Have Questions About Motorcycle Accident Law? We’ve Got Answers!

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The personal injury trial attorneys at Hupy and Abraham will be fierce advocates in your time of need. With offices across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, and representing clients hurt by all types of motorcycle crashes, we are available where you need us and when you need us.

Contact our professional team of Midwest injury attorneys by calling 800-800-5678 today for your free consultation.

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  • I was injured in a motorcycle accident near Appleton. It wasn’t my fault. I hired a lawyer and we filed a lawsuit against the truck driver who turned in front of me, but I don’t like some of the decisions my lawyer has made about my case. Can I fire my lawyer?

    Yes, you can fire your lawyer. However, you might decide that firing your lawyer isn’t the smartest idea, after you read this whole article.


    Who’s the boss?

    The fact is, you are the employer here. Your lawyer is your employee. You hired him, and if you find his performance unsatisfactory, then you can fire him.


    But your power as “boss” goes beyond this. Your case is your case. Your lawyer cannot commit to anything without your approval. Your lawyer can’t accept a settlement with the insurance company unless you give your okay—and he can’t stop you if you want to accept that settlement, either.


    You say you don’t like all the decisions your lawyer has made, but he cannot put any decisions into place unless you give the go-ahead. So are you complaining that you didn’t stand up to your lawyer? You can’t fairly blame your attorney for that.


    Are you getting the best legal advice?

    Perhaps you don’t like the advice you’re getting from your lawyer. If it’s a matter of not understanding why he is recommending some course of action, you have the right to ask he explain his reasoning. Don’t let him confuse you with legal jargon. Tell him to teach you to understand why he wants things done in a particular way. Part of his job is to persuade you to accept his advice, and that means you may need some fine points of law explained in detail. A good personal injury lawyer should have no problem with that.


    On the other hand, your attorney is —we hope—approaching your case with an extensive background in Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawsuits. He may be giving the best advice possible in light of the specific details of your case. It may not be fair to blame your attorney if your particular case is only likely to have a modest recovery, or if other barriers exist to your getting what you think you deserve.


    Can you afford to fire your lawyer?

    Most Wisconsin personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis: they do not charge you for their legal services at the start, but instead take a portion of your eventual settlement or damage award. The precise amount your lawyer gets will be spelled out in the representation agreement or contract you signed after he decided to take on your case; it’s generally 30 to 40 percent of the total.


    If you fire your lawyer after he has performed work on your case, he is still entitled to be paid for the work he’s done. In some cases—again, this depends on your representation agreement—he may be able to bill you at his usual hourly rate for the time he spent on your case. This would be presented as a lien, or claim on your eventual settlement.


    Otherwise, your attorney may be able to hold to the original contingency claim, and take his portion—one-third, or 35 percent, or forty percent, or whatever you originally agreed to—from your final settlement.


    That’s why it might not be in your best financial interest to fire your lawyer. If your first lawyer claims 35 percent of your settlement, and the lawyer you hired second claims 40 percent, then you only get a quarter of the settlement amount. That may not leave you with enough to cover your medical expenses and lost wages after a serious Wisconsin motorcycle collision.


    Of course, it’s your decision. Only you can decide if getting rid of a lawyer you don’t trust or respect is worth the financial penalty you will face down the road.


    The Best Approach: Hire the Right Lawyer in the First Place

    At Hupy and Abraham, we’ve been fired by clients before. There have also been occasions when clients, dissatisfied with their original lawyers, have asked us to represent them. It happens in every law practice. We don’t encourage anyone to leave their current lawyers, but we recognize that sometimes personalities clash.


    Our Appleton motorcycle crash lawyers think that the best way to guarantee a potential client can be happy with our services is to make sure he understands our law firm from the outset. That’s why we will give potential clients a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, whenever they request it when calling for a free consultation about their case.


    You can contact us at 920-882-8382 (local) or (800) 800-5678 (toll-free) today to learn how we can help you with your Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawsuit. Getting to know your attorney’s views and values is the essential first step to finding representation you can be comfortable with.

  • I’m still unsure if I’m ready to learn to ride a motorcycle. How can I tell if I’m the right sort of person to be a rider?

    Riding a motorcycle in Illinois is fun, but it requires certain skills that not all people possess. Even the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) believes that motorcycling is not for everybody.

