Motorcycle accidents can cause some of the most serious and life threatening injuries. The Ventura Motorcycle Accident Guide was created by personal injury lawyer Craig Murphy to help California residents who have been seriously injured in a crash.
Dealing with a motorcycle accident can be completely overwhelming. You can be suffering from life-threatening injuries, a destroyed motorcycle, and on top of that, you have the insurance company telling you there is nothing they can do for you. This may be one of the most frustrating times of your life, and without a personal injury attorney, it may never work out in your favor. This harsh reality does not have to weigh you down. Hiring a Ventura motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible can ease the worry that you have been experiencing ever since you were injured.
Defending Your Case
Most rides you take on your motorcycle probably aren’t all that memorable, but when yours turns into a collision, it very well could be a drive you’ll never forget. No one likes to mess up, but we do. On the road, these mistakes can cost you a lot of hurt, particularly on a motorcycle. Sometimes you have no choice but to drive defensively on the road when another vehicle comes swerving into your lane without looking. Because you are smaller on the road and more exposed, the injuries you sustain in a motorcycle crash can be absolutely devastating.
California is of the top three states that sees the most fatalities in motorcycle accidents. With 955,293 motorcycles registered in the state in 2017, the odds of an accident are elevated. It’s no coincidence that Texas and Florida take the top two spots. Long periods of beautiful weather for these areas don’t necessarily cause the accidents, but because it is warm, there are more motorcycles on the road which leads to more accidents. In 2013, California had almost 12,000 accidents involving motorcycles, roughly 5% of which were fatalities. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you will know the pain and suffered that it entails. You may be unable to enjoy life like you used to, and you wonder, “What do I do now?”
There are a few things that you can and should do. The top of the priority list is seeking medical attention. This might be emergency medical care immediately following the accident, or it may be going for follow-up visits. Perhaps it even involves getting surgeries and extra treatments to help aid your recovery. All of these things are vital to your health first and foremost, but it is also going to play a key role in your personal injury case. Your health should come first. Once you have begun your road to recovery with the help of medical professionals, it is then time to turn it over to the legal professional to see about recovering for your damages.
Ventura Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Fatalities
Of the many fatal accidents in and around Ventura, certainly one of the most notable and tragic losses was that of astronaut Pete Conrad, the third man to ever walk on the moon. He was in a mountainous area in Ojai when he lost control of his motorcycle. We can learn a lot about the injuries that we see in motorcycle crashes from this incident.
When you tell a family member that you ride a motorcycle, you probably always hear about the gruesome accidents that require serious clean up on the road after. This is not always the case with these types of accidents. However fatal they can be, a lot of the times people survive the initial crash, but then later are found to be seriously injured. Pete Conrad appeared to be only minorly injured but in the hospital, they found out just how badly hurt he was. This can happen because of the nature of these accidents. Unlike being in a car or an SUV, you are not wrapped in a huge, heavy metal frame that will take the majority of the blow for you. On a motorcycle, you are mostly vulnerable. Your body takes more trauma than it would in a car. Therefore, the injuries are more often than not more traumatic. This is why we see more wrongful death cases with motorcycle accidents than we do with car accidents. These accidents can be so devastating to both the family of the rider who has been killed, as well as to the survivors who may be permanently injured.
Another unfortunate reason behind the causes of motorcycle accidents is due to the reputation that motorcycles, and their drivers have. Even in Southern California where it is almost always perfect riding weather, people have a negative opinion of motorcycles. Many times, an accident is caused by a driver simply not bothering to check the lane for a motorcycle and smashing into them. Motorcycle drivers are often looked upon as reckless. There are so many horror stories of terrible accidents, and people wonder why anyone would even take that risk.
While many times, there are seriously injuries for these motorcycle riders, fortunately in California there is a universal helmet law that requires every single driver, regardless of skill, age, or experience, to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. This is good news for most people involved in a motorcycle accident. Because of these laws, riders are less likely to suffer serious traumatic brain damages, head injuries, and fatality.
