Motorcycle accident victims frequently sustain serious injuries that leave them incapacitated for a long time. In addition to undergoing surgeries and medical procedures, attending hospital or doctor visits, and undergoing physical therapy, many accident victims are in constant pain. Fortunately, these individuals may be eligible to recover monetary compensation for all of their pain, suffering, and inconvenience.
Motorcycle accident victims can recover compensation for past pain and suffering, starting on the date of their accident through the present. Moreover, if they sustain one or more permanent injuries that will have lifelong effects, they can claim future pain and suffering damages to compensate them for their ongoing symptoms.
To be eligible to recover monetary damages for your pain and suffering, you will need to prove the legal elements of your claim. A knowledgeable motorcycle crash lawyer in Edmonton can help you establish those legal elements, assist you during settlement negotiations, and ensure that you receive the full and fair monetary damages you deserve to recover.
Your lawyer can help you every step of the way and fight aggressively for your legal interests during every stage of your motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit.
Common Injuries in a Motorcycle Crash
Motorcyclists are at a significant disadvantage compared to drivers and passengers of other motor vehicles. The primary disadvantage of motorcycles is that they do not have a protective barrier between themselves and the ground when an accident occurs. If another vehicle strikes a motorcycle with significant force, the cyclist will likely fall onto the ground and sustain severe injuries.
When motorcyclists fall on the ground, they may sustain a bone fracture, rib fracture, soft tissue injury, or traumatic head or brain injury, such as a concussion. In addition, they might suffer a road rash, spinal cord, or paralysis injury. In the worst motorcycle accident scenarios, the accident victim suffers fatal injuries and dies as a result.
If you suffered any of these injuries in a motorcycle crash that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you can receive various types and amounts of monetary damages. However, before you file a legal claim for financial compensation, you should seek proper medical treatment as soon as possible after your accident. The medical provider on duty at a hospital or urgent care facility can order imaging studies, like X-rays and MRIs, and diagnose your medical condition.
After following up at an emergency medical center, you should talk with a motorcycle accident lawyer in your area as soon as possible. Your lawyer can advise you on the next steps and can start handling the legal aspects of your claim. At the same time, you continue your medical treatment and focus on fully recovering from your accident-related injuries.
How Motorcycle Accidents Happen
Motorcycle accidents can happen in many ways, but they typically occur because of negligence on another driver’s part. Drivers have a duty to drive in a safe, prudent, and careful manner at all times. When they fail in this regard and cause a motorcycle crash, they and their insurance companies may be liable for the resulting injuries and damages that accident victims suffer.
Some motorcycle accidents happen when other drivers exceed the speed limit. A driver who speeds may also violate other driving laws and fail to drive safely. Moreover, many drivers exceed the speed limit, reducing their ability to stop their vehicle in time for an emergency, often causing a severe collision.
In addition to speeding, many motorcycle crashes occur when drivers engage in road rage and other aggressive driving manoeuvres. For example, a negligent driver might fail to use their turn signal, tailgate a motorcyclist, or aggressively weave in and out of traffic. As a result, the driver might negligently cut a cyclist off in traffic, causing the motorcyclist to fall on the ground and suffer injuries.
Motorcycle crashes also happen when drivers engage in impaired and intoxicated driving. When a driver consumes alcohol or drugs shortly before getting behind the wheel, they severely limit their ability to operate a vehicle safely and carefully. This is because alcohol negatively affects a driver’s mental state and may cause them to experience physical symptoms like nausea and blurred vision. An impaired driver may also experience limited concentration, delayed reflexes, and delayed reaction time, which can prevent them from stopping their vehicle before hitting a motorcyclist.
Next, some motorcycle crashes happen when drivers ignore the road. Instead of observing the road, a driver might be texting on a cellular device, playing with a tablet, or programming a GPS device while trying to drive simultaneously. Any of these activities may divert a driver’s attention from the road. As a result, they might not see a motorcyclist in an adjacent lane or approaching from a different direction, thus causing a crash.
Finally, some motorcycle accidents happen because of roadway defects, including grooved pavement, cracks, deep potholes, and poor signage. This is especially true on roadways that are near construction sites. Motorcyclists who hit one of these defects, especially at high speed, may lose their balance, causing them to fall off their bike and sustain injuries.
When construction sites, municipalities, and others fail to use reasonable care when maintaining their construction sites and roadways, and a motorcycle accident happens, they may be legally responsible.
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash that resulted from someone else’s careless or reckless behavior, a skilled personal injury lawyer in your area can review your legal options with you and help you decide how best to move forward with your case. Sometimes, that might mean negotiating a favorable settlement with a responsible party’s insurance company. Other times, it might mean filing a lawsuit in court and pursuing monetary recovery through the litigation process. In either instance, your lawyer will advocate for you every step of the way and help you maximize your economic damages.
