San Jose Motorcycle Accident FAQ
If you were recently involved in a San Jose motorcycle accident, you may feel overwhelmed with decisions in the aftermath. Individuals involved in motorcycle crashes often sustain severe injuries that require extensive recovery. A serious accident also brings additional financial stress from missing work and increased medical costs, as well as the emotional stress of dealing with insurance companies to negotiate a personal injury claim. The devastation of your motorcycle accident might leave you confused about what next steps you should take.
You can turn to the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Bohn & Fletcher’s San Jose office to guide you through the claims process and to take your case to trial, if necessary. Our skilled legal team has experience representing victims from all types of motor vehicle accidents, including San Jose motorcycle accidents. Call Bohn & Fletcher today at (408) 279-4222 to schedule your free consultation. Until we get a chance to meet in person and discuss the details of your case, we have provided some answers to frequently asked questions regarding motorcycle accidents in San Jose.
What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in the Bay Area?
Determining the cause of your accident requires you to consider many factors. For example, if your crash involved another vehicle, your San Jose motorcycle accident lawyer will make a point of investigating and proving how the other motorist contributed to the accident. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes include:
- Improper lane changes. When motorists make lane changes without checking their mirrors or blind spots, or signaling to others that they are changing lanes, they may cause an accident. Sometimes traffic doesn’t allow a motorcycle to avoid the blind spot of another vehicle, and even the most skilled biker might be unable to avoid a collision.
- Left-hand turns. Motorists who misjudge the space between their vehicle and a motorcycle, or misjudge the speed at which the bike is traveling, might cause an accident when they make a left-hand turn.
- Tailgating. Motorists that follow motorcycles too closely risk causing a rear-end collision, which can result in severe injuries for the biker.
- Distracted driving. Drivers have dealt with distractions since the invention of the automobile, but technology has increased the problem over time. Anything that takes away from a driver’s mental, visual, or physical concentration on the road might cause an accident. Cell phone use gets the most attention, but other passengers, drinking, eating, grooming, adjusting the radio, and daydreaming can also distract a driver.
- Reckless driving. Speeding and swerving in and out of traffic are some of the most common examples of reckless driving. When individuals make the poor decision to drive dangerously, they put others who share the road at risk.
- Hazardous roadways. Poorly maintained roads create hazardous roadways, with debris, potholes, overgrowth, and other potential dangers that might cause a motorcycle accident. Governmental entities might be liable if they fail to maintain the roads in a safe condition for bikers and other motorists.
- Faulty motorcycle parts. Defective motorcycle parts can lead to accidents and injuries for bikers. California law permits courts to find any party involved in a product’s distribution chain liable for a defect if it causes an accident.
What Are Common Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Collisions?
Motorcycle accident injuries are often more severe than those involved in other motor vehicle accidents due to the lack of protection for bikers. Motorcycle riders’ physical protection is generally limited to their helmet and any additional protective wear that they choose to wear. Some of the more common crash injuries involved in California motorcycle crashes include:
- Head and brain injuries. Concussions, which are mild traumatic brain injuries, remain the most common type of injury experienced in motorcycle accidents. The damage that any traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause varies based on the severity of the injury.
- Neck and spinal cord injuries. In severe motorcycle accidents, neck and spine damage might cause temporary or permanent paralysis to some or all of the body.
- Biker’s arm. When bikers are flung from their bike during an accident, it’s common for them to break their impact with an arm. This can cause severe injury to the arms and shoulders, sometimes with permanent consequences.
- Road rash. When the force of a collision ejects bikers onto the concrete or asphalt, they are likely to damage their skin and maybe even their nerves. Depending on the thickness of their protective gear, bikers may scrape away multiple layers of skin, leading to nerve damage.
How Can I Recover Losses and Damages After a San Jose Motorcycle Accident?
If you wish you seek compensation for your injuries following your motorcycle accident, your first step is to file a claim with your insurance carrier, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. Your insurance company will investigate the accident and attempt to seek reimbursement from those responsible. Although your carrier will fight for you to some extent, its main concern is its bottom line. Your insurance company will go the extra mile to minimize any payout after an accident, making it in your best interest to let a motorcycle accident lawyer handle all communications with insurance companies during the entire claims process. Your attorney will guide you through the entire legal process, including a personal injury lawsuit if necessary, and he or she will aggressively pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
Do I Have to Take My Case to Trial to Receive Compensation for My Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
The vast majority of personal injury cases, including those that involve motorcycle accidents, settle before going to trial. Your San Jose motorcycle accident attorney will attempt to reach a favorable pre-trial agreement, but sometimes the defense refuses to offer a fair compensation amount. When settlement is not an option, the attorneys at Bohn & Fletcher are experienced litigators who will pursue justice for you in the courtroom.
Can I Still Recover Compensation if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet During the Crash?
California courts apply comparative negligence to personal injury cases to asses and determine the extent to which an injury victim might be responsible for an accident and accompanying injuries. If you weren’t wearing a helmet during your crash, the court might find you partially responsible for your injuries. You can still receive compensation, but the court will reduce any awarded damages by the percentage of fault that it assigns to you.
Defense teams and insurance companies also understand comparative negligence. Accordingly, they will likely attempt to persuade the court that your failure to wear a helmet contributed to the severity of your injuries, which may affect the amount of compensation that you are able to receive.
For example, if you sue for $100,000 in damages and the court determines that not wearing a helmet increased the severity of your injuries by 10 percent, you will only be able to collect $90,000 in damages under California law.
How Can a Motorcycle Lawyer Help Overcome the Bias Against Bikers?
Sadly, the general public maintains a negative bias toward motorcycle drivers. Many individuals believe that bikers are inherently reckless and that they go out of their way to be dangerous on the road. In most cases, this reputation is unfounded. In fact, collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles are often the result of the other driver’s actions, rather than the motorcyclist’s. Bikers receive special training on how to ride their bikes, they are acutely aware of the dangers of the road, and they often operate their bikes more safely than other drivers operate their cars.
Even with these truths, insurance companies and opposing attorneys are quick to take advantage of the societal prejudice against bikers. They might use this bias to shift blame to the biker or imply that the biker is liable for simply choosing to operate a motor vehicle that has less protection than a car.
An experienced San Jose motorcycle accident attorney knows how to counteract this bias and defense strategies that attempt to take advantage of it. Your lawyer will defend you against these attacks and shift liability to the opposing party. The skilled attorneys at Bohn & Fletcher will investigate your accident, gather evidence and documentation to support your innocence, and work to break negative stereotypes that might influence the outcome of your case.
Get Help from a San Jose Motorcycle Crash Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side to handle your claim while you focus on healing and recovery. Call Bohn & Fletcher today at (408) 279-4222, or contact us online, to schedule a free consultation with one of our seasoned motorcycle accident attorneys.
We prioritize customer satisfaction by providing personalized service that meets the needs of your individual circumstances, and we understand that not all cases are the same. Additionally, we handle personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that we only collect attorney fees after we secure compensation for you in the form of a settlement agreement or court-awarded verdict in your favor.