A motorcycle injury lawyer often handles high-value cases, as the damages involved in this type of accident are typically grievous. Experienced bikers know just how risky it is being on the road with no protection and next to vehicles much heavier than theirs. One mistake, either on the biker’s part or the motorist’s part, can cause the bike to tip and throw the biker, exposing them to secondary impacts, burns, and internal trauma. Talk to a veteran biker and they’ll likely say it’s not about if there will be a crash, but when. All a biker can do is ensure they are following all proper traffic regulations, protect themselves with a helmet and appropriate clothing, and assess risks constantly. However, that is often not enough, and when it is not, an attorney may be able to help the biker recover restitution for their suffering.
WHAT FACTORS WILL A MOTORCYCLE INJURY LAWYER CONSIDER DURING A CASE?
If the biker has been hurt by a motorist’s careless actions, they will own the burden of proof and have to show how the motorist was negligent. An attorney will point to traffic regulations, crash photos, police reports, and independent crash investigations to build a case for the victim. For example, here are some common case features that may steer the court’s decision:
- The motorist clearly violated their duty of care – if the defendant was speeding, under the influence of alcohol, or on their cell phone, and police or witnesses can confirm this, the motorist will likely not be able to avoid liability. In some states, rear end collisions and collisions that occur while the motorist turns in front of the biker automatically assign liability to the motorist.
- The biker was likely struck due to motorist inattention – bikers are hard to see, even when someone is not distracted by their phone or radio. However, if a motorist doesn’t check their blind spots, they may make a right turn in front of biker or drift into a lane that is occupied by the motorist. These are both common causes of accidents and will usually result in the motorist sustaining liability.
- The biker was lane splitting at the time of the crash – even if the biker is being as careful as possible, lane splitting is frowned upon by most states and will typically reduce, or eliminate altogether, the damages the biker is entitled to. The only exceptions are typically if the motorist makes a sudden lane change without signaling, or opens their door without warning.
- The biker was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident – if the biker sustains damage to the head or neck, they will only sometimes only receive compensation if they were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. This is true even if there is no state regulation demanding helmet use. There are few exceptions, though, if the biker suffered harm to another part of their body, it generally doesn’t matter if a helmet was present.
These are just a few considerations a motorcycle injury lawyer will make when assessing a case, but every situation is different, and an attorney will be willing to examine the facts of any accident before making a decision on representation.