Motorcycle accidents often produce devastating and deadly injuries since cyclists have minimal protection while riding their bikes. When cyclists fall to the ground, they may suffer severe injuries to various body parts, including their heads. This is true even if the cyclist is wearing a motorcycle helmet (and other protective gear) at the time of the accident.
Many motorcycle accidents occur when other people drive negligently and carelessly. These crashes also sometimes happen when municipalities fail to maintain roads in a reasonably safe manner. Reach out to a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Your first priority after a motorcycle crash should be seeking emergency medical treatment right away. Your next step should be finding an attorney who can represent you throughout your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
In addition to filing a timely claim on your behalf, your lawyer can represent you in all legal proceedings and advocate for fair monetary compensation on your behalf. Your attorney will do everything they can to maximize your total damages, helping you become whole again after your motorcycle crash.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents
The majority of motorcycle accidents happen when other people drive negligently and carelessly or commit traffic law violations.
In these situations, the resulting motorcycle accidents may include:
- Rear-end accidents, where another driver hits the back of a motorcycle.
- Head-on collisions, where another vehicle hits the front of a motorcycle directly
- Sideswipe accidents, where another vehicle hits the side of a motorcycle while both vehicles are traveling in the same direction
- Flip or overturn accidents, where the force of a collision from another vehicle causes a motorcycle to entirely or partially overturn.
- Broadside accidents, where another vehicle hits the side of a motorcycle, usually at a traffic intersection, where another driver fails to yield the right-of-way
If you sustained injuries in one of these accidents, you should seek legal help in your case as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you may inadvertently jeopardize your right to recover full and fair monetary damages for your injuries and other losses. A motorcycle accident attorney in your area can begin investigating your case right away and pursuing the monetary damages you deserve for your losses.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle crashes frequently occur when other drivers commit serious errors while on the road. Some traffic law violations that lead to dangerous motorcycle accidents include speeding, engaging in reckless driving, failing to use turn signals, and failing to yield the right-of-way to a cyclist when it is lawful to do so.
At other times, motorcycle crashes occur when other drivers fail to check their mirrors and blind spots, especially when backing out of parking spaces in parking lots and garages. When a driver does not use their mirrors appropriately, they may fail to see a motorcycle behind them, negligently causing a collision that dislodges the cyclist from their vehicle.
In addition, motorcycle accidents may happen when drivers are illegally intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for passenger vehicle operators is 0.08 percent, while the BAC limit for some other drivers is much lower. When a driver violates these limits and is illegally under the influence of alcohol, they may incur severe criminal and civil penalties if they ultimately cause a motorcycle accident that leads to injuries. Intoxicated drivers are especially likely to cause a motorcycle crash because they may experience impaired vision, which prevents them from noticing a cyclist near them.
Moreover, motorcycle accidents may occur when drivers turn their attention away from the road and onto something else in their vehicle, such as a cell phone or GPS navigation system. Whenever a distracted driver looks down to read a text message or email, they may not see an approaching motorcycle and may negligently bring about a collision with that vehicle.
Finally, some motorcycle accidents happen when municipalities, including cities and counties, fail to maintain roadways in their jurisdiction. For example, they may allow deep cracks and potholes to form, both of which may dislodge a motorcyclist from their bike—especially if they are traveling at a high rate of speed.
If a cyclist falls from their bike due to a roadway defect, they can take legal action against the governing municipality. However, notice provisions usually apply in these circumstances, and if the accident victim does not notify the governmental entity in a timely manner, they may be unable to file a claim or lawsuit against the entity that seeks monetary damages.
A skilled motorcycle accident attorney in your area can determine if you are eligible to file a motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit based on negligence. Your lawyer can then help you take the appropriate legal action to recover the monetary damages you need in your motorcycle crash case.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Since no protective barrier exists between a motorcyclist and the ground, the injuries that a cyclist suffers are often debilitating and may last for a significant amount of time. In some situations, such as with spinal cord and paralysis injuries, motorcycle crashes lead to permanent complications.
