If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you don’t have to fight the insurance companies alone. Motorcyclists must often combat negative stereotypes that make it harder for them to get the financial compensation they deserve after an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured when driving when compared to their counterparts in a car, SUV or truck. This doesn’t help their cause when it’s time to make a claim.
The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C., has been using their experience to confront the prejudice against motorcyclists and help injured riders for over thirty years. As a well-regarded Houston personal injury lawyer, Attorney Joseph Onwuteaka will work hard to help you or a loved one to seek compensation following a serious accident, whether it’s in the form of a settlement or a jury award. He’ll also represent you in dealings with the insurance company.
Our law firm handles a range of accident types, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents, boating accidents and pedestrian accidents.
Is there a bias against motorcycle drivers?
In some ways, it’s almost a natural bias but that doesn’t make it fair. Most people drive cars so their perception of motorcyclists is skewed. Many people tend to believe that motorcyclists drive recklessly, weaving in and out of traffic before flying down the open road. They feel that motorcyclists even cause their own accidents with careless behavior when this actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Most riders are very safe. They drive with a heightened sense of awareness that automobile operators don’t have and they observe the traffic laws.
What causes motorcycle accidents?
There are many things that cause motorcycle accidents. Even the most experienced riders are vulnerable to road hazards because of the lack of protection between the rider and the road. In addition, most automobile drivers are trained to look for other vehicles on the road. Their eyes are not properly trained to look for bikes or motorcycles. Motorcycles are overlooked at intersections, in turning lanes, and in other potentially dangerous situations. Some other risks motorcyclists face are distracted drivers and drivers who change lanes without signaling.
Motorcycle accident claims
The injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident are typically very serious. There are two main reasons for this. The first reason, as stated above, is because of the lack of protection between the rider and the road. The second reason is because motorcycle accidents usually involve a much larger and heavier vehicle. The injuries sustained can range from broken bones and road rash, to neck and back injuries that could lead to paralysis. Many non-fatal motorcycle injuries can also lead to Traumatic brain injuries. TMI’s can range from mild concussions to permanent mental and physical disabilities.
What should you do when you are involved in a motorcycle accident?
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to preserve your rights. Do not admit fault, under any circumstances, and definitely do not sign anything. If you are able to, get someone to help you photograph your injuries. Photograph the accident site and the damages to your bike. You’ll also want to keep copies of all medical bills and records pertaining to your accident.
You will want to contact an attorney, immediately. The earlier you contact an attorney, the sooner they can start an investigation and start gathering evidence. You don’t want to wait because, over time, details may be forgotten or witnesses may move. If you start the process right away, it is more likely that you will have access to all of the information necessary to pursue your case aggressively.
When to contact an attorney
You should contact an attorney as soon as you can if you think you want to pursue a claim. Considering the negative stereotypes that motorcyclists must already contend with, it is important to allow an attorney to gather evidence as soon as it is available. You need an experienced attorney who knows what to look for and how to educate a jury. The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C., has been zealously fighting bias and winning motorcycle accident claims for more than three decades.
How much is my motorcycle accident case worth?
The answer to this question is going to range based on property damage, insurance coverage, negligence, and proof of liability. There are two general categories of damages. The first is called special damages and they can be easily calculated to the dollar. Special damages include things like medical bills, lost wages, and employment benefits. The other category includes things like pain and suffering, which must be financially compensated, but do not have predetermined amounts.
Additionally, you must determine the trial value and the settlement value of your case. For instance, let’s say that you have determined, based on evidence, that a jury would award you $100,000 in damages if your case went to trial. Your trial value is $100,000. However, your attorney has concluded that you only have a 30% chance of winning your case. Your settlement value is equal to your trial value multiplied by your estimated chances of winning at trial. So in our example, your settlement value would be $30,000.
I wasn’t wearing my helmet; can I still recover damages?
Nine out of ten times, the answer is yes, you can still recover damages even if you weren’t wearing your helmet. If your state has a mandatory helmet law, your failure to comply will not prevent you from recovering damages, as long as you can prove that the other party caused the accident.
In some states, if it is shown that your failure to comply with the helmet law contributed to your injuries, it may affect the amount of compensation you receive.
What type of compensation should I expect to receive in a motorcycle accident claim?
Each and every case is different and laws vary by state. A personal injury attorney can work with you to answer your questions and provide you with information on what to expect in terms of financial compensation. Some of the most commonly compensated losses include:
- Recovery of lost wages and/or future income;
- Medical expenses;
- Property damages;
- Punitive damages; and
- Pain and suffering.
Accident victims can receive injuries for past and future losses. This is one area where it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney, as it can be challenging to accurately predict future expenses such as medical care and fees for in-home assistance due to a disability caused by the accident.
Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney today
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another party, you don’t have to fight the battle alone. When you turn to The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C., you can proceed with confidence knowing that our practice will stand up for you, fighting for your rights and working hard to get you the compensation you deserve as an accident victim.
Call (713) 271-5760 or contact us online to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced, aggressive motorcycle accident attorney. Our law firm represents clients in Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas.