Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
“Motorcycle riding is a combination of exhilaration, fear, relaxation, and pleasure that changes you forever.”
–Stefan von Imhof
Riding a motorcycle isn’t just a way to get from point A to point B; it’s a sensory experience. On a trip through the mountains, you feel every slight temperature change as you pass through the shadows of trees. You smell the pine and warm soil, feel the tires grip the road as you lean into a turn, and have exaggerated forces of acceleration and deceleration that you often miss in a car.
It’s a meditative experience. You must be entirely in the moment, assessing the road, traffic patterns, vehicle blind spots, and fellow drivers. You must scan the areas where people or animals might be contemplating a road crossing. To lose focus amidst all of this means injury.
There’s a hyper awareness and adrenaline rush to riding your motorcycle. You’re making hundreds of calculations and corrections to compensate for changing conditions. For many, this exciting pursuit is the perfect remedy for office politics, looming deadlines, and other forms of stress.
Unfortunately, the risks, while exhilarating, are serious. No matter how prepared you are, how well you plan the trip, or how defensively you drive, you can’t control everything. You share the road with people who do their makeup at the stop lights, spill coffee in their lap when they have to brake suddenly, and argue with their kids on the way to school. They might be rehearsing the presentation they have to give at work in an hour, worrying about a sick relative, or texting their significant other.
Or the distractions may start long before they get behind the wheel of a car. They may have slow reaction times because they drink too much, or they’re ill and use cough medicine. People in cars have a false sense of security, allowing them to lose focus. Their momentary distraction could seriously injure or kill a motorcyclist.
A motorcycle has no seatbelts, steel cages, or crumple zones. Your only real protection comes from the gear you wear. Motorcycle protective gear has come a long way with full face shields, armor to protect your extremities and back, an airbag vest to protect your organs, and a neck guard to protect your cervical spine from violent movement. This gear can do wonders in preventing road rash, facial trauma, and similar injuries if you lay your bike down crossing gravel on a turn, but there isn’t a solution that makes you safe in a car vs. motorcycle collision. As a rule, the vehicle with the most lugnuts wins.
If the other driver or a third party is responsible for your injuries and damage to your bike, then it’s their responsibility to pay for the damage they caused.
There are several problems with seeking a settlement directly with the other driver’s insurance company.
- Insurance companies are in business to make money and are looking for ways to avoid paying claims. Barring that, they seek to minimize the payout, which means less money for your medical bills.
- The motorcyclist is often taken directly to the hospital, leaving only the at-fault driver at the scene when police arrive. The at-fault driver may minimize or deny their role in the accident, blaming you. The opposing insurance company could use the slanted police report to negate your claim or lessen your compensation.
- Insurance companies often press for a quick settlement. Victims see medical bills piling up as they work to recover their life. Insurance companies can exploit this vulnerability, promising quick money to get victims to settle. Unfortunately, these settlements are not often enough to cover the full scope of the damages.
Many physical injuries can have long-lasting consequences. Some can leave the victim permanently disabled and unable to work. LifeLaw’s motorcycle accident lawyers look beyond your immediate medical concerns to expenses that continue with any lasting injuries. The most common injuries from a collision with a vehicle include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Brain damage can dramatically alter your ability to function depending on where the damage occurs. People can lose their ability to speak, read, walk, and reason as they used to. Victims may regain some function through therapy, but many TBI patients are never the same.
- Facial Trauma: A full face shield with an immovable chin bar is the best helmet. People who don’t wear their helmet correctly or wear a helmet that doesn’t fit properly can lose their helmet entirely in an accident. The majority of motorcycle deaths are due to head injuries. An accident victim may also crush cheek or jaw bones or lose teeth, skin, and cartilage to road rash. Even with reconstructive surgery, they may never look the same again.
- Spinal Injuries: The spine controls all functions below the neck. Damage to the spine could leave you paralyzed from the point of injury down, with lasting muscle weakness and pain, and interfere with bodily processes like your ability to process food.
- Extremity Damage: Broken limbs, damaged muscles, and severed blood vessels are fixable so long as they reach the hospital before shock or blood loss kills them. People also suffer traumatic amputations, lasting nerve damage, and limited movement depending on the force and type of injury.
- Organ Damage: Penetration wounds or blunt force, high-velocity trauma can cause permanent damage to vital organs. Surgeons can repair some and stop internal bleeding. You may end up on an organ donor list if they must remove them.
