The length of the motorcycle riding season can be short in Duluth, and as Duluth motorcyclists already know, depends heavily on the weather. According to the state Department of Public Safety, the short riding season is one reason motorcycle registrations and operators have declined in recent years. However, despite fewer motorcyclists, the dangers of this mode of transportation remain the same.
Motorcycle injuries are often serious, resulting in a lengthy hospital stay as well as recovery time at home. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury from a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s careless or reckless behavior, an experienced Duluth motorcycle accident attorney at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you to understand the process of obtaining compensation.
Table of Contents
- About Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
- Our Past Results
- Dangerous Intersections in Duluth
- What Makes Duluth Motorcycle Accidents so Dangerous?
- The Causes of Duluth Motorcycle Accidents
- Common Injuries Sustained in Duluth Motorcycle Accidents
- Frequently Asked Questions About Duluth Motorcycle Accidents
About Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we bring compassion to our legal representation, and we always strive to recover maximum compensation on our clients’ behalf. We have twelve office locations conveniently located throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, and we offer prospective clients free consultations and take cases on contingency, which means that we don’t collect any attorney fees unless we successfully recover compensation on our clients’ behalf.
Our attorneys live in the communities in which we work, and we pride ourselves on our strong community values. We combine the resources of a large, national firm with the personal service and accessibility of a local, boutique firm. When you retain us, you can rest assured knowing that we will use our extensive resources and legal knowledge to build a strong legal case on your behalf.
Over our 14 years of legal practice, we’ve earned the respect of the local legal community. We have successfully negotiated numerous cases in the past, including Duluth motorcycle accident cases, and we aren’t afraid to take a case to trial if necessary. Between all of our attorneys, we have over decades of combined legal experience, and we’ve represented over 3,000 clients. If you want an attorney that knows how to win, contact our Duluth personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.
Our Past Results
The legal team at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers has recovered over $38 million in compensation for our past clients. We handle a variety of legal issues, and we represent individuals in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident in Duluth, contact us today for a free consultation.
While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your case, as every case varies, we can promise to use our experience and legal knowledge to pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. We can also point to our past success stories to indicate the dedication that we show our clients and what to expect when you retain Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers to handle your motorcycle accident claim.
Some of our recent results include:
- $287,500 on behalf of a client who sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident in Kenosha, WI.
- $550,000 on behalf of a client who sustained injuries in a car accident due to another driver driving too fast for conditions in Woodbury, Minnesota.
- $175,000 on behalf of a woman who sustained injuries in a UTV accident in Scott County, Minnesota.
- $1,000,000.00 on behalf of a young woman hit crossing a street in Superior, Wisconsin.
Dangerous Intersections in Duluth
Home to the largest and busiest port on any of the Great Lakes, Duluth is world-famous as a port city. However, Duluth roadways experience heavy traffic as well, with highways that take you from Duluth all the way to Texas, Canada, and Washington. With heavy traffic comes a high risk of sustaining injuries in a vehicle accident. Motorcycles are particularly dangerous when involved in an accident, as they offer little protection to riders.
Some intersections in the Duluth area are more congested, and thus more dangerous, than others.
Some of the most dangerous intersections in the city for motorcyclists include:
- 1200 Kenwood Avenue
- South 21st Avenue and East London Road
- W Arrowhead Road and Rice Lake Road
- East Central Entrance and Mesaba Avenue
- Highway 53 bridge over the Lincoln Park neighborhood
- Garfield Interchange at I-535
- 1600 Miller Trunk Highway
What Makes Duluth Motorcycle Accidents so Dangerous?
Nearly 5,000 people are killed in motorcycle accidents each year in the U.S., and motorcyclists and their passengers are 27 times more likely to die in a traffic-related crash than the occupants of passenger cars.
Features of the motorcycle that increase the risk of injury or death include:
- A lack of protective features, such as a steel frame, seat belts, and airbags. Motorcyclists face an extremely high likelihood of being ejected from the vehicle during an accident.
- Less visibility. With a slimmer frame and only one headlight in the front, motorcycles are hard for motorists to see, particularly at night. Studies indicate that even when an individual looks for oncoming traffic when they pull out into a travel lane, they are less likely to see the motorcycle. This is because the brain prioritizes information and responds first to the biggest hazard, which is usually a larger vehicle.
- Less stability on two wheels than a car offers on four. This makes it harder to control the motorcycle, particularly when the road is in poor condition or the motorcyclist is attempting evasive maneuvers.
The Causes of Duluth Motorcycle Accidents
Here are some of the more common actions and behaviors that lead to this type of accident in Duluth:
- Alcohol impairment. Alcohol impairment creates deficits in the skills that motorists need to operate their vehicles and avoid accidents with motorcyclists. Some of those deficits include an inability to maintain a travel lane, difficulty stopping or steering, difficulty tracking a moving target, the inability to focus on the task of driving or riding safely, and difficulty exercising good judgment.
- Speeding. Speeding refers not only to driving faster than the posted limit, but also driving faster than road conditions will safely allow. Speeding reduces the amount of time that a driver has to react after perceiving a hazard, and increases crash severity.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way. Motorists often look, but fail to see, a motorcyclist, particularly if he or she was riding at night when there is less visibility.
Common Injuries Sustained in Duluth Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident injuries can be very serious, often resulting in permanent disability or a long recovery time. In Minnesota, more than 40 motorcycle riders die and more than 800 are injured every year.
