Did you know that 75% of motorcycle accidents involve collisions with other vehicles? Most of the time, these accidents are caused because a motorist fails to recognize motorcycles in traffic. Although many accidents are not the fault of a motorcyclist, it is still essential to know the laws.
Read on to learn about motorcycle accident law.
Different than car accidents, motorcycle accidents cause more severe injuries and can lead to higher settlement offers. If you are at fault as a motorcycle driver, you are going to have different legal issues than you would in a car. You can address the factors of your case by speaking to a lawyer.
Motorcycle Accident Law
Protective gear and other factors will decide who is at fault when a motorcycle accident occurs. We go through the possible situations that fault may be affected.
Not Wearing a Helmet
Even if you were not wearing a helmet during your accident, you may still be eligible to file a lawsuit. Depending on the other factors of the case, you can still receive compensation after an accident. The best way to decide if you should pursue a lawsuit is by speaking to an experienced lawyer.
Partial fault may include road conditions or the other drivers. It is possible that you and the other driver could both be partially at fault.
After going through the facts of your case, the courts will decide how much of the accident you are responsible for. After they determine the percentage, your settlement gets reduced by that amount.
There are other types of negligence to keep in mind when discussing motorcycle accident law. For example, contributory negligence means you cannot receive any compensation if you were found to be at fault at any percentage.
Poor Road Conditions
Potholes are one example of poor road conditions that could cause an accident. If your accident occurred because of road conditions, you still have a case. The difference is that your case will be against the city or state government instead of another driver.
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
Filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit will vary depending on the state the accident occurred in. For example, the amount of time you have to file will depend on the state.
The time you have to file begins when the accident happens. If your state has a two-year claim period, you have two years from the accident to report before the courts refuse to hear your case.
No matter what your state laws say, it is always best to file a claim as soon as you can. This is a safe way to ensure you will be compensated.
If you file a claim and are eligible for compensation, there are different methods you may receive. The damages you can include in your settlement are pain and suffering, property damage, medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, and loss of income.
When you let the insurance company know you are filing a claim, they may try to settle with you. Don’t take the initial offer an insurance company provides. They often try to give you less than the accident is worth.
Receiving less money is not the only downside to settling right away. By accepting their offer, you are giving up rights to pursue more damages. This makes it likely that you end up with unpaid bills.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer provides all of the knowledge you need to know about motorcycle accident law. They work with victims to ensure they are getting the right amount for their accident.
An attorney can keep track of the necessary documents, help you prepare, and write a settlement request to avoid going to trial.
Unless you are compensated for the damages, you often don’t have to pay a personal injury lawyer. These types of attorneys tend to work on a contingency fee basis so you won’t pay them unless you receive a settlement. After a settlement is agreed upon, an attorney will take a portion of the amount as payment for their work.
If you are worried about going to trial after a motorcycle accident, you may be relieved to know that most personal injury cases don’t go to trial. Most of these cases are handled through an agreement between the victim and the at-fault party.
If the case does end up going to trial, an attorney will stay at your side and protect your rights.
Going to Trial
Going to trial after a motorcycle accident should never be the end goal. Unfortunately, jurors can be biased to motorcyclists because they have never been on one themselves or base their judgment on those they see speeding through the lanes.
An insurance company is aware of this bias and tries to use it to its advantage. An insurer may try to give you a lower deal than they would if it was a traditional car accident. This is why most people opt to hire a lawyer so that they get the funds they deserve.
If you want more information on motorcycle accidents and personal injury lawyers, this additional reading can help.
Getting the Compensation You Deserve
Understanding motorcycle accident law is important for anyone who owns a motorcycle. In the case of an accident, knowing the right information can help you get the compensation you deserve. The best way to settle for the right amount is by hiring a personal injury lawyer.
In need of more legal advice? Check out our other blog posts.