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Orange County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you want results, call us. If you want peace of mind, call us. If you want representation who understands the hardship that has been thrust upon you, call us.

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In Southern California, the weather is almost always agreeable for a motorcycle ride. Hitting the road on a bike is one of the best ways to take in the gorgeous scenery our county has to offer. Unfortunately, traveling via motorcycle can also be hazardous. According to data from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, accidents by motorcycle occur at a frequency of 26 times more often than car accidents per miles traveled.

Motorcycles, by their very nature, don’t have many safety features, so the injuries sustained in an accident can be devastating. In 2013 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 4,668 motorcycle fatalities and an estimated 88,000 riders were injured in motor vehicle crashes. Moreover, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic related fatalities that year. Tragically, most motorcycle accidents are not the fault of the motorcycle driver, yet they have to shoulder the consequences.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle crash and seek compensation, first get medical care, then speak with an Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer today. We offer a free consultation to review your case. We take all cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we win.


A motorcycle laying on the street with the text "Orange County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer" superimposed


What a Motorcycle Attorney Can Do For You

Getting into a motorcycle accident is a traumatic event. On top of the pain and mental anguish you must be feeling, the mounting pile of expenses, including medical bills, lost wages, and property damage costs can be overwhelming to face alone. Trying to receive compensation on your own — the compensation you deserve — from insurance companies is nearly impossible without an experienced Orange County motorcycle accident attorney. Here is what we can do for you:

  • Negotiate with insurance companies: Our law firm has decades of experience dealing with insurance companies. When your motorcycle gets damaged and becomes less valuable, insurance companies will typically not reimburse you for its lowered value. Several steps must be taken to receive the correct compensation for your damaged vehicle, which is called a diminished value claim. Our injury attorneys know how to negotiate with your insurance company to win a favorable diminished value claim.
  • Determine liability: In most auto accident cases, both drivers will refuse to admit fault. This means that liability must be proven with undeniable evidence. Our legal team knows how to conduct interviews, gather all relevant evidence, and make a clear case for liability in a motorcycle accident case.
  • Recover maximum compensation: We can handle the complexities of your case while you or a loved one take the necessary time to recover. We have multimillion-dollar injury settlements over the decades.

Types of Motorcycle Injuries

Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compiles data on motorcycle injuries. Lower extremity injuries are the most common afflictions for motorcycle riders, and include road rash, burns, or crush injuries from the weight of the bike falling on them. Other types of possible motorcycle injuries are:

  • Traumatic brain injury: These are more common in riders who neglect to wear helmets while they’re riding.
  • Upper extremity injuries: Broken bones and damage to the muscles of the shoulder are commonly sustained from hitting the pavement with great force.
  • Core injuries: Includes those to the abdominal area and chest. In extreme cases, internal bleeding and organ failure are possible.

As a rider, you can take certain precautions to protect yourself. Wearing a helmet and appropriate protective gear to prevent road rash are good starting point, but defensive driving and gear can only get you so far – circumstances beyond your control can still cause accidents.

In the case of a wrongful death, our motorcycle accident lawyers will fight for the justice of your loved one and fight for maximum compensation for your family.


Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes

Some drivers aren’t as careful around motorcycles as they should be. Negligence and recklessness lead to accidents. Distracted driving, even for a moment, can lead to catastrophic consequences for riders. Here are some unique situations motorcyclists have to contend with on the road:

  • Left turns ahead of you: Drivers don’t always think about checking their blind spot, though they’re supposed to. A minor annoyance for a driver can spell serious injury for a rider.
  • Side swiping: Motorcycles are small enough that drivers tend to miss them. A sideswiping accident is almost always the result of negligence.
  • Rear-end accidents: A “fender bender,” is an annoyance to a car, but for a motorcyclist, it can be life-threatening. Being rear-ended can mean serious injuries or death for a rider.
  • Dooring Accidents: If you’re riding your bike through town, a driver might not check for you before they open their car door into traffic. What could be a minor accident becomes more serious when there’s a motorcycle involved.
  • Lane splitting: While legal in California, lane splitting can be very dangerous for motorcycle riders. If a driver fails to see a motorcycle rider while changing lanes, an accident can occur.
  • Poor weather conditions: Driving in heavy rain, strong winds, or any type of inclement weather can easily cause motorcycle collisions.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Due to their very nature, motorcycle accidents present a number of risks to the riders involved. According to NHTSA crash data:

