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California Motorcycle Accident FAQs

Motorcyclists, more than any other on the road, are especially vulnerable to injury in California. Unfortunately, the safety of motorcyclists is often compromised by a number factors, including lack of protection from the elements and other vehicles/objects, and the inability for drivers to readily see them.  With this in mind, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions by our clients in the hopes that it will help you determine whether filing a motorcycle accident claim is right for you.  Consider the following:

1.     I wasn’t wearing a motorcycle helmet.  Does that mean I cannot file a lawsuit against the person who hit me?

No.  Not wearing a helmet does not bear any weight on whether you can file a suit against a negligent party.  Meaning, if another person is at fault for your accident, not wearing a helmet will not bar your ability to recover.  Keep in mind however, that it may reduce the total amount of damages you can receive if not wearing a helmet caused your injuries.  While the State of California has a mandatory helmet law for all motorcyclists, it does not prevent people from bringing forth successful lawsuits against others who caused or contributed to their accident.

2.     What is the filing deadline for personal injury cases?

In California, victims of motorcycle accidents typically have two years from the date of their accident to file their lawsuit against responsible parties.  Also known as the statute of limitations, if you miss the applicable deadline, you may be unable to seek legal redress for your injuries.  Should you be involved in an accident with a government entity, the time period is 180 days from the date of the accident. Speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the scope of your rights and ensure your compliance with all applicable time frames and filing deadlines.

 3.     What documents do I need to give my attorney when we meet?

No matter what, you should provide your lawyer any and all information that pertains to your case.   These include police reports, which often contain key eye witness statements regarding the cause of your accident.  Additional documentation such as medical reports, medical bills, the opposing party’s insurance information, and any photographs or video footage of your accident and/or injuries may be extremely helpful in proving your case.

4.     What damages can I seek against the person who caused my injuries?

Intended to restore you to your pre-injury condition, motorcycle accident victims in California may generally seek three types of damages: pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss wages.  If a motorcyclist is hit by an impaired or reckless driver, he or she may pursue punitive damages against the wrongdoer.  These are rare however, in certain limited circumstances such as the aforementioned, they can be recoverable.

  • 5.     Can I still collect damages for my motorcycle accident if my medical insurance paid for them?

Generally, yes. Under the Collateral Source Rule in California, you can still collect money for your medical expenses, even if they were covered by your health insurance or MEDPAY.  The same goes for loss time at work.  You can be compensated for this time even if your work despite being paid for it.

6.     Do I need an attorney to represent me, even if the at-fault driver’s insurance company wants to settle?

While there is no law requiring you to hire a lawyer, it is highly recommended that you do.  Not only are motorcycle accident attorneys especially qualified to handle motorcycle accident cases (which are often very complex), they also know how much you should be entitled to receive.  Specifically, insurance companies are well equipped with lawyers and accident investigators who will do everything and anything to reduce, if not deny, the amount of money you deserve for your damages.  As such, we recommend that you wait to accept a settlement offer until you speak with an attorney first.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for Superior Personal Injury Representation!

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident in California, it is crucial that you hire an accident attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.  At the Skolnick Law Group we will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.  We will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case.  We serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact us at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  For the personal attention and aggressive representation you need, contact us today.

California Personal Injury FAQs

When dealing with personal injuries, most people have a significant amount of questions and concerns regarding their legal rights.  At the Skolnick Law Group we have prevailed in countless accident cases in California, and believe that educating clients about their legal rights and options is key to our success. From day one, we take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, and also, guide you throughout the legal process.  With this in mind, we felt that it would be helpful to provide you with a list of the most frequently asked questions by our clients, which can assist you in deciding whether a personal injury case is right for you.  While the following does not constitute legal advice, it does serve as a primer on California personal injury law.  Consider the following:

1.     Do I have a viable personal injury claim? 

To file a viable personal injury claim, there are a number of requirements.  First, you must demonstrate that either you were injured or, you sustained damage to your property.  Second, you must further establish that said injuries or damage was caused by someone else’s intentional or negligent actions.  If successful, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries.

2.     What is the filing deadline for personal injury cases?

In California, victims of personal injuries typically have two years from the date of their accident to file their lawsuit against responsible parties.  Known as the statute of limitations, if you miss this deadline, you may forever be barred from recovering from your injuries.  Should you be involved in an accident with a government entity, the time period is 180 days from the date of the accident. Speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the scope of your rights and ensure your compliance with all applicable time frames and filing deadlines.

