Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Crash Claims

Should I admit it if I was slightly to blame for my motorcycle accident? What happens if my insurer won’t replace my bike? Our FAQ page offers the answers to the most pressing questions our clients have after suffering a motorcycle crash. 
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  • How are motorcycle accident claims different from truck or car accident claims?

     

    Even though motorcycle accident claims fall under the umbrella of personal injury law, they can differ from car or truck accident claims in several key ways, including causes and injuries. For example, a motorcycle handles differently than passenger vehicles such as a car, truck, or SUV. As a result, motorcycle accidents can be caused by things that might not necessarily cause a car or truck to crash, such as potholes, cracked or crumbling pavement, or small debris in the roadway.

    Also, because motorcyclists lack the steely exterior protection afforded to drivers and passengers in cars or trucks, the injuries they sustain in traffic accidents tend to be catastrophic or even fatal. In turn, this can affect the size of the potential financial award in personal injury or wrongful death insurance claims or lawsuits.motorcycle_crash

    Additionally, motorcyclists often face unfair bias from insurance companies, law enforcement officers, judges, and even juries. Uncorrected false preconceived notions and assumptions of fault can threaten to derail a rider's insurance claim or lawsuit after an accident. Fortunately, experienced motorcycle accident lawyers work to chip away at these biases in an effort to ensure clients get the justice they deserve.

    Do You Need Help With a Motorcycle Accident Claim or Lawsuit?

    If you or someone you love was involved in a serious motorcycle accident, you may be grappling with life-altering injuries and a deluge of unexpected medical debt or, even worse, grieving the loss of a loved one. A personal injury or wrongful death insurance claim or lawsuit can provide the financial compensation and the closure that motorcycle accident victims need to move forward.

    Sevenish Law's Randy Sevenish can assist you in your pursuit of justice. Not only is he familiar with the ins and outs of motorcycle accident law, he's a long-time motorcycle enthusiast. Contact Sevenish Law's Indianapolis law office to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case with a knowledgeable legal professional. Also request a free copy of our ebook, Indiana Motorcycle Guide: Protecting the Biker 101 for more information. 

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  • Does Indiana law require motorcyclists to wear helmets?

    Yes and no. Indiana is one of nearly 30 states that requires some, but not all, riders to wear motorcycle helmets. In this case, “some” refers to motorcyclists 18 and younger and instructional permit holders. These groups of riders are required to wear protective headgear, as well as "protective glasses, goggles, or transparent face shields" whenever "operating or riding on a motorcycle."two_riders_with_helmets

    Motorcycle helmet laws like these are designed to reduce the number of riders who lose their lives in motorcycle accidents each year. In 2015, 4,976 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle accidents in the United States, and 107 of those fatalities occurred in Indiana, according to statistics from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

    Additionally, the NHTSA estimates that wearing a helmet saved the lives of nearly 2,000 motorcyclists and could have saved almost 800 of the riders who died.

    How Helmet Use Could Affect Your Claim or Lawsuit

    Even though Indiana doesn't mandate helmet use for the majority of motorcyclists, not wearing a helmet can still negatively affect your personal injury insurance claim or civil lawsuit. Insurance adjusters with the other driver's insurance company—and defense attorneys in civil cases—will investigate to determine whether you were helmeted at the time of the accident and, if you weren't, claim you were negligent. As a result, you may be held partially responsible for your injuries. While this won't prevent you from filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, it could potentially reduce the monetary award you might receive.

    A knowledgeable and experienced motorcycle accident attorney will work diligently to mitigate insurance or defense attorney tactics designed to reduce or limit their financial obligations to you.

    Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

    Randy Sevenish of Sevenish Law is a motorcycle enthusiast and seasoned personal injury lawyer. He knows the hardships riders face after a motorcycle accident, and can provide the honest, aggressive representation you need to pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact Sevenish Law today to arrange your free initial case consultation. For additional information, request a copy of our free ebook, Indiana Motorcyclist Guide: Protecting the Biker 101.

     

  • Why should I hire a motorcycle injury lawyer?

