Costa Mesa Personal Injury Attorneys | Accident Lawyers
Costa Mesa Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
It goes without saying that a motorcycle crash is a traumatic event. Riders and their passengers may suffer broken bones, road rash, brain damage, and other injuries that can impact their personal and financial future in profound ways. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Costa Mesa are proud to offer aggressive and compassionate representation to those who have been injured through the negligence of others.
There’s no guarantee that the insurance company will approve your claim, and even if they do, the initial settlement offer might not be fair. Our lawyers will handle settlement negotiations on your behalf to ensure you aren’t coerced into accepting a low payout. To discuss your case in a free consultation, call us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS.
Are Punitive Damages Recoverable After a Motorcycle Accident?
Sometimes, yes. The two categories of damages that might be recoverable in a motorcycle accident case are “compensatory damages” and “punitive damages.” Compensatory damages are essentially intended to make the victim “whole” again by providing compensation for economic damages (such as medical bills, lost income, and property repairs) and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost enjoyment in life). Punitive damages, however, are meant to punish the defendant for behavior that constitutes malice, oppression, or fraud and to deter similar misconduct in the future.
Whether punitive damages might be recoverable in your case will likely come down to two questions: Did you suffer actual harm? And did the defendant act with malice, oppression, or fraud? In the context of motorcycle accident cases, “malice” is the most common basis for seeking a punitive award.
A defendant may have acted with malice if they intentionally harmed the plaintiff or if they acted with despicable conduct that conveyed a conscious or willful disregard for the rights or safety of others. One of the most common examples of malice is drunk driving. Courts assume that a reasonable driver would be aware that operating a vehicle while intoxicated poses a serious safety risk to other people on the road. Therefore, if you were hit by a drunk driver, it may be determined that the driver was acting with conscious or willful disregard. Another example of malicious behavior is causing an accident and then fleeing the scene because it could lead to the death of another person who was injured in the crash.
Our Costa Mesa motorcycle accident lawyers have extensive experience winning punitive damages for clients. We will help you account for all the damages that might be recoverable given the facts of your case.
What If I Was Breaking a Law When the Motorcycle Accident Happened?
California courts follow a pure comparative negligence standard when apportioning liability in a personal injury case that involves shared fault. Therefore, if your own negligence contributed to the accident that caused your injuries, your award of damages would be limited by your percentage of fault. And even if you were 90 percent liable for the crash, you would still have the right to seek compensation for 10 percent of your damages.
It is important to note, however, that just because you were breaking a law doesn’t automatically mean you were partially liable for the crash. For instance, if you had a brake light out and you were T-boned by a driver who ran a stop sign, the court might determine that your brake light being out did not contribute to the accident. Therefore, the comparative negligence defense might not apply.
Unfortunately, the insurance adjuster may still try to blame you for the accident even if you did not play a role in causing it. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Costa Mesa will protect your rights and make sure you are treated fairly. We have extensive experience handling cases that involve shared fault disputes, and we know how to counter the comparative negligence defense. Our team always takes the time to conduct a thorough investigation and compile all available evidence of liability so each case we handle is as strong as possible when settlement negotiations begin.
More Than $300,000,000 Recovered for Clients
At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we combine the resources of a large law firm with the personal touch of a small, local practice. With more than $300,000,000 won for clients, you can rest assured that we know what it takes to achieve successful outcomes in cases of varying complexity. Some of our most substantial victories were in motorcycle accident cases.
Speak with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Costa Mesa Today
We are here to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If your injuries prevent you from coming to our office, a member of our team will come to you. To set up a free consultation, call us at 1-800-GO-HARRIS or send us a message online.