 3.     What documents do I need to give my attorney when we meet?

No matter what, you should provide your lawyer any and all information that pertains to your case.   These include police reports, which often contain key eye witness statements regarding the cause of your accident.  Additional documentation such as medical reports, medical bills, the opposing party’s insurance information, and any photographs or video footage of your accident and/or injuries may be extremely helpful in proving your case.

 4.     What is negligence?

Negligence is one of the main theories of liability that you can pursue against a person that caused your injuries.  Specifically, negligence pertains to when a person fails to act in a reasonably prudent manner to avoid causing harm to others.  The determination of whether a person’s actions were negligent is typically considered by a jury after the close of all evidence presented at trial.

5.     What damages can I seek against the person who caused my injuries?

Intended to restore you to your pre-injury condition, injury victims in California may seek three types of damages: pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss wages.  If a person is hit by a drunk driver, or was injured due to assault and battery, he or she may pursue punitive damages against the wrongdoer.  These are rare however, in certain limited circumstances such as the aforementioned, they can be recoverable.

6.     Can I still collect damages if my medical insurance paid for them?

Generally, yes. Under the Collateral Source Rule in California, you can still collect money for your medical expenses, even if they were covered by your health insurance or MEDPAY.  The same goes for loss time at work.  You can be compensated for this time even if your work despite being paid for it.

7.     Do I need a personal injury attorney?

While California law does not require someone to seek legal representation, it is nonetheless recommended that they do so.  Only a seasoned personal injury attorney can assist you in determining the scope of your legal options, and help guide you throughout the pendency of your case. Also, insurance companies are crafty and well equipped at doing anything and everything to reduce the monetary value of your claim.  Do not accept a settlement offer of any kind without speaking with an attorney as to whether the proposed amount is fair and just in light of the facts of your case.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for Superior Personal Injury Representation!

If you or someone you know has been injured in any type of accident in California, it is crucial that you hire an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.  At the Skolnick Law Group, we will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.  We will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case.  We serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact us at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  For the personal attention and aggressive representation you need, contact us today.

Skolnick Law Group In Carlsbad Ca Discuss the Most Common California Accident Causes

In general, drivers of automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and all other types of vehicles are expected to use “reasonable care” while operating a vehicle in California.  In other words, a California driver has a duty to operate their vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner.  Failure to do so can result in liability under a theory of negligence, potentially costing the offender a significant amount of money for any damages or injuries that were caused by the accident.

In order to succeed in a negligence action, a victim must prove that the other driver is liable for his or her failure to exercise reasonable care. Moreover, California courts, in adjudicating these types of cases, consider a number of different factors in determining a driver’s potential negligence, mainly pertaining to the driver’s bad habits.  While not exhaustive, these factors include:

  1. Failure to use a turn signal when driving
  2. Not following the rules of the road
  3. Speeding
  4. Failure to consider bad weather or adverse traffic conditions
  5. Driving under the influence
  6. Improper passing or changing lanes on a highway
  7. Driving while distracted, i.e., whether due to eating, texting, or talking to other passengers
  8. Reckless and/or careless driving
  9. Automobile manufacturing and/or design defects

Preventing Accidents in California

While not all accidents can be prevented, there are ways in which you can avoid them.  Accordingly, the following are a number of tips that can help you prevent a potential negligence suit:

  1. Obey the rules of the road – as much as you would like to test out the maximum speed of your brand new Mustang, it is best to avoid speeding. The higher the speed, the more likely an accident will occur, especially one involving serious injury or death.
  2. Be good to your car – keeping your car in good repair is really a no brainer.  Many accidents are caused by people who fail to maintain their vehicle, such as by not changing the filters or failing to check that their tires are in good shape.
  3. Pay attention!  There is a reason why the anti-texting slogan “it can wait” has become so heavily advertised on television.  In the United States, over 300,000 accidents are caused each year due to distracted driving.  If you need to respond to a text message or email, be smart and pull over before engaging in dangerous multi-tasking.
  4. Watch out for bikers and pedestrians – in California, many people love to be outdoors, especially during the summer months.  As such, it is crucial to watch out for people who are out and about, especially bikers and runners who tend to be on or near the road.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for Superior Personal Injury Representation!

If you or someone you know has been injured in any type of vehicular accident in California, it is crucial that you hire an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.  At the Skolnick Law Group, we will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.  We will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case.  As a seasoned personal injury lawyer, we serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact us at (760) 405-4397, or feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  For the personal attention and aggressive representation you need, contact us today.

Carlsbad Auto Accident Attorney Examines Problem of Overloaded and Improperly Loaded Vehicles

There are several reasons why accidents occur throughout the U.S.  However, in the State of California, numerous traffic problems and accidents arise as a direct result of vehicles that have been either been overloaded or improperly loaded.  Loose items such as trash, construction materials, equipment, luggage, aggregate materials (i.e. sand, stone, etc.), and improperly secured logs have created serious and life threatening hazards for California drivers.

