About Motorcycle Accidents

A motorcycle accident is a serious event and it can change someone’s life completely. Injuries from motorcycle accidents are most often catastrophic ones that can include:

  • Lost Limbs
  • Brain Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injuries

According to statistics from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), in 2006, 11% of all traffic deaths were directly made up from motorcyclists and 13% of all the occupant fatalities and 4% of all occupants were injured.

Just as with any other vehicle, motorcycles can get hit by another vehicle from about almost any direction. In 2006, according to the NHTSA, 51% of all motorcycles that were involved in a fatal crash had collided with another vehicle type that was in transport. Of all those, 79% of them involved the motorcycle being hit from the front. Of all two vehicle motorcycle accidents, 5% of them involved the motorcycle being hit from the rear.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics
In 2007, according to the NHTSA, there were 5,154 motorcyclists that were killed in accidents, 4,810 in 2006 which was up 5% from 2005. Moreover, there were 88,000 motorcyclists that were injured in 2006.

Further noted by the NHTSA is that approximately 137,000 motorcyclists have died in traffic accidents since the 1966 enactment of the Highway Safety and National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This act was designed in order to ensure that every state has a program for highway safety in order to reduce the amount of traffic accidents. Furthermore, the act served to create a mandatory motor vehicle federal safety standard.

Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Due to the decreased visibility and stability of motorcycles than a passenger car, have a higher likelihood of being in an accident than a car would. Moreover, when a motorcycle is involved in a crash, due to the fact that they offer far reduced levels of protection than a car does, the motorcycle riders are more likely to sustain an injury or be killed.

Often, motorcycle accidents will result in very serious injuries, including:

  • accident attornysEscalating Medical Bills
  • Physical Pain
  • Long Months of Recuperation

The injuries that are associated with motorcycle accidents are numerous and include:

  • Lost Limbs
  • TBI’s (Traumatic Brain Injuries)
  • Chronic Pain
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Emotional Trauma

Survivors of motorcycle accidents will often face many long months of rehabilitation and/or expensive medical care at which time they’re incapable of working. Recuperation can involve many different things, including:

  • Surgery
  • Physical Therapy
  • Medication(s)
  • More

Helmet Laws
Helmets are most generally regarded as a potentially lifesaving safety device, although not all states have laws that require a motorcycle rider wear their helmet. There are states that have laws that require their riders to wear helmets, others that require that some riders where helmets and a small handful of states that have no motorcycle helmet laws at all.

Legal Help for a Motorcycle Accident
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, or one of your loved ones has died as a result of a motorcycle accident, please contact the Doan Law Firm in order to speak with one of our motorcycle accident lawyers today with no charge or obligation.

personal injury lawyers

Motorcycle Accident Settlements

Sometimes people will find themselves looking at a settlement for a motorcycle accident which can help provide at least a partial measure of security, at least when it comes to financial concerns. Motorcycle lovers love to ride and feel the wind in their face along with the sense of freedom that comes from a motorcycle ride. People will take advantage of the warmer temperatures and hop on their motorcycle for:

  • Adventure
  • Fun
  • Easier Transportation Mode

Although there is a lot of amusement that comes with the sport of motorcycle riding, the unfortunate reality is that it’s one of the most dangerous pastimes that someone can undertake.

Accidents Can and Do Happen

There is risk in all of life’s areas and nobody is able to ensure against an unforeseen accident that could happen in the future. Motorcycle accidents will more often than not involve a larger passenger vehicle. The primary reason that motorcycle accidents are so dangerous is the fact that they have to share the road with trucks and larger passenger vehicles. The reality is that drivers aren’t always aware of their surroundings and there’s a much greater risk to hitting a vehicle that’s harder to see and smaller than they are, then it would be to see another truck or car that’s on the road. In instances where the accident is the fault of the other driver, the need for the hiring of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer and the filing of a motorcycle accident claim will become apparent.

