Jump To Navigation
Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Litigation Basics

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may have many questions about your legal options. You may have never been involved in a lawsuit before and not know where to start. The following information provides a general overview about motorcycle accident cases. A personal injury attorney can answer your specific questions and provide guidance about how to proceed.

Pleadings and causes of action

A case arising out of a motorcycle accident is a personal injury action and will begin with the filing of the complaint. A complaint sets forth the claims that the plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit) has against the defendant (the person or company being sued). Generally, a motorcycle accident case will be based on negligence. To establish negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty; that the defendant breached this duty; that the breach caused the plaintiff injury; and that the plaintiff was in fact injured. If there was more than one person responsible for the accident in which the plaintiff was injured, it may be advisable to name all potentially liable parties as defendants.

The defendant has to answer the complaint within a certain time (usually 20 days). The answer sets forth the portions of the complaint that the defendant admits to, if any; the allegations that the defendant contests; any defenses the defendant may have; and any claims the defendant is asserting against the plaintiff, another co-defendant or any other entity that is not already a party to the litigation. These claims are known as counterclaims (against the plaintiff), cross claims (against a co-defendant) and third-party claims (against a third party not yet part of the litigation). If the defendant does not respond to the complaint within the allotted period, the court may enter a default judgment against the defendant.

Instead of filing an answer, a defendant may choose to file a motion to dismiss in which it raises all its defenses. This motion will ask the court to dismiss the plaintiff's case and it can raise the following defenses: lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, lack of jurisdiction over the person, insufficiency of process, insufficiency of service of process, failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and failure to join a party.


Discovery is the process of obtaining facts and evidence to support your case. Each party can request that the other party produce certain categories of documents, answer written questions (called interrogatories) and give testimony at depositions. In motorcycle accident cases, there are a number of relevant items of evidence. First, there is data about the vehicle, such as VIN number, mechanical issues, any defects or maintenance issues and the speeds the vehicles were traveling. Statements from eyewitnesses, as well as road conditions, traffic, weather conditions and any road obstructions are also important. Evidence about the motorcycle rider and driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash, such as training, licensing, experience and alcohol or drug use, should be collected. Finally, information about your medical expenses and documentation about your injuries are relevant to the determination of damages.

Resolution of the case

It may be possible for the parties to resolve the dispute through settlement or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation or arbitration. If the parties agree to binding arbitration, they are bound by the decision of a neutral arbitrator(s). Some states require litigants to go through alternative dispute resolution in some form.

In the absence of a settlement or ADR, the case will go to trial. At trial, the attorneys for each side present evidence and arguments, and the judge or jury decides the unresolved issues. Once the judge or jury has reached a decision, the judge will enter a judgment for the winning party. Either or both parties can appeal a judge's decision to a higher court. Settlements usually cannot be appealed if both parties agree to their terms.

Speak to a personal injury attorney

A personal injury lawyer who know how handled motorcycle and automobile accident cases can explain the stages of litigation to you and answer any questions you have. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and are thinking about bringing a lawsuit, call today to schedule a consultation with a lawyer to talk about your options.

Copyright © 2012 FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Return to Main

New Immediate Representation | Tired of Insurance Hassles | We'll represent you right now | Click Here | Call Now Toll Free 1-800-300-8561

- Free Advice!
- Free Consultations!
- No Out of Pocket Fees!
- Contingency Fees!
- We Get Paid Only if We Win Your Case!

Contact Us

Never a fee to speak with an Injury Law Center attorney

Injury Law Center | For Over 25 Years

What Our Clients Say

Client Testimonial:

"I am impressed the way your firm took care of me, and I am pleased with results. "

KW, Satisfied Client, San Jose, California

"Great Settlement, Thank You."
R.H. - Milpitas, CA

"Mr. Bloxham treated me honestly and fairly - Thanks!"
A.T. - Pittsburg, CA

"I was disappointed in a previous attorney. Thanks for handling my sister's case - I appreciate the care that you took with her."
P.O. - Concord, CA

"Good Job, Thank You."
T.E. - Brentwood, CA

"Thanks for fighting for me, Mr. Bloxham. I appreciate your efforts."
B.K. - Concord, CA

"With my serious injuries, I appreciate that you were able to come to my home and get my case started right away - Thanks."
T.K - Walnut Creek, CA

BBB | Better Business Bureau | www.bbb.org

Click here to see our A+ Rating

Injury Law Center Law Offices of Jack Bloxham
  • Injury Law Center - Walnut Creek
    Law Offices of Jack Bloxham
    2099 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite 201
    Walnut Creek, CA 94596

    Walnut Creek Law Office

  • Injury Law Center - San Jose
    Law Offices of Jack Bloxham
    2570 N. First Street
    Second Floor
    San Jose, CA 95131

    San Jose, CA Law Office

  • Injury Law Center - Fremont-Hayward
    Law Offices of Jack Bloxham
    34716 Alvarado-Niles Road
    Union City, CA 94587

    Union City Law Office

  • Injury Law Center - Oakland
    Law Offices of Jack Bloxham
    166 Santa Clara Ave
    Oakland, CA 94610

    Oakland Law Office

Disclosure: Photos may not depict cars, places or situations related to clients or cases. Other photos may not depict attorneys or clients of the firm. The photos are intended only as dramatizations. Testimonials or endorsements, or statements regarding the outcome of a case should not be construed as a guarantee or warrantee or prediction regarding the result or outcome of your or anyone’s legal matter. Each case has its own unique facts, and the outcome of each case will differ.

San Jose personal injury attorney Jack Bloxham represents clients in negligence and wrongful death litigation related to motor vehicle accidents of all kinds in the Greater Bay Area of Northern California, including Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Santa Clara County, Solano County, San Jose, Walnut Creek, Union City, Oakland, San Francisco, Fremont, Hayward, Pittsburg, Richmond, Dublin, Concord, Fairfield, Benicia, Vallejo, Los Gatos, Napa, Pleasanton, Livermore, Antioch, Santa Cruz, and San Mateo.