Posted on Thursday, January 30th, 2020 at 5:13 am    

You are injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault. After receiving medical care and being out of work while you recover, you expect the insurance company for the at-fault driver to compensate you for your injuries and losses. However, you receive a letter from the insurance provider claiming that the value of your claim is one-half of the amount you believe you are entitled to receive. They refer to California’s comparative fault law as their reason for reducing the amount of your claim. Can they do that? What is comparative fault?

California’s Pure Comparative Fault Standard

Each state has enacted laws or has case law that defines the state’s standard for comparative fault or contributory negligence. The laws vary by state. Therefore, you should always discuss your case with an attorney before accepting anything an insurance company might tell you about comparative fault or contributory negligence.

California case law has established a pure comparative fault standard for use in cases involving negligence and injury. The theory behind comparative fault is that an individual’s compensation for an injury claim is based on the individual’s proportionate share of fault for the cause of the accident or injury. In other words, the more at-fault you are for the cause of the motorcycle accident, the less money you can receive for your damages.

Let’s assume that your motorcycle accident claim is worth $300,000. The insurance company claims that you are 50 percent at fault for the cause of the crash. Therefore, the amount of your compensation for the injury claim is reduced by 50 percent. The most you could receive in this case would be $150,000 (total value of the claim multiplied by 50 percent).

California’s pure comparative fault standard allows accident victims to recover compensation even if they are 99 percent responsible for the cause of the crash. Some states have a 50 percent or 51 percent bar for comparative fault claims. In those states, if the victim of an accident is more than 50 or 51 percent at fault (depending on the state), the victim is barred from receiving any compensation for the injury claim.

Blaming Bikers for Motorcycle Accidents

Some people believe that bikers are inherently reckless and dangerous. They assume all motorcyclists take too many chances when riding, always exceed safe speeds, and are reckless. Insurance companies often take advantage of these untrue, unfounded, and unfair stereotypes of motorcyclists to allege that a rider is responsible for the cause of a crash. In cases in which fault is difficult to prove, the insurance company may be successful in using this tactic with a jury.

Why would the insurance company use this tactic? Because they can reduce the amount they must pay to settle the claim under comparative fault standards. The more blame they can place on the biker for the cause of the motorcycle accident, the less money they must pay.

Contact a Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Help

The Tiemann Law Firm Sacramento personal injury lawyers understand insurance tactics, including the use of comparative fault to reduce the value of a valid injury claim. We stand with motorcyclists and fight for full compensation for all damages. Let us help you hold a reckless and negligent driver responsible for the pain, suffering, and financial losses you incurred because of a motorcycle crash.

Contact The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our Sacramento motorcycle accident attorneys.

Client Testimonials

Elizabeth Ochoa Testimonial

I chose Tiemann Law Firm to help me after a car accident I was involved in. Throughout the entire process, Moe made sure to keep me updated, he always responded quickly whenever  I had questions about anything. My case won thanks to this law firm and its dedication. My experience with Tiemann Law Firm was amazing! 10/10 recommended.

Dawniel Ewing Testimonial

I have nothing but great things to say about this firm. They have been extremely helpful and professional when dealing with my case. Anytime I needed anything or wanted to be updated they responded immediately. They made me feel like they cared. Highly recommend them!

Michael T. Testimonial

I sat down and met with Jelena Tiemann about my vehicle accident.I presented all of my documentation to her in which she gave me her assessment.Although the Tiemann Law Firm wont be representing me because my settlement offer was pretty good she was very clear,forward and professional about what she felt could and couldn't be done.I recommend this law firm to anyone who needs a helping hand at fighting a case where you don't have to worry about the outcome not going in your favor. Please don't review this business if you received a freebie for writing this review, or if you're connected in any way to the owner or employees.

Herb T. Testimonial

The Tiemanns were referred to me by a friend and I am exceptionally happy with the service I received. I had never been in an accident before. I had no idea what to do. Jelena verbally explained how everything would work to me, and she and Peter handled everything. I didn't have to lift a finger once. They went above and beyond for me and I am extremely grateful. I pray I won't ever need this type of assistance again, but I will definitely be referring them to friends and family.

