Now that winter weather is finally in the rear-view mirror, motorcyclists on Wisconsin roadways are a common sight again. Unfortunately, that also means it’s motorcycle accident season. According to the WI Department of Transportation, there were 2,250 crashes involving motorcycles in 2016, the most recent year for which statistics have been published.
Because of their design and size relative to other vehicles, motorcycle accidents can have catastrophic consequences. A victim who survives a motorcycle crash may suffer from long-lasting physical and emotional injuries. Insurance settlements may not offer adequate compensation, which can leave victims struggling to handle long-term health care expenses. Fortunately, Wisconsin law provides a recourse for people involved in motorcycle crashes, allowing them to file lawsuits to seek legal remedies.
What About Insurance Coverage?
After a motorcycle accident, the other driver’s insurance company may ask you to accept an insurance settlement to resolve the matter. Before you ever agree to settle you should always seek legal advice because insurance companies are known for their low ball offers. Even if the other driver didn’t have insurance or had inadequate insurance, you may also be able to file a claim against your own uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist insurance coverage.
Legal Remedies When a Product Defect Caused the Accident
In some cases, motorcycle accident victims may have recourse against someone other than the other driver.
If there was a product defect with your motorcycle or your helmet, or if road conditions caused or contributed to the accident, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you pursue a claim against the manufacturer or others responsible for maintaining roadways.
How Motorcyclist Negligence Can Impact Damages Awards
If we cannot settle the case for you for fair compensation and you must file a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident, Wisconsin law will require you to prove that the other driver (or other responsible party) was at fault, and that you suffered injuries for which you should be compensated.
Sometimes, motorcycle accident victims assume they will not be able to obtain compensation for their injuries if they were speeding or their own actions or negligence otherwise contributed to their injuries. In actuality, you may still be able to recover under a lawsuit. The amount you could recover may be reduced to reflect your role in the accident.
GCW Lawyers Help Motorcycle Victims
Accidents can happen when you least expect them to. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at Gingras, Cates & Wachs in Madison, Milwaukee and Eau Claire. We will help you identify your options, advise you on potential outcomes, and help you take action while you focus on recovering.