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Who will pay for the physical pain and emotional suffering I’ve endured because of motorcycle accident injuries?
The physical pain and emotional suffering that result from motorcycle accident injuries may be the most significant damages that you suffer. While the medical bills add up and the lost income presents a financial burden, it is the day-to-day physical and emotional pain that truly changes your quality of life, your enjoyment of life, and your ability to live your life.
However, if you fail to take action, then you will be the only one to pay for your pain and suffering. Instead of bearing this burden, motorcycle accident victims should know that their pain and suffering can be a significant part of their damage award if someone else caused their accident. While you can’t shift your physical pain or emotional suffering to someone else, you can receive financial compensation for these damages, and an experienced attorney can help you make sure that your recovery is fair.
Pain and Suffering
Every injury is unique. However, many motorcycle accident victims suffer from:
- Physical pain.
- Medication side effects.
- Muscle tension.
- Panic attacks.
- Hyper vigilance.
- Emotional numbness.
- A feeling of disconnection from the accident.
- Denial that the accident occurred.
- Withdrawal from family and friends.
- Lack of interest in favorite activities.
- Mood swings.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
Just a few of these symptoms can change your life and leave you unable to spend quality time with your family, work, or enjoy your leisure activities.
You Deserve Compensation for These Injuries
The value of these damages may be hotly contested during motorcycle accident settlement talks or in court. However, an experienced attorney can provide the right documentation and make convincing arguments to get you the recovery that you deserve. To learn more about how to protect your rights and your recovery, please contact us today via this website or by phone at 1-800-800-5678.
What’s included in “lost income” damages after a motorcycle accident?
Lost income includes lost wages, but it’s not limited to lost wages. Lost income may also include your past, present, and future:
- Income from clients or customers. If you are self-employed or own your own business, then you may not have wages, but you may still suffer from lost income.
- Partial lost income or wages. Perhaps, after the accident, you were able to return to your old job, but your injuries prevented you from working as many hours as you did before the motorcycle crash. Or perhaps you have found a new, less demanding job, but you’re paid less per hour. If your total weekly paycheck has shrunk because of your accident injuries, then you may be able to recover for the difference between what you used to earn and what you earn now.
- Lost benefits. The value of your lost insurance and other benefits are also a form of lost income that you may receive compensation for after a motorcycle crash.
All of these losses are important, they may cost you significant amounts of money, and they may be compensated in a motorcycle accident case if you have the right evidence and the right attorney advocating on your behalf.
Lost Income May Require More Documentation for a Complete Recovery
It may seem like you can submit evidence of your lost wages and easily recover for your lost income if a motorcycle accident has left you injured, but in order to fully recover for all of your lost income you may need to submit more evidence. Some of the evidence that may be important includes:
- Pay stubs and previous year personal tax returns.
- Proof of income from your business.
- Evidence of the amount you paid for health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance and other benefits before you were involved in the accident and now.
- Documentation of any other benefits you lost because of the accident.
- Medical documentation.
- Expert testimony about the future impact of your injuries on your ability to earn an income.
Lost income is just one aspect of what you may recover after a motorcycle accident. To learn more about what your full and fair motorcycle accident recovery, please download a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, and please start a live chat with us today.
How can I recover for the extra expenses I incurred as a result of my motorcycle accident?
You know that you can recover for your medical expenses, your lost income and even your physical pain and emotional suffering. And those may be your largest and most significant damages after a motorcycle crash, but what about your other bills? What about the out-of-pocket costs you’ve had to pay for things such as:
- Help cleaning the house.
- Insurance deductibles for things such as property damage to your bike.
These costs are adding up, and you wouldn’t have had to pay them but for the injuries that you sustained in the motorcycle accident.
And You Shouldn’t Have to Pay Them Now
However, in order to recover for your out-of-pocket financial losses you are going to have to prove two things.
First, you will need to prove the value of your losses. This may include saving receipts for expenses that were already incurred and hiring expert witnesses to help establish the value of any reasonable future out-of-pocket costs.
Second, you will need to prove that you incurred these expenses because of the injuries that you sustained in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else. Medical records, your doctors’ testimony, evidence about the impact of your injury on your daily living activities, and other evidence may be important in establishing this causal connection.
