Regarding motorcycle accidents, motorcycle riders are always the ones who everyone thinks are at fault. Many people assume that the motorcycle rider’s negligence was the reason for the accident. In reality, motorcycle riders can follow all of the rules of the road and still suffer harm from a reckless driver.
Car and truck drivers engage in many negligent actions that can cause serious motorcycle accidents. When you or a loved one have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident because of another driver’s reckless actions, you have the right to hold that driver liable in court for your damages.
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Visibility problems with motorcycle riders
Despite the negative reputation that motorcycle riders must fight, motorcycle riders are one of the most vulnerable motorists on the road. The main reason is their lack of visibility. Regardless of a motorcycle rider’s noise, many motorists fail to notice riders traveling on the roadways. Their lack of visibility and the lack of protective structure around their motorcycles leave riders vulnerable when they are involved in a traffic accident. A motorcycle rider will absorb most of the impact from the crash.
Rules for motorcycle riders
Some people believe that if motorcycle riders follow the required rules, they will reduce the possibility of being in an accident. While some of these rules can protect motorcycle riders from serious injuries, they cannot protect them from other reckless motorists. Here are some of the motorcycle laws that other motorists are required to follow.
Giving a motorcycle rider full use of a lane
One of the laws that other motorists are required to follow is granting motorcycle riders the full use of a lane. Instead of trying to pass a motorcycle rider or drift into their lane, motorists must avoid trying to share a lane with a motorcycle rider. Motorcycle riders, like other motorists, get to use the entire lane despite their size. When motorists move into the same lane as motorcycle riders, they can hit and kill a motorcycle rider.
Another way motorists can hit a motorcycle rider is by tailgating or following too closely behind the motorcycle. Just like other motorists, car and truck drivers can seriously injure a motorcycle rider by rear-ending them when they have to come to a sudden stop.
Tailgating seriously reduces the reaction time for the vehicle following behind the other. Because motorcycles change their speed instantly, a rear-end accident can occur without warning. Unlike a rear-end collision with other drivers, motorcycle riders can endure serious injuries when hit from behind.
Constantly checking blind spots
Another requirement that all motorists should follow is constantly checking their blind spots. One of the main ways that other motorists hurt other motorcycle riders is because they fail to notice their presence when they are in their blind spots. Due to a motorcycle rider’s size, motorists should practice extra precaution and double the time they check their blind spots. Listening out for the noises of a motorcycle can help other motorists become aware that a motorcycle rider is approaching.
Yield to motorcycle riders during left turns
When motorists fail to notice the presence of a motorcycle rider when they are in the process of making a left turn, they can cause a T-bone accident to happen. A T-bone accident is an accident that occurs when one vehicle strikes another vehicle by the side, forming the letter “T.”
Other motorists can hit a motorcycle rider when they miscalculate their judgment or speed. These accidents can happen when motorists are distracted and fail to see motorcycle riders in the next lane.
Distracted driving is another dangerous driving action that other motorists must avoid. Most motorcycle accidents happen because another motorist is too distracted to pay attention to the road. Distracted driving takes a driver’s attention away from the road, even for one second. One common distraction that diverts a driver’s attention is using a cell phone; however, many things can take a driver’s attention off the road. Even legitimate distractions like tending to your children can cause you to lose focus and hit a motorcycle rider.
Another dangerous driving action that puts motorcycle riders at risk of suffering an injury is speeding. Like tailgating, speeding reduces a driver’s ability to safely react to road conditions. Because motorcycle riders are known for changing lanes often, an accident is guaranteed to happen when motorists speed without paying attention. A car or truck driver can decide to increase their speed while a motorcycle rider moves in and out of traffic and hits the motorcycle rider.
Driving while intoxicated
Motorists owe all drivers a responsibility to resist driving their vehicles in an unsafe manner. One of the most dangerous actions a motorist can take is driving under the influence. Truck drivers, in particular, might operate their trucks while under the influence. Some truck drivers will try to blame their actions on the stressful conditions of their occupation. In reality, there is no reason to abuse a substance and then try to operate a vehicle afterward.
Proving liability in motorcycle accidents
When you suffered a severe injury in a motorcycle accident because of another driver, you have the right to hold that driver accountable for your injuries. You are lucky if you walk away from a motorcycle accident with scratches. Motorcycle accidents can cause severe head trauma, road rash, fractured bones, and facial disfigurement.
These injuries can lead to thousands of medical expenses you will be responsible for paying out of pocket. If your injuries are serious, they can prevent you from living every facet of your life, from the hobbies that you love to performing your job comfortably.
