With the highest number of registered motorcycles, motorcycle accidents in California are unfortunately common. If you’re an avid motorcyclist in Rancho Cucamonga, you know there’s nothing better than taking your bike out for a ride alongside our beautiful Californian coast. With over 700,000 registered motorcyclists in the state of California, knowing what to do if you’re injured in one is critical to preserving evidence for your case and taking care of your mental and physical health. Schedule a free case evaluation today.
Protect Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Just like passenger vehicles, motorcycles can get into an accident anytime and anywhere. When they do, you need to be able to get in touch with a lawyer as fast as possible to make sure your legal rights are protected. The dedicated legal team at Sierra Accident Lawyers offers 24/7 support so you can always get in touch with a member of our staff whenever you need us.
Another way we’re here for our clients is by offering free consultations. When you’re dealing with a motorcycle accident, you’re usually dealing with expensive medical bills and lost wages due to missed time off work. Having the ability to obtain a free consultation with a motorcycle accident injury attorney is a great way to find out if you have a valid case and if so, what you can expect from the process.
Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Despite having the largest number of registered motorcycle riders in the United States, many drivers and insurance companies have a bias against motorcyclists. Oftentimes, 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 what you deserve after a significant, life-altering injury is unfair. It’s this kind of situation that the skilled Rancho Cucamonga motorcycle accident attorneys from Sierra Accident Lawyers can help with.
When you’re in a motorcycle accident, facing the major 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 in Rancho Cucamonga can help with this kind of 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 money you deserve on the long road to recovery.
Furthermore, your 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 claim for compensation. While this can go fast, your attorney will make sure your window of opportunity doesn’t close.
Common Causes of Rancho Cucamonga Motorcycle Accidents
In usually all cases, motorcycle accidents are the result of reckless drivers and their negligent behavior. These types of behaviors include:
However, the biggest cause that’s unique to motorcycle accidents involves a phenomenon called inattentional blindness. Simply put, this is when the driver of a commercial 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 serious motorcycle accident, some drivers inadvertently fail to look at motorcycles as a vehicle on the road. As accidental as this may be, it’s still negligence and still gives rise to a personal injury claim in California.
Who’s Liable for a Motorcycle Accident in Rancho Cucamonga, CA?
Since California is a comparative fault state, both parties can collect fair compensation for the accident, as well as 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 a bit of an outlier in determining liability for certain questionable actions by motorcyclists.
Lane splitting is common amongst motorcyclists. This is when a motorcyclist intentionally drives in between marked lanes of traffic. While this practice is illegal in a lot of 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 was doing so safely. For example, if a motorcyclist starts speeding to cut another vehicle off while lane splitting or failed to use a turn signal to get into another lane, they may be considered more liable for the accident since they weren’t adhering to proper safety measures.
This is a common gray area since insurance companies may use this as a reason 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 Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Unfortunately, common motorcycle 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:
The most common motorcycle injury, however, is road rash, which can be so severe that it may require a skin graft to correct.
What Should You Do After a Rancho Cucamonga Motorcycle Accident?
After a 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 motorcycle and its position after the crash serves as important evidence; if you move it, the insurance company and defendant can claim you caused the damage to your bike while trying to move 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, 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 as well. It’s best to be completely truthful about what happened. Even if you were partially at fault, you can still file a compensation claim, but your motorcycle accident attorney needs accurate information to effectively advocate for your rights.
Seek medical treatment. 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 your injuries that you’ll need should you decide to pursue a claim moving forward.
Keep in mind 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 because if they were, you would have sought out medical treatment from the start.
What is the Value of My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Let’s go back to the bias against motorcyclists for a second. While this certainly doesn’t apply to every motorcycle rider in California, some motorcyclists may choose to engage in reckless driving behaviors such as performing tricks on the highway. As mentioned earlier, when it comes to 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, then your compensation award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if it was determined that you were 20% responsible for the crash, your compensation award will 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 motorcycle, 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 were able to. If a wrongful death claim is filed on behalf of the deceased, this will also play a significant role in how much the overall personal injury claim is worth.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Motorcycle accidents can be incredibly scary and the injuries one sustains are often serious and in some cases, life-threatening. If you or a relative of yours was 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. 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 consultation.