Some motorcycle accidents will occur due to riders that are underage or just careless; however, the majority of all of them is due to drivers of other passenger vehicles and will require a motorcycle accident lawsuit/settlement in order to resolve them. If there is a person killed in a motorcycle accident and the blame has fallen on the other party through an act of negligence or carelessness, the victim’s family is able to file a lawsuit on the deceased family member’s behalf in order to recoup money to cover hospital costs and/or other expenses related to the motorcycle accident. The responsible party will be liable for any and all of the damages and will need to answer to the dependents, families or beneficiaries of the deceased party.

Instances like the above will often require assistance from an experienced motorcycle lawsuit lawyer and the Doan Law Firm has experienced motorcycle lawyers standing by to give you legal guidance. In the case a family member has died a wrongful death lawsuit may be necessary and will cover accidents where negligence or carelessness were at play.

You Have Rights

People that have suffered injuries or their family that has lost a family member as the result of a motorcycle accident should be aware of the order of proceedings and all of the rules that will follow. Those people who are familiar with all of their rights and how the system is intended to work will be able to ensure they receive the compensation that they deserve. For those that aren’t, and even those that are, will find the assistance of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer invaluable as experienced personal injury lawyers in motorcycle accidents will know if your settlement is fair and be able to take it to court if it’s not to ensure you get what you deserve.

Every case and the rules surrounding them will vary. Those who wish to pursue a lawsuit need to be aware of all the laws and rules that surround their case. Those who are just looking for compensation or retribution need to be aware of the statute of limitations (the amount of time that a victim or victim’s family has to file a lawsuit and get justice from the person at fault for the accident) that will apply to their case. Depending on the severity of the incident it can vary to a year to several years. After the statute of limitations has passed the fault of the other party will no longer be contested in court.

Bringing Your Case to Court
The process of filing a lawsuit and pursuing settlement for your motorcycle accident personal injury claim can be very confusing. Victims that are serious about gaining compensation for hospital costs, other costs or injuries need to seek the help of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer immediately. Motorcycle accident personal injury lawyers understand the turmoil and stress from an accident like this and can provide all of the help that’s necessary in order to bring a timely end to the process.

When the case has to be presented within a court of law, the motorcycle accident personal injury lawyer will be able to provide advice and counsel and lead their client through all of the necessary steps to bring the action into court through a lawsuit and achieve a settlement that’s satisfactory. At the Doan Law Firm we have the reputation and reputable history to bring your action into court and get you the desired result you deserve. We’ll ensure that you know the rights that you’re entitled to and will work closely with you in order to ensure that the facts surrounding your case are kept accurate and presented properly.

Final Thoughts
Man is much weaker than steal, therefore accidents involving a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle at a high rate of speed will often lead to serious injuries and sometimes death. Motorcycle accident lawsuits and subsequent settlements will help recuperate the necessary financial aid that will be necessary for the victim or the victim’s family to cope with the financial repercussions resulting from the unforeseen motorcycle accident. Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow, and as a result, everyone needs to exercise caution in all areas of their life. When a motorcycle accident occurs an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can ensure that this unforeseen circumstance isn’t an unneeded and unnecessary financial burden.

Motorcycle Accident Claims Settlements Timing

If the responsible party for the motorcycle accident is insured, prior to any settlement offer being made, the insurance adjuster for their carrier will request and gather all of the required documentation involving:

  • Inflicted Injuries
  • The Accident
  • An Itemized List of Incurred Expenses

The records will most typically include things like:

  • Medical Records
  • Past, As Well As Future Medical Expenses
  • Witness Statements
  • Lost Wage Evidence
  • Traffic Collision Reports
  • Any Other Documentation That Involves Injuries That Are Permanent As A Cause of the Motorcycle Accident

After all of the required documentation is received, their insurance company will then make a determination of liability and the claims adjuster will also review all of the medical records. An initial valuation is then made through entering the information into the insurance company’s proprietary system (computer program). The majority of insurance companies have the requirement that their claims adjusters submit their requests to a supervisor with full authority. In the alternative, they may send all claims to what’s called a round table review with other claims adjusters. Once the offer is made and accepted the case will be finalized. At that point you will just need to sign a release and you’ll then receive your check from the insurance company.

