Motorcycle accident lawsuits are filed when a motorcycle crash is caused by another driver or a defective part. A lawyer experienced in vehicle accident litigation can help victims offset treatment costs for neck and spinal cord injuries, amputations, and other injuries stemming from the crash.Injured in a motorcycle accident? Contact a vehicle accident attorney now
Why Should I Get a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
The number of motorcycle deaths more than doubled between 1997 and 2016, and more than 5,000 motorcycle drivers have died each year since 2015. While alcohol is still the biggest factor in motorcycle-related fatalities, two other significant causes are other drivers and malfunctioning motorcycle components.
Motorcycle accidents can be caused by other drivers in a number of ways:
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failure to follow posted signs
- Failure to follow the rules of the road
- Failure to inspect and maintain their vehicle
If you or a family member has been involved in a motorcycle crash, you should talk to a motorcycle accident attorney right away, even if you think you are at fault. Other drivers or third parties could be liable in ways that you are not aware of.
Should I Talk to a Motorcycle Lawyer?
- Were you or a loved one the victim of a motorcycle accident?
- Was the accident caused by another driver or a faulty part?
- Did you or your loved one suffer serious injuries?
If you answered yes to these questions, you should get a free case evaluation.
Making Insurance Companies Pay Claims
Motorcycle accidents happen for a variety of reasons, and it can sometimes be unclear who is at fault. Unfair stigmas often lead people to assume that fault lies with the motorcycle rider – they were going too fast, not following road rules, etc. – even if they followed all the rules of the road.
Having a personal injury lawyer who understands the motorcycle accident claim process will help you cut through the red tape and get insurance money quicker. They’ll also be able to pursue a lawsuit or other legal challenge, if the insurance company persists in refusing your claim.
Investigating the Accident and Determining Fault
Motorcycle accidents happen for a variety of reasons, and it can sometimes be unclear who is at fault. Stigmas often lead people to assume that fault lies with the motorcycle rider, even if they followed all the rules of the road.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will investigate the facts independently to assess liability. It’s important to start the investigation right away while evidence and witnesses recollections are still fresh. Evidence can become lost or contaminated over time, but your lawyer will know how to preserve and analyze it.
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Liability
Drivers: Drivers have a responsibility to watch out for other motorists, including motorcyclists. If they are distracted, inebriated or fail to comply with traffic regulations, they should be held accountable for their negligence.
Owners: If the driver does not own the other vehicle, the owner could be held liable for allowing someone else to operate the motor vehicle, especially if they are underage, improperly licensed or have a poor driving record.
Employers: If the driver was on a job (such as a courier or truck driver), the driver’s employer could be held liable for the crash.
Automakers/Auto Parts Makers: If a vehicle or vehicle part contains a design or manufacturing flaw, then the maker is liable for making a defective part. This is true for the motorcycle as well as other vehicles involved in the crash.
Government Departments: If the government agency responsible for maintaining the road failed in its mandate – such as by having inadequate signage, neglecting to fix potholes or address other dangerous road conditions, etc. – a claim could be filed against that department.
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
If you decide to file a lawsuit, you will need to hire an attorney who specializes in motorcycle crashes. In addition to doing the initial investigation, a lawyer will work on your behalf to:
- Gather and review evidence from the crash scene
- Obtain reports from police and medical professionals
- Interview witnesses and take depositions
- Research relevant legislation and case law
- Hire experts who can testify on your behalf
- Handle court filings and administrative details
Through all of these activities, your lawyer will help you build a case that could result in compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering sustained as a result of the crash.
Who Is at Fault in Motorcycle Accidents?
Many motorcyclists assume that they will be blamed for a crash, and they often believe that they do not have any legal recourse. However, you may be able to recover damages that will help you pay for injuries, medical care, lost income, and other costs related to your crash in cases where the other driver failed to follow the rules of the road.
Types of Negligence in Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
- Under the influence – alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving – texting, looking at a phone/GPS, etc.
- Blind spots – failing to use mirrors, etc.
- Moving violations – tailgating, failing to signal, changing lanes unexpectedly
- Permit problems – expired registration, inspection, or driver’s license
- Improper maintenance – failing to fix or replace faulty or damaged parts like worn-down tires or signal lights
- Defective parts – installing or failing to replace parts that have been recalled or have known problems
Drivers of other vehicles may also demonstrate fault based on how they react after a motorcycle crash. For example, someone involved in a hit-and-run crash could be found at fault for fleeing the scene of a traffic accident, potentially implicating them in the crash.
Laws differ from state to state about what constitutes driver negligence. It’s important to talk with a motorcycle lawyer in your state about what rules apply where you live.
Accidents Caused by Motorcycle Defects and Recalls
Defective or malfunctioning parts can also lead to motorcycle accidents. If a part breaks down or suddenly stops working, it could cause a crash resulting in severe injury or death. The company that made the part could be held liability as part of a third-party claim, if the part failed to work as designed or intended.