During the discovery phase of your claim, you should expect the defendant to ask you, under oath, whether you had cleaning help, childcare and whatever other out-of-pocket costs you are claiming prior to your accident. It is important to tell the truth.
And It’s Important to Let Your Attorney Help You Get the Full Recovery You Deserve
Your lawyer will be in the best position to help you if you are honest about your expenses, if you keep receipts of your costs, and if you hire an attorney to represent you before you start negotiating a settlement.
How are medical expenses calculated after a motorcycle accident?
“Medical expenses” is a broad term that may include more than you think if you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident.
In order to recover fair damages for all of the medical expenses that you have incurred—or that you will incur—as a result of your accident injuries you will need to understand everything that the term includes.
Additionally, you will benefit from having an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer explain your losses to the insurance company or to the court and advocate for your full recovery. Otherwise, you might not ask for and you may not receive the fair damages to which you are legally entitled.
What Medical Expenses Really Mean
Medical expenses include costs that you have already incurred, that you are currently accumulating, or that you may be billed for in the future. These expenses may include, but may not be limited to:
- Hospital stays
- Ambulance bills
- Doctors’ visits
- Assistive medical devices such as wheelchairs or crutches
- Rehabilitation therapies, such as physical therapy or occupational therapy
- In-home services
Of course, you will need to prove that each and every expense was made necessary by the injury that you sustained in the motorcycle wreck and that it is reasonable.
Protect Your Recovery of Medical Expenses
You should anticipate that the insurance company or defendant is going to dispute your calculation of medical expenses and try to pay you only a fraction of the costs you incur.
Accordingly, it is important to have accurate documentation of your costs, to have a reputable doctor who can provide a medical opinion as to your future medical needs, and to have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney fighting for your just recovery of medical expenses and other motorcycle accident-related damages. To learn more, please download a free copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims and please contact us today via this website.
What kind of expert witnesses will be helpful in my motorcycle accident case?
Not every motorcycle accident case requires the testimony and opinions of expert witnesses. The typical motorcycle injury victim finds it difficult to know whether his claim could benefit from expert witnesses, what type of experts he might need, and how to find these experts.
That is where your motorcycle accident lawyer can be helpful. Our lawyers are experienced attorneys who have successfully tried and settled many motorcycle injury cases, and, just as importantly, we are riders ourselves. We know what questions to ask, what evidence to gather, and how to advocate for our clients.
Experts to Consider
An expert witness is one who has special knowledge, proficiency, or experience to be considered an authority on a certain subject. After a motorcycle accident, your attorney may discuss the following types of expert witnesses with you:
- Accident reconstructionists. These experts in their field can help attorneys, insurance adjusters, juries and judges understand how your accident likely happened and who was at fault for causing the crash.
- Economists. Economists can help put a value on your future damages, lost wages, and diminished earning potential.
- Doctors. Doctors can talk about your injury prognosis. They can explain what your ongoing medical needs may be and how your injuries may impact your daily living activities and ability to work in the future.
Other experts may also be suggested based on the unique circumstances of your case. As with every legal decision, your lawyer will discuss the pros and cons of hiring an expert with you and help you get the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Talk to an Experienced Bike Injury Lawyer About Your Options
Motorcycle accident lawyers know how to find the expert witnesses whom you may need to prove your case or to establish the value of your injuries. If you have been seriously hurt in a complicated motorcycle accident case, then you should not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer who can help you make the decisions that are right for you.
Can I still recover damages in a Wisconsin lawsuit if I was partially to blame for my motorcycle accident?
Yes, you may be able to recover damages if you injured in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident and you were partially to blame for the crash. This legal concept is known as comparative negligence.
In order to understand comparative negligence, the term “negligence” itself should be defined. In simplified terms, a negligent person is one who has failed to exercise reasonable and proper care for the results of his or her behavior. As a result of this negligence, a motorcycle accident may occur and a motorcyclist may be injured.
The person who negligently causes an accident is said to be “liable,” or legally responsible, for the costs and injuries that follow from the negligent behavior. Much of our civil justice system is devoted to determining exactly who is responsible for various incidents. Depending on the nature of the case, a judge or jury may be asked to make that determination.
But What If More Than One Person Is Negligent?