Past and Future Pain and Suffering Damages
Many motorcycle accident injuries cause accident victims to seek medical treatment from various healthcare providers. They may need to make one or more hospital visits, undergo surgery or other medical procedure, consult with their family doctor, or attend ongoing medical appointments and physical therapy sessions. Often this medical treatment, along with the injuries themselves, is excruciating.
Pain and suffering damages are available to motorcycle accident victims who experience symptoms due to someone else’s negligent actions or inactions. When accident victims suffer a permanent injury that is unlikely to get better, they can recover monetary compensation for their anticipated pain and suffering in the future. When accident victims suffer serious enough injuries, they may have pain every day of their life for the rest of their lives.
In addition, they may incur long-term care costs, such as at a nursing home or assisted living facility. This is especially true when an accident victim suffers full or partial paralysis injuries in a crash.
Factors That Influence a Pain and Suffering Award
The amount of monetary compensation that a motorcycle accident victim may recover for their pain and suffering will depend upon various factors.
Some factors that affect the size of a monetary settlement or award for pain and suffering include:
- The circumstances that surround the accident.
- The specific injuries the accident victim suffered; whether the accident victim’s injuries are permanent injuries, as determined by a qualified healthcare provider; the accident victim’s lifespan; the extent of the medical treatment the accident victim endured since their accident date; the amount of inconvenience, emotional anguish, and mental distress that the accident victim survived; whether the accident victim’s activity levels and quality of life declined since the date of the motorcycle crash.
- Whether the accident victim has limited use or feeling in one or more body parts due to a spinal cord or paralysis injury.
- Whether the accident victim’s injuries limit their ability to be intimate with their spouse.
One goal of your motorcycle accident lawyer is to maximize your pain and suffering damages to the greatest extent possible. Your lawyer can help you determine a ballpark figure for your pain and suffering award and work toward that goal by aggressively advocating for your interests during settlement negotiations and litigation.
Ways of Recovering Pain and Suffering Compensation
Accident victims can recover monetary compensation for their pain and suffering in one of several ways. First, a personal injury lawyer can obtain a verbal settlement compensation for them during negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company. When an insurance company reviews a claim, they should consider the accident victim’s past and anticipated pain and suffering in their final settlement offer.
If the insurance company or their adjuster is unreasonable under the circumstances, your lawyer can litigate your case to a conclusion in the court system. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer can introduce evidence on your behalf that will support a pain and suffering claim.
For example, at a jury trial, you can take the witness stand and testify about the pain and suffering that you endured due to your motorcycle accident injuries. Moreover, a qualified healthcare provider can testify in your case about the likely pain and suffering you will experience going forward.
In addition to a monetary settlement and jury trials, motorcycle accident victims can recover pain and suffering compensation through alternative dispute resolution proceedings like binding arbitration.
At a binding arbitration hearing, a neutral arbitrator, whom the parties select in advance, will decide the amount of monetary compensation to award an accident victim for their pain and suffering. This amount will be totally up to the arbitrator who hears your case. During an arbitration proceeding, your lawyer can introduce compelling evidence that supports the value of your pain and suffering claim to maximize the final recovery you receive from the arbitrator.
Proving Your Entitlement to Monetary Damages
To legally prove that you are entitled to recover monetary damages for your physical pain and suffering, you must satisfy several legal elements in your case.
First, you must demonstrate that your motorcycle accident resulted from someone else’s negligence. For example, another driver might have violated a traffic law and caused your motorcycle crash.
Next, you must show that you suffered one or more injuries as a direct result of the motorcycle accident. Finally, you must indicate, through medical testimony, that your injuries caused (or will cause) you some degree of pain, suffering, or inconvenience.
Pursuing Motorcycle Accident Litigation
To recover monetary damages for your pain and suffering, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations time period. The statute of limitations applicable to motorcycle accident cases is two years from the accident day.
If you fail to seek monetary damages by filing a lawsuit within that two-year time frame, you will not be eligible to recover financial compensation for your pain and suffering. Moreover, you will no longer be eligible for other damages, including lost wage compensation.
Given the extremely short statute of limitations window in Alberta, you need to retain skilled legal counsel to handle your motorcycle accident case as soon as possible. Your lawyer can probably file a claim or a lawsuit on your behalf and litigate your case to a satisfactory resolution.
Contact a Local Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Help Today
If you or someone you love recently suffered injuries and experienced painful symptoms in a motorcycle crash, a skilled personal injury lawyer can be an invaluable help to you. Your lawyer can address all of your legal questions and concerns, help you file a claim against all potentially responsible parties, and work to recover the total monetary damages you deserve to become whole again after your accident.
Your lawyer can hold the at-fault party or parties accountable for your accident-related injuries and pursue the highest amount of pain and suffering compensation available to you in your case. Your lawyer can do this for the accident victim while they tackle the most important thing, recovering from their injuries and getting back to normal.
The best thing an injured motorcyclist can do is hire the right personal injury lawyer in Edmonton to handle your case.