Right now, the national rate for motorcycle deaths from accidents is 28 times higher than car accidents involving other vehicles.
Since 1997, the rate of motorcycles involved in accidents that resulted in fatalities has doubled. Motorcycles on average are only 600 lbs and even the most well-trained driver cannot stand up figuratively against a car made of 4,000 lbs of steel.
It is for this reason that only 20% of car accident involving two or more vehicles results in any type of injury or fatality, but 80% of motorcycle accidents do.
But what do you do if you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in California? What actions should you take in order to get the compensation you deserve?
In this article, you will learn:
Motorcycle accident statistics in California
Common causes of motorcycle accidents
What to do after an accident
Do you have a personal injury claim?
How much compensation are you entitled to?
Why you should work with a motorcycle accident attorney
How to find the Best Personal Injury Attorney in Southern California
Let’s get started.
How Common Are Motorcycle Accidents in Orange County, California?
In California, the rate of motorcycle accidents is highest in July but it can take place all year round.
In 2017, motorcycle deaths in California comprised 15.1% of all motor vehicle accidents and of those, 14,400 injuries were sustained even though motorcycles represent only 3% of the drivers on the roads in Southern California.
California ranks 15th highest for fatalities resulting from motorcycle accidents.
|Motorcycle fatalities took place 5.7%||Motorcycle fatalities took place 14% of the time|
|2,320 people die from motorcycle accident||5,286 people died from motorcycle accidents|
What Are The Causes Of California Motorcycle Accidents?
California has legalized lane-splitting which allows motorcycles to squeeze between cars on the freeway, purportedly for reasons of air pollution control.
However, reckless and negligent vehicles often fail to check for motorcycles capitalizing upon that lane splitting before they merge, especially into the carpool lane. This law has caused a serious uptick in motorcycle accidents throughout Orange County and throughout California.
As larger cars cut into the carpool lane, typically to avoid stop and go traffic on the freeways, they will run motorcycles off the road, running into other cars, or run them against the medians.
Other motorcycle accidents in California are caused by distracted driving.
5 Things You Should Do After A Motorcycle Accident
In order to protect yourself both legally and financially, there are a few steps you should take after a motorcycle crash:
1. Call 911
This should be the first thing you do after any accident. First, you will need police documentation of a car accident.
This is especially true if injuries have been sustained. Information regarding the parties involved, the vehicles, the damage, the type of accident, and the injuries can all be documented on a police statement.
If the case goes to trial down the line the police officers who came to the scene can be subpoenaed and asked to provide witness testimony.
2. Gather Evidence
You will want to gather any necessary information from the other driver(s) involved such as:
Home address or business address
Pictures or videos of the scene including any damages or injuries
Witness statements from people who witnessed the accident
Witness contact information
Collecting this information at the time of the accident will prove incredibly important down the line. It will be much harder for you to go back and collect things like witness statements if you failed to do so at the scene of the crime. It will be easier to prove things like damages if you have pictures on your phone with a time and date stamp at the time of the motorcycle collision.
If you fail to take pictures and gather evidence at the scene of the accident, and provide pictures 1 month down the line, insurance companies could argue that you perhaps caused those damages in the month that you had been driving the vehicle since.
3. Contact Your Insurance Provider
In the event of any accident you need to contact your insurance provider and let them know that you were involved in an accident. They should also receive copies of the police report.
This will help get the process of getting compensation started, and will also help when you speak with an attorney about your personal injuries and property damages from your accident.
4. Seek Medical Attention
You have a responsibility to seek medical attention immediately after an accident involving other vehicles. This can be something as simple as undergoing a checkup with your general practitioner.
Just because you don’t feel symptoms of an injury immediately after a motorcycle accident doesn’t mean they aren’t there. In many cases the adrenaline that kicks in during an accident will mask severe pain for 24 to 48 hours.
It is your job to seek medical attention and follow any medical advice that was prescribed to you in order to treat any symptoms or injuries that you have sustained. If you wait 4 months to seek medical attention for a common motorcycle accident injury like whiplash and now your injuries have compounded, you might not be entitled to compensation.
At no point during your discussions with the police or your insurance company or even other drivers involved should you admit fault.
5. Speak with an Experienced California Motorcycle Accident Attorney
You want to speak to an attorney immediately. The process for gathering information, reviewing the details of the accident, establishing negligence, and gathering evidence to support your claim should be started as soon as possible.
This is because in the State of California, there is a 2 year period in which you can press charges for a motorcycle accident. There are some time frames for gathering certain evidence needed to prove negligence that are as short as 30 days, so getting started immediately is essential to getting the compensation you deserve.
With an attorney, qualified legal experts can make sure nothing gets overlooked. You will be informed of any papers you need to provide or any actions you need to take. There are statutes of limitations and if you fail to submit your claim during that time you won’t be entitled to compensation.
You might encounter problems working with insurance companies who simply don’t want to pay out. And if you have an attorney all of this can be done on your behalf.
Are you entitled to personal injury claims from your motorcycle accident?
