If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, there are several things you should know heading into an injury claim. Motorcycle accident cases are similar to other kinds of motor vehicle crashes, like car accidents or truck accidents. But there are differences you should be aware of.
Prejudice Against Motorcycle Riders
Any lawyer or judge who handles lots of injury cases in court can tell you that juries think that motorcycle riders are risk takers and are more likely than the driver of the car or truck to speed or drive dangerously. So in an injury case, you have to prove that the other driver caused the collision, not you. So how do you fight a case when the jury, or most of them at least, have a preconceived idea that you were probably at least partially at fault? In my motorcycle accident cases, I stress my clients experience riding. The number of years he or she has been riding is also important. I also find being very precise about where the crash occurred at exactly what my client was doing is very important. Even more than any other kind of case, establishing that you are an experienced unsafe rider is key to a good outcome for you in a motorcycle crash injury case.
Size And Visibility
In most motorcycle crash cases I handle, the other driver at some point claims that the motorcycle “came out of nowhere” so he must’ve been speeding. Just because the other driver did not see you, does not mean that you are doing anything wrong. But that is certainly the impression the insurance defense attorney will attempt to create with the jury. I always make sure that the jury understands that motorcycles are much smaller than cars and trucks and that it is the duty of the other driver to pay attention to all motor vehicles and people on or near the roadway, not just the ones who are in larger vehicles. I will also often argue that if a driver doesn’t think he should have to see a vehicle as small as a motorcycle, then does he think it is okay to run over a pedestrian? Pedestrians are even smaller than motorcycles. The rules of the road in Illinois require drivers to maintain the lookout for other vehicles on the roadway. It is no defense to say that a driver did not see the motorcycle rider.
Motorcycle Crash Injuries
You have a potentially dangerous combination of riding on a vehicle in the open air which is also powered by a powerful motor.That means you can go much faster on a motorcycle than you ever could walking, running, or even riding a bicycle. But unlike when you are riding in a car, if there is a collision that throws you from the motorcycle your body will be much more exposed to impact with the ground and suffering “road rash” which can leave scars. You have much less protection a motorcycle, so if you or motorcycle is impacted by another vehicle that force is translated to your body. It is not uncommon in serious motorcycle accident cases for the rider to be thrown from the motorcycle, tens of feet or perhaps even more. Most motorcycle riders I know wear a helmet and wear protective gear, and believe it or not, juries like to hear this. But even with protective gear, the forces involved in a crash are directly applied to your body. Head injuries are the most common serious injury I see in motorcycle accident cases. I also see lots of broken bones, usually broken legs. Finally, road rash is very, in these sorts of cases. Obviously, the seriousness of the injury can vary greatly. In the most serious of motorcycle crashes, people are killed. Literally, the human body cannot withstand the forces involved. But paralysis and other permanent brain injuries can result as well. Sometimes, a rider involved in a motorcycle accident gets lucky, and suffers only bumps and bruises and temporary sprains and strains.
What You Should Do?
If you have been in a motorcycle crash, you should talk to a lawyer. If you have your refutable proof that the crash was the other guy’s fault, the insurance company may try to make a quick settlement with you by offering you less than what your case is really worth. They will definitely try to take a recorded statement from you before you have a chance to consult with an attorney. My honest advice is that you should have a free case evaluation with an experienced injury lawyer before making any decisions like that. I offer a free case evaluation where I can answer all of your questions and we can talk about what I can do for you.Or if you’re not ready for that, I offer an injury DVD video which you can get delivered direct to your e-mail inbox or delivered to your home if you prefer. Check out the sidebar on this page for the phone number or the simple web form. My goal is to provide injured people with helpful information and to represent them if they want me to. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to call.
If you have been hurt or have questions about an injury case, I offer injured people a copy of my FREE Injury DVD and Book. Just call me at my 24/7/365 toll free number 888-HURT-318 (888-487-8318) and ask for the free injury book, and give us your name and mailing address and I will mail it to you free of charge and no obligtion. Or if you are ready to talk, call that same number and ask to speak with me!
If you have been hurt and have questions, call me for a free consultation.
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