St Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcyclists know the inherent risks of riding and the importance of adhering to safety precautions on the road. Unfortunately, even the most careful rider can get into a motorcycle accident due to the recklessness or negligence of another motorist.
Motorcycle accidents are some of the most dangerous motor vehicle accidents, causing over 5,500 deaths and 82,500 injuries in 2020. The most severe cases often involve life-altering injuries, thousands of dollars of property damage, and death for both riders and vehicle occupants.
Did you suffer injuries or lose a loved one in a motorcycle accident in St. Louis, MO? If so, you could be entitled to financial compensation from the at-fault parties.
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Injury Lawyers Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, can help you hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence and recover the financial compensation you deserve.
Contact our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys today for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
What Makes Motorcycles Dangerous?
Cyclists ride motorcycles for various reasons, such as faster travel, cheaper maintenance, and the freedom of the open road. However, riding a motorcycle comes with inherent risks, including:
- Less Protection: A motorcyclist has far less protection than a driver or passenger in a car and is more vulnerable to catastrophic injuries in an accident. No airbags, seatbelts, or roofs protect a rider from direct impact with objects or obstacles, increasing the risk of severe injuries and fatal motorcycle accidents.
- Less Stability: Even the smallest obstacles on the road like gravel and leaves can cause a rider to lose balance or skid, increasing the risk of a catastrophic accident. Improper braking, driving with one hand, and speeding can cause a motorcyclist to lose control and crash.
- Less Visibility: It is harder for other drivers to see motorcyclists sharing the road, increasing the risk of a motorcycle accident. Many motorcycles are small enough to be virtually invisible in vehicles’ blind spots, and one wrong move can result in a fatal accident.
Prevalence of Motorcycle Accidents
According to the National Safety Council, motorcycle accidents resulted in 5,579 deaths and 82,500 injuries in 2020. They also found:
- More than half (61%) of motorcycle accidents occured on urban roads.
- Approximately 52% of accidents involved two vehicles.
- About 58% of motorcycle crash victims wore helmets.
- A large portion (27%) of accidents involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
Missouri Helmet Law
In 2020, Missouri repealed its helmet law in August 2020, allowing motorcycle owners to not wear a helmet if they are 26 and older and have proof of health insurance. The law also disallows law enforcement from pulling over riders just to ensure they follow helmet laws.
Unfortunately, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation, the state’s number of fatal motorcycle accidents rose by 40% after the new law. Helmetless fatalities increased by 800% in 2021 compared to 2020.
Helmets are not entirely failsafe, but they reduce the risk of serious injuries and death in motorcycle accidents. However, a helmet may not be enough protection when sharing the road with a negligent driver.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in St. Louis
Negligence can lead to disastrous motorcycle accidents, whether by a car driver or motorcyclist. The following are the most common negligence-related factors that increase the risk of a motorcycle accident in St. Louis:
- Distracted Driving: Driving requires utmost concentration, even more so when riding a motorcycle. Texting, eating, and talking while driving can take away a driver’s attention from the road and prevent them from reacting to dangerous situations in time.
- Drunk Driving: Driving while drunk or high diminishes a driver’s concentration, coordination, and reaction time, increasing the risk of an accident.
- Aggressive Driving: Speeding, swerving, tailgating, and other aggressive driving behaviors can put a driver and everyone else on the road at risk. These actions can lead to a driver losing control of the vehicle, failing to react to a dangerous situation, and triggering road rage in other motorists.
- Drowsy Driving: Driving while tired or sleepy is a leading cause of fatal accidents. A tired driver is at risk of falling asleep at the wheel, colliding with other vehicles, or veering off the road.
- Failure to Obey Traffic Rules: Running red lights, making illegal turns, failing to yield to oncoming traffic, and other traffic violations increase the chances of a motorcycle crash, be it on the part of a car driver or a rider.
Other common causes of motorcycle accidents in St. Louis, MO, include:
- Inclement Weather: Rain, snow, and fog reduce road visibility and make pavements slippery. A car or motorcycle can easily slip on the road and crash into another vehicle without proper caution.
