Motorcycle crashes can result in seriously disabling injuries, especially when the accident is a T-bone collision. If you have recently been in this type of accident, you may be entitled to compensation via a personal injury claim.
Proving Liability for T-Bone Collisions
T-bone collisions occur when the side of one vehicle is hit by the front of another vehicle. This type of accident can happen when a motorcyclist is driving through an intersection and a car travelling perpendicularly strikes him in the side.
Motorcycle T-bone accidents have a number of causes and are typically not the fault of the motorcyclist. Often, the other driver is speeding, running a red light, or engaged in distracted driving at the time of the accident. Since motorcycles are smaller than cars or trucks, it is easy for inattentive drivers to fail to notice the motorcyclist until it's too late to avoid a collision.
Evidence used to prove liability may include:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photos of the accident scene
- Police reports and driver citations
- Surveillance footage from nearby security cameras
- Accident reconstructions provided by expert witnesses
If the accident was caused by a criminal offense such as drunk driving, evidence from the criminal case can be used to support your personal injury claim. Since a personal injury claim is a type of civil litigation, these two cases are considered separate legal matters.
Receiving Compensation for Your Injuries
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you are entitled to compensation for accident-related damages. These include:
- Medical expenses, including emergency room care, diagnostic tests, surgery, hospital stays, physical therapy, and prescription medications
- Future medical expenses, if you've been left with a permanent disability such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury
- Lost wages for the time you were unable to work due to your injuries
- Loss of future earning potential, if you've been left with a permanent disability that affects your ability to earn a living
- Pain and suffering, including both physical pain and emotional trauma related to the accident
Punitive damages are damages that are intended only to punish the defendant. They are not often awarded in motorcycle accident cases but could be requested if the driver who caused your injuries was exceptionally reckless.
You can still receive compensation in a personal injury settlement even if you are determined to be partially at fault for the accident. However, your settlement will be proportionately reduced by your assigned percentage of fault.
If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your motorcycle T-bone accident, you will be found partially at fault for your injuries unless you can prove that helmet usage would not have prevented your injury. This is typically accomplished by presenting your medical records and testimony from experts familiar with the type of injury you have suffered.
Wrongful Death Claims From T-Bone Collisions
T-bone collisions have a high fatality rate, especially when a motorcyclist is involved. In cases with fatal accidents, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. This is a type of personal injury claim seeking damages for medical expenses up to the time of death, funeral and burial costs, loss of future wages, applicable pain and suffering, and loss of the care and companionship of the deceased.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
Personal injury law can be quite complex, and insurance companies are in no hurry to settle a case. To protect your financial interests, it's best to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can gather evidence to support liability, document your damages, and advocate for the highest possible settlement. Typically, Louisiana law allows one year after the date of the motorcycle accident to file your claim. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team.