Why You Should Still Hire a Lawyer
Dealing with insurance companies is often difficult and will require the help of an experienced lawyer and law firm in order to get you the settlement that you deserve. It’s extremely common for offers that are made to be very unacceptable. Your lawyer will negotiate for you and if the offer made is unacceptable your lawyer may initiate a lawsuit on your behalf against the responsible party. If you’ve already filed a lawsuit, your lawyer will pursue it on your behalf. Please be aware that if your motorcycle accident involves a lawsuit it can take a significant amount of time. It varies by county but the normal amount of time from filing to settlement is 12-18 months.

After The Lawsuit Is Filed
After the lawsuit has been filed both parties will investigate the claims alleged in the lawsuit and make preparations for the trial. This is a process that’s known as discovery. The discovery process includes:

  • Exchanging Written Information
  • Party Initiated Medical Examinations
  • Taking Depositions from All Involved Parties
  • Obtaining Records via Subpoena

Once this point of the process is reached both parties may agree to enter into mediation, arbitration or additional negotiations to see if a settlement can be reached. Should the case not reach an amicable resolution during this process, the expert witness part of the discovery process will commence. This part of the process includes examination and identification by deposition of all the scientific experts and medical staff that both parties intend to call at the trial. The date for the trial will be set by the court and it can be continued as needed depending on the needs of the parties or the court schedule.

The Trial
Once you reach the trial you have the opportunity to tell your story in front of a jury of your peers. Depending on how complex your case is, this can take anywhere from just a few days to weeks or even months. Everyone is going to hold their own opinion on how much a case is valued at, however, only at trial are you able to get a judgment via community. After the trial has concluded and the judgment reached either side may make a motion for a new trial. The reasoning behind is usually either the plaintiff (you) or the defense (other party) may determine there was an error and request a new trial. Additionally, appeals can also be made to a higher court. In the majority of all motorcycle accident trials, the trial will provide an amicable and final judgment.

Having an experienced motorcycle claims lawyer on your side to navigate you through the entire process and take your case to trial if needed is invaluable. Contact us for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer today.

Motorcycle Settlements and Lawsuits

If have been involved in a motorcycle accident, as a victim you’ll want to go after the guilty party to get the damages you deserve. When dealing with insurance companies it’s essential that you have an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Your lawyer will represent you and be able to guide you through the entire legal process. Regardless of the circumstances, there are specific mandates as to the laws and rules that have to be followed.

Although it’s not necessary to have a lawyer to represent you in your motorcycle accident claim, you should retain an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in order to increase your chances of being successful with your negotiations and lawsuit if it’s necessary to go to court. An experienced lawyer will greatly improve your chances of obtaining maximum financial compensation. After retaining your lawyer, your lawyer will review all of the details of your case and make the determination on whether or not it’s best to try to reach a settlement or take the case to court.

Regardless of whether or not your case is settled out of court or your lawyer deems it best for your case to proceed to trial the facts of the case will dictate the next steps in the process. Should your lawyer be able to help you obtain a settlement, your next step will be to collect the damages. Your lawyer will guide you through every step in the process. Should your lawyer determine your case needs to go to trial, you’ll need to prepare yourself for a much longer process. Trials will include many steps, including:

  • Testimonies
  • Witnesses

Your lawyer will guide you throughout the lawsuit process as well and ensure that you’ve received all of the necessary legal representation in order to successfully win your lawsuit and get you the settlement you deserve. After the trial has been concluded, and a jury of your peers has reached their verdict, the next step in the process will be to collect the damages that have been awarded in your case. If the verdict is appealed, your lawyer is going to help you through that process as well and achieve the best possible outcome for your injuries, future medical care and so on. Characteristically, after the judgment has been read, the judge will inform your lawyer about the next steps to collect your awarded damages.