    Riders who've been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident should hire a motorcycle injury lawyer.  Knowledgeable legal counsel can potentially help them maximize the overall value of their injury claim or lawsuit, while minimizing their subrogation or payback obligations. While some people may think that not hiring a lawyer saves them money, studies repeatedly show that plaintiffs with legal representation receive larger settlements and financial awards than those who choose to represent themselves.

    How Reputable Counsel Can Help

    One of the most important things an injured motorcyclist should know is the insurance company—whether it's theirs or that of the at-fault party—isn't their friend. An insurance adjuster's eye is on the company's bottom line and resolving your claim for as little as possible is their primary objective. A motorcycle injury lawyer levels the playing field between you and the insurance company.

    When an insurance adjuster makes a low settlement offer or tries to blame you for your injuries, a motorcycle injury lawyer can use his or her experience, knowledge of case law, and extensive legal training to negotiate for a better offer or correct the legal record. If negotiations fail, a lawyer can take your case all the way to trial so you can have your day in court.

    Motorcycle injury lawyers—particularly ones who ride themselves—can have a profound impact on the outcome of your personal injury claim or lawsuit. These lawyers speak the insurance adjuster's legal language, and have a special place in their hearts for injured riders.motorcycle_riders

    Motorcycle accident injuries can be expensive. Don't leave money on the negotiating table when a seasoned motorcycle injury lawyer can help you fight for the financial recovery you need and deserve.

    Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

    A longtime motorcycle enthusiast, Sevenish Law's Randy Sevenish has helped countless motorcycle injury victims secure the compensation they need to rebuild their lives. Contact Sevenish Law's Indianapolis law office for more information or to schedule a free initial consultation.

     

  • Do you know who can be sued following a motorcycle accident?

    When you've been injured in a motorcycle accident, you can sue the party responsible for your injuries. Often, the at-fault party is another motorist who violated traffic laws, thus causing an accident and ultimately your injuries.

    Indiana motorcycle crash

    However, this isn't always the case. Sometimes, the appropriate party to name in a motorcycle accident personal injury lawsuit may be someone who wasn't even there at the time, such as a parts manufacturer, government agency, or social host.

    For example, if a defective motorcycle component caused or contributed to your accident, you may be able to sue the manufacturer of the faulty part. If a poorly maintained or unsafe road caused your accident, the municipal, county, or state agency responsible for maintaining the road may be held liable.

    Even in cases where the motorcycle crash involved another motorist, determining who to sue may not be so simple. For instance, if the driver of the other vehicle was drunk, he—along with the bartender, establishment or social host who over served them—may be sued for damages.

    There are also times when the motorist who caused the accident was borrowing the vehicle from another person. In some such cases, the owner of the vehicle—as well as the personal who was driving at the time of the accident—may be named as defendants in a subsequent lawsuit.

    Fortunately, regardless of the situation, an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you determine exactly who to sue.

    Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

    After a devastating motorcycle accident, a totaled motorcycle may be the least of your worries. You may be seriously injured, facing grueling rehabilitation treatments, and unable to work while you recover. Randy Sevenish of Sevenish Law can help you fight for the financial recovery you need and deserve. Contact our Indianapolis law office today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

     

  • What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?

    Motorcycle accidents can be particularly catastrophic, which is why it's absolutely essential that motorcyclists and motorists work together to share the road safely. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen and when it doesn't, accidents, injuries, and even fatalities can be the result.

    In 2014, an estimated 92,000 motorcyclists were injured and nearly 4,600 were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While some people might assume that the majority of the blame for these accidents rests with the motorcyclists themselves, the opposite is true; motorists who fail to see, or don't look for, motorcycles are the number one cause of motorcycle accidents.

    In fact, 40 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2014 occurred when the driver of a passenger vehicle unexpectedly turned left while a motorcyclist was going straight, passing, or overtaking. Motorcycle crashes are also frequently caused by motorists who fail to check their blind spot before changing lines, as well as those who park along the street and open their car door in the path of an oncoming motorcyclist.motorcycle accident with car

    However, motorist error certainly isn't the cause of all motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists can cause accidents by speeding, making unsafe lane changes, or riding between two lanes of traffic, also known as “lane splitting.” Alcohol also plays a large role in motorcycle accidents; 30 percent of the motorcyclists killed in motorcycle accidents in 2014 had blood alcohol levels above the legal limit. Additionally, approximately 25 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes occur when a motorcyclist loses control and collides with a fixed object.

    Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include inclement weather, poorly-maintained roads, and motorcyclists who lack the training necessary to safely maneuver high-performance motorcycles.

    Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

    Motorcyclists injured in accidents caused by another motorist's negligence may be eligible to pursue compensation for medical bills, motorcycle repair or replacement costs, pain and suffering, and other damages. As a long-time motorcycle enthusiast and personal injury lawyer, Randy Sevenish can help you fight for the financial recovery you need. Contact Sevenish Law today to schedule your free initial consultation. Also request a free copy of our ebook, Indiana Motorcycle Guide: Protecting the Biker 101, for more information.

     

  • Should I See What the Insurance Company Offers Before Contacting a Lawyer?

    No. Not only should you not wait to see what the insurance company offers before contacting a lawyer, you should also be aware that speaking with an insurance adjuster—whether from your own insurance company or that of the at-fault party—without consulting with an attorney can put your insurance claim or potential personal injury lawsuit in serious jeopardy.

    While accident victims may technically be capable of handling simple and straightforward insurance claims on their own, in most cases—and particularly in motorcycle accident cases—it isn't the smartest move, and may even result in a smaller settlement. Experienced and reputable motorcycle accident lawyers look out for their clients' interests, and can help them fight for the fair compensation they need and deserve.

    Insurance Companies Aren't on Your Side

    Like any for-profit business, an insurance company operates to boost its bottom line, not support your best interests. An insurance company is not on your side, even if it's your insurance company. While this is true in any personal injury case, it's particularly true in motorcycle accidents cases, which can be extremely costly for insurance companies.

    Unfortunately, even if you have a perfect driving record and are a long-time, model customer, paying your premiums on time, month after month, insurance company adjusters may employee a variety of sneaky tactics to save money and minimize the financial obligation to you.

    For example, in an attempt to avoid potentially costly settlements, insurance company representatives may:

    • Claim you were partially or completely at fault for the accident, even though nearly two-thirds of motorcycle crashes involving more than one vehicle are caused by the driver violating the motorcyclist's right of way
    • Assert that your injuries are the result of your failure to wear the appropriate safety gear
    • Use your recorded statement—or statements made at the scene of the accident—against you

    After a motorcycle accident, knowing what not to do is almost as important as knowing what to do. The first few minutes following a motorcycle crash are vitally important, and what you do in those minutes can make or break a future personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. To protect yourself and your rights:

    • Avoid apologizing or taking responsibility for the accident
    • Decline to make a recorded statement
    • Refuse to sign any papers without first consulting a seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer

    Benefits of Legal Representation After a Motorcycle Accident

    When dealing with an insurance company after an accident, it can help to think of it as a “Goliath” with its corporate legal team, and of yourself as a “David” who can greatly benefit from the leveled playing field that comes with having your own legal representation. Motorcycle accident lawyers can help clients:

    • Investigate and gather evidence to build a strong case
    • Understand each step of the insurance claims or civil litigation process
    • Prepare for depositions
    • Negotiate with the insurance company
    • Obtain a larger, fairer settlement, according to a 1999 study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC)
    • Take their case to trial, if necessary

    Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

    If you were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a careless driver, you may spend the rest of your life dealing with the consequences of that driver's poor decisions. While filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit may not be able to help you turn back the clock, a successful claim or lawsuit can help relieve the financial burdens you may have incurred as the result of the crash.

    Contact Sevenish Law today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your motorcycle accident case. For further information, request a copy of our free eBook, Indiana Motorcyclist Guide: Protecting the Biker 101.

     

  • Does It Matter Whether I Was Wearing a Helmet in My Motorcycle Accident?

    No. Motorcycle crash victims have the right to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation for damages, regardless of whether they were wearing helmets at the time of the accident. This is true even if the injured motorcyclist was younger than 18 and required by Indiana law to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.

