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Riding a motorcycle can be a great way to get around on congested city streets or get some fresh air on the open road. Riding a motorcycle burns calories, can be good for your mental health, and they get better gas mileage than your average car. However, the consequences of motorcycle accidents can often be very severe. Motorcycles do not offer the safety features provided by a typical car, which means that an accident that might have been relatively minor if it had occurred between two cars can quickly become life-threatening when a motorcycle is involved instead.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the motorcycle accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation.
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Motorcycles are less crashworthy than a standard car or truck for a few reasons. They can’t offer features like airbags or crumple zones due to the simple fact that they are smaller than cars and not enclosed. Due to their size, it can also be more difficult for other drivers on the road to notice them, which can lead to collisions, or even hit and runs. Motorcycle riders are also more susceptible to things like rain or snow because of their exposure to the elements. Below are a few statistics that capture the danger that motorcycle riders face:
- In 2017, 5,172 motorcyclists died in crashes.
- Per mile traveled, motorcycle riders are about 27 times more likely to die in an accident than drivers driving a car or a truck.
- Over the past decade, there have been anywhere from 80,000 to over 100,000 injuries stemming from motorcycle accidents on a yearly basis.
MAKING A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIM
Because each motorcycle accident is unique and presents its own set of problems, it is difficult to give general advice that applies to every claim. However, the steps that go into filing a successful claim are generally the same, and include the following:
1. Seek Medical Attention
After your accident, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible—even if you don’t feel that your symptoms are serious. Some injuries may not present symptoms right away and could get worse if left unaddressed. Also, a delay between your accident and medical attention could possibly be used to argue that your injuries are not as serious as you are claiming.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company
Typically, you are required under an insurance policy to register your claim “promptly” or “within a reasonable time.” Contact your insurance company and let them know that you are filing a claim. However, do not answer any questions that might devalue your claim.
Learn More: How to Negotiate with an Insurance Company
3. Speak to an Attorney
It is important to note that the insurance company that you are dealing with wants to pay as little as they are legally required. Because of this, having an experienced motorcycle attorney on your side may aid you in seeking maximum compensation.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
4. Gather Evidence
Once you have spoken to an attorney, they may be able to begin the process of gathering and analyzing all of the necessary evidence. Motorcycle accident claims can be complicated procedures that require lots of documentation, and an experienced attorney may give you a better idea of what you need.
5. Negotiate a Settlement
Once your attorney has fully prepared all of the materials that you will need in your claim, then they may begin to negotiate a settlement agreement with the other side. At this step, it is important that your attorney is experienced with similar claims so they may properly value the facts of your unique circumstances and present them in a compelling way.
WHO IS AT FAULT?
In any motorcycle accident claim, a key component will be determining who is at fault. Determining fault is one of the main factors in determining who pays who and how much. Some of the parties who may be at fault in your accident include:
The Other Driver
It could be that the driver of other vehicle involved in your accident is the cause. This may be due to a variety of causes, including failure to obey the rules of the road, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or simply careless driving. These sorts of accidents can include rear-endings or side-impact collisions due to failure to check for clearance before merging. Most often, the fault in an accident will be distributed amongst the vehicles involved.
The Government Entity
Sometimes, accidents are caused by a third party, rather than the other driver. One such example is when the government agency in charge of maintaining the streets where the accident took place was careless or negligent. For example, a faulty streetlight could lead to a collision in an intersection.
The Motorcycle Manufacturer
In rare cases, the manufacturer of your motorcycle could actually be at fault. For example, if your brakes fail and cause an accident, and you can show that the manufacturer was negligent in producing those brakes, then the company may be held liable.
It is also important to remember that fault can be divided up amongst multiple parties; it is not always a black and white situation.
Injuries after a motorcycle can range from relatively minor to catastrophic. A few of the more commonly suffered injuries include:
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Neck Injuries
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT COMPENSATION
One of the most pressing questions on the minds of accident victims is, “How much is my case worth?” Though every case is different, generally speaking, it depends on a few different factors. Accident victims may be eligible for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are costs like medical bills, damage to property, and lost wages—expenses that can be quantified and proven with receipts or bills. Non-economic damages include costs like the pain and suffering that you’ve experienced as a result of your injuries.
If the accident victim has died, the family of the victim can generally bring a claim and seek damages like the lost wages of the deceased, as well as damages for their pain and suffering. Some states also allow wrongful death victims to bring “loss of consortium” claims, where spouses or immediate family members are compensated for losing the love and companionship of the deceased family member.
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
For every type of personal injury or accident claim, there is an associated statute of limitations, which is simply the legal term for how long you have to file your claim. For example, if the statute of limitations in your state is two years, then you will have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim. The statute of limitations will differ based on which state you live in, so speak to an attorney as soon as possible to avoid risking missing your window.
If the accident involved a death, then this brings a new type of claim and a new statute of limitations into play. An attorney experienced in motorcycle accidents may help you sort out exactly how long you have to file a claim based on your specific circumstances.
How much does a lawyer charge after a motorcycle accident?
At Zinda Law Firm, we believe that accident victims shouldn’t need to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That’s why we use a no-win, no-fee policy—if we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything.
How much do you get for pain and suffering in a motorcycle accident?
The answer will depend on the facts of your case. Generally, though, more severe injuries will receive higher damages awards. A motorcycle accident attorney may be able to help you evaluate your case.
What is the average settlement for a motorcycle accident?
Again, it is difficult to give a satisfactory answer covering all accidents—it depends solely on the facts of your case.
THE MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP MAY BE ABLE TO HELP
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