There is a big difference between a general lawyer and a motorcycle accident lawyer. At the Doan Law Firm our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers will be able to effectively represent you.

Who’s responsible for paying compensation when the owner and/or driver are at fault for the motorcycle accident?

The owner and/or driver of the truck or car that is the proximate cause of the motorcycle accident will be responsible for paying compensation to both the motorcyclist and the passenger (if applicable ) of the motorcycle. Should the motorcycle drive be at fault for the accident, he/she will not be able to sue for any compensation. If the motorcyclist was at fault and you were a passenger at the time the accident occurred and have suffered injuries, you have rights and will be able to file a lawsuit against the operator of the motorcycle in order to cover damages for lost wages, injuries, future medical expenses, etc…

What are compensatory damages and what does it mean to receive them?
Compensatory damages mean that the injured party will receive monetary compensation for the damage or loss, including medical expenses, your motorcycle and so forth.

What are punitive damages and what does it mean to receive them?
Punitive damages are a monetary award that will be used in certain cases in order to make an example of or penalize the responsible party (the defendant) in your lawsuit. Punitive damages will only be awarded and recovered in specific types of cases. Punitive damages are usually awarded when the defendant has acted with either:

  • Disrespect for Others
  • In A Manner That Is Reckless

Punitive damage awards are quite unusual and most of the times appellate courts (on appeal) will lower the amount of the punitive award given. At times the appellate courts will dismiss them completely as well. Nonetheless, the risk of this type of award being upheld will often lead the defense to offer a settlement that will be much larger than usual.

What’s comparative negligence?
Under the comparative negligence doctrine, any party that’s partially at fault for their own injuries are still able to recover damages from the other party where there was contributory negligence. Essentially, there is a comparison done of every person/party that was responsible for the motorcycle accident. An injured person’s awarded compensation will then be reduced by their percentage or share of the total fault.

What is the worth of a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
Every motorcycle accident is different, thus the value of every motorcycle accident will vary accordingly. There are multiple factors that will be taken under consideration when compensation is determined, including:

  • Sustained Injuries
  • Property Damage
  • Medical Expenses
  • Future Medical Expenses
  • Loss of Work

Is there such a thing as automatic compensation?
Compensation like the ones that were listed above will not be awarded automatically in all cases. You’ll need to provide proof of all the expenses you’ve incurred, will incur in the future and the amount those expenses will be or were. Navigating this path is difficult and this is where having an experienced motorcycle accident attorney will be invaluable.

How long do motorcycle lawsuits take?
There are numerous factors that will go toward the determination of the length of time your case will take. With complex cases will take a significantly longer amount of time than a simple case which involves a single party that caused the accident and a single injured party. Complex cases that take longer will include cases that have many different parties that all have dissimilar claims.

When should I seek an experienced motorcycle lawsuit law firm/lawyer?
Seeking immediate legal advice from an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer is essential after you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident. At the Doan Law Firm our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers will be able to guide you through the entire process and get you the largest possible settlement.

The Importance of a Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Trial Lawyer

Not every lawyer will be able to handle your motorcycle accident personal injury claim properly, in order to position your claim to give you the best possible chance of maximum monetary damage recovery. The following are the qualities that you should look for in a lawyer, and subsequently why you should hire them if you’ve been involved in a serious motorcycle accident and sustained injuries or a family member has died as a result of the accident.

The majority of all motorcycle accident cases will result in a settlement, however, it’s fair to state that all cases that go through preparation by an experienced trial attorney will be done as if they’ll be going to trial. Having an experienced motorcycle accident personal injury lawyer will send the message to the other party’s insurance company that they’re not going to get away with a low ball offer easily. If you’re hiring a lawyer that settles every case they get, what type of a message will that send to an insurance company? What types of risk will the insurance company feel they have by giving you lowball offers if your lawyer is settling absolutely everything? Absolutely, none! If you’re not hiring the right lawyer you might as well just be representing yourself.

