Seasoned Orange County Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
While automobile accidents occur on the same highways and roads as motorcycle accidents, the results can often be drastically different because motorcyclists lack almost all of the protective coverings and safety features that come standard with an automobile.
Three Things You Should Know After an Accident Involving a Motorcycle
Gather the contact and insurance information of any parties or witnesses to the accident.
Do not talk to the insurance company or give a written or recorded statement to the insurance company without talking to the Easton & Easton, LLP.
Call Easton & Easton, LLP as soon as possible so we can advise you what to do next.
$3,060,000 Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accident in Carpool Lane
In 2016, Easton & Easton acquired $3,060,000 for a client who had suffered a traumatic motorcycle accident when a shuttle bus illegally changed lanes across the double yellow lines into the carpool lane of the 405 freeway. Our client was lane splitting on the edge of the carpool lane at the time, which is why the shuttle bus did not see him. While the bus company initially disputed liability due to our client’s lane splitting, we were ultimately able to show that the bus driver’s illegal action was the true cause of the collision and they accepted full liability.
As a result of this accident, our client slammed into the side of the bus and then crashed onto the roadway, suffering a fractured pelvis, torn ACL, internal degloving wounds, and various shearing wounds. He underwent three surgeries and more than a year of physical therapy, and incurred $300,000 in medical bills. After demonstrating the significant effect that this accident had on our client’s life, the shuttle bus company sought an early mediation and paid $3,060,000 without our client having to undergo a deposition or trial.
Motorcyclists Face Increased Risk on the Road
Motorcycles can be incredibly fun to drive, and motorcycling is as much of a hobby as it is a conveyance for many Californians. However, motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than motor vehicles for one simple reason: they offer virtually no protection to their operators in the event of a crash. While a passenger vehicle is enclosed and has various safety features such as seatbelts, front and side airbags, and crumple zones built into the vehicle’s frame designed to absorb the force of impact from various directions, a motorcycle has no such safety features.
Motorcyclists not only face a serious risk of injury or death when their bikes collide with larger vehicles but also from falling off of their bikes at considerable speeds. Some of the injuries possible in a motorcycle accident include:
Broken bones. A motorcyclist may suffer crushing fracture injuries from the force of impact with a larger vehicle or bone fractures from the force of hitting the ground after being thrown off their bike.
Traumatic head injuries. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle can reduce the chance of a fatal head injury by nearly 40%. Department of Transportation-approved motorcycle helmets can protect the head, face, and brain from fatal injuries in a serious accident.
Spinal cord injuries. Any damage to the spinal cord is permanent. A motorcyclist could suffer a spinal injury upon impact with another vehicle or from the force of impact of hitting the ground.
“Road rash.” If a motorcyclist is thrown from their bike during a crash at considerable speed, they may slide along the asphalt or concrete until their momentum fades and they come to a stop. During this slide, they may suffer friction burns on their skin. The speed with which they slide can tear open non-protective clothing, resulting in serious abrasions.
Ultimately, motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable drivers on the road in Orange County. It’s vital for every motorcyclist to take reasonable precautions, wear appropriate safety equipment, and operate their vehicles as safely as possible. Unfortunately, despite all the precautions a motorcyclist may take, there is no way to predict what other drivers on the road might do at any given time.
Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The chief factor in most motorcycle accidents is visibility. Motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than typical passenger cars, and some drivers may not notice them before it’s too late to avoid a crash. Motorcycles have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as other drivers. Traditional vehicles should always be on the lookout for motorcycles who are sharing the road.
One of the most dangerous situations for a motorcyclist is making a left turn. When a motorcyclist intends to complete a left turn with a yellow “yield” turning arrow signal, traffic may still be coming from the opposite direction. The way may look clear at first, but the turning motorcyclist will be harder for other drivers to spot than larger passenger cars. Left-hand turns are also dangerous situations for motorcyclists when they attempt to overtake a car in the adjacent lane.
