Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
With increasingly congested public roadways, motorcycle operators and their passengers are at a greater risk than ever to be involved in a serious or potentially fatal collision, if you find yourself in this situation, it is important to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer.
More than 70,000 people are injured each year in motorcycle accidents, and several thousand of those injured persons die because of the accident. These deaths could be significantly reduced if motorcyclists and other motorists took a few basic precautions.
Passenger vehicles must leave the same amount of space for passing and following a motorcycle as they would for other vehicles of their own size. Additionally, car, truck, van and SUV drivers need to consider the motorcycle’s limitations with regards to weather and road condition. If a motorcycle is slowing down to approach a pothole or other obstacle, slow down as well and give them the space they need to drive safely. Ultimately, the safety of our public thoroughfares is up to each and every driver. All motorists have a joint responsibility to respect and not endanger the vehicles with whom they share the road.
Joel Bieber sold motorcycles at a Harley Davidson shop, to help put himself through law school. During those three years, he learned a lot about equipment and safe driving. He couples that information with knowledge of the law, to effectively represent those who have been injured while riding a motorcycle.
Handling motorcycle injury cases can involve specific knowledge about laws and doing specific investigations regarding the cause of the crash. In some instances, the at-fault vehicle will claim, “The motorcycle came out of nowhere.” In fact, an investigation may reveal that the driver just was not paying attention.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s a good idea to consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer after any accident. If you’ve been seriously injured, working with a lawyer is essential to gain fair compensation.
An insurance company’s motivation is to save itself money. This means that unless you have the representation of an experienced lawyer, you’ll probably be offered a much lower payout than you deserve.
Without a lawyer, there’s also a much higher chance an insurance agent will ask you leading questions intended to ascribe fault to you, thereby making you ineligible for higher levels of coverage.
Insurance companies are known for using these tactics, and sometimes the agents even receive a commission for how much money they save the company.
In many cases, the injured victim in a motorcycle accident simply accepts an insurance company’s offer. This can be particularly tempting in the aftermath of an accident when medical bills are piling up.
A lawyer negotiates for you, saves you from making statements that disqualify you from receiving more compensation, and represents you in court if litigation is necessary.
You should always consult with a lawyer after a motorcycle accident, even if injuries and damages were minor. A motorcycle accident lawyer is your first step in identifying your options after an accident.
Even after a minor accident, it’s normal to file an insurance claim. Insurance policies are structured to pay out different amounts based on the extent of damages and level of fault of the parties involved. A lawyer’s representation helps maximize the compensation value you’re eligible for.
If insurance negotiations fail to provide you with adequate compensation, the next step is to file a lawsuit. This takes the expertise of a lawyer well-versed in the particulars of both insurance law and motorcycle accidents.
A person without legal experience can’t hope to successfully go up against the legal team of an insurance company. A lawyer can always help to increase your compensation. In situations involving serious injury, high medical bills, or loss of the ability to work, the representation of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer is necessary to gain the compensation you and your loved ones need.
A motorcycle accident lawyer helps you in three primary ways: investigation, negotiation, and representation.
A significant part of a lawyer’s work consists of building a case. First, your lawyer needs to establish that the other driver was at fault. Legally, this amounts to meeting the criteria for showing the other driver’s actions amounted to negligence.
A lawyer may collect police reports, witness testimony, and traffic camera footage and may need to hire an accident reconstruction specialist.
The other part of preparation consists of collecting evidence to establish the extent of the damages. A lawyer will consider all ways in which an accident has impacted you, establish a target compensation goal, and begin collecting documentation to support the amount you’re seeking. They may collect medical bills and pay stubs and consult with medical professionals about anticipated future medical expenses.
Using the evidence they’ve collected, your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. If they can’t arrive at a satisfactory compensation value, they will file a court case and represent you throughout the court proceedings.
The sooner you involve a lawyer, the better.
One mistake people often make is attempting to handle the insurance claims process alone. An accident happens, they speak with their insurance company, and they eventually realize that the insurance payout they are being offered is much lower than what they need to cover the costs associated with the accident.
Involving a lawyer at this point can still help increase the compensation value you receive. However, it’s possible that you won’t be eligible for the same amount you might have received if you’d involved a lawyer from the start.
The insurance claims process is designed to ask a number of questions intended to reduce the payout amount the company is required to pay. If you’re not aware of the legal ramifications of what you say to an insurance agent, you can easily cost yourself money by making self-incriminating statements. While a lawyer can still help, they can’t take back your words.
It’s always smarter to have an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer represent you from the start throughout the insurance claims process.
Every motorcycle accident claim is worth a different amount. This is partially dependent on the limits of the insurance policies involved in a claim.
However, the primary factor that determines a motorcycle accident claim value is the level of demonstrable damages that occurred. Compensatory damages in a personal injury case are intended to compensate the victim for the losses related to the accident.
