Frequently Asked Questions about Motorcycle Accident Cases in Indiana
Below are the answers to common initial questions many clients have when they first contact Keller and Keller about a potential motorcycle accident case. We hope that the information below address many initial concerns you may have, but if you don't find the answers here, please contact us with questions specific to your case. The consultation is free and confidential.
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How can I protect myself as a motorcycle rider this summer?
It’s finally time to roll the machine out of the garage and tune it up for summer riding. You’re looking forward to the freedom and thrill of riding your motorcycle in beautiful Indiana summer weather but are also, as always, worried that this year will be the year you become a highway statistic. Bikers are always at higher risk of serious injury or death than other motorists, but you can take some steps to improve the odds that you’ll make it through to fall unscathed.
First—Take the Time to Tune Your Ride
After sitting in the garage all winter, your bike is sure to need a few touch-ups to get it road ready. It’s important that you check the bike out completely before riding it to make sure everything works as it should. At the very least, do the following:
- Top off fluids. Now is a good time to change the oil and oil filter and replace the fuel filter. You’ll also want to bleed the brakes, add brake fluid, and inspect the brake lines and pads.
- Check the battery. Your bike’s battery could have been drained by exposure to cold over the winter. You will likely need to charge the battery and may need to replace it if you see white powder, or if it won’t hold the charge.
- Get new spark plugs. Look for wear and tear on the spark plugs and replace any that are worn or damaged.
- Adjust the chain. If the chain has loosened over the winter months, it’s time to adjust it and lube it.
- Inspect tires for wear. Worn and cracked tires are dangerous. Check the air pressure and take a close look at your tires. If there are flat spots or cracks, it’s probably time to replace them.
Once your bike passes your inspection, you’re ready to hit the road, but don’t forget the importance of defensive riding.
Defensive Riding Reminders
As an experienced rider, you already know that your safety is often up to you. Being aware of the dangers around you and knowing that drivers have little regard for your presence, it’s important that you:
- Make yourself as visible as possible by wearing bright clothing, but also by positioning yourself in the lane so that other cars can see you.
- Most accidents occur at intersections, so approach junctions with extreme caution.
- Overtaking slower vehicles is risky, particularly around blind curves, so always pass carefully.
- Yes, your bike can go fast, but that doesn’t mean it’s always safe to speed. Keep your speed in check in residential, downtown, and congested areas.
Being cautious doesn’t mean you can’t have an enjoyable ride, but it could mean your chances of returning in one piece are greatly improved.
Call an Indiana Motorcycle Attorney If You Are Injured
If despite your commitment to being a safe rider, the driver of a car or truck causes a crash that leaves you seriously injured, you need an attorney who is sympathetic to motorcycle riders. Keller & Keller has represented bikers in accident claims for years. You can trust us to fight for the compensation you deserve from the negligent driver. Contact us for a free case evaluation today.
How much does Keller & Keller charge its motorcycle clients?
Many callers are surprised to learn that Keller & Keller will never require any up-front costs to represent them in their motorcycle accident case. Our offices have always represented bikers and their families on a contingency fee basis, meaning the only way Keller & Keller receives money is if they are able to make a recovery on your behalf.
Motorcycle accidents, unlike car accidents, often present unique challenges with regard to liability. Many times when a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, there is an assumption that their speed, or other actions, may have played a role in the cause of the accident. It can be very difficult and time-consuming to try and handle a bike claim on your own. Fortunately, our contingency fee agreement will make it easy for you to focus on phyiscal recovery and restoring your bike while we build a strong case on your behalf.
You have a lot to think about after the accident, but there's no need to worry about hourly rates, or large bills coming from Keller & Keller for your motorcycle accident. All that we ask is you contact us as soon as possible so that we can begin collecting evidence and helping you obtain the recovery you deserve.
Does Keller & Keller handle property damage claims, too?
We’ve handled many motorcycle claims throughout the years for our clients, and they have been especially concerned about the loss of their bike. Many times the parts on the motorcycle were custom, and it’s not always as easy as just picking out another bike to replace the loss.
With regard to your damaged or lost bike, we will always be happy to offer advice in helping you settle your property damage claim. However, we typically advise our motorcycle clients that we can’t actively represent them with regard to the property damage portion of their claim. The reason for this is because if we represent you, then legally we would be obligated to take a fee which would leave you with less money for your bike. We understand that you need every dime recovered to repair your bike or get a new bike.
Remember, you have 2 separate claims related to your motorcycle accident: (1) a property damage claim, and (2) a personal injury claim. These claims can be handled and settled separately from one another.
