Van Nuys Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Motorcycle Accidents in the Valley
Van Nuys is known for having some of the most dangerous intersections and roadways in all of Los Angeles County. Although any motorist is at risk of being injured in a serious accident, motorcyclists face a disproportionately high rate of catastrophic injury and death. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that, in 2019, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to die in traffic accidents than occupants of passenger vehicles.
If you were injured or if someone you love tragically died in a motorcycle accident in Van Nuys or anywhere in the San Fernando Valley, you deserve justice. At Custodio & Dubey LLP, we handle complex personal injury and wrongful death cases on behalf of motorcycle accident victims and their families. Our attorneys offer an innovative, client-focused approach. We know that no two cases are exactly alike, which is why we develop custom legal strategies based on the specific details of your situation. Our team is ready to answer your questions and provide the personalized legal guidance you need.
Who Is Responsible for a Motorcycle Accident?
When it comes to motor vehicle accidents and insurance claims, California follows a traditional fault-based system. This means that the person who was at fault for an accident is also typically the one responsible for victims’ damages. To determine who was at fault for your motorcycle accident, our attorneys will investigate the cause of the crash. Once we have identified the cause, as well as any other contributing factors, we can determine who is liable.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including texting or using a cellphone while driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Failing to check for/see motorcyclists in vehicle blind spots
- Changing lanes or merging into a motorcyclist
- Failing to see motorcyclists who are lawfully lane-splitting (driving between lanes of traffic)
- Making unsafe turns or other driving maneuvers
- Passing illegally
- Opening vehicle doors into motorcyclists (“dooring”)
- Following too closely (“tailgating”)
- Reckless and aggressive driving, including weaving in and out of traffic lanes
- Failing to yield the right of way
Roadway hazards can also be extremely dangerous for motorcyclists. Potholes, debris, blind curves, and other unsafe conditions can lead to devastating accidents. Additionally, a motorcycle accident may result from or be exacerbated by an auto defect or faulty motorcycle safety equipment, such as a defective helmet. When this is the case, a third party may be held liable in place of or in addition to a negligent motorist.
What Types of Damages Can Injured Motorcyclists Recover?
Like victims of standard car accidents, motorcycle accident victims are often entitled to recover for any and all damages they incur as a result of the crash.
Examples of common damages in motorcycle accident claims include:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical care costs
- Hospital bills
- Medication costs
- Lost income/wages
- Lost future earnings
- Diminished earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
When someone dies in a fatal motorcycle accident or due to catastrophic injuries caused by such a crash, their surviving family members could be entitled to wrongful death damages.
These include economic and non-economic losses such as:
- Medical care costs
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Lost income, benefits, and earnings
- Lost gifts or inheritance
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of spousal intimacy/consortium
- Loss of love, support, care, counsel, society, protection, etc.
Our Van Nuys motorcycle accident attorneys can help you determine which types of damages you may be entitled to recover, as well as the potential value of your claim. The overall value of your case depends on numerous factors, such as the severity of your injuries, the extent of necessary medical care, your degree of fault, available insurance coverage, and more.
Can You File a Motorcycle Accident Claim If You Were at Fault?
If you were entirely at fault for the accident, you cannot file an insurance claim or sue the liable party for damages. However, if you were partly at fault, you could still be entitled to compensation.
Under California’s rule of pure comparative negligence, you are allowed to seek compensation as long as the other person or party was at least one percent at fault. However, you will not be able to recover the full amount you are seeking in damages if you share some of the blame for the accident. Instead, your settlement or verdict will be reduced by the same percentage of fault you are found to have had.
For example, if you were hit in an intersection by someone who ran a red light, but you were on your cellphone at the time of the crash, the insurance adjuster and/or court may find you 30 percent at fault. This means that you would only be able to recover up to 70 percent of the total amount you are seeking in damages. If you suffered $100,000 in medical bills, lost income, and other damages, you would only be entitled to recover $70,000.
Should You Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
The simple answer is yes, you should hire a motorcycle accident lawyer if you were injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash. While there is no law that requires you to hire an attorney, numerous studies have shown that people who work with lawyers after motor vehicle accidents nearly always recover higher settlements than people who handle their claims themselves.
When you hire an experienced and proven trial lawyer, like those at Custodio & Dubey LLP, the insurance company knows that you are not willing to settle for less than what you deserve. Your attorney will not only know the ins and outs of the law but will also be able to handle every aspect of your case and ensure that no detail is missed. As your legal team, we will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf, investigate your case and gather important evidence, submit all necessary paperwork for your claim, and advocate tirelessly for your maximum recovery.
Our Van Nuys motorcycle accident attorneys prioritize client communication and strive to build meaningful, lasting relationships with the people they serve. We will keep you updated and informed every step of the way, answering any questions you have and addressing all of your concerns. We recognize that this is an incredibly difficult time in your life, and we are here to help you fight for the justice you deserve.