Summer is almost here. In Indiana, that means more motorcycles on the road, more motorcycle accidents, and more injuries. If you’re injured by a negligent driver while you’re motorcycling, or if you’re injured by a motorcyclist, contact an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney at once.
If you are injured by a negligent driver – or by a negligent motorcyclist – what are your rights? What steps will you need to take? Can you recover compensation for medical expenses and lost wages? Keep reading for the answers and for more about motorcycle collisions and your rights.
What Special Risks Do Motorcyclists Face?
Experienced motorcyclists freely admit that motorcycles can be dangerous. Without the benefit of safety belts, air bags, and the other safety features that are standard in most cars and trucks, motorcyclists and their passengers risk catastrophic injuries that include but are not limited to:
- traumatic brain injuries
- spinal cord injuries
- burn injuries and road rash
- multiple broken bones
- paralysis and permanent disability
The motorcycle accidents that are not fatal are almost always catastrophic. Victims who suffer catastrophic injuries and those who are permanently disabled will need to recover the maximum available amount of compensation to pay for long-term medical care and treatment.
If a negligent driver injures you while you’re riding a motorcycle, or if you are injured in a crash caused by a motorcyclist, as soon as you’ve been examined and/or treated by a medical provider, speak at once to an Indiana motorcycle accident lawyer about your legal rights and options.
What Are Your Rights If a Negligent Driver or Motorcyclist Injures You?
After a motorcycle crash, summon medical help, and then call the police. Take photos of your injuries, the damage to the vehicles, and the crash site. If there were witnesses, ask for their names and contact details. Photos and witness statements can be persuasive evidence.
Under Indiana law, after a motorcycle accident, the injured victims of negligence are entitled to compensation for their injury-related medical expenses, projected future medical expenses, lost wages, projected future lost wages, pain, suffering, and other related damages and losses.
However, the law is complicated. Your compensation does not simply show up in your mailbox or bank account. You may have to prove your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, and you will need to be advised and represented by an Indiana personal injury lawyer.
When the other party’s insurance company contacts you, refer all of their questions and inquiries to your attorney. Do not make any statement, sign any insurance documents, or accept any settlement offer before you’ve discussed your case – and your legal options – with your attorney.
How Will a Lawyer Help You?
Proving who was responsible for a car-vs.-motorcycle accident can be quite challenging, particularly if there are no witnesses to confirm your own account of what happened, so you must be represented by an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney.
Your attorney will explain your legal rights and options, investigate how the motorcycle accident happened, examine any evidence, question any witnesses, and determine which party or parties are liable for the accident and for your personal injury or injuries.
An Indiana personal injury attorney will then negotiate with the at-fault party’s auto insurance company. Your attorney should be an experienced negotiator who will aggressively insist on the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to under Indiana law.
Will Your Case Go to Trial?
Most motorcycle accident cases are resolved with a negotiated, out-of-court settlement, so you may not even have to appear in court. However, if no reasonable settlement offer is made, or if your claim is disputed, your Indiana motorcycle accident lawyer will take your case to trial.
At trial, your attorney will explain to the jurors how the accident happened and will tell them about the extent of your injury or injuries. Your attorney may seek the testimony of an expert witness. Your attorney will then ask the jury to order the payment of your compensation.
What Are the Deadlines? What Are the Costs?
Personal injury lawyers in the State of Indiana represent their clients on a contingent fee basis. This means that as an injured victim of negligence, you will pay no attorney’s fee unless and until your attorney recovers monetary compensation on your behalf.
It also means that your first legal consultation with an Indiana injury attorney is provided with no cost and with no obligation. You should take advantage of this opportunity to receive the personalized legal advice that you’ll need and to learn how the law will apply to your own case.
In this state, you have two years from the date you are injured to file a personal injury claim, but you should not wait two years – or even two weeks. Your attorney should examine the evidence before it begins to deteriorate and question any witnesses while their memories are still fresh.
However, if your injury in a motorcycle accident happened more than two years ago, go ahead and speak about it with a personal injury attorney. It’s rare, but your case might qualify under one of the few exceptions to the two-year Indiana statute of limitations.
What Else Should You Know About Motorcycle Accidents in Indiana?
While you should always be as safe as you can when motorcycling – meaning you should wear a helmet – Indiana leaves the choice to wear a helmet up to the individual. Only motorcyclists and passengers under the age of 18 are required by Indiana law to wear a helmet while riding.
However, motorcyclists and passengers who wear helmets are far more likely to survive a motorcycle accident, and they are less likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries. If your injury case goes to trial, wearing a helmet suggests to the jurors that you are a safe, responsible motorcyclist.
When a car or truck crashes into a motorcycle, the motorcycle is going to lose every time. If you are riding a motorcycle in Indiana, be extra cautious whenever you are on the road. Far too many motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities happen every year in this state.
If you are injured by a negligent driver while you are riding a motorcycle, or if you are injured in an accident because a motorcyclist was negligent – and if you and your lawyer can prove it – you will recover compensation, and the law will be on your side.