La Crosse provides a beautiful and engaging backdrop for motorcycle enthusiasts all across the state. Unfortunately, motorcyclists also face real hazards on La Crosse roadways that can result in serious injury or even death. Approximately 2,000 motorcycle accidents occur in the state each year, resulting in more than 65 deaths and 1,500 injuries.
If you were injured in a La Crosse motorcycle accident, we don’t need to tell you how serious injuries from this type of accident can be. What we can tell you is that there is compensation available to you to help you recover the expenses of your injury and to address the profound impacts that your injury has caused.
You can get the help you need to recover that compensation from the La Crosse motorcycle accident attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers.
Trust Us With Your La Crosse Motorcycle Accident Case
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers is more than just a law firm; it’s a part of the La Crosse motorcycling community. We are proud to work in La Crosse, and aim to serve and to help our friends, neighbors, and fellow community members with their legal needs following a Motorcycle accident.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we understand the unmatched experience motorcycling offers. We also understand how a negligent driver can turn a day’s ride into disaster, and how isolated it can feel to pick up the pieces following an accident. That’s why we’re here to help.
Why Choose Our La Crosse Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Our 20-member team offers services in nine locations throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. We combine the resources and convenience of a large regional firm with the personal connection that you expect from a local resource. You’ll never need to worry about getting a hold of a member of our team when you need help, have questions, or just want an update on your case.
We know how to handle complicated motorcycle injury cases. We know that each client is different, and deserves a custom case plan. We know that you’re probably hurt, and likely facing financial difficulty. This is why we take the burden off your shoulders, handling every aspect of your case so you can focus on what really matters: your health, your happiness, and your loved ones.
We've Helped Many People Just Like You
We’ve helped countless neighbors, both statewide and in La Crosse, achieve justice following an accident.
Past cases include:
- A woman passing through an intersection hit by another vehicle, certain she had a green light at the time of the car accident. After sitting down and discussing her situation, we quickly realized we could help her get the funds she needed to pay for her medical care and vehicle repairs. The case quickly settled, and she received payment for her vehicle repair, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
While this example is only one past result and can’t guarantee an outcome in any specific case, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers are nonetheless proud of our long track record of achieving success for our Wisconsin clients. Consider more of our past case results online.
We See Too Many Motorcycle Accidents in La Crosse
According to the La Crosse Tribune, over a third of all intersections throughout the city are uncontrolled: that means no stop signs, no yield marks, and no traffic signals. Careless drivers pose a huge risk to motorcyclists, particularly in areas like these without the aid of signs or stoplights. Always be cautious when navigating uncontrolled intersections: you never know when a careless driver is just around the corner.
On the other hand, even traffic signs and signals are no guarantee you won’t end up on the wrong side of an encounter with a reckless, careless, or otherwise irresponsible motorist. Based on data going back several years, quite a few of the county’s most dangerous intersections still boast traffic signals. Intersections with some of the highest crash totals include La Crosse Street and West Avenue, and several streets that run into Highway 16 (like Gillette Street and Pralle Center Drive).
You’ll find similar conditions in and around Highway 157 and I-90. Unfortunately, as long as careless drivers use the roads, La Crosse motorcyclists are always at risk. However, you can help prevent disaster by staying extra aware when navigating particularly troublesome roadways like these.
The Hazards That Motorcyclists Face in La Crosse
The size and design of motorcycles increase the risk of injury to the rider during an accident.
Those issues include:
- Less stability than a passenger car, due to fewer wheels. This increases the motorcyclist’s risk of getting into an accident that is caused by poor road conditions, debris on the road, or evasive maneuvers in an attempt to avoid a collision.
- Less visibility. Just as there are fewer wheels, motorcycles generally have fewer lights to help make them visible at night. Additionally, because of the slimmer frame of the motorcycle, motorists often don’t “see” a motorcycle amid all of the other, larger vehicles on the roadway.
- No protective features to keep the motorcyclist from being ejected. Motorcycles lack protective features such as a steel frame, airbags, and seat belts that can help protect the rider from injury. Most riders are ejected from their motorcycles during an accident.
Common Causes of La Crosse Motorcycle Accidents
Many of the risky driving behaviors that cause car accidents are also present in motorcycle accidents, such as:
- Alcohol impairment
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Improper lane changes
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
Other potential causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Left-turning cars: Cars making left-hand turns are among the most dangerous situations for motorcyclists and account for around 42 percent of all accidents involving a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle. Generally, these accidents occur when the motorcyclist is traveling through an intersection. The left-turning driver fails to recognize the motorcycle approaching and turns into its path.
- Dooring: Dooring occurs when the occupant of a car that is parked on the roadside attempts to exit the vehicle and opens a door into the travel lane where the motorcycle is approaching. The motorcyclist is often forced in this situation to decide to hit the door or risk an even more severe crash by swerving to miss it.
The Injuries That La Crosse Motorcycle Accidents Can Cause
The vast majority of motorcycle accidents cause injury to the rider and his or her passengers.
