Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
With the highest number of registered motorcycles, motorcycle accidents in Southern California are unfortunately very common. If you’re an avid motorcycle rider in Rancho Cucamonga, you know there’s nothing better than taking your bike out for a ride through the San Gabriel mountains or historic Route 66. With over 800,000 registered motorcyclists in California, knowing what to do if you’re injured in a motorcycle crash is critical to preserving evidence for your case and caring for your mental and physical health.
Call us to schedule a free case evaluation with our motorcycle accident attorneys if you have been injured in a motorcycle crash and need legal representation. Our attorneys fight to get our clients maximum compensation for their growing needs from motorcycle accidents, including medical bills, property damage, and serious injuries.
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Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Despite having the most significant number of registered vehicles and motorcycle riders in the United States, many drivers and insurance companies have a bias against motorcyclists. Often, big insurance companies will try to pin the blame on motorcycle riders and use this unfair bias as a justified excuse to underpay their claim. When you’re out of work and facing a long road of recovery, getting less than you deserve after a significant, life-altering injury is unfair. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help with this kind of situation.
When you’re in a motorcycle accident, facing the significant loss of your only mode of transportation, your hobby, and in some cases, your ability to work are serious situations that don’t deserve to be underpaid. Fortunately, a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can help with this situation. They understand the biased tactics big insurance companies use to underpay motorcycle accident claims and have the necessary skills to negotiate with them to get you the fair settlement you deserve on the long road to recovery.
Furthermore, your personal injury attorney will make sure that your motorcycle accident claim is submitted within the statute of limitations. In California, motorcyclists have just two years to file a compensation claim. While this can go fast, your attorney will make sure your opportunity window doesn’t close.
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Protect Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident in Rancho Cucamonga
Like passenger motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. When they do, you need to be able to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as fast as possible to make sure your legal rights are protected. Our dedicated team of motorcycle accident lawyers offers 24/7 support, so you can contact a staff member whenever you need us.
Another way we’re here for our clients and accident victims is by offering free consultations. When dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle crash, you usually deal with expensive medical bills and lost wages due to missed time off work. The ability for clients to obtain a free consultation with a Rancho Cucamonga motorcycle accident lawyer is a great way to determine if you have a valid case and, if so, what you can expect from the process.
Common Causes of Rancho Cucamonga Motorcycle Accidents
In most cases, motorcycle crashes result from reckless drivers and their negligent behavior.
These types of negligent driver behaviors include:
However, the most significant cause that’s unique to motorcycle accidents involves a phenomenon called inattentional blindness. Simply put, this is when the driver of a commercial big rig truck or passenger vehicle accidentally hits a motorcyclist because they were only looking for standard “vehicles.” Though it might not make much sense to those injured in a severe motorcycle accident, some drivers inadvertently overlook motorcycles as vehicles on the road. As accidental as this may be, it’s still negligence and gives rise to a personal injury claim.
Who’s Liable for a Motorcycle Accident in Rancho Cucamonga, CA?
Since California is a comparative fault state, both parties involved can collect fair compensation for the accident and hold liability for what happened based on their percentage of fault. In all cases, liability for a motorcycle accident falls on the driver who acted negligently or breached the duty of care they owed the other drivers on the road to drive safely. However, the state of California is an outlier in determining liability for specific questionable actions by motorcyclists.
Lane splitting is common among motorcyclists. This is when a motorcyclist intentionally drives in between marked lanes of traffic. While this practice is illegal in many other states throughout the U.S., it’s technically legal in California. If a motorcyclist gets injured while lane splitting, liability will be based on whether the motorcyclist did so safely. For example, if a motorcyclist starts speeding to cut another vehicle off while lane splitting or fails to use a turn signal to get into another lane, they may be considered more liable than other parties for the accident since they weren’t adhering to proper safety measures.
