Motorcycle accidents can result in serious injuries. Many bikers find themselves needing the services of an Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyer at least once. Bike accidents are more dangerous than car accidents. If you think about it, motorcyclists don’t have airbags or seatbelts to protect them. Even when they wear helmets, they can suffer life-threatening injuries. If someone else’s negligence led to your motorcycle crash, you have the right to demand compensation. Bikers often suffer head injuries, and these can result in long recovery times and high medical bills. If brain damage occurs, their lives may never be the same again. They may be unable to work or perform normal daily activities. This has implications for both them and their household. Even in less severe cases, the victim’s quality of life can decrease. That’s why you need to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who will fight for your rights. You shouldn’t attempt to handle an injury claim on your own. Insurance companies take advantage of victims who are injured, scared, or ignorant of what is a fair settlement. If you want to get what you really deserve, you should hire Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers. They understand the legalities involved in motorcycle accidents and they will guide you through the claims process. Call us today at (317)593-3014 to receive your free consultation with our experts and get the answers you deserve.
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How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Indiana Motorcycle Accident Attorney?Many accident victims who call us assume that they must pay us before we can represent them. They are surprised to hear that we operate on a contingency fee basis for motorcycle accidents and other vehicle crashes. This means we only get paid if we are successful in recovering compensation on your behalf. You shouldn’t avoid speaking with a lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana, because you think you can’t afford it. Motorcycle accidents present some challenges regarding liability. Very often, when a biker gets into an accident, people think they must be at fault. Even without knowing the circumstances of the case, both individuals and insurance companies assume the motorcyclist was speeding. It would be very difficult for you to handle your claim alone. Luckily, our contingency fee system allows you to focus on getting better while we handle the legal issues. You will have to deal with a lot after your accident especially if your injuries are serious. If you have a long recovery ahead of you, the last thing you need to worry about is legal bills. We simply ask that you contact us immediately after your accident. That way, we start collecting the evidence which will get you the compensation you deserve.
How Much Is My Indiana Motorcycle Accident Case Worth?Clients often want to know how much they will be able to recover in their motorcycle accident. However, no one can tell you how much the case is worth at the outset. The case needs to be properly investigated, and fault has to be established. Your medical treatment should also be concluded before a total value is attached to your claim. Contrary to popular belief, this is a good thing. If the insurance company could predetermine the amount of your recovery, you wouldn’t be able to ask for specific damages. Your unique injuries and losses wouldn’t factor into the compensation you get. We understand why you would want to know the value of your case immediately. Your medical bills may be piling up and you may have to spend weeks or months away from work. However, you will later realize that the delay works to your advantage. This is because immediately after the accident:
- You don’t know your total injuries
- You can’t predict the type of treatment you will need or the duration
- You don’t know how much your injuries would affect your personal life
- You can’t anticipate the psychological difficulties you may face
- Past and future medical costs
- Past and future lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Past and future disability, disfigurement and pain and suffering
When Should I See A Doctor?Most motorcyclists receive serious injuries, so they seek medical attention immediately. Some leave the accident scene in an ambulance. However, we’ve met motorcyclists who sustained seemingly minor injuries and opted not to see a doctor right away. Bikers who suffer cuts and scrapes or soft tissue injuries often believe the pain will go away on its own. However, delaying a doctor’s visit reduces the likelihood that they will be able to get compensation. You should go to the doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you feel fine, you may have been hurt. You just may not realize it until a doctor examines you. Also, some injuries don’t show the most serious symptoms until a few days after the accident. Going to the doctor right away ensures you get a professional diagnosis. It also creates another record of your accident and the likelihood of injury. Insurance companies often refuse personal injury claims when the victim waited too long to seek treatment. Both the insurer and a jury will see a gap in treatment as proof that you were not really injured. Even if you had a valid reason for not getting treatment earlier, they may not believe you.
Indiana Motorcycle Accident StatisticsMotorcycle accidents occur way too often. There was a 17 percent increase in motorcycle accident fatalities in Indiana between 2016 and 2017. This is according to statistics from the State of Indiana FY 2017 Traffic Safety Annual Report. These deaths also accounted for a bigger percentage of crash fatalities. However, crash injuries held relatively steady at 88,000 per year. Most of these accidents are caused by speeding and alcohol use by motorcyclists or other road users. Impaired visibility, dangerous road conditions, and poor signage are also factors. The attorneys at Stewart|Phelps|Wood Injury Lawyers will thoroughly investigate the cause of your accident.
How Long Will It Take My Case to Settle?Motorcycle accident cases take time. Most of our clients want to know how long the process will take right at the outset. Unfortunately, this is just another one of those situations in which the answer is “it depends”. However, when a lawyer takes the time to work on your case properly, you’re more likely to get a successful outcome. As a motorcyclist, your injuries are likely to be serious so getting compensation will be more difficult. Three of the factors which will affect the length of your case are:
How long it takes for your doctor to complete your treatmentInjuries can be very unpredictable. Even the doctor who has diagnosed you may not know how long you will need treatment. Medical professionals may differ on whether you will get better or worse over time. Your treatment plan will influence how long your case take but you shouldn’t rush your treatment or your recovery.
How long it takes to gather all your medical bills and recordsGetting copies of your bills and records may seem simple but it takes time. These records contain evidence of your injuries and financial losses. This means we absolutely must have them if we want to make a case for fair compensation. Not having all the documents in order can weaken your case.
How long it takes to receive a response from the insurance companyUltimately, we will draw up a demand package and send it to the insurance company. It will include your medical records and bills and a demand letter. It is a lot of documentation. Depending on how complex your case is, the insurer may take a month or two to respond. That response is likely to allow negotiations to start. If you want to get a fair settlement, you will have to endure some back and forth.
What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Wrecks in Indiana?Motorcycle accidents can occur in a variety of ways. Let’s look at some of the most likely causes in Indiana.
Biker ErrorThe motorcyclist can be responsible for the crash. They may be inexperienced or riding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They may also be engaged in distracted driving. Lane splitting can also lead to an accident.
Other MotoristsOther drivers often fail to exercise due care on Indiana’s roads. They may neglect to yield the right of way, rear-end a motorcycle, or cause a head-on collision. These accidents often occur due to distracted driving, speeding, reckless driving or following too closely. If another driver causes a crash and you suffer injuries, you have the right to seek compensation.
Road Hazards and Dangerous RoadsThese include potholes, slick surfaces, debris, improper maintenance, and poor road design. They can all cause you to lose control of your motorcycle. When road debris or dangerous conditions lead to your accident, a government entity or another party may be held liable.
Defective Motorcycle or Motorcycle PartsSometimes the motorcycle itself may cause you to crash. There may be a problem in the design of the motorcycle or a component which was installed. In these circumstances, the responsible party may be a manufacturer, distributor or mechanic. Your case will hinge on figuring out the cause of your crash and identifying the responsible person or entity. We will use police reports, accident scene photos, and eyewitness testimonies to determine the at-fault party. As with any personal injury case, you will have to establish negligence. This means we have to show that:
- The person or entity owed you a duty of care.
- The person or entity breached that duty.
- Their actions or failure to act caused your injuries.