Motorcycle accidents present unique challenges in a personal injury case, but you can protect your right to compensation by knowing how to address some common defenses the at-fault party may use to avoid paying your claim.
The Driver Didn't See You
Drivers sometimes complain that motorcyclists are hard to spot on the road because their vehicles are so much smaller than passenger cars or trucks. However, not seeing your bike is no excuse for causing an accident.
As long as you're following the rules of the road and taking reasonable care not to cause harm to yourself or others, the driver can't use the defense that he didn't see you to avoid taking responsibility for the accident. In fact, if the driver admits to not seeing you, this is a key piece of evidence in your favor.
You Weren't Wearing a Helmet
Louisiana law requires riders and passengers to wear an approved motorcycle helmet. If you weren't wearing a helmet and you suffered a head injury, you'll be found partially at fault of the accident. If you weren't wearing a helmet but suffered no head injury, the fact that you're guilty of breaking the helmet law isn't relevant to your personal injury claim.
Being found partially at fault for the accident reduces your settlement by your assigned percentage of fault. However, your attorney may be able to increase your compensation by showing that a helmet wouldn't have kept you from suffering the same injuries.
Your Injuries Aren't Related to the Accident
In order to win a personal injury claim, you need to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident and not the result of a preexisting condition or some other unrelated incident. To do this, it's vital that you see a doctor for a professional medical evaluation. Report every symptom you're experiencing, even if it seems minor. Sometimes, symptoms that don't appear to be significant turn out to be signs of a more serious motorcycle accident injury.
You're Exaggerating Your Injuries
It's common for motorcycle accident injuries to result in a permanent disability that requires ongoing medical care and/or affects your ability to return to work. In this case, you may find that the insurance company suggests you're exaggerating your condition, so it can try to avoid paying your claim.
Expert testimony can help with this aspect of your case by explaining the treatment and prognosis for your condition, the cost of anticipated future medical expenses, and how your disability will affect your ability to earn a living. Qualified experts must have specific education and professional experience related to the topic at hand, so you'll need to work with your attorney to find experts who can testify on your behalf.
The Jury Won't Believe You
Although the vast majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court, insurance companies may use the fear of a biased jury to pressure you into accepting a settlement that's less than what you deserve. They're hoping you'll view a lower settlement that's guaranteed as a better bet than taking your chances with a jury.
Bikers are sometimes stereotyped as being reckless and irresponsible, but you're entitled to fair treatment under the law no matter what vehicle you were operating at the time of the accident. Your attorney will work with you to build a case that's focused on facts instead of biases about motorcyclists.
How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help
Insurance companies are well versed in the intricacies of personal injury law and will use every strategy possible to reduce your compensation. Protect yourself by hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to advocate for your interests throughout the settlement process.
Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with the legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault.