An Experienced St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer is Essential to a Successful Claim
Drivers do not give motorcyclists the attention they deserve and the majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by the negligence of other drivers and usually not the fault of the motorcyclist, as most riders know they are more susceptible to injury and ride carefully. Even the most careful motorcycle riders still get hurt.
Our injury lawyers are motorcycle riders too! We understand the safety concerns of motorcyclists and that the safety rules of the road must be enforced to protect everyone who legally uses the road, including motorcyclists. Additionally, we understand the misperceptions many drivers (and therefore jurors and witnesses) have against motorcycles.
Many witnesses perceive that a motorcycle is speeding even when it is not or that the motorcycle caused the collision even when that was not the legal cause. These misperceptions often translate to the police report. Most important: most motorcycle injury cases involve head and brain injuries, such as concussions or traumatic brain injury. We routinely handle head and brain injury cases, a specialization of personal injury law.
The inattention drivers have for motorcycle riders is obvious from the statistics. According to the CDC, in the past decade more than 35,000 people were killed in motorcycle accidents and over 1 million were treated at hospital emergency rooms. The rate of motorcycle injuries and deaths has been steadily increasing.
Many drivers in St. Louis 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 St. Louis 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 St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer 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 St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer 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;
- File a personal injury lawsuit if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached;
- 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 parties 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 St. Louis personal injury attorney who has the skill and experience to make a difference.
St. Louis Motorcycle Accident FAQ:
The Information You Want to Get the Help That You Need
The freedom of riding on an open road makes many motorcyclists feel invincible. However, no matter how exhilarating riding a motorcycle can feel, St. Louis-area motorcyclists nevertheless rely on other motorists to exercise caution and to keep them safe. Unfortunately, when those motorists ignore motorcyclist safety, devastating accidents can often result.
A motorcycle crash can leave a rider struggling with catastrophic injuries, emotional trauma, and financial ruin. Victims of these accidents often have questions about their legal rights to compensation. Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked of those questions. For answers to questions specific to your St. Louis motorcycle accident injuries, contact our experienced motorcycle crash attorneys today.
1. What should I do after a St. Louis motorcycle accident?
Every motorcycle accident has its own unique circumstances, so we cannot give advice specific to your situation without talking to you directly.
However, in general, motorcyclists injured in a crash can protect their health and rights by doing the following:
- Seek medical treatment. After any motorcycle crash, seek medical assistance as quickly as you can. Even if you think that you did not suffer any critical injuries, head to a medical professional to get looked over. Some life-threatening injuries may not develop symptoms right away, but a doctor can spot and treat them, and take steps to prevent further harm. In addition, seeking medical care can help you recover compensation for your injuries later-on, by generating important medical records that show the connection between an accident and your injuries.
- Call an attorney as soon as possible. Contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as you can after a St. Louis motorcycle accident gives you the best possible chance of recovering compensation for your injuries. The sooner an attorney with experience representing motorcycle accident victims gets to work, the more opportunity the attorney will have to gather potentially crucial evidence and to advise you about the steps to take, and not take, to protect your rights. Do not leave yourself vulnerable to losing important rights by going another minute without legal representation.
- Beware of quick settlement offers. If someone else’s careless or reckless actions caused the motorcycle accident that injured you, then defense lawyers and insurance companies representing the at-fault party might try to trick you into settling your potential legal claims for pennies-on-the-dollar. Do not fall for that tactic. It is designed to get you to give up valuable legal rights on the cheap. Instead, refuse to negotiate any settlement directly and refer anyone who reaches out to your attorney.
2. Will an insurance company take care of me?
Most individuals who have experienced a motor vehicle or motorcycle accident often assume that their own or someone else’s insurance company will help them through the ordeal by paying benefits that cover medical costs and other expenses. After all, isn’t that what insurance is for?
Maybe so, but the fact of the matter is that insurance companies have every incentive not to pay the full value of motorcycle accident claims and the like. Instead, they look for any reason at all to nickel-and-dime claimants, or to deny claims altogether, so that they can keep a little extra money in their own pockets.
Hiring an experienced attorney who has handled insurance claims and has experience in insurance negotiations helps ensure that any insurance company that should pay you for your injuries and losses pays the highest possible value of your claim.
3. Who owes me damages for my motorcycle accident?
Every motorcycle crash case we handle has its own unique circumstances that determine who might have legal liability to you for the harm you suffered. Generally speaking, anyone who made a dangerous decision or took a careless or reckless action that led to your St. Louis motorcycle accident could owe you money damages as compensation for your injuries.
In a typical motorcycle accident, those parties might include:
- Another motorist. Most St. Louis motorcycle wrecks result from the careless or reckless actions of someone behind the wheel of a car or truck. Drivers make a variety of mistakes that can put motorcyclists at serious risk of an accident, from turning left into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, merging into a biker’s lane without checking blind spots, to opening a car or truck door in front of a motorcycle. Any of these dangerous, preventable actions could make the motorists legally-liable to the motorcyclist for damages.
- A business that employed the motorist who caused the accident while working, or that operated a vehicle involved in the accident in a manner that contributed to it happening;
- A car, truck, or motorcycle maker if the accident happened because of a defective vehicle or vehicle part that company made; and
- A local government entity if the accident involved a city vehicle, or resulted from a preventable and unreasonably dangerous road condition the government should have fixed or warned about.
These are just a few examples, of course. Every St. Louis motorcycle accident is different. The best way to determine who may have legal liability to you for injuries you suffered in a crash is to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident injury attorney right away.
