Our motorcycle injury attorneys are riders, too. We understand that most motorcyclists are responsible riders who obey traffic safety laws because they understand the serious consequences of a crash. Even safe riders can sustain serious injuries as a result of another motorist’s inattention, carelessness or disregard for safety.
Many drivers in Chesterfield do not look out for motorcycles on the road or give motorcyclists the attention that they deserve. The result is often preventable motorcycle accidents and injuries to riders caused by the negligence of other drivers. Serious motorcycle accidents typically involve expensive medical treatment and long recoveries. It is important to understand your legal options for recovering compensation for your injuries caused by others.
Our Chesterfield injury attorneys understand the challenges of recovering from a motorcycle accident because he has had the personal experience of being an injured motorcyclist. Mr. Sansone applies that experience and perspective each time he represents a motorcyclist who has been seriously injured and is struggling to recover.
How Can a Chesterfield Motorcycle Injury Attorney Help After a Motorcycle Crash?
If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident that was someone’s fault, you are facing a lengthy recovery. You may be discharged from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility for ongoing treatment or require months of outpatient physical therapy.
You may be unable to work for an extended period of time and lose significant income. You will need access to all of the financial resources available to you to cover your medical bills and support your family. That is where an experienced Chesterfield motorcycle crash attorney can serve you. When Sansone & Lauber represents a motorcycle crash victim, what we do is:
- Investigate the motorcycle accident and interview police and witnesses;
- Identify all potentially at-fault parties and their insurance providers;
- Consult with traffic accident reconstruction experts if needed;
- Determine the present medical costs of the injury;
- Work with financial planners to estimate your lifetime medical costs and ongoing expenses from the injury;
- Submit an insurance claim reflecting the full extent of your losses;
- Negotiate aggressively with the insurance company for maximum compensation;
- Keep you informed of any settlement offers;
- Represent you in court proceedings.
A motorcycle injury attorney at Sansone & Lauber will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to identify all the potentially responsible parties. If the accident is complex, we may hire a traffic reconstruction expert to identify precisely how the motorcycle accident occurred.
In many multi-vehicle accidents, more than one driver or other party may have contributed to the crash. An unsafe roadway design or uneven pavement also may have contributed to the accident as well as another driver’s carelessness. Identifying all the responsible parties broadens the number of insurance companies that may be liable for paying compensation for your injuries.
We will conduct a thorough investigation as if the case is going to court, though most injury cases that we handle are resolved out of court. A detailed investigation allows us to negotiate more effectively with injury adjusters. We will submit a claim for compensation representing the full extent of your losses and pain and suffering and negotiate aggressively. We will proceed to court if the insurance adjusters are unwilling to make a fair settlement.
As riders ourselves, we understand the misperceptions that many motorists (and therefore jurors and witnesses) have about motorcycles and motorcyclists. Many motorists mistakenly perceive that a motorcycle was speeding even when it was not or that the motorcyclist caused the collision, when that was not the legal cause. As motorcycle riders, we understand that bikers often face cultural bias from other motorists, police and some jurors.
When we take motorcycle accident cases to trial, we carefully question prospective jurors about their perception of motorcyclists to try to screen those who may be biased against motorcycle riders. Being sensitive to the biases that motorcyclists face is an important part of being an effective advocate for an injured motorcyclist.
When your future depends on the outcome of your injury case, choose a Chesterfield personal injury attorney who has the skill and experience to make a difference.
Chesterfield Motorcycle Accident Attorney Case Results
At Sansone & Lauber, we are understandably proud of our track record of verdicts and settlements. They reflect the success we have had in obtaining compensation for people who have been injured—people just like you or your loved one. Check out our case results.
Our client, a motorcyclist, was injured in a multi-vehicle accident on I-44 west of St. Louis by a motorist who fled the scene and was never identified. We obtained a substantial insurance settlement for our client by demanding that the insurance company stack the uninsured motorist coverage on the polices covering our client’s three different vehicles. We successfully overcame the insurance company’s objections. Our client has recovered and is able to ride his motorcycle again.
Motorcycle Passenger Injured in Crash
Our client, a motorcycle passenger, was injured and knocked unconscious when the intoxicated driver of the motorcycle took a turn too fast and crashed. Our client had $60,000 in medical bills, and the motorcyclist did not have insurance. We filed a lawsuit against the at-fault motorcyclist and our client’s insurance company. We succeeded in obtaining $150,000 in compensation for our client through the uninsured motorist coverage our client had in polices covering two separate vehicles.
Serious Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents in Chesterfield
Accidents involving a motorcycle and a car or truck rarely cause harm to the driver of the larger vehicle, but can be devastating to the motorcyclist, cyclist, or pedestrian. Lacking the protection of an enclosed passenger compartment, a motorcyclist is at risk of being thrown by the violent impact of a collision into an oncoming vehicle or onto the pavement.
A motorcyclist is vulnerable to suffering a head injury, traumatic brain injury (TBI), neck injury, facial injury and broken bones as a result of a collision.
The number of people killed and injured in motorcycle accidents has increased in recent years, even as other types of traffic deaths have declined. Motorcyclist accidents now account for roughly one out of every seven traffic fatalities, compared to one out of 10 a decade ago.
The common injuries in motorcycle accidents include:
- Lower Extremity Injuries – Leg injuries, knee injuries and pelvic injuries including broken pelvises are the most common injuries in motorcycle accidents, according to an analysis of crash data by the National Trauma Data Bank. A lower extremity injury may lead to extended costly medical treatment and permanent disabilities.
