Southern California has the perfect weather conditions for year-round motorcycle riding. The sunny weather and lack of rain make riding a motorcycle a fun and easy method of transportation.
But when riders get into a motorcycle crash, they face far more devastating injuries. Motorcycle injuries are usually far more severe than injuries from car accidents because Orange County motorcycle riders lack protection from the protective metal automobile shell and a vehicle's many safety features.
When motorcycle accidents inevitably occur, you may need to retain a motorcycle accident attorney to receive compensation for any severe injuries you suffered in your Orange County motorcycle accident.
You will likely need to retain an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to file, negotiate, and litigate your motorcycle accident claim. After a collision with a motorist, the catastrophic injuries sustained by accident victims can leave them unable to manage the legal process of pursuing personal injury cases.
According to motorcycle accident statistics compiled by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), there was a 9.4% decrease in overall fatalities for motorcycle accident victims from 2018-2019. The number of deaths dropped from 523-474 in that one year.
Deaths of motorcyclists attributed to lack of a helmet also declined that same year. Fatalities related to failure to wear a motorcycle helmet dropped 18%, with 34 occurring in 2018 and just 28 in 2019.
The lack of visibility in most motorcycle accident cases is a top cause of these dangerous collisions. Two-wheeled cycles are much smaller than four-wheeled passenger vehicles, making motorcycles less visible to motorists. Riders can offset this crash factor by wearing brightly colored protective cycling gear and helmets.
Head-on collisions cause over 50% of all motorcycle accidents. When you consider the catastrophic injuries suffered by motorists and passengers in these types of wrecks, it is clear that a head-on accident between a motorcyclist and a driver does not bode well for the rider.
Just as with vehicular accidents, two common causes of motorcycle accidents are driving under the influence and distracted driving, but the design of a motorcycle leaves the rider in a much more vulnerable position than that of motorists and their passengers.
Below are some additional motorcycle accident causes that can inflict serious injuries.
Because motorcyclist lane splitting is legal only in California, many motorists continue to believe it is illegal mistakenly. Moreover, it has never been illegal for motorcyclists to lane split in this state.
In 2018, California Highway Patrol (CHP) issued an official press release detailing safety tips for lane splitting to clarify the issue, including the definition of the term.
Lane splitting is when a motorcycle rider travels between two lanes of slowly moving or stopped traffic. However, as ever, riding on the shoulder of the road or freeway remains illegal.
It is legal to lane split as long as motorcyclists:
Despite these parameters for legal lane splitting, the practice remains a major cause of California motorcycle crashes.
Motorcycle injuries and fatalities frequently occur when drivers change lanes suddenly without first signaling their intentions to other drivers and motorcyclists. If a motorcyclist is fatally injured, the circumstances of the accident could be appropriate for the decedent's survivors to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Many motorcycle accidents occur in Orange County when passenger vehicles attempt to make left turns without first checking to be sure the road is clear. This car accident is prevalent at intersections where drivers can turn left without waiting for an arrow.
In fact, according to the AARP, the most frequent error of motorists in a car crash with a motorcyclist is the driver failing to yield the right-of-way to the biker.
Sometimes, the at-fault driver will also break traffic laws and step on the gas to get through an intersection on a yellow light, putting Orange County motorcycle riders at high risk of suffering a permanent injury or worse.
Bikers are completely exposed to the elements and the environment while they ride. But there are no airbags on motorcycles to protect riders or their passengers from serious internal injuries.
Many factors determine the severity of motorcycle accident injuries. One factor is the speed of the motorist who caused the victim's motorcycle accident injury. Whether or not the rider was wearing proper motorcycling gear and a motorcycle helmet that meets the standards required by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) is another.
Below are some of the serious injuries that can occur during motorcycle accidents.
The Mayo Clinic lists traumatic brain injuries (TBI) as a common result of motorcycle accidents. TBIs require immediate medical attention to avoid severe injuries that may cause permanent brain damage.
Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) note that properly using a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet can lower the fatality rate for motorcyclists from head injuries by almost 40%.
Including a face shield with the helmet can help prevent traumatic brain injury and disfiguring facial injuries during motorcycle accidents.
In a motorcycle accident, after the initial impact, injured victims may be propelled further down the road surface by the momentum generated when the accident occurs. The friction burns to the skin that result from a motorcycle accident are known as "road rash."
