What If I’m Partly At Fault For My Motorcycle Collision?
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.
What Are Common Injuries Suffered In A Motorcycle Crash?
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
What Type of Damages Can You Collect For Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
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:
- Medical expenses – may include physician expenses, hospital expenses, prescription drug expenses and rehabilitative therapy expenses for past, present and future expected.
- Lost earnings – may include lost earning capacity if you will never be able to return to work.
- Pain and suffering – cannot be precisely calculated, therefore, a judge will most often leave this calculation up to the jury’s common sense.
- Property damage to your motorcycle – you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for damages or a total loss of your bike.
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.
Let Us Review Your Case For Free
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 949-652-2604 or sending us this easy contact form email.