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Motorcycle Accidents – Personal Injury Lawyer
Let Chudleigh Law help you if you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle wreck. Dan Chudleigh, founder of Chudleigh Law P.C., is a top rated Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer and is ready to answer any questions you may have.
All riders know the exhilaration of riding two wheels on an open road. The acceleration, the cornering, and the freedom of being on bike, make each ride an unforgettable experience. Unfortunately, riders also know that there are inherent risks with riding motorcycles on open roads. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) found that motorcyclists are 16 times more likely to get injured, and 35 more times likely to suffer a fatal accident than those traveling in a passenger car. These risks do not necessarily come from a rider’s error, but often times come from inattentive drivers. Even at low speeds, a motorcycle accident can lead to serious bodily injuries.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you know your legal rights. Dan Chudleigh is an experienced Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer and offers riders a free, no obligation, legal consultation.
Injured riders often have to deal with time off work, medical bills, motorcycle repairs, and many times a painful recovery from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash. The most common injuries from motorcycle accidents are to extremities such as arms or legs which often result in broken bones. Whiplash, and head and neck injuries are also very common. It can be very expensive to repair or replace your motorcycle, and pay for medical expenses related to a motorcycle crash. You should not have to pay for these expenses if you were not at fault for the motorcycle wreck. Insurance companies will often try to settle your case with you before you have fully recovered, or even know the extent of your injuries. It is important that you talk to a California motorcycle lawyer before making any statements to an insurance company. Insurance companies may try to get you to admit partial fault to reduce any potential settlement, and they can use any information you give them against you if your case goes to trial. Don’t let an insurance adjuster take advantage of you by twisting your words and getting you to admit partial responsibility for an accident if you were not at fault. Let an experienced Orange County personal Injury Attorney deal with the insurance company so you don’t have to. We fight for you, so you can focus on fully recovering from your injuries, and getting your life back to normal.
COMMON CAUSES OF MOTORCYCYCLE ACCIDENTS IN ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Even when a rider takes all the necessary safety precautions, there are still many factors that can lead to a motorcycle accident.
One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Orange County, California are distracted drivers. Unfortunately, mobile phones and texting has resulted in an increase in car accidents involving motorcycles. When a driver takes their eyes off the road, even for a short amount of time, they may not see a motorcyclist turning in front of them, or slowing for traffic. Every year in California thousands of motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers making a turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle that they didn’t see. However, in 2015, there was only 1.01 death per 100 million miles traveled in California.
The California Office of Traffic Safety, or OTS lists Alcohol-Impaired Driving, Drug-Impaired Driving as common causes of accidents. It is important for all motorists to be aware of a driver that is driving erratically. If you believe you see an impaired driver, call 911 to report it.
A driver risks injuring a motorcyclist when they open their door quickly in front of an oncoming rider.
Although lane splitting is legal in perfectly legal in California, it can catch startle unexpecting drivers, resulting in an accident. It also poses a threat to riders that are lane splitting between slow moving cars that are stuck in traffic, because an impatient driver can make a sudden lane change to get into a faster moving lane of traffic and cut off a fast moving motorcyclist, causing a wreck.
Left Turn Accidents and Failure to Yield.
Drivers failing to yield to an oncoming motorcyclist by making a sudden left turn in front of them.
Speeding is a leading cause of all types of motor vehicle accidents. Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to see and react to changing conditions on the road, and increases the time and distance required to stop. Higher rates of speed lead to greater impact and more severe injuries in the event of a collision.
Improper Lane Change.
A driver increases their chances of hitting a motorcyclist if they make a sudden lane change without checking their “blind spot”. Motorcycles are smaller, and lower to the ground than most cars, making it more difficult for drivers to see riders in their blind spots. This has led to several campaigns similar to START SEEING MOTORCYCLES! you have probably seen bumper stickers like the one below throughout California.
Dangerous Road Conditions.
Potholes, gravel, debris, and wet roads can all increases a motorcyclists chances of losing control.
Sudden Stops and Heavy Traffic.
Rear-end collisions are common on the freeways in California when the speed of traffic can go from 65 MPH to 0 MPH with little to no warning. When a driver is following too closely to a motorcyclist, a rear end collision can result in a serious motorcycle accident.
If a motorcycle part is defective, it can cause a rider to lose control and result in an wreck through no fault of the rider.
No matter the cause, any motorcycle accident can lead to serious consequences for the rider involved. Broken bones, road rash, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, and permanent scarring, and even wrongful death can result from a motorcycle accident. If you have been seriously injured from a motorcycle accident in California, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and property damage. Dan Chudleigh is an Orange County motorcycle accident attorney and isready to help you.
MOTORCYCLISTS ARE NOT USUALLY AT FAULT.
