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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  • Im shopping for a used motorcycle. Do I need to get a vehicle history report?

    Let’s put it this way: It doesn’t make sense not to.

    It’s easy to find out whether the bike you’re interested in has been in a Gurnee motorcycle wreck. You can request a motorcycle history report, also known as a motorcycle VIN check, online. It will let you know if the price you have been quoted is fair, given the bike’s history. This can help you because you can negotiate a lower price if you discover that the bike you’re checking out has been in a Gurnee motorcycle accident. You may decide that the motorcycle is not in as great shape as the owner led you to believe.

    What Does a VIN Check Tell You?

    According to dmv.org, a VIN check contains details such as the following:

    • Damage to the vehicle
    • VIN decoding
    • Last recorded odometer reading
    • Crushed vehicle history
    • Multi-state searches
    • Damaged or salvaged titles
    • Stolen titles
    • Rebuilt titles
    • Manufacturer specifications
    • Manufacturer recall history

    Approach the purchase of a motorcycle as if you were doing a vital research project. You will be less likely to get into a motorcycle crash in Gurnee because of weaknesses in your bike from an undisclosed accident. If you ever need a Gurnee motorcycle wreck lawyer, contact Hupy and Abraham. Call us 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.

  • What is comparative negligence, and how does it affect my Wisconsin motorcycle accident case?

    Let’s begin with the term “negligence” itself. 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, bad things have happened — for instance, the “bad thing” could have been an Appleton or Green Bay traffic accident.

    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.


    Comparative negligence

    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 held to be negligent, they each may find themselves liable to pay a portion of the damages — the exact percentage 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 the 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 $15,000 worth of harm, but that she was 40 percent responsible for the collision, she could only collect $9,000 in damages — 60 percent of the whole value claim.

    Even when there are several people liable in some degree for an accident, if one of the people is 51 percent or more at fault, then everyone who was injured can seek full recovery from him. On the other hand, it’s possible to imagine situations where nobody has majority liability: imagine a three-way collision in which each rider was equally negligent and bears one-third of the liability. In such a tangled case, each of the three would have a legal case against the other two riders.


    Resolving the issue

    If you have suffered a serious motorcycle injury due to an Appleton or Green Bay traffic accident, the insurance company may have said you cannot recover damages because you are partially at fault. That’s simply not true. Wisconsin’s comparative recovery rule may still allow you to be compensated for some of the injury done to you.

    In any case, why should you accept the word of the insurance adjuster about whether you’re at fault? What you need is the professional judgment of an Appleton motorcycle crash lawyer from the law firm of Hupy and Abraham. Contact us today. Call 920-882-8382 (local) or (800) 800-5678 (toll-free) to arrange for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your legal case. Just for calling, we will send you a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, even if you do not hire us as your legal team.

  • My old lawyer said that I had a bad attitude that was hurting my case. Do lawyers think that motorcycle riders are poor clients?

    No more so than any other clients. No two people are alike, and every client reacts differently to the stresses of recovery after a serious motorcycle accident and to the slow pace of pursuing justice through the courts. It’s really not our place to criticize our clients; after all, we are Wisconsin personal injury lawyers, and our clients are our employers. We give them the best advice we can, but ultimately they must make all the crucial decisions about their own cases.

    And yet, maybe we can explain what your lawyer meant by that remark. We’ve been in the game of dealing with Wisconsin traffic accident victims for quite a while now, after all. Over time, we’ve noticed some patterns in temperament among our clients.

    Think of the common stereotype of the motorcycle rider: a person who is fiercely independent, distrustful of authority, often a little rebellious, and strongly committed to rugged self-reliance while maintaining close friendships within a community of other riders, This popular image of the “chrome cowboy” turns out to be a self-reinforcing one: people who find the stereotype appealing tend to become motorcycle riders themselves.

    However, taken to an extreme, this rider attitude can undermine your legal case if you are injured in a serious motorcycle accident. A client who cannot accept advice and rebels against following directions is one who, ultimately, works against his own self-interest in at least two ways.

