Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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Owning and riding a motorcycle can be both a passion and a form of recreation. This is why a motorcycle accident with debilitating injuries can seriously derail a motorcyclist’s life.

Without the framing of a car, a seatbelt, or airbags, motorcyclists have very little protection on the road and are much more at risk for traumatic injuries—or even fatal ones—than automobile drivers. In 2019, 112 motorcyclists died in Indiana during traffic accidents.

In the ten years leading up to 2019, motorcycle accidents accounted for less than 2% of Indiana vehicle collisions but were responsible for a much larger percentage of Indiana’s overall traffic deaths. In 2019, that percentage of traffic deaths was 14%.

The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve if you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident. We are ready to take your fight all the way to court, if necessary.

What Are Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle accidents are those involving a human, a vehicle/motorcycle, and added environmental factors. Motorcycle accidents tend to be more dangerous and deadly than auto accidents. This increased danger is due in part to the fact that the motorcycle itself provides no protection to the rider or passenger, making ejection from the vehicle a common cause of injury.

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles can be a fun way to travel, but they can also be extremely dangerous for riders whose bikes don’t meet safety standards or who aren’t careful when operating their motorcycle. Causes of motorcycle accidents can vary from inexperienced drivers to acts of negligence on the road.

Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence
  • Lane splitting
  • Sudden stops
  • Dangerous road conditions

To reduce the chances of a motorcycle accident, you should always drive safely by following speed limits, taking weather conditions into account, and remaining aware of the other drivers around you.

What to Do If You Have Been in a Motorcycle Accident in Indianapolis 

Motorcycle accidents can be severely traumatic events and can lead to devastating consequences. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, there are steps you should take to make sure you are taken care of.

First, you should seek medical attention if you’ve been injured in the accident. Motorcycle accidents can lead to traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, lower extremity trauma, and more. Next, contact the local police to file an official report of the accident.

Obtaining information about your accident is a crucial next step. If possible, you should gather the other driver’s contact and insurance information as well as the contact information of any witnesses.

The police may be able to help you collect this information when they are called to the scene. You should also contact your insurance provider in a timely manner following the accident. But be sure you do not admit any fault when speaking with the insurance company.

Collecting information at the scene of the accident will help ensure our legal team can provide you with the high level of representation you deserve in a motorcycle accident case. The attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham are here to assist you through the process of gaining the compensation you deserve. 

Who Is Liable for a Motorcycle Accident? 

Accidents are complicated, and motorcycle accidents are usually even more complicated than standard automobile accidents. Your insurance company should pay for your medical care if you are injured in an accident. However, insurance companies don’t always hold up their end of the contract.

In the case that the other driver was responsible for your injuries, their insurance may be responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the loss of potential earnings.

Our personal injury lawyers at WKW will help you determine who is liable and help you fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve. 

Why Should You Hire an Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, motorcyclists are four times more likely to face injury and 29 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than those driving a car. Serious injuries can make you unable to work for weeks, months, or even years, even while you are having to pay for rehabilitation and physical therapy.

Motorcyclists are not only advised to drive safely, they must also follow traffic safety laws. And most motorcyclists are safety conscious because they know of the risks at hand.

Most motorcycle accidents are caused by negligent drivers who are more focused on their fellow drivers than motorcyclists. It is quite common for a negligent driver to make a turn that forces a biker off their bike and onto the road itself. This is when the greatest number of injuries are sustained.

Injured motorcyclists deserve the best advocate possible. You should not have to worry about medical bills in either the present or the future. Our Indianapolis lawyers at WKW have the experience and knowledge needed to handle all different types of motorcycle accidents. We can make a huge difference in your case.

Collecting and Preserving Evidence

Preserving evidence after a motorcycle crash could be pivotal later in your case. Only professionals can use collected data to reconstruct the scene of the accident. This reconstruction is often what makes or breaks a case. There are a few ways to collect evidence at the scene of the accident, assuming you are in good enough health to do so.

  • Take pictures of injuries before any treatment/recovery
  • Take pictures of your helmet and the motorcycle itself.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene, including the road, skid marks, glass, and any other oddities.
  • Never fix your motorcycle before you’ve made your legal case. It is a key piece of evidence.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies

We know how to act fast when it comes to dealing with insurance companies. This always begins with a thorough investigation of the crash. We collect and organize all the information so we can recreate the exact mishap that occurred on the road.

Our team pushes past bias against motorcyclists and makes insurance companies pay up based on cold, hard facts, not perception. Should your case go to trial, we know how to win through litigation.

