If you ride your motorcycle in Los Angeles, chances are you’ve ridden through the city of Commerce. Located in the heart of Los Angeles County, Commerce is intersected by the busy 5 and 710 freeways. It’s also an important commercial hub near Downtown Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, Commerce’s central location and heavy traffic rank it sixth for victims killed or injured in motorcycle accidents for the entire state of California. Given this, it’s safe to say motorcycle accidents in Commerce are common and can be very serious if not deadly.
If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a motorcycle accident in Commerce, contact the personal injury lawyers at The Dominguez Firm today for a free consultation at 800-818-1818. We can travel to your home or hospital as needed and are available 24/7.
What are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Commerce?
Driver negligence or recklessness commonly causes motorcycle accidents in Commerce. Examples include:
- Ignoring or willfully disobeying traffic signs and signals
- Illegal turns
- Not yielding
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Drowsy driving
- Road rage
Any of the illegal and/or dangerous actions listed above can lead to a major accident and seriously injure a motorcyclist. It’s also important to note that lane splitting is legal in California. A motorcycle rider who splits lanes in the Golden State is well within their right to do so. It’s the driver’s responsibility to know this and be aware of the motorcyclist before attempting to switch lanes.
Some motorcycle accidents aren’t due to other drivers on the road:
- Road debris
- Construction sites with low visibility or no warning signs
- Defective motorcycle
- A poorly repaired motorcycle
In California, road debris is generally the responsibility of CalTrans. How quickly they respond depends on many factors including the location, time and crew availability. A lawsuit would hinge on how long it took to clean up the debris. If you were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident because of debris on the road, your best course of action is to call the experienced Commerce personal injury attorneys at The Dominguez Firm to see how we can help.
In cases where debris from another vehicle triggered a motorcycle accident, the driver of that vehicle would be at fault. This scenario can be problematic. Often, the offending driver isn’t even aware of what happened and keeps on driving or takes off on purpose.
If a motorcycle rider suffered injuries in an accident because their motorcycle was defective, they would have the right to sue the manufacturer. In the case of a defective repair, the motorcycle mechanic that performed the faulty repair would be held liable for any accident injuries.
What are the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Motorcycles offer little protection for riders traveling among passenger vehicles and trucks that weigh thousands of pounds. Given this, motorcycle accident injuries are often life-threatening and permanent. Among the most common injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Scarring and disfigurement
Motorcycle riders with serious and catastrophic injuries will also suffer emotionally and psychologically because of their Commerce motorcycle accident. They will need ongoing mental health counseling and support.
Some of these injuries, such as a spinal cord injury require a lifetime of care. The cost of this care can easily go into the hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars over a person’s lifetime. That’s why it’s so important to hire an experienced Commerce motorcycle accident lawyer if you were seriously injured. They know how to handle the insurance companies and fight to get you the maximum compensation you’re entitled to.
Are Motorcycles Really More Dangerous than Other Forms of Transportation?
Yes. Even though motorcycles accounted for only 3% of all registered vehicles in the U.S. in 2019, they had over 6 times the fatality rate in accidents compared to passenger car occupants; 58.33 per 100,000 registered motorcycles versus 9.42 for passenger cars.
If we look at the fatality rate based on vehicle miles traveled (VMT), it’s even worse: motorcycles made up only 0.6 of the VMT in the U.S. in 2019, but their fatality rate was 25.47. That’s a whopping 29 times higher than the fatality rate for passenger car occupants at 0.89.
Compared to these frightening statistics, the motorcycle injury rate appears to be relatively better, but it still proves motorcycles are more dangerous. It was 4 times higher than the injury rate for those in passenger cars with 426 motorcyclists injured as opposed to 109 passenger car occupants injured in accidents per 100,000 vehicles.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Commerce Motorcycle Accident?
Yes, you do. Motorcycle accidents usually result in serious and even catastrophic injuries to the motorcycle rider. You may not be able to work for an extended period of time while you recover from your injuries. There will be medical bills to deal with and often rehabilitation and physical therapy costs too.
The insurance companies are only interested in closing out your claim quickly and for pennies on the dollar. An experienced Commerce motorcycle accident lawyer will have a good idea of what your motorcycle accident case is truly worth and fight to get you every penny of what you’re legally entitled to. They are well aware of the insurance company’s tactics and know how to counter them.
Another reason to hire a Commerce motorcycle accident lawyer is so they can help present the facts of your case clearly. They’ll know how to fight the commonly held belief that motorcyclists cause their own accidents by riding dangerously.
