Hurt In A Motorcycle Collision? Get Help Today!
You or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident. You’re hurt, you’re frustrated, and you want nothing more than to put the entire thing behind you. But you’ve got medical bills stacking up, another day of unemployment has gone by, and it looks like you may be in for a long road to recovery.
You might be thinking: “This wasn’t even my fault! Why do I have to pay for it?”
That’s a good question. And the hard-working Seattle motorcycle accident lawyers at Pendergast Law are ready to help you answer it. For nearly half a century, we’ve been helping victims just like you regain their futures by holding the right parties accountable for their actions. We can help you calculate what your overall losses will be, including wages from missed work, future medical bills, and pain and suffering. Call our office toll-free 888-539-9211 to set up a free consultation today.
Washington Motorcycle Accident Case Results
- $685,000 recovery for a man who fractured his left wrist, arm, and leg in a motorcycle accident in Enumclaw.
- $225,000 recovery for leg fracture in Seattle motorcycle accident.
- $220,000 recovery for a man who sustained a concussion and fractured ribs when he was hit while riding his motorcycle in Pierce County.
- $175,000 recovery for a man who injured his clavicle and ribs when a car swerved and knocked him off his motorcycle in Bellevue.
What Are Common Motorcycle-Related Injuries?
Over the years, we’ve witnessed many motorcycle collisions and a wide variety of associated injuries. Because of a motorcycle’s size and exposure, injuries to riders are often severe, demanding a great deal of medical attention and rehabilitation to fully recover.
- Road rash is a serious-yet-common injury that occurs when a rider is thrown from a bike and slides across the asphalt, scraping off the skin.
- Degloving refers to when a rider’s skin is pulled completely off of a hand or other body part, leaving the muscle, tendons, and tissues underneath exposed and vulnerable. In addition to causing severe disfigurements, a degloving can also prevent the body from performing basic functions, such as regulating blood pressure and even damage a rider’s nerves.
- Paralysis is very common after motorcycle accidents. During a collision, a rider may suffer severe trauma to the spine, neck or brain. When this occurs, it may be difficult for the body’s nerves to communicate with each other. Orders to move the arms and legs can no longer be carried to the limbs, and this results in paralysis.
- Broken bones are common after collisions, especially for older riders. While any bone can be fractured in a collision, riders often suffer severe injuries to their hips and legs, which can lead to permanent disabilities. In some cases, limbs can become too damaged to repair through surgery, splints, and other treatments, making the only option an amputation. Sadly, this happens far too often.
- Burns are another common injury during motorcycle accidents. Gallons of gas in the motorcycle and any other vehicles can ignite and burn accident victims, leaving them with third-degree burns that need extensive grafting and treatment.
- Brain trauma is one of the most debilitating injuries a rider can suffer. Motorcycle helmets are not enough to protect the head in a high-speed collision. Riders often suffer severe head trauma that can be truly devastating, resulting in impairment to memory, cognitive functions, sight, motor functions, and even emotions and personality.
A lawyer can help you calculate what your overall losses will be, including wages from missed work, future medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Common Motorcycle Accidents In Seattle
There is almost no such thing as a minor motorcycle accident. Seattle bikers suffer extensive injuries almost every day and require costly medical treatments, from emergency surgeries to months of rehabilitation, to fully recover … if they can recover at all. When a 4,000-pound car traveling at high speeds collides with a lighter motorcycle, riders rarely walk away with a bruise and strain.
There are several causes behind motorcycle accidents throughout the Seattle area, most of which can be attributed to negligent drivers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that 70% of motorcycle collisions occur at intersections, with at least 33% happening because another motorist turned into the path of the motorcycle. In many cases, these drivers are:
- Speeding through the intersection
- Driving while intoxicated, distracted, or fatigued
- Failing to give right-of-way
- Failing to use turn signals
When these behaviors have caused a left-turn motorcycle accident, the driver engaging in those behaviors will likely be found at fault for the accident.
Rear-end accidents occur when one vehicle crashes into another vehicle from behind. This can occur because a driver was tailgating, making a dangerous lane change, or being distracted as he approached an intersection. In any situation, drivers who rear-end motorcyclists are often found at fault for a collision.
Sideswipe accidents occur when a driver doesn’t check his blind spots before merging or turning into the motorcyclist’s lane. The motorcyclist may be hit or forced to evade the car by laying down his bike, colliding with another object, or just losing control altogether.
Driver distraction is at the root of many motorcycle sideswipe accidents. It is why many motorists involved in motorcycle collisions state that they “never saw the victim at all!” before the crash occurred. When drivers are texting or talking on the phone, changing radio stations, interacting with other people in the car, driving impaired, or making aggressive maneuvers, they can be found liable for a rider’s injuries.