Many road rash injuries leave riders with unsightly scarring. Always wearing specially padded motorcycle gear can lower riders' risk of road rash after a collision.
Most motorcycle accidents result in broken bones. The first impact alone can break limbs, the back, or the pelvis. The blunt force trauma of the human body striking the ground can cause further fractures after the initial hit.
Injuring the spinal cord in a motorcycle accident can cause permanent paralysis to all body parts below the level of injury. A person suffering from spinal cord injuries from a motorcycle wreck can have multiple traumas at different levels of their body.
They can lose sensation and function either fully or partially in two limbs (paraplegia) or all four (tetraplegia, formerly quadriplegia). Spinal cord injuries are immediate and, at this time, still irreversible.
Those who suffer serious spinal cord injuries may never again be able to work and earn a living to support their families. In some cases, they may depend on family members and professional caregivers to care for their basic needs and perform their activities of daily life (ADL).
The costs for professional caregiver services and even respite care for families can quickly burn through any savings or retirement accounts the victim or their family may have. What legal recourse do spinal cord injury victims have after a motorcycle crash paralyzes them for the rest of their lives?
You could seek compensation for your injuries by filing a motorcycle accident case if a liable motorist caused the collision. Included below are some things to do after getting into a motorcycle wreck.
After a serious accident, you have the right to pursue motorcycle accident damages. Remember that if it is not specifically included in your motorcycle accident injury claim, the at-fault driver's insurance company will not compensate you for it.
Most motorcycle injuries cause extensive, sometimes permanent, damage. That's why motorcycle accident lawyers include current and future medical expenses as part of the fair compensation they seek for their personal injury clients.
But medical bills are just one component. What about any costs incurred for transportation to and from doctor's appointments and physical and occupational therapy after your Orange County motorcycle accident? Under California law, those can be claimed, too.
An injured Orange County motorcyclist likely has a legitimate claim for property damage, too. The total cost of the destroyed riding gear, jewelry, watches, and smart devices damaged in the car accident may be recovered.
When motorcycle accidents occur, the serious injuries riders suffer usually cause them to miss work. Lost wages and earning opportunities, e.g., for those working in sales, can also be sought in a motorcycle accident case.
Both personal injury and wrongful death claims can include the non-economic damages of pain and suffering as fair compensation for the victims or their survivors after the accident.
Suppose the Orange County motorcycle accident becomes a fatality. In that case, the deceased victim's survivors can seek compensation for the pain and suffering the motorcyclist suffered from the point of impact until their subsequent demise.
After a motorcycle leaves victims with injuries, motorcycle accident attorneys can help them fight for civil justice here in Southern California. While the injured bikers are struggling with their physical injuries from the auto accidents, their personal injury attorneys are hard at work behind the scene.
Your Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer must add the economic and non-economic damages. Once the medical bills and other costs and damages are totaled, the next step begins.
Motorcycle accident lawyers negotiate with the other drivers' insurance provider for the injured motorcyclist while they recuperate. An accident lawyer can settle most cases at this stage of the legal process.
All motorcycle accident attorneys know that insurance companies never extend a fair first offer to settle. They will always offer the lowest possible sum to victims, which is why most injured parties need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney advocating for their best interests against the insurance companies.
Most civil cases settle before the plaintiff(s) and defendant(s) enter a courtroom to litigate the matter before a California judge or jury. A skillful motorcycle accident lawyer must be adept at negotiating and litigating personal injury cases.
After a motorcycle wreck injures a victim, they can get a free initial consultation with their counsel to review their case on its merits and get an honest assessment of its actual value.
If you suffered injuries while riding your motorcycle and getting into a crash with an at-fault driver, you deserve someone willing to fight for your right to fair compensation.
Whether at the settlement table ironing out the details of your proposed compensation or going toe to toe with legal adversaries in the Orange County courtrooms, the dedicated and seasoned personal injury attorneys at Omofoma Law Firm will work hard to get you the most money for your case.
When you don't get paid, neither do we. You won't have to cover a cent of expenses or costs if we fail to deliver a settlement check to you or a winning judgment from the courts.
Are you ready to fight for justice? If so, you can call (213) 474-3583 and schedule a free consultation with our dedicated legal team member. You can also request your free consultation by filling out our convenient online form, and someone will get back to you shortly to set up an appointment to meet with you.
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