The financial cost doesn’t stop with hospital bills, however. Some bills catch you by surprise when you or a loved one faces a long-term injury or illness. Here are just a few examples of unexpected expenses you may have because of a motorcycle accident:
- Sick days
- Vacation days
- Lost wages (during initial recovery and follow-up appointments and therapies)
- Inability to return to your job
- Gas and lodging (when getting treatments away from your hometown)
- Ambulance copay
- Rescue helicopter copay
- ER Copay
- Hospital stay copay
- Surgeon and anesthesiologist copay
- Specialist copays (physical therapy, chiropractor, etc.)
- Family’s lost wages (as they care for you)
- Child care/Carpools
- Medical equipment
- Therapy equipment
- House modifications (to accommodate medical equipment or a wheelchair)
- Counseling for PTSD (severe injury cases)
- In-Home Nursing
- Long-term facility
- Hospice care
- Funeral expenses
Without an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer, you may pay for these on top of your regular bills with less income.
What We Offer
Experience: Here at LifeLaw, we’ve watched our clients suffer long-term debilitating injuries from motorcycle accidents. We’ve seen the struggle they face paying bills after an insurance company lowballed their offer. There’s no shame in making a profit unless you do it at the victim’s expense.
Our Salt Lake City-area motorcycle accident attorneys have over a century of combined experience and the determination to fight for you and your family. The at-fault driver hurt you or your family once. You shouldn’t have to pay for their mistakes for the rest of your life. Our job is to help you get the compensation you deserve to regain as much of your quality of life as possible. We protect your future.
Knowledge: As residents of Utah, our motorcycle accident lawyers are familiar with the terrain and weather conditions that may contribute to your accident. We also know all local vehicle laws and are familiar with local resources to get you the help that you and your family need. We fight for our community.
Courtesy: We understand your time is valuable. A trip to our office or the courthouse means you can’t work or attend school. You may have to hire a sitter, arrange carpools, or secure alternate transportation. We keep all in-person appearances and interruptions to a minimum by handling the legal legwork. That way, you can be with your family. We’ll tell you when we need signatures or if we need you to attend a meeting or hearing. We value your time.
What You Can Expect From Us
- Accessibility: Our motorcycle accident lawyers practice in Sandy, Utah. They are happy to meet with you and discuss your case. We are aware that your hands are full just after an accident. We’ll come to you if you can’t come to us due to your injuries. You can also reach us by phone or email.
- Compassion: We know that you’re hurting. We will lift some of your burden so you can focus on recovery. We listen when you talk, seeking to understand without rushing you through our office. You aren’t just a number. Every client is a VIP at LifeLaw, and our motorcycle accident lawyers and staff are here to ensure you feel protected.
- Organization: We will keep track of all important dates regarding your case so that you’re where you need to be when you need to be there. We gather the proper documentation to prepare you for any future court case. Every resource is exhausted to get you the compensation you are entitled to.
- Commitment: When we take your case, we are committing to see it through. You get the full strength of our office in your corner from the moment you hire us until the conclusion of your suit.
When To Contact Us
The simple answer is immediately. We will meet you in the hospital or over the phone if you can’t come to us. The sooner you hire us, the faster we can get time-sensitive evidence to prove your case, including pictures of the scene and vehicles, police reports, etc. We can also advise you of your rights so no one can cheat you out of a fair settlement.
What You Should Know
Here are some tips you should know to secure the best possible outcome.
- Do not give recorded statements to insurance companies, opposing lawyers, or the media. Opposing counsel can use what you say against you, even if they take it out of context. Please don’t allow them to twist your words. Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers will walk you through the process and prevent Big Insurance from cheating you out of what they owe you.
- Document everything with pictures. Getting photographs at the scene prevents the at-fault party from claiming that damage to your vehicle or injuries happened after the accident. Photo-documentation is much easier now that everyone has a camera on their phone. The following pictures would be helpful.
- Both vehicles from all angles (including license plate)
- The accident scene
- Weather conditions
- City signs, traffic lights, or road hazards
- The at-fault driver’s license and insurance card
- All injuries
- All communication should go through our office. No one should call you at home or work to pressure you into an early settlement or try to intimidate you into dropping the suit. We can also screen legal documents for hidden language that may hurt your case.
Some Helpful Tips To Lessen The Damage Of An Unavoidable Accident
While you can’t prevent all accidents, you can take steps to protect yourself if you see an accident coming. These steps may be the difference between injury and death.
- Use other cars as protection. Stopping at a light behind a row of cars leaves you vulnerable to anyone not paying attention behind you, which is why you see motorcyclists move up to the front of the line between lanes at stoplights. If someone is coming from behind with the potential to rear end you, this will ensure that they hit the sturdier cars behind you first. Those cars will be able to absorb the impact much better than your motorcycle can. This precaution also gives you maneuvering room if you see a crash coming so you can get out of the way.
