The day started out ordinarily enough, or maybe even a little bit better than usual. It was a day that you were able to ride your bike. You enjoyed the freedom of the ride. Yet, in just one instant your ordinary day was changed. Another driver’s negligence caused you to be involved in a motorcycle crash, and now you may need the assistance of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Madison, WI.
At Hupy and Abraham, our attorneys are also riders. We understand what you are going through and we know how confusing things can be.
For this reason, our experienced Madison motorcycle accident lawyer decided to put together this comprehensive guide to not only help keep you safe, but to also help you recover financially should you be hurt in a motorcycle crash in Wisconsin.
Safety Checklist: How to Avoid a Bike Crash in Madison
- Visually inspect your tires. If you winterized your bike, your tires will probably be fine. But you should check the tires for flat spots, dry rot, and cracks. Check your tire pressure. Molecules move closer together as air cools, so cold weather can cause tires to lose pressure.
- Check for fluid leaks. Check all hoses and cables and refill fluids. Do another check after your first ride.
- Change your oil. Check the oil filter.
- Check your lights. Check your high beams, low beams, tail lights, and brake lights to make sure they are in good working order. Replace any dim bulbs.
- Check your battery. Make sure the battery is fully charged. If you have a wet cell battery, top it off with distilled water. Make sure all terminals and leads are secure, clean, and free from corrosion.
- Unplug filters. If you plugged your air filter intake and exhaust to keep rodents out, unplug them.
- Check your bike’s tool kit. Make sure you have everything you need for a roadside emergency.
- Check your chain tension. Make sure that the chain is clean and well-lubricated.
- Check your brakes. Make sure that your brakes work and that your brake pads are in good condition.
- Check that the gas supply is turned on. Replace the gas in your bike as the quality may have deteriorated over the winter.
4 Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Madison
Motorcycle accidents in Madison are very common and very dangerous — much more dangerous than car and auto accidents. There are many factors that can cause a bike accident. Below are four of the most common:
- Cars making left-hand turns. This is the number one threat to motorcyclists, accounting for 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and a car. Usually, the turning car strikes when the motorcycle is either going straight through an intersection, passing the car, or trying to overtake the car. Drivers of cars making a left turn often don’t see the motorcycle and move into their space.
- Lane splitting. When a motorcycle drives between two lanes, it is known as lane splitting. This is usually done in stopped or slow moving traffic. This maneuver causes the motorcyclist to be in close proximity of other vehicles, leaving little room for error.
- Speeding and alcohol. Half of all single-vehicle motorcycle accidents (those involving just the motorcycle and not another vehicle or object) are caused by alcohol or speeding. This is not surprising, as it is very similar to other vehicles on the road and no exception.
- Fixed object. Motorcycle crashes that involve fixed object account for 25% of fatal crashes. This number is much higher than cars because of the lack of protection the motorcycle provides.
If you have been involved in one of these common crashes, our Madison motorcycle accident lawyer can help you recover financially if the wreck was caused by another person’s negligence.
What You Should Do If You Are Involved in a Madison Motorcyle Accident
Whether you are the victim or need to help a buddy who just crashed, your ability to control your emotions and act rationally after a Madison motorcycle crash can go a long way towards a proper recovery. Here are 7 things to do after a motorcycle accident in Wisconsin.
- Look at the priorities. Are you or the other victim on the roadway, over the crest of a hill and likely to get hit by traffic? Is gasoline leaking? Can you stop traffic and ask for help?
- Look at the injuries. Many motorcycle crashes result in broken bones, road rash and concussions. Call 911 immediately, giving them a clear account of the injuries and your position. Do not remove your helmet if your head is injured and you were unconscious at any point. Don't forget that some injuries, especially concussions or internal bleeding, appear at a later stage but should be treated without delay.
- Collect information. Witnesses do not like to hang around bike crashes. Get their identification so you can contact them later. Make a note of the other driver's statements, vehicle, license plate, insurance policy, address and phone number.
- Take pictures and collect evidence. Pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved in the crash, and of your injuries can be useful later. It's also important to know what other evidence to collect should you decide to hire a Madison motorcycle accident lawyer.
- Police report. Not only should you call the police and report the bike crash, you should make sure you get a copy of the police report, which can be essential to proving fault.
