Unsafe left turn motorcycle accidents are not uncommon among motorists. When these accidents happen, motorcyclists are some of the most affected victims. You will want to hold the responsible parties accountable or try to find legal help to help you seek compensation. Therefore, we advise you to get in touch with Orange County Personal Injury Attorney to help gather evidence and hold the liable parties accountable for damages and injuries.
An Overview of Unsafe Left Turn Motorcycle Accidents
California weather is very calm and friendly for motorcyclists who want a convenient and relaxing outdoor experience. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable during an accident involving other motorists on the road because a motorcycle lacks a driver protection shield. There are several causes of a motorcycle accident, but a major leading cause of motorcycle accidents in California is unsafe or improper left turns on the road, especially at intersections.
Unsafe left turn motorcycle accidents happen when the other motorist approaching an intersection fails to yield right of way at an incoming motorcycle. An unsafe or improper left turn is a violation of traffic law, which will have the reckless driver guilty of negligence in a personal injury civil lawsuit. Reckless drivers who make an unsafe left turn without considering the motorcyclist safety will receive misdemeanor charges and be liable for any financial, emotional, or physical losses that arise after an accident.
There is a presumption that most motorcyclists are always on the wrong in a left turn motorcycle accident, which is not factual. Because motorbikes are small in size and less visible on the road in contrast to cars, drivers always try to assign the accident liability to the motorcyclist, arguing that he/she came out of nowhere. All motorists, including a motorcyclist, must use correct turn signals to alert other motorists when making left turns or changing lanes to avoid accident risks.
The driver and the motorcyclist must use reasonable care when commuting around the city to avoid unnecessary accidents. When a motorcyclist misjudges the speed and the distance of an oncoming car, especially at an intersection, there are high chances that he/she might be getting into an accident when the driver tries to make a left turn. Unsafe left turn motorcycle accident happens when a motorist:
Fails to use turning signals properly
Fails to see the car on the adjacent lane
Fails to foresee blind spots before making a lane change
Attempts to make a lane change in an intersection
Because of the prevailing bias and stereotype that motorcyclists are irresponsible drivers, you must seek legal representation after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident to preserve your legal rights when pursuing compensation for motorcycle accident losses and injuries.
To avoid becoming a victim of motorcycle accident stereotyping in terms of accident liability, you should always drive safely, wear a helmet, and be kind to other accident victims. However, you should never apologize for the motorcycle accident, even if you think you might be at fault. An apology is equated to accepting responsibility for the motorcycle accident liability, which the other driver can use against you during a lawsuit to avoid the accident accountability.
Helpful Actions to Undertake After an Unsafe Left Turn Motorcycle Accident to Preserve Your Legal Rights
Often unsafe left turn motorcycle accidents leave the motorcyclist unconscious hence the need for emergency medical attention. Suppose you’re conscious after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident. In that case, you should consider gathering evidence that might help you preserve your legal rights when seeking compensation for accident losses and injuries. Below are helpful actions to undertake after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident:
Seek Essential Information from Other Motorists Involved in the Motorcycle Accident
Approach every driver who is a victim of the motorcycle accident and kindly ask them to provide you with their contact names, address, vehicle license plate numbers, and insurance information. When seeking compensation from your insurance provider, they will require this essential information to pursue reimbursement from the defendant’s insurance coverage
Call the Police
Involving the police after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident is important in preserving your legal rights. A police motorcycle accident report will help you in court during damages compensation claims. A police report contains pieces of evidence such as current weather conditions and eyewitness information, which will play a crucial role in proving negligence in a personal injury lawsuit. It is also a legal requirement to call the police or 911 after any motorist accident, depending on the severity of the accident.
Document the Accident Scene and Gather Eyewitness Information
Every information surrounding unsafe left turn motorcycle accidents will go a long way in proving liability and fault during a personal injury lawsuit. You might use your smartphone camera to capture pictures and video footage of the motorcycle accident scene, including injuries, damage, weather, and road conditions. Don’t forget to take at least one eyewitness contact details because you might need him/her to testify during the trial when proving an accident fault. A personal injury attorney will quickly identify factors that lead to an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident using every piece of information you have of the accident scene.
Seek Medical Attention
Do not ignore any minor injury after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident because you might not see what a doctor can. A doctor will evaluate your injuries and conduct a diagnosis to determine if there is any internal bleeding or injuries. The most common injuries a motorcyclist can incur after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident include lacerations, bone breakage, facial impairment, or disfigurement.
Do not worry about your medical expenses if you have insurance coverage since you can pursue compensation for the losses later. Therefore, you must document every medical cost you incur after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident, including over the counter (OTC) medication prescriptions. All this medical information will act as evidence when seeking compensation for the losses from your insurance provider.