    1. The client tends to ignore legal advice. He may get cocky and talk to insurance adjusters against our recommendations. He may decide to throw out medical reports and receipts we have asked him to preserve. He may have negative ideas about law-enforcement officials and the court system that prevent him from cooperating with his own attorneys.
    2. The client tends to ignore medical advice. She may fail to keep appointments for medical tests, doctors’ visits, or physical therapy. This is important, because the insurance company lawyer will use these missed appointments to suggest that the client doesn’t seem to consider her injuries serious enough for regular treatment.


    Finding the right lawyer for you

    Just as clients have different personalities, lawyers do also — and law firms. If you were injured in a serious motorcycle accident, consider hiring Hupy and Abraham as your legal representation. We understand the rider mindset; many of our staff are riders.

    Here’s the deal: call an Appleton motorcycle accident attorney today at 920-882-8382 (local) or (800) 800-5678 (toll-free), and ask us to send you a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims and a FREE riders’ Rights Card. If you like our approach, we can set you up with a free, no-obligation consultation about your case. Let’s discuss whether we can get you the compensation you deserve for your motorcycle crash. We’re here to give you our best advice — but you, as the client, will always be the boss.
     

  • While I was traveling through Wisconsin, my motorcycle was struck by a car that sped away. What do I do?

    Dealing with a Wisconsin motorcycle collision is challenging enough, but it's an outrage when the incident is a hit-and-run accident. Unfortunately, hit-and-runs are a significant portion of all vehicle collisions; a survey a decade ago estimated that 3.8 percent of all fatal motor accidents were caused by drivers who did not stop. Informal reports from large metropolitan areas suggest that the rate of hit-and-run incidents has been increasing steadily since 2003.

     

    Your initial response to a hit-and-run accident involving your motorcycle will be much the same as you would act following any accident:

     

    • Call for medical help if you or anyone else has been injured. If you cannot make a telephone call, ask a bystander to do so for you.
    • Call for police. You will want to make a complete police report to expedite the process of finding the person who hit you. Any information you can provide the police to identify the car will be helpful.
      • The make, model, and color of the car
      • The car's direction of travel
      • A description, if possible, of the driver
      • A partial license plate number
    • Contact your insurance agent. Do this at your earliest convenience. Often, hit-and-run drivers have no insurance coverage, or inadequate insurance. Depending on your own insurance coverage and the state in which your policy was issued, you may be eligible for compensation from your own insurer if the hit-and-run driver cannot be found or cannot pay for the damage he caused.
    • If possible, take pictures of the accident scene. Use your cell phone, if necessary. Get a picture of your motorcycle and the damage it sustained. Pictures will help your insurance adjuster — and your motorcycle collision lawyer, if you hire one — better assess the property damage and personal injuries that occurred during the collision. Get a picture of your motorcycle and the damage it sustained.

     

    Wisconsin hit-and-run laws are harsh

    Chapter 346 of the Wisconsin code (subchapter XI) was amended in 2003 to significantly strengthen the laws against hit-and-run drivers. The law now imposes the following obligations on a driver who hits a person or a vehicle carrying a person:

    1. Immediately stop at the scene or as close as possible.
    2. Give name, address and the registration number of the vehicle to all other parties.
    3. Give operator’s license to other parties if requested.
    4. Render reasonable assistance to anyone injured.

     

    Criminal charges can be brought against a hit-and-run driver, in addition to civil personal injury lawsuits. If a driver leaves the scene of an accident, even if nobody was injured, the penalty can range up to $1,000 in misdemeanor fines and up to six months in jail. If any injury occurred, the fine can be up to $10,000 and a prison term of 42 months. Penalties are even more severe if serious or fatal injuries resulted.

     

    Obtaining further legal advice

    If you have more questions about dealing with the aftermath of a Wisconsin hit-and-run accident, contact an Appleton motorcycle accident lawyer at the Hupy and Abraham law firm. Our staff and attorneys are committed to getting the best compensation available for our clients, whether from the legally liable driver or the insurance company. You can reach us locally at 920-882-8382 (or toll-free at 800-800-5678) to schedule a free consultation and get your FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.

  • Sometimes I take my child for rides on my motorcycle. Is it safe if he uses my wifes helmet, since hers is smaller?

    Even though Illinois has no age restrictions for motorcycle passengers, the Gurnee motorcycle accident lawyers in our office urge you to seriously consider the safety of letting your child ride along with you on your motorcycle.