This is a common gray area since insurance companies may use this to deny the motorcyclist’s injury claim or underpay it even though lane splitting isn’t against the law. Situations like these need the help of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Unfortunately, common injuries are usually severe since they aren’t awarded the same level of protection as passenger cars. Even though motorcyclists should wear a helmet, some drivers may opt out, putting themselves at risk of severe brain injury. Studies confirm that helmet use can reduce traumatic brain injuries by 51%.
Because motorcyclists suffer significant contact with the road, they’re more at risk of suffering the following injuries:
However, the most common injury is road rash. Road rash can be so severe that it may require a skin graft.
What Should You Do After a Rancho Cucamonga Motorcycle Accident?
After a car or motorcycle accident in Rancho Cucamonga, the first thing you should do is call 911 so they can ensure the safety of the accident scene, transport you to the hospital, and jot down a police report.
After you do this, keep the following tips in mind:
- If you can, get to safety. Do not try to move your bike or handle it in any way. Not only does this exacerbate your existing injuries, but it can ruin your personal injury case should you choose to file one. The damage to your bike and its position after the crash is essential evidence; if you move it, the insurance company and defendant can claim you caused the damage to your bike while trying to push it somewhere safe.
- Leave your protective gear on. While this may seem counterintuitive, especially if your head or elsewhere on your body is bleeding, removing anything off your body can further aggravate your injury. Keep everything on and let emergency personnel handle it when they arrive.
- Document everything that happened. Take note of what the other driver was doing, their name, contact info, insurance information, weather conditions, road signs, street names, road hazards, and anything else you think may be pertinent to your case. Be sure to include any role you may have played in the accident. It’s best to be completely truthful about what happened. Even if you were partially at fault, you could still file a compensation claim, but your motorcycle accident attorney needs accurate information to effectively advocate for your rights.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, there could be injuries forming that you’re not aware of yet. Not only does visiting a doctor or the ER protect your physical health, but it also provides a record of the serious injuries you’ll need should you decide to pursue a claim moving forward.
Remember that any gaps in medical treatment can and will hurt your case because the insurance company and defendant will try to argue that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim. If they were, you would have sought medical treatment from the start of the accident.
What is the Value of My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Let’s go back to the bias against motorcyclists for a second. While this doesn’t apply to every motorcycle rider, some motorcyclists may engage in reckless driving, such as performing tricks on the highway. As mentioned earlier, when determining how much money your personal injury claim is worth, your Rancho Cucamonga motorcycle accident lawyer will look at the role you played in the accident, if any. If you were partially responsible for the accident, your compensation award would be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if it was determined that you were 20% responsible for the crash, your compensation award would be reduced by 20%.
Aside from determining the level of fault for the motorcycle accident, lawyers will also look at your current and future medical treatment and related expenses, the cost of replacing or repairing your bike, therapeutic treatments, pain, and suffering, lost wages, and earning capacity, and in some cases, the cost of having to find a new career if your injuries preclude you from returning to your previous form of employment. Depending on the details of your case, this may also include the cost of child care or housekeeping services.
In tragic cases where the motorcyclist dies in an accident, the surviving relatives, including the spouse, parents, and children, can pursue a wrongful death claim up to two years after the accident. A wrongful death claim is meant to stand in for the personal injury claim the deceased would have brought forward themselves if they could. Therefore, if a wrongful death claim is filed on behalf of the deceased, this will also play a significant role in how much the overall claim is worth.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Rancho Cucamonga
Motorcycle accidents can be horrifying, and the injuries one sustains are often severe and, in some cases, life-threatening. If you or a relative were severely injured in a motorcycle accident, you need a motorcycle accident lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga you can depend on.
At Sierra Accident Lawyers, we have years of experience handling the most complex motorcycle accident claims in Rancho Cucamonga and throughout the inland empire. We will speak with you during a free consultation to explain if you have a case, what your rights are, and how we can help. Call us any time at 909-942-7632 or visit us on the web to schedule a no-obligation consultation.