Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney Burbank CA
Are often considered a subset of automobile accidents, but at Law Offices of Andrew Zeytuntsyan, we treat them as a category all on their own. Motorcycle accidents are frighteningly common and are often more devastating than automobile accidents.
The absence of a protective cab around the motorcycle rider means that they are particularly vulnerable and susceptible to personal injury. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, make sure that the attorney you choose to represent you will fully embrace and understand the unique details of your case.
When it comes to proving negligence in a motorcycle accident, most of the time it comes down to whether or not the automobile driver was paying proper attention. Motorcycles are much smaller than automobiles, and only take up a fraction of a lane. Every driver on the road is responsible for keeping an eye out for motorcycles, but it is a responsibility that is often forgotten. If our motorcycle accident injury attorney takes on your case, our first step will be proving that the automobile driver was not paying close enough attention to the conditions of the road.
Taking On Insurance Companies
In the case of motorcycle accidents, insurance companies like to claim that inexperienced riders are at fault for whatever accident has occurred. Law Offices of Andrew Zeytuntsyan attorneys are here to prove that inexperience does not mean negligence. We are not afraid to take on large insurance companies in order to ensure that the injured rider receives just compensation. If an insurer refuses to deliver, we can and will go to trial to fight on your behalf. Since motorcycle accidents often lead to more catastrophic injuries than automobile accidents, motorcycle riders are usually entitled to large settlements from insurance companies.
Calculating a Settlement
When a motorcycle rider is involved in an accident, their bodies are not nearly as protected as individuals riding in standard vehicles. Road rash, internal organ damage, and blunt force trauma are all common and can lead to a lifetime of medical complications.
At Law Offices of Andrew Zeytuntsyan, we understand that the severity of injuries must be considered when it comes to calculating a proper settlement.
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You’re out riding your motorcycle, enjoying the day, when BAM! From out of nowhere, you’re hit. You know your bike is going to be a crumpled mess, but what happens to your body when you’re in a motorcycle accident?
Initially, you and your bike are traveling forward. Then, you are hit. Your bike is probably going to be stopped by whatever crashed into you. However, that’s not necessarily the case for your body (unless the accident has pinned you to your bike).
Most likely, you’ll be flung from your bike, launched through the air, and continue traveling at a decent speed until you hit another object or fall to the ground. It’s the crash to the ground that causes the most injuries for motorcycle riders.
Depending on the circumstances around your accident, it wouldn’t be unusual for you to have:
- A concussion or other traumatic brain injury,
- Spinal injury,
- Internal bleeding or organ injury,
- Broken bones,
- Road rash, or
- Other scarier health situations like a collapsed lung or dismemberment.
But, what’s most frightening about injuries from a motorcycle accident is that often people feel relatively fine immediately after an accident. This is because of the freshness of the new injuries and the adrenaline coursing through their veins. Adrenaline tells your body to release endorphins, which are your body’s natural painkillers. Your body psychs you up into believing you’re okay, even if you’re not.
This is why it’s so important for you to have an EMT and an ER doctor examine you after you’ve been in a motorcycle crash. What has just happened to your body? You have no idea. At this point, only doctors and other medical professionals can say for sure.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident and you believe you were somewhat to blame, you might wonder, “Could I still receive compensation if I was partially at fault for my motorcycle accident?” Would your damages be covered or would it be your responsibility? To better understand the answers to these questions, let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
In our first example, let’s pretend you took a corner too sharply and wiped out. Your insurance would be responsible for covering your damages—unless that corner is known for accidents or you believe your accident happened because of some negligence on the part of the city or county. So, worst-case scenario, your insurance is set up to cover any damages to your bike or yourself that may happen as a result of an accident.
But, let’s get back to our example. Let’s say the road was missing a sign indicating a corner was coming, and you think the city or county is to blame for your accident. Sure, you were going too fast around the corner, but also, you didn’t know the corner was coming so you couldn’t slow down. In this case, where you’re partially at fault, it depends on your state’s laws as to how much (if any) the other party would pay.
In many states, it’s common for the court to decide what percentage of the accident was caused by each party. That divides the responsibility for the accident and indicates which insurance company should pay for what damages. Keep in mind, this division of responsibility is not how all states handle accidents where multiple parties might be at fault. To know what to expect in your situation, it’s best to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
If you’ve been in an accident, you might be wondering, “Can’t I just represent myself?” Yes, technically you could, but you won’t get nearly as good of an outcome as if you had a motorcycle accident attorney representing you. Here’s why.