    In a related post, we included five questions that the MSF proposes to help you determine if motorcycle riding is right for you. Here are five more.

    • Are you safety minded? If you are accident prone, or if you think it’s okay to operate a motor vehicle after drinking alcohol, you are more likely to end up in a Gurnee motorcycle crash.
    • Do you take care of equipment you use that has some risk associated with it? You will have to maintain your motorcycle, wear proper gear when riding, and take necessary safety precautions.
    • Can you focus? To ride a motorcycle safely means to be keenly aware of what is going on 360 degrees around you.
    • Can you respond quickly and appropriately in an emergency? You must have the skills to react when crisis situations arise.
    • Are you willing to spend time learning how to handle a motorcycle properly and safely? Obviously, learning the right way to ride is important.

    If you are injured in a motorcycle wreck in Gurnee caused by a less-than-skillful driver, get a highly skillful Gurnee bike crash attorney. Contact Hupy and Abraham toll free at 800-800-5678 or locally at 414-223-4800. Use our online contact form for a FREE, no-obligation consultation. You can also request our FREE book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.

  • Why should I get help to deal with my shock after a Wisconsin motorcycle wreck?

    If you have suffered psychological shock related to a Wisconsin motorcycyle crash, or know someone who is struggling with the mental aftereffects of a traumatic Madison bike wreck, you should seek help immediately. The following information may be helpful for those considering seeking professional help to combat after sustaining motorcycle accident shock:

    • There are two main causes of psychological shock, both of which could be experienced due to a Wisconsin motorcycle accident. One cause of shock is hearing emotional news such as the death of a friend or family member. The other cause of shock is being involved in a traumatic event such as a motorcycle accident.
    • Psychological shock can consume your life if left untreated, and you may begin to fixate or obsess about the event, making it difficult to maintain daily relationships and duties. 
    • It is possible to have a delayed presentation of shock, or “delayed shock.” These symptoms may come to light anywhere between hours or even sometimes years following the traumatic event.
    • If the symptoms of shock are left untreated and allowed to continue and the shock victim finds it difficult to return to normal life, there is a risk that they may have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is more difficult to treat, and can make a variety of daily activities seem difficult or impossible.

    If you or someone you know is trying to cope with shock after a Wisconsin bike collision, contact the Madison bike wreck lawyers Hupy and Abraham toll-free at 800-800-5678 or locally at 608-277-7777to order your FREE copy of The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims. Call today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with our team. We want to help get you the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

  • Why do I need a lawyer to help in my broken clavicle case after a Wisconsin motorcycle accident?

    If you have been in a Madison motorcycle crash, then you’re very likely dealing with a great many issues already. Figuring out how to receive financial compensation for a broken collarbone should not be among your worries. The following are reasons to consider hiring a dedicated and experienced motorcycle crash lawyer:

    • A specialist lawyer like the Madison bike wreck lawyers at Hupy and Abraham have plenty of experience dealing with injuries caused by a Wisconsin motorcycle wreck. Hiring a lawyer with specific knowledge of motorcycle insurance and personal injury following a bike crash could mean the difference between winning or losing money from your case.
    • Hupy and Abraham have been working specifically to represent Wisconsin residents who have been in a motorcycle accident, which means that their knowledge of state laws and insurance intricacies are a tremendous asset to your case.
    • An experienced lawyer will be better able to negotiate fair compensation for your injuries and all the pain and suffering that results. It is in the insurance company’s best interest to under-compensate the injured, and lower settlements are automatically offered to those without legal representation.
    • It is also helpful to have a Wisconsin bike accident attorney on your side in the courtroom in the case of a disputed claim. A competant motorcycle wreck attorney like those at Hupy and Abraham will make sure you receive fair representation.

    If you or someone you know is seeking legal representation after breaking a collarbone in a Wisconsin bike crash, contact the Madison bike wreck lawyers Hupy and Abraham toll-free at 800-800-5678 or locally at 608-277-7777to order your FREE copy of The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims. Call today to schedule a confidential, free consultation with our team. We want to set you on the road to financial as well as medical recovery.

  • I think I want to learn how to ride a motorcycle, but I’m not sure I can do it. What can I do to be sure?