Notify Your Insurer
Failing to notify your insurance provider about a motorcycle accident incident can affect your chances of making a successful compensation claim from the insurer. As part of an insurance coverage agreement, insurance policyholders must notify their insurance providers of any incident of a motorcycle accident. Insurance adjusters will check your compensation claim and pieces of evidence surrounding the motorcycle accident case that you were a victim to determine if your compensation claim is factual.
If they find that your evidence for motorcycle accident damages is factual, they will ask to settle the compensation claim instead of filing a lawsuit. Insurers can also rebuke your compensation claim based on a lack of enough evidence to support the amount you’re claiming. In that case, you must involve your injury attorney for any legal assistance when seeking justice and compensation in an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident through a civil lawsuit.
Find a Professional Personal Injury Attorney
Pursuing a personal injury compensation claim after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident can be a nightmare if your insurance provider is uncooperative in offering reimbursement for damages and injuries. An insurance policyholder has the right to seek legal assistance if there is a reasonable belief that the insurance provider is not acting in “good faith” in their response to the compensation claim.
You must hire a personal injury attorney to advocate for your legal rights and interests if your insurance provider responds to your compensation claim with a low bid for the motorcycle accident damages and injuries. Find a polite and friendly professional for a comfortable and easy working relationship during an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident personal injury lawsuit.
Settlement of a Compensation Claim After Unsafe Left Turn Motorcycle Accident
You could recover your damages after a left turn motorcycle accident through your insurance if you were not at fault for the accident who will then seek reimbursement from the at-fault party insurer. Having specific auto insurance policies such as Underinsured Motorist Coverage or Uninsured Motorist Coverage will be beneficial to you if the other party at fault during an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident is uninsured or underinsured.
To avoid time and money wastage during a civil lawsuit for an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident, most people prefer to settle the compensation claim through negotiation. A civil lawsuit is unnecessary if the at-fault party and their insurance provider are cooperative in offering a settlement for the compensation claim. Below are possible factors that can influence your settlement amount:
The extent and severity of your damages and injuries
Current medical bills and future medical care bills for any long-term injury
Pain and suffering
Your contribution to the motorcycle accident
Lost ability or capacity to work
The insurance coverage limit of the at-fault party
During a compensation claim settlement, you’ll need your injury attorney advice when deciding on a reasonable amount to claim for the motorcycle accident losses. Insurance adjusters sometimes are very convincing and persuasive during a settlement negotiation, which can make you settle for a lesser settlement amount if you don’t have legal representation. A personal injury attorney will undertake the following steps to achieve a reasonable and fair compensation award settlement:
During this challenging time after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident, all you want is someone who can be there to fight for your legal rights while you undergo treatment for your injuries. A personal injury attorney will get on your motorcycle accident cases immediately to investigate the possible causes of the accident and gather enough evidence to determine the accident liability. During the investigation period, your injury lawyer will require all the documented information of the motorcycle accident scene, including the police report and eyewitness information for proper case analysis and evaluation.
After proper investigation and analysis, an injury attorney can now be able to determine a compensation reward appropriate for all the motorcycle accident damages and injuries since the occurrence of the unsafe left turn motorcycle accident. Your injury attorney will then compile all viable evidence to support the reasonable compensation settlement award you’re requesting for the motorcycle accident damages and injuries.
After receiving the demand letter, the insurance provider must act in good faith to provide a fair and reasonable compensation settlement reward to their policyholders. Suppose all the essential evidence necessary to support your compensation claim settlement amount are clear on the demand letter. In that case, you have legal rights to receive adequate compensation settlement rewards.
Negotiation of a fair compensation settlement reward can occur more than two times before the insurer accepts your demands. During a settlement negotiation, you must stick to your compensation claim settlement amount regardless of how aggressive they try to persuade you to take a lesser amount.
Rarely, regardless of the evidence you provide to support your compensation claim settlement demand, some cases still end up in court when the insurance provider is acting in bad faith towards offering an adequate compensation settlement reward. Compensation claim settlement through trial is the only fair way to protect your legal rights and hold the defendant responsible for your motorcycle accident losses and injuries if the settlement negotiation is in vain.
Fundamentals of Unsafe Left Turn Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Lawsuit
It is not right to settle for a compensation reward less than you deserve even after providing clear and factual evidence to support your expenses after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident, which was not your fault. California comparative negligence law will allow you to recover partial compensation for your motorcycle accident damages if the defendant presents evidence to show that you were equally or partially at fault for the motorcycle accident.