Things get a little more complicated when more than one person made errors that caused the accident to happen. When more than one person is found to be negligent, each one may find himself liable to pay a portion of the damages. The exact percentage will be guided by state laws and the determination of the judge or jury.
In some states, if you are even slightly at fault in an accident, you cannot recover anything at all—a principle called pure contributory negligence. Because that rule often leads to harsh results, most states now follow a comparative negligence rule, under which the jury or judge determines how much fault to assign each person responsible for the accident.
Wisconsin follows a system called the “modified comparative negligence, 51 percent rule.” That means that a person may potentially recover damages as long as his share of the fault for the accident was 50 percent or less. The amount of his recovery would be reduced by the extent of his own fault. For example, if jury determined that the victim of a Wisconsin motorcycle accident suffered $10,000 worth of harm, but that she was 40 percent responsible for the collision, she could only collect $6,000 in damages—60 percent of the whole value claim. However, if the rider had been 51% responsible for the crash, then she would not be able to recover any damages.
Comparative negligence can be a hotly contested issue after a motorcycle crash. Do not accept the word of the insurance adjuster when it comes to who caused the crash and how damages should be distributed. Instead, contact an experienced motorcycle accident who is also a rider and who is committed to getting you the fair recovery that you deserve in a motorcycle accident case.
Am I allowed to file a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident?
The legal authority to bring a lawsuit is known as standing to sue. Generally, if you are a mentally competent adult who was injured in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident, then you have standing to sue. You have the legal right to file a complaint in court to begin a lawsuit seeking damages for the injuries sustained in the crash.
You May Also Have Standing to Sue in Other Situations
Someone you love may be hurt or killed in a motorcycle crash and may be unable to begin his own lawsuit. Accordingly, Wisconsin law also allows the following people to bring a personal injury lawsuit after a motorcycle crash:
- The parent or guardian of a minor. People under the age of 18 typically do not have the legal authority to bring a personal injury lawsuit in a Wisconsin court without their parent or legal guardian. While the statute of limitations—or the time to file a lawsuit—is extended for minors and would allow a minor to bring a case after his 18th birthday, it is important for you to consider bringing a case on your child’s behalf soon after the crash. Evidence may be more readily available and your child’s legal recovery will come sooner if you file the case now.
- The guardian of a mentally incompetent adult. As the guardian of an adult, you may have the right—and responsibility—of bringing a personal injury claim if that adult was hurt in a motorcycle crash.
- The personal representative of the estate for a person who died in the motorcycle accident. Obviously, the person who died in the motorcycle crash can’t bring his own lawsuit to recover damages for the life-ending injuries that he suffered in the crash. However, the personal representative of his estate can step in and bring a wrongful death lawsuit for all of the injuries and losses associated with the crash.
If you try to file a motorcycle accident case in court and you lack the authority to do so, then the defense will raise that argument and seek to have your claim dismissed. Accordingly, it is important to make sure that you have the legal right to bring a claim and to pursue damages if someone else has caused an accident that has left, or in some cases a loved one, injured.
How long do I have to file a Wisconsin motorcycle accident case?
If you wait too long to file a motorcycle accident case after you are injured on a Wisconsin road, then you may not be able to recover damages. In other words, you are unlikely to ever recover any money for the injuries that you sustained in the accident. That is why it is very important that you contact a motorcycle accident lawyer soon after your crash and that you don’t wait too long to file your claim.
How Long Is Too Long?
Generally, you have three years to file a personal injury case, such as a motorcycle accident case, in Wisconsin. This is known as the statute of limitations.
There are exceptions to the statute of limitations, however. For example the time you have to file a case may be different if:
- Your accident involves a municipal entity such as a county or city. In this circumstance you must act quickly. You are required give notification of your injury in writing within 120 days of your accident. There are other rules specific to Wisconsin personal injury claims against municipalities, so talk to a Wisconsin motorcycle attorney immediately if you think that road conditions or a government vehicle may have contributed to your accident.
- You were a minor at the time of the crash. Minors have two years from the time they reach the age of majority to file a lawsuit. However, the statute of limitations may not be extended for more than five years.
It is important not only to know how long you have, but to take prompt action to protect your rights.
What Happens If You File Your Case Too Late?