Fighting Motorcycle Accident Cases in Ventura
Accidents can happen, and tragedy can strike, but so many of these motorcycle accidents are potentially avoidable. Drivers on the road tend to have a biased against motorcycle drivers. If they see someone on a motorcycle changing lanes on the 101, even if they are doing it perfectly lawfully, they may think that that driver is putting themselves in danger for just being on the freeway. This mentality often makes fighting these cases more difficult. Especially when you have a jury of people who have this way of thinking. Our attorney is prepared to face a jury that does not inherently feel pity for you, the seriously injured motorcycle driver.
Juries aren’t the first group of people that you need to be worried about right after the accident. If you want your injuries, damages, and medical covered after the accident, you are looking toward the insurance companies for help. The insurance companies will be looking to get themselves out of the responsibility for the accident, therefore it is so important that you do not make a statement of any kind to them especially if they contact you early on while you are on pain medications and are particularly vulnerable. You won’t be able to take those words back if you say something to put yourself at fault for the accident.
Having an attorney who knows what they are doing can make all the difference in the world. This attorney must be familiar with motorcycle accidents in the Ventura County. They will be ready to face the insurance companies, the biased jury, and get you the compensation you deserve despite the obstacles. You deserve to see this fully and fairly compensated so that you can go about living your life after this accident and begin to find enjoyment again.
Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
In most instances, you do need an attorney for your Ventura County motorcycle accident case, and here is the reason. The adjusters have years of experience and training in dealing with these cases, and they always try to blame you, the motorcycle rider, for causing or contributing to the crash. Their goal is to make sure that they pay you as little as they can for your injuries and damages. The only way that you can protect yourself is by having a skilled and experienced trial lawyer who handles Ventura motorcycle crash cases on a regular basis.
If you have a lawyer who rides a motorcycle, or handled your divorce, or maybe got you out of a traffic ticket, that does not make that person a skilled motorcycle crash attorney. You need someone who takes these cases into litigation and who knows how to properly build them with the proper foundation and get all of the evidence that is necessary to make sure that you’re fully and fairly compensated for all of your injuries, especially if you have serious, lifelong injuries from your Ventura County motorcycle crash.
Frequently Asked Questions | Ventura Motorcycle Accident Guide
Motorcycle Accident Cases
Car and motorcycle accident cases are significantly different. The reason is because the insurance companies and the insurance adjusters will automatically try and blame you for causing the crash. They will try and say that it was your fault for any number of reasons. They will always try to avoid their responsibility for the motorcycle crash that happens here in California. They know there’s a general perception out in the public that motorcycle riding is inherently dangerous.
Number two, they are different because the injuries that are involved in California motorcycle crash cases are often very significant and can be lifelong. You need somebody who has the skill and experience to go out and make sure that they can find all the insurance coverage that is available to protect you for your lifelong injuries.
The only way that you’re going to get compensated is to make sure that you have an attorney who has the skill and experience of dealing with motorcycle crash claims, here in Ventura, on a regular basis. An attorney who rides a motorcycle and says, “We ride; we’ll get you the money you deserve,” is not what you want. What you want is a skilled and experienced trial lawyer who has a proven track record, that the insurance companies know will build your case so that they will be ready, willing and able to take your case to trial if necessary. Until then, the insurance companies will not take your motorcycle crash case seriously, and you will not be fully and fairly compensated.
How Does the Insurance Company Investigation Work?
If you’ve been involved in a California motorcycle crash, it’s not going to be long before the insurance company adjuster is calling you on the phone. They’re going to want to get a recorded statement from you. Don’t give them a recorded statement under any circumstances.
Oftentimes, they are going to be calling you when you’re still in the hospital, in pain and under medication. That is no time to be giving a recorded statement to an insurance company whose interests are to protect themselves and pay you as little as possible. In addition, they’re going to call you at a time where you’re completely unprepared. They’re going to try and catch you off base. All you want to do is give them the information so that you can get compensated. You want to be honest, you want to be helpful, but that is not what their interests are. Their interests are to protect their money, not you, and you’re not prepared.
