Motorcycle accidents can result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries, depending on how the accident occurs and whether or not the rider falls to the ground. Many motorcycle accident victims are unsure of the steps they should take after their accident to pursue the monetary recovery they need. By retaining skilled legal counsel to represent you in your case as quickly as possible, you increase your chances of receiving a favourable monetary award.
One of the most important steps you can take after a motorcycle crash is to seek out a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer for representation. While you concentrate on recovering from your injuries and getting the medical treatment that you need, your lawyer can help you file a claim and handle all communications with insurance companies and their adjusters.
Your lawyer can help you settle your case or pursue litigation in the state court system. Whatever you decide, your lawyer will aggressively protect your legal interests and work to pursue the highest amount of monetary recovery available to you in your case.
Motorcycle Crash Causes
Many motorcycle accidents happen because other people drive negligently and recklessly. One common cause of motorcycle accidents is traffic law violations. When drivers frequently speed, tailgate motorcyclists, engage in road rage, and fail to yield the right-of-way, they significantly increase their chances of causing a motorcycle crash, especially in parking lots and garages.
Motorcycle accidents may also happen when drivers fail to use their rearview mirrors, side view mirrors, and backup cameras, especially when pulling out of a parking space. When drivers fail to use these safety devices, they may not see a motorcyclist behind them or in an adjacent travel lane, negligently causing their vehicle to strike the motorcycle and dislodge the cyclist from their vehicle.
Next, motorcycle accidents may result from distracted or inattentive driving. All drivers have a duty to watch the road carefully and to be on the lookout for other vehicles, including motorcycles. When cell phones, smartwatcher, GPS navigation systems, passengers, or music in the car distract drivers, they may turn their heads away from the road, preventing them from seeing an ongoing cyclist and causing an accident.
Finally, some motorcycle collisions directly result from intoxicated or drugged driving. When drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they frequently experience limited concentration, preventing them from watching the road attentively. They may also experience physical symptoms, including dizziness and blurred vision, preventing them from seeing a nearby motorcycle.
Alternatively, an intoxicated or drugged driver may experience delayed reaction time stemming from delayed reflexes. As a result, they may not stop their vehicle in time to avoid hitting a cyclist.
When people drive carelessly, they may cause several different types of motorcycle accidents, including:
- Head-on collisions, where the front of one vehicle hits the front of a motorcycle that is travelling in the opposite direction
- Tailgate accidents, where the front of a vehicle hits the rear tire of a motorcycle, often dislodging the cyclist from their vehicle
- Sideswipe accidents, where the side of one vehicle strikes the side of a motorcycle in an adjacent travel lane
- Broadside collisions, where the front of one vehicle hits the side of a motorcycle, usually at a highway merge lane or four-way traffic intersection
If you recently sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash resulting from some other driver’s negligence, talk with a motorcycle accident lawyer in your area immediately.
Your lawyer can lay out all of your legal options and help you select the best option for the facts and circumstances of your case. Your lawyer can also help you file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company and work toward a favourable resolution. If the insurance company does not offer you fair compensation, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and pursue litigation in court.
Common Injuries From a Motorcycle Accident
Unlike drivers and passengers in enclosed motor vehicles, motorcyclists do not have an outer protective covering that surrounds them in the event of an accident. Therefore, they experience direct exposure to their surrounding environment and may suffer serious injuries if they fall to the ground forcefully.
Motorcycle accidents may cause:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Vertebrae fractures
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Broken bones
- Rib fractures
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord damage and full or partial paralysis
- Face and jaw injuries
These serious injuries are possible even when a motorcyclist wears protective gear. For example, a proper helmet reduces the risk of brain injuries, but cannot prevent TBIs 100 percent of the time. Even if a motorcyclist takes every possible precaution, they can still suffer lasting and debilitating injuries due to another driver’s negligence.
One of the most important steps following a motorcycle accident is to seek ongoing medical attention for all your injuries. A prompt diagnosis can help you begin treatment immediately, sometimes improving your prognosis. It also means you will have a timely record of all your injuries, connecting your physical condition to the motorcycle accident for insurance purposes.
While you concentrate on treating your physical injuries, your lawyer can start handling your claim and pursuing the monetary recovery you deserve from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You never have to face all of the legal aspects of a motorcycle accident alone.
Complete Your Medical Treatment Regimen
Following most motorcycle accidents, medical providers outline a treatment regimen for the accident victim to follow. This treatment regimen may include consulting a primary care doctor or specialist (such as an orthopedic doctor or neurologist) or undergoing physical therapy sessions following surgery.
