Have you recently been injured in a Bakersfield motorcycle accident? Are you considering filing a personal injury claim for damages? Hiring an attorney to handle your case is the single best thing you can do if you want to maximize the compensation you recover.
Call the Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorneys at Citywide Law Group today to set up a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you. We will thoroughly review the details of your accident, outline your legal options, and answer the questions you have.
- 1 Bakersfield Motorcycle Accidents
- 2 Motorcycle Accident Injuries
- 3 Causes of Bakersfield Motorcycle Accidents
- 4 Damages for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
- 5 Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accident Cases
- 6 Why Should I Hire a Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
- 7 Experienced Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Bakersfield Motorcycle Accidents
As the seat of Kern County, Bakersfield is one of the busiest cities in California. An average of 4.2 million miles are driven on the city’s roads every day. Motorcycles are extremely popular modes of transportation in California, and Bakersfield is no exception. Unfortunately, these motorcyclists are not immune from accidents when they happen. In fact, motorcycles tend to be involved in approximately 4 to 5 percent of all traffic accidents in Bakersfield.
Data provided by California’s Office of Traffic Safety indicates that the number of motorcycle accidents in Bakersfield has remained steady over the past few years:
- 2011: 68
- 2012: 58
- 2013: 58
- 2014: 84
- 2015: 77.
Even though Bakersfield saw a slight decline in the number of motorcycle accidents in 2015, the overall rate of accidents remains a concern.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists may not be involved in as many accidents as other drivers, but riders are more likely to suffer serious and life-threatening injuries in a crash. At Citywide Law Group, our Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorneys are prepared to help you recover compensation for any motorcycle accident injury that you have suffered. We have successfully helped injured motorcyclists recover meaningful compensation for injuries including:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Brain injury
- Degloving injury
- Eye injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Thoracic injury
- Catastrophic injury
- Amputation, and
- Wrongful death.
Contact our Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorneys today to find out how we can help you get the compensation you need and deserve. No injury is too big or too small for us to handle. We will fight to hold the negligent party responsible and make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
Causes of Bakersfield Motorcycle Accidents
Even if you ride carefully and follow the rules of the road you may still be involved in a Bakersfield motorcycle accident. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
Lane Splitting: Even though lane splitting is legal in California, it is still a dangerous behavior. When motorcycles leave marked lanes of traffic and bypass other vehicles on the road they become less visible. When a motorcyclist cannot be seen, they are more likely to be struck by another vehicle on the road. Lane splitting motorcyclists may also tend to speed to bypass traffic. High speeds, paired with limited visibility, increase the chances of a serious accident.
Speeding: California imposes speed restrictions on all of its roads for a reason. Speed limits help to keep passengers and drivers safe. When motorcycles and other vehicles are driving at high speeds, the likelihood of being in a fatal crash increase significantly.
Inexperienced Riders: Motorcycles are becoming increasingly popular across the nation. This rise in popularity has caused many people to hop on a bike with little experience and education. When inexperienced riders take to the roads, they are more likely to cause and/or be involved in an accident. These riders do not have the training that is necessary to handle unexpected circumstances.
Defective Equipment: When a rider purchases a motorcycle they expect that it will function properly. Sometimes, however, bikes have defects that can affect its safe operation.
Drug and Alcohol Use: Operating any motor vehicle – whether it is a passenger car, truck, or motorcycle – puts others in danger. Drunk driving and drunk riding are, unfortunately, often cited as reasons for tragic motorcycle accidents.
Distracted Driving/Riding: Fatal accidents are much more likely to occur when drivers are distracted. Texting, fiddling with the radio, taking photographs, and eating are seemingly innocent tasks that can have devastating consequences.
Damages for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents are notorious for causing life-changing injuries. If you have been injured in a Bakersfield motorcycle accident your life has likely been turned upside-down. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can allow you to recover monetary compensation to help you during this difficult time. In California, victims of motorcycle accidents can generally recover both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages help to pay you back for the out-of-pocket (and anticipated) financial costs you have because of an unexpected injury. Recovering these damages helps to put you back in the financial position you would have been in if the accident had never happened. Commonly awarded economic damages include those for:
- Medical bills
- Lost income and wages
- Property damage
- Rehabilitation, and
- Nursing care.
Non-economic damages help to compensate you for the physical, emotional, and social harms that you suffer because of an accident. These injuries may not have a direct financial cost, but they are still devastating to you. An award of non-economic damages can vary significantly from case-to-case since there are no standard values for these subjective injuries. Commonly awarded non-economic damages include those for:
- Pain and suffering
- Anxiety and depression
- Loss of consortium
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Embarrassment, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accident Cases
You have the right the ask for monetary damages after you’ve been injured in a Bakersfield motorcycle crash. However, California limits the amount of time in which you can file a legal claim. If you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations expires, you will be prevented from getting the money you need and deserve. In California, you will generally have two years from the date of your accident to initiate legal proceedings in a personal injury lawsuit.
Tolling the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations can be tolled when certain extenuating circumstances are present. Tolling basically means that the statute of limitations is paused for a period of time. When the tolling factor (extenuating circumstance) is no longer an issue, the statute of limitations begins to run again. You may be able to toll the statute of limitations if:
- You were under the age of 18 at the time of your motorcycle accident
- The defendant responsible for your injuries cannot be found, or
- You did not discover your accident-related injury right away.
Claims Against the Government
Did a dangerous road condition cause your Bakersfield motorcycle accident? If so, the government may be held financially responsible for any damages that you have suffered. It is important to know that the statute of limitations is accelerated when the government is involved. In order to recover damages from the government you must file an administrative claim within 180 days of your accident. Failure to do this will bar any financial recovery from the government agency.
Why Should I Hire a Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
If you’ve been injured in a Bakersfield motorcycle crash you may be thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you want to make sure that your claim is successful and maximize the compensation you receive, you should seriously consider hiring an attorney handle your case.
1. You need to focus on getting better.
Motorcycle accident injuries tend to be incredibly severe. You may require extensive medical care, multiple surgeries, and months of painful rehabilitation. You may also be suffering from chronic pain and depression. You should be focused on getting better during this time, not trying to navigate your way through a complex legal claim. Hiring an attorney to represent you will allow you to focus on your physical and emotional recoveries. Splitting your focus will prolong your recovery and make it more difficult than it needs to be.
2. Claims are difficult to value.
How much is your injury worth? What about your pain and suffering? If you do not hire an attorney you will be forced to accept whatever the insurance company decides your case is worth. Since insurance companies are most interested in protecting their bottom line, you can bet that your claim will be undervalued. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate your accident, consult with experts, and assess the true value of your claim.
3. It’s important to level the playing field.
Insurance companies will be represented by attorneys who have experience negotiating with accident victims. These attorneys know how to take advantage of a very stressful time in your life and convince you to accept a lowball offer. In some situations, these attorneys may simply deny your request for damages altogether, knowing that you do not have the legal experience or resources necessary to fight that denial. When you hire an attorney you level the playing field.
Experienced Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Motorcycle accidents can be incredibly devastating for accident victims and their families. In addition to serious physical injuries, you may also be faced with overwhelming financial burdens. Contact Citywide Law Group today to learn about the benefits of filing a personal injury claim for damages. The money you recover from your legal claim can help to pay for costly medical bills, make up for lost wages, and help to compensate for the emotional trauma you’ve been forced to endure.
Our Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorneys have over 17 years of experience handling complex personal injury matters. During this time we have successfully recovered millions in life-changing compensation for our injured clients. We understand how important a financial award can be during this difficult time in your life, and we will fight to make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Call today to request a free consultation and learn more.