New Richmond Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Known as “The City Beautiful,” New Richmond features amazing views and curvy, hilly roads that make for an enjoyable and memorable motorcycle ride. However, despite the beauty, the scenic roadways that wind through the St. Croix Valley present many of the same dangers to motorcyclists as other roadways throughout the nation. Motorcyclists are more than 28 times more likely to die in an accident than the occupants of passenger vehicles. In New Richmond, motorcyclists face numerous hazards, including other motorists, inclement weather for many months of the year, defective motorcycle parts, and inadequate road signs.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a New Richmond-area motorcycle accident, a New Richmond motorcycle accident lawyer from Nicolet Law Accident and Injury Lawyers can help you evaluate your options for obtaining compensation from the at-fault party or parties. Our attorneys reject the negative stereotypes of motorcyclists as thrill-seekers, and we fight to protect and enforce the rights of injured motorcyclists to seek the same compensation after an accident as any other motorist.
Contact us today or call (715) 226-6164 for a free consultation about your New Richmond motorcycle accident case.
What Compensation You Can Recover After a New Richmond Motorcycle Accident
The damages—the legal term for compensation—you can recover depends on your injuries. Compensatory damages include economic and non-economic damages. A court orders compensatory damages in an attempt to make a victim whole again. Economic damages have a readily quantifiable monetary value, while non-economic damages do not.
Economic damages in a New Richmond motorcycle accident case may include medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, replacement or repair of destroyed or damaged personal property, and funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses. Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of companionship and/or consortium, inconvenience, loss of use of a body part or bodily function, amputation, excessive scarring, and disfigurement.
Risks of Riding a Motorcycle in New Richmond
According to the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles, there are more than 2,100 motorcycle accidents on the state’s roadways each year, resulting in more than 1,800 injuries and nearly 80 deaths.
Motorcycle accidents are far more likely to cause injuries and fatalities than crashes involving four-wheeled vehicles, because:
- Motorcycles lack protective features such as steel frames, airbags, and seat belts. The impact of a crash commonly ejects a rider from a bike and causes the rider’s body to strike the pavement and/or other solid objects. Similarly, the lack of protective features on a motorcycle also increases the likelihood that the rider will suffer burns in a crash from contact with hot metal or flammable fuel.
- Motorcycles have slimmer frames and fewer lights than passenger vehicles, which make them less visible to other motorists. Lack of visibility is a major factor in motorcycle accidents, and the problem is often exacerbated by inattentional blindness, which is the tendency of a motorist’s brain to notice larger vehicles more readily than smaller ones.
- Motorcycles are less stable than passenger vehicles, because they operate on two wheels rather than four, and their tires are far slimmer. Motorcyclists can lose control, for instance, when they ride over loose gravel, grooved pavement, or potholes that a car or truck could easily handle.
The features above may make motorcyclists more susceptible to injuries in a crash, but they do not excuse unsafe behaviors by others that make motorcycle accidents more likely. Motorcyclists have every bit the same right to operate on New Richmond-area roads as any other motorist. It is everyone’s responsibility to make safe decisions that prevent accidents with motorcyclists. At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, our New Richmond personal injury lawyers hold other parties accountable when, instead, they make poor choices that lead to harm for motorcycle riders and passengers.
Common Injuries Resulting from Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists can sustain serious and fatal injuries in crashes.
Some common New Richmond motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. In Wisconsin, motorcycle riders and passengers under the age of 18, and those riding with an instruction permit and their passengers, must wear helmets. Public agencies encourage all riders to wear DOT-approved helmets to prevent head, face, and brain injuries in the event of an accident.
- Spinal cord injuries. Like traumatic brain injuries, this type of injury often results in permanent disabilities and the need for lifelong care.
- Road rash. Deep abrasions caused by the skin sliding along a rough road surface can cause painful injuries akin to severe burns that take a long time to heal, require skin graft surgeries, pose deadly infection risks and leave behind disfiguring scars.
- Broken bones. Bone fractures are common in motorcycle accidents, particularly in the lower extremities, which are subject not only to contact with the roadway and other objects, but can also experience crush injuries from the motorcycle itself.
- Biker’s elbow, which is a severe injury to the tendons and ligaments of the elbow caused by the rider’s instinct to “catch” himself or herself when falling with an extended arm.
No matter what kind of injury a New Richmond motorcycle accident causes, the team at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can help the victim secure compensation.
Seeking Compensation for Your New Richmond Motorcycle Accident Injuries
If you sustained injuries in a New Richmond motorcycle accident, you may have the right to obtain compensation from the party at fault for the wreck. In Wisconsin, most motorcycle accident victims have three years from the date of their injury to commence a legal action seeking damages for their injuries and losses.
Damages refers to the compensation you can receive for the harm you suffered in a New Richmond motorcycle accident.