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Filing a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident
Liability is the legal responsibility of a person or party regarding your accident. Because every motorist has a legal obligation to drive their vehicles safely, the at-fault driver of your accident can be liable for your injuries and losses.
However, you must file the necessary insurance claims or lawsuits against the appropriate parties to seek compensation. In your claim, you can demand money to cover medical expenses, the income you lost due to recovery, and other accident-related losses.
The other driver’s insurance policy
Most of your compensation will likely come from the other driver’s insurance policy, whether your case settles directly with the insurance company or during litigation in civil court. Based on the way you want your lawsuit resolved, there will be a point where you might come to a mutual agreement with the insurance company regarding your compensation.
If this aspect of your case makes you nervous, it should. Instead of being fair and honest during the negotiation process, the insurance company will use their typical tricks to explain why you should not receive total compensation for your injuries.
Using motorcycle laws against you
Unfortunately, you must overcome bias in your motorcycle accident lawsuit. That bias includes the negative perception that judges and jurors have about motorcycle riders. Many people still hold an outdated and unfair view of motorcycle riders.
Because of this bias, insurance adjusters will argue that you acted recklessly and that your recklessness was the actual cause of your accident instead of their client’s actions. One of the ways that insurance companies will support this argument is by examining the different motorcycle laws that motorcycle riders should follow.
Helmet laws are one of the most common motorcycle laws that insurance companies use to try and prove your liability in your accident. For example, in states like New York, all motorcycle riders must wear a helmet while riding around. If you did not wear a helmet at the time of your accident, your insurance company could use that against you.
Eye protection laws
Another required motorcycle law is the eye protection law. In addition to helmets, motorcycle riders should carry some form of eye protection while riding their motorcycles. This eye protection can be visors or goggles to protect the eyes. Sunglasses are not an advised piece of eyewear for motorcycle riders to use, as they are capable of shattering and causing more damage in the long run to the rider’s eyes should they become involved in a crash.
Another type of motorcycle law insurance companies will try to use against you is noise law. These laws aim to reduce the noise caused by a vehicle’s exhaust. For motorcycle riders traveling through New York, a muffler is only necessary for noise modification. Other than that, other noise modification devices are not allowed on the motorcycle.
Why do you need a motorcycle accident lawyer for your lawsuit?
While you may be confident in your ability to represent yourself in your lawsuit, you should not do so. The legal process is complex, and navigating every step can be overwhelming. You must follow so many procedures and requirements during litigation that you should never try to handle this alone. Always seek legal counsel from a motorcycle accident lawyer who can handle your case.
Even if you have filed an accident insurance claim before, do not file a claim without representation. Insurance adjusters will tell you a lawyer is unnecessary because they love working with unrepresented claimants. People without legal help regularly accept far lower settlement offers, saving the insurance company money.
Instead of risking a low settlement, you should immediately consult with a motorcycle accident attorney. Case evaluations are free, and a lawyer will tell you about your legal options. You can stay focused on your medical treatment and adjustments to life with your serious injuries. Your trusted attorney will handle the rest for you.
Assessing the damages in your lawsuit
For every damage you include in your lawsuit, your lawyer knows how to calculate that damage to the highest estimation. Your lawyer can calculate your damages for you and explain the highest form of compensation that you can receive for each damage. For example, if your injuries from your accident are severe, your lawyer can request more compensation in your lawsuit.
The damages you can claim in a motorcycle accident lawsuit include:
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Renovation expenses (update your home for wheelchair access if the crash paralyzed you)
Gathering evidence to strengthen your lawsuit
Your lawyer has a network they can access that can help provide copies of the best evidence for your lawsuit. Where you cannot access certain forms of evidence, your lawyer can stand in the gap and collect that evidence for you. The police report with details of the accident, witness statements, and photos or video evidence of the accident scene can build your case.
Poking holes in the insurance company’s arguments
Unfortunately, insurance companies will not act with integrity towards you unless you have a lawyer representing you. Your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf if you want to reach a fair and just settlement amount for your injuries.
Your lawyer can also use the evidence gathered to prove why their client is the at-fault driver of your accident. When insurance companies discover the possibility of proving their client’s negligence is very high, they are more prone to work with you and compromise on a settlement agreement that benefits you.
Consult a motorcycle accident lawyer today
Do not allow the insurance companies to paint you as the negligent party in an accident. You are the motorcycle accident victim and deserve compensation. Consult a motorcycle accident lawyer today for your free case evaluation. The longer you wait to consult a lawyer, the greater the chances you will miss the deadline to file a claim.