Not only that, but the insurance company adjusters and the insurance company lawyers have years of training and experience in dealing with these types of things, and you don’t. You are not on an equal playing field with them. You’re at a severe disadvantage.
How Do I Pick My Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
Make no mistake about this; the attorney that you hire is going to be one of the most important decisions that you will make about your case because the insurance companies know the track records of the attorneys. They know who will build a case and hold them accountable for all of your injuries and damages. They know the attorneys that will just fold like a deck of cards and take a low settlement offer. You need an attorney who is a skilled and experienced trial lawyer.
The most important thing you need is an attorney that you have a lot of confidence in and a close, working, personal relationship with because you and that lawyer are going to be working together as a team on your case. If you don’t have an attorney who responds to you, who is available to talk to you, who knows you and knows how this crash and your injury has affected your life here in Ventura, how is that attorney going to protect your interests?
Do I Have a Claim as a Motorcycle Passenger?
If you are a passenger on a motorcycle and you have been severely injured in a motorcycle crash, you are entitled to compensation. You may be entitled to compensation from the driver of the car that caused the crash. You may be entitled to compensation from the insurance company who insures the motorcycle that you were riding on, or both companies may be responsible for your injuries and damages. The only way you’re going to figure out if you’re entitled to compensation and who has to pay it, is to talk to an attorney who has the skill and experience of dealing with motorcycle crash cases, here in Ventura, on a regular basis.
Just because an attorney rides a motorcycle, doesn’t mean that they are a motorcycle crash attorney. You need someone who deals with these cases on a regular basis and who is a real trial lawyer. If you’ve been injured because you were a passenger on a motorcycle in Ventura, give me a call. I will talk to you about your case, I will answer all your questions, and we will figure out exactly what we need to do to fully investigate it and build the evidence that is required to make sure that you are fully and fairly compensated for all your injuries.
What If I’m Forced off the Road on a Motorcycle?
Oftentimes, you are either going to be hit, nudged or forced off, and you either run off the road or have to lay down your bike to avoid being hit by that car. You aren’t going to be able to identify the car. You could be taken away in an ambulance, in the hospital undergoing surgeries, and you don’t know who that other driver is. However, there may be other drivers in the area who got that information and reported it to the police.
You need to contact an attorney who deals with Ventura motorcycle crash cases on a regular basis. You need to contact them right away, so that they can get out there and get the witness statements that are required to establish that the other vehicle, in fact, is the one that caused this crash and all of your injuries and damages. If you don’t get someone who can get in on this very early and conduct an appropriate investigation, you might not ever be able to get compensation for it.
Don’t delay. Contact me right away. I will meet with you in your hospital, come to you at your home, or you can come into my office. We will spend the time that is necessary to get the information so that we can fully investigate this and see who is responsible for paying your injuries and damages.
What If I’m Partially at Fault for the Motorcycle Crash?
What if you were seriously injured in a motorcycle crash here in California, yet you are partially or even primarily at fault? How does that affect your claim? Obviously, the insurance company is going to try to tell you, “This accident was your fault. Sorry, you’re not entitled to anything.” That’s not exactly what California law says. It’s very complex, and in situations where you were partially or even primarily at fault, the other driver can also have some fault. If there is fault on the part of the other driver and you have very serious or even lifelong injuries, you may be entitled to compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.
The only way that this is going to be figured out is with a skilled and experienced attorney who is often working on these types of motorcycle claims. You need a real trial attorney, someone that the insurance company for the other driver knows has the skill and experience to go out and build a strong foundation, build your case, collect the evidence that is necessary so that you can receive compensation if your case has to go to trial. The insurance company knows this about your Ventura motorcycle crash claim: if you don’t have an attorney who knows how to build your case, and who will be ready, willing, and able to go to trial on your case, they’re never going to offer you a fair settlement. The only way to do it is to get a real trial lawyer here in Ventura.
Do I Have a Claim If I’m Hurt Due to Poorly Maintained Road Conditions?