Some of the most common injuries associated with motorcycle accidents in Duluth we encounter include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. The brain is perhaps the most important organ in your body, as it controls the functions and responses of the rest of the body. A traumatic brain injury damages the brain through a blow, bump, or jolt to the head or body. This is the leading cause of death to motorcyclists, often due to the rider not wearing a helmet during the crash. Minnesota does not require helmets if the motorcyclist is at least 18 years old.
- Road rash. While a brain injury is perhaps the most serious injury a motorcyclist can endure, road rash is one of the most common. Road rash, also commonly referred to as a friction burn, is an abrasion caused by the skin making contact with the roadway or another rough surface. It can have complications such as infection and scarring.
- Broken arms or wrists. The body has an instinct to reach the arms out to catch itself when falling. Doing so during a motorcycle accident often breaks bones.
- Broken legs, feet, and hips. It is not unusual for a motorcyclist to experience significant injuries to the legs, feet, and hips during an accident. Because ejection is likely, the body’s limbs often sustain injuries due to striking an object or being crushed beneath one.
- Burns. Motor vehicles require combustible fluids such as gasoline. During a motorcycle accident, these fluids can leak out of the motorcycle or another vehicle and cause heat burns when ignited or chemical burns from coming in contact with the rider’s skin.
Frequently Asked Questions About Duluth Motorcycle Accidents
How do I obtain compensation for my Duluth motorcycle accident injuries?
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s careless or reckless behavior, you can seek compensation by filing a third-party claim against the at-fault party’s insurance policy or you can file a motorcycle accident injury lawsuit. A motorcycle accident injury lawsuit is a legal claim filed in civil court that seeks to establish who was liable for the accident and show the court the expenses and emotional impacts that you suffered due to your injuries.
Plaintiffs generally must file motorcycle accident injury lawsuits within six years from the date of the accident—but they should never wait that long to call us. Evidence and witness testimony is easier to collect and more reliable when it’s fresh, so call us now.
What is the average settlement in a Duluth motorcycle accident case?
Because a case’s value is based on the unique aspects of the accident, injury, and expenses and impacts incurred, there really is no “average” settlement in this type of case. While the vast majority of motorcycle accident injury cases settle out of court, there is no guarantee that the at-fault party in your case will agree to a settlement.
Other factors that can affect a case’s value include:
- How much insurance the at-fault party has. Insurance pays most motorcycle accident injury claims. While it is possible to file a lawsuit against an uninsured person and even obtain a judgment in your favor, it will likely be exceedingly difficult to collect your award because most people can’t afford to pay for motorcycle accident injuries out-of-pocket.
- The clarity of liability. Not all accidents have one liable party and one victim, even when you consider motorcycle accidents. Sometimes, more than one party involved in the accident has been careless or reckless. Multiple liable parties with insurance resources can affect the value of your case, as can being partially liable for the accident that caused your injuries.
- The severity of your injury. A case value is derived by adding together all of your injury-related expenses to arrive at your total economic damage claim. Your attorney will talk to you about the effects of your injury on your life to determine your total non-economic damage claim. The two totals are then added together to arrive at a value for your case. The severity of your injury determines your non-economic damages.
- Your patience. Motorcycle accident settlements can take a long time to negotiate. Your attorney is aware of the tactics that insurance companies use to avoid paying out on accidents caused by their insured. However, one of those tactics is to avoid offering a fair settlement until the trial has already begun or is about to. Often, the most patient clients see the biggest settlements.
I wasn’t wearing a helmet when I had my accident. Does that mean I can’t file a Duluth motorcycle accident injury claim?
The law does not require Duluth motorcycle riders to wear helmets if they are over 18. Regardless, you are almost always entitled to file a motorcycle accident injury claim when someone else is at fault for the accident that causes your injury.
Do I have to pay taxes on my Duluth motorcycle accident settlement?
According to the Internal Revenue Service, settlements and awards resulting from motorcycle accident injury cases are not considered income and are, therefore, generally not taxable.
Some exceptions do exist, however, including:
- You will need to repay any medical expenses that you claimed as a deduction once you receive your award containing damages for medical expenses.
- If you receive punitive damages, the IRS can tax that portion of your award. Punitive damages punish the defendant for particularly reckless behavior. However, because this type of damages do not compensate you for your injury, the IRS considers it income.
How can your Duluth motorcycle accident attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers help me with my case?
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s reckless or careless actions, an experienced Duluth motorcycle accident attorney from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can assist you in obtaining compensation for your injuries.
We do that through:
- A no-obligation, free case review that will provide you time to ask an attorney your legal questions about your case and also to explore your options for pursuing compensation.
- The establishment of a case value that is based on the expenses you have incurred or likely will incur in the future due to your injury, as well as the profound impacts that your injury has had on your life.
- A determination of all sources of liability and all insurance resources that are available to provide your compensation.
- Skilled negotiation with the at-fault party’s insurance company in an attempt to garner a fair settlement offer on your behalf.
- The timely filing of all court-required paperwork in the proper jurisdiction, and attendance on your behalf at all mandatory pre-trial conferences and hearings.
- The collection and organization of witness testimony and evidence that can be used to prove your case.
- Litigation, including the delivery of opening and closing arguments, the examination of witnesses, and the presentation of evidence.
- Assistance with collecting your settlement or award.
- A client-friendly contingent-fee payment plan, which means you owe nothing for your attorney’s services until there is a successful outcome to your case.
Let our experienced Duluth motorcycle accident attorneys help you make sense of the legal process involved in obtaining compensation for your injuries. For a free case review, contact us online or by calling (218) 729-0628.