Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Fighting to Recover Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Victims
Even when precautionary measures are taken, motorcyclists are inevitably more likely to sustain catastrophic or even fatal injuries in a collision than drivers of closed automobiles. Motorcycles lack the stability of traditional cars and are less visible to other drivers, increasingly the likelihood of a crash.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, our team at Potts Law Firm can provide the dependable, committed representation you need to recover just compensation. Our motorcycle accident lawyers will guide you through each step of the personal injury process and make every effort to protect your interests, no matter the complexity of your circumstances. We have recovered over a billion dollars for our clients and will leverage our comprehensive resources as we work to deliver the best possible result.
If you need help understanding your rights and options after a motorcycle accident, contact us online or call (888) 420-1299 to schedule a free initial consultation. Our firm offers same-day appointments and provides services in English and Spanish.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
A motorcycle accident is an incident involving a motorcycle, a two-wheeled motorized vehicle, that results in some form of collision, injury, or damage. Motorcycle accidents can vary in severity from minor incidents with no injuries to catastrophic crashes resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents involving other motor vehicles include:
- Left-Turn Accidents: One of the most common types of accidents occurs when a car or truck makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. The driver may misjudge the motorcycle's speed or fail to notice it altogether, leading to a collision.
- Rear-End Collisions: In situations where motorcycles come to a stop, such as at traffic lights or stop signs, they are vulnerable to being rear-ended by larger vehicles, as drivers may not be attentive or maintain a safe following distance.
- Lane Changes and Merges: When a driver fails to check their blind spot or signal properly when changing lanes or merging onto a highway, they can inadvertently collide with a motorcycle in the adjacent lane.
- Dooring Accidents: Motorcycles sharing the road with parked cars are at risk of being "doored." This happens when a parked vehicle's occupant opens the door without checking for oncoming traffic, causing the motorcycle to collide with the door.
- Failure to Yield Right of Way: Drivers may fail to yield the right of way to motorcycles at intersections, during turns, or while entering or exiting driveways. This can result in collisions.
- Impaired Driving: Alcohol or drug impairment can significantly impair a driver's judgment, reaction time, and ability to perceive motorcycles, leading to accidents.
- Distracted Driving: Drivers who engage in activities such as texting, talking on the phone, or other distractions are less likely to notice motorcycles and react in a timely manner to potential hazards.
- Speeding: Excessive speed increases the likelihood of accidents and the severity of injuries, as it reduces a driver's ability to react to sudden changes in traffic conditions, such as a motorcycle appearing unexpectedly.
- Unsafe Road Conditions: Potholes, loose gravel, slippery road surfaces, and debris on the road can pose hazards to motorcycles, making them more susceptible to accidents.
- Failure to Respect Motorcycle's Vulnerability: Some drivers may not appreciate the unique vulnerabilities of motorcyclists, like the lack of a protective cage. This can lead to careless and risky behavior around motorcycles.
Who is Liable for Causing a Motorcycle Accident?
Liability for causing a motorcycle accident, like any other traffic accident, depends on the specific circumstances and factors involved in the incident. Various parties may be held liable, including:
- Other Vehicle Drivers: Motorcyclists are vulnerable on the road, and accidents are often caused by the negligence of other vehicle drivers. If a car, truck, or other vehicle driver was at fault for actions like not yielding the right of way, changing lanes without checking for motorcycles, or driving under the influence, they may be held liable.
- Road Conditions: Poor road conditions, such as potholes, debris, or inadequate signage, can contribute to motorcycle accidents. If a government agency responsible for road maintenance failed to address these issues and it led to the accident, they may be held liable.
- Manufacturers: Defective motorcycle components, like brakes, tires, or steering systems, can lead to accidents. If the motorcycle or its parts were defective, the manufacturer may be held responsible.
- Mechanics and Repair Shops: If a motorcycle was improperly serviced or repaired, leading to a mechanical failure that contributed to the accident, the mechanic or repair shop may be liable.
- Unsafe Property Owners: In cases where the accident occurs on private property, such as a parking lot or driveway, the property owner may be held liable if hazardous conditions on the property played a role in the accident.
- Motorcycle Rider: The motorcycle rider can be liable for causing an accident if they were negligent in their actions. Common factors leading to rider liability can include speeding, reckless driving, running red lights, illegal lane changes, and impaired or distracted driving.
