Key Requirements IN a Motorcycle Accident CaseLast updated on: March 10, 2015
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Motorcycle accidents can cause serious bodily injury and property damage. Depending on the specifics of the accident, victims may be left with significant financial and emotional baggage.
After an accident, many drivers may become overwhelmed by the recovery process. Fortunately, there are some key inquiries that may serve as a good starting place for victims wishing to seek compensation for their injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 or a free case evaluation with one of our personal injury attorneys.
Why are motorcycle ACCIDENTS SO SERIOUS?
A motorcycle crash is a complex event that involves the violent interaction of human, vehicle, and environmental factors. According to roadway experts, motorcycle crashes are extremely violent, with more than 80% of all reported crashes resulting in injury or death to the involved motorcyclist. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in collisions during 2018 alone. Motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 27 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities.
Motorcycles do not have many of the protective characteristics that a covered automobile typically offers. Sedans and trucks have more weight and bulk than a motorcycle, which prevents them from toppling over in many collisions. Motorcycles, designed to offer lightweight and quick transportation, are usually less stable. As a result, motorcycle accidents can be devastating for victims. According to injury experts, there are some common injuries sustained by motorcyclists in traffic crashes. These patterns include injuries to the head, face, neck, spine, thorax, abdomen, upper extremity, and lower extremity. Injuries to the spine are significantly more common among younger riders.
Motorcycle accidents are tragic, regardless of the extent of the damage they cause. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it may be beneficial to speak with a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. An accident attorney may be able to instruct you on the necessary steps to file a claim in court.
Elements of a motorcycle accident case
Liability in motorcycle accident claims is commonly governed by the law of negligence. A court may determine that a person acted negligently if he or she behaved in a thoughtless or careless manner and caused injury to another person. While operating a motor vehicle, a motorist must use care to avoid injuring other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. Any individual who fails to exercise this care may be held liable under the legal theory of negligence. The specific requirements for a negligent claim may depend on the rules of your particular jurisdiction. However, many states use similar frameworks. Most commonly, negligence statutes require that a plaintiff prove four elements.
In motorcycle accident claims, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff. In many roadway collision cases, this duty may be imposed by the law itself. Many state statutes require that drivers operate their vehicles reasonably. This requirement to act reasonably may impose a duty on any driver operating their vehicle on public roadways.
Breach of Duty
After a plaintiff establishes that the defendant had a duty, they must then show that the defendant breached that duty. A plaintiff may show this breach by proving that the defendant was not driving carefully. In determining if the defendant was careful, a court may compare the driver’s conduct to that of a reasonable person.
Third, the plaintiff must prove that he or she suffered a loss. If the motorcyclist cannot prove any damages, he or she may be unable to recover anything in court, even if the defendant behaved unreasonably. Liability law is designed to compensate a plaintiff for his or her injuries; without those injuries, there may be no need for such compensation.
Lastly, the plaintiff must show that their injuries were caused by the defendant’s conduct. Causation may be difficult to prove in some cases, especially if there were multiple drivers or factors involved in the accident. If the plaintiff cannot prove that his or her injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff may be unable to recover at all.
Depending on your jurisdiction, the court may require additional or different elements for negligence-based lawsuits. However, courts generally look to these four factors when evaluating negligence claims. Satisfying all four elements of a negligence suit may be difficult depending on the specifics of your accident. Thus, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it may be helpful to speak with a motorcycle accident attorney to help you evaluate the legal standing of your particular claim.
Proving your motorcycle accident claim
Motorcycle collisions can be frustrating for motorcyclists and other drivers alike. Dealing with a collision may take significant amounts of time and energy. Accidents may also cause uncomfortable injuries and devastating property damage. Due to the seriousness of motorcycle accidents, riders should know what to do if they are injured in a crash. When filing a claim in court, victims bear the burden of proving their assertions with documentation and testimony. Gathering this evidence may be difficult, especially if you do not know what documentation you need to preserve beforehand.
Luckily, there are some proactive steps that victims can take to prove their motorcycle accident claim. These steps include, but are not limited to, the following:
Seek Medical Treatment
Victims should seek medical attention immediately after an accident. Motorcycle accidents can cause serious injuries for riders. Motorcyclists should tend to their physical well-being as soon as possible. Additionally, during your medical visit, your doctor will likely draft a report of your injuries, which may help prove your damages to the court.
File a Report
Documentation is imperative in motorcycle cases involving damages and fault. If contacted, the responding police officer will draft a report of the specifics of the accident. The report will likely include information about witnesses, injuries, and property damage. This police report may be a crucial piece of evidence if you later wish to pursue a legal case against the responsible driver.
If possible, you should take pictures of any important evidence, including pictures of your damaged motorcycle, the other vehicle, road signs, and weather conditions. You should also take photographs of any physical injuries that you sustained during the crash. A judge will likely appreciate any visual proof that you can provide.
Collect Witness Information
Witnesses are important, especially those that saw the accident itself. An eyewitness may be able to corroborate your testimony of what caused the accident. If any witnesses saw the accident, you should ask for their names and contact information.
You should keep a detailed list of any expenses related to the accident. Expenses may include medical bills, repair orders, or lost wages.
Speak with an Attorney
Motorcycle accident cases may require extensive legal analysis. Accident cases are often complex. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it may be beneficial to speak with an attorney who may be able to help you collect evidence and prove your claim in court.
Determining your opposing party’s defenses
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to legal compensation. When bringing a lawsuit, it is important to recognize the types of defenses that the opposing party may try to bring to excuse them from liability. In these situations, it is imperative that victims act proactively and identify the possible defenses before stepping into the courtroom. By identifying these defenses, you may have the opportunity to research and prepare a response before the opposing party even asserts their defense.
Unfortunately, insurance companies prefer to pay victims as little as possible when resolving accident claims. Insurance companies may try to say that you were partially responsible for your injuries because you were not wearing a helmet or utilizing proper safety gear. If the defendant can prove that you were at least partially liable, you may not be able to recover the full cost of your injuries.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you should speak with an injury attorney about the specifics of your claim. An accident attorney may be able to help you identify the defenses that the defendant may try to use. After identifying the defenses available, your attorney may be able to help you defeat them using local laws and safety rules.
CALL ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating for victims. Motorcycle accidents can cause significant injuries. Many of these injuries may require extensive medical treatment and care, which can burden victims financially and emotionally. Motorcycle accident claims can require substantial legal analysis and research, depending on the complexity of the case. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, you should contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you seek legal recourse, evaluate your claim’s merits, and negotiate a fair settlement for your injuries.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek the highest compensation possible. Zinda Law Group may be able to provide you with personalized and quality consultation about the specifics of your legal claim. The sooner you contact our office, the better we may be able to serve you.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. Check out our blog for more helpful resources.
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