There are several injuries associated with motorcycle accidents. Most common are close head injuries because either the helmet did not provide enough protection or the driver wore no helmet. Under Kansas law, you are not required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle so not wearing a helmet cannot be used against you in the motorcycle case. I will tell you, though, injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident from a driver who does not wear a helmet has a tendency to reduce the value of the claim, even though that is not really supposed to be the consideration given by the jury in these cases. We find that most juries punish or penalize motorcycle riders who do not wear helmets at the time of the accident.
The other type of injuries we see that are very common in these accidents is road rash. Road rash can leave nasty scars on the face, legs, back, abdomen or any part of the body, for that matter. There also seems to be a tendency for more severe fractures of bones to be caused by motorcycle accidents. That probably is just because the motorcyclist is unprotected and suffers a sudden de-acceleration by either their body hitting a vehicle or hitting the pavement in a significant speed. These accidents can cause compelling fractures, contusions, bruises, et cetera. Those are the three most common injuries in a motorcycle accident. Many motorcycle accidents result in fatalities due to speed.
The viable motorcycle accident case is a motorcycle accident that involves the motorcycle having all of the required safety equipment. For example, all equipment, such as lights, is in proper working order and that the motorcyclist is not traveling at a speed in excess of the speed limit. We also look for cases that involve witnesses to refute the driver of the automobile, claiming that the motorcyclist was making sudden lane changes and/or speeding. Those common defenses are used in motorcycle accident cases. If the motorcyclist has significant injuries from the accident, we look to make sure that consistent quality medical care after the accident has occurred.
Sometimes that can be problematic because many motorcyclists do not carry no-fault medical care like everyone else has on their cars. It is not required on motorcycles. Many motorcyclists end up with large medical bills or do not get medical care because they do not have the proper insurance to pay for the injuries sustained from the accident, this will compromise their liability on their motorcycle accident case. Other than that, we look at police reports to make sure that fault has clearly been established or can be established through witnesses. We make sure that the defendant, in fact, caused the accident through negligence, and it was not the motorcyclist’s own negligence resulting in the accident.
The damages that one could recover from a motorcycle accident would include past and future medical care, past and future lost wages, and past and future pain and suffering, and disability. In order to assure one recover all of the damages that they are entitled to in a severe injury motorcycle accident, we have to ensure proper medical care with accompanying quality medical reports. Those reports need to show the nature of the treatment received to the motorcyclist, along with what the motorcyclist can expect to receive as far as medical care in the future. It is extremely important that future medical care is needed in terms of long-term care.
You have to take that medical report from the physician and show it to a life care planner who will then value out the cost of the entire future medical care one may have to incur because of this type of accident. The other important point to make is that it appears there is more skin scaring or modifications caused by road rash and it is very important to get that properly documented in photos. The insurance adjuster then can understand the full scope of injuries sustained in the accident. Presenting just the medical records will not be enough for the insurance adjuster to understand just how severe the damages were in a motorcycle accident case.
Of course, if you have a disability from a motorcycle accident, you will probably need to have a vocational expert evaluate and determine how this motorcycle accident has affected their ability to work, ability to earn in the future, and the ability to obtain and maintain employment. Sometimes you need a vocational counselor and an economist to evaluate the values of the losses that someone has suffered.