The injuries that a cyclist will suffer depend upon various factors, including whether or not they were wearing a motorcycle helmet and other protective gear at the time of their accident. Other factors include the specific accident circumstances, including the speeds of the vehicles, the roadway set-up, and the number of vehicles involved in the crash.
Some of the most common injuries that motorcycle accident victims may suffer include:
- Traumatic head and brain damage, including concussions and comas
- Spinal cord damage
- Full and partial paralysis
- Broken bones, including shoulder bones and knee bones
- Soft tissue neck and back injuries
- Road rash injuries
- Permanent scars and disfigurement
One of the most important steps you can take after a motorcycle crash is to seek ongoing medical treatment for your injuries. Your motorcycle crash lawyer will then have time to gather the necessary documentation to prove the legal elements of your personal injury claim. Once your medical treatment is over, your attorney can begin pursuing the full monetary recovery you deserve.
Recovering Compensation for Motorcycle Injuries
Injured motorcyclists are often eligible to recover monetary compensation via a personal injury settlement or a lawsuit. To recover monetary damages, an injured cyclist must first prove the legal elements of their claim. Specifically, they must show that another party behaved unreasonably or negligently, given the circumstances. Additionally, they must show that as a direct result of this negligence, the accident occurred, along with their injuries and any other losses.
Recoverable monetary damages in motorcycle crash cases vary greatly, depending upon the circumstances. Factors that weigh into a financial damage award following a motorcycle accident include the severity of the accident victim’s injuries, along with the scope and cost of their related medical treatment.
In general, a motorcycle crash victim who suffers a permanent injury, such as permanent scarring, permanent paralysis, or permanent spinal cord damage, will receive higher monetary compensation than victims with less-severe injuries.
Some of the most common types of compensation that motorcycle crash victims may recover include monetary damages for their related lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, past and future pain and suffering, emotional anguish, humiliation from permanent scarring, loss of use of a body part, loss of life enjoyment, loss of spousal companionship, and permanent disfigurement.
A skilled motorcycle accident attorney in your area will know the tricks and tactics to maximize your damages and pursue the highest monetary award available in your case. In some cases, that might mean aggressively negotiating with insurance company representatives to try and obtain a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. At other times, it might mean filing a lawsuit and litigating your case to a conclusion in the court system, either at a jury trial or a binding arbitration hearing.
Litigation Options in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Once an attorney files a lawsuit on a motorcycle accident victim’s behalf, the case may still settle out of court, and most motorcycle accident cases in litigation do settle at some point in time. Taking a case to trial, particularly a motorcycle accident case, can be extremely expensive for everyone involved. The parties have to present expert testimony, and witnesses—especially medical providers—are not cheap. In addition, it takes a significant amount of time and emotional energy to prepare for a lengthy jury trial.
If the insurance company refuses to compensate you adequately for your motorcycle accident injuries, you have several options. First, you can take your case to a civil jury trial, where a jury will decide the outcome of all disputed issues, including that of monetary damages. In other words, the jury will decide what, if any, monetary compensation you are entitled to receive for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other claimed losses. During the trial, your attorney will present evidence on your behalf and call you to the witness stand to explain the effects that the accident has had on your life.
As an alternative to a jury trial, the parties may consider one or more means of alternative dispute resolution. One common type of ADR is binding arbitration. In this type of proceeding, a neutral arbitrator listens to the evidence presented and reviews it out of court. Following the arbitration proceeding, they decide on the issue of monetary damages.
A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can explain all of your litigation options to you in more detail and help you decide on the best course of action for your motorcycle accident lawsuit.
Talk With an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you should retain experienced legal counsel right away. If you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit too late, the court may prevent you from recovering any monetary damages for your injuries and other related losses. Therefore, secure experienced legal counsel as early on in the process as possible. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.
As soon as you retain a motorcycle crash attorney to represent you, they can enter an appearance in your case and begin advocating for your legal interests. Your lawyer will also represent you at every legal proceeding in your case and aggressively work to maximize your final monetary damage award.