    As for the helmet question, the answer is: No, your child will definitely need his own helmet, even if he rarely goes for rides.

    Many people underestimate the importance of a properly fitted helmet. It is absolutely imperative that all of the required fit tests are performed before a helmet is purchased and/or worn. 

    Helmets are supposed to fit very snuggly, which can be difficult for a child to get used to. It is not uncommon for kids to say that their helmet “hurts,” when in reality it is just the proper, tight fit. The best thing to do is to take both your child and your wife into a local motorcycle helmet retailer and have a professional properly size them each for a helmet.

    If it turns out that they are both the same size, according to the professional at the store, then you can probably have them share a helmet — as long as they are not riding at the same time, of course. 

    But remember that as soon as a helmet is involved in a motorcycle accident, it should be properly disposed of and never re-used, regardless of how minor the accident seemed. Any sort of impact can cause the protective materials inside the helmet to compress, decreasing the chance that it can protect you in a second accident. So avoid letting your child wear an old, used helmet and purchase a new one.

    Injured in a Gurnee motorcycle accident? Call Hupy and Abraham today at 800.800.5678 for your complimentary case evaluation and free book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.

  • Do I need a Madison motorcycle accident attorney?

    A Wisconsin motorcycle accident and serious injury can be overwhelming. Accident victims are usually struggling to regain their health, missing days or weeks of work, and wondering who will pay for the coming hospital bills. Throughout these days and weeks, you may wonder whether you need the assistance of a WI motorcycle lawyer.  

    Ask yourself the following questions:

    • Am I sure of who was at fault for my accident? 
    • Do I know what caused my accident? 
    • Could someone have prevented my accident?
    • Did my accident involve someone else’s negligence? 
    • Did my accident cause significant damage, such as injuries, economic losses, or pain and suffering? 
    • Do I want to learn more about my accident? 

    It is important to understand that the core cause of your motorcycle accident may not be apparent without a closer examination of the evidence—and that those involved in crashes may not have an accurate view of the full picture. Even if you are unsure of whether you were at fault for the accident or what caused the accident, it doesn’t hurt to speak to a Wisconsin injury attorney about your crash. At Hupy & Abraham, we offer free, no-obligation consultations for exactly this reason: we want you to know why your accident took place and whether it would be worthwhile to pursue a case. Call today at (800) 800-5678 to schedule a meeting with one of our Madison motorcycle accident attorneys. 

  • How can I find out my helmets safety rating?

    First of all, the Gurnee motorcycle accident lawyers in our office want to applaud your efforts for wanting to find out. Buying a helmet that is approved by one of the major safety institutes is a smart way to help prevent a serious motorcycle accident injury.

    As we have mentioned in our previous blogs and articles, the four main regulators for helmet safety are: 

    • DOT: U.S. Department of Transportation
    • Snell: The Snell Memorial Foundation
    • ECE: The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
    • BSI: The British Standards Institute

    While each regulator performs different tests to check the safety of the helmet, they all have a common goal: protecting a motorcyclist’s head in the event of an accident.

    If a helmet is certified by any of the above regulators, it will be clearly marked somewhere on the helmet. For example, all DOT-certified helmets have a DOT sticker on the back of the helmet, at the bottom. Make sure to check the inside of the helmet, including on the tag and underneath the comfort padding. Never assume that a helmet is certified unless you can actually see the certification. 

    Certifications are almost always listed in the description of any helmet you are buying online, and can also be found on the box that the helmet is packaged in.

    If you are dealing with an injury caused by a Gurnee motorcycle accident, call Hupy and Abraham today at 800.800.5678 for your complimentary case evaluation and free book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.

  • Do I have a Madison motorcycle accident case?

    In Wisconsin, the person or entity who is at fault for your motorcycle accident and injury is responsible for the consequences of the crash—damages that could include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent injuries, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. 

    In the wake of a serious Madison motorcycle accident, it is vital to know what caused your crash and whether or not your injuries could have been prevented if not for the negligence of someone else. There is an array of causes of motorcycle accidents and the at-fault party may not be readily apparent, especially in the minutes and hours after the crash. Bike accidents may be caused by distracted driving, reckless driving, speeding, driving under the influence, tailgating, poor road design, poor road conditions, or equipment failure—just to name a few possibilities. 