    This question requires a complex answer, so we’ll talk about various factors that you should consider when determining whether motorcycle riding in Gurnee is for you. We’ll cover some in this issue and some in a later one.

    These questions are adapted from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s website.

    • Do you take more risks than other people you know? If so, maybe you shouldn’t ride a motorcycle. If you tailgate, change lanes or turn without signaling, or lose your temper with other drivers, don’t ride a motorcycle. Gurnee motorcycle crashes happen more to risk-takers than to cautious riders.
    • Can you ride a bicycle? If you can balance on and maneuver a bike easily, you should be able to master the art of motorcycle riding.
    • Can you drive a car with a stick shift? If so, you may learn how to shift gears on a motorcycle more easily. If you have trouble shifting gears on a car, but you still want to ride a bike, try a motor scooter first; they usually have automatic transmissions.
    • Do you have good vision? Seeing well ahead of you is imperative for safe motorcycle riding.
    • Are you mechanically inclined? You don’t need advanced skills, but you should be able to use a wrench and a tire pressure gauge. You should be able to make an occasional adjustment when necessary.

    If you or any other rider you know gets into a motorcycle accident in Gurnee and needs a Gurnee motorcycle wreck attorney, contact Hupy and Abraham toll free at 800-800-5678 or locally at 414-223-4800. Use our online contact form for a FREE, no-obligation consultation. You can also request our FREE book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.

  • How is a Wisconsin motorcycle accident different from a car crash?

    Although motorcyclists must follow the same rules of the road as drivers of cars, insurance companies and juries view these accidents quite differently. If your Wisconsin motorcycle lawyer does not understand these differences, you may lose your Wisconsin motorcycle accident case.

    • People who are not motorcyclists must be taught how motorcycles work. This lack of knowledge can work against the motorcyclist, even if he is not at fault. If a juror is unfamiliar with the basics of motorcycle riding, he may not realize that a motorcyclist must maintain his speed in order to keep bike stable. Because he doesn’t know that motorcyclists cannot make sudden stops, he may think the motorcyclist was traveling at excessive speed.
    • Many non-motorcyclists unfairly perceive all motorcyclists as reckless daredevils. This stereotype is propagated by the media and by riders who weave in and out of traffic. An experienced Wisconsin motorcycle lawyer will educate the jury about safe riding practices and show evidence that his client did whatever possible to avoid injury.
    • Jurors may be unfamiliar with the severity of Wisconsin motorcycle accident injuries. A juror who is not a motorcyclist may associate road rash with the scraped skin one can get after a bicycle accident. He may not realize the motorcycle road rash is an extremely painful injury that can require surgical treatment. Other common Wisconsin motorcycle accident injuries are severe fractures, amputations and brain injuries. The motorcycle accident attorney must inform the jury about the severity of the injuries.

    Insurance companies understand these biases and, if allowed, will take advantage of them. 

    Learn more about what to do after a Wisconsin motorcycle crash in our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims. Click on the link at the side of the page to request your free copy. To discuss your claim with an experienced Wisconsin motorcycle accident injury lawyer, schedule a free consultation with Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.

  • I ride a motorcycle, sometimes across state lines. Do I have to obey other states’ helmet laws? I don’t think a state should have the legal power to force me to wear a helmet.

    Surprise! This turns out to be a lesson in constitutional law.

    Article IV, Section One of the U.S. Constitution contains something called the “Full Faith and Credit Clause.” It reads, “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.” The Framers—the people who wrote the Constitution—wanted to balance the unity of the whole nation with the sovereignty of each of the states. The Full Faith and Credit Clause does exactly that. It’s the federal government telling each state, “Look, you get to set the rules within your borders, but you have to respect the rules set by every other state government, too.”

    Because of the Full Faith and Credit Clause, your Wisconsin driver’s license and Class M endorsement allow you to ride your motorcycle in all other states. By the same principle, though, you have to obey the specific traffic laws which prevail in the state you’re in. Wisconsin doesn’t require a motorcyclist over age 17 to wear a helmet. If you’re riding through Missouri, though, you must conform to state law that requires helmets for all riders.

