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Frequently Asked Questions
The impact that being injured in a motorcycle accident can have on the lives of both victims and their loved ones can be profound. As a result, it is common for those who have been through this type of experience to have a number of questions about what they can do to secure the financial assistance and justice they need. The Biker Lawyers, your Iowa motorcycle accident attorneys, understand how hard it can be to find answers to the questions you may have if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident. As such, we have created the following list of frequently asked questions and their answers in the hopes that you can have easy access to the information you are seeking.
If your question isn’t here, or if you would like to talk with a qualified member of our professional legal team about your situation, call us at (877) 209-9452 today.
I was injured in a motorcycle accident. What am I entitled to receive compensation for?
Following a motorcycle accident, it is common for victims to face a number of different consequences, the costs of which can be significant. In these situations, it may be necessary to file a motorcycle accident claim in order to pursue compensation. However, the amount and types of compensation available will depend on the specific nature of the accident. Typically speaking, victims may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, vehicle repair costs, and loss of income, as well as damages for pain and suffering and other issues.
Who is liable for the damages I suffered in my motorcycle accident?
Liability for motorcycle accident damages depends on the specific circumstances surrounding the accident. For example, if a motorcycle accident was caused by a careless or reckless driver, the driver would likely be liable for the damages suffered by accident victims. If the cause of the accident was related to a defect or malfunction in the motorcycle itself, it may be the responsibility of the vehicle’s manufacturer. A qualified legal professional can help you to better understand who may be liable for the damages you suffered in your accident.
Why do I need an attorney?
Suffering an injury in a motorcycle accident can be a devastating experience. In many situations, victims have to cope with costly expenses, including medical bills and lost income, that they cannot afford. However, if you were injured in a motorcycle accident because of another party’s wrongdoing, you may be eligible to secure financial compensation for your accident-related losses by filing a legal claim. The assistance of an attorney in these situations is crucial, however, in order for accident victims to be able to most effectively pursue their claim and ensure that no mistakes are made in the claims process.
Am I eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim for my loved one’s death in a motorcycle accident?
When an individual is killed in a motorcycle accident caused by negligence or recklessness on the part of someone else, their loved ones are often entitled to take legal action in order to recover compensation for the terrible loss they have suffered. However, not everyone who may have been close to the deceased is entitled to pursue this type of claim. A qualified attorney can help to examine your case in order to determine whether or not you are eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim.
What is a statute of limitations?
Under the law, injury victims are often entitled to seek financial compensation from those responsible for the damages they’ve suffered. However, there is not an unlimited amount of time in which those who have suffered an injury can pursue this course of action. The statute of limitations on a personal injury claim imposes a strict boundary on the amount of time available to injury victims in which they can initiate the claims process. In Iowa, most injury claims must be filed within 2 years of the accident’s occurrence.
What if the defendant cannot afford the compensation I was awarded?
If the defendant in your case is not capable of fully paying your compensation in a timely manner due to some form of financial hardship, it may become necessary to pursue an alternative method of payment. Depending upon the circumstances, one of our Iowa motorcycle lawyers can help you develop a repayment plan, garnish wages, or legally seize money from a banking institution. However, without knowing the particulars of your case, it is difficult to determine the best way for you to secure full financial compensation for your accident.
When consulting with a lawyer, what questions should I ask?
Choosing a lawyer can be overwhelming, but there are a few important questions that could help you narrow it down to the lawyer who is best for you. One of the most important questions to ask is how much experience a lawyer has with cases like yours—more experienced lawyers will know what to expect in a case and, as such, can better anticipate any complications. If a lawyer is experienced with cases like your own, you should then ask about the results of those cases. Knowing that your lawyer has pursued and won cases like yours will give you confidence to trust your case to him or her. Once you have determined that a lawyer is right for you, the last question you need to ask is how he or she will pursue your case in particular.
How much will I have to pay in attorney’s fees?
Since The Biker Lawyers, accepts cases involving motorcycle injury on a contingent fee basis, there are no fees associated with their representation unless they successfully help you recover damages for your accident. As such, there are no upfront fees to retain the legal services of the firm; if financial restitution is recovered to address any medical bills, the cost of rehabilitation, property damages, pain & suffering, or any other associated damages, your attorney fees will then be applicable. Without knowing the particulars of your case, it would be very difficult to determine what attorneys fees may apply should a favorable resolution be reached.
Who may be held liable in a single-accident motorcycle accident?
Without knowing the particulars of your case, it is difficult to determine who may be liable for a single-vehicle motorcycle accident. Depending upon the circumstances of a single-vehicle motorcycle accident, roadway defects, mechanical malfunctions, or adverse weather conditions may all contribute to a number of different dangerous situations that result in an accident. Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents are very common for motorcyclists, and what is particularly troubling about single-vehicle motorcycle accidents is how preventable they often are. To understand exactly who may be liable for your single-vehicle motorcycle accident, you should consult with an experienced legal representative.
How long will it take to reach a settlement?
