Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Motorcycle Accident Injury Representation for Riders, by Riders

Many personal injury attorneys say they represent victims of motorcycle accidents. But ask them: Do they also ride? Every attorney at the Motorcycle Law Group does.

The motorcycle is unlike other four-wheeled vehicles, requiring skilled and vigilant rider coordination to operate – particularly in a crash scenario. Our success rate for favorable settlements and jury outcomes is thanks to our deep and broad knowledge of motorcycle physics, motorcycle and traffic laws, and an understanding of how bikes are operated with the hands, feet, and mind. Most importantly, we have a passion for the motorcycling lifestyle and can effectively and sincerely communicate to the jury, judge, and insurance companies the reasons we ride and the laws that guide our community.

Practicing Personal Injury Law in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Georgia

If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident, call Motorcycle Law Group today to schedule a free consultation.

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Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction

For your motorcycle case, our attorneys may work with accident reconstruction experts who specialize in motorcycle physics and are able to piece together how the accident unfolded based on evidence, vehicle damage, and witness testimony. Reconstruction is particularly critical for motorcycle cases in which downed riders are unable to speak for themselves due to being taken away from the scene in an ambulance – leaving less-injured car or truck drivers at the scene with their word of how events unfolded. Many of our clients are often cited with contributing to a collision, but in many instances, we are able to prove otherwise: the rider is innocent, not at fault, and did everything in his or her power to avoid the accident.

The Difficulties of Disputed Fault in Motorcycle Accident Injury Cases

This unclear liability has another unfortunate side effect for riders; when fault is in question the insurance company and their client are much more likely to take a case to trial. In an ideal world, you can avoid court by gathering evidence and negotiating with the insurance company with facts and hard realities.

Facts aren’t the only things that matter in motorcycle injury cases, and insurance companies are less concerned with doing the right thing than they are minimizing the claim payments they make to injured riders.

Why would they settle for a fair amount when they control the narrative?

Insurance companies also know that juries are, in most cases, unfavorable to motorcyclists due to the unjustified biases held against many riders. They know that if you don’t settle for a lot less than you deserve and choose instead to take your case to trial you will likely be facing an unfriendly jury with all kinds of negative preconceptions about “reckless outlaw bikers.”

There are many good car accident and truck accident attorneys out there, but when it comes to changing the hearts and minds of a judge and jury, a regular accident lawyer may not be able to do it quite like a fellow motorcyclist. We know how to humanize you based on our own experiences.

Policy Limits Often Work Against Motorcyclists in Catastrophic Injury Motorcycle Accidents

In some scenarios, it is actually preferable for a rider to take their case to court, especially if the policy limits of the responsible driver are far below what you deserve. In catastrophic injury accidents, which motorcycle accidents often are, your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering could far exceed the other driver’s $25,000 or $30,000 bodily injury limit. In that scenario, the only way for you to recover funds in excess of that limit will be to take the case to a jury trial.

Seven Helpful Tips for Riders if They’re Involved in a Motorcycle Accident

  • If possible (which it often isn’t), give your version of events to law enforcement for the accident report
  • Avoid talking to other people at the accident scene unless absolutely necessary, and never apologize or admit fault to the other driver
  • Get medical attention right away – this isn’t a scenario where you want to tough it out – your medical records will be important evidence
  • Don’t get your bike repaired until your motorcycle lawyer can properly document all the damages – we may even have an accident reconstruction expert examine the damage
  • If you’re still standing after your accident do your own documenting of the crash scene and take pictures of the other vehicle’s damage if possible
  • You’ll likely have to pay a lot of accident-related expenses out of pocket before your settlement – keep all your receipts so we can calculate accurate damages
  • Don’t talk about your accident on social media and don’t post any pictures or say anything that could call into question the severity of your injuries

Types of Damages in Accident Claims

Motorcycle injury or death claims and car injury or death claims have one fundamental goal: to make you financially whole after an accident or compensate you and the heirs for the death of a loved one. Your injury claim will cover everything from your medical bills and property damage to damages that are less easy to quantify in monetary terms, such as pain and suffering. Additionally, it will cover future medical bills, future pain and suffering, and any lost wages or future lost wages and earning capacity. A claim for death, compensates the heirs for loss of financial support, companionship, and other damages. Having uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage can increase the amount of money available for your injury or a death claim in the event the at fault party does not have enough insurance or no insurance.

