A motorcycle accident can change the course of your life forever. Victims of motorcycle accidents may sustain catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. These accidents may even lead to death.
Catastrophic motorcycle accidents may require thousands of dollars to settle medical expenses and vehicle repairs. You may also be unable to return to work after an accident. So what should you do if you are involved in a motorcycle accident?
If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a motorcycle accident, you should contact an Irvine motorcycle accident lawyer immediately. At Crockett Law Group, we take every accident seriously. We have been helping motorcycle accident victims get the compensation and justice they deserve for years.
Our legal team understands how California’s motorcycle laws work. We are well-versed in the state’s personal injury laws. We are ready to help you navigate the claims process as you focus on your recovery. Contact us today to find out if you have a case. Our personal injury lawyers can help you secure a fair settlement for your damages.
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How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
Claim adjusters from insurance companies don’t care about your wellbeing. They aren’t your friends. They are only concerned about how much they’ll save from your Irvine motorcycle accident claim. Insurance adjusters will try everything in their power to blame you for the accident. This ensures the insurance company pays less compensation or no compensation at all for your damages.
By hiring an experienced Irvine motorcycle accident lawyer, you are guaranteed competent legal advice throughout your case. Crockett Law Group can help you with your motorcycle accident claim in Irvine, California, by:
- Conducting investigations to determine fault
- Informing you if you have a case as well as your legal options
- Going through relevant pieces of evidence such as police reports, medical reports, and dashcam footage
- Speaking to experts, including doctors, the police, and accident reconstructionist experts about your accident
- Filing a motorcycle accident claim before it’s too late
- Handling negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf
- Taking your claim to court if out of court negotiations aren’t feasible
Motorcycle riders in Irvine, California, have the same rights as other road users. Unfortunately, other drivers often disregard motorcyclists while on Irvine roads. If you have been injured due to another party’s recklessness, our seasoned motorcycle accident attorneys in Irvine can help you get the justice you deserve.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Most motorcycle accidents in California can be avoided or prevented if road users obey traffic rules. Drivers should always exercise caution while on the road. Many different factors lead to motorcycle accidents in California. They include:
Today, drivers do lots of things while on the road. They may be on the phone, eating, changing the playlist, or looking at a billboard. This is a serious problem for motorcyclists since distracted drivers are more likely to spot huge vehicles such as 18 wheelers when distracted. It’s much harder for a driver to spot a motorcycle when they are texting and driving.
Failure to Pay Attention to Motorcycles
Drivers on Irvine roads may fail to pay attention to motorcycles. The small nature of bikes makes some motorists ignore them. This poses a huge risk for motorcyclists, especially when riders are overtaking or when they are at intersections.
Drunk Driving or Drugged Driving
Driving under the influence puts all road users in jeopardy. It affects one’s ability to operate a vehicle. Drunk driving a motorbike is even harder since one has to balance on two wheels. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 29 % of fatally injured motorcyclists had blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels above 0.08 % in 2019.
Faulty Mirrors, Brakes, or Lighting
Defective motorcycle parts endanger the lives of all road users. Other drivers may not know whether you’ve signaled to turn or applied brakes if your motorcycle parts aren’t working.
Unexpected Pedestrians in the Road
Every driver should always be prepared for road hazards. School children, drunk pedestrians, or pets may cause drivers to lose control.
Other causes of motorcycle accidents in Irvine include unsafe lane changes, speeding, lane splitting, sudden stopping, dangerous road conditions, and inexperience. At Crockett Law Group, our Irvine motorcycle accident attorneys are prepared to conduct in-depth investigations to determine what led to your crash and prove the other party’s fault.
What Are Some California Motorcycle Accident Statistics?
5,014 motorcyclists died in 2019 as a result of motorcycle accidents. This is according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In the state of California, 437 helmeted motorcyclist fatalities were reported in 2019. Still, 451 motorcyclists who passed on in 2019 had a BAC of above 0.01.
There were 523 and 474 motorcycle fatalities in 2018 and 2019 respectively in California. During both years, motorcyclists aged between 20-29 years accounted for most fatalities. According to the NHTSA, there were 29 and 33 motorcyclist fatalities in Orange County in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
What Are the Motorcycle-Specific Laws in California?
Motorcyclists in California must follow all traffic rules. Still, there are specific laws that apply only to motorcyclists in the state of California. They are intended to protect riders on California roads as well as other road users. These laws include:
Lane splitting is legal in California. However, motorcyclists should do this in a safe and prudent manner. It’s an offense for a driver to open their door and block a rider when they are lane splitting.
Requirements for Licensing
Motorcyclists in California must have a learner’s permit before they can apply for a license. Motorcyclists who are 21 years or older must complete a DL 44 form and have a California driver’s license. They should also pass a written and vision test.
All motorcyclists in California are required to wear helmets. This also applies to passengers. Helmets must be in line with the Department of Transportation’s standards. All motorcycles must have both left and right mirrors.