    State legislators pass laws that they believe will promote the public good for their citizens. There has been a longstanding controversy over mandatory helmet laws throughout the United States, with some people saying that individual freedom should be given more weight, and other people believing that the state sometimes has to force people to take protective measures they would resist on their own. Each state has come to a different answer on how to balance those conflicting values, and that range of opinions shows how difficult a question this is.

    The “eat your lima beans” principle

    If you’re an adult, Wisconsin law gives you the choice of wearing a helmet or not. Choose to wear a helmet.

    It’s the responsible decision to make. If you are involved in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident, your chance of dying is less if you have chosen to wear a helmet. You are less likely to sustain serious injuries if you have chosen to wear your helmet. If you choose to wear a helmet, then you have the credibility to insist that your passenger wear her helmet, too, and that helmet may save her life in a traffic accident near Green Bay.

    You can call this the “eat your lima beans” principle. Not many people enjoy lima beans, but they can be good for you. Part of being a responsible adult is occasionally doing things that are good for you, even if you don’t enjoy doing them. Choosing to wear a safe, approved helmet is one of those things.

    Weigh the arguments in favor of wearing a helmet against the arguments opposed to a helmet. All the advice of road safety experts says that helmets are the right decision to make. The arguments against helmets boil down to the petulant complaints of an 8-year-old: “It’s not comfortable. It doesn’t look cool. My friends might make fun of me. I don’t want to. You can’t make me.” Look, now that you’re a grown-up, it’s time to stop listening to your little-kid instincts and do the responsible thing: choose to wear the helmet.

    And one more reason to wear a helmet

    Suppose you choose not to wear a helmet. Suppose you get injured in a serious Wisconsin motorcycle accident, and you are trying to get reimbursement for your medical bills and lost income from the insurance company. It’s entirely possible that the motorcycle accident insurance adjuster will put a lower dollar value on your injuries because you didn’t wear a helmet. “You clearly showed that you don’t care about possible injuries,” he might say, “so why should we take you seriously now that you want money for your pain and suffering?”

    The Appleton bike crash attorneys of Hupy and Abraham have heard of insurance adjusters pulling tricks like this. We don’t let our clients get bowled over by aggressive claims agents. We still think you should be wearing your helmet, but we can work with all clients who have been injured in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident by someone else’s negligence. Give us a call today at 920-882-8382 (local) or (800) 800-5678 (toll-free). We can set up a confidential and free meeting about your case, and we’ll also send you a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.

  • I was recently in a motorcycle accident between Green Bay and Appleton. I got a wrecked bike and a bit of road burn, but otherwise I’m okay. Am I right that most Wisconsin motorcycle accidents are no big deal?

    You were lucky—very, very lucky. Any Wisconsin personal injury lawyer will tell you that most motorcycle crashes are extremely serious events.

    Every year, about 80,000 to 90,000 people in the United States are injured while riding motorcycles. Between 4,000 to 5,000 of those people die. Some analysts say that over 80 percent of the accidents that cause any injury will include death or a serious injury that requires medical treatment. Of those serious injuries, head trauma and spinal cord injuries are the second-most common, just behind leg and foot injuries.

    The fact that your bike got wrecked in your Green Bay motorcycle crash should have been a major clue about how risky accidents can be. Your bike was built of steel—that’s a lot more durable than your flesh. If your accident had happened just a tiny bit differently, it would have been your mangled body left on the road.

    Why are motorcycle injuries so often serious?

    When we compare injury rates between types of motor vehicle accidents, we find that the motorcycle rider is far more likely than a car driver to be injured seriously or die in a crash. That’s not a random result.
    • An automobile provides its driver and passengers with a protective barrier; bikes are exposed.
    • Cars have seat belts and airbags that are impractical safety devices for motorcyclists.
    • In a sudden stop, the motorcyclist is almost certain to be thrown from his or her vehicle, leading to serious injuries from striking objects and the ground. It is far rarer for a stop to eject a driver or passengers from a car.

    Motorcyclists have access to one safety measure that car drivers don’t—a protective helmet. It’s appalling how often riders refuse to take advantage of that crucial accessory. Information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System finds that more than half of all fatal motorcycle injuries were to riders and passengers who were not wearing helmets. riders who don’t wear helmets also are much more likely to suffer serious nonfatal injuries, too. The Centers for Disease Control concluded that, if every rider had voluntarily worn a helmet, the total number of fatal motorcycle injuries would drop by about 800 a year.