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents in Costa Mesa, California is head-on collisions. More than half of all motorcycle accidents occur from cars hitting motorcycles head-on, and this is incredibly dangerous for the motorcyclist in this situation.
Some of the other common causes of motorcycle accidents are the same as the common causes of typical motor vehicle accidents, such as distracted driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. The main difference is that motorcyclists caught in accidents such as these face a significantly higher risk of serious injury due to the minimal protection their vehicles provide.
Handling Serious Injuries After an OC Motorcycle Crash
Motorcyclists are openly exposed to the hard concrete road and the other fast moving vehicles traveling on that road. Even when motorcyclists in an accident are wearing proper protective pads and a helmet, they still often suffer extremely severe injuries resulting in serious spinal cord trauma, painful burn injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or even the wrongful death of the motorcyclist.
In addition, because of the motorcyclist’s increased exposure to the road, defects in the road that would not affect an automobile can have devastating consequences for a motorcycle rider. In such cases, the city or government entity responsible for maintaining the roads may be held liable for causing the accident. However, proving liability in such cases can be difficult and will usually require the skill of experienced experts, like those that work with Easton & Easton, LLP.
Despite the increased potential for injury and the additional hazards for motorcycle riding, these cases can also be very difficult to win because of the stigmas that have been attached to motorcyclists and motorcycle riding. Because we have all seen some motorcyclists zoom past us on the freeway, weaving in and out of traffic, all motorcyclists have been stigmatized and this stigma can even reach their meritorious lawsuits. Even some Highway Patrol officers will approach accidents involving motorcyclists with preconceived suspicions that the motorcyclist may be at fault. For this reason, it is imperative that you have an Orange County motorcycle injury attorney who is experienced in these types of cases and who are able to overcome these stigmas to prove the merits of your claim.
Potential Damages Claimable in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
An Orange County motorcycle accident attorney who accepts a motorcycle accident case will review the details of the case with the client and determine the damages available. Most motorcycle accidents result in serious injuries, and a motorcycle accident lawyer can breakdown the available damages in a claim, such as:
All medical expenses resulting from the accident. If a motorcyclist suffers severe injuries, it’s possible to claim not only immediate medical costs such as ambulance or airlift fees, hospital bills, and prescription costs but also long-term expenses for necessary rehabilitative treatments, multiple surgeries, and any other care needed for the victim to reach maximum medical improvement.
Property damage, such as the cost of repairing or replacing the plaintiff’s motorcycle. A personal injury claim can potentially recover compensation unavailable through insurance.
Lost wages. If a motorcycle accident victim cannot work during their recovery, their attorney can claim their wages lost during this time as damages in the personal injury claim. Many serious motorcycle accidents result in permanent disabilities that may interfere with victims’ ability to work in the future. If the plaintiff’s earning potential is negatively impacted due to a defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff’s attorney can potentially secure compensation for the income the plaintiff would have reasonably expected to earn in the future.
Pain and suffering. When a motorcyclist suffers severe and painful injuries, they will likely experience not only physical pain but psychological trauma as well. The California legal system allows plaintiffs in personal injury cases to claim compensation for pain and suffering, and the court will determine an appropriate amount based on the amount of compensatory damages in the claim and the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries.
The plaintiff’s attorney will need to provide documentation to prove the full extent of the plaintiff’s claimed damages, and the court may award additional compensation as well depending on the behavior of the defendant. For example, if the defendant was grossly negligent, caused the accident while in the process of committing another crime, or driving with a restricted or suspended license, the court may award punitive damages to discourage that kind of behavior in the future.
How to Succeed with a Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Claim in Orange County, California
Motorcyclists in Costa Mesa and throughout Orange County need to know their rights when it comes to handling accidents that leave them injured and in financial uncertainty. An experienced Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer can handle a motorcycle accident victim’s legal concerns so they can focus on their recovery. The first step in succeeding with such a claim is identifying the party or parties responsible for causing the accident. Potential defendants in motorcycle accident cases could include other drivers, the organization responsible for maintaining the road where the accident occurred, or other related parties.
