Newport Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents stand out among personal injury claims, as they almost always involve severe injuries. In contrast to those who are injured in cars, for example, there is no protection for a motorcyclist beyond their own protective equipment. Moreover, many motorcyclists endure at least two impacts, the initial collision with the defendant and a second impact when they hit the asphalt.
Because the injuries involved in motorcycle accidents are often severe, they tend to have higher potential value than other personal injury claims. Therefore, it is paramount that motorcycle rider retains the right Newport Beach motorcycle accident attorney to advocate on their behalf.
Phil Younglove’s experience riding motorcycles gives him rare insight as a personal injury attorney representing injured motorcyclists. His experience on his bike helps him to more effectively advocate for his motorcyclist clients. Ask him about his experience representing himself for his own motorcycle accident!
Call (844) 810-1800 for a Free Consultation
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Common Newport Beach Motorcycle Accident Issues
While motorcycle accidents are dangerous, there are some situations that are especially risky for riders.
California is the only state that expressly permits motorcycle riders to lane split or “filter.” While studies show this is actually safer for the rider for multiple reasons, we do see a significant amount of accidents occur during this type of maneuver.
There are limitations placed on the rider while lane splitting. First, the rider should not ride more than 35 mph while lane splitting. Second, the rider should not go more than ten mph faster than the vehicles they pass while lane splitting. Even when following these rules, the rider is not safe from an accident. The most common type of motorcycle accident we see is when someone suddenly makes a large change into the rider while they are lane splitting.
After the accident, the first thing the responding officer will ask the rider is how fast they were going. If the rider says they were going 65 mph and the driver who hit them says they were only going 30 mph, chances are the officer is going to place the motorcycle rider at fault for violating California Vehicle Code Section 22350: unsafe speed.
The insurance company will then try to use the officer’s report to place the motorcycle rider primarily at fault for the incident. California is a comparative negligence jurisdiction, which means the rider’s compensation will be reduced proportionally to how much they were found at fault for the accident, e.g., if they were 50% at fault they will only be paid 50% of the value of their claim.
Left Turn Accidents
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is when the defendant makes a left turn into an oncoming motorcyclist. Because motorcyclists are less visible than automobiles, this is an unfortunately common occurrence. Additionally, the injuries from a collision of this type are often severe, as the impact is usually head-on. With no airbags to lessen the impact for the motorcyclist, they are often severely injured in this type of collision.
Unfortunately, because motorcyclists often suffer severe injuries, the responding officer often does not get the motorcyclist’s statement at the scene of the incident. This may lead to issues with proving liability. For example, while the motorcyclist is in an ambulance on the way to a hospital, the defendant might tell the responding officer the motorcyclist was speeding or pulled out from a side street or private business, causing the collision.
For this reason, it is a wise practice for motorcyclists to equip themselves with cameras when riding, creating a video record of the collision. Something as simple as a GoPro can save you a lot of money and grief if you are unlucky enough to be involved in a left-turn collision with a dishonest defendant and zero eyewitnesses.
Types of Insurance Motorcyclists Need
All motorcyclists are required to carry the statutory minimum of liability insurance, but because of the severity of these collisions and the prevalence of motorcycle cases involving hit-and-run drivers, there are two types of insurance coverage every motorcyclist should have.
First, collision coverage will make sure your bike is repaired or replaced by your own insurance company, less any deductible, even if the defendant flees the scene of the incident or liability is disputed. It is always wise to carry this type of coverage rather than leaving yourself at “the mercy of the defendant.”
Second, Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist coverage is personal injury coverage you can purchase for yourself in case you are injured by an uninsured defendant. Significantly, this includes a hit-and-run defendant. Additionally, Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you from a defendant who has insurance that is insufficient to fully compensate you. This is necessary for many motorcyclists, as California only requires drivers to carry $15,000 of coverage, and injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents are often worth far in excess of this.
Because California does not allow you to “stack” your Underinsured Motorist coverage on top of what is recovered from the defendant, it is recommended you purchase the largest UM/UIM policy you can afford.
What Damages Can You Recover from a Motorcycle Accident Case?
After a motorcycle accident, you may be able to collect damages based on the results of your case. You may be able to collect on economic and non-economic damages, depending on how effectively your lawyer is able to advocate for you.