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident directly because of negligence on behalf of the other
Early in the case, it might be difficult for you to predict how much money you may lose because of missed work or what the long-term impact of your injury is going to be, or the total cost of your medical care.
Accident victims can receive punitive and compensatory damages. Both have monetary limits.
Compensatory damages are what you receive for financial losses. These include (but are not limited to):
- Current or future loss of wages because of an injury sustained during the accident
- Medical care costs
- Predicted cost for future medical treatment
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Compensation for mental and physical trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
- Future caretaking and medical expenses
The amount of money you are eligible to receive in compensatory damages varies be based on your exact situation. Talking to a motorcycle accident attorney can help you get a more accurate assessment of what compensation you are entitled to.
Negligence is when the other party knowingly broke the law or simply failed to adhere to rules of the road. Punitive damages punish people for failing to follow the rules of the road.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the responsible party. However, if you were partially at fault for the accident or the subsequent injuries the total amount damages you can receive will be reduced. Punitive damages land in your favor if the other party was entirely at fault.
Limits for compensatory and punitive vary from one state to another which is why only a qualified personal injury attorney can help you review the specifics of your case and establish relative fault and comparative negligence.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety and Administration, over 4,000 Motorcycle accident fatalities take place on average each year. 44% of those involved one motorcycle and 56% involve multiple vehicles. Many of these accidents related to drivers who were tired, drunk, or simply negligent.
Why Speaking With A California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Is Important
If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash in California, speaking with a qualified motorcycle attorney is important because they can help you navigate the complex legal environment of dealing with insurance companies, laws, and organizations.
Attorneys also know when certain documents have to be submitted to insurance companies or to the courts in order to process your claim.
They also know what information you have to provide to substantiate your claims for compensation. Having this knowledge ahead of time and an understanding of the law can expedite the process of getting compensation.
There are a few reasons why you should elect to contact a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney:
1. Personal Injury Claims Are Time Sensitive
Using a motorcycle accident injury attorney makes the process of submitting a claim much easier. When you set about to receive compensation, it begins with submitting a demand letter to the insurance companies of those involved in the accident. This states the injuries you have sustained and how much compensation is required to remedy them.
There are many deadlines and rules pertaining to this process and large insurance companies will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying out the money you deserve. When dealing with individuals who do not have legal representation, they often stall and wait out the process until your time is up.
But with an attorney by your side they will have to fight your legal representative and not you.
2. Get the Compensation You Deserve Quickly
An experienced motorcycle personal injury attorney will help you determine if you are entitled to compensation.
When working with an attorney, you don’t have to worry about gathering documentation or evidence for your physical, emotional, and mental damages.
A motorcycle injury lawyer will negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf and can help you file a lawsuit if necessary. This is what happens if a settlement cannot be reached during a claim.
3. Save Time and Hassle
After an accident, you are going to struggle with pain, injuries, damages to your car, medical bills, and more. But you need an attorney to help you take action sooner rather than later. With a qualified motorcycle accident attorney you can:
- Determine how much you are entitled to and get the compensation you deserve
- Let someone else negotiate with large insurance companies on your behalf, someone with experience
- Get answers to any questions you have as they arise
- Enjoy peace of mind during a stressful and overwhelming time
Remember, there is a statute of limitations so the minute the accident happens the clock starts ticking. You need to act quickly and get a qualified California motorcycle accident attorney on your side.
Working with a motorcycle accident attorney will help you to save time in the process, and a majority of the time, can save you the hassle of going to court, by settling out of court. This helps you get compensation for your personal injuries faster and with less inconvenience.
4. Don’t Pay Unless You Win Your Case
One of the best parts about working with a personal injury attorney near you is that you do not have to pay unless you win your case. Accident attorneys will take on your case and only receive part of your settlement as compensation once your case has been won. If you do not win your case, you do not pay.
This pretty much makes working with an attorney a no brainer for most people who have been involved in a motorcycle accident.
5. Free Case Evaluations
Many people are uncertain whether they truly need an attorney, or even if they have a case and it can be very enlightening and informative to speak with an attorney under no obligation and hear all the facts.
Getting a free case evaluation can help you learn:
- Learn more about what compensation you are entitled to
- Figure out what steps to take next
- Connect you with an awesome attorney who is perfect for your case
- Get the compensation you deserve free of charge (until you win)
Finding the Best Personal Injury Attorney for Your Motorcycle Accident in Orange County, California
The Law Offices of Daniel Kim brings years of successful experience fighting for our clients in motorcycle accidents, personal injury claims, car accidents, and many other types of accidents. Our team has the skill and experience to get you the maximum compensation you deserve, and quickly.
Most drivers don’t know what to do after a motorcycle accident. But we do. If you were injured in an accident, contact one of our top rated motorcycle accident attorneys immediately. Our team of motorcycle accident attorneys in Southern California can get your legal proceedings off on the right foot with a free case evaluation.
During this time, we’ll go over the details of your accident with you, determine the viability of your situation and your claim, get you to an appropriate doctor if you haven’t been already, and offer valuable advice with regard to what steps you need to follow immediately. We will take the stress out of your personal injury claim.