As the fastest growing small city in Wisconsin, Eau Claire has a lot to offer residents and visitors alike. Among its many draws are amazing scenic locations that are popular with motorcyclists across the nation.
Despite the beautiful view, motorcyclists in Eau Claire face hazards. They suffer serious injuries every year, and a few even die.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, read on to learn more about how the Eau Claire motorcycle accident attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
About Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
For over 14 years, the legal team at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers has been representing individuals who have sustained injuries in preventable accidents in Wisconsin and Minnesota. In that time, we have helped more than 3,000 individuals recover over $38 million in total compensation.
Our attorneys combine the compassion and friendliness of a local law firm with the extensive resources and legal network of a big firm, so our clients enjoy the best of both worlds.
We have 13 offices conveniently located throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, and we offer free consultations to prospective clients, during which they can ask questions, learn about their legal options, and determine their eligibility to pursue compensation for injuries sustained. We invite individuals who are interested in learning more about our legal services to review our client testimonials.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have experience representing Eau Claire motorcycle accident victims, and we always strive to recover maximum compensation on our clients’ behalf. We start by negotiating with at-fault parties to determine whether they will offer a fair settlement, and if not, we aren’t afraid to litigate cases all the way through trial. We’ve earned a reputation throughout the local legal community for zealous representation, and we also prioritize giving back to our community through our charitable endeavors and scholarship programs.
Our Past Results
If you’ve sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident in Eau Claire, you should contact an attorney to discuss the details of your accident and determine your eligibility to pursue compensation for your injuries. The attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers have experience handling motorcycle accident cases in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, and we use the legal knowledge that we’ve gained over the years to help our clients pursue maximum compensation for their injuries.
If you retain us to handle your Eau Claire motorcycle accident case, you can rest assured knowing that we have a track record of success. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your specific case, we can provide you with some of our past success stories to give you an idea of how we work.
Some of our recent results include:
- $1,100,00 on behalf of a client who sustained injuries in a vehicle accident on the rural roads of North of Eau Claire, WI.
- $287,500 on behalf of a client who sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident in Kenosha, WI.
- $250,000 on behalf of a client who sustained injuries in a vehicle accident in Eau Claire, WI.
- $235,000 on behalf of a young woman who sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident in Eau Claire, WI.
The Most Dangerous Intersections in Eau Claire
Motorcycles come with inherent risks, and motorcyclists must take steps to protect themselves when riding. Car and truck drivers don’t always notice motorcycles on the road, and accidents that involve a motorcycle and another vehicle often result in serious injuries on the motorcyclist’s behalf. While motorcyclists can take many precautions to avoid sustaining severe injuries in the event of an accident, such as wearing protective gear and driving defensively, some accidents may prove impossible to avoid.
One way to stay safe out on the road in Eau Claire is to avoid its most congested intersections. Certain roads pose more danger than others, depending on the road design, the traffic, and the time of day.
Some of the most dangerous intersections in Eau Claire include:
- Clairemont Avenue at Fairfax Street
- Hastings Way at Birch Street
- Gold Road at Commonwealth Avenue
- Farwell Street at Wisconsin Street
- North Crossing at Old Wells Road
- Main Street at Margaret Street
- Clairemont Avenue at Keith Street
- Clairemont Avenue at London Road
- Lake Street at Graham Avenue
- Clairemont Avenue at Craig Road
The Hazardous Features of Motorcycles
Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a fatal accident than the occupants of passenger cars.
A motorcycle’s design increases the risk of suffering a severe or even fatal injury, including:
- Size. Motorcycles are among the smallest vehicles on the roadway. The small size spells a greater risk of injury in accidents involving much larger and heavier vehicles.
- Lack of visibility. With a slim profile and fewer headlights than other vehicles, drivers in cars and trucks often struggle to see a motorcycle approaching, especially at night.
- Lack of protection. Motorcycles do not have a steel frame, an airbag, or a seat belt—all features designed to enhance motorist safety. Instead, most riders are ejected from their vehicle due to the force of the crash, where there is an increased risk of colliding with a vehicle or an obstacle.
- Less stability. Four wheels provide more ability to maneuver than two wheels do. The lack of stability with motorcycles can increase the risk of accidents caused by damaged roadways, debris on the road, or from swerving to avoid a hazard.
The Causes of Eau Claire Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are often the result of risky driving behavior on the part of the motorcyclist or other motorists on the roadway. These behaviors are the same as those that cause car accidents, including speeding, alcohol impairment, failure to yield, and distracted driving.
However, other causes of motorcycle accidents are unique to this specific vehicle type, including:
- Left-turning cars: Being struck by a car turning left accounts for the cause of 42 percent of all accidents involving a motorcycle or a car. Generally, this type of accident occurs when the motorcycle is driving straight through the intersection. The left-turning driver fails to see the motorcycle approaching and turns into its path.
- Dooring: Dooring is another common cause of motorcycle accidents. This type of accident occurs when the occupant of a passenger vehicle that is parked on the side of the road opens his or her door to exit the vehicle into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. The motorcycle will often either collide with the door, or swerve to miss the door and run the risk of losing control of the vehicle or colliding with another vehicle.
- Inclement weather: While wet or icy roads are a common cause of accidents of other vehicle types, they are particularly dangerous to motorcyclists due to the lack of stability created from operating on two wheels instead of four. Not only do wet and icy roads increase the risk of slipping on the roadway, but moisture will also draw oils onto the surface of the roadway, creating an even more slippery surface.
About Eau Claire Motorcycle Accident Injuries
More than 1,500 people are injured in Wisconsin motorcycle accidents each year, and we see more than 10 in Eau Claire on average. Motorcycle accidents are among the most serious that can be suffered.