- Medical bills: If you get any medical treatment or attention following your accident, you may be able to collect some compensation based on the cost of your bills.
- Lost wages: An accident might result in you taking time away from work. If this is the case, you may be entitled to collect a portion of your lost wages.
- Legal fees: If you decide to hire a lawyer to help represent you in your personal injury case, you may also be able to recover your legal fees. It is important to note that most lawyers who work in personal injury only collect fees on a contingency basis, meaning they will only get paid if you win.
- Lost wage earning potential: If you endure injuries that affect your future wage earning potential, you may also be entitled to collect compensation for those wages you may have been able to earn.
- Property damage: If your motorcycle or other piece of property is damaged as a result of your accident, you may be able to get your bike repaired or replaced. This may be especially important if you need your motorcycle to commute to work or otherwise get around.
- Loss of consortium: In the tragic case your loved one suffers severe injury that detrimentally affects your marital relations, you may be entitled to compensation for this loss.
- Wrongful death: Losing a family member as a result of a motorcycle accident may entitle you to compensation as well. This compensation may be used to cover funeral costs and other potential needs.
- Pain and suffering: The emotional impact and feelings of pain, while difficult to calculate economically, are often significant. Because of this, you may be entitled to compensation for this non-economic damage.
- Mental anguish: Mental well-being is also essential to a person’s quality of life. Because this is the case, you may be able to collect damages for your feelings of mental anguish.
There are many types of damages you may be able to collect following a motorcycle accident.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Support You After an Accident?
If you are interested in hiring a lawyer, your attorney can assist you in some of the following areas related to your legal case:
- Filing insurance claims
- Legal knowledge
- Negotiation skills
- Maximizing potential compensation
- Collecting and analyzing evidence
- Referrals for medical treatment
- Tailored advice depending on the specifics of your case
Lawyers generally have a significant amount of legal knowledge and experience, and combining this expertise with an understanding of your case and stellar negotiation skills puts them in a strong position to effectively represent you. Because of this, it is strongly recommended you avoid representing yourself in any legal case and choose to hire a qualified Newport Beach motorcycle accident attorney instead.
Contact a Newport Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer from Younglove Law Group
We at Younglove Law Group are highly experienced in personal injury law, and we take special care of all of our clients. Our legal team has a special sense of compassion for motorcycle accidents in particular. If you are seeking aid from a qualified and confident legal team, you are in the right place. You deserve to receive the compensation you are entitled to and to recover quickly and successfully from your injuries.
If you think our legal team may be able to assist you in building your case and maximizing your potential compensation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. If you are interested in getting your questions answered or scheduling a free consultation, our motorcycle accident lawyers are patiently awaiting your call. You can reach us by calling (949) 691-3660 or by completing our contact form.
Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accident Injuries
What steps should I take after being in a motorcycle accident?
The first thing you should do after a motorcycle accident is move to a safe location. You should then report the crash to law enforcement. You are legally required to report the accident if damages exceed $1,000 or anyone was injured.
While you wait for the police to arrive, exchange information with the other party or parties, including name, contact information, and insurance policy. Taking photos of the accident scene, property damage, and your injuries may also be helpful to your claim.
If you are injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Documenting your medical appointments and expenses will be crucial in receiving fair compensation.
How long will I have to file a lawsuit for my motorcycle accident case?
You have two years from the accident date to file a motorcycle crash claim in California. A judge will most likely dismiss your case if you miss the deadline, which may result in you having to cover accident-related costs out of pocket.
How will a motorcycle accident lawyer be able to help me with my case?
Injured accident victims can receive immediate legal help from a seasoned lawyer after a motorcycle crash. Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers regularly represent injured clients and can begin building your claim as soon as you contact them.
Lawyers may gather evidence while investigating the scene of the accident, prove fault and liability, communicate and negotiate settlements with insurance companies, value your damages, and prepare for your case for trial in the event negotiations are unsuccessful. Your lawyer will keep you informed of the status of your case while you focus on recovering.
Motorcycle Accident Success Story
We were able to obtain a $1,000,000 settlement for a client of ours who suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident. Read more about it, as well as some of our other case results, by clicking here.