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If you have been in an accident, do not provide a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company, as they will often try to twist your words. It is important to have a skilled motorcycle accident attorney on your side because it can be the difference between getting what is fair – or getting an inadequate settlement.
At Miller & Hine, our motorcycle accident lawyer in St. Louis will fight for our clients to ensure that they receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering.
To learn more about how our motorcycle accident lawyers in St. Louis can assist with your case, call us at (314) 413-2053. Your initial consultation is free.
How a St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing caused your motorcycle accident, you are likely entitled to compensation for your injuries and financial losses. However, as it is with every injury claim, there are a number of legal issues you will need to address to succeed in a motorcycle accident claim in Missouri.
Here is how a qualified St. Louis personal injury attorney can help:
An attorney can advise you on the steps you need to take to preserve evidence and protect your right to be compensated for your injuries and losses.
A good attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident and what caused it. This may include hiring accident reconstruction experts to determine who was at fault.
- Navigating the Claims Process
The right attorney will assist you in navigating Missouri’s injury claims process and maximize the compensation you recover for your injuries and losses.
The sooner you get an experienced attorney involved, the greater your chances of obtaining the best possible outcome for your motorcycle accident claim.
Do I Need an Attorney’s Assistance For My St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Depending on the circumstances, you may not require the assistance of a St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney to resolve your motorcycle accident claim. For example, hiring an attorney for a claim that only involves minor property damage may not benefit you.
On the other hand, if your motorcycle accident claim involves serious bodily injury, considerable lost wages or income, and/or significant pain and suffering, the stakes are likely too high to handle yourself. Either way, a good motorcycle accident lawyer will let you know if it will benefit you to hire them or if you should be able to resolve the matter on your own.
How Do I Know If I Have a Motorcycle Accident Claim Worth Pursuing?
Whenever you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may pursue a personal injury claim against the party that caused your injuries. In addition, if you are married, your spouse may be entitled to bring a loss of consortium claim against the at-fault party. Furthermore, if you were to ultimately die as a result of your injuries, your legal heirs might be entitled to pursue wrongful death damages.
Missouri’s laws governing personal injury claims are complicated and can be difficult for someone who is not a lawyer to understand. To succeed in your motorcycle accident claim, you must prove the nature and extent of your injuries and losses and that the at-fault party is responsible for those damages. To determine if the circumstances involved in your motorcycle accident constitute a viable motorcycle accident claim, you should consult with an experienced Missouri motorcycle accident attorney.
Are Motorcycle Accidents More Common than Auto Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents are just as common as car accidents, and statistics show motorcyclists have a 50 percent higher chance of being involved in an accident than automobile drivers. Since motorcycle riders are relatively unprotected, motorcycle collisions usually involve serious risk of injury. If you ride a motorcycle, it’s very important that you protect yourself by carrying adequate insurance – especially Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage and Personal Injury Protection coverage.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of motorcycle crash-related fatalities has more than doubled during the past decade. Motorcycle riders accounted for 14% of total traffic fatalities.
What are Common Reasons Motorcycle Accidents Occur?
Motorcycle accidents occur as a result of a variety of factors, most of which include:
- Inattentive drivers
- Failure to yield at an intersection
- Hazardous road conditions
- Manufacturer defects
Inattentive driving is generally the failure to pay proper attention to the road while driving. Cell phones, other wireless or electronic units, and other distractions can result in serious or fatal injuries. Semi-truck drivers spend hours upon hours on the road and may suffer a lapse in attentiveness, causing a truck accident. Due to the difference in size between motorcycles and automobiles, motorcyclists end up on the pavement with severe injuries, while negligent drivers usually incur fewer injuries.
Failure To Yield At An Intersection
Motorcyclists know that intersections are the most dangerous part of the road for them and their safety. Occasionally, drivers waiting to make a left turn at a light do not see the motorcycle coming and turn, causing an accident. Even if a driver does see the motorcyclist, they might hit the gas and misjudge the situation, believing they have enough time to turn. The result can be a catastrophic or fatal injury.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Just as drivers have a responsibility to drive safely, government agencies and their contractors have a responsibility to keep the roads safe. Roadway design, maintenance, and construction are generally directed toward the needs of multi-wheel vehicles, with the needs of motorcycles often addressed as an afterthought.