The occurrence of an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident is usually due to negligence. Other motorists and motorcyclists might be at risk of accidents when other motorists fail to yield or observe traffic regulations at any particular place, especially during an unsafe left turn. A plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit must demonstrate specific negligence elements to prove the defendant guilty of negligence and accountable for the motorcycle accident losses and injuries. Elements of negligence in a personal injury civil lawsuit include:
Duty of Care
The judge will first take into consideration the relationship between the plaintiff and defendant to determine if there was an existence of a legal responsibility requiring them to act in a particular manner to prevent possible harm or accident. Duty of care responsibility exists between motorists on the road requiring every driver to move reasonably and carefully to avoid causing foreseeable accidents. Suppose a standard, reasonable person would find the existence of a duty of care under similar circumstances to prevent the occurrence of the unsafe left turn motorcycle accident. In that case, the defendant will be liable for your post-accident losses and injuries.
Duty of Care Breach
If there is a duty of care responsibility between the defendant and the plaintiff relationship. In that case, it means one of them was negligent in observing his/her duty of care during the event of the unsafe left turn motorcycle accident. To prove the defendant was negligent in finding a duty of care obligation in your situation, your injury attorney must provide pieces of evidence such as:
The defendant’s text messages history to show that he/she was distracted when driving
A police report to show the defendant was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Any prove to show the defendant was negligent in observing traffic laws such as surveillance videos
Eyewitness testimonies of the actual events before the occurrence of the unsafe left turn motorcycle accident.
When a motorist breaches his/her duty of care on the road, an accident may happen or not. It might be right and evident that the defendant was negligent in acting carefully and cautiously hence causing the unsafe left turn motorcycle accident. However, it doesn’t always mean the accident must result in injuries or damages. Therefore, the plaintiff carries the burden of proof to establish to the judge above a reasonable doubt how the defendant's negligent and careless acts made him/her sustain injuries.
If the unsafe left turn motorcycle accident led to your injuries or damages, you might incur some losses during treatment and motorbike repair. All these losses you suffer after a motorcycle accident are compensable by the at-fault party. However, you must produce facts and evidence to show the jury that there were actual damages due to the following possible losses after a motorcycle accident:
Medical treatment expenses
Therapy session bills
Motorbike repair costs
It’s therefore essential to retain all the receipts of every cost you incur after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident to demonstrate to the judge this element of negligence. If your damages are realistic to the judge according to the facts and evidence available. In that case, you will be eligible to receive the following types of compensatory damages depending on the severity of your injuries or losses:
i. Economic Damages
The losses which a plaintiff incurs after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident that can be readily attached to a monetary value are known as economic damages. Economic damages cover all the amount of money a plaintiff spends out of pocket or is obligated to spend in the future after an unsafe, left-turn motorcycle accident. Often after a motorcycle accident, a plaintiff will incur the following types of economic losses:
Lost earning capacity
Motorbike repairs costs
Physical therapy costs
ii. Non-economic Damages
After an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident, a motorcyclist can also incur non-economic losses that are still compensable in a personal injury lawsuit. Non-economic damages cover all types of losses that cannot be attached to any dollar amount. They include (but not limited to):
Pain and suffering
Loss of ability to enjoy life
All these four elements of negligence must be proven above a reasonable doubt to hold the defendant liable for your damages and injuries after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident. When a motorcyclist dies after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident due to another motorist negligence, the bereaved family members such as the spouse or children can also file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages for the sudden death of their loved one. Wrongful death laws were enacted in California to cover the value of the support the deceased could have reasonably provided to the heirs if he/she was still alive.
In a California personal injury lawsuit, the judge also considers the possibility of contributory negligence. Both the plaintiff and the defendant are partially negligent towards the occurrence of an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident. Under California comparative negligence law, the judge should grant the plaintiff partial damages where he/she is partially at fault for an accident leading to his/her losses. Comparative negligence law allows a plaintiff to receive partial damages for motorcycle accident losses depending on his/her degree of negligence during the motorcycle accident.
Under California Civil Code 3294, a plaintiff would also receive punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit if the defendant had malice thoughts or intentionally led to the motorcycle accident. Punitive damages are subject to the defendant's conduct during the event of an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident and his/her ability to pay the losses. In contrast, compensatory damages are equated to the plaintiff’s losses after the motorcycle accident. For compensatory damages and punitive damages, you will rely on your injury attorney to provide clear, convincing evidence and facts against the defendant.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Having a personal injury attorney who is aware of California laws surrounding personal injury lawsuits and court procedures is vital towards achieving adequate compensation after a motorcycle accident. To secure your legal rights in a personal injury lawsuit, we invite you to contact Orange County Personal Injury Attorney at 714-876-1959 for a professional and result-oriented legal representation after an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident.