Car accidents happen every day all over the United States, and many of them result in serious injuries, but when a motorcycle is involved in a collision with another vehicle, the stakes are considerably higher. According to statistics, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than drivers in passenger cars. And in Orange County, where motorcycle riding is a popular recreational activity and mode of transportation, dozens of motorcyclists are killed every year and hundreds more are injured. If you or a loved one has suffered serious motorcycle accident injuries caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. Contact our Orange County personal injury attorneys at DAG Law Firm today for a free consultation.
Affordable Orange County Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Your top priority in any serious accident should be to protect your rights. As such, there are three things you should do immediately after being injured in a motorcycle accident in Orange County. First, call the police to make sure the accident is properly investigated. Then, seek medical attention to ensure that your injuries are thoroughly documented. Finally, hire an Orange County motorcycle accident attorney to represent your legal rights. Too often, injured victims are taken advantage of by manipulative insurance claims adjusters whose main priority is close the case quickly and for as little money as possible. Our personal injury lawyers at DAG Law Firm know what it takes to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf, and aren’t afraid to go to court if that’s what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve.
Injuries Resulting from an Orange County Motorcycle Accident
Passenger cars and trucks have more weight and bulk than motorcycles do, and because they have four wheels, they are also more stable. So, it’s not surprising that more than 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in injury or death to the motorcyclist. Motorcycle riders are uniquely vulnerable to injury in the event of a wreck, and a collision that perhaps wouldn’t be so serious if it was between two passenger cars becomes far more devastating when a motorcycle is involved, due to the limited protection motorcycles offer their riders. Even motorcyclists who wear a helmet and other protective equipment can suffer debilitating injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle, especially if they are thrown from the bike and impact the pavement or another vehicle. Some common injuries resulting from Orange County motorcycle accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Road rash
- Back injury
- Leg and knee injuries
- Arm and shoulder injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Wrongful death
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Many people believe motorcycles to be inherently dangerous, but it’s often external factors that make motorcycle riding so dangerous, like negligent drivers, defective motorcycle parts and poorly maintained roads. Because of their small profile, motorcycles are much harder to spot on Orange County roadways than other cars and trucks, which is why it’s imperative that drivers exercise due care in operating their vehicle safely, whether they are cruising down a rural road or navigating traffic in the city. Unfortunately, while some Orange County drivers are careful to check for other vehicles when making a turn or changing lanes, many fail to consider the possibility of a motorcycle riding in their blind spot. In fact, one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is an inattentive driver making a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle, a situation that accounts for 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and vehicle. Some other possible causes of motorcycle accidents in Orange County include:
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Drowsy driving
- Unsafe lane changes
- Road rage
- Drivers pulling out in front of a motorcycle
- Drivers following too closely behind a motorcycle
- Wrong-way driving
- Improper turning
- Hazardous road conditions
- Inclement weather
- Vehicle design defects
Determining Liability in Orange County Motorcycle Accidents
A motorcycle accident is a complex event involving many different factors, including operator skill, equipment design and environmental factors, and a deadly motorcycle accident can happen in a split second. The most important issue to consider in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident is who is responsible for the accident. If the carelessness or negligence of another driver caused your motorcycle accident, the driver is liable for any damages you suffer as a result of your injuries. In order to prove negligence in an Orange County motorcycle accident, you must show:
- That the other driver owed you a duty of care;
- That the driver breached this duty by failing to act reasonably;
- That the driver’s actions caused your injuries; and
- That the injuries caused you a recoverable loss.
Motorcyclists can also be liable in collisions with other vehicles, if they are speeding, riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or otherwise being reckless or careless. Even if you were found partially at fault for your motorcycle accident in Orange County, California’s comparative negligence law states that you are still entitled to pursue compensation for damages, though the ultimate award will be reduced by your own percentage of fault.
Seeking Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Because a motorcyclist lacks many of the protections that keep occupants in passenger cars and trucks safe in an accident, motorcyclists often wind up with costly medical bills and other life-altering losses after a wreck. In February 2018, a motorcyclist suffered serious injuries in a head-on collision with a wrong-way driver on the 91 Freeway in Orange County, and in April 2018, a motorcyclist was killed when he collided with a vehicle attempting to make a turn and was thrown from his bike. Victims of motorcycle accidents in Orange County can pursue compensation from the at-fault person or party for damages including medical expenses, hospitalization, rehabilitation, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent disability, emotional distress, and loss of future earning capacity. When an individual suffers fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party, seeking compensation for funeral costs and other related damages.
Free Motorcycle Accident Consultation in Orange County
Riding a motorcycle can be fun, exhilarating and cost-effective, but when other drivers fail to exercise due care behind the wheel, it can also be deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the 3,176 people killed in traffic accidents in California in 2015, 462 were motorcyclists. What’s more, the five counties with the highest number of motorcycle accident fatalities that year were all in Southern California, with Orange County ranked the fifth deadliest county. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Orange County, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal accident, don’t hesitate to protect your legal rights. Contact our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at DAG Law Firm as soon as possible to explore your possible compensation options.