River Falls Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycles are fun to ride, but they are also dangerous for operators sharing River Falls roadways with irresponsible or inattentive drivers.
People in cars and trucks do not always watch for motorcycles. Because a bike is smaller than a car or truck, people tend to look right at a motorcyclist and still not see him or her. Due to the size and weight disparity of these vehicles, that also means that motorcyclists suffer more severe injuries in a car or truck accident.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a River Falls motorcycle accident, contact our River Falls motorcycle accident attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for your free case evaluation.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in River Falls
A motorcycle accident can happen for many reasons. Driver negligence that could result in a motorcycle accident includes:
- Sideswiping a motorcyclist.
- Swerving in front of a motorcyclist.
- Failing to yield.
- Excessive speeding.
- Following too closely.
- Failure to see a motorcyclist.
- Driving under the influence.
- Cutting a motorcyclist off when a driver is making a left turn in front of the motorcyclist.
Left-turn accidents happen because the vehicle driver does not see the motorcyclist, underestimates the motorcyclist’s speed, or makes a panic stop in the path of a motorcyclist.
Why You Might Retain a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
After a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, you could recover damages, including medical expenses and pain and suffering. However, if you attempt to settle on your own, you could also end up leaving money on the table. Insurance companies are in business to make money, and they can get very pushy when it comes to getting you to accept a low offer.
That means that they will try anything to deny a claim, including twisting what you say to make it look like an accident is your fault. Motorcycle accident lawyers are familiar with this and other tricks the insurance companies use to protect their bottom lines.
Additionally, if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, it knows that you will most likely litigate if you have an attorney helping you with the settlement negotiations.
When you first contact the insurance company to notify it of a claim, only give it your name, the other driver’s name, and insurance information, the date and location of the accident, and your attorney’s contact information. The insurance company will most likely try to get additional information out of you. Continue referring insurers to your motorcycle accident lawyer.
How Much Can I Recover After a Motorcycle Wreck?
The recovery for damages after a motorcycle accident depends on the injuries you suffer or if you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident. If you suffer injuries that heal within weeks, for example, your financial recovery is probably less than if you were to suffer traumatic injuries, including spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries.
Wisconsin allows you to recover two types of damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include economic damages and non-economic damages.
Special damages, often referred to as economic damages, have a monetary value and include:
Medical expenses. You can recover medical expenses for those you incurred because of an accident and before or after a settlement or trial award. Medical expenses include costs for surgeries, doctors’ appointments, follow-up appointments, additional surgeries, physical therapy, occupational therapy, cognitive therapy, other psychological therapies, medical aids, and prescription costs.
Lost wages. If you suffered more than minor cuts and scrapes in an accident, you would most likely be out of work until you recover. You can recoup the wages you could not earn because of motorcycle accident injuries. You could also recover future lost wages when you cannot work after a settlement or a trial award.
If you can go back to work after a settlement or a trial award, but your injuries and/or disabilities prevent you from returning to your job, and you have to take a position that pays less than your previous salary or hourly rate, you could recover partial lost wages to make up the difference.
You could also recover compensation for damaged or destroyed personal property. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you could recover expenses for a funeral, burial, and/or cremation.
General damages, often referred to as non-economic damages, do not have a specific monetary value attached and may include:
- Loss of quality of life. If your accident injuries cause disabilities that require you to take medication for the rest of your life or require you to use ambulatory aids, including walkers and wheelchairs, for the rest of your life, you could recover compensation for loss of quality of life.
- Loss of companionship and/or consortium. You could recover compensation for loss of companionship if you can no longer enjoy and/or participate in family activities and events. If you can no longer have a physical relationship with your spouse, you could recover compensation for loss of consortium.
- Loss of use and amputation. If you lose the use of a body part or function, you could recover extra compensation for the loss. Likewise, if the accident caused an amputation or doctors had to amputate later because of gangrene, you could also receive additional compensation.
- Disfigurement and excessive scarring. Some injuries, such as road rash and burns, could cause excessive scarring. Spinal cord injuries could cause disfigurement. If you suffer any type of disfigurement or excessive scarring, you could recover additional compensation.
The court only orders punitive damages if the defendant’s actions or inactions were considered an intentional disregard for the safety of others. A plaintiff can also recover punitive damages in the death of a loved one for the same reasons.
River Falls Motorcycle Accident FAQs
Since River Falls is so close to Minneapolis and St. Paul, you see a lot of traffic on the roads, especially during commuting hours. If you decide to ride your motorcycle to work because the weather is perfect for riding, you have an increased risk of getting into an accident because of the increase in traffic. Because a motorcycle does not offer the same protection that a car does, those who get into accidents have a higher risk of suffering severe injuries or even death.
