Motorcycle Accidents

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYERS IN LAKE CHARLES

Lake Charles Motorcycle Accident LawyerMotorcycles are smaller, lighter, and provide less protection to the rider and any passengers. Many motorcycle riders who are in a crash end up laying their bike down on the pavement or being thrown from the bike.

Helmets are vital protection, but a person wearing a helmet properly can still end up with a traumatic brain injury. Even a mild brain injury can have a serious, permanent impact on someone’s ability to remember recent and remote details, do simple math, and lead a normal life without assistance, treatment, and medication.

When you need aggressive representation, our team is here for you. With an excellent reputation in the community and comprehensive knowledge of personal injury law, we are your choice legal advocate in Lake Charles, Louisiana. 

Reach out to our team today for assistance after your motorcycle accident. We are here and ready to review your case and provide you with the best legal options at no cost to you. Call us today at (337) 433-1414 or reach out to us online at your convenience. You are not alone in this fight!

 

Do I need an attorney for my motorcycle accident?

Many motorcycle accidents are the result of someone’s negligence. They often result in emotional, physical, and financial distress to the victim. As experienced in the legalities of motorcycle accidents, we can help you file a lawsuit and seek the compensation you are entitled to under state law.

Here are some examples of laws pertaining to motorcycles:

  • The state believes in comparative negligence, which means compensation is reduced based on the percentage of fault assigned to you.
  • Louisiana requires a helmet for all riders. It also requires eye protection in the form of goggles, a facemask, or a windshield that provides face and eye protection.
  • Motorcycles should not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane. 
  • Handlebars cannot be higher than shoulder height when the rider is seated properly on the bike.
  • While two motorcycles can share a lane, “lane splitting” between an automobile and a motorcycle is against the law. A motorcycle driver who is in a crash while lane splitting may get a ticket. Evidence of lane splitting can be used against that person when determining who caused an accident.

 

We will fight for damages related to time off work, past and future medical bills, and more. We will advocate tirelessly to achieve an outcome that gives you full and fair compensation for all of your damages. 

Lake Charles Motorcycle Accident LawyerWhen To Get a Lake Charles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle accident victims have to endure much more than just physical pain. They’re usually dealing with lost wages from missing work, as well as the cost of property damage. 

As a respected team of personal injury lawyers in Lake Charles, victims trust The Johnson Firm to hold negligent drivers accountable for the motorcycle collisions they cause. Whether you need assistance handling a claim denied by an insurance company or want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, we are here for you. 

You and your family do not deserve to be sent into financial ruin because someone else made a poor decision. Working with a Lake Charles motorcycle accident lawyer can help you seek the maximum compensation available from all liable parties.

Call the office of The Johnson Firm today at (337) 433-1414 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation and discuss your options. 

 

What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident 

Motorcyclists may only make up 5% of drivers on the road, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatal motorcycle accidents are 27 times more likely than passenger car accidents. People need to be aware of what to do after a motorcycle accident, whether they are the driver, a passenger, or a bystander in the event.

Unfortunately, even careful drivers can find themselves in an accident. These accidents will happen when you are least expecting them. In fact, the NHTSA found that 52% of all accidents occur within five miles of home.

Be prepared by remembering these six essential steps to follow after a motorcycle accident.

1. Get To Safety. 

The most important step is to ensure your safety. Analyze your situation. Are you in danger of being hit by oncoming traffic? Can you move yourself to the shoulder of the road? If you can, try to help others to get to safety as well.

2. Don’t Remove Gear.

Motorcycle gear is heavy and protective. While it may feel instinctive to take off your gear to inspect yourself, you must leave it on. The gear may be holding injuries in place or blocking blood flow. Wait to remove any gear until the paramedics arrive to assess you.

3. Call 911.

Call the emergency teams to the scene. Depending on how severe the scene is, you may need both the police and paramedics. However, you will definitely need the police to create a police report. 

4. Gather Evidence.

While others may be gathering their own evidence, you need to do so as well. This will help your lawyer build a stronger case and help you retain information you may forget. Take pictures, write notes, speak with other drivers and witnesses, collect the other driver’s information, and get a copy of the police report.

5. Seek Medical Attention.

It is always best practice to get a complete check done by a medical professional after being involved in an accident, especially if you were on a motorcycle. Adrenaline and shock can mask feelings of pain. Symptoms may take days or weeks to appear. Don’t risk making your injuries worse. Go to the doctor within the first 48 hours of your accident to ensure you don’t have any hidden injuries.

6. Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer.

Once you have ensured your safety and health, call a motorcycle accident lawyer at The Johnson Firm as soon as possible. Insurance companies will try to contact you very quickly to offer disturbingly low sums that won’t even cover your medical needs. Having a lawyer early on will ensure that someone helps you protect your right to compensation and doesn’t let anyone swindle you into a bad settlement.

Lake Charles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Brain Injuries From a Motorcycle Accident

Traumatic brain injuries are not uncommon injuries in vehicle collisions; however, motorcyclists are at a higher risk. When a motorcyclist hits their head on a roadway, even while wearing a helmet, they can suffer a concussion or a more severe brain injury that will require long-term care.

There are three degrees of traumatic brain injury that a motorcyclist may suffer in an accident: mild, moderate, and severe.

Mild traumatic brain injuries may not include a loss of consciousness, like when a person gets a concussion. A mild brain injury can still have a major impact on life – difficulty with memory, understanding, headaches, vision loss, balance problems, and mood and thought changes are common with mild brain injuries.

Moderate traumatic brain injuries include individuals who lose consciousness for several minutes to two hours. These can be more severe concussions and commonly have long-term consequences.

Severe traumatic brain injuries can result in the motorcyclist falling into a coma that lasts days, weeks, or years. If they do wake up, they may struggle with basic functions, such as motor functions. This can lead to depression, causing a higher risk of suicide.

It is important that traumatic brain injuries are treated both physically and mentally. The individual will need time to recover, rehabilitate, and seek mental health advice from a professional.

Although there is no way to ensure that a motorcyclist won’t get a head injury, wearing a helmet greatly reduces the severity of the injury and increases their potential to survive the accident. 

 

How a Lake Charles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at the Johnson Law Firm Can Help

Our team at The Johnson Firm is here to help you. We ensure that you don’t fight the fight alone. Let us take on:

  • Contacting your insurance company
  • Helping you determine who is at fault
  • Advising you on possible outcomes
  • Collecting evidence and obtaining experts
  • Hiring accident reconstruction experts
  • Ensuring deadlines are met
  • Filing your case as soon as possible
  • Getting your side of the story and creating a timeline
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Fighting for your rights

 

If the insurance company for the liable parties isn’t willing to make a fair settlement offer, our trial-tested team will take them to court. 

 

What damages can I claim in a motorcycle accident lawsuit? 

Motorcycle accidents lead to severe injuries that are expensive to treat. Victims may be awarded damages to assist them in their recovery and cover any property damage caused by the liable party.

 

Economic

Economic damages can be financially proven through receipts or payslips showing the financial cost that the accident had on the victim. You will need to retain the appropriate receipts to file economic damages for the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Prescriptions
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of wages
  • Property damage

 

Non-economic

Non-economic damages are losses that are not financial. These often have a greater effect on your life post-motorcycle accident due to the emotional trauma that they cause. You can claim non-economic damages for:

  • Loss of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Lost earning potential
  • Emotional trauma

 

Punitive

Punitive damages may be sought in certain circumstances. Where economic and non-economic damages are meant to pay back the victim for their losses, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their negligence.

Punitive damages can only be sought in cases of severe negligence, such as a drunk driver causing a motorcycle accident.

If you believe that your motorcycle accident was due to a negligent driver, call a Lake Charles motorcycle accident lawyer today. We can help you fight for justice.

Lake Charles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcycles may be the most thrilling vehicle to drive, but they also come with a sense of danger. Driving at high speeds while exposed on a two-wheeled vehicle can make any kind of accident life-threatening.

You need to be aware of the risks of riding a motorcycle to understand the need for caution.

 

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most serious injuries that can result from a motorcycle accident. While they do not always lead to death, they can cause lifelong impairments.

Concussions are a common form of traumatic brain injury. In some cases, they can result in comas, difficulty speaking, or severe memory loss. 

Prevent traumatic brain injuries as best you can by wearing a motorcycle helmet that complies with local regulations. 

 

Road Rash 

Road rash is a common term for a variety of injuries that occur when an individual comes in contact with the road. This can mean skin abrasions or burns due to the impact on asphalt or gravel.

The most common type of road rash is when the skin is stripped away due to dragging against the ground. In a severe form, road rash can strip away layers of fat, muscle, or even bone.

Road rash is often found on the extremities when individuals have chosen to wear shorts or t-shirts instead of leather gear. It is important to wear leather pants and a jacket that fully covers your skin to prevent road rash in a motorcycle accident. 

 

Broken Bones

Fractures can result from hitting the ground at a high speed or if your motorcycle falls on top of you. The weight of a motorcycle can easily break a bone, leaving you stuck beneath it.

Motorcyclists commonly fracture their hip, tibia, femur, ankle, wrists, clavicle, ribs, elbows, and shoulders as a result of accidents. These tend to occur at the place of impact on the ground.

 

Internal Damage

Motorcycle accident victims are at a high risk of internal damage in serious accidents. The force of the impact with the ground or a solid object can lead to significant internal issues, such as collapsed lungs and internal bleeding.

