Top Rated Orange County Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Are you a motorcycle owner? If so, it’s important to understand the circumstances that may warrant hiring a motorcycle accident attorney. In some cases, hiring an attorney is necessary because of the complexity of your case or injuries sustained in the crash.
Motorcycle accidents are one of the most dangerous types of crashes on the road because the biker is exposed with very little to protect them. The moment that another driver makes contact with them, chances are the biker will either be thrown from their motorcycle or will make contact with the pavement at a high speed. This is why motorcycle accident injuries are almost always serious.
Making the situation even more dangerous is the fact that bikers are often not on eye level with drivers. Even if they were, motorists often do not take care behind the wheel to safeguard the well-being of other drivers on the road. While the majority of motorcyclists return home safely after an enjoyable ride, they should be prepared for what could happen if another driver makes a mistake that seriously hurts them.
Motorcycle Fatalities and Serious Injuries Are Increasing in Southern California
Statistics show the danger to motorcyclists. Although the number of motorcyclist deaths has recently decreased slightly, the drop followed a two-decade period where fatalities steadily increased each year. The situation is especially dangerous in Southern California. From 1997 to 2018, the number of motorcycle fatalities doubled.
You might not read about these serious accidents in the paper, and if you do, there may be a couple of lines devoted to a serious accident. However, for the family involved, a motorcycle accident will devastate them for years. If their loved one survives the accident, they may be dealing with serious life-altering injuries, and their loved one may never be the same again. If their loved one perishes in the crash, the family will have to contend with the loss of the support that their loved one provides, most physically and financially.
Why There Are More Serious Motorcycle Accidents
California is no different than the rest of the nation when it comes to serious motorcycle accidents. There are several reasons why the number of crashes has increased. Many of them have to do with drivers and the lack of care that they show on the road that puts everyone else at risk. The explanation for the spike in severe injuries include:
- There are more motorcyclists on the road as biking has increased in popularity, and climate change means that there are more warmer days for biking.
- Drivers are using less care behind the wheel in general as more things compete for their attention, including mobile devices and eating while driving.
- Southern California roads are getting far more crowded with cars and trucks, and the condition of the roads is deteriorating.
- Legalized cannabis use has impaired more drivers and dulls their focus on the road.
While bikers have their own obligations to follow the traffic laws and to ride safely, they share the road with drivers whose actions have a critical bearing on their safety.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries Tend to Be More Severe
The obvious reason why motorcycle injuries are worse than those suffered in a car crash is that the biker has nothing to protect them in an accident. In fact, most motorcycle accidents will result in serious injury. It is rare that a biker will simply walk away from a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 80% of motorcyclists are injured in a crash. Here are the possible injuries that motorcyclists may suffer:
- Traumatic brain injuries - Even helmeted riders face a high risk of a TBI in an accident. They may suffer whiplash after the collision, or their heads could hit the pavement in a fall. This type of injury will have a lifelong impact.
- Road rash - This injury is a lot more serious than it sounds. When riders fall to the pavement at a high speed, their limbs could drag across the ground, and the effect could be like a burn.
- Fractures - It goes without saying that a rider could suffer multiple broken bones when they hit the concrete at high speed. This could happen even when they are wearing full safety gear, and it is the most common motorcycle accident injury.
- Spinal Cord Injury - Studies have shown that roughly 10% of bikers suffer spinal cord injuries. Depending on the severity, this could be a permanent injury that may require lifelong care.
As you can see, the severity of these injuries could increase the amount that an injured motorcyclist would receive in a settlement or jury award. It follows that the average motorcycle accident settlement is higher than the average car accident settlement, although each accident stands on its own particular facts.
How to Know if You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
The motorcycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Brent W. Caldwell have been helping motorcycle riders in California for more than a decade now. We’ve seen all manner of motorcycle accidents. In California, there are about 12,000 injury accidents a year involving motorcycles. In some cases, motorcycle accidents are so serious that hiring a motorcycle accident attorney is necessary to help you. It is a complicated process to determine who was at fault, calculate your damages and get fair compensation.
What is the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
The most common type of accident for motorcyclists occurs when they are crossing straight through a road or highway intersection while another vehicle turns left into them. This makes it nearly impossible for the rider to avoid crashing his bike or colliding with the turning car. Such an accident often results in lower leg injuries, spine damage, brain trauma and/or scrapes from hitting asphalt at high speed.
The three most common types of accidents motorcyclists face include:
- being hit by a car while it is making a left turn.
- lane splitting accidents (where a motorcyclist is sharing the lane with a driver); and
- when a driver changes lanes without looking.
What are the Most Common Motorcycle Injuries?
The most common injuries in a motorcycle accident are lower leg, road rash, spinal cord injury and brain damage. These can’t be prevented by wearing helmets, but your risk for death is much smaller when you wear one. Wearing a helmet prevents these from becoming fatal accidents. Thus, it’s important to consider this aspect of the case alongside other damages when negotiating with insurance companies.
According to the CDC the Most Common Motorcycle Injuries Are:
- Lower leg
- Spinal cord
- Road Rash
Is Suing After an Accident Worthwhile?
If we can settle the case without filing a lawsuit, we do that. If the offer isn’t adequate, then we’ll file a suit and go to trial if necessary. A main concern is whether insurance companies are offering enough compensation. If we believe that the case value is more than what they’re offering, then it’s worth filing a lawsuit and going through the litigation process.
You can’t always tell if you need legal representation just by looking at your injuries and damages. It’s best to consult with a lawyer who knows what they’re doing and has experience handling these types of cases. We’ve helped countless motorcyclists get through this difficult time and we’d like to help you too. Call our office now for a free consultation on your motorcycle accident case!
Don’t Settle Your Motorcycle Accident Claim on the Cheap
Nonetheless, when you or a loved one is severely injured, it is crucial not to settle your case for far less than it is worth. This will be your only chance to recover damages, and the seriousness of these injuries means that the effects can last a lifetime. This is why having a lawyer represent you throughout the claims process is a must. The attorney would work to make sure that your right to fair compensation is respected throughout the claims process, and they could take the case to court if you are not receiving a fair settlement offer.
Our lawyers go to bat for you, and we are ready to fight for your financial interests. We could even the playing field between you and the insurance company as we make sure that you are well informed of your legal rights and the value of your case. On the flip side, being without counsel in the days following a motorcycle accident presents a serious risk to your legal rights.
Contact an Orange County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The Orange County personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Brent W. Caldwell are experienced and tough motorcycle accident lawyers who have helped numerous clients fight for the financial compensation that they deserve after someone else’s negligence has caused their motorcycle accident injuries. Contact us online or call us today at (714) 908-9146 to schedule your free initial consultation and get the process started.