4. What is my motorcycle accident worth?
One of the most popular questions many motorcycle accident victims have is: How much is my case worth? Unfortunately, we can never give a cut-and-dried answer to that question, because many factors affect the overall worth of a legal claim for damages, and (as we’ve said) every case is different.
As a general matter, the money damages a St. Louis motorcycle accident victim may seek consist of two broad categories of compensation: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages, also referred to as special damages, consist of the real and tangible financial losses that a motorcycle accident victim suffers because of an injury, such as:
- Medical expenses, including current medical bills, rehab services, hospital stay, nursing care services, at-home care, and any future medical costs;
- Property damages, including repairs or the replacement costs to a motorcycle and any other personal property that was damaged as a result of the accident; and
- Lost wages and income, including any current and future, lost wages, as well as a crash victim’s reduced earning capacity.
Non-economic damages, also called general damages, reflect the subjective harm done by an accident and its resulting injuries, which can vary widely from person-to-person depending on the victim’s injuries, age, and general state of health, among other factors. These include:
- A victim’s physical pain and emotional suffering stemming from the injuries;
- A victim’s diminished quality of life resulting from the injuries, such as an inability to engage in favorite activities; and
- Harm done to a victim’s important personal relationships by the accident and injuries, such as how the injuries interfere with intimacy with a spouse.
In rare cases, victims of St. Louis motorcycle crashes may also have the legal right to pursue so-called punitive damages, which a court may award when the conduct that led to a crash was particularly outrageous or reckless. Speak with an experienced St Louis motorcycle accident injury lawyer to find out if you may seek punitive damages in your case.
5. How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
Missouri has a two-year statute of limitations, which means that St Louis motorcycle accident victims generally have two years from the date of the accident to take legal action against the parties at fault. If this deadline passes without legal action, a victim generally loses the right to seek compensation for crash injuries.
In some cases, however, victims have more or less than two years to file a lawsuit, so consult our experienced St Louis motorcycle accident lawyers as soon as possible after an accident to make sure you meet any applicable deadline. The sooner a lawyer starts working on behalf of an injured St. Louis motorcycle crash victim, the better that lawyer’s chances of securing important evidence and of building the strongest possible case against any parties who caused harm.
6. How long will it take to get paid?
To begin, you should always keep in mind that there is no guarantee of payment for your injuries. Hiring an experienced St Louis motorcycle accident lawyer gives you the best chance, however, of achieving a favorable result.
The timeline for resolving a legal claim and getting money for motorcycle accident injuries depends on lots of factors, only some of which lie within your or your lawyer’s ability to control. We have represented clients in St. Louis motorcycle accident injury cases that concluded in just a few months, and in others that have taken more than a year.
Some of the factors that influence that timeline include:
- How soon after an accident you seek legal advice;
- The amount of money at stake;
- The degree of dispute over legal and factual issues;
- The number of parties with legal interests in your claim; and
- The willingness of the parties to negotiate a settlement.
You can speed things along principally by hiring a lawyer with experience representing motorcycle crash victims like you as soon as possible, and taking care of yourself by seeking and following medical advice.
7. How can a motorcycle accident attorney help me?
Motorcycle accident victims come to our firm for legal help during an intensely stressful and challenging time in their lives. Oftentimes, they have sustained severe injuries that cause them significant physical, emotional, and financial pain. They may even feel confused and overwhelmed by the prospect of taking legal action.
Hiring an experienced motorcycle accident injury attorney helps these victims and their families make sense of the decisions they need to make, and often reduces the stress they feel about their predicament.
Every case is different, but often knowledgeable motorcycle crash injury lawyers serve their clients’ interests by:
- Identifying parties with legal liability: A seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer has the resources and experience to investigate the facts and circumstances of a crash to determine who may have legal liability to a client for damages. Conducting this investigation may involve gathering a wide range of evidence from various sources, including photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, and opinions from forensic and medical experts. Experienced lawyers know that the more individuals and entities who may have legal liability for damages, the better a client’s chances of recovering maximum compensation.
- Calculating damages: St Louis motorcycle accident injury lawyers also know the critical importance of assessing the full measure of damages a client deserves to recover from legally-liable parties. These may include medical costs, lost present and future wages, and an amount to compensate for the pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life a crash victim has suffered. By paying close attention to the details of a case, a seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer can ensure that a client seeks enough money as damages to meet current and future financial needs.
- Negotiating settlements: Attorneys for St Louis motorcycle crash victims frequently engage in negotiations with insurance companies and defense lawyers, hoping to convince them to pay an injured client money as a settlement of a claim. Most any case can settle for some amount, but experienced motorcycle accident attorneys have the skill and know-how to push for the maximum possible settlement for an injured client.
- Going to trial: If the settlement negotiations fail, a skilled St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer has the resources and experience to take a case to trial in Missouri courts, to present the strongest possible case for damages to a judge and jury.
Victims of St Louis motorcycle accidents often have important questions and understandable worries about the future, not only for themselves but for their families as well. These victims want to understand their rights and to feel confident that someone will fight for the compensation they deserve.
If a motorcycle accident left you or a family member injured, contact the experienced motorcycle accident injury attorneys at Sansone & Lauber today for a free evaluation of your rights to obtain compensation for your injuries and losses. Do not delay. The sooner you have an attorney working for you, the better your chances of receiving the money you need to heal and rebuild from this difficult time.
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer from Sansone & Lauber as soon as possible at 314-863-0500.