St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Riding a motorcycle is a thrill unlike anything else you’ll ever experience. Unfortunately, motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than passenger vehicles, due to their open design and the minimal crash protection offered to riders.
Drivers of passenger vehicles do little to make the roads safer for motorcyclists. At best, drivers are unaware of how to drive safely around motorcyclists. At worst, they are intentionally reckless.
In many situations, liability for an accident can be traced back to a driver’s negligent or reckless decisions. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else, learn more about your legal options now. Call Finney Injury Law at 314-293-4222 to schedule your free consultation with a St. Louis personal injury trial lawyer.
Dangers of Motorcycle Accidents
As a motorcyclist, you likely know that riders are at higher risk of serious injury or death during a crash than those in a passenger vehicle. During a motorcycle crash, riders are not protected by a steel frame and they are often thrown from their bike, increasing their risk of suffering severe injuries. Some of the most common injuries that occur during motorcycle crashes include:
- Concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries vary widely in severity and prognosis. While one accident victim could be left with a concussion that heals without intervention in less than a week, another victim could suffer damage that leaves them unable to communicate or move independently for the rest of their life.
- Nerve damage. Nerve damage is particularly common in the upper arms, which could leave to permanent arm paralysis.
- Road rash. When a rider is thrown from a motorcycle, sliding along the pavement often causes road rash. In addition to being extremely painful, road rash can cause permanent disfigurement of the skin on the face or body.
- Infection caused by abrasions. Road rash increases the risk of infection after a crash. Infection is particularly common when a substantial amount of skin is covered by abrasions.
- Joint damage. Some crashes cause damage to the joints, shoulders, and pelvis. Depending on the severity of the crash, this damage could permanently limit an individual’s mobility or independence.
- Broken bones. Being thrown from a motorcycle puts riders at major risk of broken bones. While some breaks are relatively minor and heal in a matter of weeks, others can leave victims out of work for months.
The majority of motorcycle crashes are multi-vehicle crashes. Both drivers and motorcyclists play a role in decreasing accident rates and making roads safer for riders.
How Drivers Can Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Drivers pose serious threats to riders. These tips can help drivers of passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles avoid motorcycle accidents:
- Avoid distractions. Drivers distracted by passengers, loud music, or mobile devices are more likely to cause accidents than drivers who are focused on the road. Having your eyes off the road for even a fraction of a second could cause you to drift in front of a motorcyclist or collide with a motorcyclist ahead of you.
- Give extra room to motorcycles. Drivers often struggle to judge a rider’s speed and location accurately. As a precaution, give motorcycles extra space when navigating near them.
- Slow down while driving around motorcycles. Simply slowing down around motorcycles can make the roads safer for riders., What could be a minor and inconvenient accident for a passenger vehicle driver could be fatal for a motorcyclist.
- Pay attention while entering intersections. Many crashes involving passenger vehicles and motorcycles occur at intersections. Drivers may misjudge a rider’s speed and enter the intersection before it is safe to do so. When in doubt, wait to enter the intersection.
What Motorcyclists Can Do to Stay Safe?
Following a few key safety tips can minimize your risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident:
- Wear your helmet. Even if you are riding in a state where helmet use is not mandatory, wear your helmet every time you ride to prevent fatal head injuries.
- Make sure you are visible. Many accidents occur because drivers cannot see motorcyclists. Stay visible by staying out of cars’ blind spots, wearing bright colors, and using your headlights.
- Travel at a safe speed. The temptation to speed is high on a sunny day when you’re enjoying a ride but dropping your speed just a few miles per hour can reduce your risk of an accident.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, taking the right steps can help you seek compensation and document the crash. Follow these steps:
- Contact the police. Report the accident and request an ambulance if anyone is seriously injured and needs immediate care.
- Swap contact information. You should exchange contact and insurance information with all other drivers involved in the crash. If anyone witnessed the crash, make sure you get their contact information as well.
- If possible, takes photos and video documentation of the scene. If you are not too injured to begin collecting evidence, make sure you take photos and video footage of the crash scene. The scene will be cleaned up promptly and available evidence will disappear if not properly documented.
- Seek medical care. Injuries may take days to show up, so it is essential to get a full medical examination as soon as possible after a crash.
- Reach out to a St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer. The expenses of a motorcycle accident add up quickly. You need a motorcycle accident attorney to represent you as you seek compensation.
What Are the Common Causes of St. Louis Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcyclists face many more hazards on streets and highways than those in vehicles. Motorcyclists have a smaller visual profile, making them much more difficult to see, and resulting in a higher risk of a crash. A motorcyclist is also extremely vulnerable when hit by a vehicle as the motorcyclist has no steel and glass cage surrounding them, no seat belts, and no airbags for protection. The most common causes of St. Louis motorcycle accidents include the following:
- Distracted drivers—Distracted driving is quickly moving up to become one of the primary reasons for auto accidents. As a nation, we have become multi-taskers, who think nothing of eating an entire meal while driving. We also talk on our cell phones, text, set our GPS, fiddle with car controls, talk to passengers, turn around to see what the children and pets are doing in the back seat, or simply daydream—all while driving, often at high rates of speed.
- Impairment—whether as a result of alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs—is another primary cause of St. Louis motorcycle accidents. Impaired drivers can fail to see a motorcyclist, resulting in a serious accident.