Determining liability in a motorcycle accident typically involves gathering evidence, eyewitness statements, police reports, and sometimes expert testimony. The legal process may also consider whether the accident occurred in a no-fault or at-fault insurance jurisdiction, as this can affect liability and the claims process.
Tips for Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents
Even a relatively low-speed collision can result in a motorcyclist sustaining permanent impairments, disfigurements, and disabling injuries. Many motorists do not show motorcyclists the level of care and attention they display to drivers of closed vehicles. This tendency, combined with the more vulnerable nature of motorcycles, forces motorcyclists to take proactive measures to protect themselves on the road.
When you operate a motorcycle, you should make every effort to:
- Slow down. The faster you are traveling, the more severe a collision is likely to be. A motorcyclist could be sent flying out of their vehicle if they hit something while driving at an excessive speed.
- Look behind you when you stop at intersections. You may be able to catch a car that is not paying attention or does not see you, giving you enough time to maneuver out of the oncoming vehicle’s path.
- Never ride between active traffic and parked cars. Many motorcycle accidents are caused by the doors of parked cars suddenly opening, placing a barrier directly in front of the motorcycle. You can avoid this hazard by never riding alongside a row of parked cars.
- Always watch for potential hazards. A piece of debris that may represent a minor nuisance to a larger vehicle could cause a motorcycle to lose control and crash. Your attention should always be on the road ahead of you and your immediate surroundings.
- Never share a lane with another car. Though lane splitting is legal in some states, it is not advised, as the car you are sharing with a lane with has a tiny margin of error as they navigate around you (if they see you at all).
- Perform regular maintenance. Motorcycle components wear out over time and can become more likely to fail if they are not routinely inspected, repaired, and replaced.
- Never drink and ride. Operating any vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is unlawful in every state. Riding a motorcycle while drunk or high can lead to criminal charges in addition to the consequences of a crash.
- Wear a helmet. Some states require motorcyclists to wear helmets when riding. Even if you live in a state that does not enforce such a law, wearing a helmet is in your best interest, as it can help minimize the severity of injuries in a crash.
How State Motorcycle Laws Can Affect Personal Injury Cases
Our motorcycle accident attorneys are prepared to take on cases throughout the country. We are familiar with how each state’s motorcycle laws impact liability in personal injury litigation, allowing us to provide reliable and strategic representation wherever you are.
Several states require motorcyclists (and their passengers) to wear helmets whenever they operate their vehicles. Some states allow lane splitting, while others explicitly forbid it. Laws governing motorcycle passengers and other scenarios may also apply.
Your ability to recover compensation may be impacted if you were breaking a state motorcycle law at the time your accident occurred. Many states use comparative negligence rules, meaning you may still be able to recover some compensation even if you were partially “at fault” for an accident. Other states do not allow injury victims to recover any damages if they were at all to blame, even if the defendant was 90% responsible.
In comparative negligence cases, the court will assess each party’s role in the accident and assign percentages of fault. Any award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if you were lane splitting when a collision occurred in a state where the practice is illegal, the court may decide you are 40% responsible for your injuries. A $100,000 award would be reduced by $40,000, so you would only get $60,000.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
To recover damages after a motorcycle accident, you must file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver before your state’s statute of limitations expires. You only get a certain amount of time after the date of the accident, and each state’s deadline varies. You will be unable to get any compensation if you wait too long, so consult a legal professional as soon as possible.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you get compensation for all monetary and non-monetary losses, including:
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Lost income
- Reduced earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Securing a swift, favorable outcome in your case is our top priority at Potts Law Firm. For our team, it is all about our clients, power, and results: Our exemplary track record speaks for itself, and we have earned the respect and gratitude of the communities we serve. We will handle the intricacies of the legal process and serve as your trusted advocate from start to finish.
We typically take motorcycle accident cases on a contingency basis. This means you owe us nothing unless we win, so call (888) 420-1299 or contact us online today.
“They were able to complete it in a timely manner and were great at keeping me up to date with communication throughout the entire process. I highly recommend using this law firm if the need arises.”- Stephen P.
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“They know the law from every angle, dig deep, and will not accept anything less than what was asked in the original suit. The Potts team never backed down until the case was settled in full.”- Molly H.