Jennifer T. Testimonial

I highly recommend The Tiemann Law Firm! I had never before been in a situation where I sustained injury and had to seek legal representation. I was nervous, traumatized, and had no idea what to expect. Jelena, Peter, and their staff walked me through each step of the process. They explained everything in detail. They patiently answered all my questions, responded quickly to every email, text message, phone call, etc. I felt totally prepared for each new phase of the legal process. Furthermore, they were fearless in their defense of me. In certain situations, when I felt attacked or scared my attorney protected me like I was family. Their diligence, honesty, integrity, and compassion provided a true sense of healing and closure for my family and I. The Tiemann Law Firm accomplished more for me than I ever thought possible and I am forever grateful.

Hanna Padilla Testimonial

From the very start of my case the Tiemann Law Firm was wonderful. Perter came all the way to my home to sit down and talk to me about my options. He made me and my partner feel very comfortable and promised us he would take the very best care of my case. Peter kept me informed every step of the way and was always on top of things. everything was done in a timely manor and I always felt like I was the only case he was working on because he was so fast. In the end Peter got me back way more money than I ever expected. I would recommend this law firm to everyone. I am very happy with the outcome of my case thanks to the Tiemann Law Firm! Thank you!

S.B. Testimonial

Here's the thing... Nobody really thinks much about lawyers until they need one.  Well, we needed one!  The Tieman Law Firm came through for us in a big way. They were professional, courteous, thorough, and had excellent staff as well.  Highly recommended...

Star Fire Testimonial

It is hard to put into words the care and dedication that I received from the Tiemann’s. They have been here for me every step of the way and were always available when I had questions or concerns. My husband and I will be forever grateful for everything they have done for us and our family. Thank you so much for all of the hard work and time you have put into my case, we greatly appreciate it and your friendship. We highly recommend this firm and will always be thankful for everything they have done. Thank you so much again, Kim

Jereme S. Testimonial

No one wants to have to hire a lawyer, but if you do. I prefer Tiemann Law. They helped a family member who was injured on the job, and the company did not want to compensate him even though, the injury occurred on the job on company time. Jelena was always professional in explaining the lengthy process of fighting a large corporation. 2 years later he finally is receiving the deserved compensation.

Maye Ly Testimonial

I just saw my lawyer Jelena Tiemann on a t.v ad, which reminded me how much she helped when I was in a desperate situation. I just love her! That is why I feel a need to tell everyone. I had a situation that happened & didn’t know what to do, our where to go. I didn’t even know if she could help me or if any lawyer could. All I wanted was it to go away & was afraid most lawyers wanted to drag it out & possibly go to court. For one she was very professional but was very personable (maybe b.c she’s a lady). She didn’t make me feel embarrassed or self-conscious that I did something wrong or was the cause of the situation. She immediately said we should try our best before going to court. Let me handle some paperwork, if at the last we do go to court we have documents. She gave me all the details, pros and cons but reassured me she deals with these cases all the time. She came through and made it as painless as possible. I now have my life back.

Matt H. Testimonial

I was in a car accident a while back where I was injured and had to miss work for an extended period of time.  After nearly a year of fighting with the insurance company with no results and no progress, I met with Jelena Tiemann.  I couldn't have asked for a more responsive and supportive advocate.  We quickly reached a settlement and I finally was able to move from the stress and burden of feuding with my insurance.  I highly recommending meeting with Jelena if you're in need of a lawyer.

Jennifer Birdseye Testimonial

Tiemann Law Firm helped us with an injury case for my nephew. They were very knowledgeable and we are very happy with the service they provided. The entire staff is topnotch!

Lendzey Garcia

I was in a very bad/ major car accident I originally had an attorney who wasn’t trying to help me out much or take any of my calls so I called Tiemann and told them my situation. They made it an AWESOME and Smooth transition over to them and took on both cases I had. I just settled on my big case and am beyond great full. For them and their team! I highly recommend them. To add on to this a little On how much they will work with you, I moved to Montana in the middle of all Of this and it was not an issue!