  • Older motorcyclists are more at risk than younger riders. In 2014, 54% of motorcyclists killed were over 40 years old.
  • Speeding contributes to higher fatality rates for motorcyclists. In 2014, 33% of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding as compared to 20% for passenger cars.
  • Motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes are more likely to have a BAC over .08 than passenger cars: 29% vs. 22%.
  • Helmets save lives. In 2014, 10 times more motorcyclists died in states that did not have mandatory helmet laws.

What Type of Compensation Can You Receive for a Motorcycle Crash?

In the aftermath of sustaining a motorcycle crash in Orange County, victims may be entitled to various types of compensation for their losses. There are two different categories of damages: economic and noneconomic.

Economic damages refer to the financial or out-of-pocket costs of a motorcycle crash. These can include medical bills and motorcycle repairs. Noneconomic damages refer to any personal losses the victim suffered that are not financial, such as emotional distress and physical pain. The noneconomic damages in a motorcycle accident can be significant if the victim suffered permanent injuries, such as a brain injury or spinal cord injury.

At DiMarco Araujo Montevideo, our qualified Orange County personal injury lawyers have a track record of success with these cases and are regularly able to help clients recover the following:

  • Full compensation for their medical bills
  • Coverage of any lost income if they cannot work
  • Any household out-of-pocket expenses they incur
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of quality of life damages
  • Property damage expenses

Together, economic and noneconomic damages make up compensatory losses. The other type of compensation available is punitive damages. It may be possible to receive punitive damages in a motorcycle accident claim in Orange County if the defendant was grossly negligent or reckless and this is what caused the crash. Discuss the compensation available, as well as the potential value of your claim, with a motorcycle accident attorney at our law firm today.


How Much Compensation Is Available for an Orange County Motorcycle Accident?

The total amount of compensation available in the aftermath of a motorcycle crash will vary depending on the circumstances related to each particular situation. At DiMarco Araujo Montevideo, our Orange County motorcycle accident attorneys understand that various factors can influence the final settlement amount. This includes the severity of the injuries, whether or not the victim was responsible for the incident in any way, the level of the victim’s pain and suffering, and more.


How Is Fault Proven in a Motorcycle Accident?

California is a traditional fault state when it comes to handling auto accident insurance claims. In a fault state, the person or party responsible for causing the accident will have to pay damages. Before you can recover compensation from the other driver’s insurance company, however, you must prove that the driver is at fault for the motorcycle wreck. Proving fault generally requires evidence of four key elements.

  1. Duty of care. The duty of care is the legal obligation all drivers have to do their best to prevent accidents. They must obey the law, pay attention to the road and drive prudently to avoid collisions.
  2. Deviation from the duty of care. A deviation, or breach of the duty of care, is any action that a reasonable driver would not have taken in the same circumstances. It can refer to drunk, distracted or careless driving behaviors.
  3. Direct cause of the accident. To be eligible for benefits, you must show a direct link between the driver’s breach of duty and your motorcycle accident. If something else was the main cause of the wreck, the driver might not be liable for your losses.
  4. Damages suffered. If the motorcycle accident did not give you any compensable damages, you will not have grounds to file a claim. The driver will only be liable for your accident if you have injuries, property damages, lost wages or other losses.

If you or your motorcycle accident attorney successfully proves the other driver’s fault, the driver’s insurance company should offer you a settlement. The majority of auto accident claims in California settle without going to trial. If you have a complicated claim, catastrophic injuries or the insurance company refuses to handle things correctly, however, your lawyer may need to take things to court.


