Motorcycle accidents sometimes result from negligent driving. However, at other times, they occur because of roadway defects, such as deep cracks and potholes. In some instances, construction companies and workers may be to blame for these roadway defects. At other times, however, these defects result from governmental entities that fail to maintain the roadways in a safe condition.
In either instance, a severe road defect may cause a motorcyclist to lose their balance and fall off their bike, suffering severe injuries. When that happens, the injured cyclist may have a valid legal claim against a responsible construction company, municipality, or other at-fault person or entity.
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash, you should retain a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you from the very beginning of your case. Your lawyer can hire an accident reconstructionist who can visit the scene of your motorcycle accident, speak to witnesses, and determine how the accident likely occurred.
In addition to retaining experts on your behalf, your lawyer can help you field settlement offers from the insurance company and work to recover the total monetary damages you need. Finally, if the insurance company won’t offer you fair compensation, your lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against the responsible person or entity in court.
Whether you resolve your motorcycle accident claim through settlement or litigation, your lawyer will be by your side every step of the way, advocating for you and working to maximize your monetary recovery.
If the insurance company adjuster handling your claim refuses to take it seriously and will not offer you the monetary damages you deserve, your lawyer can take your case to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration hearing and fight for your legal rights and interests there.
Common Road Hazards That Cause Motorcycle Accidents
Road hazards are widespread around construction zones and near designated worksites. However, these defects sometimes exist outside construction zones.
Some of the most common roadway accidents that can lead to a motorcycle crash include:
- Deep potholes, poorly resurfaced or uneven pavement, grooved payment, and incorrectly marked intersections.
- Debris and trash in the middle of the road, loose gravel or sand, or construction zones that the construction company did, which do not have adequate lighting, lack guard rails or dividers on the road, or have inappropriate detours.
- In some instances, motorcycle crashes near construction sites also occur when individuals who are operating construction equipment make sudden movements or abruptly move into traffic.
Who Are the Potential Defendants in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
In a motorcycle crash scenario, an accident victim may be eligible to file a claim or a lawsuit seeking monetary damages for the injuries. The person or entity who allegedly caused the accident is the defendant in a lawsuit. Motorcycle crash victims can name one or more individuals or entities as lawsuit defendants.
Some potential defendants in a motorcycle crash due to road hazards include:
- Construction site contractors and supervisors
- Construction workers
- Construction companies that are responsible for maintaining the site and surrounding roadways
- Provinces, cities, municipalities
- Individuals who operate construction vehicles
A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer in your area can ascertain all potential defendants in your case and help you file a claim or a lawsuit that seeks the monetary recovery you deserve.
Duty of Care Owed to Motorcyclists
Construction site companies, workers, supervisors, and others have a duty to maintain roadways in a reasonably safe condition at all times. Outside of construction zones, municipalities, cities, and provinces owe similar duties of reasonable care to roadway motorists.
Moreover, if one of these individuals or entities becomes aware of a severe roadway defect, they have a responsibility to warn about the flaw, repair it, or divert drivers away from the fault via a safe detour.
When responsible individuals and entities fail to take these measures, they can be liable for any resulting accidents and injuries that occur. These include injuries to motorcyclists who hit a deep crack or pothole on a local roadway.
A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer in your area can review your accident circumstances with you, visit the accident scene, and determine if a construction company, municipality, or other person/entity violated their legal duty of care. If a violation has occurred, your lawyer can help you take the appropriate legal action against all potentially responsible parties.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
When compared with car and truck occupants, motorcyclists are at an extreme disadvantage. This disadvantage stems from the fact that cyclists experience direct exposure to the ground and their surrounding environment.
Because they do not have a solid barrier surrounding their vehicle during a crash, they may fall to the ground and suffer severe injuries, some of which may be lifelong. The likelihood of sustaining serious injuries increases if the involved vehicles are traveling at high speeds.
Some of the most common injuries that motorcycle accident victims suffer include spinal cord injuries, full and partial paralysis, road rash, bruises and abrasions, soft tissue contusions, crush injuries, internal organ damage, bone fractures, rib fractures, and death.
Following a motorcycle crash, the single most crucial step you can take is to seek out medical treatment at a hospital or urgent care facility. Next, you should speak with a knowledgeable motorcycle crash lawyer in your area as soon as possible. Your lawyer can begin to evaluate your legal options while you focus your attention on seeking medical treatment and getting better.
Once your medical treatment is complete, your lawyer can then assemble the necessary documents to present a personal injury claim to the insurance company on your behalf. The sooner you seek out experienced legal counsel to represent you, the sooner your lawyer can begin to advocate for your legal interests.
