Southern California has some of the best roads for riding motorcycles. No matter how experienced or cautious you are as a rider, however, you still face significant risks when sharing the road with inattentive or careless motorists. Many motorcycle accidents are caused by automobile drivers who overlook motorcycles on the road.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Orange County caused by another driver’s negligence, you could be owed significant compensation for your injuries and losses.
Contact Sam & Ash Injury Law for a free initial case evaluation with the motorcycle accident attorneys in our Newport Beach office. Our attorneys are available 24/7, so reach out to us by phone or online now. We believe that you deserve what’s right.
Main Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Some of the main causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Driving too fast for road and weather conditions
- Reckless drivingWeaving through traffic
- Failure to move over fully to the adjacent lane to pass a motorcycle
- Unsafe turns and lane changes
- Failing to check mirrors and blind spots
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Running stop lights and stop signs
- Failing to yield the right of way
Other potential contributing factors to motorcycle accidents include poor road conditions such as potholes or road debris, mechanical defects in a motorcycle, adverse weather conditions, and unsafe road or intersection design.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
When a motorcycle is involved in a collision with another vehicle, the rider has little to protect them from injury beyond a helmet, boots, and riding leathers.
As a result, motorcycle crashes tend to lead to serious physical injuries, including:
- Lacerations, road rash, abrasions, and avulsions
- Broken bones
- Ligament, tendon, and muscle injuries
- Nerve damage
- Herniated disc injuries
- Crush injuries
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial injuries, including eye damage
- Traumatic brain injury
Recent Newport Beach Motorcycle Accident
One recent fatal motorcycle crash in Newport Beach highlights the dangers motorcyclists face on the road.
In November 2021, 25-year-old Benjamin Gusenkov of Laguna Niguel was killed in a collision with a sedan near the intersection of 34th Street and Balboa Boulevard.
California Motorcycle Laws
Motorcycle riders in California are expected to observe laws and regulations designed to keep them safe on the road such as:
- All motorcycle operators must have a Class M1 license, which requires being at least 16 years old, passing a written knowledge test, and either taking a state-approved motorcycle safety course or passing an on-road skills test
- Every motorcycle kept in California must be registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Motorcycle owners also are required to obtain liability insurance that includes coverage of at least $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident of bodily injury coverage and $5,000 of property damage coverage
- Street-legal motorcycles in California must have at least one mirror that provides a view of at least 200 feet to the rear, front and rear turn signals, headlights, and a tamper-resistant exhaust system
- Riders may only operate a motorcycle that allows them to plant their feet on the ground when sitting astride the seat and that has handlebars no more than six inches above shoulder height
- All motorcycle riders, including passengers, must wear helmets that comply with U.S. Department of Transportation safety standards
- All passengers must sit on a seat securely fastened behind the driver with their own footrests, or sit in a sidecar designed to transport passengers
- Lane splitting, or the practice of riding in between lanes of traffic, is legal in California, however, riding on the shoulder remains illegal
How To Prove a Motorcycle Claim
In motorcycle accident personal injury claims arising from a collision between a motorcycle and another motor vehicle, an injured rider will need to prove that the other driver acted negligently and caused the crash. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to fulfill their legal obligations such as obeying traffic signals and driving at a safe speed. As a result of negligent actions, an automobile driver may cause an accident resulting in injuries to a motorcyclist.
Some drivers who cause accidents as a result of driving while impaired may be charged with a traffic offense and also be subject to a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation.
Some motorcycle accident claims arise because the motorcycle or another vehicle involved in the collision had some defect that led to the crash. Proving a defect claim requires showing that the motorcycle or other vehicle suffered from a design or manufacturing defect and that the defect existed when the motorcycle or other vehicle left the manufacturer.
Statute of Limitations To File a Motorcycle Claim
If you need to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for financial losses you suffered from an accident on your motorcycle, California’s statute of limitations imposes a limit on the amount of time allowed to file a lawsuit.
Lawsuits seeking compensation for injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. Families of motorcycle riders who are killed in an accident have two years from their loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death claim. However, when a minor has a motorcycle accident claim, the statute of limitations does not begin running until he or she turns 18 years old.
If you are bringing a motorcycle accident claim against the state or a local government or a public entity, special notification requirements apply. California law requires you to provide the relevant government agency with notice of your claim within six months of the date of the accident. Failing to give proper notice may lead to the dismissal of the claim.
Compensation for Motorcycle Injuries
After a motorcycle accident, financial compensation for losses due to injuries and property damage from the accident may include:
- Costs to repair your motorcycle or replace your motorcycle if it was destroyed in the accident
- Costs of medical care for motorcycle accident injuries
- Costs of long-term medical and personal care you may need for permanent disabilities that result from your injuries
- Loss of income if you cannot return to your job while recovering from injuries, or if disabilities prevent you from resuming gainful employment
- Physical pain and emotional anguish
- Reduced quality of life due to disfigurement/scarring or physical and cognitive impairments from your injuries
What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Orange County
Following a motorcycle accident, to protect your rights to pursue financial recovery, you should:
- Take photos of the accident scene, if you can, including vehicle damage, skid marks and damage debris on the road, traffic signals, visual obstructions, and road conditions at the time of the accident
- Seek medical attention as soon as you can to have any injuries diagnosed by a doctor
- Keep records of your medical expenses and other expenses related to the accident, including lost income if you miss time from work
- Keep a journal to document the pain and difficulties you experience while undertaking everyday tasks
Speak with a motorcycle accident law firm attorney at Sam & Ash Injury Law in Newport Beach, CA so we can seek the financial recovery you need and deserve.
Newport Beach Community
Important resources for the Newport Beach, CA community include:
Police Department in Newport Beach
The Newport Beach Police Department has headquarters located at 870 Santa Barbara Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660. The police department can be reached by phone at 949-644-3681 or by email at email@example.com.
Hospitals in Newport Beach
Hospitals in and near Newport Beach include:
- Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, at 1 Hoag Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92663
- College Hospital Costa Mesa, at 301 Victoria St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Urgent care facilities include:
- Marque Urgent Care Newport Beach, at 2075 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Newport Beach, CA 92660
- Vital Urgent Care, at 2507 Eastbluff Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660
- Newport Urgent Care, at 1000 Bristol St. N., Newport Beach, CA 92660
- Carbon Health Urgent Care Huntington Beach, at 10028 Adams Ave., Huntington Beach, CA 92646
Our Orange County Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
You should not have to deal with insurance companies on your own if you are struggling to recover from motorcycle accident injuries caused by another driver. You deserve what’s right. Contact Sam & Ash Injury Law today for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about how we can help you pursue financial compensation and accountability following a motorcycle accident.