At the Law Offices of Dean Goetz we champion the rights of motorcyclists, and are committed to relieving the stress and hardship of your accident. I will not settle your case until you are satisfied. I will keep you informed about your case at all times. I will talk to you on the phone, via email or in person and answer your questions. I will help you get prompt medical treatment, even if you don't have medical insurance and I will advance all monies needed to hire the best experts to maximize your recovery.
My experience and record of demonstrated results in both jury verdicts and settlements are essential when negotiating with insurance companies. I understand motorcyclists and have been representing them successfully for over 30 years. I provide personal service to every one of my clients. I will come to you to personally meet with you, if necessary. I will work hard and aggressively to get you everything you are entitled to receive. I will stand beside you every step of the way.
When you are injured in a California motorcycle accident the other driver's insurance should eventually cover your medical bills, but they are not likely to pay until your case is settled. I work to maximize your financial recovery for your medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income, motorcycle damage, and any other costs or expenses caused by your accident.
Motorcycle vs. Car Injury Case
Motorcyclist Hit On Coast Highway
Kransky vs. Depuy
Motorcycle vs. Car
Injured in a motorcycle accident
Police Officer said it was my fault Dean was able to settle my case for the
Riding my motorcycle in Rancho Santa Fe
car pulled out in front of me
we went to trial
six figure verdict from a Vista jury
I was injured in a motorcycle accident on the
Coast Highway in San Clemente -
Dean Goetz got me a $975,000 settlement
Understanding your motorcycle insurance policy is complicated, especially when you are trying to recover from an accident and injuries.
If you have questions, please contact me: (858) 481-8844
Free initial consultation.
If you have Medical Payment coverage, which very few motorcycle owners carry, your auto insurance company will pay the bills through the Medical Payment portion of your coverage. If not, use your medical insurance to pay your bills. If you don't have either Medical Payment coverage or medical insurance, you will need to find physicians who will treat you on a lien basis. Contact an attorney to help you find these doctors.
Assuming the accident is determined to be the fault of the other driver, your lost income will eventually be covered by the other driver's auto liability insurance policy. However, you will get nothing until your case is settled.
Even if you were not wearing a helmet, if someone else caused the accident, you may bring an action for your injuries. However, not wearing a helmet may make a difference in the amount of damages you receive, if you suffered a head injury. Dean Goetz can discuss this fully with you.
YES. It is important to retain an experienced motorcycle attorney in a motorcycle injury case in order to make sure that you are treated fairly by the insurance company. A good lawyer will handle the entire claim for you from beginning to end. He will have the accident investigated by an accident reconstruction expert, refer you to health care providers on a lien basis if needed, deal with the insurance companies, get your med pay monies, make a demand on the insurance company, file a lawsuit if needed, get your medical records and review them, provide treatment advice, determine what your case is worth, hire any expert needed to maximize your recovery and ultimately resolve your claim through settlement or trial.
Lack of insurance on your motorcycle does not prevent you from filing a claim against the other driver but it will limit your damages.
Since the law requires that a motorist planning on making a left-hand turn must yield to all oncoming traffic, typically a left-hand turning vehicle which hits a motorcycle will be found legally liable. The exceptions to this general rule would be that the motorcycle that was going straight was speeding, ran a red light or violated some other vehicle code section.
NO, "some money" might be all that you get for your injuries, and accepting that check may mean that you have released the other driver from all liability for your accident from any past, present or future liability for your injuries. It is better to consult with an attorney who has experience handling motorcycle injury cases before you sign anything. Call Dean Goetz at 858- 481-8844.
YES and the sooner the better. A prompt investigation is essential because the insurance company will always attempt to prove that the motorcyclist was to some extent at fault in order to pay the least amount of money as possible.
Every case is different. The exact type of compensation and the amount you might receive depends on your individual situation. For example, the amount you receive will vary depending upon how severely you were injured, whether you lost income, and whether your injuries are permanent. Another major factor is the amount of liability insurance carried by the other motorist and the amount of UM and UIM coverage that you have on your motorcycle.
