In the state of California, motor vehicle accident negligence, including motorcycle accidents, apply the rules of comparative negligence. This means that if the driver of the car is 90% at fault, and the motorcyclist is 10% at fault, the motorcyclist will collect 90% of the damages awarded. Unfortunately, determining who is at fault in a motorcycle accident can be difficult. It is important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can block attempts to blame the motorcyclist for the accident.
According to the CDC, the largest percentage (30%) of motorcycle injuries occur to the leg and foot area, while 22% of motorcycle injuries occur in the head and neck area. Following head and neck injuries, are chest, shoulder and back wounds, arm and hand injuries, and hip injuries.
The American Association of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) conducted a study to determine the differences in injuries between younger motorcyclists and older motorcyclists which had somewhat different conclusions. The study found that injuries to the upper and lower extremities were the most common motorcycle injuries at 55% and 59%.
Injuries to the head came in at 24%, injuries to the thorax at 23%, injuries to the abdomen at 21%, facial and neck injuries at 17% and spinal injuries at 15%.
These percentages add up to more than 100%, meaning most motorcyclists who are in an accident sustain more than one type of injury. Keep in mind that the two studies above were tracking injuries of motorcyclists who survived a crash. Among motorcyclists who died in a motorcycle accident, head injuries were the most likely type of injuries to result in the motorcyclist’s death. Head injuries can occur when a motorcyclist’s head connects with a hard, fixed object. The brain can swell past the barriers of the skull, or the skull can be cracked or damaged. A concussion can range from mild to severe, or there can be a traumatic brain injury which can totally change the future and the life of the motorcyclist. Neck and back injuries can paralyze and possibly kill a motorcyclist, or, at the very least, change his or her life forever.
Road rash is also a likely injury suffered by a motorcyclist when an accident occurs. When a motorcyclist flies off his or her motorcycle, concrete or gravel can tear away skin as the body skids across the surface. Road rash can be a very serious injury, as the affected area can become infected, or surface
Potential compensatory damages are generally split between special damages — those which can be exactly calculated — and damages which cannot be exactly calculated, such as pain and suffering. Special damages include:
In some instances, a jury may award punitive damages if they believe the defendant acted in a particularly reckless or malicious manner. Punitive damages are awarded as a punishment to the defendant for malicious negligence in the case, and to deter similar behaviors in others.
If you have been a victim of a motorcycle wreck, talk with an assertive, compassionate lawyer as soon as possible to determine if you have a solid personal injury claim. Our attorneys understand the unique and complex issues surrounding motorcycle accidents. Arrange a free consultation by calling 949-675-5060 or sending us this easy contact form email.
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