    However, that's not to say that motorcyclists without helmets who sustained injuries in a crash should expect to sail smoothly through the insurance claims or personal injury litigation process. While failing to wear a helmet doesn't preclude a rider from seeking compensation for accident-related injuries, it may have an impact on what they're able to recover.

    For example, insurance companies or juries may decide that by not wearing the appropriate safety gear, the motorcyclist contributed to his injuries and is thus entitled to a smaller settlement or financial award. This is particularly true in cases where the primary injury was to the head or brain.close up motorcycle

    A reputable personal injury lawyer with experience handling motorcycle accident claims and lawsuits knows just how to help their clients bypass these harmful assumptions. Even if riders weren't wearing a helmet, they can still seek damages for a wide range of economic and non-economic losses, including:

    • Past and future medical expenses
    • Motorcycle repair or replacement costs
    • Lost wages
    • Pain and suffering
    • Scarring
    • Disfigurement
    • Permanency of injury
    • Inability to function as a whole person
    • Loss of enjoyment of life

    Do You Need a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer?

    If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and are considering submitting an insurance claim or taking legal action, having the representation of a lawyer you can trust to have your best interests at heart is essential. A motorcycle enthusiast himself, Sevenish Law's Randy Sevenish has knowledge and experience you can count on.

    Contact Sevenish Law's Indianapolis law office today to schedule a no-cost initial consultation. Also request a free copy of the ebook, Indiana Motorcyclist Guide: Protecting the Biker 101 for more information.

     

  • How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?

    Motorcycles are involved in thousands of serious motor vehicle accidents each year in the United States. These crashes can be absolutely devastating for motorcycle riders and their families. Even if the motorcyclist is fortunate enough to have survived the accident, he's nowhere near out of the woods. Riders who survive motorcycle accidents often have serious injuries and may be facing a long road to recovery—while the medical bills pile up. A successful insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit can help relieve financial burdens, but motorcyclists who are found to be at fault for the accident and thus, their injuries, may not be able to collect full compensation, if they're able to collect any at all.

    A variety of factors comes into play when an insurance company determines fault in a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately for motorcyclists, some of those factors may have nothing to do with whether they were actually responsible for causing the accident led to their injuries.

    Having the representation of a seasoned personal injury lawyer is essential for motorcycle accident victims filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, particularly in cases where fault is in question.

    Motorcycle Accidents Are Particularly Costly

    motorcycle_downWith no protective barrier to shield riders from impact, motorcycle accidents are often extremely serious and exceptionally costly. In fact, the direct costs associated with motorcycle accidents were estimated at $16 billion for 2010 alone, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. These costs included property damage, emergency services, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, loss of market and household productivity, and more.

     

    Like any business, insurance companies are concerned with the bottom line. The desire to avoid paying potentially hefty settlements is good incentive for an insurance company to find fault with a motorcycle's claim.

    Building a Case

    As soon as an accident is reported to an insurance company, an agent or adjuster begins an investigation and reviews all the available evidence, including police reports, physical evidence, and statements the motorcycle rider made at the scene, as well as statements from witnesses and other drivers and passengers. Throughout the investigation, insurance agents will look for information that allows them to build a case against the motorcyclist in order to justify denying a claim or offering a reduced settlement. Tactics like these can be extremely costly for motorcycle accident victims who are counting on receiving fair compensation for their injuries.

    Indiana's Law of Comparative Fault

    Thanks to the Indiana Comparative Fault Act, responsibility for an accident can be divided among multiple parties. Consider the example of a driver of a passenger vehicle who ran a red light and crashed into a motorcyclist who wasn't wearing a helmet. Under Indiana's comparative fault laws, the jury might decide that while the driver of the passenger vehicle was primarily at fault for the accident, the motorcyclist is also somewhat responsible for his injuries because he wasn't wearing a helmet.

    In Indiana, as long as an accident victim is less than 50 percent at fault for an accident, he's eligible to seek compensation for injuries. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can help victims get every penny they deserve.

    Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

    If you were injured in a serious motorcycle accident, you know just how hard it can be to try to pick up the pieces after such a catastrophic event. With everything you're facing, that last thing you should have to concern yourself with is whether an insurance company representative will resort to sneaky tactics to avoid paying you what you deserve. You need a knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience handling motorcycle accident cases.