You could be eligible for damages to compensate you for:

  • Medical bills and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earnings capacity
  • Property damage (for your bike and equipment)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future pain and suffering
  • inconvenience
  • Loss of consortium, loss of support and income from the death of a loved one.
  • Funeral expenses
  • Costs related to continuing care (mobility assistance devices, transportation costs, etc.)
  • Other out of pocket expenses related to your injury or recovery.

How Do You Calculate the Value of Damage Types?

Some damages are easy to calculate as it is just a matter of adding up your medical bills and loss of wages. Other damages may require a financial expert or specialist or testimony of an heir.

Important considerations when calculating certain types of damages include:

  • Property damages: It’s not uncommon for motorcycles to be total losses after an accident. In most cases, the insurance company will consider the make, model, year, and mileage of your motorcycle. Whether or not their valuation is accurately reflective of the true value of your bike depends on its condition and how much you’ve invested in modifications or aftermarket parts. If you have a restored classic motorcycle or custom bike, for example, then you may want to consider investing in classic or custom motorcycle insurance. How you have insured it could play a role as well as what motorcycles like yours are selling for in your area.
  • Medical damages: Your emergency room bill is just one part of your medical damage’s calculation. Everything from the ambulance ride to the hospital to your physical therapy and rehabilitation costs should be included in any calculation of your medical costs. Any expenditure that went towards your recovery should be included in medical damages. Also included are any possible medical expenses you may incur.
  • Pain, suffering, and loss of consortium: There’s no obvious dollar valuation for pain and suffering or loss of consortium. Articulating how the death of a loved one affected your quality of life, finances and family dynamics is important. Your success in winning or negotiating non-economic damages are heavily reliant on the skills of your motorcycle or car injury attorney.
  • Punitive damages: Punitive damages most often come into play if the negligent driver was doing something that was particularly reckless and illegal. Drunk driving accidents are the most common type of auto accident personal injury cases where punitive damages become available.

Common Motorcycle Accident Causes

The biggest threat facing motorcyclists on the road are caused by other drivers. However, unsafe roadways, dangerous weather conditions, rider errors, and motorcycle defects are all potential hazards as well.

Commonplace risks and causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Inexperienced or negligent drivers: One of the biggest dangers on the road is drivers who are careless or don’t realize how dangerous they are making traffic for riders. Tailgating, failing to adequately check blind spots, or driving under the influence can easily result in accidents that seriously injure or kill riders. Riding defensively and maintaining awareness of the road and surrounding vehicles is the best way to attempt avoid accidents with negligent drivers. New riders may also want to consider signing up for advanced riding courses that teach accident avoidance strategies and maneuvers.
  • Speeding: Speeding creates risks for riders and drivers. Drivers making a left turn in front of a rider may not be able to tell how fast the motorcycle is going and misjudge the time they have to make the turn safely. In fact, many states have a law that the rider has forfeited his right of way, if speeding occurred. Drivers might also not notice a rider coming up behind them quickly on the left or right when they’re about to make a lane change. All drivers and riders should always follow the speed limit.
  • Weather and dangerous road conditions: Running over potholes or rocks in the road may not always flip a car, truck, or SUV, but it can easily result in a rider being tossed over their handlebars. Icy or wet roads can cause cars to slide, but the passengers will be in a protective metal chassis and cushioned by airbags. Motorcyclists who slide don’t have the same protection, so road condition-related accidents can be extremely hazardous to riders. Make sure your lights, tires, and brakes are always in good working order before you ride.
  • Unsafe lane changes: You don’t have to ride for long before experiencing your first brush with a car invading your lane with seemingly no concern for your safety. Many drivers become distracted and don’t adequately check to confirm the lane they’re changing into is clear. It would be great if every driver was courteous and looked out for riders, but unfortunately, its not always the case.
  • Rider error: Most riders are very cautious and stay focused, but sometimes a crash occurs from over-braking or running wide on a curve.
  • Intersections: Intersections are the source of many motor vehicle accidents, like those involving unsafe left turns, running red lights or stop signs, and illegal lane changes. Due to distracted driving riders are at an increased risk of being rear-ended while waiting for a light to change.

