Motorcycle Accident Cases
Hi, I’m Chris Garrison with Garrison Law Firm in Indianapolis and in today’s segment I want to talk to you about motorcycle accidents. Lots of boomers enjoy motorcycling. Motorcycle injury cases present unique problems for bikers. Many jurors and insurance companies have unfounded prejudices against bikers. Often, bikers are viewed as risk-taking thrill seekers. Well, not every biker is an “Evel Knievel!”
Many insurance adjusters believe bikers are partly at fault for their own injuries because of the increased risk of injury of riding a motorcycle. There is also prejudice associated with head injuries to bikers that don’t wear helmets. Assumptions by the public and insurance companies that bikers tend to speed, race, and cut between cars cause extra hurdles for bikers to recover proper damages.
According to the Insurance Information Institute website, in 2015 in America:
1. There were 8.6 million motorcycles on the road.
2. Nearly 5,000 people died in motorcycle crashes, up more than 8 percent from 2014; this according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
3. There were 88,000 motorcyclists injured.
4. AND, bikers were 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash. AND, they were almost 5 times more likely to be injured.
Such statistics help create the misconception that law-abiding bikers are at least in part responsible for their own injuries. Yet, there is NO “LEGAL” basis for such a conclusion. The law does not assign ANY fault to bikers just because they were on a motorcycle.
In Indiana, there is no law requiring adults to wear helmets (not that you shouldn’t.) There are only a few laws giving additional duties to licensed bikers. Those laws are covered in training to get a motorcycle endorsement on a driver’s license and covered in the Indiana Motorcycle Driver’s Manual.
Because of these prejudices, bikers injured in motorcycle collisions need legal representation to navigate around these obstacles. At Garrison Law Firm we have experienced motorcycle collision lawyers that have, for many years, guided bikers through this minefield of prejudice.
Every seasoned biker knows that motorcycles are both harder for motorists to see and often get disrespected by 4-wheel traffic. Of the countless motorcycle accidents handled by Garrison Law Firm over 40 years, far and away most accidents happened because a 4-wheel motorist failed to keep a lookout for 2-wheel traffic.
Let’s talk about more minor accidents with more minor injuries.
The biggest problem we face as lawyers in these cases are the ones where our client failed to seek prompt medical treatment. The delay in treatment raises many questions with insurance companies. Was the injury complained of really caused by the minor motorcycle accident? In the case of an injury you cannot see, such as a sore neck or back, the insurance company may doubt there is any injury at all because it was not complained of to a medical provider until much later. It is best to get immediate medical treatment as soon as the injury is noticed. This way there is a medical record close in time to the accident stating the nature of the injury and it was caused by the motorcycle accident.
Being in any motorcycle accident is a traumatic event causing at least fright and an adrenaline rush that causes many bikers to improperly assess their injuries. If you’re a biker you should have decided long before being involved in a minor motorcycle incident that you WILL get checked out promptly at an emergency room or family doctor. Having a pre-plan will help prevent you from making a bad decision immediately following an accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident call me, Chris Garrison, at Garrison Law Firm in Indianapolis, serving all of Indiana, to determine and protect your rights. Until next time, ride safe, and yes – wear a helmet!
For more information on Motorcycle Accident Cases see our Motorcycle Accident practice page.