The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that nearly 5,000 motorcyclists suffered fatal injuries in accidents across the United States in 2018. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, of the 381 traffic fatalities in the state that year, motorcyclists accounted for 58 of them.
The exposed structure of motorcycles often makes accidents involving them more severe for motorcyclists than those in passenger cars. In fact, motorcyclists suffered fatal injuries at a rate 27 times higher than car occupants in 2017. While helmet use can save lives, the NHTSA reports that over 70% of motorcyclists who lost their lives in fatal injuries wore helmets. The agency emphasizes that motorist awareness can help make roads safer for those on motorcycles.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another driver, a Minneapolis motorcycle accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for your damages. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 924-3113 to discuss your free case evaluation with our legal team.
Establishing Liability in a Motorcycle Accident
Because Minnesota requires drivers to carry no-fault insurance, their own insurance carrier must provide coverage for their injuries regardless of who caused the accident. Although no-fault policies limit a victim’s rights to sue, some cases do allow them to file claims for additional compensation, such as when their insurance policy does not provide adequate coverage for the extent of their injuries.
Filing a personal injury or wrongful death case against the at-fault party in a motorcycle accident first requires proving the liability of the other party. In order to do so, their actions leading to the accident must meet all of the legal criteria for negligence.
- Duty of care: The party had a responsibility to exercise reasonable caution to protect the victim from preventable harm.
- Breach of duty: By committing an unlawful act or failing to take action, the party breached their duty of care to the victim.
- Causation: The party’s breach of duty led to serious or fatal injuries.
- Damages: The victim’s injuries or loss of life led to significant financial damages.
Victims and their families often find it challenging to prove the responsibility of the at-fault party on their own, but an attorney can collect the information you need to demonstrate liability in your case.
For a free legal consultation with a motorcycle accidents lawyer serving Minneapolis, call (800) 924-3113
Who Holds Responsibility for Causing the Accident
Usually, motorcycle accident victims pursue legal action against another driver in the collision, as the operator of a vehicle most often accounts for its primary cause. However, other parties may hold responsibility for motorcycle accidents, as well.
Local and State Governments
Motorcyclists rely on clear, well-maintained roadways to ensure their safety when they travel. If a government agency fails to fix deteriorating roads, their conditions can lead to motorcycle accidents. In some cases, the victim may have the option to file a claim against the government agency responsible for the collision.
In other cases, motorcycle manufacturers may allow certain bikes onto the consumer market that contain a defective part or design flaw. Once they become aware of these issues, they must issue a recall and a complimentary resolution for the safety of their customers. However, it often takes a series of accidents to determine the need for a recall, and serious injuries and fatalities can result.
If a driver, government agency, or product defect caused your injuries, a Minneapolis motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine if you can file a claim. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC online today, and our legal team will respond as soon as possible to discuss the details of your case with you.
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Types of Evidence Used to Determine Who Caused the Accident
As determining liability requires you or your attorney to prove negligence, evidence can help eliminate any doubts as to the responsibility of the at-fault party. Some of the common types of evidence used to prove fault in a motorcycle accident case include:
- Photos and videos from the scene of the accident, especially skid marks and debris
- Photos of injuries resulting from the accident
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Police reports
- Cell phone history
- Medical bills
A Minneapolis motorcycle accident lawyer can gather evidence on your behalf and use it to help you fight for your case.
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Financial Awards in Motorcycle Accident Cases
The types and amounts of compensation you may receive depend on the circumstances of your case, including the extent of your injuries, the liable party, and the amount your insurance covers. If you qualify for financial awards, they may include payment for:
- Emergency medical care, rehabilitation, and other related healthcare concerns
- The wages you lost as a result of missing work due to your injuries
- The future income you will not receive due to the loss of a loved one who supported you financially
- Pain and suffering for the physical and emotional trauma caused by the accident
- Funeral and burial expenses if you had to lay a loved one to rest
In cases a judge deems particularly heinous, they may also impose punitive damages on the defendant. This type of compensation serves as a form of punishment and a public deterrent in the hopes of preventing similar incidents from occurring again.
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Minnesota Statute of Limitations on Motorcycle Accident Claims
Each state has their own statute of limitations on motorcycle accident cases, which limits the amount of time a victim or their loved one has to file a claim against the at-fault party. As a general rule, victims have six years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim in Minnesota, and their families have three years from the date of the accident to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a family member.
Exceptions do apply, but a Minneapolis motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine how much time you have to file your claim.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC Today to Get Started
Motorcycle accidents can have long-term effects on the health and well-being of victims and their families, and they should not have to struggle with financial difficulties on top of their other challenges. The attorneys at Ben Crump Law, PLLC help ease our clients’ burdens by managing their case for them and seeking the fair compensation they deserve, and we do not charge any fees unless we achieve financial awards on their behalf.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident in Minneapolis, contact our legal team today at (800) 924-3113 to discuss your case.
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