Why is it bad to delay seeking medical treatment after a motorcycle accident?
Most motorcycle accidents will involve serious injury, and the need for treatment will be apparent; however, we have represented several bikers that were fortunate enough to have sustained injury that didn't require surgeries, or lengthy hospital stays. The reason we were able to help those clients is because they didn't delay in seeking treatment for the less apparent injuries that they did suffer.
Motorcyclists that suffer scrapes and cuts, or soft-tissue injuries, are less likely to seek immediate attention from an ER or their doctor because they thought the aches and pains will resolve themselves over time. Unfortunately, a biker that waits to seek treatment is causing serious damage to any potential claim he may have against the at-fault party.
Insurance companies have been known to outright refuse personal injury claims because the injured person waited too long. By waiting, the injured party creates what is known as a "gap in treatment." A gap in treatment is one of the most damaging accusations against any personal injury claim, as an insurance company and/or jury will see your gap in treatment as a sign that you weren't really injured. And even though there may be rational reason behind your delay in seeking treatment, it won't hold water with the insurance company.
Many times a soft tissue injury can not present its most severe symptoms until days after the accident. Someone that has never been in a motorcycle accident might not suspect this, but it's a common occurrence. For this reason, we advise anyone who thinks they may have suffered injury to visit with their doctor as soon as possible, not only to protect your claim, but to make sure your injuries aren't more serious than you first believe them to be.
You have insurance, but you were struck by an uninsured driver. What happens now?
Your motorcycle insurance policy will likely have uninsured motorist coverage, and if you were hit by a driver who had no insurance, your insurance company then becomes responsible for compensating you for the loss of your motorcycle, your medical bills, pain and suffering, as well as any lost wages that resulted from the accident.
Some bikers are hesitant to file a claim against their own insurance company for various reasons, all of which are usually misguided.
Remember, YOU pay your insurance company money to protect you and your bike from uninsured drivers. This piece of your policy is designed to compensate you in these instances.
Never think that you shouldn't file an uninsured claim simply because it's your own insurance company. This is faulty thinking that could cost you thousands.
How dangerous is a motorcycle accident in comparison to an auto accident?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are about 18 times as likely as auto occupants to die in a motorcycle accident and about three times as likely to be injured.
Who has the right to sue for a motorcycle accident injury and death case?
Either the motorcycle operator or passenger may bring a claim if they suffered injury due to the negligence of another.
Who is liable for injuries or death to motorcycle operators and passengers?
Anyone who was at fault in contributing to causing a crash. In motorcycle cases involving injury, typically it is the driver of a car or truck that is found to be at fault. If a motorcycle operator is at fault, they can be responsible for the injuries caused to the passenger.
Why should I take a camera with me while riding my motorcycle?
Always ride with a camera--or a phone with a camera--in the event that an accident may occur. Take pictures of the scene and get statements from any and all witnesses that will collaborate the date, time of day, road conditions, etc. and document such things as weather conditions, type of road, speed of travel, and so on. The defendants' attorneys will try to establish that some other factor contributed to the accident and you must be prepared to refute that.
What am I entitled to receive for my injuries as a result of my motorcycle accident?
Every case is different. The exact type of compensation and the amount you might receive depend on your individual situation. For example, the amount you receive will vary depending upon how severely you were injured, whether you are working and what type of job you have, if your injuries are permanent, if you are married, and numerous other factors.
Typically, you are entitled to recover for any of the following expenses:
Pain and suffering
Future medical expenses
Probable loss of wages in the future
Loss of relationship with your spouse
Other out-of-pocket expenses due to your injuries
In some cases, in which the other party's conduct was unusually heinous, you may be able to recover punitive damages.
Is an investigation of my motorcycle accident case important?
A prompt investigation is essential. This is because the insurance company will always attempt to prove that the motorcyclist was to some extent at fault in order to diminish the value of the motorcyclist’s claim.
The law offices of Keller and Keller will make use of extensive resources and ensure that no evidence is lost or tampered with in regard to your injury claim. It is important that evidence not be lost in motorcycle accident claims, as it is imperative that we present this evidence to the insurance company.
How long will my case take?
The length of time a case takes depends on a number of things. A complex case, with several different parties, all with different claims, can take a lot longer to resolve than a relatively simple case, involving one injured party, and one party who caused the injury.
Many straightforward motorcycle cases are resolved in four to eight months. It is possible, but unusual for a case to take much more than one and a half years to resolve.
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