If you suffered injuries in a River Falls motorcycle accident, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for your free case evaluation.
Does Wisconsin have a helmet law?
Wisconsin does not require you to wear a helmet if you are at least 18 years of age and have a regular motorcycle license. If you are under 18 or you have an instruction permit, you must wear a helmet.
Does Minnesota have a helmet law?
Should you ride over the state line, Minnesota does not require riders over the age of 18 to wear a helmet as long as the rider has a regular motorcycle license. If you are 18 years or over but have a permit, you must wear a helmet. You must also wear a helmet if you are under the age of 18.
What are some common reasons vehicles hit motorcyclists?
The most common reason for motorcycle accidents other than operator error is that people do not see motorcycles, especially in intersections and while the motorcyclist is making a left turn. Reckless drivers, those driving under the influence, and those who speed excessively often hit motorcyclists.
What kind of injuries can a motorcyclist suffer?
The injuries you could suffer depend on the circumstances of your accident, including the size of the vehicle that hits the motorcycle, speed, the location of the hit, and other factors.
Injuries could include:
- Road rash, scratches, cuts, bruises, and bumps.
- Thermal and chemical burns.
- Face and eye injuries.
- Sprains and strains.
- Pulled muscles, torn muscles, and other soft tissue injuries.
- Internal injuries.
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
- Amputated digits and limbs.
A motorcyclist could also suffer from secondary injuries, such as infections, especially if he or she has underlying conditions or is on medication that lowers his or her white cell count. The at-fault driver holds responsibility for these injuries as well as the primary injuries.
What should I do after a River Falls motorcycle accident?
If you can move without causing additional injuries to yourself, call first responders and check on others involved in the accident. Obtain contact information, insurance information, and registration information of anyone involved in the accident. Obtain contact information from any witnesses.
Take photos of the accident from all angles. Be sure to include skid marks and damage to property, including real estate, fences, mailboxes, poles, and trees.
After the police release you from the scene, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Let the medical professionals know that you were in a motorcycle accident—some injuries take hours or even days to manifest.
Contact our River Falls motorcycle accident attorneys for your free case evaluation. Finally, contact the insurance company—or let your attorney do it—to notify them that you will file a claim. If you decide to contact the insurance company, do not give it specifics of the accident. Refer the insurance company to your attorney. You can provide the insurance company your name, date and location of the wreck, and your attorney’s contact information.
What kind of damages can I collect after a River Falls motorcycle accident?
The amount of damages you collect depends on the severity of your injuries and whether you can prove that the at-fault driver’s actions or inactions were grossly negligent or intentional. Damages you might collect include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, replacement of damaged or destroyed personal property, and burial, funeral, and/or cremation expenses.
Future lost wages could include partial lost wages if you return to work but cannot work for the same salary or hourly rate as before the wreck. Past and future medical expenses also include physical therapy, occupational therapy, cognitive therapy, and other psychological therapies if needed.
You could also collect pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, loss of companionship and/or consortium, inconvenience, loss of use of a bodily function or body part, amputation, disfigurement, and excessive scarring.
Finally, could also collect punitive damages if you can show that the at-fault driver’s actions or inactions were an intentional disregard towards you or others on the road that day. A court might agree that excessive speeding or driving under the influence is an intentional disregard for the safety of others.
I can’t afford a lawyer. How can I collect compensation in River Falls?
Your case evaluation is always free. We work on a contingency basis, so you only pay our attorney’s fees if we secure compensation for you.
Should I settle my case myself?
No. While some people try to settle their case themselves, we do not recommend it. In most cases, those who do not use attorneys end up leaving money on the table. Because insurance companies do not like to pay claims, as it affects their bottom lines, they may use every trick in the book to deny your claim or offer you just enough to make you go away.
Our River Falls motorcycle accident lawyers know the tricks insurance companies play, so they are more likely to offer a fair and reasonable settlement when you have an attorney. Furthermore, the insurance company knows that if it does not offer a fair and reasonable settlement, you are more likely to litigate your case if you have an attorney.
Contact a River Falls Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Nicolet Accident & Injury Lawyers
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a River Falls motorcycle accident, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner your attorney can investigate the accident scene, the better chance of recovering crucial evidence. Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers at (715) 200-3626 for your free case evaluation.
River Falls Office
215 S 2nd St #20
River Falls, WI 54022