Motorcycle accident cases don’t necessarily play out the same way car accident cases do. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident there are some special considerations you’re going to have to take into account as you contemplate your next steps.
Here are four things you need to know about getting into a motorcycle accident.
#1) You’ll need an expert attorney to handle your motorcycle accident case.
The most common motorcycle injuries are broken bones, lacerations, burns, loss of limbs, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries. These are some of the most expensive injuries that anyone can take.
The other driver’s insurance company is not going to race to do the right thing here. In fact, they’re going to fight tooth and nail to avoid doing the right thing, because the stakes are so much higher. They are going to have to pay out far more money than usual.
They may be looking at paying for a lifetime of disability, for example, in addition to multiple, expensive surgeries.
They’re going to do anything they can to avoid paying that claim, even if they have to play dirty to do it. They’re also going to do anything they can to bring down the costs of your case, which can mean assigning as much fault to you as possible.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can play a huge role in ensuring that you don’t get steamrolled. When your lawyer knows these cases inside and out there’s less of a chance that you’ll get blindsided or taken advantage of.
#2) Many motorcycle case claims become wrongful death cases.
The sad fact is that many cyclists will not survive their motorcycle accident cases. Sometimes they even die after receiving days of medical care.
This leaves their loved ones to pursue a wrongful death case. This can be emotional and difficult for the family, because again, insurance companies are rarely quick to do the right thing. It can be hard to listen to the insurance company try to blame a loved one for an accident, for example.
That said, if the driver that hit the motorcycle was negligence, family members do have grounds to recover compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and more.
#3) The average motorcycle accident compensation payout is much higher than the payout for car accidents, but the cases are harder to win.
Motorcycle cases can easily be worth a quarter of a million to a half million dollars.
Unfortunately, many riders won’t see all or part of that money. For example, Alberta is a comparative negligence province. This means that a percentage of fault is assigned to each party and your award amount is dropped by your negligence percentage.
There are people in Alberta who believe that a person is negligent just for getting on a motorcycle at all. When cases go to a jury trial they can turn against a rider in a heartbeat.
Experienced motorcycle accident attorneys know how to work around this limitation, but it’s something to be aware of.
#4) Sometimes a rider is at fault, which works against you when you’re not.
It seems a little counter-intuitive. A motorcycle is a very small entity compared to a giant car. You might feel like it makes sense to assume the passenger vehicle is always at fault for an accident.
Yet this isn’t always true. It’s not even always true when a motorcycle is rear-ended.
For example, if a rider pulls out suddenly in front of another car and then brakes, causing the car to slam into them, then that accident is actually the rider’s fault. This means that insurance companies have plenty of history to draw on to show that their driver might not be at-fault, either.
Again, this is where having an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can really come in handy.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
The team at Merchant Law has decades of experience helping riders like you collect compensation for their injuries. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.