The motorcycle has become an iconic symbol of freedom in California. There is nothing like the feeling of wind in your hair as you ride a bike down Beach Boulevard. Unfortunately, when you have an accident on a motorcycle, it can be devastating. A motorcycle wreck will often result in serious injury and expensive medical bills.
Drivers in the state of California are aware of the dangers that motorcycles present. Insurance companies do not like to cover bike accidents, and motorcyclists often get blamed for accidents even if the collision is not their fault. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you will need the assistance of a personal injury attorney who is well-versed in Huntington Beach motorcycle accident law.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics California
According to the Insurance Information Institute, Motorcycle accidents are 29 times more likely to result in a fatality than are those involving regular passenger vehicles. As of 2019, the Golden State had over 8,596,314 registered motorcycles.
Fortunately, the use of helmets has increased over the years. Helmets can reduce the severity of an accident considerably.
Safety for Bikers
Driving a motorcycle requires fast reflexes and excellent hand-to-eye coordination. You should always take a class before driving a bike, and you should always wear a helmet. For every 100 bikers who die in motorcycle accidents in any given year, 36 of them could have survived if they were wearing a helmet.
No matter how careful and skilled a rider may be, there will always be negligent drivers on the road. Drunk drivers and unsafe road conditions cause accidents for motorcycle riders just as they do for everyone else.
When a motorcyclist is injured in an accident, they will need medical treatment and compensation for their bills. Our team of motorcycle accident lawyers will fight hard to get you compensation.
Typical Motorcycle Accidents
A Huntington Beach motorcycle accident can happen no matter what type of bike you are riding. Orange County is known for its beautiful waterfront, and beach motorcycle accidents happen all the time. Almost half of these accidents did not involve another driver. There are a few common types of accidents that motorcyclists experience when they collide with another vehicle.
Lane Changing Accidents
One reason people like to drive motorcycles is because of the fluidity of movement. You can weave in and out of lanes in a way that you would not be able to in a car. However, a driver of a car will have a more challenging time spotting a motorcycle in their rearview mirror.
If a driver is not paying careful attention to the road ahead of them and behind them, they may not see a motorcycle as it changes lanes. They may not be able to stop in time, and this can cause them to crash into the back of your motorcycle, or it can cause you to rear-end them.
A driver who does not see you right away may swerve into another car, or they may cause you to swerve into traffic. A competent driver will be aware of everything that is around them. If a driver is not alert at all times, they can cause serious injuries.
The faster you are going when you have an accident, the greater the impact is going to be. Anyone can tell you that a car, truck, or SUV weighs more than a motorcycle and that when a small object collides with a larger object, the smaller object is going to get the brunt of the damage.
When a driver is not speeding, they are supposed to keep a 3-second distance between themselves and the car in front of them to avoid an auto accident. However, when they are speeding, they should keep the length of about 16 cars in front of them. If a driver does not maintain the appropriate distance, they are unlikely to be able to stop in time.
Drunk Driver Involved Accidents
Although driving drunk is the first thing they will teach you to avoid in any driver’s ed class, plenty of people still get into their cars after consuming alcohol. A person’s reflexes will not be as sharp when they have been drinking, and their eyesight may be blurry. They may also fall asleep behind the wheel. It is essential to have good lighting on your bike when you ride.
Motorcycles can be hard to see him broad daylight, and they are even harder to see at night. Huntington Beach motorcyclists and those who ride in Santa Ana know that the streets are very dark in Orange County at night. If you are not cautious, you can easily have an accident.
As many motorcyclists know, turning a corner can be one of the hardest things to learn when you drive a bike. Many novices will turn too hard or hit the brakes and slide on gravel. Any Huntington Beach motorcycle accident lawyer can tell you that you can easily have a collision if you don’t turn with caution.
A distracted driver or who does not come to a complete stop before turning can cause an accident as well. A negligent driver may not see a motorcycle turning even though the motorcyclist has executed a perfect turn. Motorcyclists who ride across intersections when they have the right of way are often hit by drivers who are turning and did not see them coming.
The roads of Southern California are famous for their congestion, and Orange County is no exception. Rear-end accidents are common, and when a passenger vehicle or commercial truck hits a motorcycle, it can result in multiple injuries and medical bills.
Proving Negligence to an Insurance Company
There are two types of insurance rules in the United States; fault and no-fault. In a fault state, the person responsible for an accident is responsible for damages to property and any medical bills related to the accident. In a no-fault state, a person’s own insurance company must pay for their bills no matter who caused the accident.
California is a fault state. More specifically, it is a pure comparative fault state which means that each driver is responsible for the portion of the accident they caused. This means that if you were 90% responsible for a Huntington Beach motorcycle accident, you should be able to recover 10% of your medical expenses from the other driver’s insurance.
When a person has a Huntington Beach motorcycle or car accident, they need to document accident-related expenses and collect evidence that proves the other driver is at fault.
What to Do at the Scene of an Accident
When you have an auto accident, you should pull over to the side of the road and see if there are injuries. You should call the police and wait for them to arrive.
As motorcycle accident lawyers, we advise our clients not to admit to guilt at the scene. Although you may think you caused the accident, there may be circumstances of which you are unaware. You should talk to an attorney first.
You should collect the names and numbers of anyone who may have seen the accident and take pictures if you can or ask someone to take them for you. Remember that your legal rights include a copy of the accident report.
Motorcycle injuries are usually very severe, and an ambulance is likely to show up at the scene. If the paramedics tell you you should go to the hospital, you should go. Always seek medical attention after an accident, even if you feel just fine.
Documenting the Costs
When you hire an attorney at our law firm, we will do everything to get you fair compensation for your injury. Collecting documentation will help us get you the money you deserve.
You should save a copy of every medical bill that you get and any medical records your doctors have for you. You will want to save the receipts from both prescription and non-prescription medications that you take.
Be sure to have your employer write you a letter documenting the number of hours you have missed and the amount of money lost because of your injuries.
Calling Your Insurance Company
Ideally, you will call our office for formal legal advice before contacting the insurance company. A motorcycle accident lawyer can prepare you for the questions that the adjuster will ask and advise you on avoiding mistakes that may hurt you in the long run.
Once you have initially reported the accident to your insurance company, they will ask you to provide all the documentation you have. They will then have 40 days to accept or deny your claim.
If they deny your claim, you want to contact a Huntington Beach motorcycle accident lawyer, who can call your insurer on your behalf to find out why your claim was rejected. They may decide you have a personal injury case based on the legal information presented.
If they accept your claim, they will make a settlement offer. You should always contact an attorney who specializes in Huntington Beach motorcycle accident law before accepting any settlement. Motorcyclists are often discriminated against because motorcycles are perceived as dangerous.
Why You Should Hire Our Law Firm
Huntington Beach motorcycle accidents are common, and so are motorcycle accident lawyers. It can be hard to decide on an attorney that is right for you. Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation to new clients, and our attorneys are no exception.
When you need legal help, you should pick a lawyer who has the most experience dealing with your type of case. It is also important that they have a keen understanding of state law.
Our attorney Tim Ryan has years of experience in negotiating with insurance companies and their lawyers. With a degree in law from Boston College and a rating as one of the 100 best trial lawyers in the nation, Mr. Ryan knows just what arguments to use to get you the compensation you will need to get better.
You have a wonderful life to get back to. Hiring a good lawyer can help to ensure that your motorcycle accident will not be the end of your journey.