Should I Get a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident?
Unless your motorcycle accident only involved slight cosmetic damage to your vehicle and no one was injured, it is best to hire an experienced Costa Mesa motorcycle accident lawyer to help you with your recovery process. Many people make the mistake of settling prematurely after experiencing accidents, resulting in them collecting far less compensation than they rightfully deserve. It’s also possible for a victim to settle before they fully realize the entire scope of their damages. Working with an experienced accident lawyer is the best way to ensure the fullest recovery possible after a motorcycle accident.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
Your first concern after any vehicle accident should be your personal health and safety. If you are able to move after a motorcycle accident, do so carefully as to not worsen any injuries you cannot feel yet. Some internal injuries may not be immediately painful but can easily worsen if you are not careful when moving after an accident. If you are too hurt to move, wait for emergency responders to arrive.
When you receive medical treatment for your injuries, ask your doctor to provide you with a comprehensive medical report that explains the full scope of your injuries and the doctor’s prognosis for any likely future complications. This report will be helpful when you take legal action to secure compensation for your medical expenses and pain and suffering.
Your next step should be to consult an experienced Costa Mesa motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options for recovery. The right attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your personal injury claim, ensuring you receive adequate compensation for your damages.
Commonly Cited Injuries from a Motorcycle Accident
The main reason why motorcycle accidents are so dangerous is the fact that a motorcycle, even a large one, offers no physical protection to operators or passengers when a crash occurs. Additionally, motorcycles do not have seatbelts, airbags, or other standard safety features found on most passenger cars. This means that when a crash occurs, the motorcyclist will not only face injuries from the initial crash impact forces with the other vehicle but also secondary impact forces when they hit the ground. Motorcycle accidents have a much higher chance of causing severe or fatal injuries than accidents involving standard passenger vehicles. Some of the most commonly reported motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Bone fractures. Injured motorcyclists often suffer broken bones, some of which may require surgical correction and result in long-term range of motion impairment, loss of sensation, and other effects.
- Spinal cord injuries. Any injury to the spinal cord can easily result in permanent damage. If the spinal cord is completely severed in any way, the brain will no longer be able to send or receive signals from the parts of the body connected to the spinal cord below the injury site. Spinal injuries can cause permanent paralysis, preventing the victim from working or living independently.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Head injuries are very common in motorcycle accidents. Even when motorcyclists wear appropriate helmets, they can still sustain severe head injuries. Wearing a motorcycle helmet, however, can reduce the risk of suffering a fatal head injury by a substantial amount.
- Friction burns. When a motorcyclist is thrown from their bike in an accident, they will likely slide across the surface of the road, sustaining severe injuries from friction burns. This can cause fragments of the road to embed in the skin, a condition commonly called “road rash.”
- Crushing injuries. If a car strikes a motorcyclist and pins them against another vehicle or a solid surface, the motorcyclist can potentially suffer catastrophic crushing injuries. If a limb is crushed, the victim may require amputation. If the body is crushed, the victim could die or suffer extensive bone fractures and internal organ damage throughout their body.
These are just a few examples of the devastating injuries possible from a motorcycle accident. If you or a loved one experienced any sort of injury from a motorcycle accident, and you believe another driver’s negligence caused the accident, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for your losses.
Proving Negligence in a Personal Injury Case in Costa Mesa, Orange County
Personal injury law hinges on the legal concept of “negligence,” which refers to a party’s failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. If you decide to pursue a personal injury claim for your motorcycle accident, there are four basic elements you must prove to succeed with the claim:
- You must identify the defendant responsible for your accident and establish the duty of care they held in the situation in question.
- Next, you need to show how the defendant failed to meet their duty of care. This could be a specific action, such as driving under the influence, or inaction, such as failure to address a known issue with their vehicle before it caused an accident.
- You must provide a complete and accurate list of all your damages resulting from the accident.
- You must provide evidence that shows your damages were the results of the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
Working with an experienced Costa Mesa motorcycle accident lawyer is the best way to ensure you can establish these four elements of negligence and succeed with your case. Your attorney can help you gather the evidence you may require for proving the defendant failed to uphold their duty of care and caused your motorcycle accident.
Experienced accident lawyers can coordinate expert witness testimony to support their clients’ claims. For example, if a plaintiff is claiming compensation for permanent medical complications resulting from their motorcycle accident, their attorney can consult a medical professional to act as an expert witness and provide reliable insights concerning the plaintiff’s condition and likelihood of experiencing long-term medical complications from their accident.
Claimable Damages in California Motorcycle Accident Claims
If you and your Costa Mesa motorcycle accident lawyer can successfully prove the defendant’s negligence in your motorcycle accident claim, you have the right to secure compensation for any and all damages resulting from the accident. Claimable damages in motorcycle accident cases typically include:
- Medical expenses. The plaintiff in a personal injury claim has the right to recover compensation for immediate and anticipated future medical expenses resulting from a defendant’s negligence. If your motorcycle accident required you to be hospitalized, undergo extensive emergency care, and entails long-term medical complications, your attorney will help you provide the documentation you must provide to establish the defendant’s liability for these damages.
- Property damage. If your motorcycle was damaged or destroyed in your accident, you have the right to claim repair costs or the cash value of your motorcycle if it was completely destroyed.
- Lost income. Motorcycle accident victims often suffer serious injuries that require a long recovery time. They may be unable to work until they fully recover, which leads to lost income and further economic problems from inability to pay bills and manage household expenses. Additionally, some motorcycle accident victims are left completely disabled from their accidents and cannot return to work at all in the future. Your Costa Mesa motorcycle accident lawyer can help you obtain compensation for your lost income during recovery and lost earning capacity if you cannot work in the future because of your accident.
- Pain and suffering. California law allows a personal injury plaintiff to claim compensation for their physical pain and emotional suffering resulting from an accident. Your attorney can help you determine an appropriate amount of pain and suffering compensation to claim based on the severity of your injuries and the extent of the long-term damage you are likely to experience from your injuries. Typically, personal injury lawyers will multiple clients’ medical expenses by a factor of two to five depending on the severity of the client’s injuries. For example, if you are claiming $100,000 in medical expenses for injuries that have left you disabled, your attorney could seek up to $500,000 in pain and suffering compensation. California places no limits on the amount of pain and suffering compensation a plaintiff can claim, the only exception being medical malpractice claims.
It should be easy to see that a motorcycle accident claim, when properly handled and guided by a reliable Costa Mesa motorcycle accident attorney, can yield substantial compensation for the victim and their family.
Motorcycle Accidents and Wrongful Death
Unfortunately, not every motorcycle accident victim survives these incidents. In the event you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident because of another driver’s negligence, you can pursue a wrongful death claim in lieu of a personal injury claim. Wrongful death claims are functionally similar to personal injury claims in many ways, and plaintiffs in these claims can secure many of the same damages as are available in personal injury claims. However, claimants can also secure compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of affection, and lost financial support the victim provided.
Contact Our Law Office Today to Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one are reeling from the aftermath of a recent motorcycle accident in Costa Mesa, CA, and you believe a negligent driver caused your accident, Easton & Easton can provide the legal counsel you need to approach the personal injury claim process with confidence. We believe in client-focused representation, so you can count on our firm to fully explore every available avenue of compensation. We want to know how your accident has impacted your life so we can help you secure the fullest possible recovery from your damages.
When you are uncertain about your legal options and believe you are ready for legal guidance from an experienced Costa Mesa motorcycle accident lawyer, contact Easton & Easton and schedule a consultation with our team.