Muncie Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
During vehicle-on-vehicle collisions, occupants have multiple restraint layers, and a steel cocoon, to protect them from serious injury. But motorcycle riders have none of these things. That’s the main reason that motorcyclists are thirty times more likely to die in vehicle collisions. Even if these victims survive, they often have permanent injuries, like head injuries, even if they were wearing helmets.
The compassionate Muncie motorcycle accident lawyers at the office of Indianapolis Injury Lawyers understand the intense pain and suffering these victims must endure. So, we work hard to obtain the financial compensation these families need in order to carry on. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as emotional distress.
What Causes Motorcycle Crashes?
Lack of visibility is the underlying cause of many motorcycle crashes, especially left-turn wrecks. These collisions occur when a tortfeasor (negligent driver) tries to turn left against traffic and moves directly into the path of an oncoming motorcycle.
Driver impairment also causes a number of motorcycle wrecks. Some common types of driver impairment include:
- Drug or alcohol use,
- Excessive fatigue,
- Certain medical conditions, like heart disease or epilepsy, which could cause a sudden loss of consciousness, and
- Device or non-device distraction.
A Muncie motorcycle accident attorney is often able to obtain higher compensation in driver impairment claims. Arguably, these individuals knew they should not drive, yet they chose to get behind the wheel anyway.
Generally, many motorcycle crash claims rely on either the negligence per se rule or the ordinary negligence doctrine.
The negligence per se rule usually applies if the tortfeasor violated a safety law, perhaps by failing to maintain a proper lookout, and caused a crash. Unfortunately, even if the tortfeasor was clearly at fault, many emergency responders do not issue citations. Many times, they view vehicle collisions as civil disputes, and they do not want to get involved.
So, most motorcycle wreck claims use the ordinary negligence doctrine. Typically, these cases have four basic elements:
- Duty: Most noncommercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must drive defensively, obey the rules of the road, and avoid accidents when possible. Uber drivers and other commercial operators normally have a higher duty of care.
- Breach: The tortfeasor is liable for damage if the tortfeasor’s conduct fell below the standard of care. Driver impairment and operational errors, which were discussed above, are the most common types of breaches.
- Cause: This element involves factual and legal cause. Muncie motorcycle accident lawyers sometimes describe factual cause as “but for” causation, as in the wreck would not have happened but for the tortfeasor’s negligence. Legal cause usually means foreseeability.
- Damages: Victim/plaintiffs must sustain actual personal injury or property damage to pursue legal claims. Near misses might cause severe emotional distress, especially for motorcycle riders, but they are usually not actionable.
Contributory negligence is one of the most common insurance company defenses in these claims. This legal doctrine shifts part of the blame for the accident from the tortfeasor to the victim (e.g. the tortfeasor changed lanes illegally and the motorcycle rider was speeding).
Many insurance company lawyers also use the motorcycle prejudice. This defense is not found in any law book, but it is often effective. Some jurors think motorcycle riders are reckless thugs. So, they are often unwilling to award fair compensation, even if the evidence warrants such a decision.
Muncie motorcycle accident lawyers can blunt the motorcycle prejudice defense by introducing evidence which shows the victim’s overall good character.
Connect with a Diligent Lawyer
Personal injury victims have important rights. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Muncie, contact the office of Indianapolis Injury Lawyers. We routinely handle matters in Delaware County and nearby jurisdictions.