Injury and Accident Attorneys Serving St. Louis, Nearby Missouri, and Nearby Illinois
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injury because, unlike cars, motorcycles do not provide seatbelts, airbags, or barriers protecting from outside forces. A motorcycle rider is left open to injury both during the motorcycle accident and after the collision.
One of the reasons motorcycle accidents occur is because motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles, making them harder to be seen on the road. This is also the reason motorcycle accidents often result in serious or fatal injuries.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you contact a motorcycle accident attorney right away. At Brown & Brown, LLP, our lawyers will strive to demonstrate that your motorcycle accident was caused by the negligence of the other driver. Dial 3s to call us in St. Louis (314-333-3333 / 573-333-3333) or dial 8s if you are in Illinois (618-888-8888).
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The leading cause of motorcycle accidents is larger vehicles failing to cede the right of way. This may happen due to the lower visibility of motorcycles or as a result of driver distraction, aggressive driving, or another type of negligence. This is just one reason you need a motorcycle accident lawyer on your side as soon as possible following a crash. Without an investigation, societal bias often pins blame on the motorcyclist.
An investigation can both clear your name and properly identify the responsible driver, enabling you to seek compensation well beyond the offerings of insurance companies.
Motorcyclists being hit from the side is the leading cause of motorcycle accidents. Other causes include:
- Driver distraction
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Erratic driving
- Inclement weather
Without an investigation, the real cause of your accident may never be identified, which can result in a smaller settlement. Before you accept an insurance offer, talk to one of the motorcycle accident lawyers at our St. Louis or Illinois to make sure you are choosing the best path forward.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Brain injury is one of the most common motorcycle accident injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that states with universal helmet laws, like Missouri, see fewer instances of brain injury following motorcycle accidents. States with partial laws or no law at all, like Illinois, tend to see a significantly larger number of traumatic brain injuries following motorcycle accidents.
In addition to brain injury, many motorcycle accidents result in:
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken or pulverized bones
- Road burns and disfigurement
Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
The NHTSA reports that motorcyclist fatalities occur 28-times more frequently than in any other type of accident. This risk increases when factors such as alcohol are involved. In 2016, 37% of all fatal motorcycle accidents involved alcohol.
Motorcyclists have far less protection than occupants of passenger vehicles and trucks. This means that, upon impact, the rider will sustain impact to his body, rather than to the vehicle he’s riding. The result of body to road impact is typically catastrophic and frequently fatal.
Motorcycles weigh far less than other vehicles on the roads as well. This means that, even at relatively low speeds, other cars and trucks can cause significant damage to riders.
Although some fatal motorcycle accidents may be caused by unforeseeable or unpreventable circumstances, such as poor weather conditions, in other cases the negligence of another driver or party may cause these accidents. Some specific examples of negligence that can result in fatal motorcycle accidents include (but are not limited to):
- Other drivers failing to obey traffic laws by, for example, speeding, failing to yield rights-of-way to riders and/or failing to check blind spots or use indicators before changing lanes
- Other drivers being intoxicated, distracted or fatigued when driving (all of which may prevent drivers from seeing motorcyclists or may slow their reaction times when they do see riders)
- Vehicle equipment manufacturers installing defective or faulty equipment on motorcycles
- Cities, counties or other entities failing to properly maintain roadways by, for example, failing to fix potholes, failing to have proper signage at signals and/or failing to properly set up construction zones
In the event that any of these factors played a role in causing a fatal motorcycle accident, victims’ families can hold the negligent party liable by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Although no sum of money can ever truly make up for the loss of a loved one, the compensation victims’ families receive from wrongful death lawsuits can help them to pay for their loved ones’ funeral costs and otherwise provide financial support during such tragic times.
What to do After a Motorcycle Accident
The following tips are some guidelines as to what you should do following a motorcycle accident in order to protect yourself and ensure that you are later able to secure the compensation you deserve if another party’s negligence has caused or contributed to the motorcycle accident.
- Immediately call 911 – If you are conscious – whether or not you believe that you have been injured, call 911. While emergency responders can help evaluate the nature and severity of your injuries, police will be on the scene to help guide traffic and get you to safety. It’s also essential to have police respond because their reports can be crucial to establishing fault in the accident and providing contact information for any accident witnesses
- Do NOT leave the scene of the accident before police arrive – While leaving the accident scene before police arrive could result in criminal charges (i.e., hit-and-run charges), it can also later hurt your claims with insurance companies or in court when you are trying to seek compensation for your injuries and losses
- Collect information from others involved in the accident – Be sure, if you are able to, to note the names of the other individuals involved in the accident, as well as their insurance information, their driver’s license information and the make, model and driver’s license plate numbers of their cars. If you have a camera (or a cellphone that has a camera), also be sure to take pictures of your injuries and the vehicle damage while you are on the scene of the accident
- Do NOT immediately get your motorcycle fixed – Regardless of whether your motorcycle is your primary mode of transportation, do NOT take it to get repaired immediately after an accident. Insurance agents and others will likely want to inspect the bike and detail the nature and severity of damage it sustained, and getting it fixed immediately could prevent you from collecting the full amount of compensation you deserve
- Contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer – As soon as you are medically able and before you talk to your insurance agent or the insurance company of another driver, be sure to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. While attorneys can help defend your rights and prevent insurance companies or other from trying to take advantage of you, they can also be crucial to helping you secure the maximum possible settlement for your injuries and losses
Building Your Motorcycle Crash Claim
Since motorcycle accidents usually involve extensive medical record research as well as investigation into all circumstances around the accident, the claim can be very difficult to handle without the assistance of a lawyer. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys will work hard to recover all the compensation you deserve. We have years of experience investigating motorcycle accidents, dealing with witnesses, and working with insurance companies.
After a motorcycle accident, you may be forced to suffer many different losses, as well as replace or repair your motorcycle or motorcycle equipment. We will pursue compensation for all your losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
In order to secure compensation for these things, it will need to be established that your injures are the result of someone else’s behavior. An effective way to establish this is through an investigation conducted by the motorcycle accident lawyers at our St. Louis and Illinois.
For over 30 years, the attorneys at Brown & Brown have helped victims of serious injury get justice through personal and effective legal representation. We welcome an opportunity to meet with you, free of both cost and obligation, to review your case and help you understand your options. We work on a contingency basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you win. During your initial consultation, we can discuss this in greater detail to help ensure you are making the best choices for you and your family.