- Open car doors are another cause of motorcycle accidents. Some states, like Missouri, have “dooring” laws, which make it illegal to open a door into moving traffic without properly looking for other drivers, motorcyclists, and bicyclists.
- Reckless driving is a danger to motorcyclists, particularly when drivers of vehicles are exceeding the speed limit, tailgating, failing to yield to motorcyclists, or changing lanes without properly looking for a motorcyclist. Lane switching is a common cause of motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, drivers may often quickly glance in their rearview mirror before initiating a lane switch. This can be problematic, because most vehicles have a blind spot, and the narrower profile of a motorcycle can easily be missed.
- Sudden stops can cause motorcycle accidents, and while these accidents don’t cause more collisions for motorcyclists than for other drivers, they are often more deadly for motorcyclists.
- Vehicle drivers making left turns can be very dangerous to motorcyclists. A vehicle driver may see the oncoming motorcyclist but misjudge the speed. As the vehicle turns, the motorcyclist slams into the side of the vehicle because they are simply unable to stop that quickly.
- Inclement weather and road hazards are usually more dangerous to a motorcyclist than to drivers of vehicles. High winds can knock a motorcycle over, and a minor pothole that doesn’t bother the driver of a vehicle much at all can cause a serious accident for a motorcyclist.
What is the Typical Settlement Following a Motorcycle Accident?
There really is no “typical” settlement for a motorcyclist hit by a negligent driver. There are so many variables associated with motorcycle accidents, including the facts and circumstances of the accident. A settlement determination will consider how severe the motorcyclist’s injuries are, among other factors, including medical expenses. There is a specific dollar amount that can be attached to these damages, so they are relatively straightforward.
Non-economic damages, commonly called pain and suffering, are crucial aspects to consider when seeking compensation after an accident. These damages are not limited to physical pain but also encompass emotional pain and trauma. If the accident caused permanent injuries or disabilities, or if it prevents you from returning to your previous occupation, your settlement will reflect that. Additionally, if the emotional trauma you endured alters your life and prevents you from living the same way, your settlement will be higher. It’s important to work with a knowledgeable attorney who can help quantify and prove the extent of your non-economic damages to ensure you receive fair compensation.
How Can You Find the Right St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Finding the “right” St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer can feel like an impossible task. At Finney Injury Law, we understand that you have many choices. We also believe that once you speak to a knowledgeable attorney at Finney Injury Law, your choice will be clear. We are trial lawyers who are always 100 percent prepared for a trial, even though most accidents are settled outside of trial. Wouldn’t you rather have an attorney who is prepared for any eventuality and can seamlessly transition into trial mode? Our attorneys are trial-ready and will fight for you, your rights, and your future zealously. Our strong advocacy for our clients is well-known and we will advocate for you when you become a client.
Why Should You Hire a St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near You?
You may wonder whether you actually need a St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer, or whether you can handle the matter on your own. Motorcycle accidents are unique in two distinct ways. The first is that if your motorcycle accident goes to trial, jurors tend to have stereotypes related to motorcyclists, considering them hard-living risk-takers. A seasoned St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer is aware of these unfortunate stereotypes and can take immediate steps to address them.
The other unique aspect of motorcycle accidents is that because motorcyclists have virtually no protection (other than a helmet if worn), they are likely to have much more severe injuries that can prevent them from ever resuming their job or even their life. Only a highly experienced attorney can accurately calculate lost future wages and loss of enjoyment of life. Other reasons you need an experienced St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer include:
- Your motorcycle accident attorney can answer all your questions, explaining in detail the process of a motorcycle accident claim.
- Insurance companies never make recovery easy, and will almost certainly offer you a very low amount that will not fully cover your damages. Your attorney will make sure you receive a full and fair settlement that covers all your damages, both current and future. All the settlement negotiations will be handled by your attorney, giving you the time you need to heal from your injuries and get your life back on track.
- Your attorney will ensure all paperwork is filed in a timely manner, that no details slip through the cracks, and that the statutes of limitations are adhered to.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Trial Attorney After a Motorcycle Crash
Riders face an uphill battle while trying to get a fair settlement after a motorcycle accident. Insurance companies are often quick to push the blame onto riders and offer far less than they deserve. Unless you have experience playing hardball with insurance companies, you run the risk of losing your settlement entirely if you deal with them directly. With the assistance of the team at Finney Injury Law, you know that you have an advocate willing to fight aggressively for a fair settlement. Insurance adjusters know that a personal injury trial attorney is not afraid to take a case to court, which puts them at risk of paying out even more. Having an attorney on your side can lead to a higher settlement and a much faster claim resolution.
Contact Finney Injury Law Today
When you choose Finney Injury Law, you have chosen a well-respected, highly experienced law firm. Our firm has more than 100 positive reviews, an award-winning trial lawyer, and 24/7 availability to our clients. We have staff that speak both English and Spanish, and if you are too injured to travel, we can schedule a virtual meeting. Since we charge nothing unless we settle your claim, our firm is affordable for all those who have been injured as a result of another’s negligence.
Serving clients in the St. Louis area, Finney Injury Law has a long track record of favorable settlements and trial outcomes. A motorcycle crash can leave you out of work, mounting medical bills, and property damage—if someone else is responsible for your accident, we believe they should be held accountable. Schedule your free consultation now by calling us at 314-293-4222 or filling out our online contact form.