NEWPORT BEACH MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER
Motorcycle accidents stand out among personal injury claims, as they almost all 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 2 impacts, the initial collision with the defendant and a second impact when they hit the asphalt.
Because the injuries involved with motorcycle accidents are often severe, they tend to have higher potential value than other personal injury claims. Therefore, it is paramount that a motorcycle rider retain the right 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!
COMMON MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ISSUES
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 10 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 lange 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.
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 2 types of coverage every motorcyclist should make sure they 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 often the case with motorcyclists, as California only requires drivers to carry $15,000 of coverage and the injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents are often worth far in excess of the $15,000 most drivers carry.
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.
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 below.