Motorcycle accidents are more common than most people realize. In 2019 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 5,014 individual deaths due to motorcycle crashes. This statistic made motorcyclists 29 times more likely to die in a crash (per vehicle miles traveled) than passenger car occupants.
Surviving a motorcycle accident is difficult, and recovering can be an even bigger challenge. During the crash, the expenses you may encounter from the aftermath may not cross your mind. However, these bills arrive just as quickly as you crashed. Anyone would understandably be overwhelmed as various costs come within the first week, not knowing which expense to cover first.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents can lead to injuries with varying degrees of damage. The least severe injury would be simple scratches, while the worst-case scenario is wrongful death. Regardless of how severe your injury is, you would still deserve fair compensation to cover damages. Here are common injuries you might encounter that a motorcycle accident lawyer can assist in settling:
Motorcyclists sustain varying degrees of road rash after an accident, ranging from non-fatal to permanent disfigurement. Most road rash cases are affected by the amount and quality of safety gear that motorcyclists wear while riding.
While road rash is generally treatable and most people can recover within two weeks (with good care), severe cases may require long and expensive recovery sessions. Some motorcyclists sustain road rash injuries that require skin graft surgery. Consider getting input from a motorcycle accident lawyer who has relationships with physicians for insight into the severity of your road rash injury.
Head and Neck Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 22% of all motorcycle injuries happen to the head and neck. Like road rash, these injuries range from minor to severe. Minor head and neck injuries include concussions and whiplash. Meanwhile, a severe injury can include traumatic brain injury (TBI).
You risk exacerbating head and neck injuries if you fail to wear an approved helmet. The NHTSA reminds riders to look for DOT-certified helmets when choosing the right motorcycle helmet. Approved helmets assure good quality that can limit the severity of head and neck injuries you might sustain during a motorcycle accident.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
Minor back and spinal cord injuries include burns and sprains. Meanwhile, severe cases may involve injuries that cause fractures and paralysis. As such, back and spinal cord injuries can be life-threatening.
A physician can determine the severity of the back injury you sustain after a motorcycle accident. In addition, your case may involve another driver at fault. In such a case, you will need legal assistance to get the compensation you deserve.
Arm and Leg Injuries
You might sustain injuries to your arms and legs during a motorcycle accident. Most arm injury cases involve getting thrown from your bike and then attempting to brace yourself as you hit the ground.
Meanwhile, leg injuries vary from sprains to torn muscles. In addition, the NHTSA conducted a study in 2008, revealing that lower-extremity injuries were the most common motorcycle accident injuries. Motorcyclists tend to sustain injuries in their legs, pelvis, knees, thighs, and ankles (listed in order of risk).
Motorcyclists are more likely to sustain broken bones and fracture injuries than people riding in a car because they have less protective gear. For instance, when you get into a motorcycle accident that involves a car, the car’s driver and passengers may have airbags to protect them against the impact. Meanwhile, you could find yourself on the ground, pinned under your bike or against another vehicle.
You can consider broken bone injuries as significant as the injuries you could sustain from the previous common examples. These severe damages will surely result in hefty medical bills, requiring legal assistance to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
How to Choose a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Getting a lawyer should be among your top priorities when you or a loved one gets into a motorcycle accident. Whether or not the victim sustains injuries, getting legal assistance can help you get back to your life before the accident. Consider these three factors when hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer to oversee your situation:
- Specializes in Motorcycle Accidents: Work with a lawyer who understands the legal processes involved in motorcycle accidents. A lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accidents is more likely to resolve your case than personal injury lawyers who have broader scope in their legal practices. Be sure to confirm whether the lawyers you intend to hire for your case specialize in motorcycle accidents. Some lawyers might only partially practice motorcycle law, so make sure you ask about how much of their practice involves that type of law.
- Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Near You: Get a lawyer who practices motorcycle law near your area. Getting out-of-state legal services may limit your choices of lawyers to handle your case. A local lawyer is mostly beneficial if your case ends up going to court. When you get an attorney in your city or county, you can rest assured that they will be familiar with the local court proceedings. Allow a local motorcycle accident lawyer to represent your best interests while remaining compliant with the laws in your area.
- Good Reputation and Transparency: Motorcycle accidents are serious, time-sensitive cases. You want to get an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible so you can rest assured that you get the best results out of your case. When looking for an attorney, be sure to do your research about the firm they represent. See if they have reviews and testimonials online from legitimate sources.