The insurance company of the person who hurt you is doing their very best to minimize (and possibly eliminate) how much money they’re going to pay for the accident. In fact, they have a whole team of lawyers working to make sure you don’t see a dime of their company’s money.
Perhaps you’re hung up on having to pay a lawyer a percentage of your settlement. After all, you were the one who was injured, not your lawyer. Shouldn’t you be able to keep all that money? Well, here’s the thing: Let’s say you represent yourself and receive a few thousand dollars in your settlement. Without a lawyer, that would be all yours.
Or, If you have an experienced lawyer represent you, you could finish with a settlement for a hundred thousand dollars. Even if you paid thirty percent to your lawyer, that would still leave you with $70,000. That looks a whole lot better than if you represented yourself and just received a few thousand dollars, doesn’t it?
If you’ve been in an accident, it’s perfectly normal for you to need assistance with your motorcycle accident case. There’s no need for you to have to navigate the complexities of personal injury law on your own. And, there are many skilled and qualified lawyers ready to help.
Honestly, by getting help right now from an experienced attorney, it will be much more likely that your settlement will completely cover any expenses you have from:
- Property damage,
- Current and future medical bills,
- Lost wages, and
- Pain and suffering.
Right now, you need help from someone who has helped other people who have been in motorcycle accidents receive the financial settlement they deserve. You need someone who can see the big picture and anticipate what other surprise expenses might be headed your way. You need someone to carry the burden of successfully handling your motorcycle accident case.
After reading all of this, you might be wondering why I would spend time telling you that there are tons of eligible lawyers waiting to help you out. Why wouldn’t I just say, “Hire us! We’re the right lawyers for your case!”? Honestly, you should know that you have many options. Look around and see what the other personal injury lawyers have to offer. Then, when you’re done, I’m confident you’ll be positive we’re the right lawyers for you.
Regardless of whether you choose to work with our firm or someone else, we wish you all the best in your motorcycle accident case. Please remember different states have different laws about motorcycle accidents and settlements that may come as a result of an accident.
If you settle your case before filing a lawsuit, you might be making the right move. First of all, no lawsuit means you’ll be able to receive your settlement quickly. This means you’ll be able to have cash in your hand and start making your motorcycle accident a thing of the past.
Second, if you don’t file a lawsuit, you don’t have to hire and then pay a lawyer. This keeps all of your settlement dollars squarely in your bank account.
Third, with no court case, you won’t have any court fees. This also is a money-saving tool, ensuring you get to keep more of your settlement yourself.
Finally, if you’re not in court, you don’t have to worry about whether a jury will award you less money or possibly even find you at fault for your motorcycle accident. This type of verdict after spending so much time in court would be disappointing, to say the least.
These are all great reasons why you should just go ahead and take the offer from the insurance company and settle. But, you need to know that the insurance company for the other party in your accident has a team of lawyers working to ensure you walk away with as little of their money as possible.
In fact, they’d love to see a situation where they don’t have to pay you anything. And, everything they do is motivated by this desire to save their client, the insurance company, money. You can bet that any offer they make is well below what they think you could be awarded in a lawsuit.
To make sure you’re not being taken advantage of, it’s best to talk to a personal injury lawyer with experience in motorcycle accidents similar to the one you were in. Let the attorney know what the insurance company has offered and ask for his or her advice. A good attorney will let you know if your settlement offer is fair. Then, you can decide for yourself whether you should quickly close your case and accept the check.
When an accident occurs, motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to injury. This is because, with no way to keep you secured to your seat, you can be thrown from your bike. And, you know what they say: What goes up must come down. Often, the crash back to the ground is what causes the most damage to motorcycle riders.
Although any part of your body could be injured as a result of a motorcycle crash, there is one particular region that gets injured the most often—the lower leg. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discovered that riders sustained lower leg injuries more often than any other type of injury from a motorcycle crash. Plus, they learned riders were more likely to have a fracture than soft-tissue damage.
