The thrill and sense of freedom, as well as convenience, is what excites motorcycle enthusiasts. However, motorcycle riders are exposed to more danger of injury when an accident happens as compared to other road users. Statistics indicate that a biker is probable to get injured nine times over in an accident in comparison to a vehicle accident. The exposure to death is higher, with motorcycles being reported to result in fatalities 37 times over cars. With the use of drugs and alcohol, these risks are increasingly higher. A drug-related motorcycle crash can happen as a result of negligence from the other party. When this happens, it is possible to file a lawsuit on personal injury and recover your damages. Our lawyers at Orange County Personal Injury Attorney are ready to assist you in filing the suit. We are committed, dedicated, and passionate to ensure you are rightfully compensated.
Overview of California DUI Laws
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is an offense in California, as stipulated in VEH 23152. Any device that can be moved or propelled on the road and operated by a human being is defined as a vehicle. Following this, a motorcycle falls in this category, and the laws governing driving under the influence of motor vehicles also apply to bikes. Penalties for riding a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are stringent just like those of other motorists.
There are many reports of accidents due to drunk driving. Motorcyclists have also caused many accidents due to drunk driving. Fatalities, as well as life-altering accidents, have resulted from these accidents, leaving victims and their families devastated.
Victims of drug-related motorcycle accidents can receive compensation for their damages from those found at fault. Equally, the person found at fault will also be prosecuted and face additional penalties for causing the accident. The breakdown for the various penalties is outlined under VEH 23152.
Understanding Motorcycle Accidents
When a person decides to use a motorcycle as their means of transport, they get exposed to the risk of fatalities and injuries. While using the road, motorcyclists are exposed to more danger as compared to other road users. Motorists often sustain many injuries in various parts of their bodies when an accident happens. Some of the common injuries are head and neck injuries, fractures, spinal injuries, burns, concussions, road rash, knee injuries, scarring, and eye damage. To recover or get treatment for these injuries, one will have to spend a lot of money. Various things cause motorcycle accidents with some of them being:
- Negligent Drivers:- some vehicle drivers are careless while using the road. Their actions usually endanger other road users and more so motorcyclists. A driver can intentionally ignore the right of way for the rider, increasing the risk of causing an accident.
- Careless Lane Changing:- some motorists will carelessly change their lanes without regard to other road users. This carelessness contributes to an increased risk of an accident happening.
- Abrupt Stops: - if a vehicle in front of a motorcyclist suddenly stops, it can cause the rider to hit the car from behind, causing a crash. The impact thereof can throw the rider off their bike and may result in fatality.
- Left-hand turns: - turns to your left are some of the significant contributors to motorcycle crashes. These turns can be responsible for accidents when:
- When a driver of a vehicle is not attentive enough driving
- The motorcyclist is riding through a junction or is overtaking
- The vehicle driver overestimates the position of the rider that may lead to a crash
- Hazardous roads: - many road hazards are responsible for many road accidents. Some of these hazards include potholes, slippery pavements or roads, crossing animals, among others. Defective motorcycles or their parts can also contribute to a crash, as well. When an accident happens, and you get injured, your lawyer can help figure out who or what is responsible for the accident.
- Negotiating Corners: - many motorists are exposed to danger while negotiating corners. Corners blinded a cyclist from seeing oncoming vehicles as well as them not seeing the rider. This, in most cases, results in accidents. Some drivers may try to overlap at a specific corner while a motorcyclist was about to turn the corner, causing a collision that can lead to fatality.
- Vehicles being driven on the lane belonging to cyclists
- When vehicles are towed ahead of motorcycles
- Colliding with stationary things like vehicles or buildings.
Various circumstances lead to increased injuries and fatalities from motorcycle crashes. Some of these are:
- Motorcycles do not have protective bodies like vehicles. The body of the rider is directly exposed to any danger. When an accident happens, the impact is direct to the body.
- The stability of motorcycles is not as good as that of vehicles. While vehicles operate on four wheels, bikes are on two wheels, making them likely to destabilize. Additionally, riders must concentrate on their stability or maintaining balance. If they lose their focus, they can easily fall and sustain multiple injuries.
- It is not easy to spot a motorcycle while on the road with comparison to cars. Many accidents happen when a vehicle driver fails to notice bikes using the road. In case they spot them, the time for response may be too short such that the motorcyclist ends up injured.
- Some riders fail to have their helmets on while riding. Statistics indicate that your life can be saved by wearing a helmet up to 40% during an accident. A helmet protects a person’s head from sustaining severe injuries. In California, according to VEH 27803, motorcyclists are required to wear their helmets at all times when riding. This means that riding without a helmet is a violation of the law. In case you are involved in a drug-related motorcycle accident, you should have your helmet on. If you had no helmet on, you would be partially blamed for the bodily injuries you will get. Because motorcycle accidents are serious, it is essential to always put on protective clothing to help minimize the impact when you crush.