Have you driven on the roads here in California lately, especially here in Ventura County? You may have noticed that there are a lot of potholes; lots of failure to maintain our roads and our infrastructure. What if that causes your Ventura County motorcycle crash? Are you entitled to compensation from the county or from one of our local cities? If the city knows that the pothole on that the road hasn’t been adequately maintained, and that defect presents a substantial risk of harm to you as a motorcycle driver, they absolutely could be responsible for your injuries and damages.
The time frame for filing a claim for this type of accident is very short. You cannot delay in contacting a Ventura motorcycle accident attorney, or you may lose any chance that you have of getting compensation. Here’s what you got to do. You must hire an attorney who is skilled and experienced in litigating Ventura County motorcycle crash claims. You need to get them involved right away so that they can go out and start collecting all of the evidence that is necessary to build your case Then they can get to work on doing the legal work, while you can concentrate on doing what you need to do to get better and get your life back in order.
What If I Wasn’t Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet?
What if you were injured in a motorcycle accident, here in Ventura County, and you weren’t wearing a helmet? Are you entitled to compensation or are you just out of luck? The insurance companies will try and tell you they aren’t responsible, and that they don’t have to pay any of your damages because you were not wearing a helmet, but that’s not necessarily true.
Think about it this way. A car comes over and hits you or cuts you off, and you have to lay down your bike and you’re severely injured. Your leg, your hip, your ankles are all broken. You’ve had to have numerous surgeries. What does that have to do with whether or not you were wearing a helmet? You’re not claiming a brain injury. You’ve got other very significant, very severe injuries that can affect you for the rest of your life. The fact that you weren’t wearing a helmet has nothing to do with it.
If you were to complain that you had a very serious and permanent brain injury, it may be an issue. The insurance company and their adjuster and their lawyer are going to try and use it against you, and convince you that you have no claim. Here is the bottom line. If you’ve been seriously injured in a Ventura motorcycle crash, whether or not you have been wearing a helmet or anything else – even if you are partially or primarily at fault for causing that crash – You still may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. The only way to figure that out is to get a skilled and experienced trial lawyer who knows how to investigate, build these cases, and protect your interests.
Do I Get Compensation for My Motorcycle Accident?
If you have been seriously injured in a California motorcycle accident or motorcycle crash, you’re going to want to know what type of compensation is available to you to pay for all your injuries and damages.
You are entitled to the damage that was done to your bike. You’re entitled to get it fixed or repaired. As for your major concerns including all of the injuries and damages that you have suffered, you are entitled to get compensation for all of your medical bills. If you are treated through your health insurance at work, your health insurance company is going to come back. They are going to get reimbursement; they want to get repaid for all that money, so you’re not going to get any of that. If you’ve had out-of-pocket expenses – co-pays, prescriptions, doctor’s appointments, MRIs, hospitalization – all the money that you have had to pay, you’re entitled to receive that.
In addition, you are entitled to compensation for all the pain, suffering, disfigurement, and disabilities that you have had as a result of this Ventura County motorcycle crash. You’re also entitled to physical or mental anguish, and pain and suffering that you have relating to that. If your injuries are so severe and so significant that you are going to have permanent disabilities, pain, suffering and disfigurement into the future, you’re entitled to be compensated for that as well. In addition, if you are going to have medical care and treatment that is required for the rest of your life, you’re entitled to compensation for that.
As you can tell, many things are involved in evaluating what compensation you are or are not entitled to. The only way that you’re really going to know, and the only way that you are going to be fully and fairly compensated from the other insurance company, is by making sure that you hire the best Ventura motorcycle accident attorney that you can for your case. The way that you do that is to get someone who deals with motorcycle crash cases on a regular basis; someone who is a real trial attorney. Most likely, in a severe case like this, a lawsuit is going to be required. You need a trial lawyer who can go out and build your case, collect all the evidence that is necessary and prove to the insurance company that you are ready, willing and able to go to trial. When you’ve done that, they will come to the table and they will settle your case.
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