Although riding a motorcycle involves serious risks, that does not mean that riders are reckless. Riders in California take special safety courses to be licensed to ride. Motorcycles are harder to see than cars, and inattentive drivers that don’t check their blind spots can drift into a motorcycle and knock them off their bike. Some drivers clip motorcycles by cutting them off, and don’t even know that they caused an accident! All drivers have a duty to follow the traffic laws, and to use reasonable care when driving. When someone fails to use reasonable care, and causes an accident, they will be found negligent and will be liable to you for your injuries and property damage.
WHAT IF THE DRIVER THAT HIT ME DOES NOT HAVE INSURANCE?
If the driver that caused the accident does not have insurance, or does not have sufficient insurance coverage to pay for your injuries, then your own insurance company will usually have to pay for your expenses. Even though they are “your” insurance company, if they have to pay the bills because an uninsured or underinsured driver was at fault, they will work their hardest to pay you as little as possible. It is important if you are in an accident that you talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer before giving a statement to an insurance company. Insurance companies are for profit entities, and are always trying to maximize profits by minimizing the payment of claims. A motorcycle wreck attorney can negotiate on your behalf, to ensure you get full and fair compensation. The state of California has a strict statute of limitations for filing injury lawsuits, so do not delay in seeking help for your injuries.
WHAT WILL INSURANCE PAY FOR AFTER A MOTORCYCLE WRECK?
Motorcycle accidents often result in more substantial bodily injuries than auto accidents. The reason for this is obvious, riders don’t have the protection of seat belts, airbags, and a metal cage (car frame) to protect them from other vehicles on the road. A rider is exposed to the elements, and usually only has a helmet for protection. The at fault driver’s insurance will pay up to its policy limits for the following expenses after a motorcycle crash in California.
Damage to Motorcycle (Property Damage). Your motorcycle may need repairs, or could be totaled. Either way, the insurance should settle your property damage claim quickly so you can get back on the road.
Medical Bills. It is important to keep track of all your medical bills so all expenses are accounted for when calculating your damages.
Ambulance Bills. If you were not at fault, your ambulance bill will be considered. Physical Therapy and or Chiropractic Treatments. These ongoing treatments will be considered by the insurance companies. It is important not to have a “gap” in treatment, because insurance companies will argue the treatment after the gap was not reasonable or necessary.
Psychiatric Treatment For Mental Trauma From An Accident
If you have been in a serious motorcycle accident, you may suffer post traumatic stress disorder. Seek treatment from a professional if you are suffering from severe anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, or uncontrollable thoughts about the accident.
Surgeries and Hospital Bills. Surgical bills can become the most substantial expense after an accident. The insurance companies will pay up to the policy limits for your necessary surgeries.
Lost Wages. You will be reimbursed for lost income from missed work due to the accident. Keep track of you missed work, and make sure you have your doctor make a note validating your injuries and reason for being unable to work for a specific amount of time.
Pain and Suffering. Pain and suffering is a considered a non-economic damage, but is certainly a valid form of damages.
Loss Of Enjoyment of Life. If you are unable to perform the same daily activities that you enjoyed prior to the accident, like running, playing tennis, or even walking for an extended period of time, this will be considered in the calculation for total damages.
If you have health insurance, you can receive treatment through your normal medical providers. If you don’t have health insurance, many health providers can provide medical services on a lien, so you only have to pay for the medical bills after you get paid from the insurance company.
DO I HAVE TO FILE A LAWSUIT AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
An Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer can help you file a lawsuit if needed. The state of California has a strict statute of limitations for filing injury lawsuits, so do not wait to contact an attorney if you have been in an accident. If the insurance company is not willing to pay a reasonable amount for medical bills, then a lawsuit will likely be filed, which will allow an attorney to conduct discovery and a full investigation into the accident. Taking a motorcycle accident case to trial can take years, and most cases will settle prior to going to trial. However, Chudleigh Law is prepared to take your motorcycle injury case to trial if necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries.
WHAT IF I CAN’T AFFORD TO PAY AN ATTORNEY?
Chudleign Law accepts motorcycle accident, and other personal injury cases, on a contingency fee. This means that Chudleigh Law will pay for all filing and court fees, discovery and investigation costs, and does not charge a fee unless you get paid for your injuries. This allows anyone, regardless of their financial situation, to get the best legal representation possible without paying an hourly attorney rate.
The road to recovery after a serious motorcycle accident is a long one. Lasting injuries can take not only a physical, but also an emotional and financial toll on anyone. No one should have to represent themselves in pro per in court, and go up against an experienced insurance defense attorney because they can’t afford an attorney. Don’t travel this road alone and prolong your suffering after an accident. Get an experienced attorney that is ready to represent you. Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer Dan Chudleigh will gladly provide you with a no obligation case review. He can travel to you anywhere in Orange County to discuss your case. Call (949) 504-5000.
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