Navigating the Aftermath of a Motorcycle Accident: Insights from a Los Angeles Lawyer


A motorcycle accident can leave you seriously injured and facing the challenging claims process ahead. Reaching out for the skilled legal guidance of an experienced LA motorcycle accident attorney is an important early step.

When you’re on your bike, you connect with the open road ahead and all the beautiful scenery that LA has to offer, but you’re also far more vulnerable to the negligence of other drivers. While there are many different kinds of negligent drivers, one of the most dangerous categories for motorcyclists out there is motorists who fail to look for, see, and accommodate safely the safe passage of bikers in their midst. If another driver’s negligence leaves you injured, it’s time to consult with an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer.

First Things First: If You’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident

The most important first step you can take in the wake of a motorcycle accident is to seek the medical attention that you need. The truth is that – due to the incredible impact generated in the course of the accident – even a relatively minor motorcycle accident can lead to very serious injuries. And the shock you experience, coupled with the adrenaline coursing through you, can mask a great deal of pain and any other symptoms you may be feeling.

The bottom line is that protecting your health and well-being in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident should always be your primary concern. From here, there are additional steps you can take to help protect your claim – and your fair compensation – from the outset.

Refrain from Commenting on the Accident at the Scene

If you’ve suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be inclined to talk about what just happened to you by sharing your thoughts with the other driver, with eyewitnesses at the scene, or with anyone else who happens to be around. It’s a good idea, however, not to do so. The shock you’re experiencing can prompt you to make statements that – regardless of how innocent – may come back to haunt your claim.

As an accident victim, you’re also likely to be interviewed by the police who are on the scene. While you should always answer their questions as truthfully as possible, you should stick to answering just the questions put to you – without embellishing things or going off on tangents. If, however, you have reason to believe that the other driver was impaired, was texting, was speeding – or was otherwise breaking the law at the time they caused the accident – it’s a good idea to let the authorities know.

If the media shows up at the accident scene, now is not the time for your closeup. It’s far too easy to make statements in the heat of the moment that won’t do your claim any good in the long run, and you’re unlikely to realize the damage you’re doing. Less is always more when it comes to the comments you make in the wake of a motorcycle accident.

Refrain from Providing the Insurance Company with a Statement

After a motorcycle accident, you can expect a call from an insurance rep at the at-fault driver’s provider. They will be interested in finding out how you are and will be interested in prompting you to make a statement about the accident, which may seem reasonable enough.

A Note about the Insurance Company

The most important point to keep in mind is that the insurance company is a for-profit business that sinks a lot of resources into keeping its profits high and its settlements low. In other words, the insurance company’s seemingly comforting call is actually a bid to coax a statement out of you that goes on to damage your claim, and they’re good at it.

The rep talking to you recognizes how vulnerable you are, and they also understand that it’s human nature to say we’re sorry and to downplay our injuries after an accident – even when we’re seriously injured and even when the other driver is entirely at fault.

Make no mistake about the insurance company – they know what they’re doing, and if you give them an inch, they’ll be well prepared to take a mile. Making it your policy not to provide a statement is the best approach.

Leave the Insurance Rep to Your Capable Motorcycle Accident Attorney

The best practice when it comes to the insurance company is directing them to your motorcycle accident attorney – who is well-equipped to provide them with all the information they require. While you focus on regaining your health and well-being, leave communication with the insurance company to your professional legal counsel.

Evidence Gathering

Your motorcycle accident claim will be resolved in accordance with the evidence involved. If – after the accident – you can participate in evidence gathering, doing so can be very helpful. If you can’t, however, you can count on others at the scene to get the job done. In fact, the gathering of evidence is just one of the many important reasons for reaching out to a practiced motorcycle accident attorney early in the process – they’ll immediately set to work finding, gathering, and skillfully compiling all the available evidence in support of your claim.

The kind of evidence that can bolster your claim significantly includes all the following:

  • Photos and videos taken by bystanders at the scene, capturing your bike and the other vehicle, debris and marks left on the road, the exact accident location, your injuries, and anything else that may be relevant to the claim
  • Dashcam and security camera footage that captures any part of the accident
  • The testimony of those who witnessed the accident, along with their contact information
  • Your testimony regarding how the accident happened
  • The police report, including any tickets that were issued

The Path Forward

Your motorcycle accident claim will be specific to you and the circumstances involved, but the basic steps on the path forward remain the same.

