Motorcycle enthusiasts love the freedom and fun that comes with riding. They’ll tell you that nothing beats the wind in their hair and the sun on their face.
While motorcycles are an enjoyable way to get around, they are unlike other motor vehicles. By their very nature, motorcycles offer no physical protection in the event of a crash. That makes motorcycle accident injuries often more severe than car accident injuries.
If a crash hurt you or your loved one, you likely have many questions. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about motorcycle accident injuries.
Common Questions About Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawsuits
#1. The insurance company offered me a settlement. Do I need an attorney?
While the insurance company’s offer might seem generous, it likely isn’t enough money to cover all of your accident-related medical bills, lost income, property damage, and emotional distress. If you accept this initial offer, you may forfeit the right to sue for more money in the future. That’s why your insurance payout needs to reflect all of your current and future accident-related expenses.
When motorcycle accident lawyers calculate a counteroffer, they don’t just pull a figure out of thin air. They consider how your motorcycle accident injuries will impact you for the rest of your life.
Don’t sign anything or make any agreements until you speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer.
#2. The other driver was drunk and now faces criminal charges. Do I still need to file a motorcycle accident claim?
If someone told you that you could receive money from a criminal case, these funds are called punitive fines. These fines are relatively small.
A punitive fine will not fully compensate motorcycle accident victims for their medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. The only way to pursue an insurance payout for all of your damages is to file a motorcycle accident claim.
Lawsuits take place in civil court and are separate from any criminal proceedings the defendant may face.
#3. I wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Can I still file a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
Each state has different motorcycle helmet laws. According to the Texas Department of Transportation:
- Everyone under the age of 21 must wear a motorcycle helmet.
- Texas Transportation Code § 661.003 exempts individuals 21 and older from the helmet requirement if they:
- Completed an eligible motorcycle operator training and safety course, or
- Are “covered by a health insurance plan providing the person with medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of an accident while operating or riding on a motorcycle.”
Even if you were not in compliance with helmet laws, you are not automatically prevented from filing an accident injury claim. The circumstances surrounding each motorcycle accident are unique. The only way to know if you have a legal case is to speak with an attorney.
#4. Can an injured motorcycle passenger receive a settlement, too?
Yes. You do not have to be the owner or operator of the motorcycle to pursue an accident injury settlement. In addition, you can file your motorcycle accident lawsuit even if the operator or other parties in the accident choose not to or otherwise cannot.
In fact, anyone who sustains an injury during a motorcycle accident may file a claim. That includes pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicle occupants.
#5. What if I’m not sure who caused my motorcycle accident?
In some motorcycle accidents, the responsibility is quite clear. In other crashes, some investigation is needed to determine negligence.
What you remember about your crash will be helpful for your attorney to know. But many people are unable to recall specific details or don’t remember anything at all. Also, your perception of the accident and what occurred from a legal standpoint may be two different things.
When you hire a motorcycle accident injury attorney, they will make sure that you aren’t blamed for an accident that was not your fault. Eyewitness interviews, camera footage, the nature of your injuries, and a re-creation of the accident scene can all be taken into account to determine negligence.
#6. Is a settlement only for catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injuries?
Anyone who is injured in a motorcycle crash may be eligible for a personal injury settlement.
Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Road rash;
- Broken leg, ankle, or foot;
- Burns from contact with the exhaust pipe;
- Spinal cord injury;
- Concussion or traumatic brain injury.
Your injuries are personal. Don’t downplay what happened to you. There is no such thing as “just road rash” or “only a broken bone.”
All motorcycle accident injuries have the potential to hurt your life. If you were injured, speak with an attorney to learn about your legal rights.
Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Recent statistics from the Insurance Information Institute show that around 5,000 people lose their lives each year in motorcycle accidents. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, this statistic is more than “just a number” it’s your reality. You deserve compensation for your loss.
#1. Who can file a motorcycle accident wrongful death lawsuit?
Typically, the decedent’s spouse, children, and/or parents are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In some situations, the executor of the deceased’s estate may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be complex for surviving family members. A personal injury lawyer can answer specific questions about your relationship to the decedent and if you are eligible to file a lawsuit.
#2. What does a wrongful death settlement pay for?
If someone else’s negligent actions caused your loved one’s motorcycle accident, you deserve compensation. Each case is handled differently, depending on who files the wrongful death lawsuit.
A settlement may compensate surviving family members for:
- Medical care that the decedent received for their fatal injuries;
- Property damage, such as the repair or replacement of the motorcycle;
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses;
- Estimated future income that your loved one would have earned;
- Household services that the decedent provided, such as childcare, home maintenance, and yard work;
- Loss of guidance and support for minor children; and/or
- Loss of consortium for the surviving spouse.
Money can’t undo the accident or bring your loved one back. But not having to worry about bills or getting by makes it easier to move forward. Many surviving family members also feel a sense of closure after they receive a wrongful death settlement.
Don’t Wait to Schedule Your Free Case Evaluation
There are statutes of limitations that put a deadline on your motorcycle accident injury claim. Once the clock runs out, you may lose your chance to pursue financial compensation. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer near you today for your free consultation.