Some common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries caused by the motorcyclist striking his or her head on the roadway, the windshield of a car, or another object. Traumatic brain injuries often result in permanent damage that can prevent the injured individual from earning an income, live independently, or even accomplish personal care tasks independently. Some of the common permanent deficits resulting from a traumatic brain injury include memory loss, inability to speak or understand spoken language, inability to control one’s behavior, emotions, or impulses, and inability to move in a balanced and coordinated manner.
- Spinal cord injuries, which also can result in permanent disability as well as severe, life-changing complications. The spinal cord is responsible for relaying messages between the brain and the body. Each portion of the cord controls the sensation and function of different parts of the body. Because the cord has little ability to heal itself, the injured individual often experiences a permanent loss of function below the site of the injury. This condition is known as paralysis.
- Road rash: Also known as a friction burn, road rash is the most common injury suffered by motorcyclists in accidents. Road rash is a skin abrasion that is caused when the skin makes contact with a rough surface such as the roadway. While road rash often cures with minimal medical attention beyond thoroughly cleaning and wrapping the wound, the condition carries some serious risks, including scarring and infection.
- Broken wrists and arms, generally caused when the injured individual attempts to “catch” his or her fall with extended arms after being ejected from the motorcycle.
- Lower extremity injuries to the legs, feet, and hips resulting from getting caught between the weight of the motorcycle and the roadway or from striking obstacles after ejection from the motorcycle.
- Burns caused by exposure of the motorcyclist to flames, heat, and toxic chemicals spilling from the vehicles in the accident.
Frequently Asked Questions About Eau Claire Motorcycle Accidents
If you are dealing with motorcycle injuries, we don’t need to tell you how expensive it is to be injured or how profoundly the injury can impact your life. But we also understand that the process of obtaining compensation for your injury is overwhelming to many. Here are the answers to some of the questions our Eau Claire motorcycle accident clients frequently ask.
What is the process for obtaining compensation after an Eau Claire motorcycle accident?
If your accident was caused by the careless or reckless actions of someone else, you can seek compensation through a motorcycle accident lawsuit. This is a legal claim filed in civil court that attempts to prove who was liable (legally responsible) for the accident as well as to show the expenses and the quality-of-life impacts that you have incurred because of your injury.
How is liability proven in an Eau Claire motorcycle accident case?
To prove liability in a motorcycle accident case, you must show:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. The term “duty of care” refers to the way a reasonable person would react in a certain circumstance. The duty of care that is owed by all roadway users to others is to operate their vehicles safely and legally.
- There was a breach in the duty of care. The breach refers to the actions that the at-fault party took that were contrary to the duty of care that was owed, such as a motorist who is operating his or her motor vehicle in an unsafe manner or is disregarding traffic laws.
- This breach resulted in the accident that caused your injuries and made you incur expenses and life impacts.
What compensation can I recover through an Eau Claire motorcycle accident lawsuit?
Wisconsin allows motorcycle accident victims to pursue the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages. The term “damage” refers to a payment made in compensation for harm.
Economic damages are compensation for the expenses you have incurred due to your injury, such as:
- Medical expenses, including emergency treatment at the scene and in the emergency department, transport to the hospital via ambulance or air transport, diagnostic and laboratory testing, prescription medications, physician and surgical services, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. You can also claim the expense of assistive devices such as prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, or crutches.
- Wage loss if you are too injured to work or must miss work to attend an injury-related medical appointment.
- Loss of future earning capacity, if your injury results in a permanent disability that renders you unable to return to work or to earn in the same capacity as you did before the accident.
- The cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle and gear that was damaged in the accident.
Non-economic damages are compensation for the impacts that the injury has had on your quality of life.
Common impacts from motorcycle injuries include:
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of the enjoyment of life, if your injury prevents you from enjoying hobbies and activities you formerly participated in.
- Loss of consortium, which is a damage collected on behalf of the injured person’s spouse for the loss of physical intimacy and companionship that sometimes occurs after a person has suffered a serious injury.
Will I have to pay income tax on my Eau Claire motorcycle accident settlement?
According to the Internal Revenue Service, the proceeds you receive from a motorcycle accident settlement or award are typically not considered income and are not taxable.
However, there are some exceptions, including:
- Punitive damages, which are awarded to punish the defendant for particularly reckless behavior and are not related to the expenses or impacts you have incurred. This portion can be taxed as income.
- Medical expenses that you claimed as a deduction will need to be repaid if you receive a settlement or award that includes damages for medical expenses.
I can’t afford an Eau Claire motorcycle accident attorney. Can I file my claim on my own?
Actually, you can afford the Eau Claire motorcycle accident attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers. And you need to hire a lawyer.
Recovering from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident is a long and difficult process. Recovering damages for those injuries can also be a long and difficult process. An attorney brings knowledge and experience to your case along with the desire to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
The experienced Eau Claire motorcycle accident attorneys from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers understand that many people are afraid to ask for help with their case because they don’t think they can afford to pay for a lawyer. We are pleased to offer two special services designed to ensure that anyone who needs help recovering compensation after an accident has access to that help.
Those services include:
- A no-obligation free consultation. This is time for you to obtain answers to questions you have about your case, learn more about the process, and determine if you want to hire the attorney to assist you.
- A client-friendly contingent-fee payment arrangement. This means you owe nothing in attorney fees for your attorney’s services until there is a successful outcome in your case.
Let our Eau Claire motorcycle accident attorney help you understand the legal options that are available for you. For your free case evaluation, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers online or call (715) 835-5959.