The damages you may recover by taking legal action with the help of an experienced lawyer can include payment for your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage resulting from the accident, such as damage to the motorcycle
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
In addition, sometimes a lawsuit can also ask a Wisconsin court to award punitive damages, which aim to punish extremely wrongful conduct that contributed to the cause of a harmful accident.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we work closely with our clients to identify the full scope of harm they suffered, so that any legal action we take on their behalf seeks maximum compensation under Wisconsin law.
New Richmond Motorcycle Accident FAQs
You can find motorcycles in New Richmond throughout the late spring, summer, and early fall, taking advantage of the nice weather and the scenic drives throughout Wisconsin. Unfortunately, motorcycles sometimes end up in accidents.
Motorcycle accidents often occur when other drivers fail to pay attention, and hit motorcycles they fail to notice until it’s too late. And motorcycles require more careful attention, given their small size, which is much smaller than the passenger vehicles other motorists tend to look for. While drivers are supposed to look for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycles, they often do not. That means motorcyclists must drive defensively.
Because a motorcycle offers virtually no protection to its rider, a rider has a much higher risk of suffering catastrophic injuries or death in the event of an accident. Because of the high stakes of motorcycle accidents, riders and their loved ones often have questions about these accidents, and what they can do if they end up in such a tragic circumstance to help relieve the financial and other burdens that come along with it.
Whose insurance pays for New Richmond motorcycle accidents?
Since Wisconsin is a tort state, the at-fault driver’s insurance provider pays for damages caused by an accident. However, the other driver’s insurer is likely to delay paying out, trying to find a way to deny or lessen your claim.
Since settling with and litigation against the other driver and their insurer take time, you can use your own auto insurance and health insurance to cover medical expenses until you get the settlement or trial award.
Your policy might also cover certain other expenses. However, your insurance company could ask you to pay back the money they paid out once you get the settlement or trial award. Still, the immediate relief of your own insurance can be just what you need until the responsible party’s insurer pays out.
What should I do after a motorcycle accident?
What you should do after a motorcycle accident depends on the severity of your injuries. If you do not think you can move without causing yourself further injury, err on the side of caution, and wait for the emergency medical technicians to get there unless you are in imminent danger where you landed. If you are seriously injured but in a dangerous spot, try to remove yourself to a safe location, like somewhere off on the side of the road, and wait for emergency responders.
If you aren’t as severely injured and can move around, call first responders, get the other driver’s insurance and contact information, and take photos of the accident scene. Try to take pictures from all angles, showing all of the damage that you can see. The photos from different angles can help in your claim later on.
Always seek medical attention at a hospital, even if the emergency medical technicians check you over and release you without taking you to the hospital. Some injuries do not produce symptoms for hours or even days after an accident, but can nonetheless be serious and even life-threatening.
Finally, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you file your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and take the steps necessary to help you get the compensation you deserve.
What if I cannot afford an attorney for my New Richmond motorcycle accident claim?
Our personal injury attorneys offer free case evaluations and work on a contingency fee basis, which allows you to put off paying legal fees in your New Richmond motorcycle accident case until your attorney can recover compensation on your behalf. When you meet with your attorney for your initial consultation, they will go over their fee arrangement, and explain what other costs you might ultimately need to pay.
I am in the hospital with catastrophic injuries—how do I set up a free case evaluation?
If you are too severely injured to leave the hospital but want to get your motorcycle claim in process, a New Richmond motorcycle accident attorney can meet you in the hospital or set up an audio or videoconference.
What kinds of injuries might a rider suffer in a New Richmond motorcycle accident?
A motorcyclist might suffer only minor injuries such as cuts, bruises, scrapes, bumps, strains, and sprains in a New Richmond motorcycle accident, especially if they were cruising at a low speed on a downtown road at the time of the accident. However, because a motorcycle offers very little protection from other vehicles, motorcyclists are always at a higher risk of catastrophic and even fatal injuries. The size of the vehicle that hits you and how fast it is going often dictate the severity of your injuries.
While a subcompact car going at slow speeds might not do much damage, a tractor-trailer truck going the same speed could cause catastrophic injuries.
Some of the more severe injuries possible in a New Richmond motorcycle accident include:
- Simple and compound fractures
- Crushed bones
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Road rash
- Chemical and thermal burns
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Face and eye injuries
- Amputation of a digit or a limb
How long do I have to file a New Richmond motorcycle accident case?
You generally have three years from the date of a New Richmond motorcycle accident to file a lawsuit. However, that three years goes by very fast, and victims often get their claims with the at-fault party’s insurer started much sooner so that they can settle without having to go to court.
Start your case as soon as possible. Not only do you get your claim in process, but your recollection of the accident is clearer the sooner to the accident. If you wait too long, you could forget important details that could negatively affect your case.
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help You
Did you or a loved one suffer injuries in a New Richmond motorcycle crash? If so, you may have the right to receive significant financial compensation.
The experienced New Richmond motorcycle accident attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you evaluate your options. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or call (715) 226-6164 today.