A number of variables—including how much time has passed since your accident occurred, type of injury, and type of claim—are likely to determine exactly how long it may take to reach a settlement for any given case. As such, until we know the particulars of your case, it is nearly impossible to give a one size fits all prediction how long it may take to reach a settlement. For example, some of the more common, clear-cut cases may only take a few weeks to achieve a settlement, while other case that require more litigation may take several months to a year to achieve a settlement.
Who would be held accountable for motorcycle accidents that result from road defects?
There are a number of factors—including potholes, missing or improper signage, or sudden shoulder drop-offs—that may lead to a serious accident for vehicles and motorcycles alike. Depending on where the accident occurred, it may be either a local municipality or a construction company that may be held liable for a motorcycle accident that occurred as a result of a road defect on a public roadway. However, without knowing the details of your situation, it is exceedingly difficult to determine who exactly may be held responsible for your any road defect that led to your accident.
If I am awarded a personal injury settlement, will it be taxable?
In most cases, settlements that are awarded in personal injury cases will not be taxed at all, effectively ensuring the entire award is paid to the recipient. For instance, any compensation for the injury itself, the emotional trauma, or any lost wages will be award to the victim of the injury untaxed. However, depending upon the court and the circumstances of the case, some components of a personal injury settlement may be taxed, including any portion of an award intended to compensate for an attorney’s fees. To better understand whether any portion of your settlement may be taxed, it is highly advisable that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.
What should you do after a motorcycle accident?
First and foremost, you should move to a safe location immediately to prevent any further injury or property damage. Once you have properly evaluated your injuries and called emergency services should your injuries warrant such a response, you should obtain insurance information from the other driver that is as complete as possible, including the details of their vehicle. Finally, it is critical to obtain photographic evidence of the accident because this is often essential to proving the extent of your injuries and property damage.
What should I do after a tire blowout?
When motorcyclists experience a blowout, they may have to make critical split-second decisions immediately afterwards. Without reacting too much, it is critical for you to slowly ease off the throttle to help you begin to slow down. This should be done without the assistance of your bike’s brake system, as hard braking will most likely increase the possibility of you losing control. As much as you can, it is important to continue in a straight line until you can slow your motorcycle to a complete stop on the side of the road. Once you’re out of immediate danger, you should then call for road-side assistance to either tow your bike or bring a replacement tire.
Why wear leather when riding my motorcycle?
It is for the purely practical properties of leather that many motorcyclists choose to wear the material when riding their motorcycles. Aside from offering protection from the wind, leather can easily be waterproofed, both of which will serve to keep those wearing leather warm and dry while out on the road. Leather does not flap in the wind the way that other materials do, offering better aero-dynamics and comfort for the wearer. What’s more is that leather does not easily rip or shred easily, offering individuals significant protection against road surfaces should the unfortunate event of an accident ever occur.
If I wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of my motorcycle accident, have I forfeited my right to sue over any resulting medical damages?
Since Iowa does not currently have any laws requiring motorcyclists to wear motorcycle helmets, the decision not to wear a helmet will have no legal implications upon your eligibility to pursue financial restitution for any medical damages you sustained in an accident.
Am I not better off to just accept the settlement an insurance company offers me than to pay a lawyer to pursue more?
With the help of experienced legal representation, it may be possible to recover additional funds from the insurance company you are dealing with. Depending upon the circumstances—say if the insurance company disputes some detail of your accident and attempts to undercut your settlement as a result—an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to pursue litigation against an insurance company should they attempt to deny any single aspect of a settlement that you are pursuing.
If another driver caused me to wreck on my motorcycle, what might I be awarded?
The damages associated with motorcycle accidents involving other vehicles can be severe, particularly so in cases involving larger vehicles. The physical and emotional traumas of such an accident are likely to incur significant financial damages that will need to be addressed in the civil court system. With that in mind, accident victims may pursue financial compensation for medical treatment, rehabilitation, the cost of medication, the reduced capacity to earn income, and any lost wages from the driver that was responsible for his or her accident.
How do you properly fit a motorcycle helmet?
While Iowa state law does not require that you wear one, motorcycle helmets are one of the most important pieces of safety gear for bikers. When buying a helmet, choose one that is the appropriate size—your helmet should fit snugly, but comfortably. To test its fit, try shaking your head with the helmet on to see it moves around at all (if it falls off, it’s probably too big). Additionally, your helmet should fit tightly against your forehead, leaving just a thumb’s width between your head and the helmet. Aside from that, make sure you have full visibility from within the helmet, and you should be good to go.
Does it matter how much insurance I have on my bike?
Bike insurance can go a long way when making repairs to your bike following an accident. Sadly, however, many other drivers on Iowa’s roads do not carry insurance, or the insurance coverage that they do have does not fully cover damages. To protect yourself in these instances, it may be beneficial to carry uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance policies. While I am not an advocate for an insurance agency, these forms of insurance may prove to be critical to you when recovering the damages sustained in a serious accident.