Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Spokane
Motorcycle accidents are usually chaotic and destructive and can change your life forever. For many motorcyclists and their families, a fine line exists between a near miss and a fatal accident. As a motorcyclist, you have less protection during the force of a collision which means the injuries can be catastrophic. Even a rear-end fender bender can turn into a life-long disability.
Without legal representation from an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer, your rights can be jeopardized. Just as the missing wages and medical bills pile up, the insurance company may call to request a statement. These companies do always treat motorcyclists fairly.
Injured? Dial (509) 444-4444 now to find out how we can help you pursue fair compensation.
What to Do Immediately Following a Motorcycle Accident:
- Dial 911 to report the motorcycle accident and call our for medical help if anyone is injured. Get off the roadway and to a safe location.
- Do not apologize or admit fault for the accident and do not blame anyone else.
- Exchange insurance information with the other drivers and write down witness names and contact data.
- Visit the hospital to determine the extent and nature of your injuries.
- Report the motorcycle accident to your insurance company but do not give a statement.
- Hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.
We recommend that you consult with an experienced Spokane motorcycle accident attorney at Sweetser Law Office. Gather the evidence and paperwork you have and schedule a free consultation with us. Do not begin repairing or disposing of your damaged bike or the clothing you were wearing in the accident without first talking to us.
What Are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
The first order of proving a motorcycle accident case is establishing who is legally responsible for the motorcycle wreck that injured you or your family member. This involves visiting the scene of the motorcycle accident, analyzing the location of the collision on Google Earth, reviewing the traffic collision report, and locating witnesses or witness statements regarding the motorcycle accident.
According to the NHTSA, more than two-thirds of fatal motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers of other vehicles who do not see the motorcyclist in time to avoid a collision. The data indicates that the medical bills for a motorcyclist in a collision average a total cost of $211,000; compared to about $17,000 for all other vehicles (NHTSA). Motorcyclists often suffer traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, shattered bones, severed limbs, head, neck and spinal cord injuries, and wrongful death.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Driver lacks awareness of the motorcycle on the road.
- Running a stop sign or red light without seeing an approaching motorcycle.
- Failing to completely stop before turning right on red (i.e. “California stop”).
- Distracted driving, texting while driving, or phone use.
- Failing to check blind spots, or yield the right-of-way, before changing lanes.
- Driving over the speed limit and therefore being unable to avoid a motorcycle collision.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in an accident than motorists and their passengers. In 2019, over 5,000 motorcycles were killed in crashes in the U.S. In its latest report, the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission reported that, while motorcycles make up only three percent of travelers on the road, their deaths comprised 15 percent of all fatalities in the state. Because motorcyclists are not protected when struck or thrown to the pavement or against other obstacles, they typically suffer worse injuries than car occupants. An average of 75 motorcyclists die annually in Washington State crashes.
Motorcycle Laws in Washington State
Your risk of an accident and injuries will be reduced by following state laws.
Examples of the laws you are subject to as a motorcyclist include but are not limited to:
- You must carry specific amounts of bodily injury liability per person and property damage insurance per accident.
- Helmets approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation are required.
- Bikes must have mirrors on both the left and right sides.
- Completion of a motorcycle education course is required for riders under the age of 18.
- Headlights and taillights must remain on whenever you are on the road.
- Turn signals must be in good working order.
- Children under the age of five are not allowed to be passengers.
- Handlebars cannot exceed more than 30 inches above the rider’s seat.
How Is Liability Determined in a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorists and motorcyclists have a duty of care to avoid causing harm to those with whom they share the road. This means taking reasonable precautions to drive safely and follow traffic laws. A motorcycle accident claim is based on the premise that the party at fault failed in this duty of care through negligent, careless, or reckless behavior. As a result, his or her behavior led to the accident and your injuries.
Washington State operates on the basis of “comparative negligence” which means that both parties may have contributed to the accident. Thus, your compensation can be reduced by the percentage of your fault in the accident. Liability in any accident can only be determined by a careful examination of the documented evidence surrounding the event.
Motorcycle Accident Damages
The damages you may be awarded in any motorcycle accident case will depend on the nature and extent of your injuries. These may include compensation for your medical treatment in the past as well as what is predicted for the future, your lost wages or income, pain and suffering, and damage to your bike or other personal items. Those are permanently disabled may obtain additional damages, such as for lost future earning capacity. Our attorneys can review your situation to help you understand the damages that may apply to your case.
Call our Spokane motorcycle accident lawyers today at (509) 444-4444 to start your road to recovery after a motorcycle accident.