Irvine Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable
California has the most registered motorcycles of any state in the United States. Riders love to take advantage of the state’s beautiful highways and great weather. Unfortunately, a pleasant day of riding can quickly turn into a nightmare if a fellow motorist acts negligently and causes a crash. Motorcyclists are highly susceptible to severe injuries and are almost 30 times more likely to die from an accident than vehicle occupants. It can be a long road to recovery for survivors, and treatment costs can be high. Having a skilled motorcycle accident attorney on your side who will ensure that you are treated fairly by the insurance company is crucial. Set up a free consultation today to see how Hejazi Law Group can assist you in your recovery: (949) 749-7402.
What Steps Should You Take After a Motorcycle Accident?
After you’ve experienced a motorcycle crash, it can be difficult to think clearly, and you may wonder what to do next. While you hope never to need this information, familiarizing yourself with the steps you should take before an accident occurs can help you in the unfortunate event of a crash.
Your first action should always be to remove yourself from traffic, if possible, to reduce the risk of suffering more impacts. If you or any other accident victims are injured, call 911 to get immediate medical help. If you are physically able to take the following steps without placing yourself in danger, they may help bolster your motorcycle accident claim:
- Contact the police: If the local police have not yet responded, call them to the scene. They will investigate the crash and create an accident report. Be certain to ask how to get a copy of this important document because it provides a crucial third-party opinion on the crash and who may be at fault.
- Get the information of the other drivers involved: Record their full name, address, and phone number. Also, ask for their insurance information.
- Speak to witnesses: Encourage witnesses to give a statement to the police about what they saw. Ask for their contact information, so your lawyer can speak to them later.
- Take pictures: Most people now have phones capable of taking photos, and these images can be invaluable when determining what occurred. Take many pictures from different angles to fully record the scene. However, do not impede traffic flow or put yourself in a dangerous situation to get the images.
- Write down your memory of the event: Even if you cannot gather any evidence of the accident due to your injuries, it can be helpful to write down or make a voice recording of what you remember of the accident as soon as possible. Include as many details as you can about when, where, and how the motorcycle crash happened.
- Be mindful of what you say: Do not apologize, admit fault, or say that you feel okay after the accident. While these statements seem harmless, your words can be used out of context to cast doubt on your version of events.
- Contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer: A knowledgeable lawyer can advise you on further actions you need to take for your personal injury claim.
What Are Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
While new cars continue to showcase advances in safety features that can protect occupants in the event of auto accidents, motorcycle design has remained relatively unchanged regarding rider protection. Due to the open nature of motorcycles, riders are exposed to the elements while on the road. They are also vulnerable to serious injuries when crashes occur. Durable protective clothing, such as a leather jacket and chaps, can help shield a motorcycle accident victim from some consequences of an accident, such as road rash. However, little often comes between a rider and the hard metal of a vehicle or the unforgiving pavement when a motorcycle accident happens. This can lead to potentially life-threatening injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Damage to internal organs
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Amputated or crushed limbs
- Road rash (lacerations to extremities caused by sliding across the pavement at speed)
- Face and eye injuries
- Spinal injuries, possibly causing complete or partial paralysis
Does California Have a Mandatory Helmet Law?
Under California law, all motorcycle riders and their passengers must wear a DOT-certified helmet while riding. These helmets are made to help protect motorcycle accident victims during a crash. According to the California DMV, riders wearing a proper DOT-certified helmet are three times more likely to survive a head injury.
Riders who wear novelty helmets or forego a helmet altogether are not only riding in violation of the law. They are risking significant head and brain injuries in an accident. Depending on the severity, these injuries can cause a lifetime of aftereffects, including mood and personality changes, seizures, memory issues, vision problems, hearing loss, speech difficulties, depression, and more. Sadly, even the best helmets cannot remove all chance of suffering life-altering head trauma in a crash. If a negligent motorist causes a motorcycle accident, our attorneys will be there to help you recover the compensation you deserve for your serious injuries.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Motorcycle Accident Claims in California?
To ensure that you retain your right to seek compensation for your losses from your motorcycle accident, you must file your claim within the statute of limitations specified by state law. In California, the statute of limitations for motorcycle accident cases is typically two years from the date of the accident. However, it is recommended that you consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident because some circumstances can shorten the statute of limitations. For example, if the defendant is a government entity, you may only have a few months to file your claim, and there may be other specific filing requirements. Enlisting the services of a motorcycle accident lawyer shortly after your crash gives them plenty of time to investigate and build the most robust possible case while the evidence is still fresh.
What Damages Can Be Recovered After a Motorcycle Accident?
After a crash, you may find yourself facing a difficult and painful recovery from your motorcycle accident injuries. You shouldn’t have the added stress of worrying about how you are going to pay your medical bills or support your family after missing work due to your injuries. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will fight to hold those responsible for the accident accountable. Your attorney will help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve so you can get back to your life. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you could receive one or more of these types of compensation:
- Medical expenses: Costs for surgeries, hospital, and ER stays, durable medical supplies, rehabilitation, and other medical care related to your motorcycle accident injuries should be reimbursed. Future medical expenses could also be factored in if you require ongoing care.
- Property damage: The cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle and personal belongings damaged or destroyed in the accident can be part of your settlement.
- Lost wages: If the motorcycle accident caused you to be unable to work for a time or altered your ability to work in the future, you could be compensated for your lost income. If you have become permanently disabled, you may receive compensation for the loss of your earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering: Accidents cause more than financial losses. You may be awarded damages for the distress and discomfort you have endured.
- Punitive damages: If the other party is found to have acted in a willfully negligent manner, the court may assess punitive damages. These damages both punish the offender for their actions and hopefully provide a deterrent against other drivers acting in the same way.
- Wrongful death: If your loved one was killed in the accident, you could seek compensation for the loss of their support and companionship.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help You?
The thought of taking on an insurance company and its well-financed legal teams while healing from your injuries can seem daunting. When you are facing bills, accepting the insurance company’s initial settlement offer can be tempting, even if you know it is far too low. Hejazi Law Group believes you deserve fair compensation, and we will fight to get you justice. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to secure a settlement that covers all your losses and will take the case to trial when necessary to get you the compensation you need. Contact Hejazi Law Group today at (949) 749-7402 for a free consultation with a skilled motorcycle accident attorney.