Motorcycles have been steadily gaining popularity. While some people make riding in Orange County a lifestyle, others just enjoy the multitude of freedoms that are naturally afforded to those who ride a hog. While the gas mileage and pricing are good, they are a dangerous method of transportation. Many drivers do not pay attention to their two-wheeled road companions, and motorcycles offer far less protection when an accident does occur.
Motorcyclists deserve the same rights and freedoms on our roads and highways as anyone else, and, in your time of need, you need an Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer that works for you with experience obtaining compensation for motorcycle accidents and their injuries. When you or your loved one has no choice but to obtain compensation for his or her medical bills after a motorcycle crash, you need the services that Timothy J. Ryan & Associates provides.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Orange County
A number of motorcycle accidents occur because of the negligence or carelessness of other motorists. Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Orange County:
- Distracted drivers: Motorists who are talking on their cell phones, texting while driving or engaging in other activities that cause them to take their hands off the wheel, eyes off the road or attention away from the act of driving, may not see a motorcyclist on the road until it is too late to avoid a collision.
- Impaired drivers: Motorists who operate under the influence of alcohol or drugs pose a significant risk to others on the road including motorcyclists who are more vulnerable.
- Speeding: Motorists who violate the speed limit or drive at unsafe speeds can cause significant injuries to a motorcyclist when they strike them. Speeding also makes it more difficult for drivers to stop when they need to stop.
- Failure to yield: This is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Drivers who make illegal left turns and U-turns often end up causing catastrophic motorcycle accident.
- Running red lights: A motorist who fails to obey a red light of stop sign can end up striking a motorcyclist.
- Following too safely: Drivers who don't leave sufficient distance between their vehicles and the motorcycle in front of them may not have enough time to stop in case of an emergency.
- Roadway hazards: Potholes, puddles, gravely roads, uneven pavement, oil slicks and any debris on the roadway can all present significant hazards to motorcyclists.
- Weather conditions: Poor weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow or fog can inhibit visibility for motorcyclists and make it more difficult for them to maintain control of their vehicle on a slick roadway.
- Faulty motorcycle parts: Defective or recalled auto parts such as a tire, engine or brakes can have serious consequences when the motorcyclist suddenly loses control. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine whether manufacturing defects or design flaws caused your collision.
What to Do After A Collision
There are a number of steps you can take if you've been injured in a motorcycle accident:
Safety: Make sure everyone is at a safe distance from the collision site. First and foremost, make sure everyone involved in the crash is safe. If anyone including you has been injured, call 911, if you are able to do so.
Information from other parties: In a motorcycle accident, at the very least, there is significant damage to the motorcycle if not more serious injuries. Even if you don't feel the symptoms of an injury right away, it is important to get details from other parties involved including insurance, vehicle license plate and contact information.
Preserving evidence: After any accident, it is important to gather and preserve all evidence. This is even more crucial in a motorcycle accident because there is an increased chance of a serious injury. Make sure you don't repair your motorcycle right away because it is one of the most important pieces of evidence in a motorcycle crash. Take photographs and video of the accident. Get contact information for eyewitnesses, which can be extremely valuable. Photograph and document your injuries as well. If you are unable to gather evidence at the scene because of your injuries, ask a family member or friend if they can help you with that.
Medical treatment: It is crucial to get prompt medical treatment and care after a motorcycle accident. Doing so not only puts you on the road to recovery, but also helps document the type of injuries you sustained and the treatment you received for your injuries. It is also important that you follow the doctor's orders in terms of caring for yourself and getting follow-up treatment.
Legal guidance: Getting an experienced and knowledgeable Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer on your side is imperative especially if you have sustained injuries that required medical attention and if you had to take time of work. You need a lawyer who has had a successful track record when it comes to handling motorcycle accidents.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Statute of limitations is essentially the amount of time a personal injury plaintiff has to file a claim for recovery against the defendant. Motorcycle accidents have the potential to cause devastating injuries and even deaths. Victims of motorcycle accidents can seek and receive monetary compensation from all of the at-fault or negligent parties. But, when injured parties fail to file a claim to compensation within the time limits set forth by the law, they may not be able to bring forth a lawsuit at all or claim any compensation.
Here are the statutes of limitations for motorcycle accident lawsuits depending on the different types of defendants in California:
Other motorists: The statute of limitations is two years to file a claim against a private or non-governmental entity.