Fighting for Your Maximum Compensation

As a large firm, WKW has the experience, knowledge, and talent to see cases all the way through a court trial, if necessary. We are thorough in our collection of evidence and eyewitness accounts to put you in the strongest position possible.

We have the ability to gain cell phone records of the driver to see if they were distracted at the time of the crash. Our search goes deeper than just the vehicle and driver that hit you. We will find out if there are other parties that may have inadvertently caused the crash. This is all done to maximize your compensation.

Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries

 Motorcycle injuries vary in severity based upon the circumstance of each crash. Since there is no barrier between a motorcyclist and the outside world, they are very susceptible to serious injury. Some of the more serious types of injuries we see include traumatic brain inures and spinal cord injures. These can occur even if a full body suit and helmet are worn.

Serious Motorcycle Accidents

The worst-case scenario for a motorcyclist and their loved ones is that they are so severely injured that the crash results in a fatality.

Wrongful Death Claims for Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle fatalities result in wrongful death claims, as opposed to personal injury claims. Wrongful death damages may include:

  • Loss of consortium (also called loss of companionship)
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Your loved one’s pain and suffering prior to their death
  • Your loved one’s medical bills related to their motorcycle accident injuries prior to their death

Types of Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Victims in Indianapolis, IN

Compensation for victims of auto and motorcycle accidents can be awarded in different categories. Types of compensation may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Wrongful death
  • Punitive damages
  • Motorcycle/auto repairs and total loss

The types and amount of damages or compensation awarded to a victim of a motorcycle accident will likely depend on the circumstances of the accident.

Economic damages refer to compensation for things like medical bills or loss of income. If projected loss of income can be proven, you may also be awarded for future lost wages.

Non-economic damages can be defined as compensation for any emotional distress or pain or suffering by the victim and/or loss of the victim. These expenses are not as easily quantifiable as economic damages tend to be.

In addition, punitive damages may be awarded to the victim as a punishment to the defendant if their behavior is deemed particularly egregious.

Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident Insurance Coverage

It is important to establish liability in your motorcycle accident case. Once that has been accomplished, determining insurance coverage becomes key. There are several different types of insurance coverage in Indiana.

Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability

In Indiana, motorists are required to have this type of insurance coverage. It pays out damages should you be deemed responsible for the crash.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

This type of coverage can be purchased directly from an insurance company. This comes in handy if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance to compensate you and your family.

Minimums vary in Indiana, but may include $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $10,000 per accident for property damage.

Still, most motorcyclists will lose more than this as the result of a crash. We recommend creating an umbrella of up to $1 million in insurance.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)

You are provided this type of coverage unless you reject it in writing. This coverage kicks in if the driver has no insurance whatsoever.

Additional Motorcycle Accident Coverage for Purchase in Indianapolis

In addition to purchasing UIM and UM insurance, we recommend all bikers spend the extra money on premiums for umbrella coverage. Other types of coverage include:

  • Collision coverage: Covers impact with another object, including cars and trees
  • Comprehensive coverage: Pays for losses created by nature, theft, or collision
  • Custom parts and equipment coverage: Covers some of the damages towards the custom parts of your motorcycle

Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders

  • Maintain your vehicle—you never want to find out your brakes or tuns signal are out when you’re driving on the road
  • Wear your helmet, jacket, long pants, gloves, and boots
  • Take a course to freshen up on your driving skills
  • Never speed
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Be on your toes (figuratively)

Knowing What You Can and Cannot Control

As a motorcyclist, there’s a lot you can’t control on the road. The at-fault driver may or may not be insured. They may be an individual, part of a company, or even a member of the government.

While you can’t control the coverage other drivers have, you can control what you take on. The ultimate goal is to protect yourself first.

Wearing Motorcycle Helmets in Indianapolis

It is often found that a loosening of helmet laws increases motorcyclist fatalities. There are various types of helmets, some of which are more protective than others. Feel free to click here to read more about helmet specifics.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Indiana

Indiana is one of the many states to enforce a helmet law, but it only applies to those under the age of 18 years old.

Indiana Code Section 9-19-7-1-1 states that individuals under 18 years of age who are operating a motorcycle must: (1) wear protective headgear that meets standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation and (2) wear protective “glasses, goggles, or transparent face shields.”

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Motorcycle Accidents

The statute of limitations—or the number of years you have available to file a particular type of lawsuit—for motorcycle accident victims in Indiana is two years. 

Contact a WKW Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Indianapolis Today

Motorcycle accidents can be debilitating and can place an enormous financial and emotional burden on a victim and their loved ones. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a motorcycle accident, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham.

Our lawyers at WKW can help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out our online contact form today for a free, no-obligation case

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