- Poor Road Conditions: Two-wheelers are less stable than four-wheelers, making even the smallest obstacles dangerous. A motorcyclist, especially an inexperienced one, can quickly lose control of their bike if they drive over rough roads, uneven pavement, and potholes.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Poorly maintained cars and motorcycles make roads more dangerous. A car can cause an accident with a malfunctioning taillight, tire blowout, or faulty brakes. Similarly, a motorcycle can cause a crash with an overheated engine, defective tires, bad brakes, and other faults.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Many motorcycle accidents lead to serious injuries for riders, considering that motorcyclists have little to no protection against direct impact in the event of a crash. Our St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyers have handled countless cases and took note of the most common injuries in motorcycle accident victims:
- Head and Neck Injuries: Motorcyclists can suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and other forms of head trauma in crashes, even while wearing a helmet. Common head injuries include concussions, contusions, and skull fractures. Fatal accidents involving objects penetrating the skull result in severe brain injuries, which can cause instant death.
- Fractures: A motorcyclist can get thrown off their bike in a crash and land on a hard object, such as a car or the road, often resulting in broken bones.
- Road Rash: Many motorcycle owners often wear thick, full-coverage clothing to avoid abrasions caused by sliding across the pavement in case of an accident. Most motorcycle accidents lead to mild cases of road rash that require little medical attention. However, severe rashes beyond multiple layers of skin usually require surgery and additional care.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Damage to the spinal cord can lead to severe complications, such as chronic pain, osteoporosis, and, in worst cases–permanent paralysis.
- Internal Injuries: Severe blunt trauma to the body can injure internal organs (e.g., spleen, liver, kidneys) and lead to internal bleeding, organ failure, and death.
- Amputation: Severe motorcycle crashes can result in instant limb loss or severe injuries requiring amputation.
- Crushing Injuries: Motorcyclists have virtually no protection between their bodies and other objects in a crash. If they are caught between two hard objects (e.g., a vehicle and a road barrier). In that case, the pressure can damage muscle tissue, internal organs, and nerves, causing severe complications such as muscle death and neurologic dysfunction.
What to Do if You Get into a Motorcycle Accident
Riding carefully and following traffic rules can significantly reduce your motorcycle crash risk. Unfortunately, some car and truck drivers disregard their obligation to other motorists and act recklessly on the road.
While no one wants to think about getting into a motorcycle accident, it helps to know what to do in case it happens:
- Get to a Safe Area: If you are in the middle of the road, try to move yourself and your motorcycle to the sidewalk to avoid further collisions. Stay where you are if traffic is moving too fast for you to cross safely.
- Call the Authorities: Call 911, be sure to ask for an ambulance if you or another individual needs immediate medical treatment.
- Apply First Aid: Attend to yourself and other motorcycle accident victims who need first aid. If there is an unconscious person, do not move them unless necessary.
- Document the Scene: Try to document the accident scene before leaving. Take pictures and videos of the location, the vehicles involved, and your injuries. Obtain the details of all drivers involved in the crash and possible witnesses.
- Go to the Hospital: Regardless of the severity of your injuries, go to a doctor for a proper assessment. Doing so will ensure you have a record of your injuries, even if they manifest in physical signs later.
- Monitor Your Injuries: Keep a record of your motorcycle accident injuries, ongoing emotional trauma, financial losses (medical bills, lost wages, motorcycle repair costs), and other effects you experience following the accident.
- Contact a Lawyer: Call a St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney to ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages. Avoid sharing the details of your accident with anyone else other than your lawyer, especially insurance companies.
Who May Be Liable for Your Motorcycle Accident?
All drivers are responsible for exercising reasonable care to prevent car accidents and injury to others. This duty includes following traffic laws and sharing the road safely with other motorists.
A driver that acts negligently (e.g., distracted driving) and causes your motorcycle accident may be liable for your damages. However, they may not be the only person you could hold responsible in your motorcycle accident case.
Our St. Louis motorcycle accident attorneys can help you pursue damages against:
Determining liability in a motorcycle accident can be challenging. Your St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney will investigate your case thoroughly to identify responsible parties and their level of contribution to the incident.
Shared Liability in Personal Injury Cases
Missouri follows the “comparative negligence” rule for personal injuries, meaning motorcycle accident victims may receive compensation in proportion to their degree of fault. For instance, the court may reduce a claim worth $50,000 to $45,000 if it decides that the claimant is 10% at fault for the accident.
Considering this rule, you need an experienced St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney to ensure you receive the maximum compensation, even if you share liability in the accident.
