If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle crash, a Lafayette IN motorcycle accident lawyer can help you navigate the claims process. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Hall-Justice Law Firm have helped victims of motorcycle crashes recover compensation for losses experienced in devastating collisions. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident Case
After a motorcycle accident, you may have experienced serious injuries and are now unable to work. Your bike may also have sustained damage. You deserve compensation from the party responsible for your losses. We can help you recover compensation for both past and present:
- Medical expenses
- Hospital and medication costs
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Physical limitations
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Vehicle rental and towing
Understanding Indiana Motorcycle Insurance Laws
The value of your claim will also depend on the amount of insurance you and the negligent driver carry. In Indiana, liability insurance is fault-based. This means that you can file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. The state’s drivers must carry a minimum of:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury claims, with a maximum of $50,000 per accident
- $10,000 for property damage claims
While some drivers carry much larger policies, many Indiana drivers opt for this modest coverage.
Motorcycle crashes frequently cause catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and injuries to the spine and spinal cord. They require intensive medical treatment and therapy — and many victims never return to their pre-injury level of function. If the careless driver carries only minimal coverage, you might face a lifetime of medical bills.
A Lafayette IN motorcycle accident lawyer can help you look for additional insurance policies that cover your crash. They might include:
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) — an insurance policy that steps in when a negligent driver lacks sufficient insurance to cover your damages. We encourage every Indiana driver and biker to buy UM/UIM coverage. It is relatively inexpensive and can be a vital part of your compensation package after a crash.
- Medical payments coverage — another supplemental policy that will cover your accident-related medical bills.
Once your personal injury lawyer identifies all the applicable insurance policies, they can file a series of claims on your behalf.
How Can a Lafayette IN Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help?
While you can file a claim on your own, it’s important to remember that the insurance company and its adjusters are not on your side. Instead, their primary goal is reducing the insurance company’s payments and saving it money. They will scrutinize your claim, looking for reasons to deny it or decrease your compensation. This is particularly true in motorcycle crashes. Because motorcycle crashes typically involve long-term medical care, they’re expensive — and some adjusters will do anything to reduce their value.
While most bikers are responsible, many people incorrectly think that they’re reckless thrill seekers. This subtle cultural bias can negatively impact your claim. For example, a distracted driver might argue that you “came out of nowhere,” and sped into the intersection. Because you’re a biker some people might believe them.
However, you can counteract anti-biker bias with strong evidence that documents the careless driver’s behavior and how it caused your injuries. When you work with a Lafayette IN motorcycle accident lawyer, we’ll do our best to investigate your claim and build a case for your full and fair compensation.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle accident, take the following steps to ensure that you protect yourself and your rights:
- Seek medical help. Whether you feel injured right away or not, you should seek medical attention immediately. Some of your injuries may not show up for days or weeks. A doctor can properly assess you and make sure serious underlying issues are addressed before they get worse.
- Call 911. In addition to seeking medical assistance, you should call 911 to file an official crash report. The police will be able to assess the scene and gather information from the other people present.
- Take pictures and gather information. Speak with other drivers and witnesses to obtain names and insurance information. Take pictures and video with your phone and write down what happened so you don’t forget.
- Contact a Lafayette IN motorcycle accident lawyer. The other parties will likely contact their insurance companies and lawyers right away. You deserve the same protection. Call us right after the accident so we can start working for you.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Because motorcycles have very little protection, riders often sustain severe injuries in accidents. According to the Indiana State Police, more than 4,000 motorcycle accidents occur every year in Indiana. In those, more than 1,200 people are injured. Common injuries in motorcycle accidents include:
- Head and traumatic brain injuries — Helmets can protect your head, but being thrown from a motorcycle can still cause concussions and other mild, moderate, and severe traumatic brain injuries.
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries — Severe trauma to your vertebrae can result in whiplash and other serious injuries to your neck, back, and spinal cord.
- Broken bones — When you’re thrown from a motorcycle and come into contact with the road or other vehicles, you can suffer broken and splintered bones.
- Internal damage — Your internal organs can be severely damaged when you fly off a motorcycle onto the road or into another vehicle.
- Soft tissue damage — Bruises, lacerations, and road rash can occur as you skid across the road after a motorcycle accident.
- Psychological trauma — Riding a motorcycle can be fun; however, fear caused by a motorcycle accident may take that enjoyment away.
Injuries that occur after a motorcycle accident can be very severe and even fatal. In fact, more than 100 motorcycle drivers and riders are fatally injured in wrecks in Indiana each year. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries, contact a Lafayette IN motorcycle accident lawyer today.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
It is important to determine the cause of your motorcycle accident so that you can assess fault and recover compensation for your losses. Our Lafayette IN motorcycle accident lawyer will conduct a complete investigation of your crash, and then work to determine who caused your accident. Some common causes of motorcycle accidents include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk drivers
- Failure to notice motorcycles
- Driver error
- Lane sharing or splitting
- Equipment malfunction
- Environmental hazards
- Construction zones
- Broken or littered roadways
Many multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents occur at intersections. When a driver fails to yield the right-of-way or tailgates, the results can be catastrophic for a biker.
It is important to look at all evidence to determine the cause of your accident. We will review the police report, as well as consult with expert witnesses who are familiar with motorcycle crashes when appropriate. Our Lafayette IN motorcycle accident lawyer will review your situation and then help you through the process.
I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet. Will This Impact My Accident Claim?
To be clear, we encourage all bikers to wear helmets and protective gear. Medical studies that show that helmets significantly reduce the severity of motorcycle accident injuries. Many serious and fatal motorcycle injuries involve trauma to the head, neck, face, and brain. A helmet can absorb some of the impact in a crash, protecting your brain and cervical spine. Similarly, motorcycle jackets, vests, gloves, and boots can reduce damage to the rest of your body.
However, adult bikers do not have to wear helmets in Indiana. It is a free country and a free state in which people can choose how they wish to ride. Just be aware that people on a jury may partially blame an injured biker who did not wear a helmet for his injuries.
If you weren’t wearing a helmet, it’s important to consult with an experienced lawyer right away. Your claim might involve a battle of expert witnesses, including doctors, crash reconstructionists, and safety experts. A Lafayette IN motorcycle accident lawyer will help you assess your claims, the insurance company’s defenses, and build a comprehensive litigation strategy that aims to maximize your claims and compensation.
A Lafayette IN Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash, we can help. We will compassionately listen to your side of the story and help you prove that the other driver was at fault. Moreover, we will help you make an insurance claim to obtain compensation and work hard to obtain funds to cover all your losses. Call a Lafayette IN motorcycle accident lawyer at Hall-Justice Law Firm today.