Motorcycles are more than just a mode of transportation, for many, they are a way of life. They allow you to experience the open air and be at one with your surroundings in a way that a car just can’t do. And while they do offer many advantages over cars, unfortunately, they have some disadvantages too. The most obvious is the risk they can pose to drivers and their passengers. When you get in an accident while riding a motorcycle, your risk of injury tends to be much higher simply because you don’t have anything to protect you.
Here we’ll take a look at the statistics involving motorcycle crashes, what steps you should take if you are a passenger in a California motorcycle accident, and how a personal injury attorney can help you.
The Statistics Paint a Sobering Picture
Getting into an accident isn’t something you want to think about, but here in California and across the country it is a reality. According to statistics, motorcycle riders have a much higher risk of death in an accident – 28 times more likely to be exact. In the year 2020 alone, there were 82,528 injuries sustained by motorcycle riders.
So while the chance of a potential accident shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your passion, it can help guide you in terms of the precautions you take.
The Initial Steps After an Accident Are Important
There is a big misconception that motorcycle accidents happen primarily in bad weather such as rain, but that isn’t always the case. Crashes happen year-round, especially in states that don’t experience snow and wintery conditions such as California. It’s for these reasons that riders and passengers must be aware of the important steps to follow after an accident.
As a passenger on a motorcycle that has been in an accident, your first concern is to receive medical attention. Even if you don’t think your injuries are serious, it’s best to get looked at properly. You could have internal injuries that you may not be aware of. Be careful not to move around if you are injured, as you don’t want to make things worse.
Depending on your injuries, if possible, try to take photos of the accident, the surrounding environment/road, and pictures of witness license plates. All of this information can come in handy later.
The police should also be called right away, as this will ensure that an official report is written and filed. This becomes an important document when building a personal injury claim.
Once Stable – It’s Time to Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Once your physical well-being has been stabilized, it’s time to contact a motorcycle accident attorney. The reason you want to contact them so soon after the accident is that the details will still be fresh in your mind. To be the best motorcycle accident lawyer for you, they need as much information as possible so they can put together a strong claim.
You will be asked to recount all of the events leading up to the accident, in detail, as even the smallest thing may make a huge difference in your claim. Some of the information your road accident lawyer may ask for include:
- Medical records
- Medical bill invoices
- Police report
- Photos of the accident scene
- Photos of your injuries
- Witness statements
- Witness contact details
- Insurance information for all drivers involved
How Much Compensation Can You Receive?
Compensation will be something you and your motorcycle accident lawyer can discuss at length. Because it is meant to cover a wide array of things – medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering – there is no standard amount.
Here in California, there is also no limit on the amount of compensation a claimant can ask for in terms of pain and suffering. CA-based Accident injury lawyers are aware of this fact and will work through your case to figure out a reasonable number to aim for. You can’t pick a number based on how much emotional damage you have suffered.
To figure out pain and suffering, your personal injury accident attorney may use a “multiplier method”. They will add up all the financial losses you have suffered due to the accident, and then they multiply that total by a multiple between one and five. The multiplier is determined based on the severity and extent of your injuries. The worse your injuries are, the higher the multiple is. So while this doesn’t determine how much your emotions are worth, it does factor in how severe the situation is.
The other method commonly used to determine compensation for pain and suffering is the per diem method. This takes a day-by-day approach. An amount of money is determined to reflect one day of recovery, that amount is then applied to each day of the recovery process. To figure out the per diem rate, an average daily wage rate is used.
The problem is that pain and suffering can be difficult to prove. There are no tests that show your pain and suffering, so that means no documents to back up your position. Instead, top personal injury attorneys will look at such things as your grief, emotional stress and agony, diminished quality and enjoyment of life, fear, anxiety, depression, PTSD, physical sensation of pain, and more.
Your personal injury accident attorney will still need to collect things such as medical records and documents, but also to back up pain and suffering they can use testimony from your counselor or therapist, statements from mental health professionals, testimony from close friends and family, a statement from you, and even journal entries. It’s about painting a full picture of what you’re truly going through outside of just the physical injuries.
The other factors involved in compensation are much easier to figure out since you have tangible bills in terms of your medical needs.
Call On Us to Help
As you can see, one of the best things you can do for yourself after being injured as a passenger in a motorcycle accident is to contact us at Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys. We will take care of all the work and stress so you can focus on healing. We want to fight for you and get you fair compensation.