In order to prevent these types of accidents, there are specific laws in California that address the proper loading and corresponding weight requirements of trucks within the State.  First and foremost, California law requires that every driver, whether they were responsible for loading their vehicle or not, (i) inspect their vehicles prior to taking off, (ii) identify improperly secured items or those that are poorly balanced, and (iii) ensure that loads are covered and/or properly secured.  Additional laws that apply to vehicle loading are as follows:

  1. Passenger vehicle load restrictions – in California, no passenger vehicle may be driven on any highway within the State that has anything extending beyond the car’s left side fenders.  Moreover, nothing can extend more than 6 inches past the vehicle’s right side venders.  Anything extending beyond the rear bumper must have a red flag or warning lights affixed thereto.
  2. Vehicle load height restrictions – no vehicle in the State is allowed to have a load exceeding fourteen feet in height from the road, with the exception of double decker buses.
  3. Containment of debris – under California law, a vehicle transporting loose items must be properly contained, whether through being covered, securely loaded, or constructed in a way so as to prevent loose debris from falling and potentially injuring other drivers.
  4. Aggregate material containment – California requires that aggregate materials, such as sand, stones, or recycled concrete, often used in construction, must only be stored in the cargo portion of a vehicle.  Said area must not contain any openings or cracks that would facilitate the escape of said materials.

If you happen to notice a truck or any other type of vehicle that appears to have been improperly loaded or is creating a road hazard due to loose and falling debris, do not hesitate to contact police and report the driver.  Make sure to get the make, model and license plate number of the offender. Taking the time to report these offenders can save countless lives.  Additionally, if you transport cargo, it is crucial that you follow the above requirements.  To learn more about safe vehicle loading, visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ website.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for the Personal Attention You Deserve!

If you or someone you know has been injured, it is crucial that you hire an accident attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.  At the Skolnick Law Group we will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.  We will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case.  We serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact us at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  Don’t wait – give us a call now for the personal attention and aggressive representation you need.

California Trucking Accident Laws Explained

Being in an accident involving a truck can be devastating, and may result in a litany of serious, if not fatal, injuries.  According to a 2011 report generated by the California Highway Patrol, there were more than 5,100 accidents involving injuries, and nearly 250 that resulted in death.  Most of these accidents in California however, they primarily stem from driver negligence.  Meaning, they typically arise due to the fault of the truck driver, and could range anywhere from distracted driving to poor maneuvering in traffic.  In the event that you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is crucial to know your rights and, the laws that apply to your case.  Consider the following primer on California accident laws:

An Overview of California’s Accident Laws

If you have been injured in a trucking accident in California due to a truck driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to damages to compensate you for the following:

  • Medical bills to treat your injuries
  • The expenses associated with having to hire someone to help you complete household chores and other tasks
  • Pain and suffering
  • The costs associated with repairing your vehicle
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional trauma
  • Long term disability
  • Maiming or Disfigurement

In the event that someone was killed in a truck related crash, the State of California allows family members to sue the responsible party in a wrongful death action.  Whether a trucking accident case involves injuries or death, California law requires victims or family members to prove driver negligence.  This is accomplished by showing that the truck driver who caused one’s injuries breached his or her duty to exercise reasonable case and caution while driving, that there is a significant nexus between the party’s breach of duty and the cause of a person’s injuries, and that the person suffered damages, including financial loss, due to the trucking accident.   In the event that an individual is found partially responsible for the trucking accident, one’s damage award may be reduced.

Additionally, California law limits the timeframe in which a trucking accident can be brought.  Specifically, the statute of limitations, or legal timeframe, for filing a truck related law suit is two years from the date of the crash.  If a person is unable to reach a settlement with the responsible party, they should strongly consider filing a lawsuit before the limitations period runs out.  If you don’t file a suit within the 2 years, you may not be able to recover for your injuries.

For parties that seek to file a lawsuit, the State of California requires truck injury claims worth more than $7,500 to be brought in the appropriate Superior Court located within the individual’s jurisdiction.   If a trucking accident claim is worth less than $7,500, then a party must file their lawsuit in the Small Claims Court of their jurisdiction.

Were You Injured in a Trucking Accident?  Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now!

In order to learn more about the laws governing trucking accidents in California, it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney experienced in handling these types of accidents.  At the Skolnick Law Group we will advise you of all your legal options and, help maximize your chances of recovering the money you deserve for your injuries.  We serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego.  Contact us today at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  We look forward to providing you with superior legal representation.