The following information not only relates to the hiring of a motorcycle lawyer that rides, but also the hiring of a lawyer that rides and is an experienced motorcycle accident personal injury trial lawyer. There are many reasons why an experienced trial lawyer that’s not part of the motorcycle community and never ridden is a bad choice for you as your lawyer.

Beware of the lawyers promoting themselves as motorcycle accident lawyers but have never been on a motorcycle a day in their life. Your best chance at an adequate settlement will be hiring an experienced motorcycle accident personal injury lawyer that does ride motorcycles. The following information is why this isn’t only your best choice, but really your only true choice.

Understanding
More likely than not a motorcycle lawyer is going to understand and relate to you much better than a non-rider and you will be able to relate better to them. A motorcycle accident lawyer that’s part of the community and supportive of motorcycle groups have essentially prequalified themselves to be a person that has the same mutual interests that you do.

The Biker Bond
In all walks of life there is an inherent bond with bikers. One of the most alluring features of riding motorcycles is the freedom of riding with the wind in your hair; it’s an experience that’s truly amazing. Today’s bikers support each other and come from all walks of life. You’re going to want someone that’s going to treat you like family, as one of their own.

Motorcycle Knowhow
Lawyers that ride motorcycles are going to know how motorcycles work, and how the riding of a motorcycle works. When trying to explain the turns as a function of leaning and counter steering, do you really want to do that while looking into the disbelieving and blank eyes of your lawyer? Do you believe that you should even have to explain what happens when you’re in the middle of a turn and have to slam on your breaks?

No Judgments
A motorcycle lawyer that rides themselves isn’t ever going to look down on you because of the fact that you ride or don’t look as they do.

Myth Busters
There are a lot of myths that are held about motorcycles by the public. The public thinks that all motorcyclists are nothing more than are:

  • Risk Takers
  • Antisocial
  • Do What They Want
  • Aggressive

There are a lot of people that think just because you’re a motorcycle rider you deserve what you get if you get hurt and don’t deserve any level of compensation. You’ll want to have someone on your side that’s looked a jury in the eyes and frankly discussed all of these myths openly and honestly. You most definitely don’t want a lawyer that holds these myths themselves.

Legal Knowhow
A motorcycle accident personal injury lawyer is going to know the ins and outs of all instances of motorcycle accidents and laws. They won’t allow for a big insurance company to slip in evidence that has no relevance to the trial/your case.

Knowledgeable Guidance
Motorcycle lawyers will be able to guide you through all of the steps that’ll put your case in the best possible light to get the best possible outcome. They’ll be able to give you the peace of mind that you’ve got someone on your side that has the ammunition that’ll keep you from ever getting taken advantage of, which will in turn give you the best possible outcome for your case.

Full and Complete Investigation
Motorcycle accident personal injury lawyers will fully investigate your case, hire experts (when necessary), preserve all of the evidence, and interface on your behalf with the insurance company and your doctors. Ultimately they’ll put forth a well-documented demand for settlement, and when settlement negotiations fall through, file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Proper Valuations
Your motorcycle accident lawyer will truthfully advise you on your cases value, alternative dispute methods, and negotiation techniques and then (if necessary) file a lawsuit on your behalf. A lawsuit will be necessary in the instances where the insurance company just doesn’t see it your way and offer anything close to fair, the lawsuit will be filed and your case will be presented in front of a jury.

Who’s Responsible for Paying for a Motorcycle Personal Injuries

Motorcycles have a reputation for being prone to accidents, mainly due to the fact that they’re known for their high speeds. If you’re a motorcycle rider/enthusiast, it’s essential that you’re following proper vehicle safety, including:

  • Wearing Protective Eyewear
  • Wearing a Helmet
  • Practicing Basic Motorcycle Safety

Following the basic safety procedures will help ensure that you’re minimalizing the possibilities of ever being involved in a motorcycle accident and sustaining injuries. Regardless of how careful you are motorcycle accidents can and will happen. They can happen with various forms of liability, such as:

  • Your Own Personal Negligence
  • The Fault of another Driver
  • Both Parties Can Share Levels of Fault

If you’ve sustained injuries as a result of a motorcycle accident, who pays for your damages, medical bills, future medical costs, and so on, will depend on your accident specifics.