Damages are typically divided into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that have a dollar amount associated with them. You need to provide proof of economic damages in order to pursue them. Common examples include:
Medical device receipts
Cost of assisted living or in-home care
Pay stubs showing lost wages and benefits
W-2s showing loss of anticipated lifetime earnings
Some accidents bring consequences that aren’t financial in nature. Non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for losses such as pain and suffering, emotional anguish, or disfigurement. A motorcycle accident lawyer’s job is to consider all of your losses and establish a compensation goal based on them.
It’s normal to become overwhelmed by the stress of an accident. The most important actions to follow to submit a successful claim for motorcycle injuries are detailed below in a short guide.
- Document the Details of the Crash
- Notify the Insurance Companies
- Build a Strong Claim
A motorcycle rider is always at risk of sustaining more severe injuries than the driver of a motor vehicle. Motorcyclists have little protection in the event of a crash, and they’re more likely to be thrown from their vehicle.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that the most common motorcycle accident injuries involve the lower extremities. Injuries like a broken leg can be costly, leading to medical bills and lost wages during recovery time. However, these types of injuries usually allow a victim to make a full recovery.
Motorcycle riders are also at high risk for more serious injuries. Some of the most common include:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Motorcycle accident lawsuits often arise over these serious types of injuries due to the more extensive levels of damage.
Treating these sorts of injuries incurs high medical costs. These injuries also tend to have a profound impact on matters like earning ability and quality of life, which means they make a victim eligible for much higher compensation.
The length of time a motorcycle accident lawsuit lasts can vary widely and depends on many factors. Once you begin working with a lawyer, they’ll need time to conduct an investigation and attempt insurance negotiations. This alone can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more.
The majority of motorcycle accident claims resolve during the negotiation stage. Court proceedings can be expensive and time-consuming, and it’s usually more advantageous financially for an insurance company to resolve a case by settling.
When negotiation fails to achieve a satisfactory settlement amount, your motorcycle accident lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf. Even after this point, it’s still possible for negotiation to succeed. When an insurance company sees that you’re ready to take them to court, they’re sometimes more willing to work with you.
Only a small percentage of cases actually end up in court. When this happens, it’s hard to predict how long a court case will last. Certain factors can also make a case last longer — for example, if the victim suffered severe injuries.
It’s hard to know exactly how many motorcycle accidents occur in a year. Instead, motorcycle crash statistics tend to look at the rate of injury and death associated with motorcycle crashes. This data is more consistent.
Death and injuries are recorded through police reports and hospital records. Not every motorcycle accident is reported, especially if injuries were minor or non-existent. This means it’s hard to assess exactly how many occur.
However, the available data lends plenty of insight into reported crash data for motorcycle accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), 5,579 motorcyclists were killed in 2020. This marks the highest motorcycle death rate in the past ten years.
USDOT data also shows that in 2020, 83,000 motorcyclists were injured in crashes. Considering that not every crash leads to a reported injury, it’s safe to assume that significantly more than 83,000 motorcycle crashes occur each year.
Motorcycles make up only a small percentage of vehicles on the road, but they account for a significantly higher number of fatal crash outcomes.
According to the NHTSA, head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents. Furthermore, data shows that over 80% of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death for the motorcycle rider — and the majority of motorcycle crashes aren’t the fault of the motorcyclist.
Motorcycle riders don’t have control over the actions of other drivers, but they can make an important safety choice — wearing a helmet. Motorcycle helmets have a 29% success rate at preventing fatal injuries and a 67% success rate at preventing brain injuries.
Yet according to the most recent data available from the USDOT, just a little over half of motorcyclists choose to wear a helmet, with the most recent year showing a helmet use rate of 65%.
Motorcycle helmet use doesn’t just save lives and prevent injuries — it can have a direct bearing on whether you’re eligible for compensation after an accident. Depending on a state’s helmet laws and negligence laws, an injured motorcyclist who wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of a crash can be deemed partially responsible for their own injuries.
Your immediate priority after a motorcycle accident should be safety. Make sure that everyone involved moves away from oncoming traffic and is out of harm’s way.
Always see a doctor after a motorcycle accident, even when no one was injured. Motor vehicle accident injuries often lead to complications like internal bleeding, organ damage, or spinal injury. These types of injuries are not always evident at the time of the accident.
Seeing a doctor helps to catch injuries that aren’t visible and establishes the accident as the source of any injuries that may soon become apparent.
You should also always call the police, even if the accident was minor. A police report officially documents the accident, including important details like the date and time, who was at fault, the extent of injuries and vehicle damage, and the names of any witnesses.
You’ll need this information to gain compensation, and it also protects you from the other party later making false claims.
Finally, always consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer before speaking with an insurance agent or submitting a claim.
The average settlement amount for a motorcycle accident can vary significantly depending on various factors such as the severity of the injuries, the extent of property damage, liability determination, and the specific circumstances surrounding the accident. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and are seeking information about potential settlement amounts, it's best to consult with our qualified motorcycle accident lawyer who can assess the specifics of your situation and provide guidance based on their expertise and knowledge of current legal standards and precedents.