Did someone’s careless actions cause your motorcycle accident? Did you end up with injuries requiring medical treatment? The Ferguson personal injury attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC are ready to provide skilled legal representation and assist you with your case.
Driver error and inattention are among the most common causes of motorcycle crashes. When drivers aren’t focusing on the road ahead and the vehicles around them, they could easily collide with your bike. It’s a dangerous situation to find yourself in and could result in severe injuries.
OnderLaw, LLC cares about our clients. When you hire our firm, you can expect personalized attention, guidance, and attentive support throughout your entire case. We aim to ensure the people who hire us feel comfortable with our team and understand the legal procedures we must go through to recover compensation.
If you want to find out more about the services we offer, call (314) 963-9000 to speak with one of our Ferguson motorcycle accident attorneys.
Why Do Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
Driver negligence commonly causes accidents between a motorcycle and a car, truck, or another vehicle. Whether someone becomes distracted or miscalculates their distance from another vehicle, a split-second decision could result in a traumatic accident.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Failure to check blind spots
- Unsafe lane change
- Ignoring right of way laws
- Car door opening in motorcyclist’s path
- Driver distraction
When anyone exhibits careless actions behind the wheel, injuries and fatalities could occur. It’s essential to always pay attention to the vehicles around you and adjust how you operate your bike to help ensure your safety. Unfortunately, however, when other drivers don’t take the safety precaution they should on the road, you can still become the victim of an accident.
Determine If You’re Entitled to Compensation From the Liable Driver
If you have evidence that another driver did something to cause the crash, you could file an insurance claim for compensation for your damages. Damages fall under two main categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are costs associated with an accident, while non-economic damages refer to intangible losses.
When someone gets hurt in a motor vehicle accident, the person who caused it becomes responsible for the resulting injuries and expenses under Missouri’s fault system. Typically, the at-fault driver doesn’t pay the injured party directly. A liability claim with their auto insurance company can cover some, if not all, of the damages.
The damages available in a liability insurance claim often include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Out of pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company doesn’t offer a fair settlement or if they deny your claim altogether, you could file a lawsuit. Motorcycle accidents are usually the result of negligence. Negligence is a common legal basis used in cases like this.
There are five elements you must show existed if you want to prove negligence:
- The negligent driver owed you a duty of care to reasonably prevent you from getting hurt;
- They breached their duty;
- If it wasn’t for their actions or inaction, you wouldn’t have suffered harm;
- Your injury was the direct result of their breach; and
- You incurred damages.
When you decide you want to sue someone, there’s a deadline you have to follow. It’s called a statute of limitations. In Missouri, you must comply with a five-year statute of limitations. The clock begins on the accident date and ends five years later. If the deadline passes and you haven’t filed suit, you could lose your right to financial compensation.
Seeking monetary damages for your economic and non-economic may be enough to cover your expenses and losses. However, you have the option of seeking a third type of damage known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are a form of punishment against the negligent party instead of compensation for the victim.
Punitive damages are only rarely awarded. If you want to recover punitive damages, you must present clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party acted with deliberate disregard towards other people’s safety or intentionally harmed you without just cause.
Filing a Claim With Your Insurance Company
There are times when you might encounter a driver who doesn’t have auto insurance. When that happens, you can file a claim with your insurance company. All drivers, including motorcycle operators, must purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. UM provides an accident victim with compensation in any of the following scenarios:
- The at-fault driver does not carry liability insurance;
- The at-fault driver’s liability coverage isn’t high enough for the victim’s total damages; or
- The accident was the result of a hit and run.
There is minimum state-required coverage; however, you have the option of purchasing more. Depending on the amount listed on your policy, you could seek the following damages when you file a UM claim:
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Out of pocket costs
- Lost wages
OnderLaw, LLC has experience reviewing insurance policies to determine how much coverage is available. It might be possible to file a claim with the other driver’s liability insurance as well as your UM insurance. If your expenses are high, the two different policies might be able to cover all your damages.
Don’t Admit Fault After a Motorcycle Accident
Even if you believe your actions were partially to blame for the crash, you should not admit it to anyone. You don’t really know who is at fault in an accident until it has been thoroughly investigated. In addition, Missouri’s pure comparative fault rule could hurt your chance of collecting the maximum available compensation.
Under this rule, an injured individual’s damages are reduced by their percentage of shared fault. For example, let’s say you incurred $100,000 in damages. If the court decides your actions were 20% to blame for the crash, you could only pursue up to an $80,000 settlement. However, if the other person involved was 100% liable, you could potentially recover the full $100,000.
Why You Need OnderLaw, LLC to Handle Your Case
You might think you would be better off taking care of your case alone. Most people believe they’re saving more money by not seeking legal representation. Unfortunately, that plan usually backfires. Individuals who try to handle their cases alone usually end up with a much smaller settlement, or their claim is denied altogether.
If you were the victim of a motorcycle accident and want to pursue legal action, you should immediately contact OnderLaw, LLC. Our Ferguson motorcycle accident attorneys know the process forward and backward. We have years of experience and vast resources we can use to prove fault.
When you hire us, the first step we will take is to open a thorough investigation into the crash. We will reconstruct what happened and determine with absolute certainty who is to blame. We know exactly where to look to find crucial evidence, such as:
- Accident scene photos and other evidence
- Vehicle repair estimates and reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Traffic crash report
- Video surveillance of the collision
- Cell phone records
- Copies of all insurance policies
- Your medical records
Insurance companies do not care about claimants. It is imperative that you remember that. If you don’t retain an attorney, the insurance company will most likely take advantage of that. They might send you forms to sign, and if you’re not careful, you could sign away your rights to the maximum insurance coverage. They could also use intimidation to scare you into dropping your case. If you make it to settlement negotiations, they could provide an offer much lower than you deserve and convince you it’s the highest they can go.
There are many roadblocks you could face during legal proceedings. At OnderLaw, LLC, it’s our job to ensure we protect your rights and pursue the financial award you deserve. We will handle every step on your behalf, including all communication with the insurance company. If we need to move forward with a lawsuit, we have the resources to do so. Our legal team is ready for anything and will never back down from a fight.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With OnderLaw, LLC
Our Ferguson motorcycle accident attorneys are ready to help you fight for the justice you deserve. We understand the financial stress and emotional burden you’ve been facing. We will dedicate our time and attention to every aspect of your case to reach your legal goals. We know that all you want to do is move forward with your life. You can count on us to help you do that.
At OnderLaw, LLC, our team cares about the community in which we live. We are proud to support various organizations that help keep our city and the people in it safe. We participate in events and fundraising for Parents for Window Blind Safety, St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness, and Toys for Tots, to name a few.
If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash and want to speak with one of our Ferguson motorcycle accident attorneys about your options, call us today at (314) 963-9000.