orange county motorcycle accident lawyer

Orange County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Accidents involving motorcycles require special knowledge of the Vehicle Code as it applies specifically to motorcyclists. Because motorcycles do not have seatbelts, doors or outer frames motorcyclists have fewer protections in a collision  and they are exposed to a greater risk of harm and injury when they are involved in a crash. Common injuries as a result of motorcycle crashes include broken bones, road rash, scarring, head trauma, and blunt force trauma to the body. More severe injuries can include loss of a limb, paralysis or death. Motorcyclists are often ejected from their motorcycles in a crash, resulting in significant injuries.

The Bertch Firm has helped families and injured individuals obtain the compensation they deserve as a result of motorcycle accidents. We know how physically, emotionally, and financially devastating a motorcycle accident can be. Our team uses our years of experience to determine what damages you are owed and investigate the accident to discover who is at fault.

Determining fault and liability in a motorcycle accident

In order to make a bodily injury claim as a result of a motorcycle accident, you must first determine the party or parties at fault for causing the accident. Motorcycle accidents can be caused by many parties, including another motorcyclist, a vehicle driver, a third party on the road, the agency responsible for the roadway, or the manufacturer of a vehicle or vehicle component. Any party that acted negligently, which directly caused the accident, can be held liable for any damages to injured parties. The same rules and responsibilities that apply to motor vehicle collisions involving automobiles apply to accidents involving motorcycles.

Can I make a claim for bodily injury if I was lane-splitting?

Yes. In California, Vehicle Code §21658.1 defines lane-splitting as “driving a motorcycle, as defined in Section 400, that has two wheels in contact with the ground, between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including on both divided and undivided streets, roads, or highways.” The California Legislature has authorized the California Highway Patrol to develop educational guidelines relating to lane splitting that ensure the safety of motorcyclists and the drivers and passengers of the surrounding vehicles.

Additional Motorcycle safety information from the California Highway Patrol can be found here.

What damages am I entitled to recover as a result of a motorcycle accident?

In California, a responsible party is required to provide compensation to an injured person for all harm that was caused by their negligence or wrongdoing. This includes medical bills, loss of earnings and earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, disfigurement, grief, anxiety, and humiliation. It also includes property damage. Under limited circumstances, it may also include punitive damages to punish the defendant for wrongdoing, if it is established that the defendant acted with malice, fraud or oppression as required by Civil Code §3294. In order to recover damages, you will need to make a claim and/or file a lawsuit against the responsible party. An experienced attorney at The Bertch Firm possesses the knowledge, training, skill and experience to pursue justice for you and secure maximum compensation for the damages you have suffered.

Do I need a motorcycle accident attorney?

After a motorcycle accident, a personal injury claim should be made with the at fault party’s insurance as soon as possible. By working with an attorney, your claim can be handled efficiently and correctly, while you focus on your recovery. Your attorney will manage legal deadlines, filing requirements, investigation into the accident, negotiations with the insurance providers, and other complicated tasks associated with your case. Competent legal representation is also likely to maximize your settlement and reduce the risk of low-ball offers from the defendant’s insurance company.

Additional resources for motorcycle accidents

Further information about motorcycle accidents and motorcycle safety can be found by visiting the websites of the following organizations:

How much is my motorcycle accident case worth?

Every case is unique and must be evaluated in light of the specific circumstances giving rise to your injury. The value of your case depends on many factors including the liability of the defendant, any comparative fault of your own in causing your injuries, and the nature and extent of all of the harm suffered by you as a result of the incident, including damages for bodily injury, loss of earnings and earning capacity, property damage, general damages (e.g. pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, anxiety, inconvenience, grief, humiliation, and disfigurement) and punitive damages.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit for a motorcycle accident?

In California, the statute of limitations for all personal injury claims, including motorcycle accidents, is two years from the date the incident occurred. This is known as the statute of limitations. (See Code of Civil Procedure §§335-349.4) Code of Civil Procedure §§335-335.1 states that “the periods prescribed for the commencement of actions other than for the recovery of real property, are…[w]ithin two years: an action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.”

However, there may be exceptions to this rule which shorten or extend the time for you to file a lawsuit. In most cases, a lawsuit cannot be brought if more than two years has passed since the date of the incident. In limited situations, the time to file a lawsuit may be longer than two years. For example, if the claimant is a minor, they must file a lawsuit within two years of their eighteenth birthday. In other situations, the time to file a lawsuit may be shorter than two years. For example, if your injury occurs as a result of wrongdoing or negligence of a public or government entity, you must submit a claim to the appropriate government entity within six months, even if the claimant is a minor. We strongly encourage you to speak to an attorney at your earliest opportunity to ensure your rights to bring a lawsuit to recover damages for the harm you have suffered are protected.

At The Bertch Firm, each case is overseen and prosecuted by a licensed attorney, not a paralegal or case manager. The Bertch Firm has experience with many different types of vehicle accidents, including motorcycle accidents. An experienced attorney can help you gather and preserve crucial evidence for your motorcycle accident claim. Contact The Bertch Firm today and experience The Bertch Firm difference when you hire us to represent you for your injury claim.

The Bertch Firm has represented many people who have been injured as a result of motorcycle accidents. For further information about your potential case as a result of a motorcycle accident, contact an attorney at The Bertch Firm today for a free consultation.