As a general rule, you are entitled to recover for any of the following expenses:
* Medical expenses
* Lost wages or income
* Future medical expenses
* Future income losses related to accident
* Vehicle and property damage and rental car expense
* General Damages such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
UM and UIM are acronyms for Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Under insured Motorist Coverage. If the other motorist does not have auto liability insurance he is referred to as an Uninsured Motorist. If the motorist has insufficient liability limits to cover the full amount of your damages, he is an Under insured Motorist. Since these motorists probably do not have any assets, it is very likely that you will not be able to recover anything from this person. Even if you are severely injured or even crippled for life you will get nothing from this person.
However, if you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage or Under insured Motorist Coverage you can make a claim with your OWN motorcycle insurance company for your damages up to the amount of your UM/UIM limits. For this reason it is VERY IMPORTANT to have at least $100,000 in UM/UIM policy limits. It only costs $100 - $250 per year to have $100,000 - $300,000 limits.
Get smart and get UM/UIM insurance coverage for your bike today. Protect yourself and your family.
No, the liability coverage is to pay for the damages incurred by the other driver and his passengers, if you are at fault in an accident. It does not cover any of your injuries even if you are not at fault, UNLESS you have UM or UIM coverage.
Auto insurance companies will rarely give out this information until it is to their advantage. You need to hire a personal injury attorney who will file a lawsuit. Once that lawsuit is filed the insurance company is required to provide your lawyer with a copy of the insured driver's insurance policy limits.
Medical Payments Coverage - Covers the medical costs (up to the specified limit) resulting from an auto accident for you, your family, or others in your car. This coverage pays regardless of fault. This is also referred to as Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
California does not require Medical Payments Coverage, under the minimum auto insurance requirement law. You may have not chosen to get the medical payments coverage when you purchased your auto insurance policy.
Unlike the bodily injury liability insurance, the medical bills coverage is no fault insurance, and it will pay for your medical bills even if you were at fault in the accident. With Personal Injury Protection medical bills coverage, you'll have a policy that helps pay for the treatment of you and your family even when you are on a bicycle, motorcycle, or pedestrian.
This medical payments - personal injury coverage extends to cover expenses beyond just medical bills, it also covers your loss of wages or services, and in some cases, funeral costs. Personal Injury Protection insurance also can extend to take care of your passengers' bills.
This coverage also covers you and your immediate family when you are on foot as a pedestrian or on a bicycle. This means that say you and your spouse were riding bicycles and hit by a hit and run driver, this no fault medical payments coverage will take care of both of your medicals bills and lost wages.
You will probably recover nothing UNLESS you have UM or UIM coverage on your motorcycle insurance policy. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THIS COVERAGE ON YOUR BIKE. Uninsured and under insured (UM / UIM) coverages are always available to you, by law.
Uninsured (UM) or under insured motorist (UIM) motorcycle accident insurance coverage protects the policy holder involved in an accident when the other driver, either does not have liability insurance or does not have sufficient bodily injury liability limits.
For example, if you are involved in an auto accident and the at fault driver only had the minimum California Bodily Injury Liability coverage of $15,000 and your medical bills exceed $100,000, your own insurance, the underinsured motorist coverage part, will pay the remaining $85,000, depending on the UM/UIM policy limits that you purchased. There are additional complexities as to how these bills will get paid and by whom, but you should be protected by the UM/UIM.
Adding as much uninsured and under insured motorist coverage as you can afford to your auto insurance policy will help protect you and your family not only in the car, but also on bicycle or as a pedestrian or riding a motorcycle.
Very often bicycle, pedestrian, or motorcycle riders find themselves the victims of a hit and run driver. Statistically, uninsured drivers are the most dangerous on the roads. They tend to be involved in more accidents, as well as more serious injury accidents, and driving older more dangerous vehicles.
According to the California DMV Motorcycle Handbook, if you, as an operator, are involved in a collision which causes more than $750 in property damage to one person, including yourself, or in which anyone, including yourself, is injured, no matter how slightly, you (or your insurance agent, broker, or legal representative) must report the collision to DMV. The CHP or police will not make this report.
You must make this report within 10 days on the Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR1) form. You can get this form from any DMV or CHP office. This form is also available on the DMV's web site www.dmv.ca.gov. Refer to the California Driver Handbook for more information.
Here's some additional advice on what to do after a motorcycle accident.
