Experience Attorney in Rice Lake For Motorcycle Accident Victims
The motorcycle is an agile and convenient mode of transportation that many people find appealing. Many people ride their motorcycles each day. While some ride for pleasure and recreation, others ride because it is their preferred method of transportation to and from work and other responsibilities. Motorcycles must share the road with vehicles and commercial trucks, putting them at risk of dangerous accidents.
Motorcycle accidents are harrowing moments resulting in tragedy and serious challenges for those involved. Accidents involving motorcycles are more often than not severe and involve devastating injuries or fatalities.
After a motorcycle crash, you should contact a Rice Lake motorcycle lawyer for more information on how they can help you seek compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today.
If You or a Loved One Are a Victim of a Motorcycle Crash Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
We know how dangerous it is to ride a motorcycle and the damages and injuries you will face when you are a motorcycle accident victim of driver negligence. At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we can fight to protect your rights under the law and help you pursue the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle crash.
Your Risk of Involvement in a Motorcycle Accident in Rice Lake
As a motorcycle rider, each time you get on your bike and head onto the road, you are at risk of a motorcycle crash. Even when you wear all the right safety gear and drive responsibly, there is always a possibility that you will encounter a negligent driver on the road.
Nationally, over 5,000 motorcyclists die annually because of a motorcycle collision. Over 500 people suffer fatal injuries in a traffic-related crash in Wisconsin each year. Of those victims, over 20% are motorcycle drivers and passengers.
Determining Fault in a Motorcycle Accident
One of the biggest obstacles for motorcyclists after a crash in seeking compensation for their damages and injuries is the determination of fault. The reality is that many entities may treat the motorcyclists as the cause of the accident even when the evidence clearly points in another direction. Insurers, officers, and others involved after a crash may be biased against a motorcycle rider and make assumptions about their recklessness or behavior. The truth is that most motorcycle riders are responsible individuals and understand the dangers they face on the road. Unfortunately, many drivers that engage in negligence behind the wheel can put a motorcyclist at risk of injury or death due to their actions.
To determine fault in a motorcycle accident, an insurance company or court must consider the elements of negligence. Many people that are victims of traffic crashes may believe that the opinion of a police or traffic officer at the scene is what ultimately determines who is at fault.
This, however, is not accurate. While a police report can be part of the evidence to determine or prove fault, it is not the only factor to consider. Along with your attorney, you can gather evidence such as details of the scene of the crash, videos, photographs, expert testimony, and evidence of your injuries to help prove that a driver’s actions were the cause of the accident and your injuries. To determine that another driver was negligent in the accident, you must prove negligence by showing evidence of each element.
The elements of negligence as they apply to a motorcycle accident are:
- That a motor vehicle driver owes the motorcyclist a duty of care
- That the motor vehicle driver breached that duty of care due to their actions or failure to act
- You, as a motorcycle rider or passenger, suffer injuries and damage
- The cause of your injuries and damages is the driver’s breach of their duty of care
What Are the Types of Motorcycle Injuries?
When a motorcycle collision occurs, there is usually at least one other driver or vehicle involved. Passenger vehicles and commercial trucks are significantly heavier than a motorcycle and provide more protection for the drivers and passengers aboard.
At the moment of impact between a motorcycle and a vehicle, the majority of the force of the crash will impact the motorcycle rider. With little protection and no restraints, the rider and any passenger will probably get thrown from the motorcycle. The dynamics of a motorcycle crash and the after-effects of the initial impact raise the likelihood that a rider and/or passenger will suffer severe or fatal injuries.
Certain circumstances in a motorcycle crash, such as the speed of the vehicles and motorcycle, the weather conditions, the traffic congestion, and other external factors, can exacerbate the injuries a motorcyclist sustains. In some instances, a motorcycle rider may die on impact from their injuries at the crash scene. The riders that survive the initial impact are likely to face life-threatening injuries, the threat of complications, and a long road through recovery. Many motorcyclists that are survivors of a motorcycle accident continue to face challenges such as disabilities, scarring, and chronic pain throughout their lifetime.
Serious injuries after a motorcycle accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries - Injuries to the head are common in a motorcycle crash. A motorcyclist is at risk of impact with a vehicle’s windshield or the pavement when thrown from their bike after impact. While a helmet can offer some protection, brain injuries are likely in the most severe accidents and can be life-threatening or cause permanent impairment to the victim.
- Spinal cord injuries - A motorcyclist can suffer injuries to the neck, back, and spine when they get thrown into the hard pavement or directly hit by a vehicle. The spine is fragile, and the momentum and force behind a motorcycle accident are often too much for the body to withstand. Partial or complete paralysis and permanent nerve damage are common amongst motorcycle accident survivors.
