Motorcycles offer a kind of freedom that you cannot get in a passenger vehicle. Their smaller size, however, can cause serious injury in an accident. Many drivers are not accustomed to sharing the road with motorcycles and other small vehicles.
These driver errors are the leading cause of motorcycle accidents. As a motorcyclist, you could sustain an insurmountable amount of medical bills due to the extensive treatment you will need after an accident. You will need a Southaven, MS, personal injury lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC to review your accident and file a claim on your behalf.
Holding Responsible Parties Accountable
Motorcycle accidents are harrowing, and many parties can be liable for an accident. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you would want to get justice and hold these parties accountable for their actions. The first step is to determine who was the liable party in your accident.
For a party to be held liable for your injuries, they must have owed you a duty of care and violated that responsibility. You must also show that this violation led to your accident and that you suffered damages as a result.
The most common motorcycle accident culprits are:
- A negligent motorist
- The local municipality
- A truck company
- The party responsible for loading cargo
- A parts manufacturer
A Negligent Motorist
When the negligent actions of another driver lead to your injury, you need to discuss your options with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Southaven, MS, who will hold these parties responsible. There are many ways a driver can contribute to an accident, like fatigue, drugs, carelessness, and more.
The Local Municipality
If road issues such as poor maintenance contributed to your accident, the provincial government is responsible.
A Truck Company
When a truck is the cause of an accident, the diver and employer will be the negligent parties responsible for your injuries. These parties have many different regulations, and when they do not follow the rules, it leads to collisions.
The Party Responsible for Loading Cargo
In addition to trucking companies, there are cargo companies that load up these trucks. If there was an issue with the cargo weight or security, the loading company must take responsibility for its actions. Loose cargo can strike and seriously injure or kill a motorcyclist.
A Parts Manufacturer
Defective parts are hazardous to the general public. Vehicle manufacturers will need to recall a defective vehicle part. If they know there is a bad part in the car and do nothing to resolve the issue, they are liable for an accident.
Liability is complex in nearly every accident, and you need a motorcycle accident attorney in Southaven, MS, who knows how to decipher all of the factors of your case.
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Recoverable Damages From a Collision
You will suffer many financial losses after a motorcycle accident. Recovering compensation for those losses can be critical when faced with myriad expenses after an accident. The value of your case will depend on the damages you suffered and the severity of your injuries. All compensatory damages can be split between economic and non-economic damages.
Any losses you sustained that directly impacted your finances fall into the category of economic damages. Economic damages that can commonly be claimed after a motorcycle accident include:
- Damage to your motorcycle
- Other personal property damages
- Hospital bills
- Future medical expenses
- Long-term care expenses
- Lost wages due to time missed from work
- Lost ability to earn income
All other losses resulting from your accident are considered non-economic damages. These damages can be wide-ranging. One common characteristic these damages tend to share is that they are typically profound and irreplaceable. Non-economic damages that can commonly be claimed after a motorcycle accident include:
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Decreased quality of life
In some cases, the court may also award punitive damages. These damages are designed to punish the at-fault party for their egregious behavior. Punitive damages are rarely awarded in motorcycle accident cases. For your case to qualify, the at-fault driver or other liable party must have acted in a grossly negligent manner or with the intention of causing harm.
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Statute of Limitations for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Southaven
In general, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi is three years from the date of the accident. This means you have three years to file a lawsuit in court. or else you will likely be barred from doing so.
It is crucial to note that this time limit can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case, so it is best to consult with an experienced Southaven motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
Depending on the particular details of your accident, you could find yourself able to file a personal injury lawsuit long after the standard deadline has passed. Alternatively, you could discover that you are restricted to a matter of months to get your paperwork submitted to the court.
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Steps a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Take on Your Behalf
When you hire a Southaven, MS, motorcycle accident lawyer, they will take the following steps to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve:
- Investigate your accident
- Calculate the value of your claim
- File a lawsuit on your behalf
- Represent you in court
- Negotiate for a fair settlement deal
Investigate Your Accident
Your experienced attorney will investigate the accident and collect evidence such as police reports, witness statements, photos of the scene, and medical records. This information will be used to build a strong case for your claim.
Calculate the Value of Your Claim
Once their investigation is complete, your motorcycle accident attorney will determine what damages you are eligible to pursue and calculate the full value of your injury claim.
File a Lawsuit on Your Behalf
If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, your attorney may file a lawsuit on your behalf. They will use the evidence gathered to prove that the other driver was negligent and that you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages.
