Did you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident? Are you wondering how you’re going to pay for the endless stream of medical bills? The O’Fallon personal injury attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC can help you with your case and pursue the compensation you need to cover your expenses, losses, pain and suffering, and more.
We understand the burden people face after getting hurt in a motor vehicle crash. A serious accident can upend anyone’s life. At OnderLaw, LLC, we want to assure you that, when you hire our firm, you’ll be in excellent hands.
We work tirelessly to provide exceptional representation, and we’ll handle each step of the legal process. We will thoroughly investigate your accident to prove fault. We will file your insurance claim and negotiate a fair settlement so you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket. If necessary, we can sue the other motorist and hold them accountable for their actions. Your only job will be to focus on recovering from your injuries.
Our attorneys have received recognition from several prestigious organizations, such as the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and The National Trial Lawyers, for the care and attention we give to every client. We’ll dedicate ourselves to your case. It’s what we do.
Situations That Commonly Lead to Motorcycle Accidents
Unfortunately, motorcyclists face many dangers when they’re traveling on the road. You have less protection than occupants in a car or truck and can’t always avoid hazards. When you’re riding a motorcycle, the only safety equipment at your disposal is a helmet. There isn’t a seatbelt to keep you in place or an airbag to soften the impact of a crash. You are at the mercy of the road, other vehicles, and anything else around you.
Scenarios that are most likely to result in a motorcycle crash include:
Left-hand turn – A driver might start turning left at an intersection without noticing an oncoming motorcycle or miscalculate the distance the motorcyclist is from them.
Failure to check blind spots – Motorcycles are much smaller than cars and harder to notice. When someone is merging or changing lanes, they might fail to check their blind spots properly and not realize you’re traveling alongside them.
Tailgating – Most days, people are in a hurry to get to work or school. They don’t have time to sit in traffic or get stuck behind a slow driver. If they choose to tailgate a motorcyclist, they’ll have a hard time coming to a complete stop if traffic suddenly comes to a standstill.
Opening door – Stationary vehicles can harm motorcycle riders just as much as moving ones. If someone opens their door to get out of their car without looking first, they could open it in the path of someone riding their bike.
Driver distraction – Unfortunately, distractions are everywhere. It’s hard to get on the road without seeing at least one person on their cell phone. Whether someone is texting at the wheel, eating food, or talking to a passenger, distractions are dangerous and can cause an accident.
Speeding – Speeding doesn’t just refer to driving over the speed limit. It also includes driving too fast for conditions. If there’s adverse weather or road construction, it’s up to every motorist to slow down so they can safely make it past the obstacles.
Injuries Most Associated With Motorcycle Accidents
If you collide with a car, truck, motorcycle, or another type of vehicle, you could get ejected. Without safety restraints, it’s impossible to stay securely on your bike. You could land on the pavement or end up underneath accident debris. The impact is enough to cause whiplash, and the trauma your body suffers can lead to debilitating injuries.
The most common injuries associated with motorcycle crashes include:
- Ejection injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limb
- Road rash
- Internal damage
- Psychological injuries, such as anxiety
Unfortunately, not all injuries heal. Some people are left with permanent physical and emotional scars. You could end up with a disability that prevents you from returning to your job or performing routine tasks. If you don’t seek adequate psychological care, you could spend the rest of your life dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or fear of getting back on a motorcycle.
It’s crucial that you see your doctor after the accident occurs and tell them all of the symptoms you’re experiencing so they can treat you properly.
What to Do After Getting Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident
The result of your case may depend on what you do in the immediate aftermath of a crash. If you don’t follow the steps below, you could end up losing your right to full compensation.
Step 1: Call 911 to report the accident. It’s the law to notify law enforcement if there’s an injury, fatality, or over $500 in property damage. Wait for an officer to arrive and investigate what happened.
Step 2: Take pictures of the crash scene. If there’s evidence, such as broken car parts, debris, skid marks, and anything else that seems relevant, take pictures of that as well.
Step 3: Ask the other driver for their name, contact information, and auto insurance details.
Step 4: Speak to bystanders who saw the accident occur. Write down their names and phone numbers.
Step 5: Go to the hospital after leaving the accident scene. Don’t wait too long before seeking treatment. Insurance companies look at a gap in treatment as proof that the wreck didn’t cause an injury or medical intervention isn’t necessary. You should also regularly attend appointments and don’t stop seeing your medical providers until they release you from their care.
Step 6: Bring your bike to a repair shop. Ask for a damage estimate to determine how much money it will cost to repair or replace.
Step 7: Hire an O’Fallon motorcycle accident attorney from OnderLaw, LLC to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Missouri Auto Insurance Laws
When someone else’s actions cause your injuries, Missouri’s fault system will automatically hold them liable for your damages. Damages are all the losses associated with an accident. When you pursue compensation from the at-fault driver, you can leverage their auto insurance coverage.
Every vehicle owner and operator must carry insurance with minimum liability coverage. Accident victims can file a claim and seek a settlement up to the amount listed on the policy. In Missouri, the minimum required limit for bodily injury is $25,000 per person up to $50,000 per accident, and property damage is $10,000. You may be able to seek coverage for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In some circumstances, you might need to file a claim with your own insurance company. Uninsured/underinsured motorist is a type of coverage that’s available if:
- The liable driver does not carry auto insurance;
- The available liability coverage isn’t high enough for the injured party’s total damages; or
- The accident resulted from a hit and run driver.
If you file a UM claim, you might be able to recover a settlement for the following damages:
- Out of pocket expenses
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
It is vital that you don’t admit any liability for the motorcycle crash. There’s a law in Missouri that could reduce the financial compensation you’re allowed to pursue if you’re found liable for part of the accident. Under the pure comparative fault rule, an accident victim’s damages decrease proportionately to the percentage of blame they share.
To clarify, let’s say your total damages equal $100,000. Under normal circumstances, you would be entitled to $100,000 in compensation. However, if you were 20% at fault for the accident, you could only seek up to $80,000 in compensation.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Missouri
According to Missouri statute 537.080, the definition of wrongful death is the death of a person caused by another’s transaction, act, conduct, circumstance, or occurrence that would have resulted in damages if their death didn’t occur. If your loved one died in a motorcycle accident, you could file a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
The only individuals allowed to pursue a wrongful death case are a surviving spouse, children, or grandchildren. If there isn’t a spouse, child, or grandchild, a surviving sibling might be entitled to compensation. Lastly, a personal representative of the deceased’s estate could file a lawsuit if no family members are available.
The damages you could seek include:
- Pain and suffering the deceased experienced
- Value of wages and benefits the victim could have earned if they survived
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical costs associated with the fatal injury
- Value of the companionship, consortium, guidance, support, or other services provided by the deceased to surviving family
There’s a three-year statute of limitations if you want to sue the person who caused your loved one’s death. A statute of limitations is a strict deadline, and if you don’t follow it, you could lose your right to financial compensation.
Contact OnderLaw, LLC
Our O’Fallon motorcycle accident attorneys are ready to take your call and begin working on your case. We have decades of experience advocating for our clients’ rights and seeking the justice they deserve. We know you will feel confident in our legal abilities. Our reputation speaks for itself. We’ve been able to secure billions of dollars for our clients since opening our firm.
If you were the victim of a motorcycle accident and need assistance with your case, call OnderLaw, LLC at (314) 963-9000 and ask to schedule a free consultation.