Some of the most extreme injuries that a person can endure result from this type of accident, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries: This type of injury is caused by a sudden jolt or blow to the head or body and is the leading cause of death from motorcycle accidents. Traumatic brain injuries often result in permanent disabilities that can prevent the injured individual from working, live independently, or even—in some cases—being completely conscious and aware. Brain injuries often create memory deficits, difficulty controlling one’s impulses and emotions, difficulty moving in a coordinated manner, and trouble with speaking or understanding spoken language.
- Spinal cord injuries: The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that extends down the back from the base of the skull to the waist. It acts as a messenger, relaying signals to and from the brain to other parts of the body. The spinal cord has little ability to heal itself from injury, meaning that the damage that is sustained is generally permanent. Spinal cord injuries result in a loss of sensation and function below the injury site, which is a condition known as paralysis.
- Road rash: While it is not the most serious of injuries to sustain in a motorcycle accident, road rash is one of the most common injuries. The condition, which is also known as a friction burn, is a deep skin abrasion resulting from contact between the skin and a rough surface such as a roadway. While many cases of road rash are minor and heal on their own with little to no medical attention, other cases can result in severe scarring and disfigurement or life-threatening infections.
- Broken arms or wrists: There is a condition known as biker’s elbow that frequently occurs in motorcycle accidents when the rider attempts to catch him- or herself from falling by extending the arms. This can cause severe damage to the bones, joints, and other structures in the arms and wrists.
- Broken legs, feet, hips, and other lower extremity injuries, including limb amputation.
- Burns: A motorcycle contains a tank of gasoline that can rupture because of the accident. This can cause different types of burns, including those caused by heat, open flames, and chemical burns.
Frequently Asked Questions About La Crosse Motorcycle Accidents
Suffering an accident injury is a difficult and often confusing experience, and the process of obtaining compensation after your accident is heavily weighted by legalese and court formalities that most people without a law degree would struggle to understand. Here are some answers to the questions our La Crosse motorcycle accident clients ask us most often.
Since my La Crosse motorcycle accident, I have been too injured to work. What can I do?
If your accident resulted from someone else’s careless or reckless actions, you can recover wage loss and other expenses through a motorcycle accident lawsuit. You will need to prove who is liable for the accident, as well as the financial and emotional costs of the injury. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can take the burden of pursuing compensation off your shoulders.
If I lost a loved one to a La Crosse motorcycle accident, can I seek compensation?
Yes, but the process you would use is slightly different. Like a personal injury claim, a wrongful death lawsuit is a legal claim filed in civil court in which you must prove who was liable for the accident that caused the death as well as to show the damage that was incurred by the deceased’s loved ones and estate. Wrongful death claims can be filed by a personal representative of the estate or a surviving family member such as a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, or guardian of the deceased person.
The damages you can recover from this type of claim include:
- Medical expenses from the treatment of the deceased’s final injury.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Lost wages and benefits that the deceased person would have been reasonably expected to earn if he or she had survived the accident.
- Loss of society and companionship. It should be noted that damages collected for loss of society and companionship are capped at $350,000 for a deceased adult and $500,000 for a deceased minor.
Who is liable in a La Crosse motorcycle accident?
One of the main parts of your La Crosse motorcycle accident case is proving liability.
You prove liability by establishing:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. The duty of care can be described as the way a reasonable person would react in a given set of circumstances. The duty of care that a motorist owes to others on the roadway is to operate his or her motor vehicle safely and legally.
- There was a breach in the duty of care. The breach is the actions that the at-fault party took that were contrary to the duty of care that was owed.
- The breach resulted in a motorcycle accident that caused you to incur injuries, along with financial and emotional costs.
The potentially liable parties in an accident involving a motorcycle include:
- The driver of a motor vehicle.
- The motorcyclist.
- Other motorists who were not directly involved in the collision but whose actions could have been a factor in the accident. An example of this would be a driver of a car that pulls out into traffic, causing another driver to swerve and collide with a motorcycle.
- A business establishment in which an individual knowingly serves alcohol to a minor and the alcohol impairment was a substantial factor in the collision.
How do I know if the settlement offer I was given for my La Crosse motorcycle accident is fair?
Call us. One of the important services your experienced La Crosse motorcycle accident lawyer will provide for you is establishing a value to your case. Typically, the total of the economic damages is added to the total of the non-economic damages to form a case value.
It is not unusual to receive a settlement offer for less than your case value. If it isn’t very much lower, it wouldn’t necessarily be unfair. However, insurance companies commonly avoid large payouts in traffic accident cases by offering a quick settlement for far below what the case is worth, hoping the injured party will accept the settlement.
Do not accept any settlement until an experienced attorney can establish a value to your case.
What can a La Crosse motorcycle accident attorney at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers do to help my case?
Your attorney can strengthen your case and help you navigate the claims process. Whether your case settles or a court decides it, your La Crosse attorney will fight for your right to the most compensation available in your case.
Let’s explore your legal options today. For a free case review with an experienced La Crosse motorcycle accident attorney from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, contact us online or call us at 608-527-0876.