For over two decades, the skilled team at Mann, Wyatt & Tanksley Injury Attorneys has been watching out for motorcycle accident victims throughout Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Our attorneys have more than 50 years of combined legal experience handling complex motorcycle accident claims. Let us put our skills and resources to work for you.
Contact our firm today for a free case evaluation. In your evaluation, you’ll discuss the details of your crash with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys. We’ll explain your legal rights and talk about how our firm can help you demand the maximum financial compensation you deserve. Throughout your case, you will receive top-quality service and dedicated support. That’s because our firm intentionally limits the number of cases we take so we can provide our clients with the attention they deserve.
Get started now for free. There are no upfront fees. You only pay us if we win for you.
Why Are Motorcycle Accident Cases More Complicated?
Motorcycle accident cases tend to be more complex than a typical crash involving two passenger cars.
First, motorcycle riders are completely exposed in a collision with another vehicle. They’re vulnerable to objects and the ground when thrown from their bike in a crash. The force of these impacts can be devastating. A seriously injured rider may still be undergoing treatment when his or her claim reaches settlement negotiations or goes to trial. This means that any compensation will need to include a reasonable estimation of future damages.
Second, motorcycle accidents can give rise to disputes over liability. Unfortunately, some drivers or their insurance companies may try to deny fault after a motorcycle accident. They may claim that the rider was speeding or acting recklessly (such as weaving through traffic) and therefore contributed to or caused their own accident. Our attorneys know the tactics that insurance companies use to shift blame in these cases. We will advocate vigorously on your behalf to hold the at-fault parties accountable.
What You Need to Know About Proving Fault After a Motorcycle Crash
Most motorcycle cases involve establishing that another motorist on the road caused your accident due to recklessness or negligence.
Proving negligence requires you to show that another motorist breached a duty of care owed to you. All motorists owe a duty to others on the road. In a claim of negligence, you must prove:
- The other driver breached his or her duty to operate the vehicle in a safe and lawful manner.
- This breach directly and proximately caused your accident.
- You suffered injuries and compensable damages.
Proving recklessness requires you to show that the other driver consciously (knowingly and intentionally) disregarded a substantial risk that his or her actions would cause bodily injury.
Pursuing Maximum Compensation for Your Losses
A motorcycle accident can leave you with significant injuries and damages. When another party bears responsibility for your crash, you can pursue full compensation in a legal claim. Losses for which you might receive financial recovery after your motorcycle accident include:
- Costs of medical treatment, including hospital and surgical bills, physical and occupational therapy, pain medication, mobility equipment, or other out-of-pocket expenses (like transportation to appointments and procedures)
- Personal care expenses, if your injuries keep you from performing personal or household care tasks
- Lost wages or income for the time you miss from work while recovering after your accident
- Lost earning capacity, if your injuries prevent you from returning to your old job
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life, such as from physical disability or disfigurement due to your injuries
What If You Are Partly At-Fault for Your Motorcycle Crash?
Even if you are partially to blame for your motorcycle accident, you may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. Most states use what is called the “comparative negligence” or “comparative fault” rule in accident cases. Generally speaking, the rule states that an injured accident victim is not barred from bringing a claim for compensation solely due to the fact that the victim shares part of the fault for the accident and injuries.
The details of the comparative fault rule vary from state to state. For example:
- In Colorado and Kansas, an injured plaintiff may pursue a claim for compensation if his or her share of fault is less than the combined fault of all other responsible parties. If the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, his or her claim is barred.
- In Oklahoma, an injured party may pursue a case if his or her share of fault is less than or equal to the combined fault of all other parties. In other words, if the person is less than 51 percent at fault, he or she can pursue a claim.
- In Missouri, an injured plaintiff may pursue a claim for compensation regardless of his or her share of fault.
Under each of the versions of the comparative negligence rule, an injured plaintiff’s total compensation will be reduced to reflect the share of fault. For example, if you suffered $100,000 in damages from your motorcycle accident but you are determined to bear 20 percent of the fault, your compensation will be reduced by $20,000.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident to Protect Your Rights
If you get into a motorcycle crash, remember the following tips. They can help protect your legal right to claim compensation for your losses.
- Call 911 or the police. Get emergency medical assistance if needed. An officer will prepare an accident report. Request a copy of this report.
- Get contact information. Get the names, contact information, vehicle/license information, and insurance information from each motorist involved in your accident. Also get the names and contact information for any eyewitnesses to the accident in case your attorney later needs to contact them for a statement.
- Photograph and/or video the accident scene. Capture damage to the vehicles involved, traffic controls, and the weather, lighting, traffic, and road conditions. If you suffered visible injuries, photograph them as well. If you are unable to take photos, you can also ask someone at the scene to do this for you.
- If you don’t get emergency medical attention at the accident scene, see a doctor as soon as possible. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Save all paperwork related to your treatment.
Finally, you should schedule a free case review with a motorcycle accident lawyer from Mann, Wyatt & Tanksley Injury Attorneys right away. We can advise you of your legal rights and launch an immediate investigation into your motorcycle wreck.