Many people in Kansas enjoy riding motorcycles for fun or as a means of transportation. Unfortunately, if a motorcycle accident occurs, severe and even catastrophic injuries often result. If you suffer injuries as a rider or passenger, the primary priority is getting medical treatment. Then, you should make certain that you know what to do to pursue your motorcycle accident injury claim.
Motorcycle riders and passengers are at much greater risk for injuries than people in cars and trucks. That’s partly because the motorcyclists are more exposed while riding, even when they are properly outfitted with a helmet and other safety gear. It’s also due to the difference in weight between a bike and other motor vehicles. The larger the other vehicle in the collision is, the worse the injuries to the motorcycle rider and passenger are likely to be.
Some types of injuries are common for motorcyclists when an accident between a motorcycle and another vehicle happens. They include:
These common injuries all can be catastrophic and cause life-altering permanent damage. If someone else’s negligence caused your motorcycle accident, you must be certain that you get the full compensation you deserve, especially if your injuries are serious.
In Kansas, the same liability laws apply to motorcycle accidents as to other motor vehicle accidents. Under the state’s no-fault insurance system, PIP is not mandatory on motorcycle policies. If you have PIP, your own insurance pays your medical bills and some other out-of-pocket costs, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. If you’re a passenger on a motorcycle, the no-fault insurance of the person operating the motorcycle may be responsible for paying for your injuries. Additionally, if you own a car, the no-fault insurance on that car may provide coverage, even if it is not involved in the accident.
The Kansas system is not a pure no-fault system, however. If you receive severe injuries in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you may be able to sue the at-fault person to recover for economic and non-economic losses, including pain and suffering. You are eligible to file a lawsuit for negligence, including pain and suffering, if your injury meets any one of the following requirements:
In addition, if a person causes the death of another individual, family members of the decedent also may file a wrongful death action against the at-fault person, which is a separate legal action.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you should contact an experienced Kansas personal injury lawyer at the soonest possible time. If you attempt to negotiate your own settlement with the at-fault person’s insurance company, you could seriously jeopardize your ability to recover full compensation for your injuries.
You should never even talk to the insurance company for the person who caused the accident. An insurance company’s only goal is to settle your case for as little as possible — or even find a way to avoid paying anything at all. For motorcycle accident injuries, insurance companies often try to blame the motorcyclist, even when another driver is clearly at fault. Insurance adjusters use proven strategies and negotiating techniques to minimize your claim.
One risk you face if you talk with an insurance adjuster relates to the Kansas personal injury comparative negligence rule. Under that rule, if your own negligence contributed to the accident, your financial recovery will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. If you were 50% or more at fault, you recover nothing from another person whose negligence contributed to the accident. If you talk with an insurance company, the adjuster will try to get you to make and even sign a written statement that can be used to establish your share fault in the accident, triggering application of the comparative negligence rule.
Kansas law entitles you to compensation for specific expenses and losses. If you don’t know how much compensation you deserve, an insurance adjuster can convince you to accept much less. The only way to make sure you receive damages for all your losses is to have a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney calculate your compensation and represent you in negotiations with the insurance company. If the company does not offer a fair settlement, your lawyer can file a negligence lawsuit in court against the at-fault person.
At the Salina, Kansas law firm Hampton & Royce, L.C., we assist clients throughout the state with all types of personal injury matters, including motorcycle accidents. We determine the full compensation you deserve, negotiate aggressively with insurance companies, and guard against application of the comparative negligence rule. Our trusted personal injury lawyers assume responsibility for getting you full financial reimbursement for your injuries and losses, while you concentrate on recovering from the accident and getting on with your life.
Contact us by phone or email to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.