Construction zones, gravel, pools of water, potholes, poor road design, and debris on the road contribute to motorcycle crashes, injuries, and fatalities – especially if warning signs are not in place.
When purchasing any product, you trust the manufacturer to make it safe. In the case of motorcycles, the motorcyclist’s life is at risk if there is a defective part.
Motorcycle defective product claims come in two forms:
- Defectively manufactured motorcycles or parts: this may be the result of an error at the manufacturing facility where the motorcycles or part was made, or a problem that occurs during shipping or at the dealership or supply store.
- Motorcycles with an unreasonably dangerous design: this involves motorcycles or parts that, although properly manufactured, have an unreasonably dangerous design that results in injury or other damages. In some cases, the motorcycles is the subject of a safety recall, which may be initiated by the NHTSA. You can check if your motorcycle is affected here. In the event of a safety recall, the manufacturer must take specific steps to notify motorcycle owners and then provide a remedy – usually a repair, repurchase, or replacement of the motorcycle or part.
Motorcycle riders must be constantly alert and drive very defensively. Wearing a helmet and protective clothing can help minimize any injury that might occur. If you are injured, you will likely need the services of a St. Louis personal injury lawyer to assist with your claim for damages.
What Factors Affect the Value of a Motorcycle Accident Claim in St. Louis?
Assuming that you have a viable Missouri motorcycle accident claim, its value will largely depend on the severity of your injuries and the amount of your financial losses. This can only be determined by thoroughly examining your medical records, lost wages and income, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident and your injuries. It is your personal injury attorney’s job to help you build a case that highlights the facts that will increase the value of your claim and minimize the impact of facts that can diminish its value.
No two motorcycle accident cases are exactly alike. Only an attorney who has handled a good number of motorcycle accident cases will have the necessary skill and experience to accurately assess the value of your particular motorcycle accident claim, and ensure that you recover all the compensation to which you are entitled.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Missouri?
There are strict time limits for filing a motorcycle accident claim in Missouri that must be observed to preserve your right to compensation. Generally, you must file a lawsuit against the at-fault party or their insurance carrier within five years of the date of the accident.
This timeframe is referred to as the “Statute of Limitations.” Miss this deadline, and you may be barred from pursuing any compensation from the at-fault party for damages you sustained in the accident.
There are many exceptions to the statute of limitations for filing a motorcycle accident claim in Missouri. Therefore, you should consult with a qualified attorney as soon as possible after your motorcycle accident for help with determining the statute of limitations applicable to your particular claim.
I’ve Been in a Motorcycle Accident, What Should I Do at the Scene?
If you or anyone else has been seriously injured, call 911 for emergency assistance. If you are not taken to a hospital by emergency personnel, go to the doctor on your own as soon as possible. Get checked out by a licensed physician, even if you feel OK. The doctor may be able to identify injuries you may not be aware of, and for which you may be entitled to compensation.
Call the Police
Call the police and request that they come to the scene of the accident to make an accident report. The accident report will officially document the accident and should contain all of the details necessary for filing a motorcycle accident claim later on.
Get the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and insurance information of every person involved in the accident. Also, take down the names, addresses, and contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident.
Take photos and video of the damage to your bike and the other vehicles involved in the accident and any other evidence, such as the positions of the vehicles after the collision, skid marks, and the resulting debris.
Notify the Insurance Companies
Let all the insurance companies involved, including your own, know that you were in an accident so that they can open claims and assign insurance adjusters to your case. Refrain from providing a recorded statement to any insurance adjuster until you have consulted with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.
Get an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Involved
You only get one shot at recovering the compensation you need and deserve. Once you accept a settlement offer and sign a release, you cannot return to the insurance company and ask for more compensation. That’s why it is essential that you at least consult with a qualified personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling motorcycle accident claims in Missouri who can ensure that you obtain the most compensation possible for your claim and protect your legal rights.
Contact a St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for a Free Case Evaluation
Contact a St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney from our firm today for a free consultation.