Facts Every Motorcyclist Should Know
A motorcycle accident case can be more challenging and complex than an accident involving other types of vehicles. There are additional laws governing how you may operate a motorcycle legally, such as the need to wear a helmet. Injuries from motorcycle accidents are also typically worse.
When you work with a great motorcycle accident attorney, you will receive guidance for the entirety of your case. Your motorcycle attorney will give you an initial consultation and will negotiate with all parties involved including the insurance provider of the other motorist. If necessary, your attorney will represent you in court.
Immediately After The Accident
Your first step after a motorcycle accident must be to seek medical attention as soon as possible. While you are waiting for an ambulance to arrive, take photographs of the scene. Speak with witnesses and write down their contact information. Exchange insurance information with any parties involved in the accident.
Seeing a doctor is essential because you may be more injured than you realize. The medical records produced by your visit to the doctor will strongly impact your case. Seeing a doctor will also cover you as the other party’s insurance adjuster may argue that your injuries must not have been very severe if you didn’t see a doctor.
Afterward, you must immediately contact a motorcycle attorney.
Lawyers specialize in different areas of law and you must choose a lawyer who has experience with motorcycle cases. Then, he will guide you away from the common mistakes that motorcyclists make when seeking compensation for their injuries after a motorcycle accident.
Your lawyer will ask for details about the accident, will likely want to see medical bills, and will also ask about whether you have lost work. This is with the purpose of calculating how much your settlement may be worth.
Knowing the value of your settlement is essential because the claim adjuster will likely begin with a low-ball offer. You must never accept the initial offer because it’s unlikely to pay for each of your hospital bills.
Instead, work closely with your motorcycle attorney to draft a demand letter. This will allow you to gain the upper hand by demanding a much larger settlement that will account for:
- Future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning capacity
- Other damages not listed
The insurance company may not accept your initial offer, but your motorcycle accident attorney can then begin the negotiation process and seek the best possible settlement offer.
If you are not the motorcyclist but are instead the spouse, parent, or offspring of a deceased motorcyclist, you may receive compensation for wrongful death.
Unique Challenges With Motorcycle Accidents in Kansas City
There are several reasons why you need a motorcycle accident attorney in Kansas City and not a personal injury lawyer alone.
1. Motorcyclists Sometimes Ride in Packs
You may engage in activities that are different from a typical motorist. For example, you may have been riding with a pack of motorcyclists. This can complicate your claim because one of the other motorcyclists, especially the leader, may be partially responsible for your injuries.
2. Road Hazards are Often More Dangerous for Motorcyclists
Hazards on the road that are less of a threat to a driver can be very dangerous to a motorcyclist. For example, a pothole can easily cause a motorcyclist to lose control and suffer a serious injury. You may not only have a case against another motorist for hitting you but the city for failing to keep the roads in good repair.
3. You Might Have Been Lane Splitting
Motorcyclists are sometimes allowed to engage in an activity known as splitting. This is when a motorcyclist rides in-between two lanes of traffic, especially between stopped cars. In Missouri, lane splitting is legal, but is considered an unsafe practice in some circumstances. The other driver may use lane splitting as a reason to accuse you of being responsible for the accident.
4. Distracted Drivers Hit Motorcyclists More Often
Distracted drivers often miss motorcyclists than they are to see other objects on the road. This can lead to you being hit by a car. This happens the most often when a driver makes a left-hand turn. He or she might not see you and cause an accident known as a t-bone. This is when a motorist crashes into the side of your motorcycle.
5. A Lack of a Helmet Might Affect Your Case
While Missouri lawmakers have considered repealing laws that require motorcycle helmets, they are still required. If you have suffered an accident while not wearing a helmet, you may face criminal charges. Also, this may be used as an excuse to deny your claim or offer a lower settlement.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer from traumatic brain injuries after an accident, especially when not wearing a helmet.
The impact of a collision is much more likely to cause a motorcyclist to suffer from a severed spine than with a motorist driving a car. Motorcyclists are more likely to suffer bone fractures in their legs.
The blunt-force trauma resulting from a motorcycle accident can lead to internal bleeding. Something sharp might also penetrate the rider.
Road rash is a particularly unique injury suffered by motorcyclists when the physics of the accident drags her across the road at high speeds. This injury can easily lead to severe infections and scars.
Representation In Court
In some cases, you may be unable to arrive at an agreement with the other motorist. He might not have been carrying auto insurance or the insurance provider may believe that they have a better chance in court.
If you choose to fight the case in court, your motorcycle accident attorney in Kansas City will represent you directly and present your case to the judge.
Speak With Your Attorney Before Considering A Jury Trial
With civil litigation, you may have your case decided by a judge or jury. In the case of motorcycle accidents, your attorney may advise you to choose a judge over the jury. Oftentimes, a jury may show bias against motorcyclists, and your case may not turn out as much in your favor.
You should not be responsible for the negligence of another motorist. Motorcycle injuries take awhile to recover from and you have every right to seek the maximum possible compensation for your injuries.
If you or someone close to you has suffered a motorcycle accident, call us today and schedule a free consultation. We handle both motorcycle personal injury and wrongful death cases.