Gulfport Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating, affecting one’s quality of life and adding unneeded amounts of stress. For example, if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident and you break your leg, you can expect to pay nearly $10,000 in medical costs. If you experience an injury that requires a hospital stay, you can expect to pay $30,000 on average for a three night stay.
High medical bills and life-changing injuries can cause enormous stress and have a large impact on one’s mental health, leaving many patients with PTSD after their accidents. So, what are you supposed to do after you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, and how can an attorney help you with your motorcycle accident claim?
Why hire a motorcycle accident attorney?
There are many reasons why you should consider hiring a motorcycle accident attorney. For one, you’ll be able to focus fully on your health, relaxing, and recovering while you let your attorney worry about your case.
Our attorneys have experience working with many different insurance companies, and they know that we play hard to get our clients the compensation that they deserve. When they see that we’re representing you, they’ll know that we won’t give up until we get a good settlement offer.
If you choose to represent yourself, they’ll lowball you, knowing that you’re much more likely to settle low than a motorcycle accident attorney would. The same is true of settlement mills. If you choose to go with a settlement mill (a type of law firm that settles quickly and for little money), the insurance company will offer small, low settlements because they know they won’t get much negotiation.
On top of that, most insurance companies will try to argue that because motorcycles are more dangerous than cars, that you’re at least partially at fault for your injuries just by owning and operating one.
Plus, juries tend not to be as knowledgeable about motorcycles as they are about cars, so you’ll need a good attorney to educate them, as well as to argue against insurance companies’ motorcycle bias.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
After you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, there are a few crucial steps you need to take to ensure that your motorcycle case is as strong as possible.
- Make sure that no one needs emergency medical attention, including yourself. Only stay at the scene of the accident if you do not require emergency medical attention.
- Contact the police to file a police report. Other parties may try to talk you out of this, but do not listen to them. A police report can provide solid evidence to your side of the case.
- Exchange information with the at-fault party, but make sure you do not discuss fault in any way. Don’t apologize.
- Take pictures and document whatever you can. Take pictures of the scene, your motorcycle, the at-fault party’s vehicle, and your injuries. Make a note of any businesses nearby or any security cameras you see.
- Talk to witnesses and get their contact information. Encourage them to stick around and speak to the police.
- Seek medical attention immediately after leaving the scene.
- Contact an attorney. It’s important that you speak with an attorney before filing a claim with your insurance company. An attorney can speak with insurance companies on your behalf, ensuring that you don’t accidentally damage your case by signing anything or taking a low settlement offer.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Drivers
There are many different causes of motorcycle accidents. Most of the time, they’re caused by another driver’s negligence. Although occasionally, outside issues like motorcycle defects or defective products can cause an accident.
We often assume that distracted driving is just the use of a cell phone while driving, but there are many more things that can distract a driver, including:
- Talking on the phone
- Applying makeup
- Checking email
- Looking for entertainment
- Finding a playlist or song
- Talking to someone in the backseat
- Looking for something on the ground
- Scolding a child
Anything that takes the eyes, mind, or ears off the road can be considered a distraction and can cause an accident to occur.
Not Watching Closely Enough for Motorcycles
There are many good drivers on the road who always check to make sure that their blindspots are totally clear before merging, but there are some who don’t. If a driver doesn’t check to make sure a motorcyclist isn’t coming before merging, changing lanes, or opening their door on a busy street, they could cause an accident.
Speeding is incredibly dangerous as it decreases the time available to make a reaction when something changes. For example, if someone changes lanes or slams on their brakes, drivers who are speeding may not have enough time to stop before causing an accident.
On busy roads, drivers should always check to make sure a motorcyclist isn’t coming before opening their door. If they open their door, a motorcyclist may not have enough time to correct their path before crashing into the door.
Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs can impair one’s judgment, vision, hearing, and ability to react to changes in traffic.
Sudden Stops and Lane Changes
If a vehicle stops or changes lanes with no warning, an accident could occur. An accident may also occur in the case that a motorcyclist stops suddenly, causing a vehicle to rear-end them if the vehicle wasn’t following at a safe enough distance.
If a part is defective, an accident could occur. In the case that an accident occurs because of a defective part, the manufacturer of the part may be liable for any damages the accident caused.
Common Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident injuries are often catastrophic because of the lack of protection they have. Even minor injuries may cause long-term side effects such as chronic pain.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries can still occur amongst motorcyclists who wear their helmets, but they’re more severe in those who don’t. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur when the head is struck or penetrated with a great force. They can cause a vegetative state, brain death, and fatality.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are common in motorcycle accidents, especially in side-strike accidents. When the spinal cord or surrounding tissue is damaged, a spinal cord injury may occur. Severe spinal cord injuries may result in paralysis.
Neck and Back Injuries
Neck and back injuries include:
- Herniated discs
- Vertebrae fracture
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal stenosis
The neck and back are fragile and may be damaged in the case of a rear-end accident, side-strike accident, or head-on collision.
Internal injuries are incredibly dangerous, as they may not present themselves right away. This is why it’s important to seek immediate medical attention after your accident, as your injuries may worsen if you wait.
Broken bones can easily be set into a cast to heal when they’re minor. More serious breaks may require surgery to properly set the bone before putting it into a cast to make sure it heals correctly.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are generally minor and are caused by damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Soft tissue injuries include:
Motorcycle Accidents Usually Have More Severe Consequences than Car Accidents
In 2018, 4,985 motorcyclists died in motorcycle crashes. In the same year, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to be killed in crashes when compared to passenger vehicle occupants. Because motorcyclists don’t have the same protection that passenger vehicle occupants do, they’re much more susceptible to catastrophic injuries that can cause fatality.
Damages from a Gulfport Motorcycle Accident
If you’re injured in a motorcycle accident, you can claim both economic and non-economic damages in order to receive compensation.
Economic damages include:
- Medical bills, such as doctor’s visits, specialist visits, ambulance rides, physical therapy, and surgery
- Past and future lost wages
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of consortium in the case of a wrongful death accident
Hire an Experienced Gulfport Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact our talented team of attorneys here at Jones Law Group. Our years of experience working on motorcycle accident claims will be vital when it comes to getting you the compensation that you deserve.
For more information and a free case evaluation, contact us online or by chat. Or you can call us at 727-571-1333 during business hours and at 727-753-8657 after hours.