How Do I Start a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
The motorcycle accident claims filing process starts when your lawyer submits a demand package for settlement compensation to the insurance company. This demand package will include a formal letter that lays out the reasons why the insurance company should compensate you for your injuries.
The package will also include copies of essential documents in your case, including medical records, lost wage documents from your employer, and various investigation documents, including copies of a police report that an officer prepared and written statements from any eyewitnesses to the accident.
The purpose of a settlement demand package is to lay out the specific reasons why a construction company, municipality, or other individual or entity was negligent under the circumstances and why you deserve to receive monetary compensation.
For example, if you can demonstrate that a construction company’s negligence caused your motorcycle accident, the insurer for that construction company is legally obligated to make a good-faith settlement offer to resolve your claim.
Dealing with insurance companies is often an uphill battle, even when you have skilled legal representation in your corner. This is because insurance companies try to do everything that they can to avoid significant monetary settlements and payouts. After all, these insurance companies are trying to protect their legal interests and are not really interested in awarding you the fair compensation that you deserve.
However, one of the benefits of retaining skilled legal counsel in your case is that your lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. An excellent personal injury lawyer will understand the insurance company’s tactics and can employ the best negotiation tactics available.
If the insurance company does not increase its initial settlement offer after several rounds of negotiations, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and litigate your case to a conclusion. However, even if your motorcycle accident case is in litigation, your case can still resolve at any point prior to trial.
Will My Motorcycle Accident Case Go to Court?
The majority of motorcycle accident claims and lawsuits resolve long before a civil jury trial. If every motor vehicle accident claim went to court, it would place a tremendous strain on judicial resources and jurors, and that is not practical. Therefore, your motorcycle crash lawyer will make every effort to settle your case favorably and obtain the fair monetary compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
If your lawyer needs to file a lawsuit, your case will proceed through discovery.
During that time, the parties will typically:
- Exchange answers to written interrogatories about their respective versions of the case
- Present oral testimony at a deposition.
- Exchange pertinent documents, including medical records and lost wage statements
- Continue settlement negotiations in an attempt to resolve the claim amicably.
If you attend a settlement conference at the end of litigation and your motorcycle accident case remains unresolved, your lawyer—and the defense lawyer— may take the case to trial. They can also look at some alternatives to a jury trial. For example, both sides might agree to allow a neutral arbitrator to hear evidence in the case and make a decision on the issue of damages.
Your lawyer can go through all of your legal options with you and help you select the best course of action that will be most profitable to you in your motorcycle accident low.
Civil Damages Following a Motorcycle Accident
When a roadway defect causes a motorcyclist to fall off their bike and onto the ground, the cyclist may suffer injuries that affect them for the rest of their life. They may experience permanent pain and other symptoms, and they may be unable to work for a significant period of time after their accident. In fact, they may have to switch jobs and take a pay cut due to their motorcycle accident injuries.
An accident victim must satisfy their legal burden of proof to recover monetary damages following a motorcycle crash. This typically means they must demonstrate fault on the part of a construction company, municipality, or other individual or entity that caused the roadway defect. They must also show that they sustained one or more physical injuries in their motorcycle crash and that those injuries directly resulted from the accident.
When a motorcycle accident victim can meet their legal burden, they can recover various monetary damages. First, if they had to miss time from work, they can claim lost earnings or loss of earning capacity.
In addition, motorcycle accident victims are eligible to recover damages for their past pain and suffering and future pain and suffering if they suffered a permanent accident-related injury. Next, they can bring a claim for loss of life enjoyment related to their injuries, pain, and suffering.
If they seek medical treatment from a psychologist or psychiatrist, such as for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stemming from their accident, they can make a claim for emotional distress and mental anguish. Finally, if they suffered a permanent injury that impaired their ability to use one or more body parts, they can make a loss of use claim.
The primary goal of your motorcycle accident lawyer is to maximize the monetary recovery receipt for your injuries. Your lawyer can do that by zealously and aggressively advocating for you during settlement negotiations and throughout the in-court litigation process.
Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
If you recently sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident and you have sought initial medical treatment, you must reach out to a skilled lawyer right away. Waiting too long to seek legal representation in your motorcycle accident case can severely jeopardize your ability to recover monetary compensation.
In fact, if you file a motorcycle accident lawsuit more than two years after the accident date, the court will bar you from recovering any monetary damages. Therefore, the time to take legal action in your case is now.
A skilled personal injury lawyer in Edmonton will stand by your side every step of the way, aggressively advocating for your legal interests and ensuring that they remain protected while your case is pending. Your lawyer will zealously advocate for you during all settlement negotiations and then work to maximize the monetary recovery you obtain for your accident-related injuries.