Motorcycles are a preferred method of transportation for many Indianapolis residents. Unfortunately, those on motorcycles are usually more vulnerable to injuries when accidents occur. If you suffered injuries or other damages in a motorcycle accident, our Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyers can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, our motorcycle accident lawyers at Rowe & Hamilton in Indianapolis, IN will explain your rights as a biker and how the other driver’s actions violated those rights. We will also gather evidence proving the defendant’s fault and seek maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
Call our Indianapolis auto accident lawyers today at 317-482-7888 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
It is technically possible to file a motorcycle accident claim without involving a lawyer. However, you will have far better chances of a favorable outcome if you involve a reputable motorcycle accident lawyer such as those at Rowe & Hamilton in Indianapolis, IN.
Here are the various ways our motorcycle accident lawyers can help with your compensation claim.
- Initiating a comprehensive investigation to determine the cause of your motorcycle accident
- Filing the necessary claims and handling communications with all parties on your behalf
- Gathering evidence proving that the other party was responsible for the accident
- Working with physicians to document the extent of your injuries
- Calculating the value of your claim
- Negotiating a fair settlement
- Taking the case to trial if settlement negotiations fail.
Contacting the Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyers at Rowe & Hamilton immediately after a motorcycle wreck increases the chances of getting the best possible settlement for your injuries and other damages.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
The vast majority of motorcycle accidents are both preventable and avoidable. Here are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Indianapolis, IN.
Motorcycles are obviously smaller than other vehicles, which can make it difficult to spot them on the road. A driver that’s distracted by passengers or their phone can easily collide with a motorcycle and cause an accident. Distracted drivers often cause all kinds of accidents including fatal accidents, roll-over accidents, and head-on collisions.
Failure to Pay Attention to Motorcycles
Drivers often overlook motorcyclists since they are too focused on other cars. Drivers that don’t check for motorcycles before merging, turning, or changing lanes may cause a collision. Drivers that don’t look for motorcycles may not anticipate the rider’s sudden moves resulting in a collision.
Drunk or Drugged Driving
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can cause motorcycle accidents for a variety of reasons. Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s ability to react quickly, make decisions, and coordinate movements, which can make it difficult to control a motorcycle. Alcohol also causes a person to have poor judgment and make poor decisions.
Faulty Mirrors, Brakes, or Lighting
Motorcycle accidents can also be the result of defective parts from the company that manufactures the bikes. A defective or faulty part can easily malfunction and affect performance, which can in turn cause the rider to lose control of the bike resulting in a devastating accident.
Unexpected Pedestrians on the Road
Pedestrians that wander into the road can also cause chaos for motorcycle riders. Even a seemingly small collision with a pedestrian is enough to throw a motorcycle off-balance. Unfortunately, jaywalking pedestrians usually come out of nowhere, which gives the rider little to no time to react.
Blind spots, unsafe lane changes, failure to yield, illegal left turns, sudden stops, speeding, failure to adjust driving patterns even in inclement weather, and failure to abide by traffic signals are just some of the numerous traffic rule violations that are known to cause motorcycle accidents in Indianapolis, IN.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Data from the Indiana University Public Policy Institute shows that Indiana experienced a decline in motorcycle collision-related injuries during the last five years leading up to 2019.
In 2019, 1818 motorcyclists suffered non-fatal injuries during collisions, which was an overall decrease of 6% from 2018. The number of passengers injured in crashes dropped by 12% from 2018 while the number of injured operators dropped by 5%.
Motorcycle collisions declined from 2,684 in 2018 to 2,579 in 2019. Fatal motorcycle collisions increased from 101 in 2018 to 113 in 2019, a 12% increase. Non-fatal motorcyclist injuries, on the other hand, dropped 7% annually between 2015 and 2019.
In 2019, 112 motorcyclists suffered fatalities in Indiana traffic collisions, which is the same number as the year before. The number of motorcyclists that have suffered fatalities in collisions has fluctuated from 2009 to 2019 from a low of 98 in 2016 to a high of 151 in 2012.
