Palm Desert Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Susan Handel, Palm Desert Motorcycle Accident Lawyer – Serving all of Palm Desert
Motorcycles can be incredibly fun vehicles to operate, but they are also some of the most inherently dangerous vehicles one can drive. They are smaller and lighter than other passenger cars and offer no protection in the event of an accident. If you or a loved one experience a motorcycle accident, expensive and painful injuries are likely. Such injuries often create significant financial losses. A Palm Desert motorcycle accident lawyer is your best available resource when you believe another party is liable for your recent motorcycle accident.
At the Law Offices of Susan Handel, we believe in providing aggressive and responsive legal counsel to every client we represent. Our team knows the damage and devastating a motorcycle accident can cause. If you have experienced this due to the negligent actions of another, you must take appropriate action to ensure your recovery.
Why Choose the Law Offices of Susan Handel?
Finding the right attorney to represent your motorcycle accident claim means choosing a Palm Desert motorcycle accident attorney with solid experience handling cases just like yours. Attorney Handel has more than 20 years of professional experience practicing civil law in California, and the team at the Law Offices of Susan Handel is ready to put this experience to work in your motorcycle accident case. We believe in taking time to get to know our clients and examine how their experiences have impacted their lives. This close attention to detail allows us to ensure the best possible representation in every case we handle.
No two motorcycle accident cases are exactly alike, and yours may involve unique variables, unclear liability, and an uncertain ceiling of compensable damages. Your Palm Desert motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine your best legal options and help you initiate legal proceedings against the party responsible for your motorcycle accident as swiftly as possible.
What to Do If You Have a Motorcycle Accident
If you or a loved one recently experienced a motorcycle accident that caused any injury, you may or may not have been taken to the hospital after your accident. If your accident involved severe injuries, emergency responders will transport injured victims to the nearest hospitals for treatment. If your accident only resulted in minor injuries, you may feel well enough to interact with the police who respond to the accident.
Be careful when speaking to the police. Be as honest as you can be, but do not admit fault even if you know you are at least partially to blame for the accident. Saying anything that even slightly amounts to an admission of fault can severely compromise your ability to claim damages in an insurance claim or civil action against the driver responsible for the accident.
After a motorcycle accident, your first step should be to preserve your health and safety by seeking immediate medical attention, even if you think you only sustained minor injuries. A physician can determine whether you have internal injuries that are not yet noticeable or other symptoms that demand immediate treatment. It’s not uncommon for people to walk away from accidents and feel perfectly fine only to be unable to move the next day due to soft tissue strain and exhaustion throughout the body from the stress of the experience.
What Percentage of Motorcycle Riders Experience Accidents?
The physical nature of motorcycles and the nature of accidents involving them have led to a much higher fatal accident rate for motorcycles than other passenger cars. For example, per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in the US, the fatality rate for motorcycle accidents is about 26, while it is less than 1 for passenger cars. The injury rate for motorcycles is also three times higher than the injury rate for passenger vehicles.
What Should I Look for in a Good Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Finding legal representation can feel like an incredible challenge, especially if you face a complex legal matter such as a motorcycle accident involving substantial damages. A good Palm Desert motorcycle accident attorney should help you feel more confident about your legal options by providing a clear and detailed breakdown of your legal rights and options for civil recourse against the party responsible for your damages.
Your decision to hire a Palm Desert motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you is an investment in security and peace of mind for your claim. The right attorney can not only ensure you obtain a recovery for your damages but also help you maximize your recovery as much as possible.
What Does a Lawyer Do in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
A good Palm Desert motorcycle accident lawyer will review your damages and determine their full extent and then review the facts of your case to discern liability for those damages. Your attorney’s main priority in a motorcycle accident case is to prove liability for your damages and secure as much compensation for those damages as the law allows. Without an attorney, you would likely overlook valuable areas of compensation or wind up settling for much less than you actually deserve.
Hiring a Palm Desert motorcycle accident attorney also ensures your case will not be dismissed, delayed, or interrupted by procedural errors, late filings, or mistakes on court paperwork. Your Palm Desert motorcycle accident lawyer will handle these issues on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery. While it may technically be possible to pursue a motorcycle accident claim without legal representation, the amount you could potentially save on legal fees will pale in comparison to the difference in the amount an experienced attorney could have secured on your behalf.
Damages Available in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
A motorcycle accident claim filed in Palm Desert will fall under the purview of personal injury law. This means the plaintiff’s attorney has a responsibility to accurately identify the defendant in the claim and prove their fault for the plaintiff’s claimed damages. In California, it is not uncommon for a motorcycle accident claim to involve multiple types of damages, including:
- Immediate and future medical expenses. Victims of motorcycle accidents can suffer broken bones, head injuries, spinal injuries, and other wounds that require extensive medical treatment. It’s not uncommon for motorcycle accident victims to incur significant medical expenses for immediate emergency treatment as well as further costs for required ongoing or subsequent treatments.