This bias stems in part from the public’s perception, but also because many times, motorcycle riders aren’t present when the police report is taken. They have either died at the scene of the crash or need to be transported to the hospital immediately. This means only the other person’s account of the accident gets taken by the police, leaving crucial information out of the final report.
The Insurance Company Told Me It’s Easier If I Deal With Them Directly. Is That True?
No. The insurance adjuster will tell you your Commerce motorcycle accident claim will be processed quickly if you go through them exclusively. This may or may not be true, but you’ll certainly be leaving money on the table if you agree to this.
There are several reasons for this:
- Insurance companies aren’t trying to help you – Contrary to what you might think, insurance company adjusters aren’t trained to help you. They’re trained to settle your case quickly and for the least am amount possible, regardless of the extent of your injuries.
- There is an inherent bias against motorcycle riders – Motorcycle riders are usually seen as being reckless daredevils. Even if your motorcycle accident was completely someone else’s fault, people, including insurance adjusters might think you must have done something dangerous to trigger your accident.
- Faster isn’t always better – Receiving an insurance settlement check right after your accident might seem very appealing at such a difficult time. However, that means you took their first offer, which is usually very low. If you suffered major injuries, that money can run out quickly due to your medical expenses.
What Kind of Compensation Could I be Entitled to for My Commerce Motorcycle Accident?
You’ll hear your lawyer talk about the damages you could be entitled to for your Commerce motorcycle accident injuries. Damages is simply the legal term for compensation. There are two types of damages, economic and non-economic.
Your economic damages are the expenses you have because of your accident. These can include:
- Lost wages and income
- Medical expenses
- Ambulance fees
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
- Mental health counseling
- The cost to repair or replace your motorcycle
- Long-term care
- Home modifications
These are easy to determine; adding up all of the bills you have stemming from your motorcycle accident.
Non-economic damages aren’t based on any bills. They are the emotional toll your Commerce motorcycle accident had on you and your family. Some examples are:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium (companionship)
- Emotional distress
There is no formula or equation for determining non-economic damages. However, certain factors, such as the extent of the injuries and their impact on the victim’s life and family are taken into account. A skilled personal injury attorney can help a jury see and put a value on the non-economic losses suffered.
In California, there’s no cap on how much can be awarded in non-economic damages. Because of this, it usually makes up the largest part of a Commerce motorcycle accident victim’s final verdict or settlement amount.
I’m an Undocumented Immigrant. Can You Still Help Me?
Yes. Your immigration status has nothing to do with your Commerce motorcycle accident injuries. What’s more, it can’t be brought up by defense attorneys or used against you in any way during or after your case is resolved.
In 2016, then-Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that gave undocumented immigrants the right to sue for injuries sustained in an accident in California. This law also changed how the accident victim’s compensation was calculated. Previously, it was based on what the accident would have cost the victim in their home country, which would have been considerably lower. Now, it’s based on where they currently live.
In short, if you’re an undocumented immigrant who was injured in a motorcycle accident in Commerce, CA, you have the right to sue for your injuries without fear of being deported. The same holds true if you lost a loved one in a Commerce motorcycle accident, whether the person who died was undocumented or you currently are.
I Lost a Loved One in an Accident in Commerce. Can You Still Help Me?
Yes. If you are the deceased rider’s legal next of kin, you can take action against the person who caused your loved one’s death. You would be filing a wrongful death claim against those responsible.
The damages you could be entitled to differ slightly from a motorcycle accident claim. Some examples of wrongful death damages are:
- Any medical expenses stemming from the victim’s motorcycle accident
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- Loss of love, companionship, emotional support and guidance
- Loss of income and financial support over a lifetime
- Value of household contributions
At The Dominguez Firm, we know that no amount of money can make up for the unexpected loss you’ve suffered. However, holding those responsible accountable and providing financial security to you and your family can help provide some solace, especially if there are children involved.
Call the Commerce Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at The Dominguez Firm
If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a motorcycle accident in Commerce, The Dominguez Firm can help. If you think you can’t afford to call us, think again. That’s because we work on a contingency basis: we get paid from a percentage of your final settlement or verdict. You don’t have to worry about out-of-pocket expenses or upfront legal fees.
The percentage we receive at the end of your case will be clearly stated in the client representation agreement you sign with us. Plus, it won’t change, no matter how much compensation we obtain for you. And in the unlikely event we don’t obtain anything for you, which rarely happens, you owe us nothing. In other words, if there is no recovery, there is no fee.
The Dominguez Firm is a full-service personal injury law firm with its own award-winning trial attorneys. We are not a referral service. We have the knowledge and resources to fight for your rights. Call us today at 800-818-1818 for a free consultation and let us help you with your Commerce motorcycle injury claim.