We can IMMEDIATELY put you in touch with doctors and medical care providers who will treat you right away without requiring medical insurance or money up front. We have access to experts and other resources that allow us to aggressively pursue your claim and maximize your results. We will investigate and litigate your case and make sure you get medical treatment. For a free evaluation of your case, call Dean Goetz now at 858-481-8844.
I handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney fee will be a percentage of any recovery. If we are unable to recover any money damages, you pay nothing. I will also advance all litigation and investigative costs.
It depends on the nature of your case. Larger personal injury claims usually take longer to settle than smaller claims. Generally, it will take 6 months to 2 years to resolve a claim.
The vast majority of personal injury cases do not go to trial. However, I approach each case as if it is going to trial because you have to be willing to go to trial in order to maximize your settlement.
I advance the expenses in almost all cases.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident which was not your fault, you probably have a personal injury claim. You will have to prove that the other person was negligent (at fault) and that you were injured in the motorcycle accident.
If we know the full extent and permanency of your injuries we can give you an estimate of the likely settlement value of your claim. Until this is known, only a very broad range estimate of case value can be made. There is no legal book or standard formula or rule of thumb to determine the value of a personal injury claim. Financial considerations can include lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, loss of consortium, and property damage. Economic factors like age, current level of employment, and education will also be taken into account when determining how much compensation to award. Punitive damages may also be awarded. To give you an idea of the level of compensation you might receive, we will need to discuss your case further.
Anything is possible but this is highly unlikely in a significant injury case. If you have a serious injury, you need an attorney to make sure you get what you are entitled to receive.
You need an attorney to make sure:
1. You are not being taken advantage of by the insurance adjustors;
2. You maximize your recovery;
3. You have someone on your side because the insurance company has many lawyers and adjustors who are working hard to reduce the insurance companies financial exposure;
4. You don't make statements that will hurt your case while you are talking to the adjustor;
5. You are being treated by competent doctors and medical care providers who will be able to prepare a report properly explaining the full extent of your injury;
6. Your motorcycle accident scene is preserved in good photos;
7. The motorcycle accident is properly and completely investigated and reconstructed by trained experts;
Yes. If it becomes necessary to get medical care providers to reduce their bills, we will do whatever we can to make that happen.
No, the opposite is generally true. Motorcyclists are often injured by negligent car drivers. In the majority of cases, the other vehicle violated the motorcyclist's right-of-way and caused the accident. Also, motorcycle riders are approximately 25 times more likely to be killed in a road accident and are 5 times more likely to be injured than a person riding in a passenger vehicle. There are a wide range of causes for motorcycle accidents, many of which include:
Limited visibility - Intersections, buildings, parked vehicles, shrubbery, etc.
Road hazards - Potholes, oil slicks, puddles, debris, and uneven pavement.
The claimed invisibility of motorcycles - The motorcyclist is not seen by other drivers. Truck drivers have a hard time seeing motorcycles because they often have blind spots and do not see the comparatively small motorcycle, which can result in collisions.
If you are interested, here is an article on some of the most recent stats we have on motorcycle accidents from the Department of Transportation. Additionally, here you'll find some great motorcycle law resources such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) the internationally recognized developer of the comprehensive, research-based, Rider Education and Training System. I don't know too many car drivers who work on their driving skills the way motorcycle riders do.
No. Call an attorney as soon as possible. The insurance adjustors are trained to get you to make admissions or make statements that will harm your case. The insurance companies are not interested in helping you. They are only interested in reducing the value of your claim and paying you as little as possible. Insurance companies are not on your side.
No. Do not give an oral statement to the other side's insurance company. If you do, you will regret it. If you are contacted, be polite, but decline to talk. Insurance companies' claims adjusters are professional negotiators, with extensive experience in using every technique to get you to say things that will harm your case. Politely tell them that you will have your lawyer talk to them. Do not agree to let them take a recorded statement of your conversation.
I am admitted to the California State Bar. Although my law offices are located in Solana Beach on the N. Pacific Coast Highway 101, and in San Diego County, I will handle cases throughout California.
I frequently consult with motorcycle riders who've been injured in an auto accident. Too often I often wish I had been able to give them motorcycle insurance advice before they ever needed it.