- Lost income and lost income earning potential. A motorcycle accident victim may be unable to work for an extended time due to their injuries. If your experience resulted in missing work for an extended period, you could claim the income you were unable to earn during this time as damages in your claim. Some motorcycle accidents cause permanent disabilities, leaving a victim unable to work at all in the future. In this situation, it would be possible to claim lost future earnings as damages as well.
- Physical pain, emotional suffering, and psychological distress. Although “pain and suffering” may seem like too abstract a concept to assign a monetary value to it, California state law allows plaintiffs in personal injury claims to receive compensation for their physical and psychological pain resulting from their experiences. The amount received typically hinges on the severity of the plaintiff’s other claimed damages.
- Property losses, such as the cost of repairing or replacing a motorcycle damaged in the accident.
In some cases, it may also be possible for the plaintiff to receive restitution or punitive damages alongside their economic and noneconomic damages. While a plaintiff cannot directly claim punitive damages, a judge may award them based on their interpretation of the facts and the severity of the defendant’s behavior. Defendants who caused motorcycle accidents due to gross negligence, driving under the influence of alcohol, or an intentional desire to harm are more likely to face punitive damages. The amount they pay depends on their personal financial situation.
Proving Fault for a Motorcycle Accident
Once you and your Palm Desert motorcycle accident attorney determine the full scope of your damages, the next phase of a motorcycle accident claim is determining liability for those damages. It’s possible for one or more parties to bear liability for your damages from a motorcycle accident claim, so it’s wise to consult with an experienced Palm Desert motorcycle accident lawyer if you are unsure who bears liability for your damages.
There are four elements of negligence that your Palm Desert motorcycle accident attorney must prove for you to succeed with a personal injury claim for a motorcycle accident:
- Duty of care. All drivers must uphold a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely at all times. Establishing the duty of care in a personal injury claim generally requires positive confirmation of the defendant’s involvement in the situation in question.
- Breach of duty. Once the defendant’s duty of care has been determined, the attorney must then show how the defendant failed to uphold this duty of care.
- A plaintiff may only file a personal injury lawsuit if they sustained measurable losses due to the actions of another party. Your attorney must prove the full extent of the damages you are claiming through documented evidence like hospital invoices, receipts, and bill statements.
- Finally, your attorney must prove a verifiable link between the defendant’s proven negligence and the plaintiff’s claimed damages. The evidence must prove that the claimed damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
Proving these four elements of negligence typically amounts to victory in a personal injury claim for a motorcycle accident. However, any motorcycle accident claim plaintiff must remember that a defendant may contest their liability. There is no guarantee that obtaining a settlement for your damages will be easy.
Insurance, Settlement, and Litigation
A motorcycle accident is a type of motor vehicle accident, and the first step toward recovery after any motor vehicle accident in Palm Desert is typically an insurance claim. When a driver causes a single-vehicle accident in their own vehicle, they must file a claim against their own policy. If another driver caused their accident, they may file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s policy.
Unfortunately, an insurance claim, even an uncontested one, may not be able to provide full compensation for a motorcycle accident victim’s losses. Additionally, many insurance companies look for any and all justifications to reduce claim amounts or flat-out deny insurance claims. Hiring an attorney can help to ensure a more streamlined, comfortable experience in dealing with insurance companies. Most insurance companies are unlikely to push back against legitimate claims backed by legal counsel. If your claim is not enough to cover your losses, your attorney can help you explore further legal action.
Attorney Susan Handel has an over 95% settlement rate in the cases she has represented in the past. Settlement offers the fastest route to recovery to an injured plaintiff, and it also allows a defendant to move on from the matter more swiftly as well. During settlement negotiations, the parties involved in the motorcycle accident claim meet to discuss their settlement terms. Once they reach a mutual agreement, the matter can end right there. However, settlement is not always possible.
If a named defendant contests their liability or disagrees with the amount of damages the plaintiff has claimed, then the claim proceeds to the next step. The plaintiff’s Palm Desert motorcycle accident lawyer can help the plaintiff prepare for litigation. The trial process for any personal injury claim can take months or even years to resolve. There is never a guarantee that a judge will agree that a plaintiff deserves financial compensation for their losses.
Protect Yourself and Find Legal Counsel
The best step to take once you have addressed your medical needs after a motorcycle accident is to hire an experienced Palm Desert motorcycle accident attorney to represent your case. There is a two-year statute of limitations in which you may file a personal injury claim after your accident, so it is best to work quickly to secure legal representation if you want to ensure recovery for your losses. Contact the Law Offices of Susan Handel today if you are ready to discuss your legal options with an experienced and compassionate Palm Desert motorcycle accident lawyer.