- Broken bones - Fractures and breaks to the arms and legs are difficult to prevent or avoid in a motorcycle accident. The motorcyclist often has little to no control of their body when there is an impact with a vehicle. Falling into the ground, vehicles, or other objects in the environment can cause significant injuries and multiple broken bones.
- Road rash - This type of injury is typically unique to motorcycle accidents and bicyclists in traffic crashes. A motorcyclist has little to protect them from hitting the road or dragging across the pavement, which could happen in a crash. This intense friction and momentum can cause horrific injuries such as road rash across most of the body. Exposed areas of the body are particularly susceptible to severe road rash and can require extensive treatment and reconstructive surgery to promote healing. Severe scarring and disfigurement are common complications from road rash injuries.
- Soft tissue injuries - A motorcycle rider’s ligaments, tendons, and muscles can suffer tears, stretching, or sprain in an accident. A motorcyclist can suffer not one but multiple injuries throughout their body and their soft tissue. While some can heal over time, other injuries may require more intensive medical intervention, and some can end in permanent damage.
- Crush injuries - The weight of a vehicle or a motorcycle in a crash is far greater than the human body. When a vehicle or motorcycle traps or pins a motorcyclist, they will likely suffer crush injuries. These injuries are life-threatening and can cause catastrophic damage to the body. Often, in case of crush injuries, it may become necessary to amputate a part of the body to extract a victim or for other life-saving measures.
- Internal injuries - Beyond the visible injuries that can happen in a motorcycle crash, the internal organs and functions of the body are just at risk of injury and, in some situations, can result in a fatality. These injuries can be challenging to treat immediately after a crash and can cause death if not diagnosed and treated quickly.
What Damages Can a Victim in a Motorcycle Accident Case Qualify for?
Motorcycle accidents are some of the costliest personal injuries that can occur. When motorcyclists survive a crash, they are likely to face catastrophic level injuries that require emergency medical care, hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation. The timeline for recovery is often months, not a matter of days or weeks. The cost of this care and the impact on the victim’s life is often overwhelming. In many instances, the victims and their families cannot meet the expenses and financial pressures that arise after a motorcycle crash.
When you are a victim of a motorcycle accident that is the fault of another party, you may be able to file a claim with an insurer for your losses or a lawsuit against the parties responsible. The law specifies the categories of damages you can be eligible for after an injury.
Motorcycle accident compensation can include:
- Medical costs and expenses for your current and future care and needs
- Income losses for missed work, future work impacts, and income potential
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering from your injuries and the treatment and recovery of those injuries
- Emotional and mental trauma or distress due to the accident and your injuries
- Property damage, including the costs of repair or loss of your motorcycle
- Burial and/or funeral expenses in the case of a motorcyclist’s wrongful death
Can a Motorcyclist Sue for Their Injuries and Losses in an Accident?
As a motorcyclist, you have the same rights as a driver or passenger in a vehicle. If you are the victim of another driver’s negligence in a motorcycle crash, you, as well as any passenger that may have been with you at the time of the accident, may be eligible to seek compensation for the monetary and non-monetary losses you sustain because of your injuries and other damages. In most situations, your case will resolve through the insurance claim stage with the assistance of a motorcycle accident attorney. However, some cases require filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit to seek the compensation you deserve after a crash.
What Causes Most Motorcycle Accidents?
The most common cause of a motorcycle accident is the negligence of another motorist. There are many choices and actions that motorists take each day that can endanger the life of others on the roads, including motorcycle riders and passengers. Motorcyclists are particularly in danger of injuries because of the general lack of awareness by other motorists.
Drivers can act negligently in various combinations of maneuvers and behaviors. While motorists tend to look out for oncoming vehicles, they do not always have the presence of mind and awareness to look out for motorcycles. Motorcycles move and act differently than a vehicle, and when drivers do not consider these vehicles and their riders, catastrophic consequences can result.
The most common instances leading to motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted drivers
- Aggressive and/or reckless drivers
- Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Sudden lane changes and blind spots
- Road hazards and dangerous conditions
- Defective motorcycles or parts
Do You Need a Motorcycle Lawyer After an Accident in Rice Lake?
Whenever you are the victim of a motorcycle crash or any other accident that is the fault of another, you need the help of a lawyer. A motorcycle lawyer understands the complexity of these cases and what the insurance companies and at-fault parties will try to do to reduce or eliminate their liability to you.
Motorcycle accident victims need compensation from a claim or lawsuit to support them through their recovery and their life when they sustain permanent disabilities.
Contact a Rice Lake motorcycle lawyer at (715) 226-6241 after an accident to put yourself in the best possible position to seek a positive resolution in your case. Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today to get started.
Rice Lake Office
337 North Main Street
Rice Lake, WI 54868