Motorcycle Accident FAQs
Motorcycle Accident Information – FAQ
Motorcycle accidents can cause devastating injuries to both the bike’s driver and passenger. Many times motorcycle accidents result in riders being thrown from their bikes and either seriously injured or killed. When motorcycle accidents are caused by other motorists, those injured generally have the right to be compensated for their damages.
The following questions are often asked by clients during consultations about their motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle accidents occur more frequently in Washington per motorcycle driven than per passenger vehicle driven. Only about 3% of those on Washington roads are on motorcycles. But motorcycle accidents account for about 15% of all traffic-related fatalities and around 20% of the serious injuries from traffic collisions.
If there are injuries you must call 911. Depending on the extent of your injuries, the more evidence you can collect from the accident scene – showing how the accident occurred and the damage done – the more you will help your claim against the other motorist. Even if your injuries don’t require emergency treatment, try to visit a doctor as soon as possible. You will need medical evidence to support your injury claim.
You can, but do think about it first. After a motorcycle accident, you should notify your own insurance company – and you may be contacted by the insurance carrier for the other motorist. If you haven’t yet consulted an attorney, you want to be careful speaking to any insurance company. It’s a good idea to write down everything you remember about the accident so you can be confident about what happened. Stick to the facts and don’t offer any opinions or make any admissions. Get legal advice as soon as possible.
Washington law requires motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear helmets and imposes penalties on those who ride without them. However, if you are injured in a motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet, you may still be able to recover for your injuries. The fact that you were not wearing a helmet may reduce the compensation you can receive if wearing the helmet might have prevented or minimized your injuries.
Often, yes. Under Washington law, the fault for an accident will be apportioned among all those responsible. If you have some fault for causing the accident that injured you, the percentage of fault you are assigned will proportionately reduce the amount of your damages you can recover. If you are 25% responsible for an accident, you may still be compensated for the remaining 75% of your injuries.
Yes. Beginning in 2020, Washington requires those who drive motorcycles to have a special endorsement that signifies advanced training in motorcycle operation and driving skills. Not having the proper endorsement to operate a motorcycle is a separate issue from your accident and should not affect your ability to pursue a claim to recover for your injuries.
Who is responsible for a motorcycle accident will be determined from the evidence of what happened and the applicable laws. In motorcycle accidents, it is not uncommon for a motorcycle driver to be accused of having some fault for causing an accident. Statistics from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission show that many motorcycle drivers do contribute to the conditions responsible for their accidents. When fault for an accident is in question, you want to talk to an attorney as soon as possible.
Whoever causes the conditions that resulted in the accident will also be responsible for causing all the damage that resulted from the accident. For instance, if a motorcycle driver was going too fast and hit a vehicle that made an improper turn in front of it, there may be some responsibility apportioned to both drivers for the accident. Minimizing any potential fault you may have will be crucial and requires experienced legal representation.
Usually an insurance company. Your own insurance company will need to be notified and may provide some coverage without determining fault. If another motorist was at fault, you can make a claim against that motorist’s insurer. If the other motorist is not insured or doesn’t have adequate insurance to cover all the damage to you and your bike, you may look to your own policy for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
The two things that most often happen in a motorcycle accident are that the riders are thrown from the bike or the bike falls over on top of the riders. The impact from being thrown from the bike can cause injuries to the head, brain, neck, back, spinal cord, or limbs. Fractures and road rash can occur from sliding when pinned by a motorcycle. The most serious injuries to motorcyclists occur in head-on collisions.
You can generally recover all of the out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred because of the accident and any financial losses you have experienced. Your medical expenses, lost income, and expenses you would not otherwise have incurred can be recovered. You may also be compensated for the pain – both physical and mental – that you have had to endure.
Motorcycle accident claims can be a bit tricky because there can be a bias toward motorcycle drivers being responsible for accidents. When you have been in a motorcycle accident getting legal advice before talking with an insurance company will ensure your rights are protected.
The Kirkland motorcycle accident attorney at the Law Office of Joseph Rome has been representing clients injured in motorcycle accidents since 2009. We immediately go to work to establish the other driver was at fault for the accident and put together a comprehensive claim for damages to get you the maximum compensation allowed by law.