If you were the victim of a motorcycle accident, the Chesterfield personal injury attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC can help you secure the best possible outcome through your insurance claim or lawsuit. You might be entitled to financial compensation for the harm the other driver caused. It’s your legal right to hold them accountable for their actions and seek justice for your suffering.
Motorcyclists enjoy the freedom associated with bikes. It’s an enjoyable experience to ride on the open road when the sun is out, and the weather is warm. Unfortunately, there are risks involved. Accidents can cause life-threatening injuries and fatalities. With minimal safety features, the rider could get ejected and suffer permanent injuries.
The Chesterfield motorcycle accident lawyers from OnderLaw, LLC know the harmful effects of a motorcycle crash. When you collide with another vehicle, you have no protection other than a helmet. Many victims suffer injuries that require months of medical treatment. If someone else’s actions are to blame for your accident, you may be owed damages for your medical bills, lost income, mental anguish, and more.
Since opening OnderLaw, LLC in 2002, we’ve helped countless clients in Chesterfield and throughout Missouri seek the justice they deserve after an accident. We’ll dedicate ourselves to your case. To find out more about our legal services or how we can help with your motorcycle accident, call (314) 963-9000 for a free consultation.
The Dangers of Sharing a Road With Other Vehicles
People who drive cars, trucks, and other similar vehicles have a hard time noticing motorcycles. The sheer difference in size makes it difficult to see them in blind spots. If someone crashes in a car, they could suffer severe injuries, but it happens more easily on a bike. With no airbag, seatbelt, or protective metal structure, motorcyclists have no control over what the force of a collision does to them.
Some motorcycle accidents are the result of rider error. However, many happen because another driver on the road isn’t paying attention or exhibits negligent behavior. Examples of the negligence other motorists display that lead to motorcycle accidents include:
- Reckless driving, such as weaving in and out of traffic
- Passing too closely to a motorcyclist
- Failure to check blind spots before changing lanes or merging
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Turning left in front of a motorcycle driving straight
There are traffic laws in Chesterfield that are supposed to protect you from harm. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t follow signs and signals. Some are distracted by their cell phones, while others simply ignore the rules of the road while they’re rushing to work. These decisions can have a lasting effect on others if an accident occurs.
Although avoiding a crash is sometimes impossible, you should always pay attention to your surroundings and keep your distance from reckless drivers.
The Differences Between an Insurance Claim and Lawsuit
The ultimate goal of insurance claims and lawsuits is to recover financial compensation. However, they involve different procedures. There are pros and cons to each method. Insurance claims could be a better option when liability is clear. On the other hand, a lawsuit might be necessary if the insurance company denies the claim or the at-fault driver’s actions were particularly egregious.
If you choose to file an insurance claim, you’re seeking a settlement from the at-fault motorist’s auto insurance company. Missouri uses a fault system to determine financial responsibility after an accident. The person who causes it must compensate the victim for their losses. Instead of the other driver paying out of pocket, your settlement can come from their liability coverage.
It’s a legal requirement for all drivers to purchase auto insurance with minimum liability limits. The state minimums are $25,000 for bodily injury, which compensates costs associated with the injury, and $10,000 for property damage, which provides payment for vehicle repairs.
The insurance claims process could last a few weeks to several years. It depends on whether it’s clear who was at fault for the crash and the amount of relevant evidence that’s available. While the insurance adjuster performs their own investigation, you’ll have to attend doctor’s appointments until you recover or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI means a recovery plateau was reached, and further treatment won’t improve the injury.
Throughout the entire claims process, the injured party can focus on recovering. Your Chesterfield motorcycle accident lawyer from OnderLaw, LLC can file the claim, communicate with the insurance company, provide evidence, and negotiate a settlement.
You can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Typically, lawsuits are only necessary if the accident victim can’t reach a fair settlement agreement with the insurance company or if their claim is denied. Pursuing legal action in court is an effective way to force the at-fault party’s insurance company to pay out the money they owe you.
Lawsuits are much more complex than insurance claims. There’s a strict deadline you must follow, known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for motorcycle injuries in Missouri is five years. That means you have five years from the accident date to file suit, or you’ll lose your right to monetary compensation.
There are more steps involved in a lawsuit, and some parts require the plaintiff’s participation. For example, the defense attorneys might want to schedule a deposition with you. During a deposition, you answer questions about the case under oath in front of your lawyer, the opposing party’s lawyer, and a court reporter. A transcript gets typed up that includes the entire testimony.
During the discovery process, your Chesterfield motorcycle accident lawyer will help you complete various legal documents. Although we can fill out a lot of information ourselves, you will need to complete some of it because you have to sign in front of a notary public. You need to affirm that all the answers you provide are truthful and accurate. It’s basically like giving testimony under oath in court.
Damages Available After a Motorcycle Accident
Damages refer to all the losses associated with an accident due to someone else’s negligence. There are two main categories of damages: economic and non-economic. They’re available whether you file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Economic damages are actual expenses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Bike repair or replacement costs
- Out of pocket expenses
Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Permanent disability
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
If you decide to file a lawsuit, there’s a third option available. Punitive damages don’t compensate an injured party for their losses. Instead, it’s a way to punish the at-fault party and deter similar misconduct in the future. Juries rarely award punitive damages because there must be actions that far exceed the legal theory of negligence. A jury will provide an accident victim with this type of damage if there’s clear and convincing evidence that the liable party caused intentional harm or acted with a deliberate and complete disregard for someone else’s safety.
How OnderLaw, LLC Can Help
Handling a motorcycle accident case alone is overwhelming. You’re already dealing with medical treatment and watching the bills pile up. You shouldn’t have to deal with the stress of a legal case on top of everything else. Our Chesterfield motorcycle accident lawyers have the experience and resources needed to handle each step so you can focus on what’s important – recovering.
We’ll begin by investigating the crash and obtaining the following evidence that proves the other driver was at fault:
- Traffic crash report
- Eyewitness statements
- Copies of your medical records and billing statements
- Security video footage
- Vehicle repair estimates
- Photos of the accident scene and your visible injuries
- Liability insurance policies and associated documentation
We’ll create a plan that resolves your case efficiently and favorably. We complete each step with the deadlines in mind, so we never run out of time. Our legal team knows how to build a strong case that wins the highest financial award possible. We’ll not only recover past monetary damages but also compensation for necessary future costs. At OnderLaw, LLC, we always listen to our clients’ needs and work to reach their goals.
Our Chesterfield motorcycle accident lawyers have worked together to win over $3 billion so far for the victims we represented. With our experience, knowledge, and skills, you can rest assured that you’re in capable hands.
We understand the importance of holding others accountable for their careless actions. You shouldn’t pay for the expenses you incurred because of someone else’s poor decisions. We’ll use our proven methods to win fair compensation that covers your damages and helps you move forward with your life.
You might already face financial struggles from the motorcycle crash. The last thing we want is to add to your burden. That’s why the lawyers from OnderLaw, LLC take all cases on contingency. There are no upfront fees or costs needed to receive legal representation. We don’t get paid unless you get paid. If we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us anything.
Call us today at (314) 963-9000 to schedule your free consultation. One of our Chesterfield motorcycle accident lawyers will review your case and provide the advice and guidance you need during this difficult time in your life.