If you file your lawsuit in a Wisconsin court after the statute of limitations expires, then you should expect that the defendant will quickly file a motion to have your case dismissed, and that the court will grant that motion. This will leave you without any legal right to recover damages for your injuries and it will leave the defendant without any incentive to compensate you for your injuries.
Don’t Let Time Prevent Your Fair Recovery
While the law may provide you with a certain amount of time to file your claim, you should not wait until that time is almost up to protect your rights. Instead, it is important to act now to:
- Preserve evidence. Your case will depend on evidence such as police reports, hospital records, documentation of your injuries, photographs of the scene, witness reports, and even the damage to your car. If you wait too long, some of this evidence may not be around. Your car will be repaired, your injuries healed, and the witnesses will forget what they saw.
- Ensure that you are not going to miss any deadlines. Once you miss the deadline for filing a claim, then you may be unable to fix the mistake and make a fair recovery.
- Get the money that you deserve sooner. The sooner you file a claim, the sooner your case may be resolved and the sooner you may be able to recover the damages that you deserve.
To learn more about what you can do to protect your rights after a bike crash, please read our FREE book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, and please contact us directly via this website to schedule a free consultation.
What evidence should I collect at the scene of a motorcycle accident? What other evidence will I need after the crash?
As a motorcycle accident victim, you can and you should file a claim to recover damages for any injuries that you suffered in the crash. In order to recover fair damages for your injuries, however, you will need to obtain evidence to support your claim.
Gathering Evidence Begins at the Motorcycle Accident Scene
After being involved in an accident, it is important to gather certain evidence if you are physically able to do so. This evidence includes photographs that you can take with your cell phone.
Some pictures you might want to capture include:
- The damage to your motorcycle. Get pictures from a variety of angles.
- Any other vehicles involved in the crash. If possible, get the photographs before the vehicles have been moved. Get pictures from each side and try to get a picture of the license plates.
- The entire accident scene. Move away from the vehicles and try to get a picture of the entire accident scene, including the position of all vehicles. Then take close-up shots of skid marks, traffic signs, road conditions, or anything else that could be relevant to your accident.
- Your own injuries and any damage to your helmet, clothing, or safety gear.
Or course additional evidence may also be helpful in proving your claim and that evidence may not be available at the accident scene.
A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You Get the Additional Evidence You Need
That evidence may include:
- Medical records. Medical records can explain your injuries, the cost of your treatment, and your expected prognosis.
- Expert testimony. Expert testimony may be needed to explain the cause of your crash, the injuries you suffered, or the damages you’ve incurred.
If you are ready to talk to an attorney about your claim and about protecting your rights, then please call us today at 1-800-800-5678 to schedule a free consultation.
What is aggressive driving? Why are motorcyclists hurt in aggressive driving crashes?
Some causes of motorcycle accidents, such as drunk driving and speeding, have clear legal definitions. In most cases, a driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher is drunk, and in most cases a driver who exceeds the posted speed limit is speeding.
While there is no similar standard for aggressive driving, aggressive driving is often the cause of serious crashes, it can be defined, and riders who are hurt by aggressive drivers can recover damages for their injuries.
Aggressive Driving Defined
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” This may include things such as:
- Following another vehicle too closely—also known as tailgating.
- Disregarding traffic laws, traffic signs, or traffic lights.
- Weaving in and out of traffic.
An aggressive driver may perform one or more of these offenses and may put all motorists—including motorcyclists—at risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries in a crash. Motorcyclists may be in significant danger because aggressive drivers may not take the time to look for smaller vehicles such as bikes, or may fail to correctly judge how far away a motorcyclist is before changing lanes or proceeding through an intersection. Additionally, the results of an aggressive driving accident can be significant for a rider whose motorcycle lacks the safety feature of other vehicles and who may be violently thrown from his bike during a collision.
Protect Your Recovery If You’ve Been Hurt by an Aggressive Driver
If you’ve been hurt or your loved one has been killed by an aggressive driver, then you are going to have to prove what caused your motorcycle accident before you can recover damages. Proof may include evidence from the accident scene or evidence recovered during the discovery phase of a personal injury case. Do not settle your claim with an insurance company before you know the full extent of your injuries. To learn more about your rights, please download a free copy of our report, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, today.