Motorcycle law typically follows the same rules applied to car accident law. Certain claims that a person injured in a motorcycle accident may bring against others include negligence and violations of specific state laws regarding the rules of the road (for example, failure to stop at a red light, speeding, etc.).
When someone is negligent, it means that:
1) he or she had a duty to you, in this case as a fellow rider on the road;
2) he or she breached that duty by failing to apply the care expected from a rider on the road; and,
3) he or she caused you damages—both financially and medically.
Making Your Claim
Included as part of your claims against those who caused your motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to some of the following:
- a purely financial award
- medical expenses
- lost wages
- funeral expenses
- loss of companionship (referred to as loss of consortium)
- and more
All of these specific claims typically will be brought in one lawsuit called a personal injury action. Additionally, personal injury actions may be brought against more than one person, known as the defendant. Defendants in a personal injury action can include the following:
- the driver(s) of the vehicle that caused or partially caused the accident
- the employer of the driver(s) that caused the accident
- the city, town or state that failed to provide adequate and safe road conditions
Time Limit in Filing a Lawsuit
It is important to remember that there are time limits on when you can bring a lawsuit against a defendant, and those limits vary from state to state, although it is typically three years from the date of the accident. Therefore, it is very important to consult with a reputable, local attorney as soon as you are able if you have been injured as the result of a motorcycle accident.
Important Things to Remember
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you keep close track of everything that happens including the following:
- Your recollection of the accident, including weather conditions and anything you remember
- Your statements given to law enforcement and any medical personnel that treat you at the scene of the accident, on the way to the hospital, and at the hospital
- You must also keep track of any days you miss from work, the names and locations of your health care providers, any bills you receive, any communications with insurance company representatives, and more.
Remember, consistency in your statements made to anyone involved with the accident is very important.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer
As you can see, it is very important that you enlist the help of an attorney to keep things organized. Your attorney will take care of many of the daunting tasks that need to happen when bringing a motorcycle accident lawsuit.
The attorney and his or her staff will communicate directly with the insurance companies involved; they will collect and organize your medical records; and they will deal directly with the attorneys that represent the defendant(s).
While you need to be actively involved in your own case, your attorney will make the process much easier, and he or she will advise you with what you should and should not be doing during the course of the lawsuit.