Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Indianapolis

blackburn romey attorneys

Together the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) crash and accident studies show that 138 motorcyclists sustained fatal accident injuries in an accident in 2020.

Despite the decreased travel in 2020, this number is up from 113 over the prior reporting year. Additionally, motorcyclists account for less than 2 percent of crashes in Indiana.

However, they result in more than 15 percent of all Indiana traffic deaths. The disproportion between these numbers points out how dangerous motorcycle accidents can be for riders and passengers.

The good news is that the experienced Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyers of Blackburn Romey can help those injured in motorcycle accidents or the loved ones of those killed seek monetary damages. The legal help you need is only a phone call away.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

What Should A Victim Do After A Motorcycle Accident?

There are numerous ways to protect yourself after being in a motorcycle accident.

  • First and foremost, you want to call 911 as soon as possible. Report the incident to the police if you or anyone else sustain injuries. 
  • Next, seek medical attention immediately. It would be best if you considered contacting your insurance company as well. Explain to them the situation so they can start processing your claim.
  • Take pictures of the scene and any damages to your motorcycle or property. If you can, try to obtain witness statements from anyone around that could see the accident unfold.
  • Last but not least, contact an attorney. To help yourself build a claim, an attorney may collect scene and police reports, gather witness statements, photograph the scene, investigate the other driver’s history, reconstruct the accident scene, review medical records and consult experts. Let them contact insurance companies on your behalf.

Remember, too, that it is best not to talk to the other driver’s insurance company before speaking with a motorcycle accident attorney from Blackburn Romey. Insurance adjusters will try to get information that could weaken your claim or make it difficult for your attorney to bring you total compensation.

If you speak with the insurance company, don’t worry. All you have to do is let your motorcycle accident attorney know so they can advise you on how to proceed further.

 

Motorcycle Collisions in Indiana

motorcycle accidentA total of 5,579 motorcyclists died in crashes in the U.S. in 2020, representing the highest number ever on record and an 11 percent increase from the previous year. In Indiana in 2020, 138 motorcyclists were killed in collisions, representing a 23 percent increase from the previous year when there were 112 motorcyclist deaths.

Furthermore, the number of individuals injured in motorcycle‐related crashes was 1.969, an increase of 8 percent from 2019. Fatal motorcycle collisions in Indiana also increased 19 percent, jumping from 113 in 2019 to 134 in 2020.

Nationally, motorcycle collision deaths accounted for 14 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2020, more than twice the number of motorcycle accident fatalities in 1997. In Indiana, 80 percent of motorcyclists that died weren’t wearing helmets.

 

Causes of Indiana Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle riders can take many actions to help increase their safety on the road, such as wearing helmets and other protective and safety gear. However, drivers who share the road with them also must do their part in keeping them safe. Motorcycle accidents happen for any number of reasons. Most of the time, it is a result of driver negligence. Negligent acts include:

  • Swerving in front of a cyclist.
  • Cutting off motorcycles at intersections.
  • Failing to follow the speed limit.
  • Neglecting to pay attention to other drivers, among many others.

Common causes of motorcycle accidents in Indiana include:

Left Turns

Far too many motorcyclists are injured and killed each year due to left-turning vehicles. For whatever reason, motorists may not see the motorcycle or think they have time to turn when they actually don’t. Misjudging distance and speed is common in these accidents. Some motorists have difficulty seeing motorcyclists simply because they are more conditioned to seeing cars on the road.

Lane Changes

Many motorists change lanes without looking, or they look but fail to see a motorcycle for one reason or another. Motorcyclists need to do their best to stay out of blind spots. Still, motorists also need to be diligent about thoroughly checking for bikers before changing lanes. Motorcycles are no match for larger vehicles when a lane change occurs.

Hit from Behind

Maybe the motorcyclist brakes quickly to avoid hitting a cat crossing the road, causing the car to its rear to crash into it. To make matters worse, the car behind that car hits it from behind, increasing the impact on the motorcycle. Motorists need to pay attention, so they can stop on time and don’t hit bikers. Being hit from behind can cause several severe injuries, some of which victims may never recover from. 

Open Car Doors

Motor vehicle drivers and their passengers need to be cognizant of opening their car doors. However, opening the door without looking could pose a serious hazard to an unsuspecting motorcyclist. 

No matter what type of motorcycle accident you or your loved one was in or what caused it, you can rely on our well-versed Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorneys to perform a comprehensive investigation into how and why it happened. Our goal is to accurately determine who is liable for your injuries and damages and hold them accountable for the harm you suffer. 

 

Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can cause a variety of injuries, from minor to life-threatening. Keep in mind that the more force and speed involved in the collision, the greater the injuries will likely be. Here are just a few of the frequent injuries our motorcycle accident clients suffer from:

  • Head injuries: Motorcyclists should always wear helmets, even though Indiana has no universal helmet law. Helmets can save lives, but motorcyclists are always at risk for head injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that can be life-threatening or life-altering.
  • Road rash: Though it might sound minor, road rash can consist of deep abrasions and cuts caused by the roadway, cement, or rocks where the motorcyclist’s bare skin came in contact with the environment. Road rash can be extremely painful and cause infections and other complications. 
  • Burns: Some motorcyclists experience extreme burns when an accident occurs. These burns are also painful and can be permanently disfiguring.
  • Broken bones: While vehicle passengers are afforded the protection of their vehicle, motorcyclists have very little. It’s common for them to have broken arms, legs, hips, pelvises, hands, ankles, and ribs. 
  • Internal injuries and bleeding: Again, without the protection of a vehicle, motorcyclists are at risk for internal injuries such as bruising or rupturing of internal organs. These types of injuries need immediate medical care so that victims don’t risk bleeding to death. 

The common injuries individuals can sustain from motorcycle accidents may be life-threatening if they include bone fractures, severe head trauma, spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, or even death. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, you might have a right to compensation. The best way to find out is to contact us directly. We can evaluate your claim, gather the necessary information and then determine the appropriate course of action for you to follow.

At Blackburn Romey, we see it all the time, where the crashes occur because the motor vehicle drivers do not exercise proper care whenever they make a left-hand turn.

 

What Is A Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

Chad Romey, Personal Injury LawyerThe purpose of a motorcycle accident lawyer is to help clients or victims that may be experiencing the effects of an accident. Our attorneys at Blackburn Romey fight for victims to receive the compensation they deserve for all damages concerning the accident. Nine times out of ten, a motorcycle accident occurs when the other driver ignores their surroundings. They do not see the motorcyclist on the road.

Blackburn Romey attorneys specializing in personal injury cases have the skills and knowledge to assist victims. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis which means that you don’t have to pay anything upfront for services. We only receive payment once the case reaches a successful settlement.

What Is The Benefit Of Hiring A Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

Blackburn Romey motorcycle accident lawyers file lawsuits on your behalf against the negligent driver who is responsible. Our job is:

  • To gather all the essential information about your case
  • Discuss with witnesses
  • Negotiate with the insurance companies
  • Take your case to trial.

With any lawsuit, every case is different. Although, if you are not the responsible party for the accident, you have a good chance of receiving compensation.

 

Common Types of Damages in Motorcycle Accident Claims

Damages represent the ways in which an accident victim has suffered, had their life changed, or been inconvenienced due to their injuries. Suffering injuries in a motorcycle accident can lead to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages have an objective dollar amount and include things like:

  • Current and future medical bills and expenses such as emergency services, prescriptions, surgeries, doctor’s visits, and medical equipment 
  • Current and future lost wages and income
  • Property damage

Non-economic damages are subjective in value and include things like:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Humiliation 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

The value of your non-economic damages is typically worth 1.5 to five times that of your economic damages. The more severe your injuries, the higher the damages usually are. For example, a motorcyclist with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or who suffers paralysis from a spinal cord injury (SCI) will receive more damages than one that breaks an arm or suffers from road rash. 

When you hire an experienced Indiana car accident lawyer, they can help you identify all of your damages and negotiate a full and fair settlement. If such a settlement can’t be reached or you aren’t satisfied with what has been offered, your attorney is prepared to take your case to trial.

 

Compensations For Motorcycle Accident Victims

For the most part, the time it takes for you to receive payment after filing a lawsuit depends on many factors. The complexity of the case, whether or not there are any appeals, and however much evidence is present. Overall, though, most lawsuits take between two and three years. In some exceptions, it can take longer.

Furthermore, victims can recover compensation for time away from work, pain, and suffering and combating it. To determine if the victim requires payment, attorneys must consider the nature of the injury and the duration and extent of pain. Victims and families can receive compensation for their emotional distress after the accident with mental anguish. Emotional suffering involves feelings of fright, nervousness, embarrassment, worry, and grief.

Under the loss of consortium, the surviving spouse receives compensation for the loss of services, assistance, aid, and companionship. Any surviving parents may also receive compensation for their minor children’s loss of love, affection, and friendship in a wrongful death situation. On the other hand, minor children may be eligible for compensation for their loss of services, assistance, aid, and companionship.

Insurance Coverage in Indianapolis Motorcycle Accidents

Suppose you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident at the fault of another driver. In that case, it’s crucial to know your insurance coverage options. All Indiana drivers are required to carry a minimum of:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person
  • Bodily injury liability: Maximum of $50,000 per incident 
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 per incident

Drivers can choose to carry coverage in higher amounts, and unfortunately, some break the law and don’t carry auto insurance at all.

Being hit at the fault of another driver entitles you to file a claim under the at-fault driver’s coverage. However, if they are uninsured, you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, or your damages amount to more than their coverage limits, you may not be covered entirely or covered at all. 

If on your own motorcycle insurance policy you have elected uninsured motorist or collision coverage, you can use this to help pay for your damages. 

Your Indiana motorcycle accident attorney can help determine who is responsible for your damages and what insurance coverage they might have to help pay for them. If multiple parties are responsible for your accident, you can file claims under each one of their insurance policies to maximize your compensation. 

What If The Accident Isn’t My Fault? Do I Still Need A Lawyer?

Regardless if you are entirely innocent of the accident, there is a chance the insurance company will not treat you fairly. Insurance companies are aware that injured clients do not understand their rights, so they tend to take advantage of them. This puts the victim at a disadvantage. Blackburn Romey motorcycle accident attorneys can level the playing field for you.

 

How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit in Indianapolis?

Two Years From The Date of Their Accident

Being involved in a motorcycle accident is often very traumatic. For example, you might be in the hospital for a while, need surgery, or simply need time at home to recover. With all your medical care and the logistics of your post-accident to-do list, you may not even consider contacting an attorney immediately. However, doing so is in your best interest once you are medically stable. One reason for this is because of the statute of limitations for personal injuries in Indiana.

Indiana Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accidents

The statute of limitations is similar to a deadline. Indiana law gives those injured in motorcycle or other accidents two years from the date of their accident to formally file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries. If they fail to take this legal action within the set deadline, they forfeit their right to pursue it. They could still file their claim after the deadline; however, the other party will likely ask the court to throw the case out because of the expired statute of limitations, and the judge will have no choice but to oblige. 

To many motorcycle accident victims, two years might seem like quite a long time. However, for an attorney who must prepare and negotiate a settlement or else go to trial, it’s not much time at all.

When you contact an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney for help with your claim, they must take several actions before they file any legal documents for your case. A motorcycle accident investigation alone can take months, especially if they must rely on experts. Contacting and hiring an attorney as soon as possible will generally give your case the best chance of success. 

Can The Statute Of Limitations Be Tolled or Paused?

Under some circumstances, the statute of limitations can be paused or what is commonly referred to as “tolled.” For instance, if the person who caused your accident left the state for a year, the statute of limitations would be tolled while they were out of state. Tolling also applies if the injured party is a minor child. 

It’s also essential to know that if your claim happens to be against a government entity, the statute may be as short as six months to one year. With so many variations, it’s best to reach out to an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney for help to ensure your case is filed on time and all related deadlines are satisfied. 

 

The Best Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Indiana

If you find yourself in a motorcycle accident, you are likely to feel a lot. It can genuinely be a traumatic experience. You may be either hurt, require medical attention, and will be dealing with your insurance company, so they cover all your expenses. This process can be very time-consuming, frustrating, and overwhelming, even more so if unfamiliar with the legal process. 

Hiring a motorcycle accident attorney that satisfies all your concerns and answers your questions regarding motorcycle accidents and how you should proceed is in your best interest.  A team that has access, knowledge, and experience to support clients and their claims for successful results.

 

Tom Blackburn, “The Man With The Bike”.

Call Our Reputable Indiana Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today

Tom Blackburn riding a motorcycle in Indiana

 

After sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident, it’s imperative to speak with reputable Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorneys as soon as possible.

When you call Blackburn Romey, we will review your case and inform you of your rights and offer our advice as to your next steps for free during a private consultation. Call us today to get your case started.

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Frequently Asked Questions

There is no average amount you can get for your motorcycle accident claim. Many factors will impact your case worth and settlement options. The most significant factors are your medical care and injuries. Many other factors can affect your case. You must discuss this with your Indiana motorcycle accident lawyer. The most common factors that can affect your case include:

  • Injuries: The severity of injuries is a significant factor in your compensation. Minor injuries usually lead to smaller settlements since your injuries do not require substantial medical treatment. Conversely, catastrophic injuries can result in extensive care and lifestyle changes. Your payment must reflect any hardships you suffer from the accident.
  • Medical costs: You will have current costs for medical care to contend with. This might include physical therapy, medication, and surgery. You may also require long-term care. These costs add up quickly. You must accurately estimate your future expenses. Your settlement must reflect your past, current, and future medical care costs.
  • Income loss: Injuries can impact your ability to work. You can lose days or weeks to see doctors or get treatment. Other injuries can permanently affect your working ability. You may have to reduce your hours, take FMLA, or change your career. You should be compensated for these losses.
  • Impact on your life: Aside from your health and income, your life can be impacted in other ways by your injuries. If you participated in hobbies or sports before the injury, that is relevant to your case. If you can no longer participate in these activities, your compensation should reflect that.

While these are the primary factors that can impact your motorcycle accident claim, many others exist. You will also have to consider liability, insurance policies, etc. Speak to Blackburn Romey for an accurate case evaluation.

According to Indiana University data, 57.3% of at-fault parties in motorcycle accidents were not the motorcyclist’s fault. The negligent parties were other drivers who crashed with motorcycles. That is a stark difference from what most people assume. The study also found an increase in the number of non-fatal injuries by 8% from 2019 to 2020. Additionally, other vehicles led to 100% of wrong-way collisions. They also were the cause of 87.2 % of unsafe backing and 77% of failure to yield. This means that very few collisions are the biker’s fault.

You can hold any negligent party who caused or contributed to your motorcycle accident legally responsible. You can file an injury claim with your insurance company to begin the process. If this is not fruitful, you can file an official lawsuit with the local courts. State laws are complex, and you should get legal protection from an Indiana motorcycle accident lawyer.

When working with the insurance company, they will try to delay your claim. They may also try to get you to accept a lower settlement offer. There is a bias against motorcyclists and insurers others often view riders as reckless daredevils. This bias can often make getting compensation more challenging. This can also push your case longer, requiring litigation. When you did not cause the accident, you should be compensated,

Indiana has a deadline for motorcycle accident cases. The personal injury deadline is two years from the accident date. That means you have two years to file a lawsuit in civil court. The timeline may change if your injuries are delayed. An exception to this deadline is when a person dies from the collision. If they die immediately following, the family must take legal action. However, if they die from their injuries later, that can extend the deadline to file a claim by a year or more.

Missing this deadline results in the courts refusing to hear your case. You will encounter other filing deadlines as you go through the claims process. It is vital to have an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney to ensure you meet all relevant deadlines.

Learn here more about what to do after a motorcycle accident

Motorcycle accidents can be more complex than motor vehicle accidents for several reasons. You must show that the at-fault party owes you a duty of care and is responsible for paying your losses. Sometimes, they are complex because the accident occurs with another object as the result of another driver.

The hardest part about these cases is determining negligence. You must show the driver who caused your accident owed you a duty and breached that duty; they were the cause of the accident and your subsequent damages. We must investigate to gather evidence showing the other person was responsible, and they should pay for your losses. Another potential complication is finding evidence and negotiating with the insurance company. It is best to speak to an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney to work through these complications and get the compensation you deserve.

Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Tom Blackburn, who has more than 47 years of legal experience, including over 39 years specializing as a personal injury attorney.

Areas We Serve

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