    Randy Sevenish of Sevenish Law has helped Indiana accident victims and their families for decades. He's also an avid motorcycle enthusiast who's dedicated to helping motorcyclists both before and after an accident. For more information, contact Sevenish Law today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation, or request a copy of our free eBook, Indiana Motorcyclist Guide: Protecting the Biker 101.

     

  • What damages can I seek in a motorcycle accident personal injury case?

    When a motorcycle is involved in an accident with passenger vehicles or commercial trucks, the results can be absolutely devastating. Motorcyclists who survive such accidents can see their entire lives changed in a matter of seconds—one second they're cruising down the open road, and the next, they're struggling to get out from under an enormous amount of medical debt, facing a long and grueling recovery, and wondering if life will ever be as it was before the crash.

    gloved hand on motorcycle

    While filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused the crash can't heal a victim body and soul, compensation that can come from such a claim or suit can help pay for medical care and alleviate other financial concerns. The damages that a motorcycle accident victim can seek can be divided into two categories: special damages and general damages.

    Special Damages in Motorcycle Cases

    Special damages, also known as economic damages, are those that financially compensate a victim for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Special damages can include:

    • Past and future medical expenses
    • Motorcycle repair or replacement expenses
    • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from working
    • Loss of irreplaceable or priceless items

    General Damages in Motorcycle Cases

    General, or non-economic, damages compensate victims for non-monetary losses related to the motorcycle accident. These types of damages often make up the largest part of a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Examples of general damages include:

    • Past and future pain and suffering
    • Emotional distress or mental anguish
    • Scarring or disfigurement
    • Physical impairment
    • Lowered quality of life

    Also, people who lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by another person's negligence may be able to claim additional damages under the Wrongful Death Statutes, such as:

    • Grief
    • Loss of love and companionship
    • Loss of household and personal services
    • Burial and funeral expenses

    Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

    If you were injured, or lost a loved one, in a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to seek compensation for both special and general damages. Taking legal action against a negligent driver can seem intimidating, but having a knowledgeable lawyer by your side can help. Not only do seasoned personal injury lawyers understand the ins and outs of the civil court system, they also know exactly which special and general damages to demand on your behalf.

    Contact our motorcycle accident attorneys at Sevenish Law today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your motorcycle accident or wrongful death case.
     

    You can also download a free ebook, "Indiana Motorcyclist Guide: Protecting The Biker 101". This free resources provides valuable information to help keep riders safe as well as detailing what you can do if you were injured in an accident.

     

  • How much does it cost to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer in Indiana?

    A motorcycle rider can cruise down the road and feel the freedom of the open air, but that same lack of an exterior that makes riding a motorcycle so thrilling leaves someone less protected in the event of an accident. As a result, motorcyclists who survive a crash often have serious, debilitating, or perhaps totally disabling injuries that require a long recovery period or continuing care.

    The cost of such care can seem astronomical, but accident victims may not have to face the financial burden on their own. Indiana's personal injury law allows victims to file a civil lawsuit to pursue compensation for damages such as medical expenses, damages to your motorcycle or gear, lost wages or lost earning capacity, and even pain and suffering, including decreased quality of life.

    When struggling witbikers shake handsh unexpected medical and bike repair debt, the last thing most motorcycle accident victims want to take on is the additional expense of hiring a personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Sevenish Law understand this, which is why our experienced legal team works on a contingency basis.

    You pay absolutely nothing at the beginning of your case. Instead, you'll pay us a percentage of your settlement if—and only if—we win your case. If we don't, you owe nothing. Motorcycle accident victims should never let concerns over their financial means deter them from seeking the justice they deserve.

    Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

    Are you considering taking legal action after sustaining injuries or losing a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent motorist? If so, you could benefit from experienced and honorable legal representation. Randy Sevenish of Sevenish Law offers clients a Clients First® Bill of Rights to ensure their needs are met and their concerns addressed. He's also a motorcycle enthusiast who personally understands the unique issues motorcyclists face. Contact Sevenish Law's Indianapolis law office, or complete the online contact form, to schedule an appointment to discuss your potential motorcycle accident or wrongful death case.