- High speeds are also responsible for many motorcycle crashes. When a motorist is intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, their likelihood to crash increases, this is because they will not be able to respond as fast as they would under normal circumstances when not intoxicated. With high speeds and intoxication, it becomes hard to be in control as a motorcyclist.
- Lack of experience from other road users as well as motorcyclists can also lead to increased crashes. When situations happen on the road that requires them to respond in a certain way happen, they may not be able to respond appropriately. This will increase the risk of crashing and sustaining injuries.
- The age of a motorcyclist also matters when it comes to accidents. When a person is older, their response is much slower to possible danger. Their visibility is also reduced. When an accident happens, they are likely to sustain more injuries as compared to younger riders.
- Alcohol and Drugs are also significant contributors to accidents. Accidents of this nature are either because the vehicle driver is intoxicated or the biker. Drunk riding or driving subjects other users of the road to danger as well. Because of lack of control, motorists or riders that are intoxicated cause many accidents that result in severe injuries and fatalities than others.
Motorcycle Drug-Related Accidents
For a motorcycle accident to be termed as drug-related, the crash happens when the motorcyclist or motorist is intoxicated from alcohol or drugs. The drugs, in this case, may be recreational or prescription drugs that hinder the typical functioning of the brain. When this happens, the judgment is impaired, resulting in irresponsible driving or riding. When a person’s blood alcohol content is higher than average, there is an increased risk of fatalities and injuries.
The law in California prohibits a motorcyclist or a vehicle driver from being on the road when their BAC levels are 0.8% or over. It is believed that drugs and alcohol impair the functionality of the brain, resulting in misjudgment and increased chances of accidents.
Most motorcycle accidents due to intoxication involve groups of people out to have fun and recreation. Many group riders disregard safety rules like drugs and alcohol consumption while on the roads. When they are intoxicated, they, in most cases, over-speed and compete on the road. In the process, they take illegal turns or lanes and in most cases, disobey traffic rules. With a group mentality, some take unnecessary chances that would expose them to dangers on the road and also fellow road users. If this riding while one is intoxicated happens in the night, the danger is significantly increased.
Under the California law, drug-related motorcycle accidents are prosecuted as driving under the influence, causing injuries, and this is under VEH 23153. The code is designed to protect other road users as well as motorcyclists from injuries and damages caused by other drivers. This means that if the driver is found at fault, he or she will face DUI charges. Additionally, the rider or the injured person can also bring another suit against them on personal injuries.
Various drugs have been known to contribute to multiple motorcycle accidents. These include:
- Recreational and prohibited drugs that make the brain to be impaired
- The alcohol content in alcoholic beverages
- Prescription drugs known to result in drowsiness.
When an intoxicated motorcyclist hits a pedestrian, another vehicle, or an object, this is another case of a drug-related motorcycle accident. The motorcyclist can be sued for damages by the pedestrian. In addition, the pedestrian can also sue for the damaged property, if any.
Anytime a motorcycle crash happens, police will want to establish the cause of the accident. They may decide to perform a breath and blood chemical tests to determine the BAC levels for both parties. They will check your licenses, training, and gather any statements from witnesses. Your lawyer can use the reports from police to convince the court of the negligence of the operator or driver. Proving negligence helps determine fault that will help the court in deciding the person responsible for the accident.
What One Can Recover from Motorcycle Drug-Related Accident
If you sustain injuries due to another driver’s negligence or a drunk motorcyclist, you can sue for damages and get compensated for them. Many motorcycle accidents have led to life-altering injuries that have long-lasting effects on the victim. Some of these effects may include loss of limbs, disability, back pain, chronic neck pain, among others. With an experienced personal injury lawyer, the victim can get compensation to cover their medical bills.
Compensation can also be sought to recover lost income, lost ability to earn wages, lost or damaged property. In other cases, a victim will be able to recover for non-economic losses such as suffering and pain as well as the family getting compensation for wrongful death, among others.
The amount a victim receives is dependent on the kind of injury sustained. The circumstances during the accident are also taken into consideration. Medical costs after a motorcycle accident can be unmanageable for the victim and their family. Bringing a lawsuit against the party at-fault helps you get reimbursed for the expenses incurred as well as future costs. Some injuries can result in life-long consequences that may force the victim to go for rehabilitation or specialized treatment. This can be very devastating for the victim and their family financially. In some instances, the victim can lose the ability to earn an income or lose income during the recovery time. All these factors contribute to the necessity of the victim to sue for compensation to make their lives more bearable.
In a majority of the accidents, the motorcycle also suffers damage. Apart from your injuries, your bike can get damaged entirely or partially. The person at fault should also be compelled to pay you for the losses. In most cases, the other party’s insurance may offer to compensate you for the damages to your motorcycle. With the reinstitution, you will be able to repair your bike or get a brand new one. If you can keep riding once you have recovered, it is also advisable to sue for property damages.