What Are Motorcycle-Specific Laws in Indiana?
To help keep the growing number of fatalities associated with motorcycle accidents in check, Indiana has in place several safety requirements for both motorcycles and motorcyclists. Here are the motorcycle-specific laws in Indiana.
- Riders under 18 years of age and those with instructional permits must wear helmets.
- Riders under 18 years of age are required to use eye protection.
- Handlebars may be no higher than 15 inches above the motorcycle’s seat.
- A speedometer, rearview mirror, and mechanical or electric turn signals are required.
- Proper passenger seats and footrests are required for any instance of carrying a passenger.
- No more than two motorcycles are allowed per lane.
- Motorcyclists are also entitled to full use of their lane. No vehicle is allowed to obstruct motorcycle access and use of the lane.
- Two motorcycles are allowed to share a lane, but a car and motorcycle aren’t allowed to share a lane.
The motorcycle-specific laws above are in place to ensure the safety of motorcyclists and other motorists that they share the road with. Staying aware of these laws will ensure your safety and empower you in case you are ever involved in a motorcycle accident.
If you would like to learn more about the motorcycle-specific laws in Indiana or have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call the experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Rowe & Hamilton to ensure that all your rights under the law, including the right to compensation, are protected.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Seen in Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents can cause a variety of injuries, from minor to life-threatening. Keep in mind that the higher the speed and force involved in the collision, the greater the injuries are likely to be. Here are the most common injuries seen in motorcycle accidents.
Vehicle passengers are afforded the protection of their vehicle, but motorcyclists have very little. Being thrown off a bike or involved in an accident can cause riders to suffer broken arms, hips, legs, ribs, ankles, hands, and pelvises.
Road rash refers to the deep cuts and abrasions that occur when the motorcyclist’s bare skin comes into contact with the road surface during a crash. It often requires prompt medical attention since it is highly susceptible to serious infections and permanent scarring.
Internal Injuries and Bleeding
In the absence of the protection offered by a vehicle, motorcyclists are at risk for internal injuries such as rupturing or bruising of internal organs. Such injuries require immediate medical attention to ensure that victims don’t bleed to death.
Spinal Cord Injuries
If the spinal cord is injured from the impact of a collision, it may result in paralysis (paraplegia or quadriplegia), which is a type of catastrophic injury that’s known to cause permanent disability for the victim.
Head and Brain Injuries
Motorcyclists are always advised to wear helmets, even though Indiana has no universal helmet laws. Helmets save lives, but motorcyclists always face the risk of head injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that can be either life-altering or life-threatening.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an Indianapolis motorcycle accident, you may have the right to compensation. At Rowe & Hamilton, our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you evaluate your claim, gather the necessary evidence, and help determine the most suitable course of action.
Call us today at 317-482-7888 to schedule a free consultation with one of our motorcycle accident lawyers.
How Is Fault Determined in an Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident?
Determining fault in an Indianapolis motorcycle accident can be tricky sometimes since it may not always be clear who and what caused the accident. Defense attorneys and insurance companies often try to put the blame on the victim.
The tactic is regularly used in settlement negotiations in an attempt to pressure the victim into accepting a low and unfair settlement offer. This is due to the comparative negligence system that’s followed in Indiana for motorcycle accident claims.
Indiana’s Comparative Negligence System
The comparative negligence system used in Indiana usually adds complexity to motorcycle accident claims and can limit the compensation the victim can claim. When determining fault in a motorcycle accident case, the court also analyzes whether the negligent actions of the victim also played a role in causing the accident.
In Indiana, motorcycle accident victims can only claim damages if they were 50% or less at fault. The relief claimed by the victim is usually reduced in proportion to the degree of fault attributed to them. Simply put, courts reduce any financial damages awarded by the percentage of fault that you bear.
