Motorcycle accident attorney
There are few experiences as freeing as jumping on a motorcycle and hitting the open road. Of course, finding an open road in a city can be a bit challenging. But outside the city, highways and backroads seem to beg bikers to let loose and forget all of their problems, if only for a few hours.
Unfortunately, cars and other vehicles don’t always appreciate the fact that there are motorcycles on the road. Some drivers may act aggressively toward motorcyclists, while others may simply not pay enough attention to them. No matter the reason, motorcycle accidents are far too common on America’s roads.
Motorcycle accidents are dangerous because bikers don’t have the same kind of protection as car drivers. While cars have airbags and doors to protect drivers and passengers, motorcyclists have little more than a helmet and a jacket to protect them. That’s why motorcycle accidents so often result in serious injury and, in too many cases, death.
Anyone injured in this type of collision should speak with a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more. That’s where the attorneys listed on LawyerUp.co can help.
How much does it cost to hire a motorcycle accident attorney?
You have enough to deal with after being hurt in a motorcycle crash – paying for an attorney shouldn’t add to your stress. Thankfully, many motorcycle accident attorneys listed on LawyerUp use a contingency fee based model when representing their clients. This means that if your motorcycle accident attorney doesn’t win, you don’t pay.
What should I do after being hit on my motorcycle?
The steps you take after a motorcycle crash can have a significant impact on the compensation you may be able to receive. To protect your right to compensation, we recommend taking the following steps.
1. Get off the road, but leave your bike
Staying on the road or on your bike puts you in severe danger. Unless police block off the entire street, you’re at risk of being hit again. To avoid further injury, you should find a safe place to wait for emergency personnel away from the road. However, you need to leave your bike where it is. Its exact location can be a crucial piece of evidence in your fight for compensation.
2. Keep on your safety gear
Don’t remove your helmet or other safety gear until emergency personnel arrive and tell you it’s okay to do so. Keeping on your safety gear protects you from further injury and prevents other drivers from claiming your injuries were caused by not wearing a helmet.
3. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance and the police
You should call 911 even if you don’t feel severely injured. Adrenaline and other pain-masking hormones are prevalent in people who have just been in a collision, and your injury might be worse than you think.
The responding police officer can also provide details about the crash in an official report, which cannot be used as evidence in court but can be invaluable to your motorcycle accident lawyer’s case against the insurance company.
4. Gather evidence at the scene
Evidence is crucial in any personal injury case. If it’s safe to do so, use your phone to take pictures of the scene. Try to get clear images of:
- The position and damage to your motorcycle
- Any traffic signals or stop signs
- Signs of the collision, such as skid marks or glass on the road
It’s also a good idea to get the contact information of any witnesses at the scene. Your motorcycle accident lawyer can interview them later.
5. Notify your insurance company
You’ll need to call your insurance carrier and notify them of the incident as soon as possible. Only disclose the indisputable facts of the case, such as where it occurred. Don’t say anything that could potentially be interpreted as an admission of fault, such as “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t mean to.” Insurance adjusters are waiting for accident victims to say statements like these so they can deny or devalue their claims.
If you already have a motorcycle accident lawyer at this point, it’s a good idea to ask them to handle all communication with the insurance company.
6. Meet with a motorcycle accident lawyer
A motorcycle accident attorney with LawyerUp can help you determine if you have a case, and if so, they can advise you on the best way to pursue compensation. They’ll be your advocate from day one, fighting on your behalf for full compensation and preventing insurance from pulling any tricks to deny your claim.
Types of compensation you may be able to receive after a motorcycle accident
Injured motorcyclists are generally eligible for two types of compensation: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are easy to calculate because they come with a “price tag” of invoices and bills. They include things like past and future medical bills, property repairs, and lost wages due to missing work.
Noneconomic damages are a more subjective type of compensation. They’re designed to compensate you for the mental and emotional losses that you suffered as a direct result of the crash. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more. Because there’s no set value for these damages, your motorcycle accident attorney will need to fight for them in court or in negotiations with the insurance company.
In certain cases, a jury may award punitive damages against the at-fault driver if they’re found to have acted in a willful or reckless manner. The most common reason punitive damages are awarded is if the at-fault driver was under the influence at the time of the crash.
Negligence laws in your case
In order to effectively seek compensation, you must prove that the other driver either intentionally caused the accident, or acted negligently. Negligence is a legal term that applies when someone acts in a way that a reasonable person wouldn’t. There are four general elements of negligence.
The first is duty of care. Drivers have a duty to drive safely, follow all traffic laws and avoid causing damage or injury to other drivers, including motorcyclists. The second element is a breach of that duty of care. For instance, if a driver runs a red light and hits a biker, they have breached their duty of care.
The third element is causation. In essence, the other driver’s duty of care must have caused your injuries. For example, if there’s an accident across the street, and a biker gets distracted by it, there likely won’t be a solid case for the motorcyclist. In the same manner, if a driver has to suddenly swerve due to a tree falling, and they hit a motorcyclist, it probably wouldn’t be considered negligence, since that tree falling was an unforeseeable incident.
Finally, there must be real damages to be paid. This is generally easy to prove. Medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more count as real damages.
Many states follow a comparative negligence statute. If you are found 50% or more at fault for the accident, you can’t receive compensation. However, if you are found 49% or less at fault for the accident, you can receive compensation lessened by the amount you’re at fault. For instance, if you win $10,000 for your injuries, but you’re found 20% at fault for the accident, you would only receive $8,000.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents
Motorcycle accidents have always been dangerous, but the danger is tenfold when you introduce a distracted driver into the mix. Examples of negligent driver behavior that often causes motorcycle collisions include:
- Failure to yield to the right-of-way
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Failing to signal lane changes or turns
- Failing to check blind spots
Common motorcycle accident injuries
The nature of their vehicles makes bikers vulnerable to severe injuries. The severity of a particular injury depends greatly on circumstances like road conditions and speed, but it’s uncommon for a biker to walk away from a collision unscathed. The following injuries are especially common in motorcycle accidents:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Road rash
- Broken bones, including arms and legs
- Burns from fires or exposure to chemicals
- ACL or MCL tears
Speak with a motorcycle accident attorney today
Motorcycle accidents can quickly become complicated legal cases. That’s why it’s so important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after the crash. A qualified lawyer will review the details of your case and help you figure out your best legal options. Explore LawerUp today to get in touch with an experienced attorney.