Riding a motorcycle can be invigorating and easy on the wallet. Motorcycles provide daily commuters with a more efficient way to make their way through Orange County’s overcrowded highways.
However, it’s important to remember that riding a motorcycle comes with serious risks. Motorcycles are smaller vehicles than cars, trucks, or SUVs and can be easily overlooked. Motorcycles provide limited protection in the event of a crash and even the most experienced riders in Santa Ana could get seriously injured when negligence is involved.
After a motorcycle collision, you need an experienced Orange County motorcycle accident attorney to ensure you acquire the compensation needed to recover from your crash. The injured victims of a motorcycle accident could seek compensation from the negligent parties for their medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, permanent injury, and emotional distress.
Orange County Motorcycle Safety
Motorcycles have the potential to be extremely dangerous due to their lack of protection and capacity for high speeds. Motorcycles aren’t any more inherently dangerous than other vehicles but the factors surrounding them are.
Public campaigns encourage motorcycle safety and awareness by wearing the proper safety equipment. Motorcycle travelers are encouraged to wear approved helmets, protective clothes and padding, gloves, boots, and eye protection.
Motorcycle safety campaigns also encourage continuous monitoring of the condition of the bike. Cyclists can do this by making sure all the bike’s parts are fully functional, lubricated, and aren’t in danger of potentially hazardous situations.
Lastly, motorcycle riders are always encouraged to check the road readiness of their bike before each ride. Riders can do this by always checking their turn signals, headlights, brake lights, and license plates before hitting the road.
Being an expert motorcyclist, though encouraged, may not keep you safe on the road. The majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by circumstances outside of the motorcycle rider’s control. This is the inherent risk of operating a motorcycle.
Motorcycle Accident Causes
Motorcycle collisions can lead to severe physical and property damage. Many motorcycle-car accidents are the result of other drivers and there is dangerous a presumption that vehicle drivers always have the “right-of-way.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), among the fatalities in two-vehicle crashes involving motorcycles and passenger vehicles, 90% were operators of motorcycles, 8% were motorcycle passengers, and the remaining 2% were occupants of passenger vehicles.
Common collisions involving others include:
- Accidents caused by defective motorcycle parts
- Blindspot accidents caused by not seeing the motorcycle
- Driver’s use of drugs and alcohol while behind the wheel
- Hazardous materials on the road including debris and other obstructions
- Left-turn collisions occurring when vehicles turn without spotting oncoming motorcycles
- Rear-end collisions caused by vehicles colliding into the rear of a motorcycle
- U-turn accidents that occur when cars u-turn into motorcycles
Motorcyclists are more likely than passenger car occupants to die or become injured in a crash. However, all motorcycle accidents aren’t caused by other drivers. Common collisions caused by motorcyclists include:
- Distracted driving leading to collisions between motorcycles and fixed objects
- Lane splitting crashes caused when motorcycle drivers split traffic
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Using drugs or alcohol before operating a motorcycle
Supersport motorcycles have the highest relative overall collision losses in comparison to the nine other motorcycle classes. In 2018, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to die in a crash per vehicle miles traveled than passenger vehicle occupants.
Common Motorcycle Injuries
The most fatal motorcycle accident injuries, according to the NHTSA, happen when the point of impact is head-on with the motorcycle. The following are some of the more common injuries suffered by motorcycle riders in Orange County and elsewhere:
NHTSA studies found that 15% of helmeted and 21% of unhelmeted riders injured in a motorcycle accident suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Traumatic brain injuries account for 54% of motorcycle fatalities.
Broken Bones and Fractures
Motorcycles have to be stabilized and that’s why they usually fall over. Crashes happen rather quickly and the rider’s extremities could be folded under the bike if it falls. Wrists, legs, and arms are vulnerable to fractures when bracing for a fall. Leg injuries are the most common injury to the lower extremities, and bone fractures are more common than soft-tissue injuries.
The fast speeds and impact of a motorcycle accident could cause damage to internal organs and internal bleeding. Blunt-force trauma, a crushing blow dealt by something hard that does not break the skin, and penetration trauma, something sharp that penetrates the skin, can cause internal damages in a motorcycle accident.
If a rider makes contact with the road surface during a collision, then skin grafts or abrasions may occur. The severity of your road rash could be mild or may require immediate medical attention. Road rash friction burns are susceptible to infections and could leave permanent scars, especially if not addressed properly.
Spine and Back Injuries
An Orange County motorcycle accident can have a horrendous effect on the spinal cord resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia, and other types of paralysis. Spinal injuries may be temporary or cause permanent disability for the victim.
When your motorcycle accident and injuries are caused by another party’s negligence, then a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer could help you pursue the maximum compensation for your medical bills, brain injury, and for surviving loved ones in the event of wrongful death.
Motorcycle Accidents and Personal Injury Lawsuits
Personal injury attorneys understand the importance of protecting your claim when you’re involved in a motorcycle accident. Motorcyclists put themselves at the risk of wrongful death or brain injury and it’s not easy to avoid the many causes of motorcycle accidents.
Asking the right questions can help you to find the right motorcycle accident attorney. Before you find the right Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer for you, you may want to ask the following questions:
- How long have you, and this firm, been practicing law?
- What are your fees and how much will this claim cost me?
- How much experience do you have with motorcycle accident cases similar to mine?
- What percentage of your firm’s clients are motorcycle claims?
- What percentage of your motorcycle accident cases have resulted in a settlement? Can you give me an example of a past case similar to mine?
- Will you be handling my case or will another motorcycle accident attorney be the one handling the case?
Free consultations offered by your potential Orange County attorney are excellent opportunities to ask about their firm’s practices. It’s crucial to gather information regarding their contingency fees and discuss how they could apply to your case if obtain their services.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers and Fees
Protecting your rights is the ultimate goal of your team of motorcycle accident lawyers but, they are running a business, therefore they charge fees. Most motorcycle accident claims get paid when your claim ends with a settlement verdict because they work on a contingency basis.
California contingency agreement must be in writing and contain the terms of the fee, arrangements between the attorney and the client, the percentage charged, and what responsibilities the client has for other costs and expenses.
Costs and expenses have included expert witness fees, court costs, and other legal expenses. If you win your case, the costs will be deducted from your settlement or verdict, but if you lose, you may be responsible for repaying the attorney out of your pocket.
FAQ About Orange County Motorcycle Accidents
What kinds of damages do Orange County motorcycle accident victims get?
Economic damages in a motorcycle accident typically include home and property damages, medical bills, and lost wages or earning potential. Non-economic damages typically include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.
What is the statute of limitations on Orange County motorcycle collisions?
According to California laws, all personal injury claims, including a motorcycle rider claim, should be filed within two years to the date of your injury. If you were unaware that you sustained injuries for a time, then you must file within a year of the date when you became aware of your injuries.
Do Orange County motorcyclists need a lawyer?
If you’re in a motorcycle accident but only suffered minor injuries, that don’t have any major financial or health implications, then you may not need the services of an attorney. However, if you’ve suffered any injuries and have incurred any hospital bills, then you could benefit from a free consultation.
Legal consultations are often free and if you find an attorney that will work your case on a contingency basis, then you may not be responsible for paying anything until your case is settled or has a verdict.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Santa Ana
Santa Ana personal injury lawyer Timothy J. Ryan has helped injury victims recover more than $1 Billion in damages. Call (714) 898-4444 or fill out our contact form to obtain a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact us today and take advantage of our no-win, no fee promise.