record how fast you were riding. Most lane-splitting riding is done at slower speeds, and your direct notations of your own speed can easily contradict a driver's estimates. Riders should know that road paint is more slick in wet conditions and that riding on a painted line in those conditions should be avoided. If you were avoiding the painted lines while you were lane splitting, tell your lawyer that fact, as he will use that evidence as proof of your care while you were riding.

Riding in stopped or slow traffic is difficult and dangerous for many reasons. If the traffic was uncommonly slow when your accident happened, tell your lawyer that you opted to ride between lanes to avoid fatigue in your clutch hand. You can more balance your bike while it is in motion, so again, your lane-splitting may have enhanced your overall safety.

Each motorcycle accident presents a unique set of facts that each side to a lawsuit will use to his own benefit. If you have been in a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles County, please contact us as soon as you can for a complimentary review of the facts of your case.


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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.