Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Canton

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Michigan’s diverse scenery makes it an ideal state for motorcycle riding year-round. Motorcycle riders, however, must exercise extreme caution. It is estimated that 84,000 motorcycle riders are injured each year in the United States. A motorcycle rider is 29 times more likely to die for every mile traveled than a passenger car occupant.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, then you need a motorcycle accident attorney on your side who has experience and knowledge to ensure you get fair compensation. The personal injury lawyers at the law office of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can fully represent any motorcycle accident victim from Canton.

Our legal team can file a motorcycle accident claim and speak to the insurance company on your behalf.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Collisions

Motorcycle accident statistics show that accidents involving motorcycles made up 2.9% of vehicle fatalities in 2020. This represents an increase in motorcycle deaths compared to 2.0% in 2019. The number of motorcycle deaths also increased by 24.6% from 2019 to 2020.

You may know the dangers of riding a motorcycle as a rider, but many factors can contribute to a crash that you may not realize. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents are:

Impaired driving

A motorcyclist’s risk of causing an accident increases when drinking and riding. The influence of drugs can also impair motorcyclists. Drugs have similar effects to alcohol, impairing judgment, blurring vision, and causing a delay in reaction speeds.

Motorcycle drivers who were killed or survived fatal crashes in 2019 were more likely to be impaired by alcohol than any other type of driver. 29% of motorcycle riders who died in alcoholic driving accidents in 2019 had a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more.

Speeding

Speeding is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Speeding caused 33% of motorcycle fatalities in 2019, compared to 19% for passenger cars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 49% of motorcycle riders aged 21-to-24 years old were speeding at the time of their fatal crashes. When a motorcyclist travels at high speeds, it’s easy to lose control and collide with a telephone pole or another object.

Improper turns

It is more likely that another motorist makes an improper turn that causes an accident than a motorcyclist. 41% of motorcycle deaths are caused by left-hand turns made by cars as motorcycles travel straight, pass, or overtake other vehicles in 2019.

When turning left, the driver may not be able to view all lanes of traffic because the turn may block or limit their view. A motorcycle crash is more dangerous if a driver accelerates when making a left-hand turn than a right-hand turn.

Lane splitting

Some bike riders drive between car lanes in traffic jams to make headway. This is called lane splitting and occurs because motorcycles are smaller than passenger cars.

When motorcyclists drive between lanes, they may strike or be hit by another vehicle. Many motorists don’t expect motorcycles to move in and out of traffic, so they don’t look for them.

Driver inexperience

Inexperienced drivers are often the cause of motorcycle accidents. In 2019, 30% of motorcycle riders in fatal crashes did not have valid motorcycle licenses, compared to 13% of car drivers.

A valid Michigan driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement is required for driving a motorcycle through completing a motorcycle rider education course or a rider skills test. Before getting on a bike in Michigan, motorcyclists should learn to ride correctly, follow traffic laws, and be aware of their surroundings.

However, a motorcycle rider involved in a fatal crash is 1.4 times more likely to have a previous motorcycle license suspension than a passenger car driver.

Distracted driving

Distracted driving can result in injuries, deaths, or property damage. Motorcyclists are often distracted by cell phones, text messaging, eating, or other activities. Intense emotions can distract motorcycle riders, increasing the risk of reckless driving while decreasing focus on the road.

If you take your eyes off the road or your hands off the handlebars, you risk losing control of the motorcycle.

Bad road conditions

Motorcyclists are particularly at risk from poor road conditions. They may lose control due to potholes, debris, cracked pavement, and other road defects.

Riders could lose control of their bikes or suffer a blowout. In the event of a crash, they could suffer injuries or death because they lack the protection of a vehicle.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

If you’re hit by a car while riding your motorcycle, you can sustain severe, painful injuries due to the car’s heavier weight and velocity. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could end up with some serious long-term issues.

Road rash

Road rash is an injury to the skin caused by sliding along a rough surface such as asphalt or concrete. It typically results in minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises but can be painful and take some time to heal. Road rash injuries can be categorized by the degree of severity.

First-degree road rash results in temporary scars, while second-degree road rash causes a laceration. This type of injury can leave permanent scarring and disfigurement on your body, so it is crucial to treat it properly.

Broken bones

Broken bones are common injuries resulting from being thrown from a bike or crashing into a stationary object like a tree or guardrail. Broken bones can result in injuries to the lower body parts, such as the pelvis and legs, and internal organ damage.

If left untreated, even a minor injury can result in serious complications and long-term problems, such as chronic pain and post-traumatic arthritis.

Traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when there is a sudden impact to the head, jolting the brain. Since motorcycle riders have less protection and are vulnerable to other vehicles on the road, they have an increased risk of sustaining a TBI.

Depending on the severity of the TBI, it may show symptoms right away or may take time. A concussion may be mild but can lead to memory issues and loss of balance. A severe TBI may result in a coma lasting weeks or months.