Represent You in Court
If necessary, your attorney will represent you in court and fight for your rights. They will present evidence and argue on your behalf. Your experienced lawyer will fight for maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Negotiate for a Fair Settlement Deal
At every step of the process, your lawyer will negotiate with opposing counsel to ensure you receive a fair settlement. They will also handle all communication with the insurance adjusters and other parties involved in the case.
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Use Caution When Dealing With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are in the business of making money. They will try to settle your claim quickly and for as little money as possible. You may be tempted to accept a settlement offer should you receive one shortly after your accident. After all, you will likely be faced with expensive medical bills and other expenses.
However, you need to realize that the initial settlement offer you receive from the insurance company is not being extended to you out of kindness. Instead, the insurance company is making you a lowball settlement offer that is far below the full value of your claim. Their hope is that you will take this initial offer without consulting an attorney.
Should you accept a settlement deal from the insurance company, you will not be able to pursue further damages down the road when the full extent of your damages becomes apparent. The best way to protect yourself against these unscrupulous business practices is by refusing to speak with any insurance adjusters until you have hired a lawyer.
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The Cost of Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Mississippi
Following a motorcycle accident, many injury victims fail to hire an attorney because they fear they will not be able to afford legal services. However, this should never be a concern when hiring a motorcycle crash lawyer or any other kind of personal injury attorney.
These lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. That means they will not collect a fee unless they recover compensation on your behalf. If you do receive money from the liable party, your lawyer will be paid a single fee upon the conclusion of your case, which will come in the form of a fixed percentage of the damages you recover.
This system can help give you the peace of mind that your attorney will do everything in their power to get you the money you deserve since the more you recover, the bigger the payday will be for your lawyer. Alternatively, a failure to get you compensation will mean that your attorney doesn’t collect payment for their services.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
After an accident, you are wondering what the cause of the accident was. There are many causes of motorcycle accidents in Southaven. Many are due to driver error and negligence, and others are due to maintenance or a third party.
- Failure to yield
- Dangerous lane changes
- Tire blowouts
- Night driving with defective lights
- Objects on the road
- And more
While everyone should stay vigilant while driving, many people do not, which is where mishaps occur. Above all else, drivers not seeing motorcycles is one of the top reasons these accidents happen. Aside from the leading causes of motorcycle accidents, there are also common collisions that are widespread across Southaven, such as:
- Broadside or t-bone crashes
- Left-hand turn crashes
- Head-on collisions
- Door accidents
- Sideswipe crashes
- Rear-end collisions
Broadside or T-Bone Crashes
Referred to as t–bone accidents, these often occur at intersections when one party is making a left turn. A motorcycle rider will become trapped between their bike and the other vehicle or will be thrown from their motorcycle, landing on the pavement and sustaining severe injury.
Left-Hand Turn Crashes
Intersections are deadly for motorcyclists. Riders will be ejected from their bikes and land on the pavement in front of other cars. There are many issues regarding yielding the right of the way, especially during a left turn.
When two vehicles collide in the front, it is a head-on collision. The rider often ends up on the car’s hood or inside the vehicle, causing debilitating injuries.
While doors are supposed to keep passengers safe, they can cause serious injury to motorcycle riders. When a person opens their door without checking, and a motorcycle is approaching, there is no time to stop. The bike will hit the door and flip over, requiring emergency medical treatment.
A sideswipe accident happens when drivers do not pay attention when switching lanes. Since motorcycles are much smaller, they often end up in a driver’s blind spot. The lack of visibility can cause the bike to spin out of control which is especially dangerous on the highway.
When the driver behind you is not paying attention, they can miss your signals and rear-end you. You can crash into another object or lose all control of your bike, resulting in catastrophic injuries or death.
Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents
Regardless of the accident, you will likely suffer a range of injuries. Many motorcycle accident victims suffer catastrophic injuries that require years of treatment. Common bodily injuries include:
- Loss of teeth
- Back injuries
- Facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage
- Fatal injuries
It is not uncommon to see motorcyclists leaving the scene in an ambulance or helicopter for immediate treatment. You cannot delay treatment for your motorcycle injuries, as your condition can become even worse. Even if your injuries don’t seem serious, you should still get checked out by medical personnel.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report for 2019 shows that a motorcycle rider is 29 times more likely to die in an accident than a passenger vehicle occupant. When comparing urban versus rural areas, more accidents (61%) occur in urban areas. Most accident fatalities cite alcohol and climate as the leading causes.
A Southaven, MS Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
Motorcyclists must adhere to all safety and road laws. Drivers must also follow all road rules; their negligence will lead to devastating consequences. If the negligent actions of another driver have injured you, you have options.
Contact a Southaven, MS motorcycle accident attorney from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC today to review your case. You can reach our law firm by phone or by completing our online contact form.