Rarely do motorcycle riders walk away from an accident without serious or life-threatening injuries. Therefore, protect your right to recover compensation from whoever caused the crash.
Whether you ride a motorcycle because it’s an economical way to get to work or school or ride simply for the pure joy that it brings, you cannot ignore the risks that accompany riding a motorcycle. Motorcyclists have an 80% chance of being seriously injured or dying in crashes, but the rate for occupants of other types of vehicles is only 20%.
The most recently available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the 5,579 deaths in motorcycle accidents in 2020 as being the highest yearly in 45 years. Most of the accidents were on urban or rural roadways, with 97% of them occurring under clear or cloudy weather conditions without rain.
The majority of motorcycle accidents in 2020, as reported by the NHTSA, involved a motorcycle and at least one other vehicle, with 76% of the motorcycles being hit in the front. Most of the crashes involved a left-turning vehicle.
Every state has laws allowing you to recover compensation when someone else is at fault for causing you or a loved one to crash while riding a motorcycle. In order to recover the motorcycle accident compensation that you need to pay for your medical care and lost wages, among other damages, you need to take steps starting at the accident scene. As you continue reading through this article, you will learn the steps that you should take to protect your rights and improve your chance of winning your claim for compensation.
Why Should You Fight For Your Compensation?
A large settlement or jury verdict to a motorcyclist for catastrophic injuries suffered in a serious crash does make up for the pain, disability, and emotional harm they suffered. The compensation for motorcycle accident injuries will not make you better on its own, but it does give money to offset the financial losses that you incur. Some of the reasons to fight for the compensation that you deserve include:
- Paying for the medical care, you need: According to the federal government, the average cost of treatment of a broken leg is $7,500, and you can expect to be charged an average of $30,000 if you spend three nights in a hospital. Health care is expensive, but a motorcycle compensation claim makes the party responsible for causing your injuries to pay for them.
- Recovering for pain and suffering: A consequence of the serious injuries or death caused by a motorcycle accident is the pain and emotional suffering experienced by victims, including family members of an accident victim grieving the loss of a loved one. Pain and suffering damages awarded through settlement or after trial provide monetary compensation for the harm someone’s negligence or carelessness causes.
- You do not know the future: Some types of injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, can have serious and long-term effects. A compensation claim would take into account future costs of medical treatment, lost or diminished earning capacity, and other needs caused by the long-term consequences of the injuries that you sustained.
- Holding people accountable for their behavior: Making a claim for compensation may be the only way to hold someone accountable for behavior that causes harm to another person.
The law gives you the right to seek compensation for motorcycle accident injuries, so you have no reason not to pursue a claim. If you are unsure about filing a claim for compensation, consult a personal injury lawyer for advice and guidance. A lawyer can answer your questions, address concerns that you have about filing a claim, and provide skilled representation to get you the compensation you deserve and are permitted by law to receive.
What Should You Do If You Have A Motorcycle Accident?
No one expects a motorcycle accident to happen. Still, when it does, you need to know what to do to protect yourself while also protecting the motorcycle accident compensation payout that you may be entitled to claim. Here are a few key things to do if you have an accident while riding a motorcycle:
- Check yourself for injuries: Do not unnecessarily move around until you assess the extent of your injuries. If you are seriously injured, call 911 immediately and stay put until paramedics arrive and determine how to safely move you to prevent causing further injuries.
- Remain safe: If your injuries allow it, move to a sidewalk or other nearby location away from traffic.
- Call the police: Unless you or someone else called 911 to request medical assistance, call the police or 911 to report the accident. Stay at the accident scene to await the arrival of the police.
- Get immediate medical treatment: Do not decline medical treatment at the scene by emergency medical personnel. Let them examine you and determine whether to take you by ambulance to the nearest hospital. If they do not take you to the hospital, call your doctor or go to the emergency department of a nearby hospital for a complete examination and evaluation of your injuries.
- Exchange contact information with drivers and occupants of other vehicles: Exchange names, contact information, and vehicle information with the drivers of the other vehicles that were involved in the accident. If you are too injured to do this, your lawyer can obtain a copy of the police report containing the information.
- Document the scene: Use the camera on your cellphone to take photos of the accident scene, including the position of the vehicles, damage to your motorcycle and the other vehicles, debris, skid marks, or vehicle parts that are on the ground. Take as many photos as possible from different angles to give to your personal injury lawyer.
- Get names and contact information of witnesses: Obtain the names and contact information of anyone nearby who witnessed the accident. An easy way to do this is by asking them for their driver’s license and taking a photo of it with your phone.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer: Speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after leaving the accident scene. The lawyer will help you report the accident to your insurance company and explain your compensation rights to you.
A motorcycle accident can leave you dazed and confused, so avoid making statements at the scene about the accident or your injuries to anyone other than law enforcement officials or paramedics. Anything that you say may be used later by an insurance company to attack your claim for compensation.
How To Win Your Motorcycle Accident Compensation Claim
Your motorcycle accident personal injury lawyer must prove that someone’s negligence caused the crash and the injuries that you sustained. The following must be proven to establish negligence on someone else’s part:
- Existence of a duty of care: The at-fault party must owe you a duty of care. The driver of a car owes a duty to other road users to obey the law and maintain control over their vehicle at all times.
- Breach of the duty of care: Evidence presented by your lawyer must prove that the other party engaged in behavior that breached the duty of care. For example, speeding, texting on a cell phone, or failing to pay attention to the road would breach the duty of care.
- Breach of duty of care caused harm to you: Negligent behavior on its own does not give you the right to make a claim for compensation. The conduct of the other party must be the cause of the harm that you suffered.
- You suffered financial loss: You must prove that financial losses resulted from the accident. This could be medical expenses, lost earnings, and other damages that you incurred.
An accident may result from the negligence of more than one party. For example, a car traveling above the speed limit hits a pothole that causes its driver to lose control and crash into you. Your personal injury lawyer investigates and finds evidence the local municipality knew of the pothole but failed to schedule it for repairs. You may have a claim against both the driver and the local government for negligence.
Experienced personal injury lawyers thoroughly investigate to gather evidence and identify all causes of a motorcycle crash and the parties responsible for them. This not only provides the evidence needed to prove negligence but also ensures that everyone responsible for causing the crash is held responsible.
A seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer knows from experience the value of your claim based on the injuries you sustained and their severity. Your lawyer also knows the average compensation for motorcycle accident cases in your state to ensure that any settlement of your claim for compensation is fair and reasonable.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you need to schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer with motorcycle compensation claims. There is too much at stake to initiate a claim to make the person whose negligence caused you the crash pay for the damages you suffered.