Newport Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries, making these types of personal injury cases extremely valuable. To ensure a fair and full settlement is obtained, it is vital to work with an experienced Newport Beach motorcycle accident lawyer.
Otherwise, an insurance company will capitalize on the opportunity to reduce compensation by as much as possible. Here is a look into how the best legal representation will not just help in proving fault, but significantly increase compensation, as well.
How Liability is Proven in a Motorcycle Accident Case
If someone else’s negligence is the root cause of a motorcycle accident, then that individual is legally obligated to compensate the victim for damages. However, it must be demonstrated that the defendant’s actions were, in fact, negligent.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will navigate the claims process, diligently dedicating the time to secure the maximum compensation clients deserve. Here’s a breakdown of the key elements involved in proving negligence per California law:
- Duty of Care: All drivers owe a basic legal obligation to operate their vehicles safely and responsibly. This means following traffic laws and exercising reasonable caution to avoid accidents.
- Breach of Duty: The accident must have been caused by the other driver’s failure to uphold this duty of care. Common examples include speeding, distracted driving (talking on the phone or texting), or disobeying traffic signals.
- Causation: There must be a clear connection between the driver’s negligence and the motorcycle accident. Evidence from the accident scene such as police reports and witness statements support which party caused the crash.
- Damages: The motorcycle accident must have resulted in measurable losses, which can be both financial and non-financial. A motorcycle accident law firm can gather evidence that connects suffered damages to the defendant’s negligence.
Every case is unique, and the specific details of the motorcycle accident will determine the strength of the personal injury claim. Consulting with a Newport Beach motorcycle accident attorney can provide valuable guidance and ensure that all rights and legal options are understood from the start.
What if I Am Also at Fault for the Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle riders partially responsible for causing an accident may still claim compensation from the other party’s insurance company.
California’s comparative negligence laws allow injured riders to pursue compensation even if they are partially at fault for a crash.
However, this system requires a thorough understanding of how fault is determined and assigned to each party. Ultimately, this affects the plaintiff’s final awarded amount.
For example, the initial compensation will be reduced based on the plaintiff’s assigned percentage of fault. Determining fault involves an in-depth investigation and corresponding analysis of how the event unfolded.
While California’s comparative negligence laws allow injured motorcyclists to claim compensation, there are inherent complexities. Legal expertise will be extremely beneficial, as the other party’s insurance company will attempt to place as much blame on the plaintiff as possible.
The Key Areas Newport Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Are Most Valuable
While knowledge and experience are valuable assets, other factors make legal representation a vital necessity following a motorcycle crash. The key benefits include the following:
- Professional expertise: An experienced legal team possesses an in-depth understanding of personal injury law, accident investigation procedures, and insurance claim processes. This prevents missteps or jeopardizing the case.
- Strategic reasoning: Motorcycle accident attorneys are skilled in mindfully constructing cases, gathering substantial evidence, and identifying witnesses to support their claims. They can navigate legal complexities and challenges on each client’s behalf.
- Aggressive negotiation skills: Skilled legal advocates will effectively negotiate with insurance adjusters and opposing parties, aiming to secure a fair settlement for damages.
- Courtroom experience: If necessary, experienced attorneys can file a lawsuit and represent a client in court, ensuring that all measures will be taken to recover maximum compensation.
Consulting with a qualified motorcycle accident attorney can provide valuable insight into the potential complexities of your case and help you make an informed decision based on your unique circumstances.
Important: Biases Against Motorcyclists Can Affect a Case
Motorcycle cases can be complex, not just in proving who is at fault, but in overcoming motorcyclist bias, as well.
Unfortunately, riders often face negative stereotypes of being reckless or thrill seekers. This can ultimately impact the ability to recover compensation, as they may be deemed liable for their injuries instead of the other driver.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney should understand these challenges and be prepared to counter these stereotypes with facts and a strong counterargument by:
- Overcoming bias: Extensive experience advocating for motorcyclists and countering inaccurate portrayals that may unfairly influence a motorcycle accident case
- Navigating complexities: Deep knowledge of personal injury laws and the intricacies involved in the case proceedings
- Strengthening the claim: Meticulously reviewing all available evidence to support why damages are owed
Damages a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Recover
Motorcycle accidents in Newport Beach can lead to severe physical, emotional, and financial burdens for victims.
This is why California laws allow victims to recover compensation for both economic damages (financial losses) and non-economic damages (non-financial losses).
