How do I protect my right to compensation after a motorcycle intersection accident?

Intersections are one of the most dangerous spots for motorcycle riders. Drivers who are distracted, intoxicated, or careless can easily cause  motorcycle accidents that result in serious or even fatal injuries. 

Types Of Motorcycle Accidents

The most common types of motorcycle accidents at intersections include:

  • Running a red light. No matter how experienced they are, motorcycle riders can't maneuver their bikes as quickly or safely as a driver can stop a passenger vehicle. When a driver runs a red light, it's often impossible for a motorcyclist to avoid the collision.
  • Left hand turn accidents. These types of motorcycle accidents are almost always caused by a distracted or careless driver who simply didn't see the motorcyclist in his way. However, they can also be caused by drivers are who are in such a rush that they fail to yield to traffic coming from the other direction.
  • Rear-end accidents. Since motorcyclists don't have seat belts or the protection of a fully enclosed vehicle, even a rear-end collision at a relatively low speed can be deadly.
  • Blind spot accidents. The smaller size of a motorcycle makes it easy for drivers to miss seeing a bike that's in their blind spot. Visibility can also be affected by poor weather or a lack of suitable lighting at night.

Associated Injuries

Motorcycle accidents that happen at intersections typically are classified as low-speed collisions, but they can still cause the following types of injuries: 

Wearing a helmet and thick leather boots, jacket, and pants can prevent some injuries, but motorcyclists are still at risk even if they've taken all of the recommended safety precautions.

Determining Liability For A Motorcycle Intersection Accident

Determining liability for an accident is the first step in building a valid personal injury claim. Here are some types of evidence your attorney may consider:

  • Medical records linking your injuries to the accident
  • Police reports from the accident scene
  • Witness testimony
  • Photographs
  • Video footage from traffic cams or nearby businesses
  • Signs of damage on your bike and the clothes you were wearing

Keep in mind that if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, you may be found to be partially at fault for your injuries. This will reduce your compensation by your assigned percentage of fault. However, if you can show evidence that your injuries would have occurred even if you were wearing a helmet, you may be able to still receive full damages.

Types Of Compensation Following A Motorcycle Accident

A personal injury claim can include compensation for several different types of damages, including:

  • Medical needs such as emergency care, diagnostic tests, surgery, hospital stays, physical therapy, and pain medication
  • Anticipated future medical care related to a permanent disability
  • Lost wages from the time you were unable to work due to your injuries
  • Anticipated future loss of earning potential related to a permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering

A wrongful death suit is a type of personal injury claim filed by the surviving family of a deceased person. This type of case can include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses up to the time of death
  • Pain and suffering up to the time of death
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of the deceased person's companionship

Punitive damages are damages that are intended to punish the defendant instead of reimbursing for actual damages the injured person has suffered. Punitive damages are not typically a part of a motorcycle accident settlement; however, they can be awarded in personal injury and wrongful death cases if the conduct that caused the accident shows particularly reckless disregard for the safety of others. For example, accidents caused by extreme intoxication, drag racing, or playing chicken would demonstrate signs of gross negligence.

Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team has extensive experience handling motorcycle accident claims. Please contact us online or call us directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at one of our six convenient office locations.