The Basics of Motorcycle Accident Law
If you have been in a motorcycle accident and have sustained injuries, you should understand the basics of motorcycle accident law. With this knowledge, you can contemplate a lawsuit to collect damages to cover medical costs and loss of wages due to injuries.
Motorcycle Safety Laws
Because of the dangers that motorcycles pose, it is critical that drivers adhere to safety and traffic laws.
First, all states require that motorcycle operators have a license. Drivers can obtain a license by passing a written test. Specific license requirements, however, do vary from state to state.
Motorcycles offer little in the ways of protection. Therefore, the driver must take responsibility for protecting himself or herself. Although not required by law in every state, helmets have been proven to minimize injuries in the event of a motorcycle accident.
In addition, drivers must wear some form of eye protection in most states. Daylight headlights are required in some states, as is the use of turn signals. Lane sharing is permitted in most states. This is when two motorcycles occupy one lane of traffic.
Insurance and Motorcycle Accident Law
Most jurisdictions require that a motorcycle owner have some form of comprehensive insurance coverage. This type of insurance is similar to auto insurance and typically covers yourself, your family, passengers, and your motorcycle. However, states do set their own laws regarding the amount and type of coverage required.
In the event of an accident, you, the cyclist, will file a claim the same way you would file a claim for an automobile accident. If your accident involves another driver, remember to collect their contact information and their insurance information. You will also want to file a police report, take pictures of the scene of the accident, get the names and contact information of any witnesses, save copies of all medical bills, and photograph your injuries. This information can serve as evidence in the event that you end up filing a lawsuit against the driver at fault in the accident, or an insurance carrier, to recoup on medical costs or lost wages.
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
Under motorcycle accident law, those injured in a motorcycle accident have a right to sue the party at fault to collect damages for medical costs and lost wages incurred due to injuries sustained. These types of lawsuits are known as personal injury cases.
As the injured party, you have the right to hire an attorney for motorcycle accident injury cases. Your attorney will help guide you throughout the claim process and will represent you in your battle against the insurer or the party at fault in the accident.
Your lawyer will ask you for all the information you have collected thus far about your case, including copies of your medical records and bills, pictures of the scene of the accident and your injuries, and the police report. He or she will then write a demand letter to the opposing party notifying them of the intent to sue and offering a settlement amount to avoid trial. If the other party agrees to the monetary amount, then you will receive a motorcycle accident injury settlement. Otherwise, the case may continue to trial.
Motorcycle Accident Trials
If your case does proceed to trial, it can take a long time to resolve. First, if your case is being heard by a jury, jury selection takes place. Next, both sides offer their opening statements. Witnesses, including you, will be called to the stand to answer questions from both attorneys. The lawyers will argue their cases based on their own interpretations of motorcycle accident law.
Closing statements are given at the end of the trial, and then the jury or jury deliberates. Once the judge or jury has come to a decision, they will return to the courtroom and issue their verdict.
To have a good argument for your case, your lawyer will have to prove that the other driver was negligent and did not practice his duty of care. In addition, your lawyer will have to justify the amount in damages you are seeking, likely by pointing to copies of medical bills and medical testimony.