A young man sustained life-threatening injuries but is expected to survive after a recent Los Angeles motorcycle accident. Video footage captured the crash, which shows a vehicle suddenly veering into the motorcyclist’s path. The impact of the crash caused the rider to be ejected and thrown more than 80 feet. Bystanders tended to the victim as paramedics raced to the scene. He was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for a fractured pelvis, a damaged spleen, and two collapsed lungs.
Medical professionals believe that the 20-year-old motorcyclist will survive his injuries. However, he’ll be faced with a long road to recovery. His recovery will probably be complicated by financial costs related to the crash. Medical bills can add up quickly and time away from work can limit the rider’s stream of income. Fortunately, he has the option of seeking compensation from the at-fault driver (and/or that driver’s insurance company).
Insurance Claims vs. Personal Injury Lawsuits
There are two primary options for recovering compensation after an accident. The first involves submitting a personal injury claim with an insurance company. The second involves filing a civil personal injury lawsuit against a negligent or reckless party.
Personal Injury Insurance Claim
The injured rider could file a personal injury claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. That insurance company is legally obligated to review the claim in good faith. It can only deny the claim if there’s a legitimate reason to do so.
An insurance claim is a formal request to recover proceeds from an insured driver’s policy. The amount you can recover from an insurance claim often depends on the amount of coverage a driver has. An insurance company won’t pay out more than a driver carried. Let’s say the rider has suffered bodily injury damages that equal $100,000. The driver, however, only purchased the minimum amount of insurance required by state law. The driver’s insurance company won’t pay out more than $15,000, even though the rider’s damages are significantly greater.
Even though insurance companies can pay up to a driver’s policy limits, they often don’t. These companies are interested in minimizing the amount of compensation a victim receives after an accident. They’ll do whatever they can to limit a payout. Working with an experienced attorney can help to protect your rights and make your claim as successful as possible.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit is also a valid option for recovering compensation after an accident. However, after a car accident, lawsuits are typically reserved for situations where:
- Damages exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits
- Insurance companies refuse to extend a fair settlement offer, or
- Drivers are uninsured at the time of an accident.
Personal injury lawsuits tend to take more time to resolve than an insurance claim. However, the benefits of patience can be rewarded. You may be able to recover a more meaningful financial payout by turning o the courts for help.
While you can file and navigate a lawsuit on your own, it’s always best to turn to a personal injury lawyer for help. Lawsuits can be complicated, time-consuming, and stressful. Hiring an attorney will put you in the best possible situation to maximize your financial award. Your attorney will know how to investigate your case, determine liability, and negotiate the best settlement. If insurance companies or defendants aren’t cooperative, an attorney can litigate your case before a jury.
Video Footage Can Be Used to Establish Fault
The success of a personal injury case will often depend on the evidence that’s available. Accident victims, or plaintiffs, have the burden of proving that another person is responsible for the harm they’ve suffered. This typically involves proving that this other person was negligent. In some situations, plaintiffs may have difficulty proving negligence because there is a lack of reliable evidence. The less evidence a plaintiff has, the harder it can be to get the money they deserve.
Certain evidence – including bystander video footage – can be very helpful as a plaintiff pursues a personal injury case. The video footage can be used to establish fault and prove negligence. In this case, the injured rider may rely heavily on the video footage as he attempts to recover compensation. His attorney will use the footage to point out precisely (a) what caused the accident and (b) how the driver was negligent. Video footage isn’t always reliable or clear. However, it can be very powerful evidence in a lawsuit.
Have you or someone you love been injured in a Los Angeles accident? Contact Glotzer & Leib, LLP for immediate legal assistance. We’ll review your case and explain your legal options. Call today to learn more.