The suffering and pain a victim endures following a drug-related motorcycle accident can attract non-economic compensation. Based on how effective your attorney can negotiate your case, the amount of compensation varies from one victim to the other. The more compelling the evidence you bring in court, the higher the compensation you are likely to receive.
It would be ideal as a victim to keep a detailed record of your emotional distress and pain during your period of recovery. To get worthwhile compensation for your suffering and pain, you must present convincing evidence of your psychological, emotional, and physical distress.
Some drug-related motorcycle accidents can lead to fatalities. When this happens, the family or spouse of the deceased is entitled to compensation for wrongful death. It is a fact you cannot replace a person with money, but compensation received due to their death acts as a form of justice against those responsible. When a wrongful death lawsuit is brought, it compensates the family against lost companionship, medical costs incurred following the accident and funeral expenses.
What Would Happen When an Intoxicated Motorcyclist Injures You?
If you are a passenger of a drunk motorcyclist, you are equally at risk of injuries if an accident happens. If, as a passenger, you sustain injuries from the crash, you can be able to bring a lawsuit against the biker for compensation. This applies if they are responsible for the accident regardless of the involvement of another car. To successfully get compensation, you must show evidence that the motorcyclist was intoxicated and negligent, and their negligence resulted in an accident that caused injuries.
Pedestrians can also be injured by a motorcyclist that is intoxicated. He may ride off the road or on the road and end up causing an accident that may result in injuries. If this happens, the injured pedestrians can bring a lawsuit for compensation against the rider.
If the pedestrian had goods or items with them that got damaged during the accident, they can also seek compensation for the damages.
How to Deal with an Insurance Firm after a Drug-Related Motorcycle Accident
Immediately an accident happens that you find yourself in, you must get in touch with the insurance of the person at fault to seek compensation for the sustained injuries and damages. A claim is expected to be filed immediately, preferably within 24 hours after the accident happens. Finding medical attention is also advisable immediately following the accident.
After the insurance provider receives your claim, they will have their insurance adjuster conduct you with an offer to settle your damages and compensate you for your loss. This they do very fast because they want to deter a lawsuit as much as possible. However, you must remember that insurance providers are profit-making entities. Because of this, most compensation offers will hardly meet your expenses or your damages. A personal injury lawyer will likely advise against accepting such an offer. This is because when you do, you will be unable to file a personal injury suit against those responsible for the damages.
A lawsuit against the insurance company will result in reduced profits. The insurance company understands that a lawsuit on personal injury may result in the possibility of paying a lot more in compensation to the plaintiff. With this knowledge, it is essential to decline any offer given no matter how attractive it may seem. Instead, get a personal injury lawyer to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
To come up with the offer for settlement, the insurance providers will cover the medical costs, property damage, type of injuries, and suffering and loss damages. After calculating these costs, they decide on how much they want to pay as well as their highest offer. In most cases, they give an offer that is 25% below the offer amount or more. This they do so that they leave room to negotiate with the victim if need be.
When you get injured by a motorcycle through a drug-related crash, ensure you get a personal injury lawyer. Take the offer letter from the insurance provider to your attorney for concrete legal advice. Let your lawyer carry out their investigation about the medical requirements and possible cost. Your lawyer is more knowledgeable in understanding what one should be compensated for. He or she will discuss your injuries with your doctors to know the actual position of all the necessary medical costs. Your lawyer is also more versed in understanding compensation for incurred damages, lost income, among other expenses. Once your lawyer comes up with the probable settlement amount, they can give a counteroffer to the insurance provider.
The insurance provider can then decide to pay or engage your lawyer in negotiations. If an agreement is not reached, a lawsuit against personal injuries can be filed by your attorney. Your lawyer, to win the case, will gather the necessary evidence, police reports, medical reports, statements from witnesses, and so forth. The aim is to prove that you deserve the compensation they are asking for, following your injuries from the drunk motorcyclist.
Once a suit is filed, there will be various court proceedings to help determine the compensation you are entitled to. With the evidence provided, the court is able to decide on the compensation amount a victim receives following the injuries and damages.
Find a Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me
Motorcycle accidents that are drug-related expose those involved to severe injuries and in some cases, fatalities. The suffering, loss, pain, and damages after these incidences cannot be fully recovered through monetary compensation. However, monetary compensation helps the victim and their families through financial challenges they will face as a result. Compensation also acts as a way for the victim and family of a victim to find justice. Closure for those that have lost a loved one is also attained. Orange County Personal Injury Attorney will be with you every step of the way as you seek compensation that is rightfully yours. We shall give you concrete advice, help you get all the necessary evidence for your case as well as help you negotiate for your claims. Get in touch with our Orange County Personal Injury Attorney today on 714-876-1959, and we shall gladly be ready to help you with your case.