Back and spine injuries

Back and spine injuries are also common among motorcycle riders who were not wearing helmets at the time of impact with another vehicle or object. In a five-year clinical study, unhelmeted riders suffered significantly higher spinal fractures and ligament injuries than helmeted riders.

There are various types of back and spine injuries, ranging from mild sprains to permanent paralysis or death. These severe injuries can also lead to whiplash, herniated disks, or soft tissue trauma in the neck or shoulder. These injuries can cause pain and limit mobility.

What About Michigan’s Helmet Law

Michigan’s motorcycle laws allow bike riders to choose to ride without a helmet under these conditions:

  • If they are over the age of 21
    Compulsory $20,000 in first-party insurance coverage to cover medical bills in
  • the event of a motorcycle crash
  • Has had a motorcycle endorsement for at least two years or passed an approved motorcycle riding education course

Motorcycle passengers over 21 and who have $20,000 in first-party insurance can also opt out of wearing a helmet.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you can work with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident law firm that has experience negotiating with insurance companies and representing clients in court.

As a motorcycle accident victim, you can take legal action with the help of a personal injury attorney with experience in motorcycle accident claims. They can understand the type of motorcycle accident you experienced and your accident injury, so they can help you file a claim for compensation with the insurance company.

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What You Should Do After a Motorcycle Crash Injury

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is crucial to understand your legal rights under Michigan law. The following can help you know what to do after a motorcycle crash injury in Michigan:

Get medical attention

Motorcycle accident victims should seek immediate medical attention after being involved in a crash. When you call the police to report the accident, let them know that you require an emergency room visit.

Doctors need to examine you right away in case there is internal bleeding or other injuries that require immediate care. They may also have a treatment plan that includes physical therapy, rehabilitation, or long-term medical care.

Take photos and videos of your surroundings, if possible

Photos and videos of the accident scene can help you remember what it looked like at the time of your accident. Take note of other vehicles involved in the crash, traffic signals, and other details at the time of impact that could be helpful later on in your case‌.

Talk to witnesses if possible

If there are witnesses nearby, get their contact information immediately. Your lawyer can ask them what they recall about the accident, including weather and road conditions. Witnesses can give valuable information about what caused the accident and what happened afterward.

Save your medical records

Document your accident with medical records such as the costs of prescription drugs, imaging tests, and diagnoses from your healthcare providers. These records prove that your injuries directly resulted from the accident and provide estimates of your recovery costs.

Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney

Reach out to an experienced attorney who can offer legal counsel about your legal options under Michigan law. A motorcycle collision lawyer can determine if you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills and other losses.

How Does Auto Insurance Affect Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists are required to have a minimum liability insurance policy, which offers basic coverage for damage to property and injury or death to another party. The basic motorcycle insurance limits include:

  • $50,000 for an injury or death to a person
  • $100,000 for every accident when several people suffer injuries or were killed
  • $10,000 for property damage

Bike riders can choose to add extra medical benefits to their policy in blocks of $5,000.

Insurance Coverage for Auto Accidents Involving Motorcycles

Michigan’s no-fault law usually requires vehicle drivers to carry a no-fault insurance policy. However, those laws do not recognize motorcycles as motor vehicles. A motorcycle rider can only seek no-fault medical benefits from an automobile driver through a legal claim.

Medications, recovery, rehabilitation, wage loss, and replacement services are covered up to the coverage limits in the vehicle driver’s auto insurance policy. If a motorcyclist dies due to an accident, some funeral expenses and survivor’s benefits are paid to their dependents.

If an injured motorcyclist has excess medical bills beyond the limits of medical benefits, then they can file a motorcycle accident lawsuit against the other driver. You can get legal advice from a motorcycle crash attorney about filing a claim, collecting evidence, and dealing with the insurance defense attorneys.

How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help You

A lawyer’s knowledge of personal injury law and motorcycle accidents can significantly impact your case. Here are some ways how a motorcycle crash attorney can help:

Legal advice about filing on time

In Michigan, you can file a lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident. If you were injured in an automobile accident while riding a motorcycle, you have only one year from the date of the incident to file a claim for no-fault benefits. A lawyer can put together a claim on your behalf, including gathering crucial evidence linking your injuries to the accident.

Your lawyer can gather evidence on your behalf

Your attorney can look into the details surrounding your accident. This includes photographs and video footage of the scene (if available) and witness statements. They may also go through medical records and other documentation related to your injuries to determine their severity and how long they will last.

Our senior partner and nurse attorney, Eileen Kroll, can assess your injuries from the medical records. She can build a strong claim to show you need maximum compensation to help you with your recovery process.

Obtain legal representation for your compensation claim

Your lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies so that they pay fair compensation for all damages caused by their client’s negligence, including medical bills. They can also represent you in court if necessary to ensure that everything goes smoothly during litigation proceedings.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

A Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer from the law offices of Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can discuss your legal options and the compensation you might be eligible to receive. We can determine if you have a valid legal claim and who to file it against.

Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW) and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.

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