Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Serving Santa Maria
The number of motorcycle fatalities in the United States increased by 11% from 2019 to 2020, rising from 5,044 fatalities to 5,579 fatalities. The 5,579 fatalities in 2020 represent the highest number of recorded motorcyclist fatalities since the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) started in 1975.
In addition to fatalities, motorcycle accidents also result in serious injuries. Approximately 82,528 motorcyclists suffered injuries in 2020. The small stature of motorcycles, their inherent lack of protective enclosures, and absence of safety features (e.g., airbags)—combined with the lack of visibility on the roads—make bike injuries all too common. If another person’s negligence caused a motorcycle accident that resulted in your injuries, they might be liable for your losses.
How Do You Prove Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Most motorcycle accident claims require you to prove negligence. To demonstrate negligence, you must prove each of the following elements:
- Duty of care,
- Breach of duty,
- Causation, and
To prevail on your motorcycle accident claim, you must be able to prove all four of these elements.
The first element you must prove is the existence of a legal “duty of care.” You must show that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care to act in a reasonably prudent manner. In most cases, all motorists owe others on the road a duty to act in a reasonably safe manner—for example, by following traffic laws and observing the right of way.
Next, you must prove that the opposing party breached their duty. This means you must show that a reasonably prudent person would not have taken the actions that the opposing party took if faced with the same or similar circumstances. Examples of a breach of duty in a motorcycle accident case include:
- Failure to look before changing lanes,
- Speeding too fast for conditions,
- Aggressive driving,
- Distracted driving, or
- Disregarding traffic signs and signals.
You cannot recover compensation if the other party did not breach their duty of care.
Once you have shown that the opposing party owed a duty of care and subsequently breached that duty, you must prove causation. Proving causation means you must show that the opposing party’s negligence directly caused the motorcycle accident that resulted in your injuries. You can prove causation by showing that your motorcycle accident resulting in your injuries would not have occurred if the opposing party had not breached their duty of care. A Santa Maria motorcycle accident attorney can help establish the link between the opposing party’s breach and your injuries.
Lastly, you must be able to prove you suffered actual damages due to your injuries from the motorcycle accident. The damages typically claimed in a motorcycle accident lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses,
- Vehicle repair costs,
- Rehabilitation costs,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress, or
- Psychological trauma.
Our team of motorcycle lawyers will use our experience and resources to help you calculate the value of your motorcycle accident claim.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles weigh significantly less than passenger vehicles and provide minimal protection to riders. As a result, a motorcycle collision with another vehicle can inflict significant, sometimes life-threatening, injuries. Some injuries often inflicted in motorcycle accidents include:
- Broken bones,
- Brain injuries,
- Road rash,
- Loss of limbs,
- Internal injuries, and
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash, contact a motorcycle accident attorney in Santa Maria, CA. Our team at Frederick Law Firm is looking forward to hearing from you.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
The moments following an accident are often confusing and hectic. However, a few quick steps can help preserve evidence for your future lawsuit.
Contact Authorities and Formally Report Your Accident
You should contact the proper authorities right away after your accident. Don’t leave the scene until the police arrive. Once they get there, you can provide them with any requested information they need to complete a formal accident report. The accident report can give you valuable information about the opposing party, potential eyewitnesses, and officers’ impressions of the accident.
Gather Relevant Information at the Scene
The strength of your potential motorcycle accident case will depend on the information available to prove your case. Some of this evidence will be available at the scene of the motorcycle accident. If you are not injured, try to document and collect as much pertinent evidence as possible.
Relevant evidence may include:
- Photographs of the accident scene,
- Proof of factors that contributed to the crash,
- Verbal statements made by the opposing party, and
- Statements from any eyewitnesses to the accident.
Any evidence that helps demonstrate an element of your negligence claim can bolster your chances of recovery.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health and safety should come first in the aftermath of a collision. If you suffer any injuries, you should call an ambulance immediately. Even if you do not notice any injuries right away, you should still seek medical attention soon after your collision to ensure you did not incur any internal injuries. Injuries like internal bleeding or a concussion may be hidden beneath the surface. But failure to treat these injuries in a timely manner can result in long-term consequences.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Santa Maria Today
Our founding attorney, Jacqueline Vitti Frederick, has over 40 years of experience advocating for those who suffered injuries in motorcycle accidents. We treat our clients like family, ensuring that we take the time to listen to the details of your case and craft a strategy tailored to you. You can rest assured knowing that our award-winning trial attorneys are fighting for your compensation. We offer our clients aggressive yet compassionate representation. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle collision, contact a Santa Maria motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.