Motorcycles

iStock_000017124042SmallDebra Knows Motorcycles and Personal Injury Law

Motorcycle accident lawyer Debra Bogaards is a proven personal injury attorney, and has served the motorcycling community for many years. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, whether it was a minor accident or a major crash, Debra is your best resource to enforce your rights and to secure the best compensation possible for your accident. She truly cares about the bikers she represents. She knows the ins and outs of motorcycle accidents and knows how police reports can go against bikers unfairly. Some people have negative opinions about bikers, and this can affect what you may face at the scene of the accident – and in the courtroom. You deserve an experienced lawyer who will fight for your rights and get you the compensation for your motorcycle accident that you deserve.

Debra Has a 99% Success Rate for All Retained Cases

Nobody thinks they will be injured in a motorcycle accident when they're cruising down Highway 1. But if you're in a serious crash, it could be months or even years before you fully recover. You will need money to cover medical bills for surgeries and rehabilitation, money to live on while you're unable to work, and money to get your bike repaired.

Debra’s job is to use her skill and legal expertise in personal injury law to represent and protect the interests of her clients, securing fair settlements for the damages they have suffered. It may seem straightforward to represent a motorcycle accident victim in insurance claims and court proceedings. In reality, there are so many laws and regulations that govern a personal injury claim that it takes an experienced legal expert to guide you through. Motorcycle accidents have their own special law and claims process, and require someone with experience who has successfully represented injured bikers. With over 30 years of experience, Debra knows how insurance companies and claims adjusters operate; how trials, juries and judges work; and can advocate effectively for you.

It's important to specifically hire a motorcycle accident attorney - someone who understands the dynamics of a vehicle crash and also understands the people who ride on two or three wheels, including sport bikes and super bikes.  Call 415.979.0480 for a free consultation!

Case Study

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Charmaine Felguth
(Felguth v. Epstein)
$900,000 Settlement

This motorcycle vs. Jeep crash happened on Sunday, June 27, 2010. Plaintiff Charmaine Felguth, a 47-year-old Lieutenant with the Jacksonville, Florida Fire Department, and her domestic partner, Penni Lewis, a Sheriff in Jacksonville, were visiting San Francisco for the first time to ride motorcycles in the Dykes on Bikes section of the Gay Pride Parade.

The two rented Road King Classic Harley Davidsons. After riding in the parade, they sat in the sun and drank a beer while watching the rest of the parade pass by on Market Street. They set out to return their motorcycles, and get back to their hotel. They got lost, as many tourists do on San Francisco’s downtown one-way streets. They looped onto Mission Street at about 40 mph -- a street that has a posted 25 mph speed limit -- according to their own testimony to the paramedics at the scene. They were running late, since they got lost, and needed to return their motorcycles.

A Jeep made an illegal left turn coming the opposite direction on Mission Street, and cut them off. The driver of the Jeep, a local dentist, was adamant that Plaintiff swerved around a car stopped in her lane to make a turn and, therefore, was approaching him head on. He had to swerve to avoid a collision.

Plaintiff’s pelvis was pulverized on impact. Dr. Saam Morshed performed pelvic surgery at San Francisco General Hospital. Plaintiff’s partner saw my website, wanted a female aggressive trial attorney, and contacted me from the hospital.

After this initial surgery, Plaintiff and her partner flew back to Jacksonville. A few months later, even though she had consulted an orthopedic surgeon in Jacksonville in follow-up, she was still in considerable pain. I suggested that she get a CT scan of her pelvis. She did. It revealed a broken screw.

Plaintiff returned to San Francisco to undergo a second pelvic surgery with Dr. Morshed, because we couldn’t find an expert orthopedic surgeon in Jacksonville to deal with this complicated situation. Plaintiff returned again to San Francisco for Dr. Morshed to perform a third surgery to remove the hardware. However, she continued to have pain. I referred her to a pain management doctor/expert in San Francisco, who was able to help figure out the source of her new pain: her lumbar spine, not her pelvis. Plaintiff’s medical specials were $185,000.