- Leg Injuries – Injuries to the legs and feet account for a third of motorcycle injuries. Bone fractures to the ankle and to the femur, the long upper leg bone, were the most common leg injuries. Fractures to the femur accounted for half of all thigh injuries.
- Pelvis and Hip Injuries – Fractures to the pelvis account for about 70 percent of pelvic injuries in motorcycle crashes. Dislocation of the hip is common.
- Facial Disfigurement – Riders who are thrown off a motorcycle may sustain fractures to the jaw and facial disfigurement if their face strikes the pavement or another hard surface. Facial disfigurement may require reconstructive surgery, increasing the cost of medical treatment.
- Nerve Damage – When a motorcycle overturns and a rider hits the pavement, a rider’s arm and shoulder often absorb the initial impact. That can cause damage to the nerves in the arm, leading to a condition called biker’s arm. It involves paralysis and loss of use or reduced use of the arm.
- Spinal Injuries – About one out of 10 injured motorcyclists sustained a spinal injury, according to research in the medical journal Trauma based on an analysis of 1,100 crashes. Injuries to the middle section of the spine—the thoracic spine—are the most common spinal injuries in motorcycle accidents. Multiple level spinal injuries are also common.
- Head Injuries – Head injuries are less common than lower extremity injuries, but are more severe. Approximately 17 percent of motorcyclists treated at a hospital after a crash had a traumatic brain injury, according to a 2009 federal study. Fifteen percent of motorcyclists wearing helmets sustained traumatic brain injuries and about 21 percent of motorcyclists without helmets. Unhelmeted riders typically sustain more serious brain injuries than those wearing helmets. A traumatic brain injury is one of the most severe and costly injuries a person can have and may incur significant long-term costs.
A TBI can be a life-changing injury. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Sansone & Lauber regularly handle head and brain injury cases as a subspecialty of personal injury law.
Motorcycle Injury Attorney: Common Causes of Accidents
The common causes of motorcycle accidents include inattentive or distracted drivers, road hazards such as uneven pavement and defective motorcycle equipment. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most common types and causes of motorcycle accidents include
Left-turn Crashes — Automobile drivers waiting to turn left at intersections often overlook motorcycles that are approaching the intersection from the opposite direction or misjudge their speed and turn in front of the motorcycle. The motorcyclist may be unable to avoid colliding with the driver. Police frequently charge drivers with failure to yield of right of way in collisions involving cars and motorcycles.
Blind-spot Accidents — A driver may try to switch lanes and not realize a motorcyclist is beside the vehicle and sideswipe the motorcyclist or force the motorcyclist off the road to avoid a collision.
Distracted Driving – Distractions can cause motorist to overlook a motorcyclist. A car driver talking on the phone, texting, eating, using a navigation system or just daydreaming may hit a motorcycle that the driver never saw because the driver was not looking.
Road Hazards — A motorcyclist may round a curve and encounter a pothole, loose gravel or water running across the road, causing the motorcyclist to lose control and crash. After such accidents, it is important to examine whether negligent roadway design or maintenance contributed to the accident.
Questions and Answers from our Chesterfield Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Chesterfield Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Who is at fault for a motorcycle accident?
The determination of fault is the decisive factor in whether you receive compensation after a motorcycle crash. Missouri uses a comparative fault system, assessing each party’s share of responsibility for an accident. You may still collect compensation if you are partially at fault in an accident. But the amount of damages that you could collect would be reduced by the proportionate share of fault.
For example, if a jury awarded $100,000 in damages after a motorcycle accident and found that you were 20 percent at fault, you would then be eligible to receive $80,000. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer would work to minimize your share of fault in an accident.
What to do after a motorcycle accident
After a motorcycle accident, you should take the following steps:
- Call 911 and report the accident.
- Do not let another driver talk you out of calling police with the promise of an out-of-pocket settlement. A police report is an important document to have when making an insurance claim.
- Take photos of the accident scene with your phone camera.
- Do not discuss the details of the accident with others or admit fault even if you believe you caused the accident.
- Get an evaluation by a doctor right away and inform the doctor that you have been in a motorcycle crash. Insurance adjusters would rely on a doctor’s evaluation of your injuries in making a determination about the claim.
- Have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney review the specific facts of your accident and explain your legal options for seeking compensation.
How to choose a Chesterfield motorcycle accident lawyer?
If you typed “motorcycle accident lawyer Chesterfield” into Google and found Sansone & Lauber, you have come to the right place for help. In choosing a motorcycle injury lawyer, you want an attorney who has handled a number of injury cases and has a strong track record of verdicts and settlements. You want an attorney who will negotiate aggressively on your behalf and a law firm that has the resources to stay the course on your case.
Attorney Ben Sansone has had the experience of being an injured motorcyclist and understands what you and your family are going through now. While each case stands on its own merits, Sansone & Lauber has an outstanding record of obtaining favorable settlements and verdicts. Contact Sansone & Lauber for a free consultation about your legal options.
What percent of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death?
Your chances of being injured if you are involved in a motorcycle accident are high. In a recent year, motorcyclists in Missouri were involved in nearly 2,700 crashes, according to the Missouri Department of Public Safety. Those crashes produced 2,290 injuries and 102 fatalities. More than eight of every 10 motorcycle operators and passengers involved an injury or death.
- Injury Patterns and Severity Among Hospitalized Motorcyclists
- Lower-Extremity Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes
- Motorcycle Helmet Use and Head and Facial Injuries
- Spinal Injuries in Motorcycle Crashes: Patterns and Outcomes
- Spinal Cord Injuries