Injury Lawyer Helping Motor Vehicle Collision Victims in Santa Monica
It is widely understood that motorcycle riders are more vulnerable to harm than people protected by a car in a collision. Unfortunately, this does not always prevent other drivers from acting carelessly while sharing the road with motorcyclists. If you have been hurt in an accident caused by a negligent motorist, you may be able to recover medical expenses and other damages you have incurred as a result. Injury attorney Lennon M. Slatter has represented people hurt in motorcycle accidents in West LA and Santa Monica for over 30 years. Our legal team provides dedicated, experienced, and personalized legal services to our clients and can assist you in pursuing compensation after a crash.
Bringing a Negligence Claim Against a Careless Driver
Personal injury claims filed in connection with motorcycle collisions are usually based on a legal theory of negligence, which holds each person responsible for the foreseeable harm inflicted on others as a result of his or her careless actions. Under an ordinary theory of negligence, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the victim a duty, the defendant breached that duty, the defendant’s breach caused the victim’s injury, and actual damages were incurred.
In motorcycle accident cases, the usual duty of care for a defendant is to exercise reasonable care to avoid creating risks of harm to others while operating a motor vehicle. The plaintiff can provide evidence that the driver breached that duty, or in other words, was not driving with the care that an ordinarily prudent person in the same or similar circumstances would use. Since each motorcycle case is different, that process will vary in each negligence claim. It could include evidence that the other driver was breaking a traffic law, such as running a red light or texting, or that the defendant was driving unreasonably considering the weather conditions, or simply that the defendant failed to be alert for others, including bikers, on the road.
The element of causation will require the plaintiff to demonstrate that the defendant’s negligent actions were the direct and proximate cause of his or her injuries. This includes proof that but for the defendant’s conduct, the plaintiff would not have been hurt, and that the accident was reasonably foreseeable considering the defendant’s carelessness.
Finally, the plaintiff must establish that he or she incurred damages that are reasonably quantifiable. Damages in negligence actions typically include non-economic damages, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and others. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and others may be claimed in most cases, although there are exceptions. California law applies the pure comparative fault rule in negligence cases, meaning that your damages may be reduced by an amount equal to the percentage of negligence attributed to you in the motorcycle accident. However, this also means that you can potentially recover damages even if you are partially at fault for an accident.
For most personal injury cases, the deadline to file your claim will be within two years of the date of the crash, or one year from the date of discovery of the injury, although there are exceptions that may extend this timeframe in very limited situations.
Consult a Santa Monica Attorney to Seek Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident
Discussing the details of your motorcycle accident with a knowledgeable attorney can help in understanding your options under California law. West LA and Santa Monica lawyer Lennon M. Slatter knows that motor vehicle collision victims have important rights to assert. He can work diligently to pursue your claim, while answering any questions you may have about the legal process. We are proud to serve residents of Lancaster, Norwalk, Van Nuys, South Gate, Palmdale, and many other Southern California cities. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at (310) 405-0964 or contact us online.