Being Thrown From A Bike
Motorcycles don’t have restraint systems like seatbelts or shoulder straps. While some motorcycles can be fitted with airbags, the majority of bikers don’t have these safety features. When a motorcycle is struck by another vehicle or runs into a stationary object, such as a suddenly opening car door, the rider is often thrown off of the bike.
Determining liability in these types of accidents will depend on who was at fault for the initial impact. If another driver crashed into the motorcycle, he would most likely be found at fault for the biker being thrown from the bike and any injuries resulting from the collision.
- Motorcycles are difficult to see: Motorcycles are quite a bit smaller than other vehicles and therefore are less visible to other drivers. Combine this fact with blind spots and distracted driving, and you have a recipe for an accident.
- Motor vehicles changing lanes: Many drivers fail to do head checks or adequately check their mirrors before changing lanes and may collide with a motorcycle that is occupying that lane.
- Running red lights or stop signs: This could be due to distracted driving or a driver trying to beat a yellow light. Either way, running red lights or stop signs can prove fatal to motorcycle riders.
- Road conditions: Whether it’s rain, ice, sleet, show, debris, loose gravel, or spilled oil, all of these road conditions can cause serious injuries to a motorcycle rider.
Sometimes, dangerous road conditions or defective parts on vehicles can also cause an accident. When this is the case, manufacturers or government entities can be partially or wholly at fault for the accident. A good attorney can find out.
What Are Your Options After An Accident?
Unfortunately, motorcyclists face more difficulties when filing a claim than other motorists. There is a general concept in the U.S. known as “motorcycle bias,” which portrays riders as dangerous, reckless, or thrill-seekers. Many insurance companies share these views and do not provide fair compensation for injured bikers. Some may outright deny a claim, arguing that the motorcyclist is completely at fault for his injuries.
However, with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at your side, you have nothing to fear. Our team is well-versed in representing injured riders and knows just how devastating your injuries are. We firmly believe that every person on the road deserves proper compensation when another person injures them, no matter what vehicle they were operating. Even in a situation where you are partially at fault, we will provide aggressive representation to get you the money you need to heal comfortably.
If you work with Pendergast Law, we can handle every aspect of your case, including:
- Reviewing all available insurance policies, including your own
- Obtaining a copy of your accident report
- Investigating the circumstances of your injuries and the nature of your accident
- Speaking to experts, including accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, and others
- Collecting evidence of negligence, including accident photos and surveillance footage
- Calculating the costs of your injuries, both in terms of financial and personal costs
- Negotiating on your behalf in a settlement negotiation
- Representing your claim in a jury trial, if necessary
- Providing consistent and reliable updates about your case
Never assume that you cannot pursue compensation after a motorcycle accident, and do not accept any offers from an insurance company without speaking to an attorney first. We at Pendergast Law, can explain your rights in a free consultation and determine who is liable for your injuries.
Who Is Liable?
All drivers, whether they’re driving a car or a semi-truck, owe a duty of care to other people on the road: they must act in a reasonable and responsible way to keep everyone safe. When a driver is negligent and speeds, drives distracted or breaks other rules of the road, he has breached his duty of care and can be found at fault in certain situations.
However, while motorcycle accidents are often the fault of negligent drivers, you should remember that Washington is a “pure contributory fault state.” Contributory fault recognizes that both parties involved in an accident may share fault. Suppose you were speeding on your motorcycle when you were hit by a driver who was texting at the time. A jury may decide that you were 10% at fault for the accident because you were speeding, and the other driver was 90% at fault because he was texting. If the settlement you were seeking was $100,000, you would only be able to collect 90% of that settlement, or $90,000.
But contributory fault only applies to jury trials and, with a skilled attorney at your side, you may be able to recover compensation during settlement negotiations without having to take your case to court.
What Compensation Can Injured Bikers Ask For?
Compensation varies, depending on the accident. A number of factors, such as the severity of your injuries and whether the injuries affect your ability to do a job, can contribute to the amount of compensation. The degree of fault may also affect the level of damages. Compensation available to motorcycle accident victims includes:
- Medical bills, current and future, related to the crash
- Lost income, whether lost wages or lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering, and other “soft” or “intangible” costs of the crash
- Property damage, such as vehicle repairs
Help For Bikers Suffering Accident-Related Injuries
The Seattle injury attorneys at Pendergast Law have dealt with the nuances of representing motorcyclists and know what it takes to secure your case. You can rest assured that will we use every tool at our disposal to obtain the compensation you need to recover – and put the blame where it belongs.
If you were seriously injured or your loved one was killed in a motorcycle crash, contact our office to set up a case consultation. We are dedicated to representing injured riders, and there is no cost to sit down with us. In addition, we work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning we do not get paid unless we win your case.