- Do not make any statements. Do not agree to anything at the scene of the crash, and if you are later contacted by the insurance company, avoid making any verbal or written statement about the circumstances of the crash, your injuries and other damage. You should only do this after all the consequences of the crash are known and confirmed.
- Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Madison. After the dust has settled, it’s important to find a motorcycle accident lawyer in Madison, WI, that has the experience and skill set to help you recover financially. Not all attorneys are created equal. Make sure you do your due diligence and find the right attorney for your specific needs.
Damages You May Be Able to Recover After Your Bike Wreck
Wisconsin personal injury law allows a motorcyclist to recover damages if:
- Another driver breached his or her duty of care by failing to exercise the reasonable care that a reasonable driver would’ve exercised at the time of the crash; and if
- The actions or inactions of the other driver which were found to have violated the duty of care actually caused the motorcyclist’s injuries.
No exceptions are made for motorcyclists who hurt other motorcyclists. Thus, if another motorcyclist was negligent and caused you to suffer a motorcycle accident injury, then you may be entitled to the same damages that you would be entitled to if the other driver had been behind the wheel of a car or truck. Those damages may include compensation for past, present, and future:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost income,
- Out-of-pocket costs, and
- Pain and suffering.
The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Madison Bike Crash Attorney
Accident victims often think that hiring an attorney is expensive and not in their budget, but many attorneys offer a free initial consultation—so you are not committed to anything before you speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Madison about your options. In addition, law firms such as Hupy and Abraham work on a contingency and do not get paid unless they win your case. There are no upfront, out-of-pocket fees until a settlement has been reached, and then a percentage of the damages you are awarded as your settlement will be paid to the attorney as their fee.
Since settlements are final once they are agreed to by both parties involved, they cannot be changed, and you will not be able to receive any other compensation for your injuries. For this reason, it is important to use an attorney to help with your case. There are many benefits of hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer in Madison WI, such as:
- Provide guidance. Knowing what to do after an accident can be overwhelming. A motorcycle crash attorney can guide you through the settlement process and answer any questions you may have.
- Negotiate with insurance companies. Insurance companies are not concerned about your best interest and are not on your side. Their goal is to settle your case as quickly as possible and for the least amount of money. An bike accident lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies and take the stress off of you while ensuring you get the full amount of compensation possible for your claim. Victims see higher payouts when using an attorney to negotiate their case rather than talking to insurance companies themselves.
- Determine the value of your case. An attorney can determine the fair value of your case. They can gather the necessary evidence, review medical records and bills, and calculate what your case is worth.
- Represent you at trial. If your case is not settled out of court, a bike crash lawyer can represent you at trial. Do not try to represent yourself. The other side will most likely have an experienced attorney who will try to dismiss your case or get it settled for as little as possible.
How to Find the Best Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Madison
Keep in mind, when looking for the best motorcycle accident lawyer in Madison, you should follow the same steps you would use to find any kind of service, provider or attorney.
- Find Reviews and Testimonials From Past Clients. Client testimonials on Google, Yelp and other review sites are a great way to find out what past clients thought of the service and representation they received. If a law firm has lots of positive reviews, that’s generally a good sign that people are pleased with the services they received.
- Experience is Important. You wouldn’t hire an electrician to work on your plumbing, the same way you wouldn’t hire a criminal defense lawyer to handle your personal injury case. Not only should you read up about the attorneys, but you should ask questions during your free consultation, as not all personal injury attorneys are created equal. One PI lawyer may have tons of experience with dog bites, while another has tons of experience in car accidents, or vice versa. At Hupy and Abraham, when it comes to bike accidents, we are the best in the biz. We’ve secured tens of millions of dollars for more than 4,000 injured bike riders.
- Clear Communication Makes a Difference. While there are plenty of good bike crash lawyers out there, feeling comfortable with the attorney representing you can go a long way. You want to choose a firm that you feel is truly invested in getting you the best result possible. If you feel that your attorney isn’t being upfront with you or is not communicating in a manner that you think is responsible, then you may have to go in a different direction and find someone who will.
Contact Our Madison Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation Today!
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle crash, fill out our online contact form below or call 414-223-4800 to schedule a free one-on-one consultation with our experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Madison WI. Our firm is one of the top motorcycle accident firms in the country and will go above and beyond to win your case.