    After the crash

    Recovering physically from a serious Wisconsin motorcycle accident can be a long and painful process. Then there is the additional stress of dealing with financial issues. A victim will often be unable to work. He will be trying to deal with insurance companies to get help for medical bills and replacement or repair for his bike. No one should have to cope with these additional burdens while trying to recover from serious injuries.

    An experienced Appleton motorcycle wreck attorney from the Hupy and Abraham law firm can make a huge difference. If you have suffered a loss from a Wisconsin motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, we may be able to help you get full compensation for your medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Please contact us at 920-882-8382 (local) or (800) 800-5678 (toll-free) to arrange a free consultation about your case. Just for calling, we will send you a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, which will be yours to keep even if you do not hire us as your legal team.

  • How do you determine who’s at fault in a serious Wisconsin motorcycle accident?

    That’s why we went to law school.

    Determining who is responsible for causing a traffic accident is far from simple, yet it is the crucial part of any attempt to recover compensation for our clients. A traffic crash near Appleton or Green Bay can involve a dozen or more people who are potentially at fault; proving where the blame lies is one of the hardest parts of a Wisconsin personal injury case.

    There is a certain level of bias against motorcyclists in our society—so much so that a common reaction to any serious Wisconsin motorcycle accident is to blame the rider. That’s not only unfair, it’s also wrong in the majority of accidents involving two or more vehicles. We know from experience that police reports and witness statements can be in error. A good lawyer looks beyond those initial levels of evidence in order to find the truth.

    At Hupy and Abraham, our Appleton bike crash lawyers are experienced in investigating issues of responsibility, liability, and negligence. You can learn more about our approach by ordering a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.

    Responsibility: why is it so important?

    A successful lawsuit begins with tracing the chain of cause and effect backwards to see whose actions (or inactions) made the accident happen. If that person acted in a way that a reasonable person could see would have a significant risk of harming others, then that person is said to have been negligent. A negligent person can be sued to recover the costs of all injuries, losses, and harms that proceed from his or her flawed decision; he is said to be liable for both economic and non-economic damages.

    Every motor vehicle accident in Wisconsin is unique, with a different set of people who could potentially be liable for damages. A typical list might include, among others:
    • the drivers 
    • the manufacturer of your motorcycle, its tires, or other parts 
    • the people who repair or maintain the vehicles
    • the business which owns a commercial vehicle involved in the accident
    • the workers or government agency responsible for road upkeep or road signs
    • the tavern owner who served alcohol to a drunk driver.

    As you can see, determining who is really responsible for causing a traffic accident can be a bewildering puzzle involving many people. Proving fault can require in-depth investigation and even recreating the incident.

    Proving fault or negligence is the linchpin for any Wisconsin personal injury case. If you have been involved in a serious Wisconsin motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you will find that hiring an attorney early in the process improves your chances of getting full compensation for all you have lost. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney, call Hupy and Abraham at 920-882-8382 (local) or (800) 800-5678 (toll-free). We sincerely want to help you.

  • I was injured in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident. Nothing was broken, but I had severe road rash and had to be treated with skin grafts. Can I still claim compensation?

    Many people believe that road rash is only a minor injury. If you fall off a bike or skateboard, you wrap your injury in gauze and you heal. However, motorcycle accident lawyer Michael Hupy says that road rash from a Wisconsin motorcycle crash often qualifies as a severe injury. The high speeds involved in a motorcycle accident can abrade skin and muscle down to the bone. Severe road rash is more like a burn than a scrape. Severe road rash may require weeks or even months of hospitalization as well as surgical treatment. Road rash injury is very susceptible to infection and complications are not uncommon. In most cases, victims are left with permanent scarring or disfigurement.

    The damages that a Wisconsin motorcycle accident victim is able to recover will depend on several factors. These include: 

    • The severity of your injuries.
    • The circumstances of the accident.
    • Whether you are able to resume your regular work after the injury.
    • Any permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disability.

    A Milwaukee accident lawyer can determine if you have a claim and if you are eligible for compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. He can help you deal with the insurance company and make sure that any settlement offer is fair.  For more information, request a free copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims or contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678. The initial consultation is free.