Motorcycle manufacturers: If you are filing a product liability lawsuit against a motorcycle manufacturer or maker of a defective part, you have two years to file.
Governmental entity: When motorcycle accidents are caused by government employees of when crashes are caused by dangerous or defective roadways, injured victims or their families can file claims against the governmental entity concerned, which becomes the defendant. In such cases, a notice of claim must be filed with the agency within 180 days or six months of the date of injury. Once the agency has rejected the claim, the injured party has two years to file the personal injury lawsuit.
California courts do allow for exceptions to a statute of limitations under certain circumstances. For example, if the victim has suffered physical or mental disabilities after the accident, he or she may have additional time to file. Also, if the victim is a minor, the two-year statute of limitations does not run out until the individual has turned 18.
If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to claim fair and full compensation for your losses. Please do not give away your rights by not filing your case on time. Contact our experienced Orange County motorcycle accident lawyers today to find out how we can help you.
Surprisingly, many of those who are involved in motorcycle accidents are not novice riders. Experienced riders can be caught in an accident simply because another driver did not pay attention to the road. Motorcyclists are at a higher risk of having an accident due to someone else's negligence: texting and driving to driving under the influence, all of which lack of attention can cause catastrophic injury to a rider's body. Sometimes, faulty equipment on your motorcycle or on the other driver's vehicle can lead to serious collisions.
Motorcycle accidents can be horrific for both the bike and the rider. Motorcycles offer limited protection against accidents, and injuries can range from road rash to broken bones and even death.
According to the CDC, a motorcyclist is nine times more likely to be injured in an accident, and 37 times more likely to die, as compared to a passenger in a 4-wheel automobile. These rates are alarming, yet very little has been done to help protect motorcyclists on the roadways. When you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to act fast. While the insurance companies may act like your friends by offering a settlement, the reality is that they are not on your side. Insurance companies offer the smallest amount necessary, thinking that the sum will make you, the victim, go away. You should not be forced into taking a settlement that you do not want, especially when you and your well-being are worth so much more.
How Hiring An Attorney Helps
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from an Orange County motorcycle accident, there are monetary damages, which can be recovered. A monetary recovery depends on the types of injuries that you sustained; for example, someone with severe head trauma may be entitled to more than someone with cuts and scrapes. However, it is possible for someone with less severe physical injuries to gain a large monetary sum. While past medical expenses are often asked for, you can ask for payments for future medical expenses.
This is common with an injury that takes many years to recover from or even psychological therapy. There are many factors that are taken into consideration and not all have to do with your physical injuries. Many times, mental, emotional, and psychological injuries occur after a motorcycle accident. These “unseen” injuries can be part of a lawsuit just as physical injuries may be. You can also seek out a monetary sum for property damage to recover the loss of your motorcycle or other property that was damaged. Another category that you may recover a sum is called, “loss of consortium.”
This type of claim occurs only when a spouse is significantly injured or killed, and the spouse cannot have normal emotional, physical, or sexual relations. If you're looking for steps to take after an accident you can read our motorcycle accident guide for additional help. Regardless of your injuries, it is always best to consult an Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer to find out the best path to follow for your monetary recovery.
Proven Orange County Motorcycle Lawyer Tim Ryan
Attorney Timothy J. Ryan has helped thousands of victims obtain more than $1 billion in compensation. He provides free consultations and a no win, no fee guarantee to all motorcycle accident victims.
Orange County is a beautiful place to live, and our residents take pride in their community. This is one reason why we have been able to have so much success for those we represent. The staff at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates is very active in the community and takes great pride in providing their service. Mr. Ryan believes in giving back to the community. He is not only very active in the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, but he is also presently a chairman on the Board of Trustees at Huntington Beach Hospital, the Board Manager of the Orange County YMCA, the Editor of Forum Magazine (California Trial Lawyers Association), previously served on the Statewide Liaison Panel for the State's Ford/Firestone Litigation, and is a chairman on the Board of Directors for SeaCliff County Club in Huntington Beach, California.
Mr. Ryan is also a former City of Huntington Beach Planning Commissioner. Mr. Ryan and his associates are deeply dedicated to Orange County and Huntington Beach. They know the people and the environment, and this helps make them better attorneys. They will help you get the best compensation possible for your Orange County motorcycle accident injury case.
Call (800) 838-6644 today to obtain a free confidential case evaluation from California motorcycle accident attorney Timothy J. Ryan. We provide our services on a contingency basis; if you don't win your case, you don't pay.