While treating your injuries, you should always refrain from significant treatment gaps and follow all of your medical provider’s instructions. Treating continuously for your injuries helps to increase your chances of making a full recovery. Moreover, continuous medical treatment shows the at-fault driver’s insurance company that your injuries are serious and warrant favourable monetary compensation.
When insurance company adjusters notice delayed medical treatment or significant treatment gaps, they often become skeptical of the accident victims’ claimed injuries. Specifically, they may believe that your injuries are not serious and that they do not deserve favourable monetary compensation.
In addition to completing all of your prescribed medical treatment, start gathering:
- Copies of police reports describing how the accident occurred and who was at fault for the accident
- Written contact information and statements from eyewitnesses who saw the motorcycle accident firsthand
- Camera footage showing the accident taking place in real-time
- Medical records from healthcare providers with whom you treated following your motorcycle crash
Your lawyer can gather these documents and assemble them into a settlement demand package for the insurance company adjuster to review.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Next, you should talk with a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer as quickly as possible. Accident victims have limited time to file a lawsuit after their accident. Specifically, if a motorcycle crash victim does not file suit within two years of their accident date, they can no longer recover monetary damages for their injuries. Given this short statute of limitations, accident victims must take prompt legal action to begin their cases.
Your lawyer can begin advocating on your behalf as soon as you retain legal counsel to represent you. They can enter an appearance in your case, negotiate with insurance company settlement adjusters, and, if necessary, file a lawsuit on your behalf, well within the statute of limitations deadline.
How a Motorcycle Crash Lawyer Can Help?
A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can be extremely helpful in maximizing the monetary recovery you receive for your injuries.
First, your lawyer can begin investigating the circumstances of your motorcycle crash, often by retaining an expert accident reconstructionist. An accident reconstructionist can review the available police report, speak with witnesses, visit the scene of the occurrence, review camera footage, and determine exactly how your accident happened. An accident reconstructionist can also testify as a witness and support your version of events.
Next, your lawyer can file a settlement demand package on your behalf with all the necessary documentation for the insurance company to evaluate.
A settlement demand package typically includes copies of police reports, injury photographs, property damage photographs, and medical records. The insurance company adjuster handling your claim will then review these documents, and they may subsequently make a settlement offer to resolve your case.
Your lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement or threaten the insurance company with litigation. Your lawyer can also help you determine a fair monetary value for your claim and help you make important legal decisions throughout your case.
If your case must proceed to litigation, your lawyer can assist you throughout the discovery process and represent you at all litigation proceedings, including discovery depositions, settlement conferences, jury trials, mediation sessions, and binding arbitration proceedings.
If your case must go to a jury trial or binding arbitration hearing, your lawyer can prepare and introduce evidence and make convincing arguments supporting your case. Your lawyer will do everything possible to help you maximize your total monetary damages so that you become whole again following your motorcycle crash.
Proving a Motorcycle Accident Claim
To recover monetary damages in a motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit, the accident victim must first satisfy their legal burden of proof. Specifically, they must establish that another driver acted unreasonably under the circumstances.
For example, the other driver might have violated one or more traffic laws or otherwise operated their vehicle recklessly or negligently. The accident victim must then establish that as a direct result of this negligence, the accident and their physical injuries happened.
To help you establish medical causation in your case, your lawyer can retain a medical expert, such as a treating healthcare provider, to testify at a deposition or trial. A medical provider can also establish the permanence of your injuries.
Recovering the Damages You Need
Victims of motorcycle accidents frequently suffer extremely serious physical injuries that leave them incapacitated, sometimes permanently. When a motorcycle crash victim can establish the legal elements of their claim or lawsuit, they can recover various monetary damages.
Monetary damages may compensate accident victims for:
- Loss of earning capacity
- Lost income
- Mental distress
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of spousal companionship and consortium
- Lifetime care costs
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
Your lawyer can determine which damages you may recover as part of your motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can then help you maximize your total monetary recovery.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Right Away
If you recently sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, time is of the essence. Fortunately, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help at every stage of the legal proceedings in your case. Your lawyer can investigate your motorcycle crash circumstances, negotiate a settlement, and represent you at all litigation proceedings in your case.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company does not offer you the fair monetary damages you deserve, your lawyer can take your case to a litigation proceeding, aggressively advocate on your behalf, and work to secure the favorable monetary award you need for your injuries.
Seek help from Edmonton personal injury law firm that will do what it takes to obtain the full compensation you need to cover your losses.