- Medical bills: Past, present, and future medical expenses associated with treatment
- Property damage: Replacement or repairs to the motorcycle or other personal property
- Lost wages: Income lost due to the accident and recovery period, including future earning potential affected by injuries
- Pain and suffering: Physical and emotional turmoil that developed as a result of the motorcycle accident
- Mental anguish: Post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological fears, or other forms of mental distress
- Common injuries: Treatment for any minor injuries or severe injuries that were sustained
- Wrongful death: Fatal motorcycle accident that affects surviving family members
A Newport Beach motorcycle accident lawyer will assist in filing an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance. If the insurance policy does not cover the full extent of damages, an attorney will also assist in filing a lawsuit against the liable party to cover the remaining losses.
The Most Common Causes of Orange County Motorcycle Accidents
Although preventable, motorcycle accidents are at the forefront of concern, as California motorcycle fatalities increased by 3% from 2020 to 2021.
Accidents are preventable, but they still occur on a regular basis, especially in Southern California where riding is most prevalent due to the comfortable year-round weather. The most common causes of these accidents are often associated with driver negligence and can include the following occurrences.
This type of motorcycle accident occurs when the driver of a motor vehicle is making a left-hand turn at an intersection. Due to a lack of visibility or attentiveness, the driver can collide with a neighboring motorcycle rider.
In other instances, the driver does not yield to an oncoming motorcyclist, which can result in a head-on collision.
Unsafe Lane Changes
Similar to left-turn accidents, this type of motorcycle accident can happen when drivers change lanes without looking to check that the lane is clear.
In some cases, a driver may also misjudge the distance between their vehicle and the neighboring motorcycle rider. These accidents can lead to sideswipes or rear-end collisions.
Aggressive Driving and Speeding
A blatant disrespect for others’ safety is a common cause of motorcycle accidents. This includes exceeding the speed limit to catch red lights or recklessly maneuvering past other motor vehicles. Also, speeding reduces reaction time, which consequently increases the severity of the crash.
Other common examples include tailgating, cutting off other vehicles, or not yielding to motorcyclists. Failing to practice patience and take precautionary measures, a negligent driver runs the risk of causing an avoidable motorcycle accident.
Also common amongst bicyclists, car dooring occurs when drivers or their passengers open their vehicle’s door without checking for oncoming traffic.
When drivers or passengers open doors without checking for motorcycles, riders can be struck with the door or thrown from their bikes, often causing serious injuries.
Drinking and Driving
Any form of impaired driving is illegal, regardless if it is alcohol or prescribed medications. Driving while under the influence significantly impairs judgment by slowing down reaction time.
Drinking and driving not only endangers the drunk driver, but it affects other motorists, as well. The act is considered particularly egregious and can result in fines or jail time.
Uneven pavement, potholes, broken traffic signals, and other road defects can interfere with safety and lead to a motorcycle crash.
A personal injury case involving road hazards can fall on the city or government’s responsibility to pay back damages of motorcycle accident claims. However, it should be noted that the statute of limitations for these cases is typically reduced to 6 months, instead of 2 years.
What Are California’s Motorcycle License Laws?
California mandates that all motorcyclists possess a valid motorcycle license.
This can be an M1 license, operating a 2 or 3-wheeled motor vehicle with no pedals, or an M2 license, operating a motorized bicycle, moped, or motorized scooter.
It’s important to note that having an invalid license at the time of an accident does not necessarily prevent a motorcyclist from filing a personal injury claim. However, it’s crucial to understand the potential implications.
Insurance companies may use an invalid license as a factor in negotiations, potentially arguing for reduced compensation. These types of legal complexities require help from qualified motorcycle accident lawyers to ensure fair compensation can still be pursued.
Is Lane Splitting Legal in California?
Lane splitting is the practice of driving a motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane. Although dangerous, it is legal in California, according to California Vehicle Code Section 21658.1.
It’s important for both riders and drivers to exercise extreme caution when sharing the roads. Additionally, car drivers are prohibited from intentionally impeding lane splitting.
What Motorcycle Accident Injuries Qualify for Compensation?
Motorcycle helmets play a crucial role in riders’ safety, but protection capabilities are limited due to the lack of other shielding.
Common injuries motorcycle accident lawyers can get clients compensated for include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), as they are the most potentially life-altering reported in motorcyclist accidents in the US.
Even high-quality helmets can only reduce the severity of the injury, not eliminate the risk entirely. This exemplifies the importance of defensive riding practices and awareness of potential hazards to minimize the risk of accidents and their consequences.
A Newport Beach Motorcycle Accident Law Firm Can Help
The goal of filing a motorcycle accident claim is to recover the compensation that will help riders return to the same physical, mental, and financial state they were in before the accident.
Qualified legal representation from Beach Accident Attorneys can help you prove the other party’s liability, as well as identify all recoverable damages for fair compensation.
From the free consultation to achieving an optimal resolution, our personal injury law firm will handle every aspect of your motorcycle case, allowing you to focus on healing.
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