Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Santa Ana
Motorcycle accidents and injuries are far too common in California. Drunk driving, failing to see motorcyclists before making a left turn, or even failing to stop at a stoplight can all lead to a severe motorcycle accident. Santa Ana auto accident attorneys can help if you have been hurt in a collision in Orange County.
Riding motorcycles is an enjoyable and popular pastime for many Americans. Nothing beats the freedom of the open road, but being involved in an accident with multiple serious injuries can certainly alter a motorcyclist’s life in many ways in a single moment.
Even with the best protective equipment, such as a helmet, gloves, and boots, motorcycle riders are still extremely vulnerable on the road compared to other vehicles. If an accident occurs, they do not have airbags and other life-saving safety features that those riding in a car have.
Motorcycle accidents can be serious, and so can the injuries they caused. If you were injured in a recent motorcycle accident, an experienced Santa Ana motorcycle accident attorney can evaluate your case.
Nationally, as per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2018, over 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in motor vehicle crashes. Motorcycle accidents claim many lives and cause numerous severe injuries each year in California. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, 488 people lost their lives to motorcycle accidents, and 15,527 were injured in 2018. Of those, 30 were attributed to not wearing helmets. If you or someone you love was killed or injured in a recent motorcycle accident, Santa Ana motorcycle accident lawyers are ready to help you pursue justice.
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 857,677 motorcycles registered throughout the state at the end of 2018. This is 300,000 more than the next closest state’s motorcycle registrations. It’s no wonder that motorcycles are not only a popular mode of transportation but also a popular pass time. Many Californians enjoy the freedom of the open road, the ability to motorcycle year-round with sunny skies, and the beautiful scenery.
Since a motorcycle rider is much more exposed than vehicle drivers and passengers, it is only natural that their injuries could be worse. Some motorcycle injuries will take months, if not years, to heal from and will cost tens of thousands of dollars or more. Common injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal injuries
- Brain injury
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Road rash
- Organ damage
- Severe bleeding
When the accident happened due to the poor choices of other drivers, a motorcycle accident lawyer in Santa Ana, California should be involved. By hiring your own attorney, you could ensure that you have an advocate who will provide representation to get you the compensation you need to go on with your life.
Motorcycle accidents usually involve one or more of the following causes in California:
Frequently occur at intersections when the driver of another vehicle runs a red light or stop sign or rushes to beat the light. Many of these motorcycle accidents are fatal. When this is the reason for the accident, experienced Santa Ana motorcycle accident lawyers can help hold the liable party accountable.
Cars making left turns
Motorcycles are smaller and, therefore, not as noticeable to oncoming drivers as larger vehicles. Drivers making left turns fail to notice and yield to them.
Driving while under the influence causes drivers to have slower reaction times and altered perception, increasing the risks to motorcyclists.
Lane splitting is legal in the state of California. Motorcyclists can move more rapidly in slow-moving traffic by traveling between vehicles. Under the California Vehicle Code 21658.1, lane splitting is defined as:
“Driving a motorcycle, as defined in Section 400, that has two wheels in contact with the ground, between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including on both divided and undivided streets, roads, or highways.”
While legal in the state, vehicle drivers must be alert to motorcyclists who are legally driving between lanes of traffic. California is the only state where this practice is explicitly allowed by law, which is not allowed under law in other states. Drivers in California are often familiar with seeing riders taking advantage of this law, but accidents do happen. A motorcycle rider can sustain serious or fatal injuries when a vehicle driver suddenly changes lanes, knocking the rider off the bike and onto the roadway.
Drivers on California roadways, whether streets, roads, or highways, have legal duty to drive in a manner that does not endanger others, including motorcycle riders. A vehicle operator who moves into another lane without ensuring no rider is moving between vehicles could be held accountable in a case of serious injuries or death. All vehicle operators must be aware that lane sharing is legal, and that blocking, impeding, or other actions that could impede the practice is not legal. If a driver operates a vehicle in a reckless manner by rapidly changing lanes without ensuring no motorcyclist is sharing the lane, it will likely be considered negligent driving behavior.
Lane splitting can be dangerous in some scenarios. Generally, riders must avoid lane splitting when:
- Moving through smaller areas between vehicles.
- At toll booths.
- In traffic conditions that are unpredictable, with vehicles speeding and slowing.
- Vision is blocked by a large vehicle.
- Between trucks, buses, and other large vehicles.
- On curved sections of road.
To be as safe as possible when sharing lanes, riders should travel no more than 10 mph faster than the vehicle traffic. Do not lane split when the traffic is moving over 30 mph. The far left lanes (faster moving lanes) are safer for lane splitting, as fewer vehicles are merging and shifting to adjoining lanes.
If you sustained injuries or even lost a loved one due to a motorcycle accident in California, do not delay in reaching out to our seasoned Santa Ana motorcycle accident attorneys. In general, accident victims only have two years from the date of their injury to file a legal claim. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations, and if accident victims or their families do not adhere to it, they could lose their legal right to seek compensation. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner they can go to work, preserving evidence, and preparing your case.
The majority of motorcycle accident cases will settle before going to trial. Instead of going before a judge or a jury, your motorcycle accident attorney in Orange County and the attorney for the defense can negotiate a settlement. Settlements take into account all of the plaintiff’s damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, the need for future medical care, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. These negotiations also consider the potential liability of the plaintiff and the amount of auto insurance available.
A settlement is often preferable to a trial as it usually ends the case quicker and is not as risky for both the plaintiff and the defendant. If you agree to a settlement, you will receive the agreed-upon amount and be required to sign a document stating that you will not be able to sue for the same accident in the future. If the defendant refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement, we can represent your rights in court.
Sadly, motorcycle accident victims cannot and should not rely on the other driver’s insurance company to provide them with fair compensation. These companies usually only care about how much money they can keep in their pockets instead of doing the right thing. Motorcycle accident victims and their families should hire their own attorney who will passionately advocate for their interests and rights.
Are you ready to seek justice for your injuries? Look no further than the legal professionals at HN Injury Lawyers. Schedule your legal consultation today with our well-versed Santa Ana motorcycle accident lawyers. Call (657) 333-5726 or connect with us online today.
- When Lane-Splitting Contributes to your Motorcycle Accident
- Spotting an Internal Injury After a Motorcycle Accident
- Why Motorcycle Riders Should Watch Out For Brain Damage
- Road Hazards Can Cause Motorcyclists to Crash
- Does Not Wearing A Helmet Affect A Motorcycle Accident Claim?
- Motorcycle Safety - NHTSA