Motorcyclists in California must carry liability insurance. The minimum coverage for motorcycles is similar to those of vehicles in California — 15/30/5. Motorcyclists are required to have:
- $ 15,000 for an individual’s bodily injury
- $ 30,000 for victims’ bodily injuries
- $ 5,000 for property damage
If you don’t have this minimum coverage in California, you may face a one-year suspension of your license.
There is no law placing a restriction on the age of passengers in California. However, the law states that motorcycles should have footrests and seats that are securely fastened. Passengers must place their feet on the footrests while motorcycles are on the move.
What Are the Most Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents?
The attorneys at Crockett Law Group have seen it all when it comes to motorcycle accidents in California. We are always prepared to use all our resources to help you get justice after an accident. Here are some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries:
Motorcycle riders are usually exposed. During collisions, they can suffer fractures to body parts like ankles, wrists, and ribs. In extreme cases, these injuries may permanently impact one’s mobility.
You may sustain burn injuries when you come into contact with asphalt or gravel after falling off your bike. Friction with the road surface may tear your skin and lead to scarring.
Head and Brain Injuries
These types of injuries can have life-threatening consequences. They may lead to memory loss, headaches, loss of vision, and insomnia. In severe cases, these injuries may lead to paralysis.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Many riders suffer spinal cord injuries after being ejected from their motorbikes. If you end up hitting an object like a wall, a tree, or a car, these injuries may become more severe. You may require extended physical therapy after suffering a spinal cord injury.
How is Fault Determined in an Irvine Motorcycle Accident?
California is a pure comparative fault jurisdiction. In California courts, both the plaintiff and defendant can share blame for an accident. You may still recover damages in California even though your liability for a personal injury case is 99%.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for My Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in Irvine, CA, you may be entitled to compensation. There are three types of damages that you can receive in an Irvine motorcycle accident case. They include:
These damages are easily computable since there is a paper trail of receipts and bills attached to them. One can assign a dollar value to these damages. They include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Motor vehicle repair bills
- Lost earning capacity
These damages are typically not associated with out-of-pocket expenses. Also known as general damages, they include:
- Emotional distress
- Unjust hardship
- Loss of reputation
- Pain and suffering
Punitive damages are awarded to punish wrongdoers for their reckless actions. They are awarded in cases of extreme recklessness or if the defendant wanted to cause intentional harm. There is no cap on these damages in California.
At Crockett Law Group, our legal team is ready to help you secure the best settlement for your Irvine personal injury claim. Our Irvine motorcycle accident lawyer will gather evidence, determine the value of your case, and handle settlement negotiations to ensure you secure fair compensation.
Why Was My Motorcycle Accident Claim Denied In California?
Not everyone who files a motorcycle accident claim in Irvine receives compensation. There are many times when insurance companies deny claims. Remember, insurance providers have to limit or deny payouts for them to be profitable. They’ll conduct extensive investigations to find reasons that warrant them denying personal injury claims.
Here are some of the reasons why your motorcycle claim may have been denied in Irvine, California:
The Policy Was Canceled or Lapsed
Many motorcyclists often forget about their insurance policies after they finalize payments. You may have forgotten the renewal date of your policy. If you are involved in an accident, the insurance company will deny your claim if your policy has expired.
The Driver Was Not Insured
You have to have the right policy to secure compensation for your personal injury claim. This ensures your insurance carrier doesn’t throw your claim out since it wasn’t covered. Insurance adjusters may also argue that your policy is insufficient for full compensation.
They Believe the Accident Was Your Fault
The insurance carrier may deny your claim if your negligence led to the accident. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer near Irvine can use evidence such as an accident reconstruction expert report, dashcam footage, and eyewitness statements to prove you aren’t to blame for your crash.
They Don’t Believe You Were Really Hurt
An insurance company may also deny your claim if they believe you weren’t hurt or if your motorcycle doesn’t require any repairs.
They Don’t Think the Accident is What Caused Your Injuries
If you have a pre-existing injury, an insurance provider may argue that there is no direct relation between the accident and your injuries.
Are There Time Limits for Filing a Claim in California?
Every state in the US has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in Irvine, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. This time limit also applies from when you discover your injury. Do not wait more than two years to file a claim. California courts will bar you from receiving any compensation.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Reliable Irvine Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Sound Legal Assistance
Accidents happen every day on our roads. They can result in severe injuries, extensive property damage, or even death. Regrettably, many motorcycle accidents in California are caused by the reckless or negligent actions of other drivers.
If you or your loved one has been hurt in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. By hiring a reputable personal injury law firm near Irvine, you can rest assured that experienced attorneys will handle your claim.
At Crockett Law Group, our legal team is ready to negotiate and litigate on your behalf. Contact us now to schedule your free case review. Do not delay. This may severely hurt your case. Get started now by calling (800) 900-9393.