If you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident, the Santa Ana personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw want to help you get compensation for your injuries and losses. If we can prove that your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Call today for a free consultation, and let us review your case. We will present you with the options available to you, all at no cost. Call today.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer for My Motorcycle Accident?

We help accident victims get compensation for their losses and injuries through a personal injury claim or a lawsuit. A personal injury claim is essentially an insurance claim demanding compensation for your losses. Hiring a lawyer to assist with your injury claim isn’t required by California law, but if you decide to move forward on your own, you risk delaying your claim or leaving money you’re owed on the table.

An experienced attorney can do more than write letters or stand next to you in court. Our experience with injury law and knowledge of the intricacies of the claims process will make the entire ordeal easier and simpler for you. We will take on the hard tasks of building your case, gathering evidence, and negotiating a settlement so you can take the time you need to recover from your injuries.

Reputation matters in injury law, and a good attorney brings more than their skills and knowledge to the table. We bring our name. Insurance adjusters will respond differently to a demand letter on our letterhead than they will to a letter directly from a claimant.

We can also help you understand how damages and losses work. The amount of compensation you can obtain is based upon the losses, or damages, you suffer as a result of the accident. Understanding how these damages work is key to getting what you’re owed. Some have a specific dollar value attached, and some do not, and an experienced attorney can help you decide which damages are applicable in your case.

Motorcycle accident victims are at a particular disadvantage when it comes to injury claims due to the inherent bias some people have against them. Some people tend to think motorcyclists deserve any injuries they receive from an accident because of the risks involved with riding on two wheels or possibly because of the “biker-gang” stereotype perpetuated by the entertainment industry. An attorney can help you combat these harmful misconceptions.

Why Choose OnderLaw to Represent Me?

There are several reasons why OnderLaw is the right choice for your motorcycle accident case.

We understand what you’re going through. We’ve seen all types of injury cases, from minor whiplash injuries to wrongful death claims, and we know the burden a debilitating accident or injury places on you and your family. We can help relieve that burden and give you peace of mind during this difficult time.

We don’t just help our clients. We help the communities that have helped us achieve success. We regularly provide donations of time and money to charitable causes and organizations such as Toys for Tots, Lupus Foundation of America, and MADD.

The most important reason to choose OnderLaw is our record of success. Since our founding in 2002, we’ve obtained over $3 billion in settlements and awards for our clients. We don’t guarantee a win in every case, but we do guarantee that we will work tirelessly to get you the help you need.

Motorcycle Laws in Santa Ana

According to California Highway Patrol, a motorcycle is defined as a vehicle that has three or less wheels, a saddle for a rider, and a motor larger than 150 ccs. Obtaining a motorcycle license in Santa Ana requires passing an approved Motorcycle Safety Course for anyone under the age of 21, and is strongly recommended for all riders. California law requires all motorcycle riders to wear a DOT-approved safety helmet.

California is the only state in the country that legally allows lane splitting. Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic. It is a controversial practice as some believe it can increase the risk of serious injury to motorcyclists, but motorcycle advocates believe it can be done safely. It is illegal for any vehicle operator to block or impede a motorcyclist while they are lane splitting.

California doesn’t specifically prohibit the practice of lane sharing, which is when two motorcycles ride abreast in a single lane. This is generally considered lawful practice.

Types of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents tend to end in more serious injury than other types of vehicle accidents because motorcycles lack any safety equipment. They are smaller, lighter, and more difficult to see than passenger vehicles, especially at night. Motorcycle riders are at serious risk for accident or injury every time they ride.

Some of the more common types of motorcycle accidents we see include:

  • Left-turn accidents
  • Sideswipe accidents
  • Lane splitting accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Blind spot accidents
  • Failure to yield accidents
  • Lane sharing accidents
  • Right-turn accidents
  • Stationary object accidents
  • Dooring accidents

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

The causes of motorcycle accidents are largely the same as other types of vehicle accidents, but they can be even more dangerous for motorcyclists due to the lack of safety protection on motorcycles. Their small size and maneuverability are double-edged swords: their small size means they are hard to see, especially at night, and enhanced maneuverability can give riders misplaced confidence, leading them to follow vehicles ahead of them too closely or to dart dangerously between vehicles. Some common causes of motorcycle accidents include the following:

  • Distracted driving
  • Poor road conditions
  • Inclement weather
  • Impaired driving
  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield
  • Following too closely
  • Failure to stop
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Dooring
  • Manufacturer defects

Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents

Injuries in motorcycle accidents tend to result in more severe injuries for their riders than accidents involving occupants of cars or trucks. Even with state-mandated safety equipment, the chances for sustaining severe injury are far higher on a motorcycle than they are in a four-wheeled vehicle with modern safety devices.

Some of the injuries common to motorcycle accidents include:

  • Road rash/abrasions
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Concussion
  • Broken limbs
  • Sprains/strains
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Amputation
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Whiplash
  • Lacerations

Who Is Responsible for My Motorcycle Accident?

In order to obtain compensation through a claim or lawsuit, you must prove that the other party was negligent. California law states that everyone has a duty not to behave in a way that harms others, so you must show these key elements to prove negligence: that the responsible party was supposed to act in a certain way, that they didn’t act as they should, their bad actions caused an accident, and that accident caused your injury and financial loss. If you can prove these elements, you should have a valid claim.

California also has a comparative negligence law, which states that fault in a motorcycle accident can be shared between the involved parties according to each one’s percentage of fault. For example, if you are hit by a car while riding in Santa Ana at night, but it’s later discovered that your motorcycle headlight wasn’t operating at the time, a judge may decide that you bear a portion of the responsibility for the accident. If a judge decides you are 15 percent responsible, any financial award you receive would be reduced by 15 percent.

Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident Claim

As with almost all personal injury claims, compensation for your injuries and losses is broken down according to the definable losses, called damages, you suffered as a result of the accident. Generally speaking, the more serious your injuries, the more compensation you should demand.

Losses with a specific monetary amount attached are called economic damages. These losses relate to the costs of treating or living with the injuries caused by the accident. Some examples include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Property damage

Losses without a specific monetary amount attached are called non-economic damages. These losses are tied to the injury itself, and not the financial burdens of treating it. There are many different types, such as:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress

Your attorney will help you decide which damages may be pertinent to your claim.

California Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Here are statistics regarding motorcycle accidents in Santa Ana and elsewhere:

  • California has over 800,000 registered motorcycles on the road, more than any other state.
  • 89 percent of riders injured in motorcycle accidents in California in 2015 were male.
  • The top cause of motorcycle crashes in California in 2015 was speeding.
  • Only 3 percent of car and light truck accidents in California in 2015 ended in a severe injury, compared with 18 percent of motorcycle accidents.

Call Today for a Free Consultation

If you or someone you love has suffered a severe injury after a motorcycle accident in Santa Ana, don’t wait any longer. California’s statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the accident, so time is a factor if you plan to file suit.

Call OnderLaw for a free, no-obligation consultation, and let us help you get back on your feet after a debilitating accident or injury. Call today.