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim in St. Louis, MO
Even the most experienced motorcycle riders can find themselves in a crash caused by someone else’s negligence. You could file a motorcycle accident case against responsible parties to recover compensation if this happens to you.
Our personal injury lawyers will help you prove that:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to you (everyone has the responsibility of care to prevent injury to others in any setting)
- The defendant breached their duty of care
- This breach caused your motorcycle accident
- The motorcycle accident led directly to your injuries and damages
Like regular personal injury claims, you need to obtain substantial evidence to identify responsible parties and show the extent of your damages in your motorcycle accident case. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will help you gather relevant forms of proof, such as:
- Photos of injuries
- Medical records
- Documentation of the accident scene
- Police reports
- Surveillance and dash cam footage
- Witness accounts
- Proof of property damage and other financial losses
Filing a personal injury claim against at-fault parties could help you recover monetary compensation for the following losses:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for treatment costs, including hospitalization, medication, surgery, treatment, and anticipated future medical bills.
- Disability: Compensation for disability-related damages if your accident leads to permanent disability. These damages may include loss of future earning capacity, mobility aid expenses, and disability-related medical bills.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and non-physical injuries, including physical pain, emotional distress, mental trauma, etc.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for wages and income lost while recovering from your injuries or caring for an injured loved one.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for quality of life lost following the accident.
- Property Damage: Compensation for personal property lost or damaged in the accident.
- Wrongful Death: Compensation for death-related damages if your loved one dies, including funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical expenses, and grief.
During your free consultation, your lawyer will estimate the potential value of your settlement to ensure you accept nothing lower than the amount you deserve.
Reaching a Settlement
After filing a claim against the defendant, their insurance company may offer you a settlement. You must handle this process carefully to avoid losing out on your claim or accepting a lowball offer. Remember that you can no longer pursue additional damages once you receive the payment.
Allow an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to handle communications with the defendant’s insurance company. Do not offer a recorded personal statement, sign over records, or admit fault (even if you are partially to blame). If the initial offer is too low, your St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company for a better one.
Personal injury cases filed with insurers may take a few weeks to months to process. Our motorcycle accident attorney will help you file your claim immediately to receive prompt relief from your financial losses.
Other Legal Options
Most motorcycle accident claims settle out of court. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Your St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer can help you file a personal injury lawsuit if:
- The insurance company refuses to make a fair offer
- The defendant denies liability in the motorcycle accident
Our personal injury lawyers will file your case in court if either scenario occurs. Your case will then go in front of a judge or jury, who will hear evidence from both sides before deciding a verdict (litigation).
To avoid litigation, your personal injury lawyer could help you pursue damages through other methods, such as arbitration or mediation. These alternative dispute resolution processes are often less formal, less expensive, and not as time-consuming as a trial.
Our motorcycle injury lawyers will walk you through your different legal options during your free case evaluation.
Statute of Limitations in St. Louis, MO
According to Missouri law, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is five years from the date of the underlying incident. Our personal injury lawyers will help you file your case on time to avoid losing critical evidence or missing the deadline.
The Role of St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will help you:
- Determine how and why the motorcycle accident happened
- Establish the liability of at-fault parties
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- File a claim on your behalf
- Negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company
- File a motorcycle accident lawsuit in civil court, if necessary
You can learn more about these responsibilities during a free consultation with our personal injury lawyers.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
There is no room for negligence on the road. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to meet their obligation to other motorists, causing motorcycle accidents that lead to serious injuries, property damage, and even death.
Did you or a loved one get into a motorcycle accident in St. Louis, MO? Was the accident caused by a driver, pedestrian, or fellow motorcyclist? If so, you have the legal right to seek compensation.
The personal injury lawyers at Injury Lawyers Team can help you hold responsible parties accountable in motorcycle accident cases. Our experienced attorneys have years of experience handling motorcycle crashes with varying levels of severity and shared fault, including wrongful death claims. With the help of our legal team, you could obtain fair compensation for all the losses you have incurred.
Contact our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers today for a free case evaluation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our personal injury lawyers will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our attorneys handle all accepted St. Louis motorcycle accidents on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay for our legal services unless we win your case.
- National Safety Council – Motorbike Injury Facts
- Columbia Missourian – Motorcycle Accidents Increase