Filing Your Claim

To begin, your savvy motorcycle accident attorney will file your well-considered accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider, which gets the ball rolling. The insurance company will very likely request specific documentation, such as your relevant medical bills and doctor’s report.

An important note to make here is that while the medical records that pertain specifically to your accident will need to be shared, sharing all your medical records can work against you. The insurance company will be looking for an opportunity to claim you suffered a prior injury in an attempt to mitigate the damage their policyholder is responsible for, and providing expansive medical records only encourages this approach.

Sizing the Insurance Company Up

As mentioned, the insurance company is interested in its bottom line, and in the process, it may throw some tactics your way that are designed to wear you down. Examples that you should be on the lookout for include:

  • Making a lowball settlement offer that they hope you’ll accept out of financial desperation
  • Making the claims process so long and complicated that you’re tempted to give up
  • Attempting to convince you that fault in the matter of your motorcycle accident actually lies with you
  • Attempting to prove that your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim – if you carefully craft your social media posts to depict you living your best life, for example, doing so can harm your claim

Ultimately, claims are resolved in accordance with the law – based on the available evidence. The insurance company does not have the final say on the matter, and you should keep this fact in mind as you move forward.

Negotiating a Fair Settlement

There are several important steps involved with negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company.

Identifying Your Complete Losses

Negotiating a fair settlement begins with knowing what your complete losses are. If each of your physical, financial, and emotional losses isn’t well accounted for, you’re unlikely to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.

Medical Expenses

The medical expenses you face after being injured by another driver’s negligence in a motorcycle accident can be immense and ongoing. Until you’re aware of your prognosis and the full scope of the medical costs you’re likely to face on your recovery journey, you shouldn’t sign off on a settlement.

Lost Income

Your income can take a serious hit following a motorcycle accident, and if your career or earning capacity is affected, it can lead to devastating financial consequences. It’s also important to consider the emotional effects that can accompany career losses.

Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering

Being thrown to the ground – and potentially dragged across the road – in a violent motorcycle accident is terrifying, and it can lead to overwhelming physical and emotional pain and suffering. Because it can’t be seen and quantified, emotional suffering is a challenging form of loss – but one that shouldn’t be overlooked or neglected. In fact, in a serious motorcycle accident, this category of damage can dwarf your other losses.

Going After a Settlement that Fairly Addresses Your Complete Losses

Once you have a handle on your full range of losses, it’s time for your respected motorcycle accident attorney to engage in skilled negotiations for a settlement that fairly addresses them. Doing so can involve a considerable amount of back and forth. If the insurance company is committed to fair negotiations, you’ll likely reach a just settlement at this stage – although it can take a considerable amount of effort to arrive at an amount that will provide you with the compensation you need to reach your fullest recovery.

Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver

If the insurance company handling your claim demonstrates that they’re not interested in resolving it fairly, your motorcycle accident attorney will very likely advise filing a lawsuit and taking the matter up in court. It’s important to note here that just because you file a lawsuit does not mean your case will actually go to court.

The insurance company has a good idea of how your case is likely to be resolved at trial, which can be very motivating when it comes to further negotiations. Until the matter is resolved via court order, there is always time to settle. In the end, the vast majority of motorcycle accidents in LA and throughout the nation are settled out of court.

Your Attorney’s Important Role

Your seasoned motorcycle accident attorney will play a primary role in your case’s smooth progress through the claim’s process, including all the following:

  • Helping you understand the process and make well-considered decisions that support your own best interests throughout, including avoiding the common errors that too many claimants innocently make
  • Communicating directly with the insurance company so you won’t need to
  • Gathering all the available evidence and using it to craft your strongest claim skillfully
  • Engaging in focused negotiations with the insurance company – in pursuit of a fair settlement that addresses your damages in their entirety
  • Being well prepared to address your case in court if the insurance company is reluctant to offer a just settlement

In short, having a savvy motorcycle accident attorney in your corner can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim.

Seek the Legal Guidance of an Experienced LA Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today

The focused Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers at Blair & Ramirez LLP are committed to employing the full force of their imposing legal skill and insight in pursuit of your claim’s best possible resolution and in support of your fullest recovery. To help make things easier on you, we offer a free case evaluator that can provide you with a better understanding of your claim and your best path forward. Your claim resolution will play a critical role in your ability to regain your health and well-being, so please don’t put off contacting or calling us at 213-568-4000 for more information.