- Never pass between moving traffic and parked cars. Few people look for motorcycles before opening their doors.
- Have an escape route ready in case you see danger coming your way.
- Wait an hour after the rain starts before riding. Motorcycle rides are most dangerous in the first hour of rainfall as the rain lifts the oils from the road and makes the roads slippery.
- Decelerate as you approach a blind curve and accelerate out, giving you time to stop if something is blocking your lane beyond the bend. Never drive faster than your reaction time or ability to break.
- Never lay down your bike to avoid a collision. Use front and back breaks to slow your momentum and minimize the impact.
- Assume no one can see you.
- Wear the best gear you can afford.
- a. If you slide on the road, friction can rip through street clothes, even denim. Leather outperforms most synthetic fabrics to protect you against road rash.
- b. Palm sliders protect your hands as you instinctively try to stop your fall. Rather than taking the full force of the fall in your arms and shoulders, your hands slide forward to prevent broken arms.
- c. Wear a well-fitted helmet with an immovable chin guard and full face shield. Make sure it’s fastened correctly every time you ride.
- d. Neck braces are not just for the race track. Most motorcycle deaths come from traumatic brain injuries and spinal injuries when the rider is ejected from their bike and hits a hard surface with their head. While most people know a good helmet protects their head, the impact of a bad fall can hyperextend the neck and cause spinal injuries. An adequately fitted neck brace could save your life. It may be the difference between walking away from the accident or being carried out on a stretcher.
- e. Body armor protects your joints, spine, and other common impact points.
We never want our clients to experience pain or loss, but we are here to represent you if it happens. We will advocate for your rights and financial future. To schedule an appointment for a free consultation, call us at (801) 206-4002 or contact us online.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should I do after a motorcycle accident?
The first thing you should do is call the police. The police will fully document the accident and collect all of the proper information so that it can be exchanged by both parties. This police report will allow the rider to identify any insurance policies that may be available to pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering, future medical costs, as well as the repair or replacement for your motorcycle.
After this information is obtained, anyone involved in a crash should consider seeking the assistance of a personal injury attorney who understands the injuries involved in a motorcycle accident and can help you navigate the legal process.
2. Should I move my motorcycle after an accident or leave it where it is?
If you are seriously hurt and it’s difficult for you to move then the right thing to do is call the police and leave your motorcycle where it’s at. Once the authorities arrive to assess the accident and do an investigation they will handle moving your motorcycle for you.
3. What information do I exchange with the other parties involved in the accident?
The correct information to exchange with other parties involved in a motorcycle accident are: full names, contact information (phone number) and auto insurance information, if applicable. If the police are called to the accident scene, they will conduct an investigation which includes the contact and insurance information mentioned above.
4. Do I need to report the motorcycle accident to the police?
Yes, when you report a motorcycle accident to the police they will create an official report. This report collects all of the details from the crash including: insurance policies of both parties, witness statements, and the officers interpretation of who is at fault.
An insurance company usually determines fault from the interpretation of the police report. Always call the police after a motorcycle accident.
5. What evidence should I collect at the scene of a motorcycle accident?
At the scene of the accident be sure that you get any contact information and insurance information from all of the parties involved in the accident. If it is safe to do so, use your phone to take photos and videos of the accident scene, as well as any conversations with the individual who has caused the accident.
6. Can I claim compensation for medical expenses and damages after a motorcycle crash?
Yes, the insurance policy of the driver who caused the crash can pay out expenses for your medical treatment, pain and suffering, and property damage caused from a motorcycle accident.
However, an insurance company will try to deny or minimize the injuries or damages that you have received from your accident. A lawyer will help make sure that the insurance company does not minimize your claims, and help you get all of your medical paid, motorcycle repaired or replaced, and a settlement proportionate to the injuries you received.
7. How long does a motorcycle claim usually take to get resolved?
An average time frame for a typical motorcycle claim to resolve is 6 to 18 months. The length of a motorcycle settlement claim largely depends on the nature and extent of the injuries. In a claim involving a motorcycle victim it’s important to determine what the extent of the injuries are and whether or not there are any permanent injuries that will carry on into the future.
If the accident is more catastrophic and involves significant injuries, including permanent injuries, then the case will take longer to resolve.
8. When should I consult with a lawyer after a motorcycle accident?
Contacting a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible can greatly help the trajectory of your motorcycle injury case. A personal injury attorney will collect evidence, establish fault to the insurance company, and fight for the best outcome for your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery while they work on your case.