How a San Jose Motorcycle Accident Attorney Proves Fault After a Crash

A broken looking mirror of a bike isolated unique photo

Multiple high-traffic roads in San Jose, including King Road, a six-mile stretch near Berryessa Road and East Capitol Expressway, have been identified as posing a significant safety risk. In response, the city has allocated nearly $12 million for safety improvements on these critical roadways.

However, accidents are still occurring, and motorcycle accidents are at the forefront.



Can a San Jose Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help with My Case?

In order to successfully collect fair compensation for a motorcycle crash, it must be proven that the other party is, in fact, at fault. Legally, this process is complex and will greatly benefit from the assistance of an experienced San Jose motorcycle accident attorney. Learn more here. 

Prove Liability in Motorcycle Accidents

Driving car at motorway at high speedWhen motorcycle accident claims are filed, it must be proven that the other party accused of causing the crash is guilty of negligence. Experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can accomplish this by presenting the elements of negligence.

It must first be established that a duty of care was owed. In this case, the driver owed a duty of care to act reasonably and follow traffic laws to avoid harming others on the road, such as motorcycle riders.

Then, it must be indicated how that duty of care was breached by the driver. Examples include running red lights, swerving into a motorcyclist’s lane, or driving under the influence. 

After, a correlation between the breached duty of care being the cause of the motorcycle crash can be made. Police reports, witness statements, and even the other driver’s past driving record can all be used as evidence to prove this connection.

San Jose motorcycle accident lawyers can then associate all of the sustained damages with the crash. This will consist of compiling all medical bills, lost wages, and any other financial losses to prove that compensation is owed. 


Maintain Claim, Even When Motorcyclists Are Also at Fault

Black helmet on motorcycle seatDistractions, blind spots, and aggressive driving will leave even the most careful motorcyclist vulnerable. Liability can fall on motorcycle riders, other drivers involved, the motorcycle manufacturer, or even entities responsible for road maintenance. The party or parties found liable must compensate the injured motorcycle accident victims. 

California law follows a “pure comparative negligence” system to determine fault in motorcycle crashes. This means multiple parties can share fault, even the plaintiff filing the motorcycle accident claim.

Even if a motorcyclist is partially at fault, compensation may still be recovered. A percentage of fault will be assigned to the plaintiff. Then, that percentage will be reduced from the total amount of recoverable damages. For instance, being 20% at fault would result in an 80% payout of the total claim value.

The assigned percentage of fault for each party is crucial because the insurance company will try to pawn off as much blame as possible. Consulting with San Jose motorcycle accident lawyers identifies all legitimately liable parties, minimizing fault on the victim, and maximizing the amount of available compensation.


Collect Evidence to Prove Damages in Motorcycle Accident Claims

Motorcycle accident victims can seek compensation for their losses through a personal injury claim. A San Jose motorcycle accident lawyer will assess the crash and evaluate the total losses based on available evidence. The various forms of damages can be broken into three categories.

Economic Damages 

Doctor or healthcare worker office desk. Health care, medicine conceptBy compiling valuable pieces of information, such as medical bills, lost wages due to missing work, and the cost of repairing/replacing the damaged motorcycle, San Jose motorcycle accident attorneys can illustrate clear financial loss.

Economic damages hold a monetary value and are supported by documentation like receipts or invoices, so they may be more likely to be reimbursed in a motorcycle accident settlement.

Non-Economic Damages 

Young man comforting and supporting a sad woman This form of loss is intangible but can be supported with the right legal strategy provided by an experienced legal team. Examples of non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of companionship (loss of consortium).

Arguing that these types of damages should be compensated can be supported by exemplifying how similar past cases awarded compensation.


Punitive Damages 

Scales of justice, Symbol of law and justice concept.While most car accidents are compensated through regular damages, there is a rare category referred to as punitive damages. Also called exemplary damages, they are typically awarded in a personal injury case involving extreme negligence.

Rather than just award financial compensation, its main purpose is to target egregious behavior, functioning as punishment for the at-fault party and to deter others from committing similar acts.  



Recover Maximum Compensation

The doctor giving treatment to the woman patient broken leg. Doctor and female patient are discussing at clinicThe insurance company is not necessarily reluctant to compensate injured victims. However, they are likely to offer a much lower settlement than anticipated, as they are known to intentionally undervalue claims and minimize payouts.

However, working with the right personal injury law firm protects victims’ interests and increases the financial award that can be recovered.

Fair recoverable losses should encompass the full extent of losses, including monetary losses, as well as intangible losses. Common examples of damages that San Jose motorcycle accident lawyers can recover include: 

  • Current medical expenses
  • Future medical treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Property damage
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

An experienced San Jose motorcycle accident lawyer will document all applicable economic damages and non-economic damages to maximize compensation.

If the insurance company is uncompromising during negotiations, filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit will be recommended. Then, motorcycle accident lawyers will take the case to trial and argue the case in court.


Showcase the Severity of Motorcycle Accident Injuries 

Close up of man filling in medical insurance form, injured hand in sling in background, copy spaceThe range of motorcycle accident injuries can impact a victim’s life significantly, even when wearing the proper riding gear, like gloves and a motorcycle helmet. 

In recent years, it was estimated that more than 82,000 riders were injured in motorcycle crashes across the US. The various types of injuries a motorcycle accident lawyer will get clients compensated for may include: 

  • Head and Traumatic Brain Injury: Motorcycle accidents frequently cause different types of TBIs, ranging from mild to severe concussions with life-altering consequences.
  • Spinal Cord Damage: Severe injuries to the back and spine can potentially lead to partial or complete paralysis and extensive recovery time.
  • Road Rash: Scraping against pavement can cause serious skin and nerve damage, resulting in potentially permanent injuries.
  • Broken Bones: Fractures are common in motorcycle accidents that affect various bones and often require surgery.
  • Internal Injuries: This can include internal organ damage from a broken bone piercing the body and resulting in internal bleeding. This type of hidden injury can become fatal if not immediately treated. 

Because serious injuries can have an indefinite impact on victims’ livelihood, it is crucial to ensure the personal injury claim is sufficient enough to cover both current and anticipated medical costs. 


Ensure a Motorcycle Accident Claim Is Filed in Time

monitor screen with the mouse hovering over a file that says "claim"California law imposes time limits for filing motorcycle accident lawsuits. In most cases involving personal injuries, the victim has two years to take legal action.

However, if the motorcycle crash involves a government entity, the deadline to file a claim is significantly shorter, often just six months. Regardless of circumstances or lack of awareness of the shortened statute, once the filing period passes, compensation can no longer be pursued.

A San Jose motorcycle accident attorney is aware of these deadlines, as well as the reduced timing when a government vehicle or entity is involved. To ensure all paperwork is filed in time and executed correctly, seek help from San Jose motorcycle accident lawyers.


Are You Questioning Whether or Not a San Jose Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You?

Storm clouds make for a dramatic sunset over sprawling San Jose.At Valley Accident Attorneys, our law firm provides all potential clients with a free consultation. This allows them some clarity on the legal process, as well as gain some insight into their personal injury cases.

Sometimes, legal representation is not necessary for every motorcycle accident. To find out if yours is and how much it’s valued at, please schedule a free case evaluation with our San Jose personal injury law firm today. 




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