Motorcycle accidents are some of the most severe and dangerous accidents we see. Many victims of motorcycle accident suffer head injuries, neck injuries, and broken bones, often requiring surgery. Although the law cannot undo the damage caused by a motorcycle accident, it does allow you to recover substantial compensation for your injuries, pain, and costs. That is why it’s important for you to know what to expect before you begin your claim.
Why are motorcycle accidents different from any other kind of car crash?
The main difference is severity. Passengers in a regular car have seat belts, air bags and four walls around them. They also benefit from “crumple zones” that allow the vehicle to absorb some of the impact for them. This means that victims in car accidents are exposed to less risk than motorcyclists. In addition, other drivers on the road are more likely to NOT see a motorcycle driving on the road, which can then lead to an accident if the driver turns directly in front of a motorcycle or merges into their lane.
Motorcyclists, unlike occupants in an automobile, typically take the full brunt of an accident. Any crash involving a motorcycle can potentially lead to:
- Being thrown from your bike
- A direct blow to your body from the other vehicle
- Hitting the pavement or other objects at high speed
This is why an accident is a motorcycle rider’s worst nightmare. We believe that when the unthinkable happens, you should get legal advice from an attorney who routinely works with motorcycle accident victims, and who understands the way your injuries have affected your life—not just your health.
What am I able to recover in a motorcycle accident claim?
The law treats motorcycle claims the same way as car accident claims, truck accident claims and pedestrian accident claims. Washington is a “fault” state, meaning that the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying everyone’s damages. If the at fault driver has insurance, then their insurance company pays the damages to those who were harmed.
If you are the victim, you have a right to recover all costs related to the accident:
- Medical expenses and costs of medication
- Physical therapy or occupational therapy
- Money for missed work time
- Financial awards to offset disabilities, emotional/psychological distress, physical pain and/or other serious losses
- Time or inconvenience caused by being forced to use time out of your schedule to seek medical attention
The goal of this money is to give you and your family financial peace of mind and a way to be made whole after your accident.
What should I expect?
Often times, we see insurance companies try to blame the motorcyclist in an accident, even if they were not at fault. They may try to portray you as reckless or dangerous regardless of how safely you were driving. This is their way of playing on stereotypes about motorcycle owners to discredit you. Ultimately, their goal is to pay you less—or even nothing at all. In addition, eyewitnesses to accidents involving motorcycles routinely (and mistakenly) claim that the motorcycle was speeding, even if they were going at or under the speed limit. Insurance companies also like to take advantage of the stereotypes that eyewitnesses have about motorcyclists, to try and pin the blame of the motorcyclist, rather than the automobile that actually caused the accident.
For example, if you were not wearing a helmet, insurance companies will make this the centerpiece of their argument, even if a helmet is irrelevant to how the accident happened. You should know that you have a right to a financial recovery even if you were riding without full protective gear. The best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, is to get the help from a law firm that understands motorcycle accidents, how insurance companies try to avoid paying you a fair value for your injuries, and how those injuries can impact the rest of your life.
Have you been injured? Premier Law Group offers a free consultation with some of the most experienced and respected personal injury lawyers in Washington. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 206-285-1743 to get your FREE consultation today.