Are You Required to Go to Court?

No, you are not required to go to court to resolve a motorcycle accident case in Orange County. A court trial is only necessary for a personal injury claim that cannot settle at the insurance stage. Since insurance companies want to avoid the costs of going to court, most settle with claimants without needing injury trials.

You are more likely to end up in court if your motorcycle accident case has complicated factors, such as a liability dispute or expensive damages. In these cases, an insurance company may be less willing to accept fault and offer fair benefits. If you do need to take your claim to court for fair financial compensation, hire an attorney to represent you at trial.

Our lawyers at DiMarco Araujo Montevideo can help you with a complex motorcycle accident case. We can gather evidence on your behalf, present it to an insurance company, negotiate a full settlement or represent you at court, if necessary. We have the resources, experience and compassion you need for a strong claim to damages – whether or not you have to go to court.


How Long Do You Have to File an Orange County Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?

Victims of motorcycle accidents in Orange County have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in order to recover compensation for their losses. The California personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date the injury occurs. This means that a motorcycle accident victim will have a two-year window with which to file a claim against the alleged negligent party in their case. Failing to file a claim in this time frame will result in the victim being unable to recover the compensation they deserve.

We also want you to understand that this time frame has no bearing on the deadlines put into place by insurance carriers. Most auto accidents, including motorcycle crashes, need to be reported to insurance carriers very soon after the incident occurs. Failing to report the incident to the insurance carrier could result in the claim being delayed or denied altogether.


How Do Motorcycle Accidents Affect Californians?

According to data available from the California Office of Traffic Safety, we can see that 488 motorcyclists lost their lives during the latest reporting year across the state. Additionally, there were nearly 14,000 motorcyclist injuries during that same reporting year.

California has more registered motorcycles than any other state in the union, with more than 850,000 cycles registered, per data from the OTS. While this state has wonderful scenery and great weather for motorcycle riders, it is clear that motorcycle crashes significantly affect riders and passengers.


California Motorcycle Helmet Law

When we turned to the California Vehicle Code, Division 12, Chapter 5, Article 7, Section 27803, we can see that this state has a universal motorcycle helmet law in place. This applies to all bikers. The law states that drivers and passengers on motorcycles must wear a DOT-approved helmet that is securely strapped to their head and fits snugly without excessive movement.

Various research indicates that universal helmet laws significantly reduce the injury and fatality rates in the areas where they are implemented.


Get Legal Representation Today

At the law offices of DiMarco Araujo Montevideo, our Orange County motorcycle accident attorneys are committed to securing the best outcomes for our clients. When we take on your motorcycle accident case, we fully commit ourselves to finding the party at fault and making them pay. We gather our own evidence, talk to witnesses, view police reports, and request notes from your doctor to prove your accident was the direct result of negligence.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, your main focus should be recovery. Let us do the negotiating with the insurance company and opposing counsel. We know all the tricks people use to try to make you settle for less. We don’t stop fighting until you get fair compensation to cover your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and much more.

To get started on your personal injury claim, call our office to set up a free case evaluation. One of our associates will sit down with you to review the facts of your situation and offer advice, free of charge. To set up a free consultation, contact us today.

We serve motorcycle accident victims all over Orange County, including Irvine, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and San Clemente. 

 

“A firm that treats you like a family! I had a motorcycle accident in 1981, after the settlement was over I am so thankful that they looked out for my future by recommending an annuity paid over time. 26 years later I am still receiving money thanks to that good advice. Special thanks to John Montevideo for his help and friendship. I had the opportunity to watch the firm grow just as John Michael grew. I still have a hard time remembering the lost of Andrew and Steven. I have only good things to say about the firm. THANK YOU!!!!!”– David S.

Covid 19 Update: We are accepting new cases and we handle everything electronically and remotely, so our clients never have to leave their homes.