This means that if you’re in a motorcycle accident, it’s more likely you’ll hurt your shin than your thigh and more likely you’ll suffer a break instead of deep bruising. Remember, your lower leg is particularly exposed and vulnerable for injury—especially if you’re not wearing heavy-duty boots to protect your shins, ankles, and feet. Before you head out to ride, make sure you’re wearing appropriate protective gear. You never know when you might be in a motorcycle accident.
It’s a beautiful day, so you head out on your motorcycle for a ride. The sky is blue, the sun is just warm enough, and everything seems perfect. Then, from out of nowhere, Bam! You’ve been hit. You’re not sure what happened, but you know you’re hurt. Following the next five steps following a motorcycle injury can greatly impact the severity of your injuries and how quickly you heal.
- Make sure you’re in a safe spot. The very first thing you want to do after you’ve been injured in an accident is to make sure you’re in a safe spot. Leave your bike where it is, but make sure you’re not on the road at all. The reason why this is the very first thing you should do—even before calling 9-1-1—is because you can be injured even more severely if a vehicle comes upon your accident, doesn’t see you, and hits you. The last thing you need is to be in two significant accidents in one day.
- Call 9-1-1. Now that you’re certain you won’t be unseen and injured again, call 9-1-1. This will send the nearest medically-trained professional to you. This could mean the ambulance shows up, but it’s often a fire truck. Regardless, both emergency workers are qualified to examine you, assess your injuries, and recommend how you should proceed.
- Try not to move. While you wait for help, do your very best to avoid moving. By staying still, you may help minimize your injuries. For example, when you move, your muscles pull. This is exactly what you’d want to avoid if you have a broken bone or dislocation. Also, when you avoid moving, you ensure that you’re not going to accidentally do something to make your bad injury worse.
- Go to the hospital. Although you may feel like you’ve received sound advice and adequate treatment by the on-site medical professional, it’s still important for you to go to the hospital. Only the hospital can order imaging to ensure you don’t have damage to your brain, spinal cord, and internal organs. Plus, if you think you have any broken bones, they can verify what’s broken and start planning the best way to set it so it can heal.
- Call a personal injury lawyer. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you’re going to need help. When you’re trying to heal from your injuries, you have enough to do. Let a professional help you with the legal side of your accident so you can get the settlement you deserve.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This is actually the best way to work with a motorcycle accident attorney at law because it means that your attorney will receive a percentage of your settlement. Because they’re receiving a portion of whatever you’re awarded, your lawyer is sure to be laser-focused on your case.
This is because if you’re not awarded anything, your lawyer won’t get paid. After all, 30% of $0 is still $0. By working on a contingency basis, you know your lawyer is just as enthusiastic about bringing in a significant settlement for you as you are to receive it.
Before you choose your lawyer, you need to know what percentage he or she expects. It’s not unusual for the contingency fee to run anywhere from 25% to 75%, so it’s important to understand what your lawyer expects before you officially enter into an agreement together. Keep in mind, the contingency fee is a negotiable point. Don’t be afraid to try to adjust to a lower fee before signing the contract. But, before you agree on a percentage and sign a contract, you need to ask about hidden fees.
- Sliding fee scale. Ask your prospective lawyer what the fees will be if you go to trial. In some cases, lawyers may use a sliding fee scale where you have to pay a higher percentage if your case ends up in court. Often, it’s a much higher percentage than you originally thought you would pay. If the lawyer you’re speaking with has a sliding fee scale, politely thank them for their time, and find a different lawyer.
- Case costs. You might have expenses like court filing fees, investigation fees, expert witness fees, and more. Case costs are a normal part of any case, so don’t worry about how to reduce or eliminate what you’re spending on them. But, what’s important about case costs is that you pay them “off the top.” This means your case costs are paid before your lawyer’s payment is calculated.
Here’s an example. We’ll say your settlement is $100,000, your case costs are $10,000, and your lawyer’s percentage is 33%. When your case costs come off the top, your lawyer’s percentage is calculated from the remaining $90,000. This results in $60,300 for you and $29,700 for your lawyer.
However, if you didn’t pay your case costs first, your lawyer’s percentage ($33,000) is paid at the same time as the court costs. Essentially, this leaves you on the hook completely for the court costs. You would start with $67,000 and end up with $57,000 after paying court costs.