The next step is to gather as much evidence and documentation as possible that prove the full extent of the plaintiff’s claimed damages. For example, if the plaintiff had a preexisting medical condition or injury that the accident in question worsened, it is possible to secure compensation for the treatment necessary to repair this exacerbated condition, but not for any outstanding medical bills the plaintiff held prior to the accident. Personal injury law in Orange County, California allows plaintiffs to recover the damages that directly result from defendants’ negligence.
The plaintiff’s attorney must prove the defendant or defendants in a motorcycle accident lawsuit held a duty of care they failed to uphold and directly caused the plaintiff’s claimed damages.
A Recent Orange County Motorcycle Accident Injuries Client
For example, as the video above explains, attorneys at Easton & Easton, LLP achieved a $1,000,000 settlement in 2009 for a motorcyclist who was found at fault for the accident by the CHP.
In that case, our client was in a head-on collision with another motorcyclist on a canyon road. The collision resulted in the death of the other motorcyclist. Our client suffered numerous injuries, including head trauma that resulted in amnesia surrounding the accident. Based on a set of skid marks going across the double yellow lines, our client was found at fault for the accident by the CHP. Because of this CHP finding, our client’s insurance carrier settled a claim by the heirs of the other motorcyclist who died for approximately $300,000.
About 1 year after the accident, the client came to us for help. Within a short period of time, through a proper accident reconstruction, we were able to determine that the skid marks the CHP relied upon were not even motorcycle skid marks at all, but had in fact been created by a braking semi-truck long before this accident. With this analysis, we were able to debunk the CHP’s accident report and prove instead that the other motorcyclist had actually caused the accident.
With this information, we settled our claim against the other motorcyclist’s insurance for the full policy limit of $30,000. Thereafter, we were able to settle an underinsured motorist claim with our client’s own insurance carrier for the full remainder of the policy- $970,000. This client came to our office with significant medical bills and a CHP report blaming him for the accident, and he left our office just a few short months later with a $1,000,000 settlement and the comfort of knowing that he was not at fault for the accident.
FAQs About Motorcycle Accident Law Orange County, CA
What To Do After A Motorcycle Accident in Orange County, CA?
First thing to do after a motorcycle crash in Orange County is to make sure you and others are safe. Even if you’ve only suffered minor injuries you should call for medical and police help. You may not realize the severity of your injuries at the time due to heightened adrenaline. Police are needed to record accident details to prove fault for courts and insurance companies. Follow up with your medical doctor afterwards to fully access your injuries and keep track of your expenses. Then contact a motorcycle accident attorney to help you recover damages from the accident to navigate the legal process and deal with insurance companies.
What Is The Average Payout For A Motorcycle Accident in Orange County?
The average payout for a motorcycle accident varies greatly depending on your injuries and property damage that occurred. For instance, the most commonly suffered injury is whiplash which average payouts can be a few thousand dollars for a minor case – to around $30,000 for severe cases. Broken bone injuries can reach up to $100,000 depending on recovery time. Recoverable spine injury average around $50,000. Brain injuries can be a few hundred thousand dollars. Paralysis and death settlements often reach millions of dollars.
What You Should Look For A Orange County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Attorneys at Easton & Easton, LLP have many years of experience in handling motorcycle accident cases. Our motorcycle accident lawyers know how to use the tools of the law and reputable experts to our clients favor in proving the true cause of a motorcycle accident. Our years of experience also allow us to seamlessly assess and coordinate medical care to make certain the full extent of our clients’ injuries are identified, treated, and provable.
When Should I Call A Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
You should call a motorcycle accident attorney immediately if you’ve suffered severe injuries or if the accident was your fault. A lawyer will help determine fault of the accident and get you the most compensation possible if you’re found not at fault. You want to move quickly on your case while the accident details are fresh in the minds of witness if they’re called to give a statement.
If I Get Into An Accident On My Motorcycle, Should I Get A Lawyer To Help Me?
