Motorcyclists are passionate about their bikes, because it allows them to get out into the open air and see their surroundings from a different perspective. However, riders must be extra cautious because their motorcycles offer no protection in a crash. To make matters worse, many drivers are oblivious to motorcycles – and might even be hostile to them. David E. Gordon, a Board-certified personal injury attorney, can offer assistance.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, you could file a lawsuit against anyone whose negligence contributed to the accident. Contact a Southaven motorcycle accident lawyer to explore your options for financial recovery.
Compliance with Applicable Laws Strengthens Biker’s Case
There are several laws that riders must obey to legally operate a motorcycle in Mississippi. When a motorcyclist is in full compliance with these laws, it is easier for a local motorcycle accident attorney to demonstrate that they were not at fault in a wreck.
Motorcyclists must have a valid Mississippi driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. To obtain the endorsement, he or she must take a written test, a skills test, and have an inspection of the bike. Mississippi law also requires everyone riding a motorcycle to wear an approved helmet.
In cases where the motorcyclist was not fully compliant, it could still be possible to show that others bear at least partial responsibility for an accident. The law allows a negligent plaintiff to collect compensation from other negligent parties, but any awards will be reduced to reflect their own degree of fault.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycles have good maneuverability but are not as stable as a four-wheeled vehicle. This instability can make them vulnerable to slides or spin outs. They are also smaller than cars and trucks, and many drivers do not pay sufficient attention to motorcyclists in their midst. Motorcycle wrecks can happen for many reasons, but some of the most common causes include:
- Driver changes lanes and infringes on a biker’s path
- Driver turns left without yielding to an oncoming motorcycle
- Driver runs a red light or a stop sign
- Driver disobeys traffic laws
Most motorcycle accidents occur because someone was not operating their vehicle in accordance with the law. This is known as negligence. A Southaven motorbike collision lawyer can investigate the circumstances of a particular crash to identify negligent parties and hold them accountable.
Damages Available to Injured Motorcyclists
Because bikers are completely unprotected, they often suffer catastrophic injuries when they crash. The cost of treating and living with the ongoing impact of those injuries could be astronomical. When someone else’s negligence played a part in causing the accident, the injured motorcyclist can collect restitution to compensate them for their losses.
Injured individual can gain compensation for missed wages, employment benefits like sick leave, reduced future earning opportunities, costs of medical and rehabilitative care, and future medical care made necessary by the injury. It could also include modifying a home or vehicle to accommodate a disability and the cost of hiring someone to provide services such as babysitting, driving, or home maintenance.
Non-economic damages compensate an injured motorcyclist for the intangible losses they suffered. This could include sums for lost enjoyment of life, disfigurement, mental anguish, and physical pain and suffering. An injured person’s spouse could seek damages for loss of consortium. Mississippi law limits non-economic damages to one million dollars.
How Does an Accident Affect Insurance Rates?
Insurance rates are almost always negatively affected if a person’s accident is their fault. If the accident is not their fault, whether riding on a motorcycle or in an automobile, the insurance rate will not increase. In fact, if a person is required to make a claim on their uninsured motorist coverage because the other driver is not covered, Mississippi law prevents an increase in their insurance rate.
The principal factor for increasing the insurance rate following an accident is fault. If the accident is the biker’s fault, then their rate is going to increase, regardless of the size of the claim. However, there are some insurance companies that advertise accident forgiveness and will not make an increase after the first collision.
Sometimes the fault in a motor vehicle collision is shared to some degree by both drivers. In that instance, even though the fault of the biker may be smaller than the fault of the other motorists, their insurance rate is likely going to go up. A motorcycle accident attorney in Southaven can provide further clarification on how the crash will impact insurance rates.
Work with a Southaven Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Trying to secure adequate compensation for a motorcycle accident from an insurance company can be a difficult process. Getting help from the Law Office of David E. Gordon soon after a wreck can relieve you of that burden and put the negotiations in the hands of someone who is focused on getting you the settlement you deserve. That can free you up to concentrate on healing. Contact a Southaven motorcycle accident lawyer for help and schedule a case review right away.