So, let’s take a look at the two examples. In the first one where you took your case costs off the top, you ended up with $60,300. In the second example where you paid case costs after, you ended up with $57,000. The first example leaves you with more money—$3,300 more. Make sure that paying the case costs off the top is included in your contract with your motorcycle attorney at law.
Riding a motorcycle is a unique experience. You get to feel the wind and sun all around you like a pedestrian, but you are riding a motorized vehicle like an automobile driver. This can cause confusion about what a motorcyclist can be held liable for in a motorcycle accident. Which is a motorcyclist like legally—a pedestrian or a driver?
In most cases, if a pedestrian is hit by a car, the car’s driver is at fault. However, the same isn’t true when a motorcycle is hit by a car. Motorcyclists aren’t legally protected like pedestrians are. For motorcycle drivers, it’s important to understand that, as far as the law is concerned, you’re considered a vehicle operator.
This means that all the laws that apply to other drivers also apply to you. If you are in an accident, you will need to be able to prove you were not at fault for the other party to be held completely liable for the crash. Otherwise, if you’re unable to prove your complete innocence, it could result in a division of fault.
This would mean your insurance company would be responsible for paying part of the damages and the other insurance company would be responsible for the rest. If you have been in a motorcycle accident and are wanting to prove you shouldn’t be held liable, meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn how you can strengthen your case.
When an accident occurs, motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to injury. This is because, with no way to keep the rider secured to his or her seat, the motorcyclist is normally thrown from the motorcycle. Being thrown from the motorcycle coupled with the crash landing when the rider inevitably lands on the ground can lead to many different injuries. There are six main types of injuries a motorcycle crash can cause.
1. Traumatic brain injury.
Traumatic brain injury can significantly change your life after your crash. Some common brain injuries from a motorcycle crash include blurred vision, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. These injuries are relatively minor and will most likely fade with time and help from a doctor.
However, there are more serious brain injuries like a concussion or bleeding on your brain. With either of these conditions, medical treatment is essential. Even with help from a specialist, it’s possible you might suffer from the effects of your crash months after it happened.
What are the odds of having a traumatic brain injury from a motorcycle crash?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is regularly gathering data about different traffic accidents. In one of their studies, they discovered that, out of 104,472 motorcyclists, 15% of helmet-wearing motorcyclists suffered a traumatic brain injury. For those who didn’t wear a helmet, 21% suffered a traumatic brain injury.
2. Spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injuries are very serious. When your spinal cord is injured, you might just have pain or tingling in one of your extremities. Or, in more severe cases, you could have paralysis, quadriplegia, or even die. Although some spinal cord injuries may improve over time and with medical care, many are permanent and life-changing.
3. Lower extremity injury.
Because your legs dangle, unprotected off the sides of your motorcycle; there are several ways your lower body could be injured in a motorcycle accident. Even if no one else is involved and you accidentally take a corner too quickly and roll your bike, you could end up with a hurt leg, ankle, or foot.
These injuries will either be to your bones or your soft-tissue. In most cases, with time and help from a medical professional, you’ll eventually return to feeling as good as you did before your accident.
What are the odds of having a lower extremity injury from a motorcycle crash?
A study by the NHTSA discovered that riders sustained lower leg injuries more often than any other type of injury from a motorcycle crash. Leg injuries were the most common lower-body injury, and riders were more likely to have a fracture than soft-tissue damage.
4. Internal injury.
Internal injury happens virtually undetected inside your body after your motorcycle accident. Some common internal injuries are damage to organs or internal bleeding. Initially, you might look fine and unharmed after your accident. You might even feel just fine. The only real way to know whether you have an internal injury is to seek treatment from a medical professional.
A fracture is a technical way of saying you’ve broken a bone. Sometimes, the fracture can be significant and require surgery to reconnect pieces of bone. Other times, the fracture can be manageable with a cast or splint. In some rare cases, a motorcyclist might have a hairline fracture that just requires care and attention.
6. Road rash.
“Road rash” is what happens when your body slides against the road. You might look like you have scratches. Or, in bad situations, it might look like entire chunks of your skin have been removed.
Although it might remind you of falling off your bicycle as a kid, road rash is no joke. It’s important to have a medical professional examine and clean your wounds. Prompt attention to your injury could make the difference between having to fight off an infection or live with a horrible scar.