Lawyers can help you deal with insurance companies and opposing lawyers to make sure your case is handled fairly. Accident and injury details need to be conveyed to courts and insurance companies to receive maximum compensation. Insurance companies seek to payout as little as possible so having a skilled professional attorney on your side can help greatly in your case.
Do I Really Need A Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
If there were no damages in the accident and no injuries occurred, you may not need an attorney. When injuries and damages are present, an accident attorney is often necessary to navigate the legal process. You can represent yourself, but this process is often confusing. Opposing attorneys and insurance companies can try to minimize the seriousness of your case to avoid a high payout. A professional attorney is your best bet for a fair outcome.
How Long Will It Take To Resolve My Case?
You can receive your first settlement offer from the insurance company within the first month or two. You can then decide whether the offer is fair or not and accept or reject it. Even if rejected, this process often moves fast especially when injuries occurred in the accident.
What If My Motorcycle Accident Was Caused By A Hit-And-Run Driver?
You should treat a hit-and-run accident similar to a regular accident. First, if you suffered injuries alert medical help. Then call the police to report the incident. You will need the police report to send the accident details to your insurance company. If you are able, take pictures of any damages that occurred to send to your insurance provider. Write down all the details you have on the other driver. Get witness statements, if any, to document the accident details. Send a detailed statement of what happened to your insurance company and then contact a lawyer to help you with the legal process to hold the other driver responsible and manage your case.
What If My Loved One Was Killed In A Motorcycle Accident?
If a family member was killed in an accident you may seek compensation for medical costs and damages that occurred. Acquire as much detailed information about the accident as possible as evidence in your case. During this emotional time if may be tough to talk to an attorney but it’s necessary to have a skilled and informed professional on your side to hold the other party to account in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Talk To a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Orange County, CA Today
We understand the tricks, stratagems, and defenses the insurance companies and their attorneys use to defeat or minimize a claim, and at Easton & Easton, LLP, we utilize our experience, skill, and dedication to make certain our clients do not fall victim to the insurance companies’ tricks and stratagems.
Please call us at 800-461-8259 for a free initial consultation. If we do not take your case, there is no charge.
Your Story Is Important To Us. CALL US SO WE CAN HEAR IT.
“We look for the human story behind every injury or wrongful death. We prepare our cases for trial; reaching out to the jury with the most compelling evidence possible for the best verdict possible. Insurance companies know this and come to the table prepared to negotiate in good faith. Call us to see how we can turn your story into fair compensation.”
Partner W. Douglas Easton
What Our CLIENTS SAY
Coming out of my first auto accident as an adult, a very difficult and scary time to navigate and understand, I was so incredibly thankful to have been put in contact with Easton & Easton. I honestly was lost with how to handle paperwork, doctors, medical costs and what next steps were, and from the moment I spoke with Travis Easton and my case manager Katie, my mind was put at ease. They have made the entire process stress free for me as I recovered, and I am so grateful for them and their genuine care for my case. Communication from the start has been fantastic, especially making clear what my expectations for the entire process would look like, and I truly believe they have my best interest at heart. 100% I would recommend their firm for anyone that is needing representation!
My experience with Easton & Easton has been amazing! Gabriel Mendoza and my case manager Katie have been so helpful and taken so much stress off my plate. They’ve been super informative and honest and given me very clear expectations. They’ve taken such a terrible experience (my accident) and eased my mind about the outcome. I can’t thank them enough!!
Ive used them twice and never been disappointed
The Easton & Easton Law Firm is amazing! The entire team is very helpful and caring. They were always there to answer all my questions. They directed me through the entire process and stayed with me every step of the way. This team is outstanding and were wonderful to work with. Because of the tremendous effort they put on my case they were able to win my difficult personal injury case. I couldn’t have asked for a better law firm to handle my case. They are the Best! Thank you for your patience, professionalism, & guidance! I definitely recommend this firm to handle your case. They go out of their way to fight for your rights. THANK YOU…
I could not be more pleased with the services provided by the Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton. The senior partner Mr. Easton took the time to meet with me and my wife while I was still in the hospital, where he gave my family hope that there was light at the end of a very long, and very dark tunnel. Matt Easton then worked my case, and because of his dedication, experience and expertise I received a settlement that was larger than I EVER thought possible. It was truly astounding! Matt and the entire team at Easton & Easton looked out for me throughout my recovery, and in the end they gave me my life back. Five stars is not enough. Thanks Matt! Thanks Easton & Easton!
