California courts follow the contributory comparative negligence standard in personal injury cases, which extends to motorcycle accident cases. Under the pure contributory negligence standard, motorcycle accident victims can recover for injuries that they sustained as a result of negligence caused by another person. However, the victim is not barred from recovering damages when they may have some fault in causing the accident or in worsening the injuries from the accident.
When the injured victim has some fault in the accident or injuries, the damage award is reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributable to them. This standard is only applicable in cases that are decided by a judge or jury in court.
Thus, if the parties reach an agreement outside of court, there is not a legal requirement that the settlement award be reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributable to the victim.
California Motorcycle Laws
Often, the amount of fault that is attributed to the victim and the at-fault party is heavily weighted by the findings of the police that investigate the accident immediately after it occurs. Both parties are free to present any evidence that contradicts the report; however, the details of the report can determine how willing the other party is to negotiate as well as the jury’s impressions, all of which may impact the outcome of the case.
Motorcyclists are required to follow traffic laws, just like drivers. To increase a rider’s likelihood of safety, California requires that motorcyclist be licensed before they are able to operate a motorcycle. Obtaining a license requires successfully completing a driver’s education class and motorcycle training.
Motorcyclists are also required to use front and rear turn signals, unless they have a vintage bike that is not equipped with those features. If the features are not available, California motorcyclists must be aware of and use hand signals when turning or changing lanes.
Failing to comply with road rules can lead to the motorcyclist being cited and, in the event of an accident, can impact a rider’s ability to recover. Thus, a motorcyclist that is injured in an accident because they failed to stop at a stop sign may be deemed at fault and unable to recover. To better understand fault in an accident, Carlsbad motorcycle accident lawyers should be contacted.
A motorcyclist that was injured because they failed to signal a lane change may not be at fault for the accident, but may be deemed to have contributed to the accident, which could impact their damage award.
How a Carlsbad Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
Motorcycle accidents can result in serious and sometimes catastrophic injuries that may have a lifelong impact on the victim. As such, working with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney is important to ensure that someone, with experience in evaluating claims, can provide the victim with reasonable expectations.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Carlsbad, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer now.