To receive compensation following a motorcycle accident, there are steps that must be taken by the victim. One of the most important ones is determining whether your accident was caused by the negligence of another party and proving their fault.
Without a legitimate claim, you cannot obtain financial recovery. The idea of collecting evidence and organizing it into a convincing legal argument can seem daunting. However, it does not have to be.
Kiley Law Group appreciates the point of view of the motorcyclist in an accident case. In part, because some of our attorneys are riders themselves. But what is most important to us is using the law to get you justice.
We know how to use the law to establish negligence after a motorcycle accident. We aim to aid injured motorcyclists with care and professionalism. Call us at (888) 435-1321 to schedule a free consultation with our team members today.
How to Prove Legal Negligence?
The term “negligence” is commonly used in legal conversations, but what does it mean? In simple words, negligence can be either an action or inaction that caused harm to someone else or that person’s property.
However, in the case of action or inaction, for negligence to be legally established, there must be evidence that verifies the cause of harm. There are several key elements to this process.
First, we must take into account that in Massachusetts, drivers have a legal responsibility to drive safely. This means avoiding actions that could hurt other persons on the road. Additionally, drivers must also work to benefit the safety of others.
When someone fails to drive safely, this is referred to as a breach of the duty of care. Either the driver was uncaring or inattentive, or he or she intentionally took unsafe actions.
It is crucial to the motorcycle accident case that a clear connection is proved between your accident and the breach. Once the relation between the breach and the accident is established, then the injuries must be linked to the accident.
From there, the necessary medical treatments can be connected to the costs and so forth. In this way, your financial compensation for your injuries is directly linked to the negligence of the person who caused you harm.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents Resulting from Negligence
Nevertheless, a negligent driver does not have to have malicious intent to be considered negligent by law. Many times, motorcycle accidents do not occur when a person deliberately intends to injure a motorcyclist but these often happen due to human error.
Thoughtlessness and lack of attention are considerable factors that may be involved in:
- Driving too fast for road conditions
- Failing to obey traffic signs and signals
- Failing to yield
- Making a left-hand turn and not checking beforehand
- Following too closely
- Using a phone or GPS while driving
- Driving while drowsy
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Faulty brakes due to lack of maintenance
Of course, in addition to the above, some at-fault drivers contribute to an accident for reasons other than inattention. He or she may be driving aggressively and dangerously without concern for the safety of others.
Whether the at-fault driver was inattentive or hostile, a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you link their actions to your injuries and establish negligence. Come talk to Kiley Law Group to learn more.
How More Than One Party Can Be At Fault?
Negligence can be connected to more than one party in some motorcycle accident cases. When can this happen?
For example, suppose that more than one involved driver had been driving rashly or carelessly.
Or it could be that the collision is the result of a defect in the car or motorcycle involved. If so, multiple parties that were involved in the process of manufacturing could be to blame.
Perhaps the driver of the accident-causing vehicle was on the job at the time. Their employer could be liable in some cases.
Also, if the motorcycle accident was the result of bad road conditions or road work, the municipality may be considered guilty of negligence in this case.
The process of determining whether multiple individuals or parties have contributed to your collision can be a challenge. However, a skilled motorcycle accident attorney can separate and identify the pertinent facts of your case. Doing so will enable your attorney to ascertain whether various persons are to blame.
How You Can Help Identify Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
After a motorcycle accident, the victim may already know who is responsible for the collision. This may be true in your case. Yet, there is a difference between knowing and being able to prove who is guilty by law.
If it is safe to do so, there are actions a person can immediately take following an accident that can help identify the negligent party. These are:
- Taking photos of the accident scene as well as damage to the motorcycle
- Taking photos of your injuries
- Obtaining the contact information of any witnesses to the accident
- Obtaining a copy of the police accident report
It is important to seek medical attention after an accident. This holds true even if you think that you have escaped the collision free from harm. Some injuries that are severe may not be immediately visible.
Additionally, some conditions may be observable only through an examination by a trained medical professional. Records and documentation from medical personnel can be crucial in a legal claim, clearly connecting your injuries to the accident and, thus, linking the costs of your injuries to the compensation that you deserve.
What Damages Available to You After a Motorcycle Accident?
Damages awarded for a motorcycle accident can vary considerably. For example, in the fortunate case that only the bike was damaged, a case could settle for just several thousand dollars. However, if there are catastrophic health repercussions, a case could result in millions of dollars of damages.
Several factors can thus affect the amount that you receive as compensation. Among the key factors are the following:
- The severity of the injuries
- The extent to which the injuries will affect your future (including your age, life expectancy, and employment)
- Insurance coverage you and the other driver possess (types and amount)
- Specific details regarding your accident
- Whether there is any measure of liability for the crash on your part
What May Be Included in Your Compensation?
Although your case is unique and compensation varies, there are three principal categories of compensation: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
These damages are provided to cover the economic costs which result from the accident, including:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Short- or long-term care
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Often, non-economic damages are referred to as general damages. These cover losses that do not have an exact predetermined amount, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Loss of companionship
Punitive damages are awarded in cases where extreme negligence, perhaps even recklessness, contributed to the accident. One example might be a drunk driving collision.
It’s imperative to have a motorcycle accident attorney assisting you in determining the damages you qualify to receive. Your attorney can ensure the amounts you are offered correspond accurately to your present and future needs before you accept those offers.
How to Handle Difficult Insurance Companies With Accidents Involving Negligence?
One additional challenge in a case involving motorcycle accident negligence is: insurance companies. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible in damages and compensation. Consequently, they may attempt to avoid or minimize their degree of accountability.
Even when accountability is firmly established, insurance companies try to reduce the amount they will pay by challenging what qualifies as reasonable and necessary healthcare and its costs. Confronting and overcoming their resistance can be exhausting and difficult.
A motorcycle accident attorney’s assistance can be pivotal in this situation. While you concentrate on your physical and emotional recovery, your attorney can negotiate with the obstinate insurance companies.
Work With a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Who Understands Motorcyclists
Having a proficient and competent lawyer on your side can bring you tremendous relief. Of this, there is no doubt. And how much more so when your lawyer understands not only your case but also you as an individual!
Like you, Tom Kiley, Sr., is a motorcyclist. He understands the motivation, the desire, and the impulse to ride. Further, he knows how dangerous other drivers can make the road for motorcyclists like you.
Kiley Law Group can help you establish negligence after your collision. Speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer from our team today. We can make your case and your financial recovery our priority. Please call us at (888) 435-1321 to find out more.