    It is important to understand that all WI motorcycle accidents are different—and that you may not fully understand the cause of your bike accident and injuries until you speak with an attorney. The best way to know whether or not you have a motorcycle accident personal injury lawsuit is to speak with a Madison motorcycle accident attorney and let him or her review the evidence related your case. At Hupy & Abraham, we offer injury victims no-obligation consultations where we will listen to your story and let you know your best legal options. Call us today at (800) 800-5678. 

  • I have been out of work for a long time, and now I have been a victim of a motorcycle accident. Will my unemployment affect the settlement I will get?

    Probably. Of course, every person’s situation is different, and your Wisconsin motorcycle accident law firm is the best resource you have to advise you on the specifics of your case. But we can discuss some general issues that may arise in a case where an unemployed accident victim seeks compensation for his injuries.

    This is a more common situation than you might realize. Unemployment has been a serious and persistent problem across the United States since December 2007, the start of what some economists call “The Great Recession.” In recent months, work opportunities have expanded, but not enough to rehire all the people who lost jobs. Consequently, America has a far larger number of long-term unemployed persons than usual. This is especially true in the upper Midwest, including Wisconsin, where recovery from the recession has been slow.

    Here’s how your long-term unemployment may affect your eventual motorcycle injury settlement:

    • No income means no compensation from lost wages. A personal injury lawsuit will usually ask for money to compensate the victim for his time away from work. That doesn’t apply in the case of someone with no job.
    • Your expected lifetime earnings also go down. In the case where an accident victim has been partly or totally disabled, a lawsuit typically asks for compensation for the loss of lifetime earnings. If you’re unemployed, your earnings potential will be given less weight, and your personal injury settlement will probably be smaller.
    • Your loss of unemployment benefits may increase your settlement. If you are even temporarily unable to look for work due to your injuries, you cannot certify that you are ready to accept work, and thus you cannot claim unemployment benefits that you might have been receiving. Because this loss of benefits flows directly from your accident, your Wisconsin motorcycle accident law firm should work to recover those lost benefits from the insurance company.
    • Your lost opportunities for professional development may increase your settlement. As a result of your injury, you may be unable to participate in schooling or job-training programs that would eventually have set you on the path to a higher income. Your case is further strengthened if you can prove you were enrolled — or planning to enroll — in an educational program. Your settlement may be increased both by any nonrefundable tuition you have paid plus the loss of your future expanded earnings potential.

    A good Wisconsin motorcycle accident law firm considers all the avenues to getting the maximum compensation for its client. At Hupy and Abraham, we make every effort to seek recovery for our clients for the costs of medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

    If you have been hurt in a Wisconsin motorcycle accident, you need an Appleton motorcycle accident attorney. Call us toll-free at 800-800-5678 for a FREE, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Even if you don’t hire us, we would like to send you a FREE copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.

  • What is the first thing I should do if I am hit by car while riding my motorcycle?

    Seek the proper medical treatment. Unfortunately, many Gurnee motorcycle accident injuries are so severe that an ambulance will take you to the hospital without you even knowing.

    What Gurnee motorcycle accident lawyers in our office want to stress, however, is that it is important to seek immediate medical attention for even minor injuries. It is not uncommon for serious head injuries to cause no more than a major headache, which is why you should get yourself checked out right away to rule out internal bleeding or a serious concussion.

    The same goes for neck and back injuries. You may feel fine now, but that pain could get worse if left unattended. Hairline fractures or serious sprains or strains often accompany even the most minor motorcycle accidents, especially if it involves another vehicle striking your body. A visit to the emergency room and a follow-up with your family physician is the best way to ensure your complete safety.

    Getting prompt and expert medical attention is the first step. The second step is up to you: follow-through. If your doctor ordered special medical tests, make sure you show up on time for those appointments. Fill your prescribed medications and take them according to the schedule you were given.

    Finally, it is also important to document your treatment, in order to prove your injury to the at-fault party’s insurance company. Make sure your medical providers know that the injury could be related to a motorcycle accident, in case they need to run additional tests. 

    If you have been injured in a Gurnee motorcycle accident, call Hupy and Abraham today at 800.800.5678 for your complimentary case evaluation and free book, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims.