Fort Wayne Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Fort Wayne

Although the number of fatal motorcycle crashes has decreased across the United States in recent years, fatal motorcycle accidents in the State of Indiana have been on the rise. In most instances, these accidents happen when drivers operate their vehicles negligently and carelessly. However, driver negligence is not the only cause of motorcycle accidents. Some crashes occur because of roadway or motorcycle part defects.

When cyclists are out on the road, they are at a significant disadvantage. Unlike the occupants of cars and trucks, motorcyclists do not have an outer shell or thick metal covering surrounding them at the time of a crash. Therefore, if the force of an impact knocks them to the ground, they can suffer debilitating and sometimes permanent injuries.

The knowledgeable team of Fort Wayne, IN motorcycle accident lawyers at Blackburn Romey fully understand the unfortunate consequences of motorcycle crashes. Our team can handle all of the legal aspects of your personal injury claim or lawsuit while you focus your attention on getting better and making a full recovery from your injuries. If the insurance company refuses to offer you favorable compensation, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf and litigate it in the court system.

 

 

It is common for people to believe that they can save money by handling their own injury claims. Our clients often come to our office with an offer from the insurance company already in hand. A good offer isn’t hard to come by; the key is getting the RIGHT one. Our experienced attorneys can often increase your recovery amount significantly, so it is worth seeking assistance.

You can concentrate on your physical recovery. In the meantime, our lawyers:

  • Determine who is liable
  • Identify your past losses and future losses
  • Make the necessary injury claims
  • Make sure your claims are backed up with evidence
  • Make sure you get a fair settlement

You can learn more about your rights and options after a motorcycle accident by reviewing the following information. Contact our accident lawyers to discuss the specific facts of your case. You can always contact us for a free consultation if you have any questions about our services.

 

Blackburn Romey personal injury lawyers

Why Choose Us?

While you have many options when selecting a personal injury lawyer, many people turn to us for help.

We have decades of experience handling all types of injury cases, both with insurance companies and in civil courts. With every case, we bring all our injury law experience to the table.

Our firm has many satisfied clients who were able to move forward financially as a result of a serious accident or injury. If you’d like to know more about our past results, you can schedule a free consultation with us.

 

What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Indiana?

Most motorcycle accidents are caused by automobile drivers who fail to see the motorcyclist. A car driver can also cause a crash by:

  • Leaving too little space between themselves and the motorcycle or “tailgating”
  • Ignoring the motorcyclist’s right of way
  • Trying to “share” a lane with the motorcyclist or passing them too closely
  • Intimidating a motorcyclist with deliberate actions
  • Driving while distracted

An at-fault driver might be liable for your injuries if any of the above occurred in your case.

Defects Caused by Manufacturers

Motorcycle accidents can also be caused by defective brakes, gears, or tires. Manufacturers can be held liable for motorcycle crashes caused by defects.

Negligence on the Part of Municipalities

In addition, if a government entity knows that a road is unsafe and is responsible for its maintenance, that entity could be liable for damages.

 

What You Should Do After A Motorcycle Crash

There are several important steps that you can take after a motorcycle accident to safeguard your legal rights.

  • First of all, you should seek prompt medical treatment, preferably on the same day as your accident. You could follow up with your primary care doctor or treat at a hospital emergency room or urgent care center. You should be sure to seek this treatment even if you do not know if you sustained injuries. 
  • Some injuries that motorcycle accident victims suffer, including traumatic head and brain injuries, may not manifest for several days or even weeks after the accident. Therefore, you want a healthcare provider to check you out and administer the necessary tests and imaging studies, like x-rays and MRIs, right away. You should also follow through with the doctor’s treatment recommendations and continue treating with a doctor or physical therapist until the provider formally discharges you on paper.
  • In addition to obtaining the medical treatment that you need, you should obtain a copy of the report that the police officer prepared. In some motorcycle crashes, it can be difficult to determine who was at fault. A police report will typically contain a narrative description about how the accident occurred, identify the names of eyewitnesses, determine who was at fault, and indicate whether or not the officer issued a citation — and, if so, what the citation was for.
  • Finally, after a motorcycle crash, you should make sure to keep photographs of any property damage and injuries you suffered. For example, you might have sustained a visible injury, such as a bruise, open cut, or laceration, in the accident. You should also refrain from speaking to an insurance company representative or providing a recorded statement without first speaking with a lawyer – and having them on the phone during the statement. 

 

How do Motorcycle Crashes Occur?

Fort Wayne motorcycle crashes typically occur because of driver negligence, but that is not the only potential cause. A driver is negligent when they fail to act reasonably under the circumstances. The at-fault driver might have been speeding or engaging in some other type of reckless driving, such as tailgating or making an unsafe lane change. At other times, the at-fault driver might have been programming a GPS device, listening to loud music, or texting on a cell phone, instead of watching the road. Finally, the at-fault driver may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more is legally intoxicated. However, alcohol impairs the brain and delays reaction time, so even a driver with a lower BAC might cause a serious accident. 

Some motorcycle crashes do not result from negligent driving at all. Instead, they happen because of roadway defects or defective motorcycle parts. Cities, municipalities, and other entities have a duty to ensure that they properly maintain roadways in their jurisdictions. When roadways contain large cracks, potholes, loose gravel, and other defects, a motorcyclist could fall off their bike, leading to serious injuries. When that happens, the injured cyclist could bring a claim against the at-fault municipality.

Other motorcycle crashes happen because of dangerous or defective motorcycle parts, such as wheels, handlebars, and braking components. When an accident victim can trace a motorcycle accident to a defectively manufactured or designed part, then they could pursue legal action against the part manufacturer or distributor.

 

A Motorcycle Accident Claim Can Result in a Variety of Damages

The value of a personal injury case is often a concern for accident victims. The following losses may be recoverable:

If the at-fault party’s actions were malicious, punitive damages might also be sought.

Damages for Wrongful Death

In the event of the death of a loved one in a motorcycle accident, a wrongful death claim would be filed rather than a personal injury claim. You may be able to seek the following damages if you file a wrongful death claim:

  • Inheritance loss
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Pre-death pain and suffering of your loved one
  • Expenses incurred by your loved one as a result of their motorcycle accident

Refer to our page on wrongful death to learn more about damages you may be entitled to if your loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident in Indiana.

 

Recoverable Damages in Fort Wayne Motorcycle Accident Cases

Victims of Fort Wayne motorcycle crashes can recover various damages, depending upon the seriousness of their injuries and the cost of their medical treatment. First of all, accident victims can recover monetary compensation for their medical expenses, even when their health insurance pays for some or all of those expenses. If they had to miss time from work to undergo medical treatment, they could pursue a lost wage claim. In addition, motorcycle crash victims could receive damages for their inconvenience, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of the ability to use a body part.

The knowledgeable Fort Wayne motorcycle accident attorneys at Blackburn Romey can help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation that’s available to you in your personal injury case. We can also help you decide whether to accept a pending settlement offer from the insurance company or litigate your case in court.

 

What Insurance Coverage is Available?

It is important to determine available insurance coverage in a motorcycle accident after establishing liability and assessing damages. You may be affected by the following policies:

Property Damage Liability and Bodily Injury Liability

This coverage is required for Indiana motorists. This insurance covers damages caused by a driver’s actions in a crash. You would initially seek compensation from the driver’s liability insurance if an auto driver caused your crash.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

Your insurance company can provide you with this coverage. If the at-fault driver’s liability insurance isn’t enough to compensate you fairly, you can turn to this coverage.

Most Indiana drivers only carry the required minimum amounts of liability insurance ($25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and $10,000 per accident).

In most cases, injured motorcyclists suffer far more than these amounts. UIM can help your case in that sense.

Thus, motorcyclists should carry as much UIM coverage as possible. If you have homeowner’s insurance, we recommend purchasing “minimum responsible coverage” that includes $250,000 per person/$500,000 per accident and a $1,000,000 umbrella. Contact us to learn more about this often-confusing insurance coverage.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)

There is also the option to purchase this type of coverage. There is no reason you shouldn’t have UM coverage (unless you have rejected it in writing). If the at-fault driver has no insurance, this coverage kicks in.

 

Identify the Things You Can and Cannot Control

Motorcycle accidents can be devastating, and you may wonder what you could have done to prevent them. You can control some factors, and you can’t control others. Taking action where you can is part of being proactive.

What Are the Uncontrollables?

Various factors beyond your control can cause motorcycle accidents (and other vehicle crashes). 

Private individuals, large and small companies, or government employees could have caused the accident. You cannot control their insurance status and coverage amount.

Most at-fault drivers are uninsured (with no insurance at all) or underinsured, with insurance coverage but not enough to compensate the accident victims.

You cannot control who causes your injury, so focus on what you can do to prevent it.

What Are the Controllable Factors?

The amount and type of insurance coverage you have are under your control.

It is safe to assume every driver is either uninsured or underinsured. So, unless you suffer a catastrophic injury, you will be protected using the “minimum responsible coverages.”

As a result, you are, in effect, buying insurance coverage for someone less responsible than you.

You may be protected in most crashes if you have these coverages. As a result, you will be grateful if you followed the suggestion or sad if you didn’t. It can be difficult to figure out coverage issues.

 

There Are Additional Coverage Options Available to You

UM/UIM coverage, including “excess” or “umbrella” coverage, is highly recommended by our Fort Wayne motorcycle accident lawyers, no matter if you are a motorcyclist or a driver.

Premiums are only a few dollars, but they can save you a lot if you get hurt in an accident. Since motorcyclists aren’t surrounded by a steel cage, they are more likely to be seriously injured in a crash.

The following items may help you recover funds for motorcycle damage:

  • Coverage for damage caused by collisions with other objects, such as a car, tree, pole, or road sign
  • A comprehensive policy covers losses caused by factors such as wind, rain, theft, or collisions with deer
  • Motorcycle custom parts and equipment coverage (CPE) covers a portion of damages to custom parts

Adding these additional coverages to your policy with most insurance providers is possible. 

These coverages must have been in place before the accident to be used. A claim for damages will not be helpful if you purchase them after the fact.

 

Remember Indiana’s Statute of Limitations

Motorcycle accident claims in Fort Wayne must be filed within a specific period of time before the statute of limitations expires. In most cases, Indiana sets a two-year deadline for filing a claim after an accident.

When you wait too long to file a claim in court, you may lose the right to pursue compensation, so make sure all paperwork is in order.

Statutes of limitation may also differ depending on the situation. In the case of a motorcycle accident involving a government official, you may need to contact the municipality much earlier than two years after the accident. 

 

Talk with a Fort Wayne Motorcycle Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible

The skilled Fort Wayne personal injury lawyers at Blackburn Romey will aggressively advocate for you during every stage of your motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a skilled Fort Wayne, IN motorcycle accident lawyer, please call us at 833-264-0903 or contact us online today.

Tom Blackburn, ” The Man With The Bike”

Tom Blackburn, "The man with the bike" riding a motorcycle in IndianaThe knowledgeable Fort Wayne motorcycle accident attorneys like Tom Blackburn can investigate the circumstances of your accident and file a claim or lawsuit against all potentially responsible parties. Since 1985, his practice has been exclusively limited to personal injury, motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death law. We can help you recover the damages you deserve for your injuries.

Personal Injury & Wrongful Death is all we do

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