Plaintiff continued to enjoy an active lifestyle on her 9-½ acres in Jacksonville: boating, fishing, riding her waverunner and ATV, etc. She also continued to work as a Lieutenant in the fire department, although at a desk job and not on a rescue truck saving lives, which was her passion. She had no wage loss claim.

This was a hard-fought case against an excellent senior trial attorney, who aggressively disputed liability. We took over 15 depositions, including those from six experts. Both attorneys developed animations of how the accident happened, and geared up for trial. I had 200 PowerPoint slides ready for my opening statement and presentation at trial. Because counsel knew that I was serious about trying the case, they offered $100,000 more on the day of trial than they had five days earlier at the mandatory settlement conference.

We went to two full-day mediations before Judge Al Chiantelli of Alternative Dispute Resolution Services, Inc., a mandatory settlement conference, and we exchanged C.C.P. Section 998s – “settlement offers with strings attached.” We settled after our courtroom assignment on the first day of trial for $900,000.

As a footnote, through this long litigation process, I really got to know my client, who is one of my favorites! She went to Giants baseball games with me each time she flew out for a surgery or a post-op visit. We became friends, and still stay in touch today.

Charmaine’s Story

charliandpenni copyI don’t know what I did in my life to have the honor of Debra coming into it when I most needed her. The moment I saw her I felt safe.

My partner, Penni, and I were visiting San Francisco in June of 2010, from our home in Florida. Penni always knew one of my bucket list items was to ride in the Pride Parade, where the Dykes on Bikes originated. So, as a surprise, she rented us each an MC to ride in the Pride Parade on Sunday, June 27, 2010. The rental was for 24 hours, but we knew we would keep the bikes much longer than the parade. It was the last day of our trip. We rode in the parade, and it was as moving as I had imagined. We parked the bikes and watched the parade awhile. When we drove to take the bikes back to the rental shop, only a few blocks from the shop an SUV made an illegal left turn in front of me, and I could not avoid running into it. I fractured my pelvis and spine.

That this occurred in a strange city so far away from home was terrifying to both Penni and me. From the hospital, Penni found Debra’s attorney website, and chose her to come and talk with us about the accident. I will never forget the first time I saw Debra. She was standing inside the doorway of my hospital room…a confident, attractive blonde wearing stilettos and carrying a Prada bag. I thought the nurse gave me too much pain medication. Very impressive, she was. Penni and Debra did most of the talking, due to my condition, and we hired her on the spot!

The first surgery went well. Penni and I returned to Florida. After recovery, and approximately nine months post-surgery, I was feeling pain in my back. I told Debra about the pain, and she told me to have it checked out “just in case.” I thought that I would have to live with this new pain the rest of my life. Debra felt there was something wrong, and insisted I get a CT scan to find out what was going on.

She was absolutely right! One of the bolts was broken in my back. There were various issues with surgeons here in Florida, so I ended up calling Dr. Morshed, the original surgeon in San Francisco, with my broken hardware and broken heart. He removed the old screws and replaced them with larger, longer ones.

After the second surgery, Debra and I began to speak more openly, instead of mostly about the case. We shared stories of life, passions, family, and became friends. I really enjoyed spending time with her.

When I came to San Francisco for the first trial date, she offered to have me stay at her (and Pieter’s) home while we were on standby for a courtroom. She knew I was lonely staying in a hotel alone in the city. Penni and I were both so grateful. I thought, what a sweet, kind woman! From then on, every time I flew to San Francisco I stayed with her and her husband at their home. She cooked dinner, we shopped, we rode to the Wine County in her convertible, and we became friends.

I’ve seen her be the “bulldog”; a very tasteful, effective bulldog, when needed, and on the other hand, be a kind, considerate woman. She was always there for me, not just as an attorney; she truly cared about me. I trust(ed) her. Not only as the professional she is, but as a woman with a good heart, intelligent and worthy. She always looked out for my best interest, no matter what it was. She was my best cheerleader in recovering from my injuries and being mentally prepared for trial. I don’t know what I did in my life to have the honor of Debra coming into it when I most needed her. The moment I saw her I felt safe.