Duty of Care in Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Cases
All motor vehicle operators have a duty of care that must be exercised when they’re driving. Duty of care generally calls for drivers to be:

  • Operating Their Vehicle at Reasonable Speeds
  • Anticipating Situations Where It’s likely an Accident Could Occur
  • Maintaining Control of Their Vehicle

As an example, if a motorcycle is ahead of a vehicle that’s approaching a red light, the driver of that vehicle will have a standard duty of care to ensure that they’re stopping behind the motorcycle. If the driver doesn’t stop and causes a rear end collision with the motorcycle, the driver has most likely violated their duty of care when causing the motorcycle accident injury.

Should a driver violate their standard duty of care, they’ll more than likely be found at fault for the accident, or partial fault at the very least. The fault assumes that the accident is the proximate cause of the motorcyclist’s injuries and no other intervening factors were in play as contributory factors. If the driver is found to be at fault, either the driver’s insurance company or the driver holds the responsibility for paying for the damage and injuries.

Filing a Personal Injury Suit
If you’re at least fairly confident that the motorcycle accident was the other drivers fault, then it’s unlikely you’ll be responsible for the payment of your medical bills. Conversely, if you were at fault for the accident as a result of your own negligence, it’s likely that you’ll not have much of a case.

If the other driver is the one at fault for the accident, you’ll want to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in order to receive adequate compensation for your personal injuries. You’ll also want to ensure that your lawyer has experience that’s specific with motorcycle accidents and not just with auto accidents generally. At the Doan Law Firm we’re not only motorcycle accident lawyers, but we’re motorcycle riders and enthusiasts as well.

After you’ve retained your lawyer you’ll want to provide them with all of the evidence that you have that supports your claim if the motorcycle accident was the fault of the other driver. Your evidence will include:

  • Injury Photos
  • The Police Report
  • Scene Photos
  • Accident Photos
  • Medical Bills
  • Medical Records
  • Other Expenses

If the other driver is insured, your lawyer will then contact their insurance company and most likely submit a demand letter. A demand letter serves to notify their insurance company (the insurer) of the intentions to sue unless they’re willing to settle for an indicated amount. If the insurance company refuses the settlement request, your lawyer will then file a formal suit with the court for motorcycle accident personal injury.

If the other driver is not insured, you’ll more than likely need to sue the driver in order to pay for all your medical bills, lost wages and all other expenses related to the accident.

When to Sue for a Motorcycle Accident

You have the right to sue anybody that’s at fault for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, this includes companies as well. This is legally defined as direct and proximate cause of the injuries that you sustained. Quite often but not always, this will mean that the drive that’s responsible for your injuries had violated one or more traffic violations, including:

  • Disregard of a Stop Sign or Stoplight
  • Rear Ending You
  • Making an Unsafe Lane Change in Traffic
  • Not Looking Out For You for Many Other Types of Reasons
  • Failure to Yield the Right Of Way

This can also include a lawsuit to sue the vehicle owner in certain cases if permission has been given for the other person to drive. If the responsible party was impaired or intoxicated, the lawsuit could also include the establishment and/or person that served the liquor. If your injuries were sustained due to a defective motorcycle part or motorcycle, you have the right to sue the motorcycle manufacturer that was responsible for the manufacturing of the defective motorcycle or part. Additionally, if the roads were unsafe and caused your motorcycle accident they can be held liable for the unsafe road conditions.

An experienced injury lawyer that specializes in motorcycle accidents will know exactly who needs included in the lawsuit and is an invaluable resource and advocate on your behalf. Even if your motorcycle accident never has to go to court, having an experienced lawyer will be able to help you get the settlement you deserve through mediation and negotiations with the responsible party’s insurance company.

At the Doan Law Firm we handle motorcycle injury and will be able to effectively advocate on your behalf and achieve the settlement that you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.