Tips on Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The best tactic for selecting a motorcycle accident lawyer is to ask the right questions. When interviewing different attorneys to handle your case, consider these important questions and gauge whether their answers meet your needs and convince you that they are ready to get you back on your feet:
- How long have you been a lawyer?
- How long have you been practicing motorcycle law?
- Have you handled cases like mine before?
- Will you be handling my case or will it be an associate?
- How many cases have you handled that resulted in a settlement?
Asking these questions and more will give you insight into the achievements of your potential motorcycle accident lawyer and learn if they have the qualifications to exceed your expectations.
As a motorcycle accident survivor, your primary goal should be to get immediate financial assistance to cover the medical bills you face during recovery. You want to be sure you get the most from your insurance coverage, which some insurance companies may try hard to limit as much as possible. With a professional motorcycle accident lawyer on your side, you can get peace of mind knowing that they will have your best interests at heart and get you the compensation you deserve.
What Should I Do in the Days Following a Motorcycle Accident?
Besides focusing on your recovery, be sure to gather important documents regarding your motorcycle accident. Such records include:
- Police Report: Get a copy of the police report from the motorcycle accident you survived.
- Photos: Having photographic evidence of your physical injuries and damaged property will be useful.
- Medical Records: Keep the records that detail your physical symptoms following the accident, along with copies of your medical treatments, tests, medications, and doctor visits.
- Work Records: Keep the records detailing the workdays you miss due to injuries you sustained from the motorcycle accident.
Remember that you are not obligated to disclose any information to anyone apart from your doctor and lawyer. A seasoned motorcycle lawyer will ensure all these records are in place while you recover. Should your insurance company require these documents for a settlement, consider consulting with a lawyer before accepting their offer.
How Much Will It Cost To Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Most law firms charge motorcycle accident survivors on a contingent fee basis. This arrangement means that you will only pay the lawyers if they win your case. Should nothing come of your partnership with the lawyers you chose, you will not owe them anything.
The initial consultation cost may vary but many lawyers offer it for free. With free consultations, you have nothing to lose when getting in touch with motorcycle accident lawyers.
Is It Worth Hiring a Lawyer That Specializes in Motorcycle Accidents?
You want to get the best results after surviving a roadside accident. After all, you will face medical bills, repair bills, and even daily expenses while recovering.
Some injuries you sustain may even be more severe than you believe. Lawyers who specialize in motorcycle accidents can refer you to doctors who can assess your condition completely. Consider hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer to ensure you get back to your life before the accident.
Legal Help When Filing an Insurance Claim
Motorcycle accident lawyers can handle the behind-the-scenes work regarding insurance claims. You can hire a lawyer to avoid communicating with insurance adjusters who might require documents when inspecting the severity of your losses. You will want to recover these losses for what they are worth.
Consider getting a lawyer to assess how much you are entitled to when filing insurance claims. With the right motorcycle accident lawyer, you can count on them to organize everything you need for the compensation you deserve, including determining liability, gathering evidence, accounting losses, and negotiating with insurers. These professionals want you to focus on your recovery.
Legal Help When Filing a Lawsuit
Motorcycle accident lawyers can serve as your legal representation while you recover and spend time with your loved ones. As they gather the evidence of your losses following an accident, they will fight to prove the damages you sustained from a negligent driver.
Perhaps the best part about getting legal help when a lawsuit is involved in your motorcycle accident case is the law firm’s contingency fee basis. You will only pay your representatives when they win your case.
Different Forms of Compensation Available
Economic and non-economic compensation are the primary compensation forms you can claim after surviving a motorcycle accident. Here is an overview of what each form of compensation can cover:
- Medicines and medical care
- Therapy and treatments for ongoing care
- Medical bills
- Home medical equipment
- Lost pay due to missed workdays
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Permanent disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
Conclusion: Get Expert Help and Act Quickly
You will most likely need a motorcycle accident lawyer to ensure you get a fair settlement after sustaining injuries from an accident. Motorcycle accidents are common across the U.S., and most people encountering such events get injured and are entitled to financial compensation.
Consider getting a lawyer specializing in motorcycle laws to handle your case. With a legal representative who understands the local proceedings of your city or state, you can proceed knowing that they can navigate the system effectively to get the compensation you deserve.
Should you need a motorcycle accident lawyer in California, consider getting in touch with the Law Offices of John J. Perlstein. Contact us today to discuss your case for free.