Biloxi Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you suffer injury in a motorcycle accident or motorcycle wreck resulting from someone else’s negligence, a skilled Biloxi motorcycle accident lawyer can help you seek reimbursement. Our team delves deep to uncover the root cause of your accident. Was the other driver drunk? Did your bike malfunction? Did you hit a pothole? Once we determine who is at fault, our dedicated personal injury attorneys can take the necessary actions to initiate your claim for compensation. Our office is located in Biloxi, and we are proud to serve Gulfport, Jackson, Laurel, and all of Mississippi.
Motorcycle Accident Causes
In most accidents that involve motorcycles, the collision occurs between the motorcycle and another automobile. Factors that may lead to a motorcycle / automobile wreck, such as distraction, fatigue and inclement weather, can create even greater hazards for motorcyclists. Furthermore, in comparison to other vehicles, motorcycles are much more likely to crash due to the following negligence-related factors which may warrant contact with a Biloxi motorcycle accident lawyer:
- Lack of visibility — Truck and car drivers who fail to responsibly monitor mirrors and blind spots often remain unaware of a nearby motorcycle.
- Speeding — Motorcycles can reach much higher velocities than other vehicles. Yet driving a motorcycle — or any vehicle — in excess of the speed limit greatly minimizes reaction times and increases the risk of accident.
- Road conditions — Poorly maintained roads seriously affect motorcyclists. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), road debris, uneven pavement and fluid spills play a role in 26 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents. Recovering from injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash may require expensive lifelong treatment. However, if someone else is at fault — the other driver, the bike manufacturer or the local municipality, for example — you may be able to receive compensation.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Riding a motorcycle may provide a thrilling and freeing experience, but it is also fraught with inherent dangers. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the fatality rate of motorbike accidents is more than quintuple that of motor vehicle accidents. The rate in Mississippi alone is among the highest of all states, with 10 or more fatalities occurring per 10,000 registered motor vehicles. Following are severe injuries riders commonly suffer in motorcycle accidents that a Biloxi motorcycle accident attorney may be able to assist with:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) — TBI may cause lifelong disability. Even if a rider is wearing a helmet, a hard enough impact may still cause a TBI.
- Road rash — Road rash is a type of skin burn injury created by friction between a rider and the pavement. When a motorcyclist is thrown suddenly from the vehicle, sliding along the pavement can result in an injury, sometimes minor, sometimes serious enough to cause disfigurement.
- Spinal cord injuries — Motorcycle riders are fully exposed. While a helmet may protect the head, the back is susceptible to injury. Even a minor collision is capable of causing a serious back injury. Major trauma to the spinal cord may result in partial or complete paralysis.
Motorcycle drivers can operate their bikes at higher speeds than other motorists can, and riding a motorcycle requires special skills. In addition, motorcycles are smaller and lack any protective barrier for riders. As a result of the increased danger, traffic regulations that provide ample protection for car drivers are inadequate for motorcyclists, leaving them more vulnerable to an accident causing serious injury or even death.
Who is Liable?
Proving liability in a motorcycle accident comes down to negligence. Were you speeding? Did you change lanes recklessly? Since Mississippi is a pure contributory negligence state, even if you are partially responsible for your accident, you may still receive some form of reduced compensation. Other parties who may be responsible for your injury include the bike manufacturer, tire company and local government.
Comparative Negligence in Motorcycle Crashes
In order to collect proper compensation, it is necessary for claimants to prove that a defendant’s negligence was the source of the collision. However, defendants may allege that a biker’s own actions were the cause of the crash.
The concept of pure comparative negligence, codified under Mississippi Code Annotated §11-7-15, requires courts to examine the actions of all parties involved in an accident. A court must reduce a claimant’s recovery by his or her percentage of fault. For example, if a court believes a motorcycle rider is 25 percent to blame for the crash, the court must reduce their award at trial by that percentage. Defendants may attempt to argue that a rider was speeding, tailgating, or not wearing necessary safety gear, and that contributed to his or her injuries. A Biloxi motorcycle crash attorney could help to defeat these allegations and to demand full compensation.
How Long Does a Person Have to Demand Payment?
No matter how severe a person’s losses may be, or how clear it is that a defendant was at-fault for the crash, a case may still fail if a plaintiff does not act on time. A law called the statute of limitations controls when a court will hear a case alleging negligence on the road.
Under Mississippi Code Annotated §15-1-49, injured riders have three years from the date of the crash to bring a case to court. However, if the negligent party is a governmental entity or its employee the motorcycle rider only has one year to bring a claim. This same concept also applies when a motorcyclist is attempting to collect compensation through a settlement, since insurance companies are aware of this law and will not engage in negotiations if the statute of limitations has expired. A Biloxi motorcycle accident attorney could help to ensure compliance with the time limits to pursue a case.
Getting Help From a Biloxi Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured in a motorcycle crash and need to speak with an attorney in Mississippi? We can help. After a serious personal injury, financial loss or insured loss, you need an attorney who knows how to present your best case in court. A Biloxi motorcycle accident lawyer from Van Cleave Law can begin to evaluate your case today. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve Gulfport, Biloxi and all of Mississippi.