HURT IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
The trouble with motorcycle riders is that they don’t necessarily have a reputation for defensive driving. That stigma carries itself into the courtroom and those that file accident claims against insurance companies often find they have an uphill battle attempting to prove that they did not violate any traffic laws and were not responsible for the accident.
Nonetheless, a court of law is a place where facts and evidence are presented and these are weighted heavier than people’s predispositions or prejudices concerning bikers. In this article, we’ll take a look at the pertinent Indiana laws governing traffic accidents as they apply to motorcycles.
INDIANA TRAFFIC ACCIDENT LAW & AUTO INSURANCE
Indiana is a tort state. This is different from other states that are considered “no-fault” auto accident insurance states. Indiana considers who was primarily to blame for the accident when determining how to resolve the situation. For instance, if one individual is more to blame than another individual, their auto insurance pays for the damage to the other vehicle. In addition, an injured party can file a claim with their auto insurance or, under some circumstances, sue them directly.
Every driver in Indiana must purchase minimum liability coverage in the amount of:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death;
- $50,000 per accident when there are multiple injured parties;
- $25,000 for property damage.
This insurance policy pays for medical expenses, lost time from work, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. It’s often not enough. Individuals involved in serious accidents can suffer lifelong consequences from their injuries. This includes no longer being able to work, permanent paralysis, nerve damage, brain damage, and more.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
There are three ways that an Indiana motorcycle can proceed following an accident.
- File a claim with your own insurance company. Your insurance company will in turn file a subrogation claim against the at-fault party’s insurance.
- File a third party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
- Hire a personal injury attorney, preferably one who specializes in motorcycle accidents.
The first and second options are wise choices when you are in a minor fender bender and don’t have extensive injuries. For those who are seriously injured, there is a great deal at stake. Your best course of action, in that case, is to contact a motorcycle accident attorney who can manage your claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
WHY HIRE A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
Insurance companies are notoriously painful to deal with. Their job is not to help people out but to turn a profit on their business. If this means denying your claim or offering you a low ball offer, that’s exactly what they’ll do.
For those who have suffered serious injuries, there is a lot riding on their settlement. You may have lost time from work, have extensive medical bills, or require a long period of rehabilitation before you can go back to work. In these instances, it helps to have a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer manage your claim.
A traffic accident attorney will ensure that you get all the evidence you need to the insurance company in order to make as strong a case as possible. The insurance company, for their part, will only honor your claim to the extent that you can prove the other driver’s responsibility for the accident. In addition, they will expect you to prove your injuries are as bad as you say they are.
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COMMON DEFENSES TO FAULT AGAINST MOTORCYCLISTS
Depending on what their client tells them, the insurance company may claim that you are at least partially to blame for the accident. They will claim this regardless of whether or not they have proof to back it up. Because you are the one filing the complaint, the burden of proof is on you to show otherwise.
Common defenses in motorcycle accidents include:
- Claiming the motorcyclist was driving too fast;
- Claiming the motorcyclist was “lane splitting”;
- Claiming the motorcyclist was not paying attention to the road.
While some motorcyclists do drive recklessly, the vast majority obey traffic laws and drive carefully. When an accident does happen, they are often not to blame. Much of the time it is the driver in the car, truck, or SUV that is either distracted by their cell phone or infotainment system. Motorcyclists tend to pay more attention to the road than their counterparts with indoor vehicles.
CONTACT A FORT WAYNE MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY
Insurance companies will not go out of their way to offer the limit of their client’s policy. You will have to fight for that. The motorcycle accident attorneys at the Delventhal Law Office have helped a number of Indiana motorcyclists get fair settlements from at fault drivers. Give us a call at (260) 238-8608 or contact us online for a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your case today.
AREAS WE PRACTICE
At the Delventhal Law office, our Fort Wayne personal injury attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights and interests of accident victims. If you or a family member was injured because of the carelessness or recklessness of another party, we can help. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers handle a wide array of legal cases, including:
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