Schedule a FREE Consultation with Motorcycle Attorneys Who Understand What You’re Going Through

The Motorcycle Law Group represents riders and motorcycle accident victims in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and West Virginia.

Contact one of our motorcycle accident lawyers and let us fight for you.

Motorcycle Accident FAQ

What is my motorcycle accident case worth?

Every motorcycle accident case has a unique worth or value based on the unique losses suffered by the rider. The injuries sustained, whether there is a full recovery or partial, how the injury limits a person in the short term and long term, and many other aspects are looked at by your attorney. Conversations with your doctor are helpful to get a clear indication of what the future holds. How the injury affects one’s employment is very important, as is the effect on the person’s mental health. These and many more factors account for how much your case is worth. What is more important is to work with a motorcycle accident attorney who knows how to accurately calculate your total losses and hold the defendant liable for them.

Are there limits on how much I can recover?

There are usually liability insurance coverage, uninsured and underinsured coverages, medical payments coverage, and the at fault person’s personal assets that provide payment for your losses. Sometimes, if the person has no assets, or the insurance coverages have expired or the amount purchased is the state minimum limits, these factors can affect your financial recovery. This is why it is so important to consult an experienced attorney who knows how to search, find, and make applicable policies that you may be unaware are available to you. An example is being able to collect from a vehicle that was not even involved in the collision.

How long will my motorcycle accident case take?

A motorcycle accident case can take a varying amount of time based on details unique to it, such as how long the injured rider is medically treating, how much insurance coverage there is, or assets that are collectible from the at fault party. Some cases are concluded in a matter of a few months, some longer. What is important is that if you take money from a settlement and later find you need a surgery as a result of the collision, you will not be able to be compensated for the later surgery. This is true even when the insurance companies promise to pay your future medical bills. They will dispute that the future treatment is necessary or related to your collision. To properly protect your right to a full recovery of all injuries sustained, be it now or in the future, let an attorney help guide you through this process.

How much will it cost to hire a lawyer?

You can hire a motorcycle accident attorney on a contingency basis. This means you do not pay anything up front. When an attorney is paid based on a contingency fee, the client doesn’t owe them any attorney’s fees unless the case ends in a successful settlement or verdict, which keeps the financial risk minimal for the client. Plus, the attorney is fronting all the costs to bring the case to trial, including filing fees, subpoenas, depositions, and other trial costs. If the case is won for the client, then the attorney is paid based on a percentage of the winnings.

What insurance coverage should I have as a motorcyclist?

Motorcyclists coverage needs are different for each rider and their family. Having coverage for bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is helpful. We recommend that you get the best policy that you can reasonably afford because your policy is likely to provide you coverage when the at-fault driver has insurance but doesn’t have enough, or has none at all. You can upload your insurance declaration pages on our website and an attorney will review them free of cost- they will then contact you regarding your coverages.

If you're hurt while riding your motorcycle in another state, where do you file a claim?

A motorcycle accident claim can usually be filed either where the defendant lives or where the crash occurred, which can be in different states. There could be significant advantages to choosing to file in one state over another that a lawyer can explain.

Will I be paid for aftermarket parts in a motorcycle accident claim?

When after markets increase the fair market value of your motorcycle’s value, you should be compensated at that increased level. There is also coverage called “parts and accessory coverage” available, which covers the accessories you add to your motorcycle. It is important to know what your policy considers an accessory.

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