Safety standards for motorcycles and motorcycle parts are regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Manufacturers are required to follow all current regulatory rules and industry guidelines when assembling vehicles. However, from time to time certain motorcycle parts may contain a manufacturing defect due to poor engineering, inadequate testing, a flaw in the production process or some other preventable error.
When a defective motorcycle part is discovered, the manufacturer will often issue a voluntary recall. If the situation becomes bad enough, the NHTSA may conduct its own investigation and require the manufacturers to recall or fix the defective part. The NHTSA publishes notices about both voluntary and mandatory recalls and monitors the company’s recall efforts to make sure that motorcycle owners are notified and receive the appropriate remedy for their defective parts.
According to federal law, when a recall takes place, the manufacturer is required to attempt to notify owners of the recalled part and how it will be fixed. This is one of the reasons why keeping your vehicle’s registration current with the appropriate state agency is important, because manufacturers will use registration records to send out recall notices.
Should You File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
When a motorcycle accident is caused by another driver, defective parts, or some other cause beyond their control, the victim has a right to seek compensation. In the event that a motorcycle accident is fatal, the victim’s family has the right to pursue a wrongful death claim.
While all victims have the right to seek compensation, those who suffer from the most severe injuries often have the strongest case. This is because severe injuries often require more (and more expensive) medical treatments, long-term therapy and other care, and they can leave victims disabled and unable to earn an income.
Most Common Motorcycle Injury Types
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones/fractures
- Abrasions/road rash
- Internal bleeding
- Lower body (leg and feet) injuries
Each state has a statute of limitations that places a deadline on how long motorcycle accident victims or their loved ones have to file a claim. Therefore, it is important to find a good motorcycle crash attorney right away.Find a motorcycle accident lawyer now Understand your legal rights as a victim
Motorcycle Crashes and Admitting Fault
It’s natural to want to apologize after a motorcycle accident, even if you are not at fault! However, you may not know what the other person was doing at the time of the crash. Rather than saying you are sorry, it’s better to concentrate on keeping everyone safe until police or medical personnel arrive on the accident scene.
The reason why it’s important to do these things right away is that many people experience certain types of amnesia after a crash-related head injury. Your memory and the memory of others involved in the crash may not be reliable, even right after the crash itself. That is why gathering objective evidence right away is so important.
If another party to the accident insists it was your fault, you do not have to agree with them. Calmly tell them you would rather let the experts handle such determinations, and make sure you get their contact information and insurance details.
Helmet Laws Across the United States
Helmets are often a major factor in the severity of motorcycle accidents. Wearing a helmet is the best way to protect yourself and your passengers from being seriously injured or killed in an accident. With an adequate helmet, your risk of sustaining a head injury or traumatic brain injury in a crash is reduced by 69%, and your risk of death by 42%.
As a result, many states have implemented helmet laws to protect motorcyclists and passengers. There are three basic types of helmet laws in the United States:
- Universal Helmet Laws require all riders to wear helmets at all times.
- Partial Helmet Laws require riders to wear helmets under certain conditions (such as under a certain age).
- No Helmet Laws do not require motorcycle riders to wear helmets.
Overview of U.S. Helmet LawsSee which type of helmet law your state has
|Universal Helmet Laws|
|Partial Helmet Laws|
|No Helmet Laws|
|Source: Summary of Vehicle Occupant Protection and Motorcycle Laws (NHTSA)|
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit FAQs
What Compensation Can Motorcycle Accident Victims Get?
Motorcycle accidents can leave victims saddled with medical expenses and other related debt, while also limiting their ability to earn income. If they are permanently disabled, loss of income could last the rest of their lives.
When filing a motorcycle accident claim, victims can seek to recover damages related to:
- Property damage – especially the motorcycle itself
- Health costs – emergency room bills, hospital charges, prescriptions, follow-up appointments, long-term care, travel expenses to visit doctors and medical centers
- Pain and suffering – Non-economic costs related to pain experienced from
- Lost wages/income – Money you were unable to earn while recovering from your injuries
- Loss of future potential income – Money you may not be able to make in the future because of disability sustained in the motorcycle crash
- Loss of companionship and consortium – Effects of the motorcycle accident on your marriage and other relationships
An experienced motorcycle accident law firm will offer legal advice about what forms of compensation you can expect to receive as part of your personal injury case. In some cases, you may even be eligible to seek punitive damages.
How Do I Pick a Good Motorcycle Injury Lawyer?
The best motorcycle accident lawyer will have:
- Years of experience with motorcycle injury cases
- A verifiable record of winning compensation for victims
- Testimonials from former clients
- Awards and recognitions from top legal industry publications
- A team of dedicated associates, paralegals and others who will assist with your case
- Great communication skills to help you stay informed about progress in your case
To connect with a motorcycle accident attorney today, complete this simple form.
How Much Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Cost?
Like most personal injury cases, motorcycle accident lawsuits are taken on contingency. That means your lawyers will take the case without requiring any payment up front, and they will get paid only if they help you receive compensation from a settlement or verdict.
If you are considering filing a motorcycle accident claim but have hesitated because you are unsure about the costs, you can get a free case review without any commitment.Are You a Motorcycle Accident Victim?
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