Brian and everyone at Easton and Easton are simply the BEST at what they do. Brian is thorough, easy to talk to, and truly cares about his clients. If you want a family of attorneys with perseverance and determination to fight for you, give Easton and Easton a call. I am glad I did.
What an amazing law firm, talk about going above and beyond to make such a painful experience go so well. I have referred a co-worker and a family member to them as well and everyone had such a great experience as I had.
I can’t say enough amazing things about my experience with Travis Easton at Easton & Easton. Travis and his entire team (Katie, Amy, Dee, Michelle, & Araceli) are phenomenal. It provided me a lot of comfort to know I was being so well taken care of. I was especially impressed that every document for the case was perfectly written and specific to me. Nothing was generic, which shows the level of care and attention they put into each individual case. I had such a great experience and would highly recommend Travis Easton and his firm to anyone going through a personal injury. Travis took a bad situation and made the best of it for me. Thank you again, I’m forever grateful!!
Retaining Easton and Easton was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! From the initial consultation to our final meeting, they were nothing short of exceptional. I was forced to retain their services after firing my previous attorney for not handling the case properly. I dealt with Gabriel and Brian (partner) exclusively throughout the case. They did as promised and were great communicators throughout the entire process. I will recommend them to anyone I know going through a personal injury case. They were ultimately able to untangle the mess caused by my previous lawyer and get a result that I was extremely happy with. Their staff is exceptional as well and provided top notch customer service. Amera was also extremely helpful and easy to deal with as well.
I was in a pretty bad car accident and decided to have Easton & Easton represent me, Travis Easton to be specific. Travis Easton and his paralegal made the whole process effortless. They were so understanding and helpful! The entire thing was a gigantic mess, yet Travis managed to make it run like clockwork. I would HIGHLY recommend Easton & Easton! If you are ever in need of a personal defense attorney Easton & Easton is the firm to represent you!
They are the best law firm in Orange County period. Choosing them to represent me was the best decision of my life.
My life changed in a matter of seconds after a catastrophic spinal cord injury that left me disabled. Brian Easton and his team worked on my case non stop for 3 years and provided me the justice I deserved. I couldn’t have been more content.
I was treated with utmost respect and I felt like I was being represented by a close family member. The responses to my questions were quick and clear. What E & E has done for me is phenomenal.
My sincere thanks to Brian, Matt, Travis, Doug, Gabriel and Amera. They are what they are because of their dedication to provide high quality and professional service to their clients.
Brian Easton and his team, Gabe Mendoza and Amera Hajali, helped me during a very difficult time in my life. I had a significant injury from a car accident, and wound up seeking out Easton & Easton when I was having difficulties getting help from my doctors. The Easton team took a lot of stress off of me while acting as my advocates to help me get the care I needed, and saw my case all the way through to a healthy settlement.
They are the BEST!
I have nothing but good things to say about Easton and Easton. Brian handled my case professionally and communicated with me effectively throughout the process. He made sure that the process was effortless and as hands free as possible. This was super important for my busy schedule. I highly recommend Easton and Easton if you are ever found in a situation that you need an attorney.
I would highly recommend Easton & Easton.
I was rear ended on my home and pushed into a semi-truck. I was not sure how to go about even using an attorney.
Brian, Gab and Amera were so good about helping me thru the process and representing me.
I was able to concentrate on getting myself better knowing they had my back, taking care of the details and keeping me informed along the way
The best Law firm by far. I would highly recommend Easton & Easton, LLP and ask for Gabriel Mendoza and staff. He and his colleagues did and exceptional service. Thank you for everything. Job well done!