You may not feel these injuries immediately, which is why it is vital that you seek medical assistance after a motorcycle accident.

 

Contusions 

Contusions, or bruises, occur when a motorcyclist is impacted by anything, be it the street or the other vehicle. The pressure will create a bruise due to burst blood vessels.

 

Soft Tissue Damage

Soft tissue injuries include sprains, strained muscles, and whiplash. Sprained or torn ligaments are commonly reported in motorcycle accidents, due to the way that the riders twist to stop themselves from falling to the ground.

Whiplash is caused by the driver’s beck being forced to snap back violently. 

Seek medical treatment early to prevent further aggravating the injuries.

 

Neck and Back Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis or chronic pain. If you believe that you have suffered a neck or back injury on the site of a motorcycle accident, call the paramedics. Movement can destabilize your spine and worsen your condition.

 

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents 

Motorcycles are ideal for enjoying open roads and scenic country sides. Many people love them for their ability to avoid traffic and make driving more fun.

However, drivers must be aware of the risks.

 

Rear-End Motorcycle Accident

Rear-end motorcycle accidents are the most common type of motorcycle accident. They often result in whiplash. 

 

Poor Road Conditions

Broken concrete, potholes, debris, and wet roads can cause a motorcyclist to lose control more easily than a four-wheeled vehicle.

 

Blind Spots

Motorcycles are smaller and sometimes quieter than other vehicles on the road, which is why many drivers, even when they check their blind spot, do not see motorcyclists in the way. The driver’s responsibility lies with making sure they are clear and safe to change lanes, and a motorcycle is responsible for maintaining lane and speed limits. If you’ve been hit by a car merging into your lane unsafely, contact our lawyers for a free consultation.

 

Cutting Off

Cutting other vehicles off or lane splitting can lead to a severe accident. Cars are not always prepared for a motorcycle in their lane, leading to them hitting the motorcycle. 

 

Distracted Driving

Texting while driving, eating while driving, or playing with the radio can make any driver take their eyes off the road. Every second they are not paying attention is a moment when an accident may occur.

 

Driving Under The Influence 

The NHTSA states that motorcycle riders who are impaired by drugs or alcohol are at a significantly increased risk of having an accident.

 

Contact the Lake Charles Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at The Johnson Firm Today

When you choose our motorcycle accident attorneys, you can expect exceptional legal experience. We will thoroughly review the details of your unique case and help you choose the best option for you and your family as you seek damages. Our experience with dealing with insurance companies, investigating fault, and proving losses all increase your chances of recovering more after your motorcycle collision.

We will work to: 

  • Collect evidence that proves that the at-fault driver was negligent or reckless
  • Seek fair compensation from the insurance company or companies
  • Negotiate with insurance companies or the defendant to address all of your losses  

 

Your attorney will keep you informed of every move we make. You will never be left wondering where your case stands or where you are in the process of negotiating. You will always be aware of your legal options, including the optimal moves to make given your personal goals.

At The Johnson Firm, we know that this is an overwhelming time for you and your family, and we believe in open and honest communication. You will never be in the dark when it comes to your case.

How long do I have to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit?

You have one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for personal injury or property damage due to a motorcycle accident. 

How much does a motorcycle accident lawyer cost?

Hiring an expert Lake Charles motorcycle accident lawyer from The Johnson Firm does not cost you anything until we win. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t have to pay us anything until we get your compensation.

We will cover the costs of collecting evidence, hiring accident recreation experts, and preparing for trial. We won’t accept any of your money until the insurance company offers you the compensation you rightly deserve.

Contingency lawyers get better results for their clients. Because our pay depends on us getting you the compensation, we work harder than other lawyers to get you the highest amount possible.

What if I was partially to blame for my motorcycle accident?

Louisiana has a pure comparative negligence doctrine. This means that even if you contributed to the motorcycle accident that caused your injury, you can still seek damages.

Your compensation will be reduced by the amount of your fault.

For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for the motorcycle accident, you would only receive 80% of the awarded damages. 

If you are injured by a negligent driver, it is likely that they will dispute the claim or try to shift blame onto you to lower the amount they have to pay. If this happens, contact a Lake Charles motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your case.

What if a loved one died from a motorcycle accident?

Unfortunately, loss of life is a common occurrence in motorcycle accidents. In many cases, it is caused by a driver who is reckless or distracted and strikes your loved one.

We know that this is a devastating time for you. At The Johnson Firm, we do not take wrongful death at the hands of a negligent driver lightly. We will ensure that you get compensation for your loved one’s life and their final expenses.

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An injury can impact your life tremendously. Every type of injury that happens as a result of someone else’s negligence requires the attention of an experienced attorney.