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Green Bay motorcycle injury lawyerAccording to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, nearly 1,900 motorcyclists are injured in accidents each year, and around 80 are killed. The prevalence of injuries and fatalities among Wisconsin motorcyclists is in part due to the lack of protection that their vehicles provide, but in many cases, the negligence of another driver is also a major contributing factor. If you have suffered a serious injury in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.

Frequent Injuries for Motorcyclists

When a motorcyclist is involved in a collision, their entire body is at risk. Some of the most common injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Though wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of fatal and serious injuries to an extent, many motorcyclists still suffer concussions and other brain injuries that affect their mental abilities.

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Appleton personal injury attorney motorcycle accidentMotorcyclists enjoy the same freedom to ride the open road as those who travel in cars, vans, or trucks. Because they do not have thousands of pounds of metal protecting them, and because their profile is smaller, their risk of serious injury or death is much greater. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a collision than standard car passengers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 5,700 motorcyclists were fatally injured in collisions throughout 2018. Thousands of others suffered serious injuries that resulted in the loss of work hours and significant medical expenses. Motorcyclists have the same rights, however, to be properly compensated for the negligence or carelessness of operators of other vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is time to consult a knowledgeable legal professional.  

Steps to Securing Compensation 

After suffering injuries in a motorcycle collision, the first step you need to take is to seek medical attention for any and all injuries suffered. Due to the lack of protection a motorcyclist has while riding, injuries can be significant and medical treatment should be a top priority. After receiving any necessary medical procedures, it is time to think about compensation for any injuries suffered or damages to your motorcycle. If the other driver involved in the accident was at fault, you may be entitled to significant injury compensation. He or she may have driven while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or was distracted or drowsy, which could have impaired his or her vision and reaction time, thus causing the crash. It should be noted that even if you believe that you were partially in the wrong, you may still be able to secure partial compensation for damages and injuries suffered in the accident. 

Due to the negative stigma related to motorcyclists, the other driver’s insurance company may attempt to blame you for the accident. It is important to find an attorney who will stand up to the insurance company and fight for your rights. A good attorney will search for as much evidence as possible to ensure you are properly compensated, including gathering police reports and photos, obtaining video or audio footage from investigating officers, obtaining 911 calls, obtaining surveillance footage (if available) of the scene, obtaining witness statements, hiring reconstruction engineers (if necessary), and finding as much insurance coverage as possible. Some insurance companies will wrongfully claim that the failure to wear a helmet should reduce compensation, but the laws of the state of Wisconsin clearly prohibit this defense. A good attorney will also assist in properly documenting all injuries and damages for which victims are entitled to be compensated.

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Green Bay, WI motorcycle accident attorneyAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,985 motorcyclists were fatally injured in motorcycle accidents in 2018. Due to the limited protection that motorcycles provide, the injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents tend to be very serious. In a high percentage of motorcycle accidents, collisions are caused by the negligence of drivers in passenger vehicles or commercial trucks. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, a personal injury attorney can help you understand your options for pursuing a claim against a negligent driver. 

Negligence Leading to Motorcycle Accidents 

Due to the small size of motorcycles, they can be somewhat difficult to spot on the road. Because of this, drivers should take care to notice motorcycles around them and ensure they are driving in a way that protects the safety of motorcyclists. Failure to do so is considered negligence. Legally speaking, negligence is defined as reckless or careless behavior resulting in injury to another party. In motorcycle accidents, negligence can come in a number of forms. Distracted driving, such as texting while driving, can be especially dangerous, since a driver who takes their attention away from the road is less likely to notice motorcycles.

Violations of traffic laws, such as speeding, running a red light, or illegally changing lanes, are another common cause of motorcycle accidents. However, negligence may occur even if a driver does not commit a traffic violation. For example, if a driver fails to properly check their blind spots when changing lanes, this could lead them to collide with a motorcycle, and they may be liable for the injuries suffered by the motorcyclist.

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Appleton, WI motorcycle passenger injury lawyerMotorcyclists can be seriously injured in a collision with another vehicle or in a single-vehicle accident. The lack of protection afforded to a cyclist means that even what may seem like a minor crash can result in severe bodily harm. However, in addition to the cyclist themselves, a passenger can also be seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, and due to their lack of control of the situation, these injuries may be even more devastating.

The harm that can come to motorcycle passengers is far from theoretical; two recent incidents demonstrate the potential injuries that can occur. On July 22, 2019, a 61-year-old woman was killed while riding as a passenger on a motorcycle that collided with another vehicle in Ozaukee County, and on August 24, a 40-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman riding on a motorcycle were both seriously injured when the driver lost control and crashed.

Liability for Motorcycle Accidents

When determining how to receive financial compensation for injuries experienced in a motorcycle accident, a passenger will need to determine who was at fault. Liable parties may include:

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Appleton motorcycle accident lawyer lane splitting

Safety should be a top priority for anyone that is operating a vehicle. Auto accidents involving a car or motorcycle can result in property damage, serious injuries, and wrongful deaths. Lane splitting, which is often referred to as traffic filtering or white lining, is the act of driving a motorcycle in between two lanes of traffic. Although lane splitting is illegal in Wisconsin, motorcyclists may violate traffic laws in this manner, and accidents can occur as a result. If you have been involved in a car accident that was caused by a motorist who violated the laws, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Safe Driving Tactics

Traffic laws are meant to protect public safety while providing structure as vehicles traverse the roads. When you get behind the wheel, you expect your fellow motorists to obey the traffic laws and follow proper driving etiquette. Similar to speeding or tailgating, lane splitting can be a dangerous act that puts everyone on the road at risk. Driving lanes are designed to provide vehicle operators with enough space to safely control their vehicles. When a motorcyclist drives on the lines separating lanes, they encroach on other vehicles’ space, and this unexpected action can lead to an accident. Drivers may be unable to fully see motorcycles that are in their blind spots, and they may not be able to react in time to avoid a collision. 

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