For example, if your motorcycle was struck from behind by a driver, but you were making an illegal left-hand turn, the court may decide that the driver was 80% at fault and you were 20% at fault. If the total reward is $100,000, then the amount you would end up receiving would be $80,000 ( $100,000 reduced by 20%).
Our Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
The primary reason why insurance companies in Indiana always try to shift the blame onto the victim is the comparative negligence system. They attempt to evade liability to avoid paying compensation or offering a lower settlement amount.
That’s why it’s always important to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer to handle negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance provider.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers at Rowe & Hamilton are well-versed in Indiana’s motorcycle laws. Our Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyers will investigate the cause of the accident by gathering evidence, talking to eyewitnesses, and hiring accident reconstruction experts.
Furthermore, our Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyers regularly deal with insurance companies and know the tricks they use to avoid paying damages.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for My Motorcycle Accident?
The type of compensation you can receive for a motorcycle accident in Indiana varies depending on the extent of your injuries and the coverage that each driver carries. When pursuing compensation, you may consider recovering for the following damages.
Economic damages, also known as special damages, are the damages that financially compensate a victim for the out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Examples include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Past and future medical expenses
- Motorcycle repair or replacement costs.
Non-economic damages, also known as general damages, are the damages that compensate victims for the non-monetary losses related to the accident. They usually make up the largest part of a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Examples include:
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Emotional distress or mental anguish
- Lower quality of life.
Punitive damages are awarded to motorcycle accident victims as a form of punishment to the at-fault party due to their wrongful and reckless actions. Punitive damages are usually awarded when the at-fault party’s conduct is so outrageous that it warrants some form of condemnation, punishment, and deterrence.
Why Was My Motorcycle Accident Claim Denied?
The at-fault party’s insurance company may use many excuses to deny your claim. Here are some of the most common reasons provided for claim denial.
Lack of Coverage
The insurance company may deny your claim for reasons associated with the insurance policy, such as:
- The insurance policy had lapsed because of nonpayment of premiums or because the insurance company canceled it prior to the accident.
- The driver to blame for the accident was excluded from coverage under the policy.
Disputes About Liability
The insurance company may also claim that it was you who was negligent and it is therefore you at fault. If your claim is denied for this reason, you may be required to collect additional evidence such as an accident reconstruction expert’s report and witness statements, to prove that they are wrong.
Delayed Medical Care
If you failed to seek prompt medical care after the accident, the insurance adjuster argue the following to justify a claim denial:
- Your injuries were caused by another accident.
- You weren’t really hurt in the accident.
- Your injuries aren’t particularly serious, or you would have sought immediate medical care after the crash.
If your medical records show that you had a prior injury that’s similar to the current one, the insurance company may argue that they aren’t responsible for compensating you. However, this is never a legitimate reason for a claim denial.
If your motorcycle accident claim is denied for any of the reasons above, you can always count on our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Rowe & Hamilton to prove why the insurance company is wrong and why you are entitled to full compensation.
Call us today at 317-482-7888 to schedule a consultation with our Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyers.
Are There Time Limits to Filing a Claim in Indiana?
Yes. You have a limited amount of time to file your motorcycle accident claim, which is referred to as the statute of limitations. In Indiana, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of the accident. If you wait too long to file your personal injury claim, you may lose the right to pursue compensation.
Furthermore, some situations may have different statutes of limitations. For instance, if the motorcycle accident involved a government entity, you may be required to file your claim much sooner than 2 years after the crash.
To ensure that you aren’t permanently barred from ever filing your claim in Indiana, you should get help from our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Rowe & Hamilton to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Indianapolis? We Can Help You Recover Compensation!
A motorcycle accident can change your life dramatically and have a great impact on your family. If another party is at fault for the accident, you don’t need to bear the cost of a serious injury or a loved one’s death.
Working with an Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyer is the best way to protect your rights and build a strong claim for compensation. Our team at Rowe & Hamilton has over 58 years of experience and has helped clients recover millions in compensation.
For a free case review, please call our Indianapolis injury law firm at 317-482-7888 to speak with one of our motorcycle accident lawyers.